by Fi Thomson – Rural Wisdom community worker in Moray

I recently had the opportunity to attend the first Ageing Research Network meeting at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. This was a well attended and interesting day. I was asked to contribute with my experience of the third sector.

Initially I explained that I could only talk for my own experience, but I did discuss the inventiveness of this sector versus the issues with short term project based funding. I used Entelechy’s  ‘Bed’ as an example of the power of a simple performance idea to influence how the world sees older people, or Elders as these actors prefer to be called. 

Speakers at the conference included Professor Angela Kydd, clinical professor in nursing specialising in gerontology who organised the event and network, Dr Aileen Grant, and Professor Phyo Myint Gerontology Chair in old age medicine at Aberdeen University, famous for having said that eating chocolate is good for you!

They spoke about their research projects and were questioned about what they were planning and how they were going to involve all the sectors and keep the work relevant.

During the meeting, I got chatting to Prof Heather Fulford, whose interest is evaluation processes – she comes from a business and linguistics background. We discussed the idea behind the ripple effect of interventions i.e. when you ‘help’ one person this ripples out across the community effectively impacting many more than that initial person, but also that people’s journeys are not always linear. We are going to meet up to try and work out if there are ways to measure this.

There are more quarterly meetings planned, and I will keep you posted as it develops!