Message from Our President

Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea, President

On behalf of your National Executive Committee, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Irish Gerontological Society (IGS) website. Our society of 69 years old is as essential, vibrant and interdisciplinary as ever.

Founded by Dr John Fleetwood and Prof Jerry Jessop in 1951, the Society has developed into an interdisciplinary professional organization whose membership reflects the complexity and diversity of those interested in promoting the interests of older people and, in how knowledge about ageing and later life can be enhanced and improved.  We should all aim to build on the growth and success of our society over the last 68 years.
The Irish healthcare system is now beginning to change and address the demands associated with the ageing demographic changes around us.  To advocate for this continued change and progress, we need to unlock and share the “secret knowledge” of gerontology and to equip ourselves with the skills and knowledge we require.  Now more than ever, the importance of improving how we work together in interdisciplinary teams, for the betterment of patient care, is coming to the forefront.  

A central aim of the IGS is to highlight the contribution which older people can and do make to modern-day society in our country.  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 of the older person.  

However, none of this working together is of any value without the extraordinary dedication and talent of those who provide this compassionate and expert care on the front line.  As frontline health care workers you are all playing your part, heroically going quietly, conscientiously and compassionately about your work.  Meeting the everyday challenges of treating older people who are unwell, in need of medical care, therapy and support in our acute hospitals, residential and nursing home services.  We thank each and every one of you sincerely for your dedication, commitment and compassion to the work you do every day.

Empowering people, through knowledge, research and education - both society at large 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 the care and support it is better planned, better coordinated, easier to access and truly person-centred.

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

In the context of the current challenges, it is with regret that we have had to cancel the  68th Annual Scientific Meeting in Kilkenny that was due to be held from the 24th - 25th September 2020.  We are looking into the delivery of an On-line Autumn Scientific Series.
The IGS is a member of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and is active in its European section.

I hope you find this website interesting and informative.  I hope it will encourage you to engage with the work of the IGS.  Please join your new executive on our IGS journey and together lets us Inspire (I), Grow (G), Support and Sustain (S) the speciality of gerontology and the care of older people across our country of Ireland. 

Diarmuid O Shea 
President of the Irish Gerontological Society

May 2020