H.M. Drottningens tal vid 27:e nordiska kongressen i gerontologi

Aula Medica, Karolinska institutet, Solna

(Det talade ordet gäller)

Distinguished guests and researchers from all over the world

It is an honour to stand before you today at this significant gathering, where we unite in our shared commitment to enhancing the lives of older people. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the organising committee for inviting me and to the talented dancers who just graced the stage. Their performance profoundly captured the nuances of ageing, touching both our hearts and minds, and illustrating the challenges, opportunities, and boundless potential that come with advancing age.

Having recently celebrated my 80th birthday, I find myself reflecting deeply on the journey of ageing. This journey is marked by growth and transformation, both personal and societal. Although it is an inevitable part of life that we all share, it remains a unique experience for each individual. In my case, I have come to appreciate the wisdom and resilience that come with age, as well as the importance of cherishing each moment and the relationships that enrich our lives. I have also recognised the value of contributing to our community, embracing change, and continuing to learn and grow.

Everything changes; nothing remains constant. Whether it is the minute hand on a clock, the celebration of another birthday, or societal transformations, evolution is inevitable. The theme of this year's conference, “Ageing in a Transforming World,” perfectly encapsulates this truth. Environmental challenges, geopolitical crises, the aftermath of pandemics, and ongoing issues of migration and inequality all shape our world. In this context, the ageing population is a vital part of the societal fabric that we must weave with care and foresight.

We must also address these challenges head-on. The health and well-being of older adults require our attention and innovation. Research is critical in developing new treatments and technologies to meet the increasing need for care. It is also vital in ensuring that our healthcare systems and infrastructure are resilient and adaptable to the needs of older people and their families.

Ageing in a transforming world requires that we think creatively and act collectively. It calls for a multifaceted approach, integrating scientific research, compassionate care, and inclusive policies. By doing so, we can create a society where aging is not only respected but seen as a vital phase of life. Let us keep in mind the moving experience we just shared with the Dance for Parkinson’s group, using it as a motivational starting point for three days of important discussions and knowledge exchange.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to this important cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of millions, today and for generations to come.

I wish you all a fruitful and inspiring conference.

Thank you.