|BRAID — Bridge Research in Ageing and ICT Development
Executive Summary-May 2012
Bridging Research in Ageing and Information and Communication Technology Development (BRAID) seeks to unleash the potential of technology as a vehicle to enable people to achieve their full capacity. To this end, BRAID has engaged with key stakeholders to develop a comprehensive Research and Technological Development (RTD) Roadmap for Ageing.
The BRAID vision and roadmap are focused on four life settings that were developed in consultation with key stakeholders, namely independent living, health and care in life, occupation in life, and recreation in life. Five stakeholder engagement workshops involving older people, policy makers and international experts were held in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Ireland and Hungary. The work was also informed by participants at a BRAID workshop in Melbourne and delegates at a conference in São Paolo.
The growth of research and development in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Ageing has highlighted the potential of ICT to provide tools that can enhance quality of life for older people. If ICT is to achieve its full potential in enhancing the capabilities of citizens across Europe to age actively and with dignity, research and technological development in the area must be supported by a coherent and strategic research plan.
The document reports on the operational results of the project and includes details of the BRAID taxonomy, stakeholder co-ordination mechanism and engagement, the vision and the roadmap and its implementation. The results are synthesized into key recommendations to guide future European Commission research on ICT for active ageing.
To read the full Executive Summary please click here
For more information about BRAID, visit their website @ http://braidproject.org/
|The Ageing Marketplace: How Some Companies are Successfully Addressing the Needs of the Older Consumer, whilst Others are Struggling to Access this Expanding Market.
An ActiveAge Discussion Paper written in collaboration with Newcastle University’s Changing Age for Business Program.
The discussion paper, explores the opportunities for businesses to develop products and services for the older population who are ‘responsible for 40% of the consumer demand’ in the UK ‘spending £200 billion per year’. The aim of this ActiveAge paper is to demonstrate some of the opportunities that exist for businesses by highlighting the sectors most likely to benefit and those companies able to help consumers maintain more independent lifestyles. The paper also gives examples of where companies, large and small, are already taking advantage of the opportunities that exist. Some of the larger companies discussed within the report include Intel, Danone and Philips. On the other hand, a number of barriers that exist for companies who want to enter the ageing marketplace are also included within this report, such as a lack of marketing spent on older age groups and the uncertainty around how to communicate with older people.
This paper is a result of collaboration between Newcastle University’s Changing Age for Business program, which aims to help businesses to grow in the emerging market created by an ageing society, and ActiveAge, the BusinessLab-led collaborative research program looking at the impact of an ageing demographic on various aspects of society and the role of technology therein.
Intended as a business information document, the paper has been informed by a variety of sources including businesses themselves, via a series of ActiveAge workshops held in Newcastle during 2011. Many of the workshops formed part of a program called Advantage Newcastle — designed to grasp the economic and business opportunities for the North East of an ageing population. Other research included in the paper is the work carried out by N8 Research Partnership of northern universities, and in particular their report, ‘The impacts of demographic change in the functional economies of the North of England’.
Finally, the paper highlights some of the pitfalls companies face when entering this market and provide examples of how companies are overcoming these, hopefully providing you with the confidence to innovate and work alongside like minded organizations in Newcastle to achieve a competitive advantage, for individual businesses and the region as a whole.
To read the entire article please click here
To read the N8 Research Partnership report, «The impacts of demographic change in the functional economies of the North of England‘ please click here
For more information on ActiveAge, visit their website @ http://www.activeage.org/
|Health and Well-Being of Older Populations in Six Low to Middle Income Countries — Examined in US Census Bureau Report
By: Wan He, Mark N. Muenchrath, and Paul Kowal
Health levels varied greatly among people 50 and older in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa, but hypertension and arthritis were the two most common chronic conditions in all six countries, according to the first-ever U.S. Census Bureau report to use data from the World Health Organization’s Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) Wave 1.
Commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health, the report, Shades of Gray: A Cross-Country Study of Health and Well-Being of the Older Populations in SAGE Countries, 2007-2010, examines the health status and access to health care among older populations in the aforementioned six low- to middle-income countries, which are each among the world’s 50 most populous.
«Relatively few countries have age-specific health and disability data, and those that do are primarily high-income countries,» notes Census Bureau demographer Wan He, one of the report’s co-authors, along with Mark Muenchrath of the Census Bureau and Paul Kowal of the World Health Organization (WHO). «SAGE provides much needed cross-country comparable health data that will shed light on our understanding of similarities and differences in the health of older adults across low-, middle- and high-income countries.»
