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Bridget Penhale

University of East Anglia

Bridget Penhale

With a background in psychology and social work, Bridget has specialised in work with older adults since 1983 and has specific interest and expertise in violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people, particularly older women.

Bridget has been recognised nationally in the UK for her work on adult safeguarding/protection and internationally for her work on elder abuse. This includes older people who experience violence, abuse and neglect in institutional care settings. In 2010 she received the International Rosalie Wolf Award for her work in the field of elder abuse research and practice. She has undertaken mixed-methods research on adult safeguarding and elder abuse in the UK and Europe and has also acted as a consultant/advisor to the Department of Health (England) and the Scottish government, the European Commission and the World Health Organisation, as well as to third sector organisations and NGOs.

Bridget’s last academic position was as Reader in Mental Health of Older People, University of East Anglia (2010-20); since retirement from this position in August 2020 she has held an Emeritus position at UEA and acts as an Independent Consultant in relation to elder abuse, adult safeguarding and adult social care (specifically older people, but with interests across the range of adult social care and including LTC). Bridget also has expertise in the ethics of care practice and research ethics and was a member of the HRA Social Care Research Ethics Committee (REC) for 10 years until 2019. She became a member of a London REC in March 2022. She is also a Trustee of a local Healthwatch organisation and a member of the Older Women’s Network (OWN), Europe and a AGE Platform Europe taskforce on Dignified and Healthy Ageing, which encompasses LTC.


Countries UK;
Topics Co-production in LTC; Dementia care and support; End-of-life care and LTC; Gender and care; Stigma and discrimination; Unpaid / informal care;
Methods Literature reviews and synthesis; Mixed methods; Qualitative studies;
Role Research;
Research interests

In addition to research interests in elder abuse, adult protection/safeguarding and domestic violence, Bridget has interests in care of older people and mental health problems relating to older people and has undertaken research relating to older people across a variety of issues, including LTC. This includes a range of studies relating to older people living in care homes (and care homes with nursing). She has a broader specialism interest in social gerontology, having specialised in clinical work with older people since 1983 and academically since taking up her first academic position in 1989.

Key publications

Recent publications include:

LLOYD-SHERLOCK, P., PENHALE, B., and REDONDO, N. (2021) Evaluating the quality of long-term care services in the city of La Plata, Argentina, Ageing & Society, 41, (1), 208-230. DOI:

LLOYD-SHERLOCK, P., PENHALE, B., and REDONDO, N. (2019) The Admission of Older People into Residential Care Homes in Argentina: Coercion and Human Rights Abuse, The Gerontologist, 59(4) 610-618-19. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny014

BACKHOUSE, T., PENHALE, B., GRAY, R. and KILLETT, A. (2018) Questionable practices despite good intentions: coping with risk and impact from dementia-related behaviours in care homes, Ageing and Society, 38, (9), 1933-1958 DOI:

List available on request (via email)