Bridget Penhale, England

Bridget Penhale is currently Reader in Gerontology at the University of Sheffield, UK. With a first degree in psychology, she has been qualified as a social worker since 1981. Bridget has specialised in work with older people since 1983, and worked in urban, rural and city areas in addition to hospitals. After a successful career as social worker and manager spanning some 15 years, she took up an academic post at the University of Hull in 1996, moving to Sheffield in 2004.

She is past Chair of the British Association of Social Worker's Community Care Sub-Committee, and former Vice-Chair of Action on Elder Abuse. She is currently chair of the Hull Domestic Violence Forum. Bridget also participated in a number of projects with the Social Services Inspectorate of the Department of Health (UK government) concerning elder abuse; the discharge of frail elderly people from hospital and older people with dementia living in the community. Bridget is a Board member of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and a member of the National Social Care Research Ethics Committee.

Bridget has published material on decision-making and mentally incapacitated adults and extensively on elder abuse. Her research interests include elder abuse, adult protection, domestic violence; mental health of older people; bereavement in later life, health related social work and intergenerational relationships. She was the Principal Investigator of the recently completed Department of Health funded research project on Adult Protection (2004-2007) and provided project management to the UK study on Elder Abuse. Bridget is also currently involved in a number of other research projects on elder abuse and adult protection, including acting as Academic Co-ordinator/facilitator for the ripfa Change Project on Adult Protection. She is also involved in three European initiatives on different aspects of elder abuse and is currently acting as Scientific Advisor to a Department of Health funded Research programme on Abuse, neglect and lack of dignity in institutional settings for older people. Bridget is recognised nationally in the UK for her work on adult protection and internationally for her work on elder abuse.