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Your Global Point of Connection to Experts & Expertise
Special Edition: 13th IFA Global Conference on Ageing
The IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing was held in Brisbane, Australia. The conference was a great success built through a strong program and connecting over 600 delegates from around the world with a prestigious roster of experts to ensure a healthy ageing population now and in the future.

The July edition of VoltAGE provides a glimpse into the conference and highlights important information about the IFA 14th Global Conference to be held in Toronto, Canada from August 18-20, 2018. Express your interest in our next conference and receive regular updates at ifa2018.com.

13th Global Conference
was held from June 21 to 23 in Brisbane, Australia and brought together leaders in ageing for three days of discussion and networking.
The IFA Nominating Committee launches the process for elections to the IFA Board. Learn more.
Companion Animals Photo Competition 
Thanks to the many people that contributed to the photo competition. The IFA is proud to announce the winning entries voted on by delegates at the Global Conference. Learn more.
21-23 June 2016 in Brisbane, Australia
World leaders and experts in the fields of ageing, health, policy and more came together at the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing convening in Brisbane Australia from 21 — 23 June 2016. The Conference focused on five key themes:
  1. Disasters and Older People
  2. Age-Friendly Cities and Communities
  3. Care and Support for Older People
  4. Elder Abuse, Law, and Rights
  5. Income Protection and Security
The Conference provided a platform for decision makers, practitioners, researchers, service providers, and community members to share knowledge and experiences. Read more about the Conference below, or view the program on the IFA Conference website.

Prof. Raina MacIntyre delivered the first keynote address of the conference on adult vaccination and effective health care for ageing populations. Prof. MacIntyre is internationally recognized for her work on influenza, ischemic heart disease, adult vaccination, and the use of surgical masks to prevent respiratory disease.

Prof. MacIntyre argued for greater  emphasis on mature-age vaccination. She discussed vaccines for shingles and influenza, providing significant evidence to dismiss ageing stereotypes and support increased funding, time, and effort for healthy ageing initiatives.
Pointing to the shared intergenerational benefits of promoting healthy ageing and preventing the transfer of disease, she said, «There is great value in preventing end-of-life illness.» From reducing the economic strain caused by frequent hospitalization to aiding grandparents who take part in the care of their young grandchildren, Prof. MacIntyre presented compelling reasons for the promotion of adult vaccination.
Innovative policy solutions for efficient and effective aged care were the plenary focus on Day 1 with international experts:
Against a backdrop of globalization and urbanization, panelists pointed to global and regional trends in population ageing to examine the effectiveness of aged care policy and the applicability of various care models in countries with older demographic profiles.
Panelists examined many challenges and opportunities presented by lower rates of fertility and higher rates of longevity. Technological practicalities will support independent living through home aids, and increased emphasis on robotics is expected to steer older workers away from manual labour and toward more stationary and less physically demanding design and information-based work.

Prof. Harper stressed the necessity of education for every age group «to ensure work opportunities,» and implored the government to institute effective policy. «Above all,» she said, «it is the will of the government to drive these initiatives that can propel change.»


Dr. Bradley J. Willcox delivered a content-rich keynote address on factors promoting healthy longevity, including diet, environment, and genetic advancement.
Dr. Willcox is Director of Research in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Importantly, he is the principal investigator of the Kuakini Hawaii Lifespan and Healthspan Studies, and principal investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study.
This keynote presentation focused on the life expectancy of the indigenous people of Okinawa, who boast some of the highest numbers of centenarians in the world, and the degree to which the learnings can be replicated.

Dr. Willcox emphasized the value of the Okinawan low-calorie diet, rich in nutrient density and primarily fruit, vegetable, and legume-based. He outlined research on the recently discovered FOXO3 gene, a variant of which is found across cultures in the majority of centenarians and present in approximately a third of the world’s population. Further research is expected on the means of activating the gene’s beneficial effects in individuals without the gene. In addition to genetic and dietary factors, Dr. Willcox is strongly of the view that healthy ageing is also aided by stress reduction and access to clean natural environments.

Transforming communities into accessible, age-friendly spaces was the plenary focus on Day 2 with thought leaders:
A critical perspective on the concept of age-friendly cities and communities as sites of interlocking and conflicting commercial, social, and political interests was explored across the three presentations and moderated discussions.
The issue was explored from a number of angles, looking at the main factors driving the age-friendly debate: constraints and opportunities for older people living in urban environments, options for critical social policy, and means of involving older people directly in the development of age-friendly, disaster-prepared environments.
Following the plenary session, the IFA announced a new interactive learning platform known as the Age-friendly Innovation Exchange (AFIX). Supported by the Hall & Prior Health and Aged Care Group, AFIX aims to serve as a point of connection enabling knowledge exchange by creating opportunities for intersectional and collaborative dialogue, problem-solving, and partnership. Visit the IFA website to learn more and to register for the platform.
On the third day of the Conference, expert panelists provided innovative solutions for engaging and enlisting older people in sustainable development and disaster risk reduction at the local level. Participants in the panel included:
The panel explored frameworks for disaster risk reduction in ageing communities, aiding delegates in rethinking their approaches to engaging older people in disaster response management.
Additionally, the panel outlined the ways in which disaster readiness preparation represents a perfect opportunity to identify needs of older people and contribute to resilient, age-friendly communities.
The prevention of elder abuse served as another central theme of the IFA Conference, with the following experts providing discussion and seminars on the issue.
Prof. De Donder presented a paper entitled, «Detection and Prevention of Elder Abuse in the Community: Why? How? Who?» which focused on training professionals to prevent and assess elder abuse by developing and testing the Elder Abuse Risk Assessment Instrument.

Dr. Barrett continued in this vein, leading a symposium on abuse of older LGBTI people and the sociological factors which contribute to this abuse. Mr. Mitchell spoke at length on means of effective advocacy for abused elders, drawing on his legal experience to discuss lessons learned on the road to meaningful, effective change.

Conference attendees enjoyed insight from a number of experts on issues of income protection and security, including:
Tilse presented on intergenerational financial transfers and the management of older people’s financial assets. Prud’homme’s presentation focused on income security in an ageing world, identifying challenges to security and ideal outcomes.
The International Federation on Ageing and Bayer invited amateur and professional photographers around the world to join in highlighting the benefit of companion animals on the health of older adults by taking part in an international photographic competition under the theme #CompanionAnimals.
This photo competition draws attention to the 2014 released report entitled, «Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons» demonstrating the multiple therapeutic benefits of companion animals. Photo entries were judged not only on their photographic merit but on how they demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of companion animals for older adults.
After showcasing the top twenty finalists at the Global Conference, we are pleased to now announce the winners of the photo contest, as voted by Conference attendees. Congratulations to all!
First Place — Tie — Julie Williams, Florence Ley, and Marlowe the Dog
First Place — Tie — Supriya Biswas and Dilip the Cat
Third Place — Allison Reid and Heather the Dog
Submit your statement of candidacy by August 15, 2016.
The IFA Nominating Committee welcomes statements of candidacy from expert individuals, academia, business and non-governmental organizations.

The candidate’s involvement in the IFA and other relevant organizations, as well as their commitment to the field of ageing and older people will be taken into consideration.  To be considered, the candidate must be a Full Member of the IFA and in good standing. Instructions regarding the process and submission of the statement of candidacy is available  here.

Statements of candidacy will be accepted by the Secretary General, Dr. Jane Barratt, until August 15, 2016, at jbarratt@ifa-fiv.org.
The Stakeholder Group on Aging (SGA) was formed in 2013 to bring issues on ageing and the voice and presence of older  women and men to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda at the United Nations.
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, leaving no one behind was an overarching commitment. The SGA’s current purpose is to ensure the issues of aging are included in SDG policy formulation, and that older persons are present and able to participate in the implementation and review process at the national, regional and global levels.
A website will be up shortly. In the meantime, please contact the co-chairs: Sylvia Beales orErica Dhar for more information and to join!

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