Ageing and social eating

Developing age-friendly communities through eating with others.

From MICRA, Age-Friendly Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University Critical and Community Psychology Research Group

Friday 28 April 2017

Social eating or commensality has been associated with a range of health and social benefits for older adults in the UK and globally. There is limited information on why older adults choose or decide not to eat with others and what social eating means for them. Also, while there are a wide number of social eating opportunities across Manchester for older adults, little is known about why they may attract people to attend and join in.

This afternoon of short talks from academics and practitioners working with older adults in communities will consider the findings of recent MICRA Seedcorn research exploring social eating with older adults across neighbourhoods in Manchester, and work by researchers that connect with this work. We will also hear from an experienced practitioner about her work with older adults setting up and supporting community-based activities that include eating opportunities.


  • Chair: Dr Jenny Fisher, Senior Lecturer in Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Laura Brown, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Manchester and Dr Zinnia Mitchell-Smith, Manchester Metropolitan University - Older adult’s experiences of social eating in Manchester: getting there, coming back and perceptions of benefits of social eating’
  • Ema Johnson, PhD student, University of Manchester - Eating experiences in later life
  • Dr Kingsley Purdam, Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics, University of Manchester and Maz Linford, Community Chef - The Octogenarian Cooks