Purpose: A frequent concern of older people and of those who work with older people is that research is often divorced from reality and does not inform everyday practice. For many years, psychology and related disciplines have investigated the social and psychological aspects of ageing from different perspectives. However, the contemporary challenges faced by older people and their carers remain substantial. There is a need to better connect research with policy and practice designed to improve the quality of life of older people. The aim of this special issue is to provide a forum for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss particular initiatives and topics pertinent to people as they age. It is through this dialogue that researchers can gain further insight into the everyday issues faced by older people, and can become more aware of particular challenges faced in developing and implementing changes in policy and practice.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper introduces the six papers that make up this special issues
Findings: Academic researchers can work closely with older people and with a range of professionals to better understand the processes of growing older and how to develop supports that can enhance the quality of life of older people.
Originality/value: This special issue highlights the contribution of psychology to both understanding and enhancing the lives of older people.