The Victorian branch of the Council of the Ageing was co-sponsor of this event and had many members helping acting as volunteers so at least there were some older people in attendance. Most of the speakers, as expected, were ‘younger’ people. My presentation on Lifestyle Choices for Successful and Healthy Ageing gained some very positive comments.

I mentioned to the International Federation of Ageing organisers that it was inappropriate that there was no discount for the ageing at the conference. Most people attending would have been paid for by their employers at a cost of nearly $1000, plus travel and accommodation, would have been well out of reach of the majority of older people. Apparently this hadn’t occurred to them. It is high time that such conferences try to attract as many older people as possible for accuracy and validity in their aims. The IFA doesn’t even offer membership reductions for older people.

Apart from these limitations, the conference was very enjoyable and there was quite a lot of valuable and relevant knowledge, but it would have been more valuable if it had been authenticated by having many more older people there.

I tried to attend talks on the ‘fringe dwellers’ such as the homeless. One charitable organisation realised that there was commonwealth government finance available to provide accommodation for homeless older people and as a result their work has been much more succesful. In particular they designed accommodation taking into account the needs of their clients.

The conference was followed by a one day conference on age-friendly cities which Canberra is aiming to become. One of the advantages of this is that it makes life easier for older people as well other age groups! It helps to bring humanity back into our cities. There was idea sharing from various countries.

One of the most inspiring groups I met were a group of aboriginal women whose work I will include in a separate blog.