Keynote Speakers

Kaare Christensen

Change and Continuity among the Oldest in Society

We are living longer, and now the most common age at death in the Nordic countries is mid-80s for males and around 90 for females. In the last decades, medical treatment of the oldest has intensified dramatically. While the removal of age limits for medical treatment is generally saluted, there are also concerns about potential overtreatment and social inequalities in health care among the oldest. This opening lecture will present evidence of changes and continuities in health, treatment, and well-being among the oldest and discuss the individual and societal implications - now and in the future.

Kaare Christensen is Professor of Epidemiology, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public Health. Christensen is the Director of the Danish Aging Research Center and the Danish Twin Registry. Since the 1990s, he has been studying change and continuity among the oldest in Denmark

Peter Simonsen

Old Age in Literature: Continuities and Changes

The topic of ageing and old age has always been attractive to literary authors. Works of imaginative literature thus offer a rich source for tracing both continuities and changes in our cultures’ ways of understanding what it means and how it feels to age and grow older. While these have often been problematic stereotypes, yet I suggest that recent decades have arguably seen an increase in works of fiction about ageing and old age as well as a number of attempts to represent ageing and old age in more nuanced and less stereotypical ways that fiction readers can use to gain new insight into ageing. This talk aims to give an overview of parts of this literary landscape and to offer ideas from the field of narrative medicine about what gerontology and geriatrics might use this literature for as a way of furthering the field’s interdisciplinary ambitions.

Peter Simonsen is Professor of European Literature at the Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark. He is Director of English Studies and Head of the research Center for Uses of Literature. He has studied the relations between literary creativity and ageing for over two decades.

Dorthe S. Nielsen

Vulnerability among minority groups of older people

Dorthe S. Nielsen will discuss and draw our attention toward vulnerability in ageing when belonging to a minority group. Based on her own research she will put focus on language, and loneliness when living and when dying. Topics include losing your sense of self, your beloved relatives, and being re-traumatized when dementia comes into the older person's life. Finally, she will shortly raise our attention to the importance of health care professionals being culturally competent in contact with all patients

Dorthe Nielsen has a solid background in clinical nursing, in teaching and in research. Her research is focused on vulnerability, intercultural nursing, ageing, and patients’ everyday life with chronic illnesses and diseases. She works with a multidisciplinary practice lead research approach and takes patients' narratives, everyday life, communication and culture into account. The research involves qualitative as well as quantitative methods for identifying and developing practice-oriented nursing and treatment for vulnerable patients. The research involves national as well as international collaborators.

Mark Tully

What counts more for older adults: the health or social benefits of physical activity?

Regular physical activity offers numerous health benefits as people age, including reduced risk of sarcopenia, falls, disability and premature mortality. It has been identified as one of the most effective non-pharmacological health-enhancing interventions for older adults. However, recent evidence has demonstrated that physical activity has broader emotional and social impacts for older adults, such as reduced loneliness and improved mental wellbeing. This keynote will explore the role of physical activity in healthy ageing and introduce day-to-day physical activity as a more than just a health-related behavior, which has implications for future policies and interventions.

Professor Mark Tully a Professor of Public Health at Ulster University, where he is Director of the Institute of Mental Health Sciences. After graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Biomedical Science from Queen’s University Belfast in 2000, Mark undertook a PhD on the health benefits of home-based walking programmes. Since then he has held positions at Queen’s University Belfast and University of Cambridge.
He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles. His research focuses on addressing population levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour, which are major causes of poor physical and mental wellbeing, including interventions targeting older adults and socio-economically disadvantaged communities. He was a scientific advisor on the UK guidelines for physical activity and part of the expert group who published the 2019 Copenhagen Consensus Statement on Physical Activity and Ageing.

Kène Henkens

Preconditions for prolonging working life – between policies, civil society and the life course

The ageing of the population has not only made the sustainability of pensions and social security key issues for governments but also influences the ways in which people organize their working lives and firms manage their workforces. In this presentation I will discuss the responses of employers to an ageing workforce, how they affect older workers ability to work till increasing retirement ages and whether longer working lives affect civic engagement.

Kène Henkens is a head of the Theme group on Work & Retirement and is a professor of Ageing, retirement and the Life course at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG-RUG). He also holds a chair in Sociology of Retirement at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He has received a VIDI grant from the National Science Foundation (NWO) and a VICI grant in 2014. He is associate editor of the new Oxford journal Work, Aging & Retirement. Henkens is member of the Academia Europaea.

Karen Andersen-Ranberg

Digital health in the future of geriatric medicine

Ageing is associated with increased morbidity and functional loss, and as the number of oldest olds in high-income countries will double over the coming decades, delivery of health care will be challenged. To meet the demands of ageing populations innovative digital health solutions should be embraced. The speaker will present current knowledge on digital health in geriatrics and future perspectives, with an emphasis on digital support to improve health care delivery within and across health care sectors.

Clinical professor Karen Andersen-Ranberg is a consultant physician and geriatrician at Odense University Hospital and Department of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark. Her main clinical research area is digital health, which includes eHealth, health information technology (AI), and telehealth. She is also affiliated to the Department of Public Health, active in epidemiological research on oldest olds and centenarians in Denmark, as well as heading the Health Area group of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). She works 20% in the clinic, 50% in clinical research, and 30% in epidemiological research. She has been an executive board member of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) from 2000-2008, and board member of the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA).

Marvin Formosa

Considering and working with older adults as learners: What professional competencies are required?

The conceptualisation, planning and implementation of older adult learning warrants a geragogical approach characterised by special competencies. Such capabilities and aptitudes enable facilitators to utilise the extensive life experience of older adults, empathise with their specific socio-psychological positioning, and be sensitive to the physical and cognitive challenges generally experienced in later life. Competencies in geragogy range from understanding the distinction between ‘learning’ and ‘education’, ascertaining how to create a learning environment, realising how learning is part of the holistic caring process, and engaging teaching skills such as ‘peer learning’ that have proved to be highly successful with older learners.

Professor at Department of Gerontology and Dementia Studies Rector's Delegate, University of the Third Age (Malta)

Tahir Masud

Recent developments in falls assessment and management

Falls in older people cause much morbidity and cost to society. This talk will highlight new insights from the recent evidence from the literature which will include developments on multifactorial and uni-factorial interventions, a personalised approach to fallers, and the specific issues related to those fallers with cognitive impairment. The speaker will also update the audience on the current status of the ongoing development of the Global Guideline for Falls Prevention and Management.

Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham UK, Visiting Professor, Odense University l Hospital and University of Southern Denmark.