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May IFA Skim
Your Global Point of Connection to the World on Ageing
May Update
The May edition of IFA Skim provides updates from WHO and the United Nations related to ageism and healthy ageing, ageing initiatives from Canada and Australia, as well as record-breaking age related news items.
#CompanionAnimals Photographic Competition
The closing date has been extended until 3 June 2016!

Join the #CompanionAnimals photographic competition highlighting the benefit of companion animals on the health of older adults. 
Rameshwar Yadav photographed by Sourav Karmakar
Margaret photographed by Karen Webster
Slavimir Zelenklapic
«We had just got home from the hospital from a day at chemo, and my Mom (center photo) was physically and emotionally worn out. Elliott seems to sense that my Mom requires extra attention at this time in her life, and he is willing to give companionship whenever he can» — Karen Webster, Competition Contestant.
Entries can be submitted by sending your photo and a short description on how the animal provides therapeutic benefits to the older adult depicted in the photo to Ms Dana Bandola (dbandola@ifa-fiv.org).  With permission, submitted photos will be showcased at the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing in Brisbane, Australia from 21-23 June 2016 for a chance to win up to $1000 USD!
Visit the IFA website for full contest details.
WHO Kobe Request for Proposal: Research Hub on Community-Based Social Innovations

The World Health Organization Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan has put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new research activity: «Research hub for systematic review and evidence of middle- and high-income countries’ community-based social innovations for healthy ageing».

WHO is interested in understanding community-based social innovations (CBSI) supporting older people in healthy ageing and their linkages to health and social systems.

This RFP is in response to the outcomes of a round of case studies conducted last year in low income countries on community-based, peer organizations providing health and social services. The findings from these case studies highlighted the difficulties in creating older person-centred systems of care in any income context and the need to conceptualize the management of health and well-being.

The report provides a basis for the new WHO Kobe Centre programme through the identification of a set of recommendations for additional research. Don’t miss the following deadlines for the RFP:

  • Intention to bid: 20 May 2016 by 6:00 pm Japan time
  • Proposal: 10 June 2016 by 6:00 pm Japan time
For more details, read the RFP and visit the WHO Kobe Centre website.
Seventh Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG)

The Seventh Working Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) will convene 12-15 December 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The OEWG aims to strengthen the protection of human rights for older
persons by examining current international frameworks including possible deficiencies and the best way to improve them, such as the viability of new instruments and measures.

Outcomes of the Sixth Session include considering proposals for an international legal instrument to promote and protect the rights and dignity of older persons.  This is based on work carried out in the fields of social development, human rights and non-discrimination, as well as gender equality and the empowerment of women.

For more information, read the Report of the Sixth Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing and visit the UNDESA website.

69th World Health Assembly Associated Event on Combating Ageism to Achieve Health Ageing, 25 May 2016
Ageism is the most tolerated form of discrimination and must be actively combated in order to achieve healthy ageing across the life course.  Direct and indirect forms of age-based discrimination can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of older people.
A side event at the 69th World Health Assembly will convene on 25 May 2016 entitled, «From Plan to Action: Combating Ageism to Achieve Healthy Ageing«.  This interactive discussion will focus on the societal and policy impact of ageism, and the actions needed to improve older people’s health and well-being.
The WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health recognizes that achieving healthy ageing will be dependent on our ability to combat ageism.
Register here. For more information, please contact: healthy.ageing@ifrc.org
Final Draft of WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Ageing and Health
The Multisectoral action for a life course approach to healthy ageing: draft global strategy and plan of action on ageing and health has been updated for consideration by the 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) from 23-28 May 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO responsible for setting the norms and standards for global health matters and evidence-based policy options.  The agenda for the 69th WHA includes frameworks and policies on noncommunicable diseases, promoting health through the life course and much more.
The final draft of the Global Strategy made adjustments based on consultations with representatives of Member States, the United Nations and international partners.  This has strengthened the plan which now provides clear objectives and actions for Member States and partners to create age-friendly environments, align health systems, develop long-term care systems and advance Healthy Ageing.
Government of Canada Supports Seniors: Taking Action to Reduce Social Isolation
A new plan to address social isolation among older adults is being implemented by the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation (PEGASIS) to increase community participation and provide connections to essential social services and support.
Older adults in Edmonton, including immigrants and individuals with mental and physical disabilities, will be provided with services including assisted transportation, community resource guides, nutritional assessments, door-to-door visits and community-based language classes.  Community partners will help to execute activities, measure results, leverage resources and implement improvements throughout the duration of the projects.
«These PEGASIS projects will collectively reach out to isolated seniors on various fronts and help them better access the network of community support services they need to experience a good quality of life.  Innovative clusters of New Horizons for Seniors Program projects like this are fundamental to promoting the well-being of Canadian seniors and to developing strong and vibrant communities.» — The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Queensland: An Age-friendly Community

