2019 International Psychogeriatric Assocation conference (IPA) @ Santiago de Compostella

Early September 2019, some 400 participants from around the world gathered in Spain for the bi-annual IPA-conference. The four conference days were packed with workshops, plenary sessions, about 40 symposia, 55 presentations packed into 10 sessions. And on top of that, almost 150 posters. Together, they constructed a great context to get up to speed with the most recent developments in the broad field of psychogeriatrics, mixing a variety of perspectives like biomedical research, medicine, psychiatry, and social sciences. The conference wasn’t specifically focused on dementia, but that topic was never far away, if not the focus of a great deal of the contributions.

This IPA-conference was not only a great opportunity to learn from a variety of international colleagues, it was also a good platform to present the work of the Interdem network, e.g. through symposia on the importance of a sociopsychological perspective on elderly care, on primary prevention of dementia and a discussion session on whether the biomedical model still should be the dominant one in dementia research. All of these were well attended and included interesting Q&A time. The conference (and the good weather and many restaurants around the city centre) also made sure we could make progress on Interdem work, speeding up towards our meeting in Den Haag just before the Alzheimer Europe conference next October.

Jan Steyaert – Expertisecentrum Dementie Vlaanderen