A photo of Renée Beard.Renée Beard, PhD

Associate Professor, College of the Holy Cross

Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Aging Studies

[email protected]

Faculty Profile



After completing my doctorate in medical sociology at the University of California San Francisco, I spent 3 years as an NIA postdoctoral research fellow in gerontological public health at the University of Illinois Chicago. I am currently a Professor at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts. My research employs primarily qualitative methods, including ethnography, focus groups and in-depth interviews. I have published widely on the subjective experiences of Alzheimer's, including a piece coauthored with a woman with early onset AD and her husband, but also on other health- and aging-related topics such as organ transplantation, cancer narratives, and sex for older adults. In 2016, my book entitled Living with Alzheimer's: Managing Memory Loss, Identity, and Illness was published with New York University Press. This book offers an empirically-based counter narrative to the pejorative framing of Alzheimer’s commonly espoused in American media and medical institutions and interrogates the Alzheimer’s Industrial Complex. Most recently, I have been following affected couples to understand their joint and individual experiences of memory loss, studying home health care organizations, and tracing family experiences of dying at home and with hospice. I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Aging Studies.

Keywords: critical gerontology, medical sociology, qualitative, subjective experience of Alzheimer’s/dementia, illness narratives