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Selwyn Institute’s 2016 gerontology conference

5 September 2016

Selwyn Institute’s 2016 gerontology conference to focus on aged care nursing and ageing and spirituality

Internationally acclaimed US professor and nurse theorist, Dr Jean Watson, will be keynote speaker at this year’s Gerontology Nursing Conference on 7 December 2016, hosted by The Selwyn Foundation’s Institute for Ageing and Spirituality.

Holder of the American Academy of Nursing’s highest honour, the ‘Living Legend’ award, Dr Watson is an inspiring speaker who provides a values-guided, practical and professional human caring framework for transforming nursing and healthcare practices.

Dr Watson will speak on ‘Spirituality and the foundations of human caring: A professional guide to authentic caring-healing practices’ at the event, which will take place at Auckland’s Alexandra Park Stadium.

The full-day programme also includes sessions on the practical aspects of gerontology nursing as well as the philosophical and spiritual facets of ageing and spirituality – with delegates able to choose according to their preference. Featuring an exciting line-up of international specialists in gerontology and ageing and spirituality, the conference is specifically designed for nurses and clinicians involved in the care of older people and those who provide pastoral and spiritual care of the elderly.

Conference speakers will be:

• Dr Michal Boyd (RN, NP, ND, Nurse Practitioner, Waitemata DHB), who will speak on ‘Building confidence in your own clinical reasoning’

• Dr Richard Egan (BA, PhD DPH, MPhil, DipTchg, Otago University, Dunedin), who will focus on nursing, spiritual care and spiritual needs and will present initial results of a national survey on this topic

• Dr Maree Bernoth (PhD, Med (Adult Ed & Training. Hons, Class1), BHlthSc (Nurs) RGerN, RPN, Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia), who will speak on ‘Participatory care: the possibilities and challenges’

• Dr Chris Perkins (MB ChB FRANZCP, Diploma of Professional Ethics, The National Dementia Cooperative), who will examine spirituality in dementia

• Professor Thomas Petschner (founder of the Clown Doctors NZ Charitable Trust), who will hold a workshop focussing on the use of humour in care provision.

The conference, which is now in its seventh year, is hosted by The Selwyn Institute for Ageing and Spirituality.

General Manager of The Selwyn Institute, Hilda Johnson-Bogaerts, says: ‘The Selwyn Institute has been developed by The Selwyn Foundation to advance the understanding of ageing and spirituality and improve outcomes for elderly people through knowledge exchange, research and education.

‘We are therefore delighted to host eminent speaker Dr Jean Watson, who is flying in from the US specifically to present to our New Zealand audience. Delegates can expect to hear a passionate and motivating address on issues of significance to those involved in the care of older people, with an emphasis on person-centred, holistic care of the individual.’

The conference will be held on Wednesday, 7 December 2016, at the Tasman Room, Alexandra Park, Greenlane Rd West, Epsom, 8:30am – 5:00pm. It provides 6.5 hours of certified professional development.

An early bird rate of $150 (incl. GST) applies for bookings received before 30 September. Regular rate: $170. Register at or contact Alice Walker at, Tel: 09 849 9203.

Sponsors of the 2016 conference include: Cubro healthcare equipment, Guild & Spence Technologies Ltd, Leecare Solutions, USL Medical and Walls & Roche Medicine Management.

Notes to editors:

Dr Jean Watson is a distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing Anschutz Medical Center campus, where she held the USA's first endowed Chair in Caring Science for 16 years. She is founder of the original Center for Human Caring in Colorado and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; past President of the National League for Nursing and founding member of the International Association in Human Caring and International Caritas Consortium. She is also Founder and Director of non-profit foundation: Watson Caring Science Institute.

Dr Watson has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and psychiatric mental health nursing and holds her PhD in educational psychology and counselling. She is a widely published author and recipient of many awards and honours.

The Selwyn Foundation is a New Zealand independent charitable trust, providing residential care (rest homes, hospitals and dementia care), retirement living and community services for older people. As a not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation reinvests any financial surpluses into the provision of additional facilities and charitable activities aimed at helping the aged.

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