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Led by Professor Paul Kingston, who has recently joined the University, the Centre for Ageing Studies in the Faculty of Health and Social Care was officially launched by Lord Edmiston of Lapworth. 

Professor Kingston has brought a research team to Chester alongside 10 honorary medical colleagues. He had a long career in the NHS, starting out as a nurse before moving into higher education with a specialism in Ageing and Mental Health.

He said: “The demographic challenges of an ageing society continue to offer health and social care practitioners opportunities to reconfigure and redesign modern state-of-the- art services.

Centre for Ageing

“Of particular importance is the link between physical health and mental health in later life. The link between these two long term conditions needs urgent attention if we are to provide acceptable care realistically to an ageing population.”

The launch included an outline of the areas, on which the Centre will focus in the next five years. These included:

  • The management of mental health in acute hospitals
  • Dual sensory impairment in later life and community competence (understanding how individuals manage their day to day life with impairments)
  • Self neglect in later life
  • Negotiating relationships after a diagnosis of dementia
  • Using the Mass Observation Archive to understand later life (this is a national archive of data going back to 1953)
  • Dietary habits and later life including malnutrition
  • Using narrative to understand the condition of dementia
  • Suicide in later life
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults (The Savile Enquiry membership)
  • Technology and ageing
  • Working with black and minority ethnic groups with mental health challenges in later life.

A keynote speech was delivered by John Keady, Professor of Mental Health Nursing from the University of Manchester, who spoke about Collaboration as the Aspiration for Policy, Research and Service Development. John’s presentation outlined the importance of delivering a specific person-centred approach to care in later life.

The Centre launch coincided with the UK-hosted G8 Dementia Summit – the first G8 summit dedicated to seeking an ‘ambitious level’ of international co-ordination and an effective response to tackling the condition. 

In the UK alone, there are likely to be nearly one million people with the condition by the end of 2020.

Professor Paul Kingston said: “The Centre will continue the work my colleagues and I have developed with a particular emphasis on linking and managing the co-morbidities of physical and mental health in later life’.

Professor Annette McIntosh-Scott, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, said: “The Faculty is delighted that Paul has joined us and is heading up the Centre for Ageing Studies with his expert team.”

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