Message from Our President

Message from Our President

Prof Rose Anne Kenny

Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny

On behalf of our National Executive Committee, I am delighted to welcome you to the new Irish Gerontological Society (IGS) website.  Thank you to members of our National Executive Committee for their work in developing the website which is more dynamic, multipurposed and efficient.   Keep tuning in for updates!!

The IGS, established in 1951, is one of the oldest societies in the world devoted to the study of ageing. We are indebted to the many leaders and members who have contributed to its development and growth, detailed in the list of presidents on this site. Their leadership established the IGS as a catalyst for research and education in gerontology.

We have emerged strongly from the pandemic with an interdisciplinary membership across the island of Ireland, numbering over 500 coupled with a strong international network.  Our membership reflects the diversity of those dedicated to the promotion of high quality research, education and care in ageing. We will continue to build on the growth and success of our Society. The IGS is a member of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and is active in its European section.

Application for membership of the IGS is welcomed from all health care professionals, researchers, and scientists with an interest in ageing and the life course. Members connect through seminars, conferences, virtual learning platforms as well as through participation on our committees. 

The Irish healthcare system continues to develop initiatives to address the challenges of a rapidly ageing demography in Ireland, informed and enhanced by the supportive scholarship and expertise of members. To ensure continued progress, we will endeavour to equip ourselves and the health care system with the skills and knowledge required to enable optimum health and wellbeing.  

A central aim of the IGS is to highlight the contribution which older people make to modern-day society.  By bringing together health and social care professionals, biologists, social scientists, policymakers, and increasingly those involved in technological development, we hope to encourage and support an increasing and closer network of professionals, researchers and scientists who are dedicated to better care throughout the life span.

Empowering people, through knowledge, research, and education - both society at large (through our public lectures) and health care professionals specifically – enables us all to address and harness the collective innovative skills, dedication and compassionate care that health care workers strive to provide.  This, in turn, can ensure that when people need access to care and support, it is better planned, better coordinated, easier to access and truly person-centred. Our public lectures have reached a whole new audience and we will continue to raise awareness b

The number of log-ins to our public lectures in 2022 reached beyond 1,000 for the individual lectures, and about 700 tuned in to our podcasts.  Attendance at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Cavan last November peaked at 500 in-person delegates.  So, through our public engagement and professional programme, we are reaching many people in our aim to spread the good news of research and education on ageing that translate into improved and age-attuned practices and policies.

The audience for our ALONE Willie Bermingham Lecture spans both public and professional personnel.  The very informative and insightful presentation at our Annual Scientific Meeting last November, reflecting significant recent research, was delivered by Professor Fergus Shanahan, University College Cork.  The lecture, entitled “Gut Health – Love Your Microbes!” is available on this website.

Plans for 2023 bring together experts in varied fields.  Our public engagement series begins with a lecture entitled “Loving in Later Life: It’s never over unless you want it to be!”  Subtitle:  Sexuality and Wellbeing in Later Life.  The format of lecture followed by questions/discussion provides for logging questions both before and during the event.  Tune in during the event on Thursday 23rd February 15.00 – 16.15 at or after the event on our website. 

Our 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting has a future focus, mindful of the recent Department of Health report (Irish Times 2-12-22) which stated that the number of people over 80 in Ireland will double in the next decade; we will have a four-fold increase in the number of people over 65 in the next two decades.   Alert to this demographic information, our 2023 theme is “Looking to the Years Ahead: Europe’s fastest growing older population.”   The Galmont Hotel in Galway City is the venue for the Annual Scientific Meeting from the 28th to the 30th September.   We look forward to an excellent exchange of research and education in gerontology.  Watch this website for the call for abstracts. 

I hope you find this website interesting and informative.  I hope it will encourage you to engage with the work of the IGS.  Together, lets us Inspire (I), Grow (G), Support and Sustain (S) the speciality of gerontology and quality of care provision across the island of Ireland. 

Regius Professor Rose Anne Kenny