What does the future hold for older people? This important question was answered in a variety of ways at our Positive Ageing conference.
At the conference, which was held on Thursday 10 November 2016 at the University Centre Shrewsbury, about 140 delegates heard a range of national and local speakers and their ideas about what the future could look like for older people.
David Stacey, Patron of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, ably chaired the conference and kept everyone in line with his charming and assured manner.
The conference was introduced by Allen Baynes who spoke humorously about the benefits he and the team have gained from being involved in setting up Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin’s walking football group in Shrewsbury.
Tony Watts from the South West Forum on Ageing spoke passionately about the need to re-think housing, to reflect the needs of an older population who want to remain independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Jackie Reynolds from Keele University described how a fledgling arts project has blossomed into the Live Age Festival, a three-day annual event that takes place in Hanley, Stoke and Leek.
Paul Swift, national Age UK’s Digital Programme Manager talked about the benefits to older people of new technology for older people, and the different ways in which older people are likely to be using new technology to make their lives better in 2020.
Dr Kevin Lewis who is the Director of Help2change in Shropshire gave us all a prescription for a long and healthy life, with a lot of humour thrown in. Mel West from the University Centre Shrewsbury shared some research that the university had carried out on the role of hope in the lives of carers of people with dementia.
The final speaker was the journalist, comedian and futurologist Mark Stevenson, who transfixed his audience with a description of the huge changes that are likely to take place in all areas of our lives over the next 20 to 30 years. He finished on a very positive note: hopefully it will all turn out alright!
One delegate said: ‘The variety of the speakers kept my interest all day, especially Mark Stevenson, who ended the day so positively.’
We are grateful to all our speakers who gave us their time and expertise.
Some of the presentations from our conference can be downloaded below. (Please note that some of the images contained in the presentations may be subject to copyright.)
Allen Baynes: Shrewsbury Walking Football Club (725 kB .pdf file)
Tony Watts: Why we need to rethink older people's housing (416kB .pdf file)
Paul Swift: Yes I can, older digital citizens in 2020 (2 MB .pdf file)
Kevin Lewis: A prescription for good health (1 MB .pdf file)