News from International Federation on Ageing

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September 2012

UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing — «Ensuring a Society for all Ages: Promoting Quality of Life and Active Ageing» September 2012

The principal goal of the conference was to evaluate implementation of MIPAA/RIS in the five years since the León Conference, asking how much progress has been made, where there is still room for improvement, and how to approach the challenges that still remain. Active ageing and in particular the participation of older persons in society will be at the heart of the ministerial segment of the conference, which will seek to set priorities for the coming five years for improving the quality of life of people of all ages. Experts and ministerial panels tackled pressing policy questions such as how best to promote the participation of older persons in the labour market and societal activities, as well as means of creating enabling environments for healthy and independent ageing.

The Ministerial Conference was hosted by the Austrian Government under the auspices of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and included the participation of NGOs and the scientific community. The Conference concluded with a Ministerial Declaration and an NGO Declaration.

New Patron Member of the IFA : Home Instead


Welcome Home Instead, a new patron Member of the IFA!

Founded by Paul and Lori Hogan, Home Instead, Inc. began serving seniors in Omaha, Nebraska, as Home Instead Senior Care in 1994. It was Paul Hogan’s own family experience caring for his grandmother that made him realize the need for non-medical home care and elder companionship services to help seniors live independently at home. In June 1995, the company began franchising. By 1998, Home Instead Senior Care had grown to 99 offices and was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the 100 fastest growing franchise companies in the United States. In 2000, Home Instead Senior Care began international development with the opening of an international partner relationship in Osaka, Japan with Duskin Corporation.

If you want to read more about Home Instead, please visit the IFA website.

In This Issue
UNCE Conference on Ageing
Home Instead new IFA Patron
UN ESCAP IFA Statement
Dr K. G. Fitzgerald — IFA Geneva
Pensions in Bahrain
Alzheimer’s Day in Saudi Arabia
Updates — Istanbul Cameroon
Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing
World Alzheimer’s Report 2012
Ageing and Labour Policy
Asia’s Pensions System
Gulf Co-operation Council
Mature Markets
World Azheimer’s Day
Terra Nova Films
IIAG 2013
Canadian Association of Gerontology
Closing Note
Quick Links
IFA Website

IFA Board of Directors


IFA Patron Members

BMO logo eNews

The IFA is onFacebook and Twitter! Join our Online Community Now !


IFA President Statement at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Dr. K. R. Gangadharan IFA President

The International Federation on Ageing wishes to express our appreciation to represented Governments at the ESCAP regional meeting, for announcing national policies and implementing policies to prevent elder neglect and abuse and extend social pensions.


Significant progress has been made to improving the quality of life of older persons in the region. Unfortunately, some countries have policies relating to older people that are inadequate, essentially due to the lack of funding.


The Government of India and China have demonstrated great efforts by improving the access of old age pension across the region, but segments of the population remain marginalized and the IFA urges Governments to provide adequate healthcare, programs and services for older people in need.


Human Rights are gaining considerable international attention demonstrated at the 3rd session of Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) at the UN in August 2012. The OEWG continues its task to review the existing international framework of the human rights and its affect on older people, with both Governments and civil society contributing to active dialogue.


As caregiving is gaining greater significance in view of changing family structures, IFA encourages Governments to establish courses on Geriatrics, Gerontology, caregiving and responding to the needs arising of older persons, which will reach a billion in 2050 in the region. Family caregivers need supportive mechanisms, while civil society and governments must be involved and work together to ensure elderly prosperity.


IFA wishes that UNESCAP’s initiatives continues to make an impact when the global MIPAA review takes place in New York in February 2013.

To read the Statement of the IFA, please click here.

Introducing Dr. Kelly G. Fitzgerald, IFA Representative, Geneva 

We are pleased to introduce Kelly G. Fitzgerald, and welcome her to the IFA team! Dr. Fitzgerald was recently appointed as the IFA representative at the United Nations in Geneva.

After having devoted her studies in Gerontology and elderly issues, Dr. Fitzgerald became a Network Facilitator for the World Health Organization, contributing to research relating to the  Age-friendly Cities initiative, encouraging cities to join the global network, and identify ways in which cities can become more age-friendly.

