On behalf of the Irish Gerontological Society and the networks of researchers and educators active across the island of Ireland, Ireland is proud to host the IAGG-ER 2015 Congress in Dublin.
The Irish Gerontological Society is an all-island society (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) and is one of the oldest societies in the world dedicated to research in ageing. It is a strongly interdisciplinary Gerontological society, with all four pillars of gerontology represented in its governance and membership, and a strong belief that progress in making an age-attuned world on a scientific basis lies in ensuring equipoise and mutually respectful relationships between the interlocking pillars of gerontology. This is a position it has promoted in its communications and engagement with the IAGG and IAGG-ER over many years.
The Irish Gerontological Society has also been to the fore in promoting the Demographic Dividend - at their joint Congress with the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society in Dublin in 2010, 300 older Irish people joined us for an opening session which included Nobel-laureate poet Seamus Heaney discussing Ageing and the Poetic Spirit, and a symphony concert of music of mature creativity.
This broad and positive approach is reflected in the themes of our specials issues of journal Irish Ageing Studies Review: Creativity and Ageing; Technology and Ageing; Exercise and Ageing; Gerontology Education; Long-Term Care and Income Security and Ageing. Our PhD study days also cover this palette of activities.
This activity occurs against a background of a ferment of activity, and major developments, in the last decade in research, education, advocacy and industry across the full spectrum of gerontology in Ireland, including:
- The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland www.cardi.ie
- The Ageing Well Network www.ageingwellnetwork.ie
- The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology www.icsg.ie
- The Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre sparc.tcd.ie
- The Irish Longitudinal Database on Ageing www.tilda.ie
- The Technology Research for Independent Living project www.trilcentre.org
- The Netwell Centre www.netwellcentre.org
- The Living With Dementia Centre www.socialwork-socialpolicy.tcd.ie/livingwithdementia/
- Changing Ageing Partnership qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofLaw/Research/InstituteofGovernance/ResearchProjects/ChangingAgeingPartnershipCAP/
- National Centre for Protection of Older People www.ncpop.ie
- The Business of Ageing www.businessofageing.com
These provide a solid foundation for the hosting of an international Congress in gerontology in Ireland, as evidenced by the strong showing of Irish researchers and delegates at the 2010 joint IGS/EUGMS Congress in Dublin. In addition, they provide models for promoting positive ageing, engagement with advocacy, government and industry, and active involvement of older people. For example, a number of Irish counties are leading in the WHO’s Age-friendly Environments Programme, whose Congress was hosted in Dublin in September 2011 www.afc-internationalconference.ie in conjunction with the International Federation on Ageing and the WHO.
In the spirit of engaging with all four pillars of gerontology, we have appointed four internationally recognized Irish academic leads to ensure a dynamic European Scientific Subcommittees in each of the pillars of gerontology represented by the Congress. The Congress theme – Unlocking the Demographic Dividend – aims to tap into the growing awareness that gerontological research can help us to understand the collective and personal benefits that we gain from population ageing, a better understanding of the barriers to realizing the full potential of the Demographic Dividend, and the advances in gerontological science which allow these barriers to be overcome in the most effective way possible.
We will illustrate this with a strong narrative of Late Life Creativity through the arts and associated activities of the Congress, as well as within the themes of the Congress symposia and keynote lectures. We are confident that the synergy of the energies, vision and drive of the IGS, the active programmes on ageing in Ireland, and IAGG-ER will lead to a dynamic, productive and groundbreaking Congress in Dublin in 2015.
With best wishes
Prof Desmond O’Neill MA MD FRCPI AGSF FRCP(Glasg)
Chair, Local Organizing Committee
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