As we come to the close of the year we all get the opportunity, individually and collectively, to reflect on the year gone by and plan for 2018.
Our 65th Jubilee Annual and Scientific Meeting in Wexford was a huge success, reminding me of how essential and vibrant we are and how truly interdisciplinary we have become.
The continued growth and relevance of the IGS is down to the dedicated work that you, our members, provide across the continuum of care in our communities and hospitals. Our challenges now are to continue to Inspire, Grow, Support and Sustain the care, support, and encouragement delivered to older people, and our organisation, in the years to come.
We cannot do any of this without your continued active participation as members of our society and attendance at the suite of activities and events planned for 2018.
Some of you will know Atlantic Philanthropies supported the growth and development of the IGS from 2012 to 2017 with a significant investment. In order to continue developing and growing we are now, through your fund raising committee, actively seeking philanthrophic, corporate and other investment for the next 3 years. An external funding source is essential to sustaining and progressing our society. This issue is a significant one for the IGS and we would be delighted to hear from you if you have any ideas or contacts you think might be helpful.
If successful in getting this funding, some will go towards our evolving Digital Strategy. We can build on the progress of the IGS website and online presence. It will enable us to use digital media to access networking opportunities for the society and build on links already made with international organisations and leaders. It will also enable us keep up to date with relevant events and progress being made around the country with the National Clinical Programme for Older People, the Integrated Care Programme for Older People and other groups, which so many of our members are playing active parts in. In the world we work and live in today a strong online presence, in order to highlight and remind everyone of the good work being done, is important. We will soon be appointing a digital lead to drive this change. Please let us have your thoughts and any suggestions you might have in this regard.
66th Annual And Scientific Meeting - Transforming Ageing Across Borders
While we have a suite of meetings planned for 2018, our flagship event is the Annual and Scientific Meeting. This year’s meeting will be held in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan from 27-29 September. The conference will be held in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Hospital Group.
I am also delighted to announce that, for the first time, our counterparts in Northern Ireland - from both the British Geriatrics Society and the British Society of Gerontology - will be participating in this meeting with us. The theme for the meeting will be “Transforming Ageing Across Borders”. We look forward to working together on this, there will be plenty to discuss, debate and consider, including the new emerging specialty of “Brexontology”.
Developing our Membership Base
As a national society, one of our aims is to grow and strengthen our membership base. Our objective is to broaden and develop the range of our membership to include more groups such as community and voluntary - including carer and patient groups. Together, we will continue to work more effectively to raise awareness of the needs of our ageing society, and highlight the contribution which older people continue to make in our country every day.
Empowering people, through knowledge, research and education – both society at large and health and older-care professionals specifically – has the power to address and harness the collective passion, dedication, innovative skills and compassionate care that we all strive to provide. This in turn, can ensure that when older people need access to care, support and empowerment, it is better planned, better coordinated, easier to access and truly person centred.
On behalf of your IGS executive, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for all that you do for older people, and for your dedication and commitment to the work that you do.
We wish you all a happy Christmas, and a healthy and happy 2018.
P.S. Our New Year’s Resolution is to make IGS an even better and bigger society. Please help us to do this by spreading the word and encouraging participation and membership among your colleagues, professional societies and other networks.