Dr. Fitzgerald also focuses on disasters that impacts the lives of older adults and how governments and civil society can best respond to the needs of older people in such circumstances. She has undertaken and contributed to a number of disaster preparedness studies and has served as a disaster response volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Dr. Fitzgerald has served on several committees in America and Great Britain and is currently on her final year as Member at Large, an elected position, for Sigma Phi Omega- the National Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology.

Bahrain’s Takaud to Launch Private Pension Products 

12 September 2012 — Bahrain-based Takaud Savings and Pensions aims to launch its initial pension product in the fourth quarter of this year, becoming the first Gulf-based private pension provider, its CEO told Reuters.


Takaud, which received regulatory approval to operate in Bahrain last September, says it aims to meet growing demand for low-risk and long-term pension products across the Middle East and North Africa. The firm, wholly owned by Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), a major regional investment house, plans to offer its first corporate pension plan in the fourth quarter of 2012 and products for individuals in the first quarter of 2013.


«We will launch in Bahrain this year, followed by Kuwait and Jordan early next year,» chief executive Abdallah Kubursi said. «We aim to expand across the MENA region in nine different countries over the next four years.» «Growing middle classes, increasing levels of awareness, demographic and changing cultural environments are powerful drivers of demand for long-term savings and private pensions products,» Kubursi said.


«We have plans in place to launch Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunisia and the UAE over the course of the following years. Whilst challenging, we firmly believe the target expansion plans are achievable.»


Ageing populations across the Middle East are expected to put pressure on government retirement schemes, creating a need for private products to complement them, Takaud argues. The population over the age of 65 in Gulf Cooperation Council countries — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain — is forecast to grow by 94 percent in the 2010-2020 period to approximately 1.9m, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. That would represent 3.7 percent of the total GCC population in 2020, and the ratio is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2050, UN data shows.


«When we look across to what is happening in some of the wealthiest countries in the world, you do get some insight into the challenges we could face in the future, and these are becoming more apparent in our market,» Kubursi said.

Sky Turns Purple on Alzheimer’s Day (SADA) — Saudi Arabia 

«SADA is dedicated to spread our message throughout the country, that Alzheimer’s is a disease and not part of aging. It wants people with the disease to be respected by the community,» said Sarah Al-Rasheed, SADA’s Health Educator.


SADA, the Saudi Alzheimer’s Disease Association, organized the Alzheimer’s day- on September 21- in Jeddah, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for the single aim to attract attention on the disease toward all sectors in the society and encourage solidarity among people affected. It was part of a four-week national campaign,  called «purple Sky «, color associated with International Alzheimer’s Day, and engaged health and social organizations, private universities and many governments particularly to support health and social plans for Alzheimer’s patients and cover essential costs as part of the health insurance system.


This organization has been rewarded by The European Union for its sustainable efforts to raise awareness with Saudi citizens about the importance of Alzheimer’s issues and to improve care and standard of living for Alzheimer’s patients. To read full article, please click here.

International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing 2013


The International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing is gaining considerable attention, which is to be convened 4-6 October, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. We continue to call for Full Papers to be considered for the Congress, with $13,000USD worth in financial prizes and publication into a Special Edition of the IFA Journal, Global Ageing.

The Age-Friendly Innovation Competition has evolved to reflect the growing need for innovation. Selected entrants will be considered to participate in the 50+ Expo, which is expected to attract over 10 000 people. With $40,000USD prizes to be won, we are continuing to accept applications into the competition.


For more information and details on registration, paper guidelines, and competition submissions please visit the IFA website.


Cameroon 2013 — International Workshop «Ageing and Healthy Environments»


There has been great interest in the workshops taking place in Cameroon in May 2013 and the full program should be finalized in early December 2013. Due to the level of interest we have opened up the program to accept a number of abstract with the deadline for submission being 30 November 2012.


Information is available in both English and French and can be accessed by following thislink.

Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing Announced in Australia


14 September 2012, Australia — The Australian government has announced the full membership on the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing, comprising eminent Australian expertise in elderly issues. It represents the government’s response to the Final Report of the Advisory Panel on Economic potential. The government’s goal is to promote active participation among seniors and youth to encourage greater community involvement.


