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Credit: Jason Tromm

In a recent research report titled “Pain Management: A Global Strategic Business Report”, Global Industry Analysts Inc., conducted a quantitative study on characteristics of the global pain management market. 

The global pain management market is estimated to reach $77billion by 2017, with Asia-Pacific forecasted to lead regional growth.  Currently, the United States holds the largest regional market for pain management worldwide, expected to reach $60 billion by 2015.  Latin America is also expected to grow significantly, as developing nations demand more pharmaceuticals to care for increasing incidence of pain.  Several factors have contributed to the expansion of this market, including:

–          Increasing global aging population

–          Constant and consistent development and discovery of new drugs

–          Emergence of pain management clinics

–          Changing lifestyles that cause repetitive strain injuries

–          Growing global demand for pain management drugs

While the study addresses current market trends, key growth drivers and industry innovation, GIA takes this opportunity to marvel at the pain management market as an explosion of success, due to the growth of companies such as AstraZeneca Plc. and Merck & Co., Inc and to the global aging population.   It does not, however, go into depth about pain and aging, specifically for managing chronic conditions.

While the market is successful, persistent pain, especially in older people, continues to take a toll on the well being of the elderly.  Thanks to Age UK, a chronicle of experiences from an older perspective has been made available to share the accounts of those who most utilize this growing pain management market. “Pain in Older People” (2008) is a compassionate, heart-warming first person account from those who experience and cope with ongoing pain to help raise awareness of the challenges older people face.

European Commission May 5 2012


Europe has marked 2012 the Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity in hopes of stimulating the employability of older workers and inspiring positive attitudes towards active aging.  The Commission’s “Never too old to…” campaign has been spreading across Europe to promote learning, encourage integration and initiate development for the ageing community.  See video

On May 5, 2012, the European Commission in Bonn invited professionals to participate in workshops to discuss projects to spread the notion of an age-friendly Europe.

Despite European Commission’s best efforts, the age-group of 50 years and older has been struggling to change the perspective on economic inclusion across Europe.  The tendency towards younger entrepreneurs is highly visible in companies across Europe. 

Although the face of European start-up culture is dominated by young faces in their 20s and 30s, Baby Boomers will represent the most crucial population demographic. The older business-minded have also been making an impact.  Older entrepreneurs across sectors tend to gain many years of experience and then start “safe” businesses in regulated markets.  It is also a way to turn a honed skilled and hobby into a successful career.  Older entrepreneurs have much to offer and share in The Year of Active Ageing.

Read success stories of older entrepreneurs at 

For resources on elders starting their own business, please visit:

Community Press has created a book intended to help elders stay safe online. The book, Computer Scams, Shams, and Spam: How to Safely Enjoy Your Online Time [For Boomers and Beyond], provides older computer users the education they need to protect themselves from the scam artists that prey on
them via email, at websites, as well as over the phone.  Filled with pictures and  real-life examples of malicious campaigns against the elderly, the book is a valuable resource for older people who want to reap the benefits of online engagement while protecting themselves from cyberthreats. For more information about the book, check out Community Press’ website.

Top tips include:

1) Protect your personal information. Read privacy policies, check URLS, and shop only with trustworthy businesses

2) Beware of deals that sound “too good to be true.” You already have heard it, if it sounds “too good to be true” it probably is. Unsolicited emails from “lost relatives,” “Nigerian businessmen,” and people selling care in another state are almost always shams. If someone contacts you promising you funds, be suspicious.

3) Watch out for phishing. Phishing is an attempt by an illigitamate business to impersonate a legitatmate business and dupe customers into “verifying” their personal information. Click on the links in a phishing email, and you’ll be directed to a site that looks like the site you normally use, but this one is set up to steal your info! With step-by-step advice,  Computer Scams, Shams and Spam can help your parent or grandparent figure out what to trust, and what to stay away from.

A new technology aims to help older drivers stay on the road for longer, using pictures of mail boxes or restaurants as visual turning cues. The tool, which has been nicknamed “the Granny Nav” is being investigated as a part of the UK’s Research Council efforts to help facilitate safe driving among the elderly. According to a press release, Professor Phil Blythe stated that “For many older people, particularly those living alone or in rural areas, driving is essential for maintaining their independence.” The technology is a part of an effort to examine whether people could continue to drive safely when given technological supports to overcome decreased reaction time that is a normal part of ageing.  To figure out the best ways to help keep older people on the road, the Intelligent Transport team at Newcastle University converted an electric car into a mobile laboratory called DriveLAB.  Using tracking sensors, motion monitors, and bio-monitors, researchers are able to document response times and processes among older drivers. Preliminary findings suggest that use of advanced external cues can help older drivers prepare for and properly execute driving maneuvers. The research will be presented at an Aging, Mobility and Quality of Life conference in Michigan, USA in June.

