I am excited to be involved in this year’s Global Ageing Conference in Perth, both as a speaker in the concurrent program and a delegate. This year’s biannual IAHSA event is co-hosted with Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), which is also celebrating its 40th year anniversary. We were treated to many good practices and great innovative ideas from our Australian counterparts. The conference lasted 5 days, from 31st August to 4th September, with main conference from 1st to 3rd September
There were a series of interesting Plenary speeches given by global experts from North America, Europe and Australia talking about global aging trends, housing issues, technologies, policies and laws relating to aged care. I did not remember any Plenary speakers from Asia and Asia is unfortunately not very represented in this conference. One of the most advance groups in Asia doing aged care services well in my opinion will be the Japanese. However, I did not chance upon any Japanese except for a sales person based in Australia selling Paro seals.
The speakers are exciting and give very good insights in global trends and practices. In summary, my take home point is the world is ageing, in 2030, 1 in 8 of Earth citizens will be above 65. There are not enough frontline care workers and the more advanced countries are taking in many of these frontline staff from the surrounding developing or still third world countries. There is no global system and checks on these care migrations. There is no prefect funding system for aged care and many are still figuring out what is the best method without bankrupting the coffers. Technology is very much involved in aged care and aged care should try to adopt technology or risk being obsolete.
There are many concurrent sessions by speakers globally sharing their practices and experiences. There were 3 concurrent sessions in the course of the conference, and 9 - 10 groups with 3 presentations in each grouping. In total, perhaps about 90 to 100 presentations. I am one of the presenters in these concurrent sessions.
I have met many new friends in the conference, notably those from Africa and on a scholarship by CommonAge. CommonAge is a Commonweath Association for the Ageing. They aim to build and support relationships in smaller Commonwealth countries. Their website is www.commage.org , twitter @CommonAgeAssoc and fackbook.com/commage.org