Wednesday 3 February 2016

Judith Sixsmith in Chile

Last month, Professor Judith Sixsmith represented the University’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the Third International Summer School on Ageing in Santiago.

Professor Sixsmith delivered a keynote address at the Summer School, which was held at the University of Chile between 12-15 January 2016. The four day event focussed on transdisciplinarity in the areas of gerontechnology; social and economic aspects of ageing; and cancer and dementia.  The Summer School involved a full range of intensive academic activities were conducted with participants including MDs, geriatricians, nurses, sociologists and occupational therapists.

Professor Sixsmith’s keynote on Gereontechnology for Successful Ageing highlighted the Canadian AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, a network of not-for-profit organisations who are working together to drive innovation and create technologies and services that benefit older people.  Judith leads transdisciplinary activity and research within this network. Professor Sixsmith was joined in Chile by Mei Lan Fang, a researcher in Institute of Health and Wellbeing, who presented her work on Mild Cognitive Impairment and Technology.  Mei and Judith also ran a series of workshops on ageing and technology over the course of the week.

Prof Sixsmith, Mei Lan Fang and University of Chile reps

While in Chile, Judith met with Rayen Inglés Hueche, National Director of the National Service for Older Persons, SENAMA, to discuss ways to improve health and social care as well as the inclusion of older people in Chilean society.  In addition, meetings were held with geriatricians and local GPs to discuss research into ageing and health care. A number of strategic partnerships were formed to develop research ideas and projects, formalised in a memorandum of understanding.  Interviewed for a media release about the summer school, Judith explained:  “We need to base our services and the way we try to improve the quality of life and the wellbeing and health of older people on scientific knowledge and evidence what we do, so that when we spend our money on improving services for older people it’s well spent because we know what works well.”

The summer school was organised by Professor Benjamin Suarez (Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile) and Dr Patricio Fuentes Guglielmetti, (Neurologist Unit Cognitive Neurology, University of Chile, and Dementia Neurology Service at the Hospital del Salvador of Santiago).

The conference report (in Spanish) and the media interviews can be found on the University of Chile website.

Pictured:

(top image) Professor Sixsmith delivering the keynote address

(left to right) Professor Sixsmith; Mei Lan Fang; Felix, Office of the VC for R&D, University of Chile;  Dr Monica Nivelo (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine , University of Chile and Medic, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil).

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