Healthy (and not so healthy) ageing: opportunities and challenges for collaborative research


Healthy (and not so healthy) ageing: opportunities and challenges for collaborative research

Wed, 29/09/2021 - 13:30 to 14:30


Susan Shenkin

In this presentation, I will introduce the clinical aspects of healthy ageing and the variation in this, and then discuss common medical conditions in older age, and the main geriatric syndromes of immobility, instability (falls), incontinence and impaired intellect/memory (delirium and dementia). I will discuss the challenges and opportunities for interdisciplinary research to benefit older people and am keen to discuss these issues with you, particularly with those of you interested in engaging with clinicians for future research collaborations.


Susan Shenkin is an academic geriatrician with broad interests particularly relating to delirium and dementia, improving the care of residents and staff in care homes and using systematic reviews to guide future research. She graduated from Edinburgh University (MBChB) in 1994, having done an intercalated BSc (1st class Hons) in Psychology. After a general medical rotation in Oxford, and a neurology SHO job in London, she returned to Edinburgh to train in Geriatric Medicine. Under the mentorship of Prof John Starr (geriatric medicine) and Prof Ian Deary (psychology), she was awarded an MRC Training Fellowship investigating life-course influences on cognitive ability and cerebrovascular disease in older age. During this fellowship she obtained an MSc in Epidemiology (Distinction), graduating in 2002. and was awarded her MD in 2006. Much of her training has been undertaken flexibly (less than full time).

She has been working as a clinical academic in geriatric medicine at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian since 2011, with main interests in cognitive ageing/delirium & dementia, and the health and care of residents and staff of care homes, in particular the role of data and technology. She has skills in data linkage in health and social care, and systematic reviews, and particularly enjoys interdisciplinary working.

She is co-lead of the EuGMS (European Geriatric Medicine Society) Dementia SIG, member of the Acute Care Edinburgh, the UoE Translation and Commercialisation board, part of the Advanced Care Research Centre (edin. care), leads the Lothian Care Home Innovation Partnership, is co-chair of ENRICH (Scotland), on the organising committee of the Care Home Innovation Partnership and is Systematic Reviews Editor for Age and Ageing.

Research interests
Health and social care of care home residents and staff
Diagnosis and management of patients with delirium and dementia in the acute hospital
How delirium and dementia affect outcomes, e.g. admission to care homes
Data linkage using electronic health records
Lifecourse epidemiology of cognitive ageing and cerebrovascular disease
Systematic reviews (especially of observational studies)