Spotlight on Scotland: Assets and opportunities for aging research in a shifting sociopolitical landscape



Robertson J, Bowes A, Gibson G, McCabe L, Reynish E, Rutherford AC & Wilinska M (2016) Spotlight on Scotland: Assets and opportunities for aging research in a shifting sociopolitical landscape. Gerontologist, 56 (6), pp. 979-989.

Scotland is a small nation, yet it leads the field in key areas of aging research. With the creation of a devolved government with authority over health and social services, the country has witnessed practice and policy developments that offer distinctive opportunities for innovative research. With multidisciplinary groups of internationally recognized researchers, Scotland is able to take advantage of a unique set of opportunities for aging research: a well-profiled population brings opportunities in population data and linkage to understand people’s interactions with health, social care, and other public services; while research on technology and telecare is a distinctive area where Scotland is recognized internationally for using technology to develop effective, high-quality and well-accepted services at relatively low financial cost. The paper also considers free personal care for older people and the national dementia strategy in Scotland. The potential to evaluate the impact of free personal care will provide valuable information for other global health and social care systems. Exploring the impact of the national dementia strategy is another unique area of research that can advance understanding in relation to quality of life and the development of services. The paper concludes that, while Scotland benefits from unique opportunities for progressive public policy and innovative aging research that will provide valuable lessons at the forefront of a globally aging population, the challenges associated with an aging population and increasing cultural diversity must be acknowledged and addressed to ensure that the vision of equality and social justice for all is realized.

ageing; care; dementia; demography; diversity and ethnicity; public policy; technology

Gerontologist: Volume 56, Issue 6

Publication date01/12/2016
Publication date online06/04/2016
Date accepted by journal23/12/2015
PublisherOxford University Press

People (4)


Professor Alison Bowes
Professor Alison Bowes

Professor, Dementia and Ageing

Dr Grant Gibson
Dr Grant Gibson

Lecturer in Dementia Studies, Dementia and Ageing

Dr Louise McCabe
Dr Louise McCabe

Senior Lecturer, Dementia and Ageing

Professor Alasdair Rutherford
Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology