GR issues 2007 to present
Welcome to another issue of Generations Review. I hope you are enjoying your summer despite the unfavourable weather. But perhaps the weather is very pleasant where you are?

I think most of us must still be smiling after the conclusion of the BSG conference in Plymouth. Catherine Hennessy and her team did a fantastic job hosting this year’s event and certainly provided us with a dynamic academic programme – not to mention the social programme. I am pleased to give you advance notice that the October issue of GR will feature several items and photos from the conference. So for those of you who missed the conference or for those of you who want to revive your conference experience, keep an eye out for 21(4).

Now on to this issue. Our News and Reviews features an excellent report from our President Mim Bernard. Mim has taken time to review this year’s key accomplishments for the Society, and some of the honours recently awarded to acknowledge the contributions of some of our peers. Christian Beech’s final report provides an update on ERA activities and the new directions this group is taking. Sue Venn, our new honorary secretary, comments on this year’s elections. In addition, please have a glance at other reports in this section to see the different and varied ageing events that have happened across the country and elsewhere. We also feature, for the first time, a book review on Counselling Older People with Alcohol Problems. We return to this topic in Cutting Edge, and these features are timely given the recent release of the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Our Invisible Addicts addressing the concerns of substance misuse among the ‘baby boomers’ and in the older population.

Professor Christina Victor is introduced to us in Who’s Who. Professor Victor was the first plenary speaker at this year’s conference, and for those of you who enjoyed her historical review of ageing research and the British Society of Gerontology, this feature will be sure to confirm her passion for anything older – and swimming, of course.

Cutting Edge features five papers on developing research areas. You may be familiar with some of these if you have attended the recent Society’s recent conferences. In the first paper, Rickett provides a thorough report on the innovative Ages and Stages project which looks at theatre in the recollections of ageing. The pictures that accompany the article capture the essence of the work. You will also read that the project concludes with a theatre production and exhibition in July 2012. The second paper returns the GR reader to the Welsh Dignity Project and provides us with progress report and evaluation on the work by Morgan and colleagues (you may recall the paper published in GR in 2010 that introduced us to this project). Congratulations to our Welsh colleagues for their success. The next paper is an interesting review of the emerging body of research on spirituality in older age. Nelson-Becker, an American colleague, provides a very clear account of spirituality, ageing and spiritual interventions. This is a must read for anyone who is new to this subject area. Fleming and colleagues follow by introducing us to a new project that is addressing well-being in older age and how older people can be more actively involved in improving their own well-being. The work is in its early stages, but the authors provide an excellent account of the work that is underway. I think you would agree that we look forward to hearing from our colleagues as this work develops. And finally, the concluding paper reviews alcohol problems in older age. Wadd and Forrester give an account of a problem that is often misunderstood and overlooked by older people, families and health and social care providers. You will note the success of age-specific treatment programmes, but also learn that much more work is required to ensure this ‘hidden’ problem is addressed.

For recently completed ageing research, be sure to read through the PhD abstracts in Cutting Edge by Salvage, Simonton, Chung and Mann. It is a pleasure to share these with you and we wish our newer ageing researchers much success in their careers.

This issue’s Learning Zone takes us across the Atlantic to Ontario to learn about an annual knowledge exchange. This multidisciplinary exchange is supported by Canada’s National Institute for the Care of the Elderly (NICE). We are appreciative of McCleary and colleagues for taking the time to share with us one approach to addressing the professional capacity (e.g. nurses, doctors, social workers) to deal with an ageing population. Our North American colleagues are actively engaged learning developments to ensure current and future practitioners are well skilled in working with older people, and we might just want to pay attention and consider similar options.

We have two delightful submissions in Voices of Experience. I think they speak for themselves so I dare not say anything. Just be sure to have a look – you’ll be smiling before you know it.

Go put the kettle on. Are you back yet? Now keep on reading.

See you again in October.
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