British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Conference, Swansea 2017

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Our School was well represented at this year’s British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Conference in Swansea held from the 5-7th. of July 2017. One of our 3rd year PhD students, Sam Quinn presented his work on ‘Ageing in Place with a Learning Disability and Dementia’ on the first day of the conference, which was well received in a session on minority groups. Day 2 saw Dr Kirstin James, Lecturer in Integrated Health and Social Care, presenting alongside her colleague Barry Sneddon of NHS Forth Valley. They presented work from their QNIS funded study ‘Our Visit’  an exciting project which focuses on promoting meaningful family visits in a community hospital setting. On the final day of the conference, Dr Louise Ritchie, Lecturer in Dementia (Research), presented her evaluation of the innovative ‘Dementia Dogs’ project in Scotland.

As well as thought provoking, insightful and innovative talks other highlights from the conference included:

  • The setting (see the picture) the new campus at Swansea University is the closest campus in the world to a beach. This was the setting for a BBQ on the first night and the 5k ramble the following morning to blow away the cobwebs (Is it too late to request a beach at the new Lanarkshire Campus?)
  • The Welsh hospitality, the BSG is a fully residential conference and the organising team (@CIASwansea) went out of their way to ensure each attendee was looked after. The conference dinner truly captured the theme of the conference ‘Do not go gentle – gerontology and a good old age’. There was no-one going gently that night. Great fun and a great networking opportunity.
  • The after dinner speaker at the dinner was Beti George, a Welsh radio presenter who was a carer for her husband David Parry-Jones who sadly passed away earlier this year. Beti gave a truly inspirational speech, although she precluded with ‘…this may come across as a rant – but I hear ranting is good for digestion’. She received a standing ovation for her speech. Beti has previously worked with staff from the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice to film her BBC documentary ‘Beti and David: Lost for Words.’ She is now filming a follow-up documentary and she hopes to be able to improve the support available in Wales for people with dementia and their families.
  • The conference proceedings were captured visually each day by an artist in residence (@eleanorbeer) which provided a great talking point at breaks as well as a lasting memento of the conference.
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