Seen as «an asset, not a liability», the government insists that the ageing population could provide social and economic opportunities for society. This Panel will discuss opportunities to raise awareness and open a national dialogue on ageing issues. The final report from the Advisory Panel contains feedback on ageing issues and effective public policies. In addition, recommendations on how to engage stakeholders and the Government to promote better participation of Australian seniors in the community.


For further information about the Advisory Panel, please click here.

World Alzheimer Report 2012 Reveals Negative Perceptions about People with Dementia 

This report «World Alzheimer’s report 2012: Overcoming the Stigma of Dementia» from the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States has written an analysis of the negative perceptions about people with dementia and how to cope against stigma and misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. It reveals that and patients feel discriminated against and socially excluded. In many instances they feel rejected even by their families, who are unfamiliar to behaviors associated with dementia. This raises many concerns for the future, as the number of older people affected by dementia will increase exponentially within the next decade.

The Alzheimer’s Association encourages the socialization of people with dementia and their involvement in making decisions within the community. It is critical to maintain their «autonomy, dignity, and self esteem».


How we can cope against stigma dementia?


Members of the Alzheimer’s Association National Early-Stage Advisory Group developed different solutions and advice based on personal experiences to avoid negative behavior and stigma.

  • Be open and direct.
  • Engage in dialogue about Alzheimer’s disease and issues.
  • Communicate the facts: it’s necessary to reduce misconceptions and understand the disease.
  • Seek support and stay connected: a social network for the patient is critical, and a support group.
  • Don’t be discouraged.
  • Be a part of the solution: advocate for yourself and testify, to raise awareness about the disease.

Recommendations for governments are also included to encourage prevention and raise awareness about dementia.


For more information about the report and World Alzheimer’s Month 2012, please clickhere.

Ageing- A Risky Labour Policy

By Professor Philip Taylor


In a recent report, Professor Philip Taylor, Director of Research and Studies at Monash University’s Gippsland campus (Australia) highlights a number of institutional barriers to their employment, the removal of which would undoubtedly assist in lifting older workers’ employment participation rates to levels closer to those of other industrialised nations.


In the past, older workers have borne the brunt of industrialised nations’ efforts to grapple with the effects of economic restructuring, with policymakers encouraging their early labour market withdrawal. They have been over-represented in declining industries, under-represented in those experiencing growth and affected by reduced demand for unskilled workers.
Organisational delayering, downsizing of operations and process reengineering has fragmented the traditional employment relationship and undermined the ability of older workers to sustain positions in the labour market. While the large-scale devastation of certain kinds of manufacturing and production industries in the 1980s has ended, global forces continue to shape the employment landscape in ways that may not be conducive to older workers’ job prospects.
But current thinking is that early retirement is not tenable if industrialised economies are to remain competitive and to respond well to the ageing of populations. The European Commission, for instance, has estimated that an increase in the effective age of retirement of one year would reduce the expected increase in expenditure on public pensions by between 0.6 and 1 percentage points of GDP. The economic gains alone resulting from ‘active ageing’ could thus be enormous.
But is this achievable without the risk of hardship for some older workers? Working later also seems at first glance like an attractive prospect for older workers when one considers benefits such as income and social participation. To achieve longer work lives major reforms are needed and in this regard the present Federal Government has introduced a raft of generally useful initiatives. This latest official report identifies other, remediable factors that discourage the labour force participation of older workers.


Labour markets may not adjust easily or willingly to the ageing of industrialised society. The ongoing reconfiguration of national economies on the back of global shifts brings with it the prospect of turbulent times ahead for at-risk groups such as older workers. Recognising this, an emphasis on longer working lives should then be a policy aspiration, but not an ideological straightjacket. Certainly, any policy armoury that did not contain adequate protection for its older citizens would not be properly equipping them to meet the challenges of the modern labour market. To read the full article, please click here.

Asia’s Pension Systems Unprepared For Ageing Populations 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched a new book that analyses pension systems in Asia that are not adapting to the needs of an ageing population.

