IGS President's Update, 24th Feb 2021

Dear Colleagues

Last Wednesday, we held our first online public lecture Getting Ireland's Adults COVID-Vaccination Ready.  Over 6,000 people registered to attend the live event and a further 10,000 have viewed the recording on the IGS website.  If you or your family-members missed the live event, the recording remains available, at the link above, to share and view at your convenience.

We are very grateful to all of our participants for their support of this event. My thanks to Prof Luke O'Neill for his inspiring lecture and our panellists Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer HSE; Dr Siobhán Kennelly, National Clinical and Advisory Group Lead for Older Persons (HSE); Dr Diarmuid O'Shea, Consultant Geriatrician and IGS past president; Prof Rose Galvin, Physiotherapist and IGS Vice President; Ms Deirdre Lang, Director of Nursing Older Persons Services (HSE).

My special thanks to Olivia O'Leary for her meticulous preparation and her impeccable professionalism and delivery while chairing the event.

Feedback from the public has been heartening and hugely positive.  Here are just a few of the many messages we received:

"Many thanks for this and I had the chance to watch/listen back last evening. I would suggest the best Public Service Broadcast I have heard/listened to in Ireland since Covid arrived at our shores.  Congratulations to all involved and maybe an idea to send the link to RTE to give them an idea as to what type of broadcast delivers real value in a non-sensationalist manner  - perhaps George Lee!"

"I would like to express my thanks to you and the panel of experts for a most illuminating lecture on preparation among the elderly for COVID vaccination.  Each speaker was very clear, practical and informative and Olivia O’Leary’s facilitation and questions to the panel were most helpful."

"I loved your talk yesterday being a Senior getting ready and looking forward to vaccination which I hope will allow me to meet and hug in fact squeeze my wonderful Grandchildren meet up with family and friends and somewhat get back to 'normal' living which I expect to be very different. So I would like to thank you and all your speakers for a very interesting afternoon."

"Thank you so much for a wonderful, clear and optimistic presentation today. Please do similar presentations. I have learnt more in 90 minutes than in the last 9 months!"

"Congratulations and many thanks for a wonderful lecture this afternoon. It was instructive, interesting and enjoyable, and the time flew.  I am in my 60s and am quite fit so am lucky so far. Many thanks to all concerned."

We plan to do a further three public lectures during 2021 and details will be forthcoming shortly.

Upcoming events
Today, Thursday 25th February, our Changing Horizons in Gerontology series continues with our symposium Update on Thrombosis and Stroke Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

On 4th March, our symposium theme is Palliative Care and the Patient During the COVID 19 Pandemic. Please note that this webinar is exclusive to IGS members.

The British Geriatrics Society Spring Meeting 2021 will be held in association with the Irish Gerontological Society.  The meeting runs from Wed 28th to Fri 30th April. Members of the Irish Gerontological Society can register at the same rates as members of the British Geriatrics Society. Please contact Miriam Ahern or Mai Olden for our discount code.

Our Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems series has been and continues to be, a great success with very high attendances.  This series of meetings is a collaboration between The Irish Gerontological Society (IGS), the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia (CESRD), at NUI Galway. My thanks to Prof Kieran Walsh of ICSG for his leadership and oversight of the high quality of presentations and the relevance and diversity of topics.

Green Paper on Ageing
You may have seen that in late January the European Commission presented a Green Paper on Ageing to launch a broad policy debate on the challenges and opportunities of Europe's ageing society.  It invites the public to express their views in a public consultation  Further information can be found here 

We plan to respond on behalf of the IGS and I would ask members to please send comments, by Thursday 4th March, to Miriam Ahern. Comments will be collated by the IGS Executive.

IGS e-Publication
Our first quarterly e-zine was published in December.  If you missed it, you can download a copy here.  Our next issue will be published early next month. Our eclectic content will include an update on COVID-19 vaccination from Dr Diarmuid O'Shea; an article on marginalised ageism and discrimination during the pandemic by Prof Liat Ayalon; an update on LGBTQ Older Persons Champions Programme from James O'Hagan of LGBT Ireland, and IGS Members Abroad - a letter from Dr James Mahon in Melbourne.

Warm regards to all

Prof Rose Anne Kenny, President of the Irish Gerontological Society

24th February, 2021