NUI Galway research highlights need for improvement in quality of life of older

NUI Galway research highlights need for improvement in quality of life of older -image

Monday, 29 May 2006

A recent research report by NUI Galway on improving the quality of life of older people in long-stay settings in Ireland calls for improvements in both practice and policy in the sector. The study, which was funded and published by the National Council on Ageing and Older People, documents the experiences of residents, relatives and staff of public, private and voluntary long-stay facilities in Ireland. The research is the first comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing quality of life for older people in long-stay care in this country. Over 556 long-stay care facilities were surveyed and 101 older people and 48 staff were interviewed across 8 counties. Dr Kathy Murphy, Head of Nursing Studies at NUI Galway, who led the research, commented, "The report can provide the basis for major changes in the regulation of public and private long-stay care in the future. Our growing population of older people deserve a good quality of life and we need to address the issues in long-stay care which are impacting negatively on this". The results of the research suggest that there are four key domains which impact on a person's quality of life in long-stay care: 1. Physical environment and ethos of care. 2. The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity. 3. Meaningful activities. 4. Connectedness to family, friends and community. Physical environment and ethos of care The research found that physical environment, which impacts quality of life by allowing older people to live their lives with dignity and privacy, was lagging behind in the public sector. Many of the long-stay care public facilities could not provide the residents with single or double rooms and many older people still lived in 6-8 bedded wards. Differences in staffing levels and skill mix between public and private facilities were identified by the report, with public facilities having higher levels of registered nurses and higher staffing levels overall. The report showed that the ethos of care within residential care can help offset some of the negative effects of physical environment and staffing. According to Adeline Cooney, Deputy Head of the Department of Nursing, a member of the research team, "It is very simple. Where care is person-centred and homely, older people do better". The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity The report found that older people wanted to maintain their individuality. Having some personal belongings, living in an environment in which they could have some privacy and being treated as an individual, rather than one of many, was important to them. Meaningful activities Another finding of the report noted residents wanted meaningful activities and opportunities to maintain their independence. They would like to be consulted more on day to day life in the facility and want control over their day, including what time to get up or go to bed and mealtimes. Connectedness to family, friends and community Older people also valued their connectedness to family and friends. Visits from family and friends are very important to older people. Regular visits helped to maintain family bonds and keep the older person in touch with what is happening at home and in the local community. Recommendations The report made many recommendations including: Greater consultation with older people in long-stay care. Uniform national care standards. New investment in public long-stay facilities. Person-centred models of care. Enhanced training and education of staff in all types of long-stay care. Professor Eamon O Shea, Director,Irish Centre for Social Gerontology NUI, Galway, who was part of the research team, commented that, "Older people in long-stay care are more than just patients, they are individuals who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in an environment that is empowering, enabling and connected". - ends -

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Disability Discrimination Summer School 2006 to take place at NUI Galway

Disability Discrimination Summer School 2006 to take place at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 29 May 2006

The second Annual Summer School on Disability Discrimination law will take place in the National University of Ireland, Galway, from 6-16 June 2006. It is the only such disability event in Europe and is partnered by a similar Summer School on racial discrimination in the University of Maastricht. It is hosted by the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and co-financed by the European Commission. Last year it attracted participants from over a dozen countries. The main focus of the Summer School is the European Union Framework Directive on Employment which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (among others) in the broad employment sphere. The Summer School appeals to lawyers and legal advisers to non governmental organisations (NGOs) interested in crafting test case strategies under the Directive on the ground of disability. It also makes the information accessible to non-legal audiences and has been successful in attracting NGOs interested in using the law to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. The Director of the Programme, Professor Gerard Quinn of the National University of Ireland, Galway, said, "The issues are interesting and varied and include topics such as medical testing and the law, the interaction of health & safety law with non-discrimination law and the vexed notion of reasonable accommodation." He added that, "The field is likely to grow as there is pressure on Brussels to adopt a much broader Directive covering fields such as housing and education. Indeed, the Directive has already provided the model for drafting the United Nations treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities which should be adopted by the United Nations later this year." The course itself will be taught by leading practitioners in disability law who have experience in litigating the issues before a variety of courts including the US Supreme Court (Professor Peter Blanck, Syracuse University), the House of Lords (Robin Allen, Queen's Counsel), the Canadian Courts (Patricia Bregman, Attorney), the European Court of Justice (Professor Marc De Vos, Ghent University) and the European Court of Human Rights (Professor Olivier De Schutter, Catholic University of Louvain). A highlight of the course is a moot court competition organised around practical issues that are likely to confront the European Court of Justice when dealing with disability discrimination issues. Further information is available from the Summer School website at: www.eusummerschool.info - ends - For further information contact Rachel Stevens, Faculty of Law, NUI Galway, Tel: + 353 (0)91 492085 Email: disability@eusummerschool.info

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Diversity to be focus of NUI Galway's Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning

 Diversity to be focus of NUI Galway's Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning-image

