I joined the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University in September 2022 to lead and develop a new Sociology Programme, prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth (2016-2022). Preceding this I was employed as a Research Associate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, where I researched topics including, falling and fracturing, delays to older people being discharged from hospital, and end of life interventions (2011-2016). From 2007 to 2010, I worked part-time as an Assistant Lecturer in Sports Sociology at the University of Chichester whilst completing my PhD in the sociology of ageing, physical activity and rurality at Southampton University.

My doctoral research centred on the corporeal, emotional, and social experience of ageing and physical activity in rural locations. My post-doctoral research has developed my interests of ageing, well-being, health, and social care, which I combined with my doctoral work in a monograph entitled: Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care. My book examines the impact of globalisation, neoliberalism, Austerity policies and ageism on health and social care systems in the UK, Sweden and Germany. It begins with an examination of how broad structural and discursive trends, such as neoliberalism and globalisation, have influenced the financing and provision of health and social care for older people in countries located in the Global North. It then goes onto discuss the impact that privatisation, ‘choice’ and competition has had on service provision, including how declining social protections have impacted upon employment practices. Three in-depth UK case studies (active ageing, pre-emergency care, and end of life care) provide insight into individual’s (both older people and health care workers) experiences of navigating the risky, fragmented, and complex health and social care system. Then the subsequent contemporary challenges, such as COVID-19 (first, second and third waves), and government responses are discussed. Finally, the book ends by showcasing examples of innovative care solutions that have been trialed in the UK, and what broader cultural and political changes are necessary to provide a more sustainable and dignified health and social care system for older people. Therefore, my research interests are themed around issues of ageing, health, and social care, and precarity.

I am currently interested in research exploring embodied ageing experiences in relation to intersecting identities (gender, ethnicity, ‘dis’ability and rurality); precarity; macro comparative analyses of neoliberalised health and social care systems; feminist ethics of care; necropolitical analyses of ageing and death, in health and social care systems.

Bethany Simmonds Bio