The Institute of Gerontology (IoG) in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine (SSHM) at King’s College London (KCL) launched the King’s Centre for Global Ageing on Monday the 16th of May 2016. The aim of the Centre is to increase our understanding of global issues facing ageing societies in three critical but relatively neglected areas: medical innovations for chronic conditions, families and communities, and work, retirement and health. Within each of these three areas it advances knowledge of social inequalities within and across countries, and of policy responses in order to improve the lives of older people.
The presentations generated considerable discussion and interest from a lively audience with representatives from most of the major UK based non-governmental organisations with interests in ageing populations (e.g. HelpAge International, Age International, International Longevity Centre, and Age UK) and many alumni of the IoG who are now in positions of influence. The event was chaired by Professor Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department for Social Science, Health & Medicine. Presenters included Professor Martin Prince, Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry, Head of the Department of Health Service and Population Research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience who discussed the rising need for care around the world given rapid increases in the number of people with dementia; Dr. Mauricio Avendano-Pabon, Reader in Global Ageing in SSHM who highlighted the importance of policy responses across the lifecourse as investments in early and mid-life are critical for later life health; and Dr. Sridhar Venkatapuram, Lecturer in Global Health and Philosophy and also in SSHM, who discussed the importance of addressing justice and fairness in policy responses to global ageing. An introduction to the Centre outlining its ethos and ambition was given by Professor Karen Glaser, Professor of Gerontology and the Centre’s Director.
The keynote address was given Professor Alexandre Kalache, who, among many other roles is Co-President, International Longevity Centre (ILC) Global Alliance and President, ILC-Brazil, as well as Senior Advisor on Global Aging, the New York Academy of Medicine, and HelpAge International Global Ambassador on Ageing. If anyone had doubts about the Centre’s necessity, the speech from Professor Kalache would have laid them to rest – demographic transformations are affecting the lives of everyone across the lifecourse and globally will challenge the basic structures and assumptions of both welfare state and non-welfare state societies.
The presentations from the event are now available on the Centre’s website at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/sshm/KCfGA/Kings-Centre-For-Global-Ageing.aspx