The book explains that there is a real gap in retirement from public and private sectors and significant variations in rural and urban areas, causing inequalities and also highlights the importance to build a fair and sustainable pension system.

Even if Asia’s economic success has been influenced for the last decades by its youth population, providing workforce and economic growth, Asia has to consider current trends with decreasing fertility rates and an increasingly ageing population.

The book urges Asian governments to provide adequate old-age income support and highlights a number of recommendations, mainly to build a fair-sustainable pension framework for all population categories.

It also highlights that globalization breaks down traditional family structures and support, and that a strong and sustainable social protection and pension system would reduce the impact that comes with globalization. To read the full article, please click here.

Care of the Elderly a Moral Responsibility in Doha

The Gulf Co-operation Council’s Committee for Elderly Care organized a meeting in Qatar, Doha on 10 September, in the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).

«The care of elderly is a moral obligation and a family and social responsibility» according to the Director of Communication and Media Department at the SCH.

He explained that the meeting’s aim is to put into actions the resolutions issued by the GCC Council of Health Ministries on care for the elderly.

The Doha meeting covered several topics included the importance of furthering co-operation between the committee and the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean within the framework of care for the elderly.

For details about the Doha meeting, click here.

Mature Markets -Luxury Brands are Waking up to the Power of the Older Woman. 

«I wouldn’t call it a trend but rather a movement towards a greater appreciation of ageing and older people» says Ari Seth Cohen, designer. Luxury brands now focus on design for more «mature» population, for the main reason that elderly people have now taken control of a large part of our economy, due to global ageing. However, for Fanny Karst, designer, this phenomenon is not the result of any marketing strategy but an «artistic point of view» to encourage the old ladies to be more confident, insisting on the fact that they have the right, like any young people, to be well dressed, breaking the stereotypes that «clothing has to be age specific».

But we couldn’t ignore the fact it’s a real challenge for designers to capture a new market, which is becoming more and more important, since many retired people contribute significantly to economic growth, and the number of women in high level positions are increasing.

The «mature market» will raise awareness of importance of older people, and we must consider this population segment not only for economic growth but also to have better perceptions and attitudes toward older people.

To read the full article, please click here.


 World Alzheimer’s Day

21 September 2012 — The 38 million people affected by dementia will be supported, thanks to the funds raised from a charity music single «How the Time Have Changed», written and sung by Joseph Portelli

«It is my expression and a cry of emotion of how I was affected by my father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s» said Joseph Portelli, who was familiar to Alzheimer’s disease when his father was affected by this disease in 2004.

Through his music, he wanted to spread awareness toward civil society and support people affected by Alzheimer’s and their families around the world.

If you would like more details about Alzheimer’s disease, Joseph Portelli’s music, and download the charity single please click here.

Terra Nova Films — New Releases Available


Last Will and Embezzlement — «Don’t worry; I’m taking care of you…» — from the DVD. Financial elder abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. This video exposes the global problem of one of the largest transfer of wealth in the world, and its growing impacts on our population increasingly older. By showing specific stories of older people abuses, «Last will and Embezzlement» publicizes us on tactics perpetrators and how they can gain trust, and silence from the elderly to take advantage of their money; «The perpetrator is usually someone you trust and know».


This video identifies two particular tendencies from our actual society which have telltale impacts on the financial abuses rise: an increasingly vulnerable aging population which lives in a world where economic strengths take now an important part in the family. It also explains how families and professional would reply to elder exploitation issue and documents two different «hard to forget» stories of financial abuses:

  1. Producer Pamela S.K. Glasner shares how her parent’s life serving were embezzled by a man who attempts to insinuated himself into their lives.
  2. Hollywood Icon, Mickey Rooney, narrates how a trusted family member defrauded him by taking him millions of dollars.

It’s a must-see resource for seniors, family members, and service providers in all disciplines and walks of life. To have further information about this video, please click here. 10-15% discount offered for IFA members and subscribers


More Than Words: Successful Ways To Care And Communicate With Persons Who Have Dementia —  This DVD describes how the health personnel can exercise a good influence in their behavior to reduce the dementia’s problems in the elderly, insisting on the fact that developing a true «relationship» with persons with dementia is essential to boost them and to focus on their remaining abilities.

