Global Ageing News | Newsletter | September 26, 2023
Global Ageing Conference Highlights
The Global Ageing Conference was held September 6-8 in Glasgow, Scotland—bringing together aged care professionals from over 48 countries. The conference, held in conjunction with Scottish Care and the National Care Forum, provided an outstanding opportunity and venue for colleagues to gather in a unique forum dedicated to shared learning and professional networking. The programme included innovative practices and creative environments, and gave delegates opportunities for stimulating exchange of knowledge. Below we’re sharing some highlights from the conference.
Katie Smith Sloan, executive director of the Global Ageing Network, shared important lessons she learned about creativity, imagination, and the future during the Global Ageing Conference in a recent blog. See more highlights from the event below!
Social Care International Workforce Summit
The preconference event delved into engaging discussion on workforce, exploring trends and solutions—including the role of technology, immigration and migration, training, and professionalization.
Dr. Leon Geffen, director of Samson Institute for Ageing in Cape Town, South Africa, set the stage for discussing workforce challenges. Geffen talked about the ethics of working from lower income countries, highlighting the need for a legal framework on international recruitment. He shared powerful stories and perspectives from South Africa looking at the intersection of inequalities, caregiving, and care receiving.
Vincenzo Paolino, co-founder and CEO of AlmaCasa, served as the session chair to discuss changing the aged care workforce narrative through the use of technology, improving culture, and other opportunities to rethink ageing. Panelists included Kim Gaskell, COO at The Riverwoods Group; Dan Levitt, CEO of KinVillage Association; and Marcus Riley, executive chairman of Ballycara.
The second panel was led by Donna Duncan, chief executive officer of Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), and included panelists Mansur Dalal, deputy chair of CommonAge Association; Dr. Reena Devi, associate professor at School of Healthcare, University of Leeds; and Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care. The esteemed panelists addressed opportunities to sustain and value the workforce.
Robyn Stone, senior vice president of research at LeadingAge posed suggestions on “where we can go from here” as aged care professionals. She noted the tremendous heterogeneity with all countries with a larger ageing population and workforce issues.
The Global Ageing Network will continue to explore the challenges and solutions to improve the workforce for aged care professionals.
Global Ageing Conference Kick-off
Dr. Donald Macaskill, CEO of ScottishCare, and George MacGinnis, Health Ageing Challenge Director, UK Research, and Innovation (headline sponsor), welcomed delegates from over 48 countries! Gathered in Glasgow to learn from each as other as a global community in pursuit of solutions, Macaskill encouraged delegates to share their stories with other participants throughout the conference.
Lord Provost, Glasgow City Council Welcome
Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Support, was excited to participate in the global conference. It was a wonderful way to come together to look at the health and social care landscape globally. She noted that the Scottish government is fully committed to the developing and strengthening human rights for older people.
International Day of Care and Support for Older People Launch
Katie Smith Sloan, executive director of the Global Ageing Network, and Jiri Horecky, chair of the Global Ageing Network, launched the International Day of Care and Support for Older People on September 7. The day will be an annual opportunity for individuals, organizations, and countries to honor caregivers—especially the caregiving professionals serving older people in hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and across the long-term care sector. Horecky called for governments to make the necessary political decisions to change long-term care systems.
Professor Sir Geoff Mulgan, CBE, opened the conference with insight on the challenge of personal and collective myopia (nearsightedness) when we think ahead about our ageing and our ageing society. He encouraged delegates to believe change is possible through patience, commitment, and focus—as ageing is one area we need to create this change for the future.
Panel Discussion: The Case for Reform
Horecky led panelists through a lively discussion about the importance of reforming adult social care around the world. Panelists included Joseph Musgrave, CEO of Home and Community Care (HCCI); Femada Shamam, CEO of the Association for the Ageing (TAFTA), South Africa; George MacGinnis, healthy ageing challenge director, UK Research and Innovation; and, Margaret McCallion, Scottish Dementia Working Group.
Scottish Rock Choir
The day ended with Scottish bagpipes uplifting delegates at the Glasgow Science Centre as they connected with fellow colleagues.
After an insightful reflection from Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of National Care Forum, Sloan introduced the second morning keynote speakers to discuss human rights and inclusion of older adults.
Panelists include Claudia Mahler, independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons; Rohini Sharma Joshi OBE, Age Scotland; and, Marcus Riley, executive chairman of Ballycara.
Dawn Skelton, professor of ageing and health at Glasgow Caledonian University, served as the final keynote speaker to talk about fall prevention and the need to include strength and balance in the daily routines of older persons.
2023 Conference Concludes
Macaskill, Sloan, and Rayner concluded the conference by encouraging all participants to find their “touching place” and to listen to stories from others—but also to make a story for ourselves.
The conference final event ended with an invigorating Ceilidh, a Scottish dance, at the Old Fruitmarket.