The MRC Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research has an overriding objective to translate research knowledge into public benefit to ensure that adults are fit for old age, and therefore places huge importance on involving local people in research activity. We intend to do this primarily through the Birmingham 1000 Elders group.
Initially the Birmingham 1000 Elders were involved in research that used questionnaires to find out about all aspects of life as an older adult in the UK, looking at issues such as health, housing, social activity, pensions etc. More recently this has expanded to include involvement in medical research including research into heart disease, infections in old age and falls. The involvement of the group has been crucial to the research activity of Birmingham University and in particular to the work carried out relating to older adults, and helps us to design, develop and delivery research that is directly relevant to your health and wellbeing.
What does membership of the 1000 Elders group involve..?
Any adult aged 65 or over who is in good health and would like to become a member of the 1000 Elders initially fills out a questionnaire that provides us with contact details, basic personal information (date of birth, gender, marital status) and lifestyle information (any medication taken regularly, whether they smoke etc). The details are kept on a database so that members can be contacted for help with research at the University.
For most members they will not be contacted more than twice a year and often the research may involve only filling in a questionnaire. For other studies they may be asked if they would be willing to come to the University to help with a study and this could involve for example giving a blood sample. In every case the research will have been approved by an Ethics committee and the member will always be able to decline if they do not want to take part. In addition travel expenses to get to the University will always be paid.
Members of the Birmingham 1000 Elders group will be provided with a newsletter once a year telling them of the research going on at the University and we also aim to have regular public information days so that members can hear at first hand the latest research findings and gain information on how to maintain good health in old age.
The personal details of people who agree to become part of our Elders database will not be supplied to anyone other than researchers involved in appropriate studies at the University of Birmingham. All applications from researchers to access the database will have to be approved by the database co-ordinator and all studies will have ethics committee approval.
How can I join..?
To join the Birmingham 1000 Elders Group please fill in the application form and return it to at:
Professor Janet Lord
School of Immunity and Infection
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4399