Our board member, Kelvin Glen, has just returned from attending the IFA (International Federation on Ageing) conference in Brisbane, Australia, where he presented a poster on Animals and their importance to the well-being of older people. He reports as follows:
Attendance of the International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference on Ageing was an opportunity to be exposed to the international arena in caring for the aged, best practice, models, discussion groups and world class presentations and panel discussions from experts on all aspects of caring for the Aged.
On reflection of the conference I walked away feeling that:
- Care Homes in South Africa have a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise that should be contributing to such conferences, thus shaping the future of best practice. We need more speakers from The African Continent to take an active role on the global stage.
- We need to take a more aggressive stance in lobbying and advocacy issues relevant to the Elderly with our own Governments and Society.
- The sector in South Africa should be forming informal networking groups with similar care facilities within the community.
- Just because we are on the African continent does not mean that we cannot network with like- minded organisations across the globe by using Skype and online platforms.
- Collaboration is imperative to the success of growth and development within our sector.
- Caring for the Aged extends beyond the perimeters of our Villages / Homes.
- We should be taking a lead in the Caring for the Aged Sector within South Africa.
- We should be more aggressive within the communities in which we operate to raise awareness, shape change, network and instil a culture of care and support for the elderly.
- Our Residents are a valuable wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that can continue to contribute to society irrespective of their mental and physical health, instead we tend to treat our residents like objects and not people.
It is only when one is removed from ones environment and exposed to new thinking’s and experiences that one can truly see opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
I would highly recommend that leaders within the Caring Sector plan and budget to attend the 14th Global Conference on Ageing that will be held in Toronto in August 2017 it is a once in a lifetime.