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February 2014

‘Longevity Is Power… Economic Power’ — Webinar

The IFA, as part of Grantmakers in Aging’s «Conversations with GIA» webinar series, hosted an interactive webinar on Wednesday, February 19th.

The webinar entitled «Longevity is Power…Economic Power», highlighted innovation and best practices to advance age-friendly efforts across the United States.

Speakers, Mr. Stephen Johnston, Co-Founder of Aging 2.0, and Mr. Gregor Rae, Chairman and CEO of BusinessLab, discussed the socio-economic consequences of an ageing population and the role that innovations through a business lens could play in developing sustainable age-friendly initiatives.

The profound and enduring impact of global ageing offers to

businesses of all kinds including manufacturers, service providers, retailers, and entrepreneurs strategic and commercial opportunities that can arguably change the course of life for some individuals but also communities and societies.

Businesses that plan within the context of population ageing by adopting age-friendly practices and providing opportunities for the growing audience of older adult customers and employees will be a leader.

Please view the webinar located in GIA’s Webinar Archives.

Global Prevalence of Vision Impairment and Blindness — Magnitude and Temporal Trends


The Vision Loss Expert Group, a global collaboration between 79 ophthalmologists and optometrists, led by Professor Rupert Bourne of Anglia Ruskin University’s Vision and Eye Research Unit, have published a comprehensive review of the global prevalence of  moderate to severe vision impairment and blindness.

Looking at the period 1990-2010, the review notes a marked reduction in the prevalence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. However, this must not be mistaken as an excuse to not take action. Due to population growth and the relative increase in older adults, there is a slight increase in the numbers of people with visual impairment. Globally, 32.4 million people were blind in 2010, and 191 million people were reported to have moderate to severe visual impairment.

The systematic analysis is available here and the full article is available here.

Government of Wales Declaration of the Rights of Older People


The Welsh Declaration of the Rights of Older People is expected to impact the lives of a growing cohort of almost 600,000 people in Wales aged 65 years and over.

The proposed declaration may include guidance on what is required to ensure older people receive the support and services they need.  It is also anticipated that the Declaration could assist older people to better understand their rights and entitlements.

View the draft Declaration and download the consultation document here. Comments can be submitted until March 15th 2014.

In This Issue
‘Longevity Is Power… Economic Power’ — Webinar
Global Prevalence of Vision Impairment and Blindness — Magnitude and Temporal Trends
Government of Wales Declaration of the Rights of Older People
Managing Older People with Type 2 Diabetes — Global Guideline
Delegate Report — UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing
Age Smart Employer NYC — Awards Ceremony
IFA 12th Global Conference on Ageing — «Health, Security and Community»
Update from the United Nations, New York
US Congressional Briefing — Highlights Barriers to Immunization for Older Adults
52nd Session of the UN Commission for Social Development
Geriatric Medicine in Norway
Pew Research Center Report — Attitudes About Ageing: A Global Perspective
Toward An Age-Friendly City: Akita, Japan
Ageing in India and in the United Kingdom — Volunteering, A Strategy for Social Inclusion of Older People
Eliminating Avoidable Blindness
Closing Note
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Managing Older People with Type 2 Diabetes — Global Guideline

«Managing Older People with Type 2 Diabetes,» a report published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2013 is a global guideline meant to respond to one of the most prevalent conditions experienced by older people and the rapidly ageing population.

This report marks the first time the IDF has compiled research on diabetes within the older population specifically, providing a meaningful list of recommendations for managing the harmful effects of diabetes within this cohort.   Recommendations have been compiled so as to be beneficial for those in all countries, regardless of development status and cultural differences, and are tailored to be useful for those affected with the condition, clinicians, caregivers, governments, and more.

Read the full report here.

Delegate Report — UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing

Listening to the voice of civil society is paramount to a deeper understanding of the impact of governmental decisions on older people.  The report on the fourth session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing by Mr Languiller provides a synopsis of the key rights and related challenges encountered by older people as identified and discussed at the meeting.  These include insights into challenges related to social security, age-based discrimination,  older people and the workforce,and the right to health.


Of special note is the overview outlining the deficiencies and gaps which occur within existing human rights frameworks providing an apt illustration of why a specifically designed international convention is necessary.

Read the full report by Mr Telmo Languiller here. The report on the second session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing is now available in Spanishhere.

Age Smart Employer NYC — Awards Ceremony

In 2012, the New York Academy of Medicine received a grant to develop and launch a new awards program that recognizes employers who promote policies and practices that benefit multigenerational workforces and enhance business success.

The New York Academy of Medicine officially awarded the winners of the first Age Smart Employer Awards on Thursday, February 6th to workplaces effectively recruiting older workers, optimizing their performances and promoting streamlined transitions from work to retirement. The winners are the Montefiore Medical Center, the global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, the long-term care provider Renewal Care Partners, and the Ristorante Settepani & Settepani Bakery.

Additionally, tools and resources are provided on the Age Smart Employer NYC website to help employers become more age-friendly, and to promote older people’s rights in the workplace.


Read more here.

IFA 12th Global Conference on Ageing

«Health, Security and Community»

10-13 June 2014  —  Hyderabad, India

Are you an expert or have conducted work in the following areas? If so, submit your abstract today and share your knowledge and expertise in India!


  • The Biology of Ageing
  • Quality of Care and Building Standards in Long Term Care
  • Human Rights of Older People


Read more about these topics here.


Please submit your abstract today to guarantee a place in the program.

Also calling for posters! The guidelines are available here, and you can learn more about the sub-themes of the conference here.


The plenary panel abstracts are now available here.

