In June / July this year, Prof. Jaco Hoffman, Prof. Vera Roos and Dr. Rayne Stroebel visited the International Longevity Centre (ILC) in Singapore as members of ILC South Africa. The visit aimed to share common themes around socio-gerontology and to learn from examples in Singapore to establish a community for successful ageing.

The visit aimed to share common themes around socio-gerontology and to learn from examples in Singapore to establish a community for successful ageing. Winsy Togelang and Preeti Wasnik introduced us to some of the older women at the Whampoa community centre, who under the leadership of Wendy Khon prepared a variety of local dishes. Vera accepted the challenge to play Rummikub with the ladies who proofed to be formidable at their game.

We met Prof Angelique Chan from the National University of Singapore Centre for Ageing Research and Education, Duke-NUS Medical School. Prof Leng Leng Thang from the National University of Singapore shared insights concerning the development of sustainable intergenerational programmes, and we discussed the possibility of collaborative training of carers with Prof Helen Ko from the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Jaco and Vera attended and presented at the IFA Global Conference “Challenge, Transformation, Change” in Bangkok, Thailand (June 27th to 30th June 2023). This conference was a convening space for delegates from over 60 countries to share knowledge, debate issues and further policies that improve the quality of life of older people around the world through five key themes – digital technologies, older women, maintaining and improving function, immunization, and age-friendly environments.

The IFA 17th Global Conference on Ageing was set against the backdrop of important international agendas on population ageing and health, including the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030), as well as the Immunisation Agenda 2030, that all align and intersect with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The conference provided a platform for interaction between researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. To this end, cutting edge research presented, had a translational component, always mindful of the value for practice and policy.

The IFA conference was used as a platform to introduce and create awareness of the Implementation of the African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing. This Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa was presented and knowledge gained could be used to align research and to contextualise the focus of a specific research topic. At the IFA conference it was announced that ILC South Africa in collaboration with the NWU and Optentia Research Unit will be hosting the next IFA conference in 2025 in Cape Town.

In the above picture, from left to right: Paul Ong, Madame Mary Ann Taso, Vera Roos, Preeti Wasnik and Jaco Hoffman.

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In partnership with ILC-UK, the ILC Europe Network hosted its inaugural conference in Brussels on 6 March 2024 to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with an ageing European society. Other ILC Global Alliance members in attendance included ILC-Czech Republic, ILC-France and ILC-Netherlands.

Much more attention needs to be paid to the positive effects of the use of art in healthcare. Art makes people feel better and helps them to better cope with their illness. Art can also mean a lot in the social domain and prevention, and in shortening hospital admissions.

The first Global Citizen Science for Health conference was held from 29 October to 1 November 2023. This is the registration of the keynote "The Participatory Turn in Health Research: Its Roots, Methods, Ethics, Validity and Future" by professor Dr Tineke Abma.