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March IFA Skim
Your Global Point of Connection to the World on Ageing
March Update
IFA Skim updates readers about on-going campaigns such as the World Health Organization’s #YearsAhead and Euskadi Lagunkoia: Basque Country Age-friendly Business Guide, as well as age-related news items, such as the address by the Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis QC at the 4th National Elder Abuse Conference.
#YearsAhead — Ageism is UNACCEPTABLE
Photo: Audrey Guy

Join the WHO’s #YearsAhead campaign to stop the discrimination and stereotyping of people based on their age.

Share a photo that presents a positive image of ageing — one that reflects most people’s experience and signals the way we all want to live life as we age!
  • If you are an older person: submit a photo of yourself celebrating that you are #YearsAhead.
  • If you are a younger person: submit a photo of, or a selfie with, someone you value who is #YearsAhead.
Post photos on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #YearsAhead or through email.  For full submission guidelines, please visit the website.
To see some of the initial posts for inspiration, browse InstagramFacebook, the website, or search for #YearsAhead on Instagram and Twitter.  If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact healthyageing@who.int.
We look forward to seeing your contribution to the campaign!
Photo: Karl-Herbert Lang
Photo: @eric_khm via @infosenijogja via @oriintaa
European Network of Human Rights Institutions
Launch Newsletter: Rights in Care

The European Network of Human Rights Institutions(ENNHRI) has launched the newsletter «Rights in Care» as part of the «Human Rights of Older Persons and Long-term Care» project, funded by the European Commission.
ENNHRI’s project aims to promote the human rights of older people who are in or seeking long-term care in Europe as well as develop resources to help policy makers and care providers understand their obligations in regards to the rights of older people.
The first edition of Rights in Care has been released, and new editions will be published every two months until June 2017.  A wide variety of topics relevant to human rights practitioners and those with an interest in long-term care for older people such as policy makers, care providers and associations, training providers and older people will be covered, including:

  • Human Rights Demystified! What are the human rights and how are they protected?
  • Human Rights in Long-term Care in Europe: Current State of Play
Learn more about the project here.
Euskadi Lagunkoia:
Basque Country Age-friendly Business Guide

Euskadi Lagunkoia has released a new Age-friendly Business Guide to promote the development of inclusive communities in Basque Country.  This educational outreach campaign provides practical low cost or no cost tips to help businesses become more age-friendly and attract older customers.
The initiative provides educational and self-assessment materials to participating businesses to facilitate development.  Information also includes how businesses can provide quality service for older adults that are affected by loss of mobility, vision and hearing impairments and dementia.
Participating businesses receive a window sticker with the slogan «We are friendly» and are also included in an Age-friendly Business Guide and in the web-based Age-friendly Places Map.
The guide is currently available in Spanish or Basque and can be accessed here.
Age Friendly Grama Panchayats
(Village Self-Governments) in Kerala, India
Thanks to the initiative of the Centre for Gerontological Studies in Trivandrum, India, seven Grama Panchayats (Village Self-Governments) in Kerala State in India have introduced a unique system of age-friendly village administration since 2014.  The objective is to provide maximum services to the older persons in the village, which are within the purview and capacity of the village administration.
Besides providing age-friendly services, the village administration helps to influence and persuade NGOs within its jurisdiction to incorporate age-friendly elements in their programmes.  Kerala has a comparatively well-established local self-government (Grama Panchayat) system and this has enabled the Grama Panchayats to embark on several independent programmes.
The age-friendly villages in collaboration with the senior citizens associations are attempting to provide near total services to their senior citizens through a series of age-friendly programmes.  The programme is the brain child of the Centre for Gerontological Studies (CGS) which has formulated it and is promoting and monitoring it.
For further information, contact Dr P. K. B. Nayar, Chairman of CGS and Coordinator of the Project at gerontocentre@gmail.com, or pkbnayar@rediffmail.com.
Understanding and addressing workforce vulnerabilities
in midlife and beyond 2012 — 2015


The report documents the trends and trajectories of older workers and investigates availability of jobs and the barriers that older workers face such as age discrimination and the changing nature of work.


