Advisory Group


Dr Andy Achenbaum, who has spent his academic career at the intersection of history and gerontology, has published six books and roughly 200 articles.  Now an emeritus professor at the University of Houston, Andy is learning more about the joys and sorrows of growing older than he ever taught.


Gilly Crosby - Bio to follow


Dr Claire Garabedian is an Associate Researcher at the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester. A professional cellist, Certified Music Practitioner, and experienced research assistant, Claire completed her PhD at the University of Stirling focusing on the impacts of individualised live and recorded music for care home residents with dementia nearing the end of life, and their carer. Claire’s unique combination of qualifications provides for an understanding of both practice and research aspects regarding the rewards and challenges involved in working within these populations as well as within the creative art practitioner diaspora.


Tessa Harding worked for three local authorities, mostly in Social Services. She led a six year project on Community Care at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and then became consultant on policy at the National Institute for Social Work. Finally, she became Head of Policy at Help the Aged and Senior Policy Adviser on Age Equality and Human Rights. Most recently, working with the Older People’s Reference Group, she wrote the ‘plain English’ Handbook on the outcomes of the new Dynamics of Ageing programme. When she retired in 2006, Tessa became the principal carer for her stepmother, who had vascular dementia, until she died in 2009. Tessa initiated and now helps to run a dementia support project locally.


Dr Robin Means is a Professor of Health and Social Care in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of the West of England (UWE).  He is immediate Past President of the British Society of Gerontology and an elected member of the Academy of Social Sciences.  His research interests in relation to older people focus on such areas as sustainable environments in later life as well as issues relating to inter-agency working to support those with health and care needs. He is co-editor of Countryside Connections: Older People, Community and Place in Rural Britain (published in 2014 by The Policy Press).


Sheila Peace is Professor of Social Gerontology, Faculty of Health & Social Care at The Open University. A human geographer by first discipline, she moved into social gerontology in the mid 1970s and has an international reputation for expertise in the field of environmental gerontology. Teaching that is research-led has been central throughout her career. Currently, Sheila is President of the British Society of Gerontology where she wishes to encourage the development of a rigorous research evidence base to underpin the development of a better life for people in later life.


Dr. Debora Price. Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) at the University of Manchester.  President of the British Society of Gerontology (2016 – 2019).   Formerly a barrister, Debora is a sociologist and gerontologist with primary research interests in poverty and inequality in later life. She specialises in the study of gender and pensions, funding later life, and the sociology of money over the lifecourse.  Debora is also a Member of Research Committee 11, Sociology of Ageing, at the International Sociological Association.


Thomas Scharf is Professor of Social Gerontology in the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University and leads the theme on 'Ageing: economic and social impact' within the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA). He is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and Visiting Professor of Social Gerontology at Keele University and at NUI Galway. He has also recently been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Manchester and Vienna. Tom’s research addresses issues relating to social inclusion/exclusion in later life, often with a focus on the spaces and places in which inclusion and exclusion arise. His most recent book is From Exclusion to Inclusion in Old Age: A Global Challenge (2012, co-edited with Norah Keating and published by The Policy Press). With Chris Phillipson and Toni Calasanti, he edits the book series Ageing in a Global Context for The Policy Press.


Dr Charles Simpson is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) at the University of Hertfordshire, and a Lecturer in the College of Health and Life Sciences at Brunel University London. He is a Social Gerontologist with research interests crossing disciplinary boundaries to incorporate Sociology, Human & Urban Geography, and Social & Health Psychology. Key interests include how social exclusion and inclusion, and social and human capital impact on active aging, ageing-in-place, and age-friendly cities; and, how these influence older peoples’ participation in governance, and inform social and health policy.


Mark Skinner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography and founding Director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society, Trent University (Canada), is a health geographer with expertise in rural ageing, health and social care, and voluntarism. Dr. Skinner has held invited research fellowships at Université d’Angers, National University of Ireland Galway (Irish Centre for Social Gerontology) and, most recently, was named the 2015 Gary Andrews Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology. His new book, Ageing Resource Communities: New Frontiers of Rural Population Change, Community Development and Voluntarism, is published by Routledge.