Carol Holland
Professor in Ageing (Lancaster University UK)


Carol Holland is Professor of Ageing in the Division of Health Research at Lancaster University, and also Director of the Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR). She is currently President of the British Society of Gerontology.  Carol is a psychologist whose research focuses on the impacts of applied cognitive and health psychology during aging and models of frailty, for example, the impacts of working memory on the ability to participate socially and links to loneliness, or the addition of psychological, social and environmental aspects of frailty to the more common physical aspects. She is particularly interested in the reduction of risk factors for frailty, cognitive decline and dementia across the lifespan.  

Professor Holland works across disciplines and sectors, bringing together a range of expertise in projects that address the challenges of aging. She supervises a number of PhD students on topics related to aging and dementia, including several students undertaking their PhD at a distance and working internationally.  

Summary of research and interests.  

Professor Holland has a number of ongoing and recently completed projects focusing on frailty, including cognitive and psychological frailty, the impacts of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and active engagement in later life. She was the UK lead in the EU-funded FOCUS project with partners in Valencia, Coimbra, Aveiro, Milan, Rotterdam and Wroclaw. Our work demonstrated that frailty can be treated even in very old people, and showed the role of psychological resilience, lifestyle health behavior and social support in preventing the worst outcomes. In another project that has become well known in the housing and health field, working with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, she examined the longitudinal impact of retirees moving into villages as an active aging and wellness strategy supported by cognition, psychological and physical health, and care needs and costs. From both projects, Carol is developing a series of measures to more holistically assess frailty and resilience in community samples of older people, including assessments of perceptions of age-friendly environments.  

In another project, Carol is overseeing the evaluation of the Together an Active Future program to increase physical activity in the Pennine Lancashire region, which now includes a linked project examining the effects of physical activity on the psychological impact of bereavement in later life. 

Recently, he received funding to develop an international, interdisciplinary network on the mechanisms associated with the development of cognitive frailty in older age.  



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