IFA 2018 – Conference Partner Update 2

Towards a Decade of Healthy Ageing, From Evidence to Action

Change Rangers is a Conference Partner for the International Federation on Ageing conference IFA 2018August 8 -10 in Toronto, and there will be a number of pre-conference blog posts over the coming months to update you on IFA session topics of a universal nature. These are aspects related to aging and the future of a longevity society, which will touch all generations over the decade to come.

Less than six months to go before the conference now with calls for abstracts closing in less than five weeks on April 6th. As an indication of a promising full attendance at the conference, one of the six day-long pre-conference Master Classes (August 7) is now sold out. If I were to pick one of the remaining classes, the one of particular interest is on Implementing Integrated Care.

For the everyday person in an older adult population and their families, ongoing media discussions about the costs of delivering care in our health care systems often don’t get drilled down enough for people to understand how care systems operate currently and what new innovations are being researched, tested and implemented for the near and longer term. I get incensed when the only thing you hear is that all we need to do is throw more beds into hospitals.

As an older adult, or as someone assisting and advocating for an older adult, if you have experienced any of the components of the care system where you live, then you will have a better idea of what works (or not), and where the opportunities are. In the IFA list identifying who should attend this session on Integrated Care, aside from what you would expect such as policy-makers, it does mention individuals and organizations who represent patients and caregivers.

In my mind, that representation does not exclude the everyday person who has had that direct caregiver experience and can offer insights on the essentials of “patient centered care”. In that respect, let’s stop calling everyday people “informal caregivers”  if we are to respect the increased importance of their involvement in improving Integrated Care – simply name them who they are, family/friend caregivers.

One of the parts of this conversation I would hope to see in this Master Class, which is not an obvious bullet point in the session write up, is the aspect of integrating home care. However, home care is referenced in the bios of a few of the ten or so presenters. Another piece of the process is technology and as we look at that, there is the question around – how does the growing field of telemedicine work into this implementation of Integrated Care?

A small wrinkled note for those who want to follow the  Twitter feed on this conference #IFA2018, be aware that there are other entities out there with same hashtag which is confusing. The IFA has now set up  a new one #IFATO2018  So – weed through your Tweets.


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