Conference Themes

The 15th Global Conference on Ageing is being convened at the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls / Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario on 3-5 March 2021.  The IFA is proud to be supported by an international network of partners and is committed to creating an environment that enables older people to do what they value through a deeper evidence-based understanding.  The Conference will feature prominent experts presenting and discussing critical issues within the field of ageing.


Under the title “Rights Matter” conference findings aim to respond to the intersection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the priorities of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan. Presentations will be focused on four central themes: Addressing Inequalities; Age-friendly Environments; Combating Ageism; and Enabling Functional Ability.


Alongside a rapidly ageing population global inequality exists and the diverse needs of older people are apparent.  This diversity is often overlooked and underrepresented in policies and programs, negatively impacting older people and the ageing process.  Throughout this theme, various topics will be explored to better understand the multidimensional impacts of discrimination, marginalization and inequality on ageing populations globally.  Improving understanding of the ways in which identity and life experiences are compounded and impact older people is critical to developing solutions to address deeply rooted inequalities.  Discussions around social and health inequalities, as well as successful good practices and interventions that enhance policies and programs, will be present throughout this theme.


Those dedicated to addressing inequalities experienced by older people can submit an abstract under one of the following sub-themes:



Creating environments that are age-friendly requires action across all sectors including; health, long-term care, transport, housing, labour, social protection, industry, information and communication.  Bolstered by the World Health Organization’s vision of age-friendly communities as “policies, services, settings and structures [that] support and enable people to age actively,” this conference theme will be a vehicle through which age-friendly experts can showcase innovative work and engage in discussions of good practice in age-friendly environments.  Recognizing that in order to build age-friendly environments it is important to consider the physical, social, emotional and relational well-being of older people.


Those dedicated to age-friendly advancements can submit an abstract under the following sub-themes, all of which interconnect to foster age-friendly environments:



Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age.  This can occur between individuals or on a systemic level through the presence and / or lack of policies, programs or services.  Ageist attitudes are widespread, and examples of age-based discrimination are present across policy areas including health and social services, employment, education, and infrastructure.  The pervasive nature of ageism has negative impacts on older persons, including social exclusion and loneliness as well as poorer health outcomes.  Efforts to combat ageism, through changes to policies as well as to perceptions and attitudes, are needed to empower and facilitate inclusion of people of all ages in economic and social opportunities.


Those dedicated to combating ageism can submit an abstract under one of the following sub-themes, all of which relate to ageism and age-based discrimination:



Health is often assumed to be the sole factor influencing quality of life in old age, when in reality many older people experience health conditions that have little or no impact on their wellbeing.  Functional ability, defined by the World Health Organization as “having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value” encompasses a wide range of factors including the ability to grow and gain knowledge, move and participate in activities, maintain and form new relationships, and contribute to society.


With the growing population of older people across the globe, it is now more than ever critical to determine ways to maintain and improve the functional ability of this cohort.  Research has increasingly indicated that rises in sensory impairments, cognitive impairments and long-term care negatively impact functional ability.  This theme will showcase innovations in long term care that enable functional ability for residents who often face progressive and chronic diseases; the interplay between cognition and functional ability; and the importance of senses such as hearing and vision to functional ability.


Those dedicated to enabling functional ability of older people can submit an abstract under one of the following sub-themes:



Click here to submit an abstract on any of the themes above.