10-15% discount offered for IFA members and subscribers.


Abuse: The Resident’s Perspective — Giving voice to Residents themselves, this DVD shows us their perspective of elder abuse and how this kind of violence affects the respect and pride of residents.


Eliminating Negative And Abusive Interactions: Preventing And Reducing Negative And Abusive Responses — This DVD provides caregivers effective ways in stressful situations to avoid resident abuse or violence, and appropriate responses for each situation.To have further information about the videos, please click here.

TO ORDER: Contact Gloria Starling at 1-800-779-8491, ext. 11 or via e-mail  Please reference Code IFA. We will get these titles out for you in 2-5 business days, depending on your location.

South African Care Forum

The South African Care Forum is a new non-profit association supporting the care industry in South Africa, which serves the needs of older people and people living with disabilities, both in residential care and in the community.

What are its objectives?

The South African Care Forum has five main objectives:

  • Influence policy: by promoting the rights of care industry and partnering with national and international organizations to place the care industry at the top of corporate social agendas
  • Information: provide access to the latest best practice guidelines, research, technology, products and specialist services
  • Raise awareness: use the media to increase awareness
  • Networking and Partnership: create platforms to exchange views and ideas, and establish special interest groups in various areas to promote sustained quality care outcomes
  • Learning and development: collaborate with learning institutions to provide accredited skills development and training.

You can contact them:by sending an email at by calling +27 21 461 3820 More details here.

IIAG Congress — 23 to 27 June 2013

The 20th IAGG (International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics) World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, one of the biggest academic events will be held in Seoul, Korea from June 23rd to 27th, 2013. It is expected that over 6,000 professionals and experts from almost 100 countries are going to participate in the Congress mainly themed with «Digital Ageing: A New Horizon for Health Care and Active Ageing».

A wide range of scientific programs are being organized balancing four major fields of gerontology and geriatrics: Biology, Clinical Medicine, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Research/Policy/Practice. Very well-known experts in each field have already confirmed their attendance as opening lecturers or keynote speakers. And it is very notable that the Korean government will sponsor a special roundtable discussion on the rising and hottest issue, «Population Ageing and Economic Growth», where some hot debates on whether the population ageing tackles economic growth or not is expected.

Although the deadline to submit symposia proposal were, unfortunately, closed, you can still find many ways, such as abstract submission, oral & poster presentation, and exhibition, to be in this exciting and informative Congress, handling all the latest developments and trends related to ageing. Also, Site Visit programs are offered, like famous community senior welfare centers or a dementia center in Korea, to share experiences and knowledge. Participants who wish to reduce travelling costs and experience Korean cultures more closely can choose Home-stay rather than standard hotel accommodation.

More details about all programs and schedules can be founded on the Congress website or any requests are welcomed directly to the secretariat of the organizing committee. Finally, don’t forget that early-bird registration will be opened on Oct. 1st, 2012 through the website for your earliest convenience.

Aeing in a Changing World — Canadian Association on Gerontology 41st Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting

18-20 October 2012, Vancouver, BC, Canada

CAG2012: Aging in a Changing World is an interdisciplinary event featuring stimulating pre-conference events, world-renowned keynote speakers, cutting-edge symposia, thought-provoking paper and poster presentations, interactive workshops, networking opportunities and the participation of our esteemed sponsors and exhibitors.  Join us in an exciting and dynamic forum for knowledge exchange and networking in the field of aging.  CAG2012 will be of interest to researchers, practitioners, decision- and policy-makers, students, older adults, community groups and all others with an interest in individual and population aging.

Full conference program, registration and information about latebreakers is available here.  CAG members receive a discount on conference registration, in addition to other member benefits.  Read more about joining the CAG here.  Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the conference.

Join us in Vancouver for a conference you’ll always remember in a city you’ll never forget! CAG2012 is hosted by Simon Fraser University Department of Gerontology and Gerontology Research Centre.

Closing Note

Dear Readers,


If you are interested in submitting an article for a future edition of the IFA eNews or wish to make comments or recommendations on how we might improve this publication please email Greg Shaw ( or Marie Louvet ( You can contact us by telephone +1 416 342-1655.

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