Age-friendly Galway to host major conference on maximising the ability of older people

The county’s age-friendly status has attracted AIGNA, the All-Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association, to hold its sixth annual conference at the Clayton Hotel, Galway, on May 15.

More than 180 delegates from all over Ireland will attend the event which will focus on promoting positive ageing. Leading experts in the field including UK dementia care specialist Professor Jan Dewing and former Irish law commissioner Patricia Rickard-Clarke, are among the keynote speakers at the conference.

Prof Dewing will explore how people with dementia experience place and time, in an effort to discover how carers can create environments to maximise the potential of people with dementia. Legal expert Patricia Rickard-Clarke will look at plans to change the law on assisted decision making, which recognises that people living with dementia or other conditions may have the capacity to make some decisions but not others. She will examine how upcoming legislation, due in 2015, will assist people with capacity issues to participate in decisions that affect their lives and how their wishes, beliefs and values can be respected in that process.

AIGNA represents those involved in all areas of nursing for older people and promotes healthy ageing and the well-being of older people through the advancement of excellence in gerontological nursing.

At the conference AIGNA bursary winner 2014 and clinical nurse manager Breda O’Donovan will present her review of the nutritional screening and assessment of older adults in the community. Dr Laurence Taggart from the University of Ulster will speak about the needs of family carers of adults with intellectual disabilities, while John Farrelly of HIQA, will focus on changes to legislation governing centres for older people and people with disabilities.

A thought-provoking contribution from AIGNA’s former vice-president Mary J Foley will highlight the role of the advanced nurse practitioner in the rehabilitation of older adults. The conference will also feature platform sessions covering a range of topics of interest to nurses working with older people and their families. For more details on the conference see http://www.aigna.ie/ or call (+353 ) 85 1007627.

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