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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a medical sogiologist interested in ageing. My research explores health, care and sexuality in old age and at the end of life. I am interested in how systemic power relations influence intimate relationships and institutional processes. My ongoing projects include an OSC-funded study of intimacy and sexuality in age 65+ and a UKRI-funded study of grave reuse, informing the Law Commission's epoch-making review of burial legislation. My previous projects include a study of loneliness and close relationships in retirement communities and a knowledge exchange programme on palliative care provision in care homes with managers, nurses, general practitioners (GPs), and care workers.

My doctoral thesis is the first study of palliative care practice in British care homes in almost 20 years. It combines ethnographic, interview and quantitative methods with feminist social reproduction theory to shed new light on the management of residents’ dying.  Dying with dementia in care homes is not a natural process, but a highly managed one. Care home staff and GPs have a legal duty to prolong residents’ lifespan. This emphasis continues right into the end of life. To comply with legislation, care home staff collaborate with GPs to extend residents’ dying trajectories and naturalise specific forms of dying. This raises questions about what sorts of deaths are being supported in care homes.

My public engagement work includes the 2022 University of Bath Memorial Lecture on non-intervention in care homes as well as an interactive source and a BBC Ideas video on sexuality in old age. I worked with BBC Ideas to produce an educational video on Viagra. I considered how to use voice over and imagery to convey nuanced knowledge on sexual health issues to a large and young public audience, in an entertaining way. I also gained experience of balancing stakeholder and academic priorities in the production process. My academic publications can be found in Social Science and Medicine.

I am open to supervise doctoral students on the following topics:

  • Palliative Care, End of Life Care and Dying
  • Non-intervention at the end of life
  • Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs)
  • Families and kin relationships at the end of life
  • Care work and care institutions/organisations
  • Technology for health and social care provision at home (for example: virtual wards, remote monitoring)
  • Intimacy and sexuality in old age and at the end of life
  • Digital technology mediating intimacy and sexuality in old age (for example: social media, dating applications, pornography)

Research areas: old age, palliative care, end of life care (EOLC), care homes, dementia, sexuality, intimate relationships, gender, care work, social care policy, social reproduction, Marxist-feminist social reproduction theory (SRT), biopolitics.

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Fellow, Open University

1 Oct 202330 Oct 2026

ESRC Post-doctoral Fellow, Open University

1 Oct 202214 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • old age
  • social care
  • palliative care
  • end of life care
  • dementia
  • death and dying

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