Interventions to promote ageing in place: developing the Village model in Manchester

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Purpose: The Village model, most extensively developed in the USA, is an innovative response to ageing populations and older adults who wish to remain living independently within their community. The “Urban Villages” participatory action research study aimed to test the potential of the Village model to work with groups of older adults in two economically deprived, inner-city neighbourhoods in Manchester, UK.

Design/methodology/approach: Participatory methods were used to work with residents to, first, adapt the Village model to the Manchester setting, and second, to develop and deliver community projects that supported ageing in place. The study aimed to involve marginalised individuals and groups in the co-design, leadership and implementation of the projects. Ethnographic methods were applied to observe and reflect on the development of “Urban Villages”. Interviews and focus groups were organised to gather the views of the residents involved in the community projects.

Findings: Residents were supported to develop and test seven projects, all aimed at reducing social isolation and supporting ageing in place. The study provides new insights into challenges related to co-production with older people in deprived neighbourhoods. These challenges are presented under the following headings: individual capacity and expectations; collective capacity including communication and knowledge; and the capacity of place.

Originality/value: To date, only a limited amount of literature is available showing how co-production with older adults can be realised when working with marginalised groups and deprived communities. The paper explores the potential of participatory approaches to develop age-friendly initiatives through strengthening the capacity of older adults to age in place.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2023


  • Age-friendly
  • Ageing in place
  • Co-production
  • Deprivation
  • Health
  • Village model


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