Addressing Issues Of Ageing

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The key challenges facing our ageing world will be addressed by international experts in Bristol this week.

Sustainable communities, housing, income maintenance, long term and community care, and health and well-being are some of the issues that will be under discussion at the 37th conference of the British Society of Gerontology, hosted by the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol.

Tony Benn will speak at the conference dinner in the Victoria Rooms on Friday 5 September on “the joys, the problems and the responsibilities of old age as seen by someone who, had he known what it was to be 80, would have done it years ago.”

Other distinguished speakers include Alex Kalache, former head of the Ageing and Life Course Programme at the World Health Organization, who will reflect on population ageing from a global perspective, Miriam Bernard, Professor of Social Gerontology at Keele University who will speak on the development of new retirement villages; and Professor Graham Rowles of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky who will discuss how the Baby Boom generation is redefining its experience of place in old age.

Other research being presented at the conference includes:

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•Improving older people's futures – a look at the early outcomes of the Department of Health-funded Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPPs) which are focussed toward activity and structures that will improve the health, well-being and independence of older people

•The future of rural ageing – an examination of the issues surrounding growing older in contemporary rural areas such as incomer group pressures, gentrification and changes in land use, all of which have implications for ageing identities, attachment to place and participation in community life

•Protecting older people from abuse – a report on a statutory scheme, the Protection of Vulnerable Adults List (POVA), set up by the Government to enhance the quality of services for 'vulnerable' older people by establishing a list of people who are banned from working in social care

•Life as a care home resident in later years – a report on the experiences of people living in care homes over a period of 6 months and the strategies they develop in order to influence the life they live.

Professor Robin Means of the University of the West of England, Chairman of the organising committee said: “We are delighted to be co-hosting such an important event here in Bristol. Now more than ever, an understanding of the issues of ageing and later life is crucial for society.

“This conference brings together experts from a wide variety of disciplines such as social policy, sociology, psychology, medicine and nursing to provide the multi-disciplinary perspective needed to meet the challenges of delivering sustainable futures in an ageing world.”

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