Professor Vanessa Burholt, PhD, FaCSS will share her extensive understanding on why staying connected in later life involves maintaining and sometimes developing new social relationships to preserve participation. However, there are barriers that impact on people’s ability to remain socially connected. My presentation will take stock of the latest research on social exclusion and will identify risks for exclusion from social relationships (including personal attributes, biological and neurological risks, retirement, socio-economic status, exclusion from material resources and migration). I will also look at how the evaluation of social relationships and culture can influence exclusion. I will conclude by focusing on the environment as the context for exclusion, and I will provide a practical example of a tool that can be used to assess the age friendliness of the physical environment across New Zealand.
Professor Burholt graduated from the Bangor University and was then appointed Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Policy Research and Development at Bangor University and in 2004 took over as Director. She then moved to Swansea University, as Director of the Centre for Innovative Ageing. In 2016, Vanessa was also appointed Director of the pan Wales, Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research. In 2019 she founded the Institute of Creative Ageing Industries. In the UK, previously Vanessa has held a public appointment as the research member of the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing and was co-Chair of the research hub of the Campaign to End Loneliness. Personal awards include Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Irish Gerontological Society Medal and Senior Research Leader for Health and Care Research Wales. In 2015 and 2017, she won the College of Health and Human Science outstanding contribution to research award and in 2019 the Head of College award.
Professor Burholt has recently taken up the position of Professor of Gerontology in the Faculty of Medial and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland, where she intends to develop a new interdisciplinary centre of ageing research based on her twenty-three years of research experience in social gerontology leading international and national research projects. She has published around 50 peer reviewed articles.
Overview of our Monthly Meetings
The two hour meeting is held on the first Tuesday morning of each month in Browns Bay. An invited speaker, expert in the field, informs, educates and entertains us. Our focus is Exceptional New Zealanders doing Exceptional Things in New Zealand. A wide range of current topics is covered and we are sometimes privy to information not yet released by the researchers to the public.
The second part of the meeting is provided by our U3A Special Interest Groups whose presentations have been identified as being of interest for the whole membership. A tea break provides the opportunity for members to mix and chat. Attendance at the main monthly meetings is optional. Members are required to attend one or more Special Interest Groups as this is where the active learning focus of the U3A philosophy occurs and long last friendships are made.