A Better Life

Head of Team (Ageing Society)
01904 615913?
Programme manager, Ageing society team
01904 615 967
Policy and Research Programme Manager
Research Administrator
01904 615967

The number of older people with high support needs is growing, but their voices are seldom heard and their lives too often defined in terms of needs and services. This work has focused on quality of life in the broadest sense.


A Better Life: valuing our later years by Imogen Blood (2013) reflects on the entire body of work and highlights how we can all improve quality of life for older people by:

  • Taking account of increasing diversity

  • Founding all support in meaningful and rewarding relationships

  • Recognising and creating opportunities for older people to both give and receive

  • Treating everyone as equal stakeholders with both rights and responsibilities

  • Hearing individual and collective voices

  • Innovating - but also making simple changes within existing models


Between 2009 and 2013, JRF commissioned over 30 outputs, including:

  • Qualitative research into care homes, housing with care schemes and small-scale mutual support schemes; and

  • Quantitative analysis of demographic trends, housing market options and the affordability of retirement housing.

The programme sought reflections on ageing from diverse perspectives, and also produced good practice guides for older people’s groups, providers and commissioners.


The evidence has already fed into JRF and JRHT’s work, for example in shaping our new research and development programmes on dementia; everyday support in neighbourhoods and care homes; and quality of care. In 2014, we will continue to communicate the messages and ideas for change from the programme to key audiences and influencers.


Visit the A Better Life website – for images, stories and poetry about older age.

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