The wide range of levels of functioning is evident when looking at the prevalence of disability. The percentage of people aged 50-plus in SAGE countries reporting a disability ranged from 68 percent in China to 93 percent in India. According to the report, high levels of risky health behaviors often continued into older ages, particularly for men.
«Population aging is changing the world in many ways,» said Richard Suzman, director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the NIA, which commissioned the report. «We are seeing a transition in which chronic, non-communicable diseases are becoming much more important in low- and middle-income countries. SAGE provides evidence of this transition and how lifestyles may need to be changed and prevention increased in these countries.»
Future waves of SAGE statistics will provide the longitudinal information needed to examine trends and shed additional light on some of the health, cultural and contextual differences documented in this report and found in aging research in general. Wave 2 will be implemented in 2012 with Wave 3 planned for 2014.
Hard copies of the report can be obtained from the Census Bureau free of charge or electronically by clicking here
For more information please contact Wan He @ firstname.lastname@example.org
|Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. This position is honorary and the expert is not a staff of the United Nations nor paid for his/her work.
Since 1979, special mechanisms have been created by the United Nations to examine specific country situations or themes from a human rights perspective. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, replaced by the Human Rights Council in June 2006, has mandated experts to study particular human rights issues. These experts constitute what are known as the United Nations human rights mechanisms or mandates, or the system of special procedures.
Extreme Poverty and Human rights
Today almost half of the population in developing countries lives in extreme poverty, and are denied basic human rights such as the right to an adequate standard of living, including food and housing, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and education.
People living in poverty across the world are often socially excluded and marginalized from political power and processes.
Their right to effectively participate in public affairs is often ignored.
The elimination of extreme poverty is not a question of charity, but a pressing human rights issue. States are legally obligated to realize human rights for all, prioritizing the most vulnerable, including those living in extreme poverty.
Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights was established to evaluate the relationship between the enjoyment of human rights and extreme poverty. The expert is required by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back to member States on initiatives taken to promote and protect the rights of those living in extreme poverty.
Objectives of the Mandate
For more information on the Special Rapporteurs, please refer to:
|A Nation for the Aged
Prasanna Mohanty profiles the ageing demographic of India and the issues that exist.
«The demographic profile depicts that in the years 2000-2050, the overall population in India will grow by 55% whereas population of the people in their 60 years and above will increase by 326%, and those in the age group of 80+ by 700%-the fastest growing group.
«One-eighth of the world’s elderly population lives in India. Most of them will never retire in the usual sense of the term and will continue to work as long as physically possible. Inevitably, though, the ability to produce and earn will decline with age. The absence of savings will result in sharp decline in living standards that for many mean destitution. Therefore this is the challenge of old age income security in India.
As a result of the current ageing scenario, there is a need for all aspects of care for the oldest old (80+ years) namely, socio-economic, financial, health and shelter.»
This statement, taken from the preamble of the draft National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011, goes on to say that the population of people in their 60s will swell from 7.6 crore (crore=10 million) in 2002 to 32.4 crore in 2050 and that of those in their 80s from 0.6 crore in 2000 to 4.8 crore in 2050.
Apparently, this means India’s largest young workforce that has put its economy on steroids today, will be tomorrow’s biggest socio-economic challenge, a ticking time bomb. Already the rapidly changing socio-economic environment — emergence of nuclear families, increasing migration of younger members in pursuit of employment, and changing fertility patterns — is wreaking havoc in the lives of the elderly who are forced to live on their own, mostly without physical or financial support from their wards. Apart from anecdotal evidence and complaints of abandonment received by the government, there are surveys, too, conducted by civil society groups like HelpAge India and others, that show how elders are finding it increasingly difficult to live with dignity.
As it is, we have a very sorry and creaky social security system to deal with the 10 crore-strong senior citizen population. Now, that number is set to multiply manifold to 32.4 crore in 2050. That might seem like a problem too far away to worry about, so let’s look at it like this. A population of 32.4 crore old people will be more than the present population of the USA. It will be beyond the economic, intellectual and physical might of any country to deal with such a huge problem. The only way to deal with such a problem is to not let it become a problem. By anticipating and preparing for it while there is still time on hand.
Mohanty continues with his views on the «mindless approach» of the social ministry. He notes that «the way to hell they say is paved with good intentions, wonder why they left out clever ploys dressed up as caring policies.» He also outlines the «policy hell path» which has been laid out by the social ministry. He also includes interviews with six elderly adults living in India and their opinions on the subject of pension and government financial assistance. Each interview illustrates the existing struggle of each individual and the already increasing need of policy changes. The article ends with what Mohanty says needs to be done to create proactive policies which will enable the societies of India to avoid the «ticking time bomb» from exploding.
