A film and museum exhibition will be part of the research
Elderly people in the rural South West and Wales will be under the spotlight in a £1.1m research project.
The University of Plymouth aims to find out what life in rural communities is like for Britain's ageing population.
The three-year government-funded project will look at how the elderly interact with their local community, and what issues are important to them.
A Grey and Pleasant Land? aims to benefit the quality of life of older people who are growing in number.
The South West has the fastest ageing population of all regions in England, but it also has the highest life expectancy of all regions.
Professor Catherine Hennessy of the University of Plymouth said: "These perspectives will provide us with the larger picture of the concerns, contributions and opportunities of older people."
The research will include a film, a museum exhibition, an art-based book, interactive websites and video conferences.