On the small island of Jeju, South Korea, aged care practitioners gathered together for a symposium hosted by the Korean Ageing Network, an affiliate of the Global Ageing Network, on 8 September 2019. The symposium included participants from other areas in Korea, including Incheon, Chunehcon, Cheonan, Daegu, Jeju, Islan, Shihon, and Kangnam Seoocho in Seoul. Many of the participants were from medical, nursing, community services, and the social welfare setting.
Dr. Hesung Chun Koh served as the keynote speaker at the symposium. She is the co-founder, chair, and president emerita of the East Rock Institute (ERI), the oldest nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to bridging cultures, innovating cross-cultural research, and inspiring the next generation of global leaders.
She noted that South Korea is one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world, “more than 40% of South Korea’s population is expected to be aged over 65 in 2060,” according to the South Korean government’s statistics. She discussed how aging practitioners and providers can address the new Korean aging model, both theoretically and practically, and how to help the elder population grow old with dignity.
The Korean Ageing Network was developed through the leadership of Dr. AeDuck Im, a professor of social welfare at Ewha Woman’s University. She introduced the network to the participants and discussed the possibility of new chapter development with the Global Ageing Network. At the onset, Dr. Im Duck participated in the Peace Island Spring Workshop in 2016 which was led my Im Ja Choi, director for PASSi. From there, she put forth a series of activities to grow and connect with other aging communities in South Korea. In 2017, she met with Mike Rambarose at the Whitney Center and Dr. Anne Datunashvili at Yale Medical School to discuss a silver model development for baby boomers.
The Korean Ageing Network plans to host a seminar on 1 December 2018 at the Jeju Convention Center.