“Ageing Without Children in East Lindsey”
What does it mean to Age Without Children in rural and coastal communities? A research project between the Healthy Ageing Research Group at the University of Lincoln and TED Ageing Better in East Lindsey has been listening to the experiences of people aged 50 and over in the East Lindsey district.
In East Lindsey a support group for people who are Ageing Without Children was set up by a person with lived experience of Ageing Without Children (AWOC), Patricia Faulks, in partnership with the TED in East Lindsey Programme team. This group grew from experiences of social isolation during COVID-19 ‘lock-downs’, a time where ‘family’ has been seen as central to supporting ageing populations. Currently virtual, this network has developed amidst increasing interest from stakeholders nationally. However, the exact number of people who are AWOC is difficult to fully capture. This is partly explained by varied and sometimes complex accounts of childlessness, but also because of the ‘invisibility’ of these people in a family-oriented society.
In what is thought to be the first study of its kind to have a focus on rural and coastal communities, over the last 7 months the TED programme has been working in partnership with Professor Mo Ray from the Healthy Ageing Research Group at the University of Lincoln on an exploratory research project to understand the diversities, challenges and opportunities of AWOC. On the 2nd December 2021 between 1400hrs-1550hrs an exciting online learning and knowledge exchange event is taking place. In the event’s keynote presentation Professor Ray will discuss findings from this research and implications for policy and practice. It will feature contributions from a number of stakeholders and will be of interest to policy makers, practitioners and those with an interest in diversities and lived experiences of ageing.