As longevity increases and the number of working aged people declines, a new international policy consensus has emerged, outlining that longer and healthier lives should be «matched by longer working lives».  Embracing the potential of older workers is essential to accommodate the fiscal challenges associated with increased longevity, such as age pension and health care expenditures.
Despite these trends, an increasing number of older people are facing long-term unemployment and insecurity in the labour market.  Almost 250,000 mature age workers (45+) are on unemployment benefits in Australia as of June 2015.  Transitions out of work are more protracted, and older adults commonly move into temporary, part-time and self-employment roles.
Read the full report here.
60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), sixtieth session will take place on 14 — 24 March 2016 and will serve as a follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled «Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century».
Many NGOs including IFA have come together in partnership and solidarity to submit astatement regarding violence against older women, examining the progress made since the 57th session of the CSW.  Many programs that focus on violence against women and girls fail to address violence against women in older age.  In light of the significant evidence, the Commission recognized the particular risk of violence towards older women, and urged governments to adopt a life cycle approach in addressing violence.
The IFA will also be one of several co-sponsors to a side event entitled «Ending Elder Abuse: Breaking the Generational Cycle of Violence», along with the Mission of Argentina, NGO Committee on Ageing/NY, INPEA and AARP.  The event will provide an opportunity to correct the oversight of older women in previous goals and present available data on issues of abuse and violence towards older women.
To read the full statement, click here and to register for the side event, please email Dr Stuen at cynthia.stuen@gmail.com.  Please note that if you do not have a UN PASS, you must reply by 13 March here.
World Dementia Council Goes Global
Photo credit: World Dementia Council
The World Dementia Council (WDC) has re-formed at a meeting in London, in recognition of the urgent need to tackle the global dementia crisis.  The re-formed Council is now chaired by Dr Yves Joanette, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aging, and Vice-Chair, Raj Long, Senior Advisor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
It is a globally representative, independent body, uniting influential leaders across sectors in a concerted effort to address the disease burden of dementia.
Worldwide, an estimated 47.5 million people suffer from dementia, which will rise to an estimated 75.6 million people by 2030, and 135.5 million by 2050.  63% of the disease burden falls in low and middle-income countries.  There is a broad consensus across dementia stakeholders that a global collaborative approach is essential.
The WDC was originally formed by the World Dementia Envoy, Dr Dennis Gillings after the G8 Summit, supported by the UK government.  The full press release about this important initiative can be viewed here.
Creating Aging-Friendly Communities Book Release
Dec 2015 * 9780199379583
288 pp. * Hardcover * $45.00
Brief from the author: Professor Andrew Scharlach
Creating Aging-Friendly Communities (CAFC) examines the need to redesign America’s communities to respond to the realities of our rapidly aging society.
The publication focuses on the interface between individuals and their environments, and the ways in which communities can enhance individual and community well-being.
What differentiates CAFC from other books is its breadth of focus, its comprehensive and evidence-based consideration of key concepts, its inclusion of social as well as physical infrastructure characteristics, and its intensive examination of models of community change for fostering aging-friendliness.
It presents a conceptually and empirically-based model of aging-friendliness, identifies environmental modifications that could enhance individual and community well-being, outlines a typology of community change approaches, and considers the potential efficacy of those approaches.  This book identifies practical implications for policies, programs, and knowledge development designed to help communities become more aging-friendly.

More information about the book can be found at www.oup.com/us, Amazon.com, bn.com, or your local bookstore.

Exploring End-of-Life Care Options
Guest Article Contributed by Sophia Bernazzani, Community Manager, Nursing@Simmons
Facing end-of-life issues can be an overwhelming task.  In addition to the emotional toll involved, practical issues about how to care for yourself or a loved one will need to be dealt with.  To explore available options,Nursing@Simmons created a resource about end-of-life care to help answer some of these difficult questions.  Here, we’ll provide an overview of things to consider when facing end-of-life decisions, as well as what options may be available to support those on this journey.

Hospice Versus Palliative Care
Hospice care is a phrase that many are familiar with in the context of end-of-life care. Although the hospice movement originated in the United Kingdom with the opening of St. Christopher’s Hospice in 1967, much of the specific «hospice» terminology used in the U.S. is defined by regulatory language that determines eligibility within the Medicare framework.  In the U.S., such eligibility for hospice care requires a life expectancy of six months or less and focuses on comfort care rather than curative care.  Palliative care is always included, as well as an interdisciplinary team approach.
To continue reading the article, click here.
Innovation in Dementia Care:
PARO at Revera Inc.’s Pinecrest Manor
In a newly launched innovative dementia care pilot program for long-term care patients, PARO the Seal will now be available for dementia patients in Revera Inc.’s Pinecrest Manor, on loan from the IFA.
PARO is an interactive companion robot that was developed by Dr Takanori Shibata of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).  Artificial intelligence software changes the robot’s behaviors based on an array of tactile sensors that monitor sound, light, temperature and touch.
Griffith Health Institute’s work suggests that PARO has the potential to positively influence the lives of people with dementia and further research is being undertaken to understand its effect.  PARO offers positive feedback to human speech, with a positive response to verbal and tactile interaction.  PARO has been shown to improve the psychological and behavioural symptoms of dementia, while improving mood, socialization and quality of life.
If your organization in Canada is interested in testing the positive impact that PARO may have in care settings, the IFA has a PARO that is available on loan (no cost other that shipping) for 6 week trials.  If you are interested please email Mr Greg Shaw at gshaw@ifa-fiv.org or by phone at 416 342-1655.
To read the full press release from Revera Inc., click here.  To watch the feature from CTV London, click here.
Attorney-General for Australia Addresses the
4th National Elder Abuse Conference

At the 4th National Elder Abuse Conference in Melbourne, Australia, Attorney-General for Australia, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC addressed the Conference on issues of elder abuse.
The Hon George Brandis emphasized that elder abuse is a global human rights issue that affects us all.  Accounts of mistreatment, neglect, physical and sexual abuse occur too frequently, and is an underappreciated, serious problem.  The Attorney-General commended the efforts of the conference to bring awareness and address issues of elder abuse, and expressed his hope that it would spark a national discussion on the rights of older Australians.
The Hon George Brandis emphasized that: «All Australians have the right to make their own decisions, to live self-determined lives, to live with dignity and free from exploitation, violence and abuse.  Those rights do not diminish with age».
Click here to read the full address.
Interactive Online Documentary: Ageing in urban Asia

Researchers at Heidelberg University at the Cluster of Excellence «Asia and Europe in a Global Context» have produced an online documentaryentitled «Elderscapes» that explores what life is like for older people in Asian cities and the ways in which the societal environments are changing.  The researchers accompanied older people in Nepal and India and interviewed them about their day-to-day life, social bonding and their perspectives.
As more young people migrate abroad, an increasing number of middle-class senior citizens are left to take care of themselves.  As family structures evolve, new forms of care and support are needed and the number of old age homes is rising.  There is also evidence of stronger social networking, for instance large groups of seniors citizens meeting in public spaces for yoga and discussions in Delhi.
The interactive, online documentary follows approaches from visual anthropology and is openly accessible online.  The documentary can be viewed here.

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