Following an extensive public consultation process with more than 9000 responses on how Queensland can become more age-friendly, the Queensland government has formally stated their intention to invest in a state-wide age-friendly approach.
Queenlanders reported that access to transportation, appropriate housing and employment opportunities were some of their priorities.
Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Minister for Seniors, Coralee O’Rourke in making the formal announcement said that this statement builds on the existing work and investment made by government through the Queensland age-friendly community initiative and an action plan is being developed for release later in 2016.
Read the strategic direction statement and stay up-to-date on this initiative through the Queensland Seniors Facebook page.
New Technologies for Older Adults: A Real Added Value
Written by IFA Intern Ms Maëlle Undstad
Due to increasing life expectancy, many initiatives are being developed that encourage older people to stay active. It is however necessary to improve service models by offering personalised support in order for older people to live in their homes for as long as possible. For this purpose, strong collaboration is needed between healthcare providers and associations representing older people.
Assistance from families and neighbours is crucial yet should be complimented by other modern and technological means. Housing arrangements such as stair lifts, multifunctional remote controls and adapted showers are such cost effective investments. These advances allow older people to maintain independence and continue actively contributing to society.
Safe and efficient solutions exist to provide assistance to older adults with decreasing independence. Tele assistance that connects objects and smart technologies is useful for isolated people in the event of an emergency (fall, beginning of fire, etc.). Tele assistance reduces risk of hospitalization and is a source of psychological comfort by reducing the feeling of isolation.
While new technologies provide a real added value for improving Activities of Daily Living (ADL), human interaction will always be the most important support for the health and well-being of older people.
New South Wales Seniors Festival: Share the Shoebox
Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA)
This month, New South Wales, Australia celebrated a 10-day long Seniors Festival with more than 1000 events and approximately 300,000 participants across the state.
ASCCA President, Ms Nan Bosler.
The Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) contributed to the festival by convening a «Share the Shoebox» Forum to provide older adults with ideas and methods for preserving important treasures and photos for future generations.  ASCCA President, Ms Nan Bosler shared examples of «Life Story Writing» for preserving memories and other methods for documenting details of family and personal keepsakes.
ASCCA Technical Officer, Mr Mark Young.
Another Forum was convened later in the month on «Ways Forward for ASCCA Clubs» that provided members with an opportunity to hear updates and ideas from the organization volunteers and provided a space to share experiences, problems and solutions for many clubs across Australia.
ASCCA is the national peak body for seniors and technology in Australia, run by seniors for seniors.  Visit the ASCCA websitefor more information and resources, including how to participate in the 2016 ASCCA Digital Photography & Creative Writing Competition.
Dementia and Comorbidities: Ensuring Parity of Care

Failing to treat comorbidities in people with dementia can not only lead to a reduced quality of life but will also cost the health and social care system up to nearly 1 billion GBP, according to a new report by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) on Dementia and Comorbidities: Ensuring Parity of Care.
Four out of the five most common comorbidities in people with dementia are preventable conditions.  Yet individuals with dementia are less likely to be diagnosed with cases of depression, diabetes or urinary tract infections due to discrepancies and communication barriers between the individual, carers and medical professionals.
«It is an absolute scandal that Doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are too often failing to see people living with dementia as more than simply this disease.  As such our health system is too often failing to prevent, diagnose, and treat comorbidities among people with dementia.  This failure has a devastating impact on quality of life, and results in earlier deaths. A failure to prevent adds avoidable financial pressures to our cash strapped health service» — Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK.
Read the findings from the ILC-UK report including the identification of six key areas of discrepancy and seven recommendations to ensure parity within the health care system.
Harvey Nichols Challenges Ageism with 100 Year Old Model
Harvey Nichols department store is breaking away from the typical fashion industry to feature a 100 year old model, Ms Bo Gilbert, in celebration of Vogue’s 100th anniversary. The feature aims to highlight and challenge ageism in the fashion industry.
«We’re really proud to be involved in a project which proves the older generation can be fearlessly stylish too. Ageism is so last century» —  Ben Tollett, Executive Creative Director at Harvey Nichols’ ad agency Adam & Eve/DDB.
100 Year Old Ida Keeling Sets World Record in 100-meter Dash
In addition to celebrating her 101st birthday in May, Ms Ida Keeling set a world record at the Penn Relays in Pennsylvania, USA for the 100-meter dash with the fastest time
(1 minute, 17.33 seconds) for anyone over 100 years old.
Ms Keeling also holds the American record for women 95-99 years old in the 60-meter dash (29.86 seconds).  She started running at age 67 when her daughter signed her up for a race.
«I just keep going.  Your strength is in you» — Ida Keeling.
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