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Dr Manik Deepak Gopinath

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Manik Gopinath is a lecturer in Ageing at The Open University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture (College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India), a Master’s degree in Planning (School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India), and a PhD from Town and Regional Planning, University of Dundee (2015).

Research interests

Manik’s research expertise lies at the interface between relationships of place and wellbeing. Her programme of work is designed to explore and develop nuanced understandings of the complexities of ageing. More than ever, demographic ageing of populations has brought considerations of ageing and living well centre stage. Living well brings into focus questions about ‘wellbeing’ and the ‘place’ where one lives. However, discourses, assumptions and expectations around age and ageing, that are deeply and simultaneously personal, historical, cultural, social and political, belie simplistic understandings of living well.

Manik’s work interrogates and theorises interrelationships of place and wellbeing in ways that are intended to offer new insights into the complexities of ageing and challenge thinking around ageing stereotypes. In so doing, this work engages critically with, and brings together, ‘relational’ frameworks of place and wellbeing that are sensitive to diversity of people, values, processes and contexts. Her PhD research has the potential to contribute to conceptual debates on residential mobility in later life and practically to dynamics and implications of moving residence.

In her recent British Academy/Leverhulme funded research project (2017), ‘Coupledom in later life: living together and apart’, Manik is exploring how older couples sustain relationships when living apart. Shedding light on the place and wellbeing implications for older couple relationships, this work has the potential to challenge the stereotype of ‘single older person’.

Funded projects

Coupledom in later life: Living together and apart
Dr Manik Gopinath (PI) & Dr Caroline Holland (Co-I)
BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants (2017)
Funder reference: SG170463
Effective start/end date: 01/12/2017- 31/08/2019

Teaching interests

Manik is currently designing and authoring learning materials for a new level 2 module, ‘Critical issues in health and wellbeing’. Her contribution to this module speaks to the significance and implications of family, social and work relationships for health and wellbeing. She is also the current chair for a level 2 module, ‘Adult health, social care and wellbeing’.

Impact and engagement

Manik is working with Dr Mary Larkin to gather impact related evidence from key stakeholders around two projects, ‘Utilising Carer-Related Research and Knowledge: a scoping review and information resource’ and ‘Identifying exemplar models and support for older carers and carers of people with dementia’ (both developed and led by Dr Larkin). The gathering of evidence involves carrying out semi-structured interviews and a consultation workshop with key stakeholders.

External collaborations

A key research commitment and concern for Manik is that her research is beneficial for non-academic and academic stakeholders. Demonstrating this commitment, she has from outset initiated collaborations with three external stakeholders on her British Academy/Leverhulme project. These include:

  • Ms Jane Palmer, Chief Executive Officer, Age UK, Milton Keynes
  • Dr Andrew Balfour, Clinical Psychologist and Chief Executive Officer, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, London
  • Professor Julienne Meyer, Professor of Nursing care for older adults at City University, London, and Executive Director, UK wide collaborative programme, ‘My Home Life’ (MHL) 

Externally funded projects

Coupledom in later life - Living apart and together
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Dec 201730 Sep 2019BRITAC British Academy

This pilot qualitative study aims to develop understanding of how couple (married and cohabiting) relationships in later life are experienced and maintained when partners are separated by movement into a care home. Evidence suggests that high quality couple relationships in later life positively influence wellbeing of both spouses (Umberson et al 2006). Ongoing wider research on loneliness, quality of life, care and caring speaks to the significance of (social) relationships in later life. Yet missing from such debates is attention to those minority but highly complex relationships that are lived out across different residential environments. Extending understandings of the dynamics of such relationships under-researched in British context, findings from thirty interviews with 10 couples will be shared with practitioners contributing to development of inclusive, cost-effective interventions for separated care home residents and their spouses. The study has wider relevance across fields of social care, social work, clinical psychology and families and relationships.


Moving residence in later life: actively shaping place and wellbeing (2021)
Gopinath, Manik; Entwistle, Vikki; Kelly, Timothy and Illsley, Barbara
International Journal of Ageing and Later Life ((In Press))

Barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking group exercise in older people living with dementia in the community: a systematic review (2020-09-21)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Dadova, Klara; Gracia, Rosaria; Ryan, Gemma; Borgstrom, Erica; Abington, Jane; Gopinath, Manik and Pappas, Yannis
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 17, Article 15

Learning in the Fourth Age: the role of physical activity interventions for people living in long term facilities (2019-12-01)
Borgstrom, Erica; Deepak Gopinath, Manik and Vseteckova, Jitka
International Journal of Education and Ageing ((In Press))

Barriers and facilitators to adherence to group exercise in institutionalized older people living with dementia: a systematic review (2018-11-09)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Deepak Gopinath, Manik; Borgstrom, Erica; Holland, Caroline; Draper, Jan; Pappas, Yannis; McKeown, Eamonn; Dadova, Klara and Gray, Steve
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 15, Article 11

Thinking about Later Life: Insights from the Capability Approach (2018-06-30)
Gopinath, Manik
Ageing International, 43(2) (pp. 254-264)

Conserving habitus: Home, couplehood and dementia (2018)
Gopinath, Manik; Peace, Sheila and Holland, Caroline
Home Cultures, 15(3) (pp. 223-263)

[Book Review] Anthony Alexander Britain’s New Towns: Garden Cities to Sustainable Communities. Abingdon: Routledge, 2009 (2011-08)
Deepak Gopinath, Manik
Planning Practice and Research, 26(4) (pp. 509-511)

Construction of environmental knowledge: experiences from India (2008-03)
Gopinath, Deepak and Gopinath, Manik D.
Journal of Sustainable Development, 1(1) (pp. 2-8)

Meanings of home for older couples and spouse caregivers (2017-08)
Peace, Sheila; Gopinath, Manik and Holland, Caroline
In : RGS-IBG AC2017: Home futures: towards a critical feminist geography of housing, ageing and health (29 Aug - 01 Sep 2017, London)

The significance of bodily impairments in place and wellbeing relationships – insights from a qualitative study of older people living in Scotland. (2016)
Deepak Gopinath, Manik; Entwistle, Vikki; Illsley, Barbara and Kelly, Tim
In : British Society of Gerontology 45th Annual Conference: Communities in Later Life: Engaging with Diversity (6-8 Jul 2016, Stirling, Scotland, UK)

Moving residence to secure valued capabilities: insights from a qualitative study of relationships between place & wellbeing among older people living in Scotland (2015-09-12)
Gopinath, Manik; Illsley, Barbara; Kelly, Mothy and Entwistle, Vikki
In : "Capabilities on the move: mobility and aspirations" - HDCA Conference 2015 (10-13 Sep 2015, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA)

Exploring Older Peoples’ Experiences Of Place And Wellbeing: A Qualitative Study (2015-05-21)
Deepak Gopinath, Manik
PhD thesis University of Dundee

Barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking group exercise in older people living with dementia in the community: a systematic review protocol (2018)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Deepak-Gopinath, Manik; Dadova, Klara; Borgstrom, Erica; Ryan, Gemma; Gracia, Rosaria and Holland, Caroline
Prospero - International Prospective register of Systematic Reviews

Barriers and facilitators to adherence to group exercise in institutionalised older people living with dementia: a systematic review (2017-06)
Vseteckova, Jitka; Deepak Gopinath, Manik; Holland, Caroline; Draper, Jan; Pappas, Yannis; Gray, Stephen; McKeown, Eamonn and Dadova, Klara
PROSPERO, 2017, CRD42017067805