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Dr Manik Deepak Gopinath

Profile summary

Professional biography

A critical gerontologist with expertise and interest in :(1) the intersections of ageing, place and wellbeing, and; (2) intimate and family ties of older adults. 


PhD, University of Dundee

Masters in Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, India

Bachelor in Architecture,College of Engineering, Trivandum, India

Research interests

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 ‘place’ broadly construed (to include the material, social, emotional and symbolic). 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. My PhD work in considering whether moving home can secure wellbeing at older ages argued for bringing together, ‘relational’ frameworks of place and wellbeing to conceptualising residential mobility in later life.

My overall line of inquiry: How best to develop and operationalise relational frameworks that acknowledge and are sensitive to values and processes in diverse ageing environments?

In my recently completed British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant project (2017), ‘Coupledom in later life: living together and apart’ (SG170463), Prof. Sheila Peace, Dr. Caroline Holland and I explored how older couples sustain relationships when living apart through care home move separation. Shedding light on the relational,  place and wellbeing implications for older couples, this work challenges the stereotype of ‘single older person’. I have a sustained interest in exploring environments for ageing and living well and more recently in my current project, for older minority ethnic groups. I am also very keen to work collaboratively and in meaningful ways with communities and other stakeholders to  co-create sustainble legacies, exchange knowledge, and support translation of research into practice and policy.

I currently supervise two doctoral students at The Open University and would welcome applications from potential PhD students. I am also the current Co-Lead of CABS, the Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies Research Group at The Open University. The research group brings together a dynamic group of academics and postgraduates researching diverse aspects and topics of ageing.

Esteem indicators:

Co-editor, Families, Relationships and Societies (2020-)

Member, British Society of Gerontology (2015-)

Member, Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) Peer Review College (PRC) (2019-)

Peer reviewer: Abbeyfield Research Foundation

Peer reviewer: Qualitative Research in Health, Buildings and Cities

Panel member, Housing 21 Conference (2021): How is housing responding to the diverse housing and care needs of older people?

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching interests

I am the Module Chair for a level 1 module and teach level 1, 2 and 3 undergraduate modules at The Open University. My teaching draws on my research expertise. I am also interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and have recently completed work on two projects in collaboration with colleagues in the School and Faculty. The first project  explores the concerns of students with caring responsiblities, studying at a distance with a view to inform policies and practices aimed at supporting and retaining such students. The second project explores student motivation in digital learning environments through assessing the impact of using pedagogic digital tools to motivate and develop students as self-directed learners.

Perspectives in Health and Social Care (K118)

Critical Issues in Health and Wellbeing (K219)

Leading, managing, caring (K318)

Investigating health and social care (K323)

External collaborations

Ms Jane Palmer [CEO, Age UK, Milton Keynes], Dr Andrew Balfour [Clinical Psychologist and CEO, The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, London] and 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)] : Coupledom in later life: living together and apart.


Externally funded projects

Development of a model of relational care for care homes and community-based settings in the UK
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Apr 202231 Mar 2024Hallmark Foundation

This project will develop a model of relational care and a tool that a) assesses the extent to which dimensions of relational care are present in a particular care setting for the purpose decision-making, standards-setting and inspections and (b) encouraging and embedding more widespread use of relational care.

‘Amar bari, amar jibon’ [My home, my life]: developing suitable living environments for Bangladeshi elders
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead26 Mar 202230 Jun 2025Dunhill Medical Trust

This project aims to : 1) develop an evidence base that hears from older adults from Bangladeshi communities living in London about their lived experiences of place - home, housing and neighbourhood environments, its implications for wellbeing and what constitutes ‘suitable living environments and pathways’ for ageing well ; and, 2) together with our community partners coproduce evidence- based recommendations that can be used to raise awareness , inform local housing and ageing well strategies to develop suitable living environments.

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.


Acceptability of Remote Monitoring in Assisted Living/Smart Homes in the United Kingdom and Associated Use of Sounds and Vibrations—A Systematic Review (2024)
Tong, Ki; Attenborough, Keith; Sharp, David; Taherzadeh, Shahram; Deepak Gopinath, Manik and Vseteckova, Jitka
Applied Sciences, 14, Article 843(2)

[Book Review] Beyond Filial Piety: Rethinking Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary East Asian Societies by Jeanne Shea, Katrina Moore and Hong Zhang (eds) (2020) (2022-10-26)
Gopinath, Manik
International Journal of Care and Caring, 7(2) (pp. 381-382)

Remembering David Morgan and his work: collaborations, inspirations and new applications (2022-05-01)
Gopinath, Manik; Jamieson, Lynn and Haux, Tina
Families, Relationships and Societies, 11(2) (pp. 149-156)

Learning in the Fourth Age: the role of physical activity interventions for people living in long term facilities (2022)
Borgstrom, Erica; Deepak Gopinath, Manik and Vseteckova, Jitka
International Journal of Education and Ageing, 5(2)

Enduring commitment: older couples living apart (2022)
Gopinath, Manik; Holland, Caroline and Peace, Sheila
Families, Relationships and Societies, 12(2) (pp. 201-219)

Moving residence in later life: actively shaping place and wellbeing (2021-09-28)
Gopinath, Manik; Entwistle, Vikki; Kelly, Timothy and Illsley, Barbara
International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 15(1) (pp. 127-161)

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

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

Relational Care - with Mary Larkin and Manik Deepak-Gopinath [Podcast] (2023-11-22)
Robb, Martin; Larkin, Mary and Deepak Gopinath, Manik
Careful Thinking

Being needed - fulfilling the potential of mutual relationships (2023-08-25)
Kartupelis, Jenny; Larkin, Mary and Deepak Gopinath, Manik
International Longevity Centre, London.

Making every relationship matter: a practitioner toolkit for relational care with older people (2023-05-02)
Larkin, Mary; Gopinath, Manik; Kartupelis, Jenny and Wilson, Anthea
The Open University

The value and practice of relational care with older people: a research report by The Open University (2023)
Gopinath, Manik; de Lappe, Joseph; Larkin, Mary and Wilson, Anthea
The Open University

The value and practice of relational care with older people: Summary Report of a research project carried out by the Open University (2023)
Gopinath, Manik; de Lappe, Joseph; Kartupelis, Jenny; Larkin, Mary and Wilson, Anthea
The Open University

When growing old together means living apart (2018-02-14)
Gopinath, Manik
British Academy, London.

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