Announcing New Speakers:
Dr. Jack Watters 
External Medical Affairs, Pfizer

Ms. Sandra Kissling 

Advisor, Social Security and Team Leader, GIZ

Dr. Debra Whitman 

Executive Vice President, Policy, Strategy and International Affairs, AARP
The Senior Government Officials Meeting (SOM) will take place on June 10th, 2014, and will focus on connecting formal and informal care. A 10 minute survey has been developed to allow you to share you experience and expertise on informal caregiving. The survey forms a strong basis to develop a program for the SOM to ensure it is meaningful and productive for all delegates. To take the survey, please visit: http://pwc.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9GEJPEhpOt7rZ53.

Update from the United Nations, New York

by Ms. Mary Mayer, IFA UN Representative


Ms Mayer and Ms Levy
IFA UN Reps in New York

Until recently, older persons and their concerns, while not totally ignored on the UN’s agenda, have not been given much attention following the Second World Assembly on Ageing and the adoption of the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing. As the UN now works toward the development of a new set of goals for the next 15 years, a project known as the Post-2015 Agenda, we are seeing a welcoming change underway: older persons are suddenly becoming visible and a focus in the discussions.

Much more work on the part of NGOs will be needed in the next few months but it appears that older persons are now becoming part of the discussions. These are exciting first steps that need to be built upon.

Read the full article here.

US Congressional Briefing Highlights Barriers to Immunization for Older Adults


In December 2013, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) took part in a congressional briefing to inform policymakers about the value of increasing immunization rates among seniors and to highlight strategies for doing so. Despite their tremendous potential for prevention, vaccination rates in seniors fall far short of target rates recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The briefing, which was co-sponsored with the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), and the Alliance for Aging Research, showcased the Alliance’s new Silver Book volume on vaccinations for older adults. Silver Book is a series of publications featuring information on the chronic conditions that disproportionately affect older Americans. Dr Jeffrey Duchin, MD, FIDSA, chair of IDSA’s Public Health Committee, presented on behalf of IDSA. Dr Duchin discussed recommended vaccines, coverage rates, disparities, and barriers.  He also highlighted the need for legislative changes to Medicare coverage of immunizations.

The report is available here.

52nd Session of the UN Commission for Social Development 


The 52nd session of the UN Commission for Social Development has led to the adoption of a resolution by the Economic and Social Council, which promotes the rights of older people by reaffirming the importance of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA, 2002).

The resolution highlights the great need to pursue international cooperation and to integrate ageing into existing processes and work programmes of the United Nations. It also requests that the Secretary-General seek the opinions of Member States and other stakeholders on a possible theme for the third review of MIPAA in 2017, on the challenges that still need to be addressed regarding older people’s well-being, and on how the ageing issue can be mainstreamed into the work of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council.

Read the full resolution here.

Geriatric Medicine in Norway

In Norway, the percentage of people who are 65 years or older is about 14% and is estimated to reach 23% in 2030. Care of the older people has been declared to be a national priority. The health care system is strongly based on primary care, both as first line medical management and as a gatekeeper to secondary care.


Home care, rehabilitation and nursing homes are mainly community based. Indeed, in Norway, more than one-half of the people over the age of 80 years receive some kind of home-nursing, home-help and assistance in activities of daily living, with an ‘order and supply’ model, assessing the needs of each individual.

More information is available here.

Pew Research Center Report — Attitudes About Ageing: A Global Perspective 

The Report is based on a survey led by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank informing the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Research was conducted in 21 countries in 2013, totaling over 22,000 responses.

Participants were asked about the challenges they experienced while ageing in their respective countries, the standard of living they expect to have as they get older, and about who they think should be responsible for the well-being of older people.

The report also analyzes the trends of ageing in various countries, focusing on the expected changes from 2010 to 2050, as projected by the United Nations in the latest World Population Prospect.

Read the full report here.

Toward An Age-Friendly City: Akita, Japan


The City of Akita, Japan continues to be a global leader in its efforts to become a more age-friendly city. In November 2013, Mr. Jim Hamilton, Associate Director of the University of Manitoba Centre on Aging spent four days in Akita with city officials and community leaders, discussing progress to date and considering future opportunities.

Approximately 100 citizens of Akita came out for a workshop that considered key elements of an age-friendly community.  Discussion focused around promoting healthy active lifestyles, access and safety issues and promoting inclusive design for all.

The ongoing work in Akita continues to benefit from the vision and support of Friends of the International Federation on Aging (FOIFA) — Japan led by Dr. Hisashi Hozumi, an independent non-profit organization working together with the IFA to meet the challenges of the ageing population in the world.

Read more here.

Ageing in India and in the United Kingdom — Volunteering, A Strategy for Social Inclusion of Older People


This paper, written by Ms Arti Panchal, highlights the differences of ageing in India and the UK. Based on field work experiences, it promotes the social inclusion of older people through volunteering.

The comparative study provides concrete examples of the challenges faced by older men and women in each country, and emphasizes the important roles of NGOs and governments in enhancing their social inclusion.

A list of recommendations addresses these challenges, and promotes the implementation of social models encouraging active ageing in both countries.

Read the full paper here.

Eliminating Avoidable Blindness

Vision loss is no longer an inevitable part of the ageing process. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of global visual impairment is avoidable. Nevertheless, millions of older people globally live their later years with severe visual impairment and blindness, often as a result of poor awareness.


Media plays a very important role in raising awareness regarding avoidable blindness, as they have the capacity to reach a very large audience. It can be a helpful advocacy tool by mobilizing resources and promoting blindness prevention programes such as the WHO and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) joint program, ‘Vision 2020: The Right to Sight’.

Read the full article here.

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 (gshaw@ifa-fiv.org) or Juliette Davodeau (jdavodeau@ifa-fiv.org) You can contact us by telephone +1 416 342-1655.

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