To read the entire article please click here
To read HelpAge India’s National Policy for Senior Citizens please click here
|WHY NOT NOW? A Bold, Five-Year Strategy for Innovating Ontario’s System of Care for Older Adults
The Board of the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) established the Long Term Care Innovation Expert Panel in 2011 to develop a long term care innovation strategy to meet the needs of Ontarians and the communities they live in, and enable the long term care sector to be an active partner in the transformation of health care in the province.
The Expert Panel, That included Mr. Greg Shaw of the IFA, has developed a three-pronged strategy with over 65 recommendations that will «ensure that Ontario’s health care system is well positioned to provide high quality, cost effective care to the aging population for the future.»
The panel has identified the following measures to improve long term care utilization and community capacity:
Acting on the measures above could avoid the need to build additional long term care beds over the next five years.
The final report of the Long Term Care Innovation Expert Panel entitled WHY NOT NOW? A Bold, Five-Year Strategy for Innovating Ontario’s System of Care for Older Adults has been distributed widely and is available on the OLTCA website @ www.oltca.com.
|How to Age Well: The Importance of Letting Regrets Go
By Christopher Berger, Scientific American
The poem «Maud Muller» by John Greenleaf Whittier aptly ends with the line, «For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!'» What if you had gone for the risky investment that you later found out made someone else rich, or if you had had the guts to ask that certain someone to marry you? Certainly, we’ve all had instances in our lives where hindsight makes us regret not sticking our neck out a bit more.
But new research suggests that when we are older these kinds of ‘if only!’ thoughts about the choices we made may not be so good for our mental health. One of the most important determinants of our emotional well being in our golden years might be whether we learn to stop worrying about what might have been.
In a new paper published in Science, researchers from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany, report evidence from two experiments which suggest that one key to aging well might involve learning to let go of regrets about missed opportunities. Stafanie Brassen and her colleagues looked at how healthy young participants (mean age: 25.4 years), healthy older participants (65.8 years), and older participants who had developed depression for the first time later in life (65.6 years) dealt with regret, and found that the young and older depressed patients seemed to hold on to regrets about missed opportunities while the healthy older participants seemed to let them go.
To measure regret over missed opportunities, the researchers adapted an established risk taking task into a clever game in which the participants looked at eight wooden boxes lined up in a row on a computer screen and could choose to reveal the contents of the boxes one at a time, from left to right. Seven of the boxes had gold in them, which the participants would earn if they chose to open them. One box, however, had a devil in it. What happens if they open the box with the devil in it? They lose that round and any gold they earned so far with it.
Importantly, the participants could choose to cash out early and keep any gold they earned up to that point. Doing this would reveal the location of the devil and coincidentally all of the gold they missed out on. Sometimes this wouldn’t be a big deal, because the devil would be in the next box. No harm, no foul. But sometimes the devil might be several boxes away. In this case, you might have missed out on a lot of potential earnings, and this had the potential to induce feelings of regret.
Brassan and her colleagues conducted the experiment twice, once with participants undergoing a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) brain scan and the other including only the older participants, where they measured the skin conductance and heart rate-two measures known to fluctuate with emotions.
To read the entire article and the outcome of the study, please click here
|Addressing the Challenge of Global Ageing — Funding Issues and Insurance Solutions
Edited by Patrick M. Liedtke and Kai-Uwe Schanz
Governments, corporations and individuals around the world are feeling the financial strain of ageing populations according to a new report by international insurance economics think tank, The Geneva Association. With contributions from leading academics and experts on ageing, insurance professionals as well as the International Monetary Fund and Center for Strategic and International Studies, the report, «Addressing for Challenge of Global Ageing — -Funding Issues and Insurance Solutions», analyses the implications of global demographic change for governments’, employer’ and individuals’ retirement financing. The report suggests that insurance solutions will need to be a fundamental part of a global response to helping individuals achieve a secure retirement.
The report has been published on the eve of the Association’s annual General Assembly — the most important annual global meeting of insurance CEOs — which begins in Washington, D.C.
Chairman of The Geneva Association and Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re, Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard said, «Global ageing has significant implications for the financing of retirement by governments and employers. Insurance, through its expertise in underwriting, pricing and management of longevity risks, offers comprehensive solutions to address those risks and a meaningful contribution to old-age security.»