Monday, 29 May 2006

June 8th – 9th, 2006 The topic of NUI Galway's 4th Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education is 'The Challenge of Diversity: Teaching, Support & Student Learning'., Speakers from around the world will focus on the key issue of student diversity and how approaches to teaching, learning and assessment can take into account an increasingly varied student population. The emphasis will be on practical, real world solutions and include an examination of international experience and best practice. The conference is being hosted by the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), NUI Galway. "The needs of non-traditional students are different to those of the traditional student body and teaching methods must adapt to provide the best level of education possible," according to CELT's Director, Dr. Iain MacLabhrainn. He added, "There is an increasing emphasis on widening participation in third level education and we must prepare for the new challenges that presents". Non-traditional learners include socio-economically disadvantaged students, mature students, students with a disability, part-time students, students who are members of the Traveller community or other minority ethnic groups, and international students. This conference brings together the leading minds and practitioners in the field of third-level education to share knowledge, experience and methods. "The time has come to extend the focus from widening access towards the facilitation of full participation, engagement and success in higher education of all students. This requires an examination and reconceptualisation of teaching, learning, assessment and student support practices, and our conference will address these key issues", added Elaine Keane, the Conference Organiser and CELT's Researcher in this area. Keynote speakers will include: Dr. Mary-Liz Trant, the Head of National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education; Dr. Liz Thomas, Senior Adviser for Widening Participation at the Higher Education Academy (UK); Dr. Kerri-Lee Krause from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (University of Melbourne, Australia); Professor Alan Hurst (University of Central Lancashire), Professor Dai Hounsell ( University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Janette Ryan ( Monash University, Australia). The conference has proved to be extremely popular and is over-subscribed, with over 250 individuals registered from educational institutions in countries including South Africa, England, Scotland, the USA, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and, of course, Ireland. The conference is in association with the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the Dublin Institute of Technology. For further information contact Elaine Keane, Conference Organiser at 091 493621 or elaine.keane@nuigalway.ie - ends -

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Senator Feargal Quinn launches new innovative programme, "Universities must a

Senator Feargal Quinn launches new innovative programme, <i>

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway, launched the new part-time Bachelor of Commerce, at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 May. This programme was developed by the Faculty of Commerce and has run in successive cycles for over twenty years. The programme has dramatically changed and will now be delivered using 'blended learning' techniques to accommodate mature students with work and family commitments. The new part-time Bachelor of Commerce aims to provide an educational experience in the key areas of business, leading to an internationally recognized qualification. Blended learning is a combination of face-to-face classroom lectures/tutorials, self-instructional learning materials, online discussions and activities, e-mail and telephone support. Participants will have access to course details and content at all times, from any location in Ireland. "Throughout my business career I have always argued that success comes from carefully listening to our customers and adapting what we offer them to their changing needs and preferences. The new programme we are launching here this evening is an excellent example of this principle in action. Through careful listening to its customers and to the business community, the Faculty of Commerce has identified emerging needs which it is now responding to. The result is a new format for the part-time Bachelor of Commerce degree." commented Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway. According to Éilis O'Regan, Programme Co-ordinator, Blended Learning NUI Galway, "Using the tools of blending learning we have tailored this programme to meet the needs of mature students. Students will attend six weekend workshops per year. In between workshops students will use their study packs and online support to progress through programme material. With the high level of off-campus support and the reduced time on campus, we hope to encourage students from all over Ireland to participate". The closing date for applications is June 23rd 2006, and the course will commence in September 2006. Prospective students are invited to attend a further information evening on 30 May, at 6.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. Please email eilis.oregan@nuigalway.ie or call 091 493104 for further details. - ends -

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NUI Galway publishes unique book by active retirement group

NUI Galway publishes unique book by active retirement group-image

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

A unique book of short stories and poems by the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group has just been published by the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, NUI Galway. 21 – An Anthology is edited by well-known Irish author Michael Gorman and contains the work of twenty-one senior writers from all over Ireland who have lived, worked in or retired to Galway. "The book encapsulates, in their own words, the vivid memories and experiences of a talented group of writers now in their senior years. It has been a precious opportunity to retrieve a rich written heritage from this talented group. The stories and poems are of a high quality, yet retain an authenticity and rawness in style which will delight readers," commented Michael Gorman, a Programme Director at NUI Galway's International Summer School for Writers, who facilitated and compiled the book. 21 – An Anthology has originality and range which is unusual for a publication of this kind as the group of writers originate from all over Ireland and have lived all over the world. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Centre has been involved in working with and supporting Active Retirement groups in Galway city and county for the past ten years. Under the tuition of writer Márie Holmes, the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group developed their writing skills over the course of many years. The culmination of these efforts has been the publication of 21 – An Anthology. Seamus O'Grady, Director of the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, commented on the book, "This anthology is a wonderful and tangible example of the talent among older people that NUI Galway has been working with and developing. The poignant part is that some of the authors have passed away since the time of writing and the book is dedicated to their memory. 21 – An Anthology therefore becomes an even more and precious collection of work". 21- Anthology is published by NUI Galway and can be purchased in local Galway bookshops and at Áras Fáilte, NUI Galway, for €10. - ends -

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