Apr 26 2010 Posted: 00:00 IST
The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) at NUI Galway and COPE Galway Senior Support Services are co-hosting a participatory conference on Life Enhancement for Older People across the areas of participation and civic engagement, empowerment and advocacy. The event will take place on Tuesday, 4 May, from 10.30-3.30pm in the Galway Bay Hotel. The conference is one of the first of this type in Ireland, aimed specifically at older people. It will have a special focus on how research can involve older people and how it can be used to benefit them and their community. The event will provide older people with the opportunity to give their opinions and discuss participation in society, empowerment and advocacy. The purpose of the conference is to present existing research on life enhancement for older people in an accessible format. It will also demonstrate how research knowledge can enhance the voice of older people and to support their participation in advocacy and lobbying activities. Eithne Carey, a member of the ICSG Consultative Committee and Conference Chair, said: "Older people are frequently involved in research and, as an older person, I am interested in finding out how research is used for the benefit of older people. I am also keen to know how we can use research ourselves as a tool in any advocacy situation which might arise. I feel that this conference will give us an insight into these matters". Speaking about the conference, Áine Ní Léime, Research and Civic Engagement Co-ordinator with the ICSG, commented: "Research completed on older people is all too often seen as detached from real life or seen as only for those who work in universities. What we want to do is demonstrate the importance of research for older people and how they can be active in the research process, and how they can use research to lobby for their own rights and entitlements. This conference is about more than just being presented with information. It is about asking older people what they think is important and how they think they should be involved in their communities, in research and in advocating for their own needs". Speakers for the conference will include Professor Eamon O'Shea and Dr Cathy Bailey from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, Dr Una Lynch, Changing Ageing Partnership, Queen's University Belfast and Anne Watson, Newtownabbey Senior Citizen's Forum. For further information about the conference contact COPE Galway at 091-778750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.