5-7 March 2009
"A balanced perspective cannot be acquired by studying disciplines in pieces; the consilience among them must be pursued. Such unification will be difficult to achieve. But I think it is inevitable. Intellectually it rings true, and it gratifies impulses that arise from the admirable side of human nature. To the extent that the gaps between the great branches of learning can be narrowed, diversity and depth of knowledge will increase."
E.O. Wilson (1998).
As chairman of the Conference Committee, I am pleased to inform you that the 1st International Conference on Bridging Knowledge in Long Term Care and Support. Crossing Boundaries between Ageing and Disability will be held from 5 to 7 March 2009 in Barcelona.
During the next years over 15 million persons with disabilities will enter old age; and a similar
number of elderly people will become disabled.
Links do exists between both groups and experiences may be shared in a broad range of topics, from concepts and values to the assessment and meeting of needs, or the development of tools for evidence-base policy in both areas. Bridges have always existed across the fields of disabilities and ageing, but they have been limited, and they coexist with significant barriers to communication and information sharing. Although health and social care providers have been encouraged to work in partnership and build interdisciplinary teams, the success of this approach has been limited.
New notions such as “networks” and “knowledge brokering” have entered this discourse but the
lack of consensus and understanding about what they mean and how to implement it limits its use in the care sector. The health sector has already developed strategies for knowledge brokering, translational exchange of experiences and integrated care, while the social sector has developed the conceptual background in the areas of functioning, social inclusion and cohesion.
On the other hand, a series of key international documents have provided a new perspective on care and support for persons with disabilities and the elderly (i.e. Graz Declaration on Disability and Ageing, the UN Convention on Disabilities, several international documents on ageing and the EU recommendation on care for dependent population in Europe). Both topics have shifted from marginal areas of health and social care to a central position in support and care delivery in Europe.
The needs of building and bridging care and support strategies across different areas have been
highlighted at the Institute of Medicine's Crossing the Quality Chasm report (2001)
A series of questions may rise related to bridging experiences in the two areas which can enhance a leap forward evidence-based policy in disability and in ageing:
- Are we doing things in the right way?
- Are we doing the right things?
- Are we doing the right things?
These two questions relate to the balance between efficiency and ethics, and to a broader extent
to the boundaries between values and evidence. Many other critical questions may be reframed as “bridging”. In any case:
- What is and what is not “bridging”?
- How can we accomplish and assess bridging experiences?
There are a number of key and common topics across these fields that deserve international
interest. For example, the existing difference between the concepts of dependency, independency and interdependency; the best way to develop and to implement a holistic integrative care/support; or the procedures and experiences in transdisciplinarity, and in the development of multidisciplinary groups in management, research and education.
Being a transrelational concept, bridging is not an endpoint, but a tool for reaching an integrative
care and support.
I look forward to welcoming you in Barcelona and to bridge knowledge and experience in long term care and support.
Prof. Luis Salvador-Carulla, MD, PhD
Información e inscripciones aquí.