«Today more than ever, people throughout the world need help to achieve a secure retirement,» said John Stangfield, Chairman and CEO of U.S.-based Prudential Financial and Vice Chairman of The Geneva Association. «Addressing the impact of the rapidly ageing world population will require a comprehensive, broad based response from both the public and private sectors. The insurance industry, with its risk management and investment expertise, is uniquely suited to play a key role in meeting the changing needs of ageing populations.»
The report suggests a broad set of options available to address the demographic challenge with governments, employers and individuals all needing to change current behaviors and norms in addressing the situation.
To read the report please click here
|A World in Transition: Charting a New Path in Global Health
The US government has joined Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a new initiative to reduce maternal mortality. The announcement took place at a global health conference on Friday, 1 June sponsored by the Norwegian government, entitled «A World in Transition: Charting a New Path in Global Health.» US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the US government would commit $75 million to the «Saving Mothers, Giving Life» partnership. Norway pledged another roughly $80 million to the initiative.
In her keynote speech, Secretary Clinton underscored the need to look to maternal health as a barometer for measuring the strength of healthcare systems around the world. «When a woman in labor experiences complications, it takes a strong system to keep her alive,» she said. «It not only takes skilled doctors, midwives, and nurses, it takes reliable transportation, well-equipped clinics and hospitals that are open 24 hours a day. Where these elements are in place, more often than not women will survive childbirth. When they aren’t, more often than not they die or suffer life-changing, traumatic injuries.»
Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, hosted the conference where Mrs. Clinton was keynote speaker. There was also a panel discussion over various aspects of sustainability with Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Vice President, World Bank; Haja Zainab Bangura, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone and Professor K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India.
To read the transcript of the US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s keynote speech please click here
|World Health Organization Social Media Announcement
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American States Bolster the Negotiation Process Towards an Inter-American Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons During the 42nd OAS General Assembly
The Heads of Delegation of the Organization of American States (OAS) Member States approved, during the recent OAS General Assembly, the Resolution on «Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons». It includes the mandate of the OAS Working Group on the Human Rights of Older Persons, so that it can conduct, with technical support from the Department of Social Development and Employment, the process of formal negotiation of an Inter-American convention on the human rights of older persons and seek to present it to the OA
S General Assembly for adoption at its next regular session. The basic documents that will be used to begin this process will be the «draft Inter-American Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons» and the «Compendium of Proposals», presented by the Working Group to the Permanent Council in May 2012.
The Resolution affirms in its preamble the conviction of the American States that it should be possible, in the framework of the OAS, to add value to existing efforts and meet a need that has not been addressed so far. The Resolution takes into account the efforts that re being developed at the United Nations and its specialized agencies to effectively identify and address the particular needs of older persons, including considering; these efforts are considered to be complimentary.
Furthermore, the General Assembly urges member states, in collaboration with civil society, to take additional actions to make older persons, their families and caregivers aware of their rights and responsibilities, so as to safeguard the dignity and the physical, mental and social well being of older persons. It also encourages sister organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to continue their cooperation with the OAS General Secretariat, member states, experts from the academic sector, civil society, and international organizations to promote regional cooperation by identifying best practices for designing public policies, that address the specific needs of older persons in the Hemisphere within the context of universal and regional human rights instruments.
To read the full Resolution please click here
United Nations Foundation
The Business Council for the United Nations, a program
of the United Nations Foundation, and the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations, with the support of the International Federation on Ageing, AARP, HelpAge International, and Global Coalition on Aging invite you to a panel luncheon on «Global Ageing and Health»
Presenters — Ambassador Luis-Alfonso de Alba, Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations; Dr. Jacob Kumaresan, Executive Director, WHO Office at the United Nations; Rosemary Lane, Senior Social Affairs Officer, Focal Point on Ageing, United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs; and, Rowena Pullan, Vice President, Global R&D-Supplements, Pfizer
Moderator — Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Time: 12:45-2:30 p.m.
Location: Millennium Plaza Hotel
One United Nations Plaza
44th Street between First and Second Avenues
New York, New York
The world’s population is ageing. Within five years, people aged 65+ will outnumber children under age 5 for the first time. This has enormous implications — both opportunities and challenges — for families, governments, and society. At the same time, the number of older people living in urban areas has quadrupled between 1975 and 2005, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Migration to cities is taking place in developing and developed nations alike, which ushers in additional enablers and obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle and ageing well. What are the challenges of global ageing? How can we promote healthy ageing? How does nutrition factor into healthy ageing? Does living in urban areas make healthy ageing more difficult? This multi-sector panel will explore the challenges of global ageing, with an emphasis on nutrition and health, and the roles and strategies of government, civil society, and the private sector to address them.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of Pfizer
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