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BSG Conference 2020

Welcome and Conference close

The Welcome to the Conference featuring Gary Christopher, BSG2020 Conference Director, Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England and Tom Scharf, BSG President, can be watched here

The Conference close, featuring Gary Christopher, BSG2020 Conference Director, and Carol Holland, BSG2021 Conference Director, can be watched here


Flagship Symposium on Dementia-friendly communities

  • Richard Cheston (UWE) – Chair
  • Stefanie Buckner (Cambridge Institute of Public Health) 
  • Sabrina Luk (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) 
  • Marjolein Thijssen (Radboud University) and Neil Chadborn (University of Nottingham)

Dementia‐friendly communities have developed in many different countries as policy makers and practitioners seek new ways to meet the needs of people living with dementia. Amongst their aims are to enable people with dementia to remain actively involved in everyday community activities and to maintain their social networks so that they have a sense of continued belonging. In this sense communities are not necessarily restricted to a geographical locality, but may also include organisations such as a retail business, a national charity or faith community – but in each case the same principles of accessibility, awareness and inclusion should apply. This symposium will examine how the concept of dementia friendly communities has evolved in three different countries: Neil Chadborn will present findings from a realist review and evaluation of four communities in the Netherlands; Sabrina Luk will describe the development of eight dementia-friendly communities in Singapore; while Stefanie Buckner will report findings from the National Evaluation of Dementia Friendly Communities (DemCom study) in England. 

The recording of the session is available on our Ageing Bites channel.

For further information on the studies presented by Stefanie Buckner please see the following:

COVID-19 Special Symposium

  • Gerry Foley - Chair
  • Donald Macaskill (CEO, Scottish Care)
  • Chris Phillipson (University of Manchester)
  • Adelina Comas-Herrera (LSE)
  • Helena Herklots (Commissioner for Older People, Wales)

The BSG are proud to offer this special session which will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on older people living in care homes. The crisis has taken a devastating toll on care home residents and workers in the UK, as well as many other countries. Chaired by Gerry Foley, an experienced political broadcaster, the session will bring together key commentators to discuss issues relating to COVID-19 and care settings and consider what this means for gerontology in the post-COVID world. We are delighted that Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care; Chris Phillipson, University of Manchester; Adelina Comas-Herrera, LSE; and Helena Herklots, Commissioner for Older People, Wales, have agreed to join the session. There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions to the panel before and during the session. 

The recording of this session is now available on our Ageing Bites channel.

Please find below further links to papers mentioned in the COVID-19 discussion:

    Flagship Symposium on Housing Futures

    • Jeremy Porteus (Housing LIN) - Chair
    • David Robinson (University of Sheffield)
    • Julia Park (Levitt Bernstein)
    • Sue Adams (Care & Repair England)

    The last few months have shown how important our homes are, and how crucial the nature of that environment is to our health and wellbeing. As the population ages it is vital that people can remain living independently in their own homes and, if necessary, be able to receive healthcare at home. However, in the UK we have the oldest housing stock in Europe, replacement rates are very low and there are considerable inequalities in provision.  In this symposium three experts will discuss the future of housing. David Robinson, Professor of Housing and Urban Studies at the University of Sheffield will examine the evidence about housing options, the reasons for the current gap in housing delivery for older people and how that might be bridged. Julia Park, a Housing Architect and leading policy expert will talk about how contemporary design is expanding the options available to provide attractive, flexible spaces that help people continue to live active and engaged lives. However, most people will remain living in the existing stock in later life and we need effective policies for refurbishment, renewal and regeneration which will be discussed by Sue Adams OBE, CEO of Care & Repair England. There will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions to the panel before and during the session. 

    You can watch the recording on our Ageing Bites channel

    Further links to reports that were brought up in the Housing Futures discussion:

    Flagship Symposium: Co-production research with older people: from aspiration to application

    • Mat Jones (UWE) - Chair
    • Jo White (UWE) and Jan Fullforth (Co-researcher)
    • Mo Ray (University of Lincoln) , Sally Cornish (University of Brighton), Sue Bennett and Kate Holley (Co-researchers)
    • Tine Buffel (University of Manchester) 

    There has been growing interest in co-production research with older people over recent years. This symposium presents the work of three UK research teams involved in moving the agenda on from general principles to practical applications.  White et al. consider the depth and duration of personal investment that some older people make in co-production research. The ‘work’ of co-production raises issues connected to personal biography, standpoint towards the research topic, and the social role of the researcher. We suggest that recognising researcher identity enhances understanding of the social and affective dimensions of co-research with older people.  While evaluative work has considered the process of co-production, less attention has been given to evaluating co-production approaches in order to understand the barriers, challenges, opportunities and value in producing new knowledge and developing outcomes in research. With a focus on older people who fund their own care, Ray et al show the role of co-production in the creation of new knowledge and in the development research outcomes.  Taking a broader perspective, Buffel and James present a systematic review of the literature on empirical studies that have involved older adults as co-researchers to understand how and why older people were involved, and the key challenges of doing so. This session brings together leading themes on how the participation of older persons as research partners can be practically realised in community-based research. 

    You can watch the recording on our Ageing Bites channel


    In Conversation With our Keynote Speakers

    Our first keynote interview is with Professor Glenn Lyons, the Mott MacDonald Professor of Future Mobility at UWE Bristol, helping to equip transport planners to handle deep uncertainty about the future. He was formerly Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise) in UWE Bristol's Faculty of Environment and Technology and founding Director of UWE Bristol's Centre for Transport & Society. You can watch the conversation with Professor Lyons on our Ageing Bites channel

    Our second keynote Interview is with Professor Emerita Meredith Minkler, a Professor in the Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley and Professor Emerita, School of Public Health, UCB Fulbright Specialist on community-engaged research (South Africa), Director, Health and Social Behavior, SPH UCB Founding Director, UC Berkeley Center on Aging. You can watch the conversation with Professor Minkler on our Ageing Bites Channel

    Our final keynote interview is with Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly, Professor of Assistive Robotics and Intelligent Healthcare Technologies at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (UWE Bristol) and Academic Advisor at the HealthTech Hub. She held a joint post with Designability, an assistive technology SME and charity located at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, as Head of Electronics and Computer Systems for the past four years. You can watch the conversation with Professor Caleb-Solly on our Ageing Bites channel.

    Special Interest Group events

     With the generous support of our publication partner Cambridge University Press, the BSG supports a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The BSG’s Special Interest Groups aim to bring together BSG members who share a specific interest and to support activities to further knowledge in these areas.

    The recordings from the SIG events will be made available on the Ageing Bites channel. Please follow the links below for more information about the SIGs:

    Technology and Ageing 

    Educational Gerontology 

    Transport and Mobility 

    Creative Ageing 

    Care Homes Research 

    Ageing in Africa, Asia and Latin America 

    Alcohol and Substance Use 

    Work and Retirement 


    Fringe Events

    Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life is part of the Bluebird Project, miniature songs from Liz Lane (Senior Lecturer, UWE Bristol), Belinda Evans and friends. Inspired by times of isolation and reflection, telling stories and finding a poetic path through troubling times, and connecting through creative collaboration. Bluebird - the bird of happiness.

    The recording from the Tree of Life fringe event can be found via Twitter or Facebook.

    Policy Press 'Precarity and Ageing' Book Launch

    The recording from the 'Precarity and Ageing' book launch event can be viewed here.