Professor in Medical Gerontology

Field of Employment: Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Tallaght University Hospital
Key areas: Gerontology, stoke, medical & health humanities

Having trained in Dublin and Bristol, Prof O’Neill is a consultant geriatrician at Tallaght University Hospital, chair of the National Centre for Arts and Health, and co-chair of Medical and Health Humanities in TCD. His research interests cover neuroscience, ageing and the humanities, and in terms of dementia have covered a range from driving with dementia, neuro-imaging and policy, to engaging with the arts to augment quality of life in dementia. With over 500 peer-reviewed publications, he has been the co-PI of the Irish National Audits of Stroke and Dementia Care, and led out on a range of policies relevant to ageing and dementia such as the national policy on elder abuse. His international profile includes presidency of the European Geriatric Medicine Society and he is the current chair of the Humanities and Arts Committee of the Gerontological Society of America. He has been honoured with the All-Ireland Inspirational Life Award in 2010 for services to older people, the Joseph T Freeman Award of the Gerontological Society of America.

In particular, I would like to promote a vision of prevention and care that is inclusive of all levels of dementia severity and which honours and explores the richness and possibilities of life lived with impairments of cognition and communication.

Bio: Prof Desmond (Des) O’Neill is one of the pioneering dementia researchers in Ireland, leading the first community survey of cognitive impairment in 1988, and appointed the first Medical Director of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in 1987. His vision of the opportunities afforded to GBHI Fellows is in the first instance through the interaction of their wide range of talents and experience with each other, as well as the insights afforded by an approach to dementia in Ireland which is very broad in scope, and inclusive of the philosophies of gerontology, geriatric medicine, psychiatry, neurosciences , social sciences and the humanities in a way that is particular to Ireland in general and notably in TCD.