Stefania’s Success Story

by Riitta Antikainen

Early in the morning in Oulu, wake-up, take a taxi to airport, a one-hour flight to Helsinki, morning flight to Milano – three hours,  train from Milano Malpensa to Milano central station, quick lunch with bread ad Coce, rushing 3-hour train trip to Venice: finally in Venice! But this was not all, there was a not-pre-planned or pre-expected 40 min ferry trip to Lido followed by short taxi trip-after having experienced all this you are there, in the Geriatric Congress Venue in Venice, Italy.

Such a long way – one of these cities Venice in Italy or Oulu in Northern Finland must be at the world’s end!

There were more than 1500 colleagues, among those almost 60 persons from Finland -more than ever. More than 600 posters were accepted. While working as a poster leader, I found such enthusiasm among presenters who were proud about their works and it was obvious that they had trained how to present the work – good!!

I personally followed the end of life-care session and saw that the people around the European Union have the same problems as which are familiar for me in Oulu.

How to screen for dementia among immigrants who do not know the language, who cannot read or for whom copying a figure is not possible if you do not know how to use a pen? A Dutch-Danish group showed new solutions how we can provide better care for new members of European Union. Among other things, we learned that older people need more protein than supposed previously. The presentation on TAVI by Professor Cribier gives more hope for older frail people with an advanced aortic stenosis. Chairpersons were guided by a letter strictly to stay in time frames, as happened at least in the session where I participated.

But now to Stefania Maggi’s success story! I hardly know the number of days (and nights) she and her group have worked for the successful congress. And still she was smiling. Thank you for Professor Crepaldi for his stories about Venice and Henry’s bar. That difficult place to reach for me was not created without a certain plan, you know, for Attila and his riding Huns, the island was more difficult to occupy.

Do you know what is the most spoken language in the world? No, it is not Mandarin Chinese. Yes, it is our language, “bad English”  or “broken English”, which is spoken by millions of people using English as their second, third or even fourth language. For the Native English speakers I have a wish. It is to enjoy listening to a presentation where “good English” is used. But not so fast, please. And do not use the uncommon abbreviations in you presentations. Please, please!

Goodbye Venice – (where I had not been previously for 43 years), welcome Rotterdam, where the organizing committee has already been busy. See you at the Meeting of the European Geriatric Society in Rotterdam 2014.