Photo courtesy of jamelah

With the world’s population ageing at a rapid pace, there is a growing need for new ways to provide residential care for older people. IAHSA member Jeffrey Anderzhon, FAIA, has spearheaded the latest edition of Design for Aging, a book that explores successful schemes around the world. Written by an international team of experts in aged care design, the book includes cases from Australia, Denmark, England, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. The authors describe how each scheme has addressed the needs of its residents despite variations in design, geography, cultural factors, medical needs, capital cost, and other factors. Clear, well-documented information for each facility includes:

• Building descriptions and project data, and how the overall design fits within a geographical location

• The type of community, including number of residents, ethnicity, and specific conditions such as dementia

• How to apply universal design principles in different political, social, and regulatory contexts

• How to create a sense of belonging and well-being for residents while building strong connections with the community at large

• What makes a facility able to attract and retain high-quality caregivers

• Environmental sustainability issues, plus indoor and outdoor spaces

Architects and interior designers as well as facility owners and caregivers will find Design for Aging an inspiring and practical guide on how to navigate the many factors involved in creating good designs for aged care environments. Interested in receiving a copy? You can order online.

Photo courtesy of  ClatieK

Five innovative solutions have been developed to help people living with dementia as part of the Design Council challenge. The teams behind these solutions include designers, entrepreneurs and service providers, as well as experts in nutrition, dog training and olfaction. The concepts are focused on and around the point of diagnosis, aiming to be preventative measures that improve quality of life in the early stages of dementia for the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed. The five solutions demonstrate the vast potential of innovative ideas in an under-served market and show how design can play a key role in confronting a major social challenge. The Dementia Dog is one of the five examples, described as “assistance dogs for the mind”.

Dementia Dog is a service providing assistance dogs to people with dementia, helping them lead more fulfilled independent and stress-free lives. A sense of routine can often disintegrate for people with dementia. Dogs can be trained to live to a consistent routine. Ultimately, each dog will be trained with the person with dementia and their carer so all three can operate as a team.

Learn more about the pilot project on dementia dogs underway in the United Kingdom by visiting the website.

Photo courtesy  Tropewell.

A recent article in the Economist discussed some of the challenges facing China in developing their elder care system. The article highlighted a the Hangzhou City Christian Nursing home,  a facility with 1,400 licensed beds, with a  waiting list of over 1,000 persons. According to Sun Xiaodong, the government provides about 80% of long-term care beds, but is unable to keep up with demand and encourages development of facilities by approved religious and non-profit groups. Interested in learning more about elder care in China? Consider attending the  China International Senior Services Expo.

Photo courtesy  Matthew Wilkinson

The Director of IAHSA, Katie Smith-Sloan, recently met with representatives of Panasonic to discuss their innovative products for seniors. Some of the Panasonic products currently on the market in Japan include a robotic companion teddy bear, a hair-washing robot, and a mobility bed. Panasonic is also working on developing other products to enable the virtual delivery of rehabilitation services.  As a part of its service line in Japan, Panasonic operates a variety of long-term care facilities and rehab centers, and hopes that the development of new technologies will enable them to better serve their client base. Interested in learning more? Check out the video on their website.

Are you signed up for the International Federation on Aging’s 11th Global Conference on Aging? This year the event will feature a Senior Government Officials Meeting to discuss the role of Technology in Long Term Care.  Technologies to be reviewed include medication optimization, remote patient monitoring, assistive technologies, remote training, disease management, cognitive fitness and social networking tools. Join the conference from 28 May to 1 June 2012, where speakers will include Professor Greg Tegart,  Richard Watson, Dr Eric Dishman, and Msc. Anneke Offereins. To sign up of for more information, visit the website below!

The Peak Leadership Summit is underway in Washington, D.C. and hundreds of elder care leaders are gathered to learn and share current challenges in the field.  This afternoon, participants heard from Dan Heath, who shared highlights of his recent book Switch.

Here are his seven strategies  for leading change in challenging times:

1)      Know what the goal is. Whether it’s a culture change initiative or a campaign to increase hand washing among clinical staff, be crystal clear about the end point that you are trying to reach.

2)      Provide scripts for core behaviors. By letting people know exactly what is expected of them, they are more likely to be able to achieve and sustain organizational change.

3)      Pay attention to what is working. When someone complains about service, you probably try to identify the staff involved. If someone praises the service they have received, it is important to recognize that staff person. Focus on what people and the institution are doing right in regard to the issue you are seeking to improve.

4)      Break change into actionable steps. When clear actionable steps aren’t provided, people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. By providing small steps, you can help your staff implement the desired change on a daily basis.

5)      Find out what sort of feelings are motivating your staff. Tap into the positive emotions that can provide internal motivation to excel.

6)      Use behavioral conditioning. The behaviors and moods of others are contagious. Make the desired behaviors and changes visible and staff will model and reinforce change.

7)      Use environmental cues to action. If you are trying to get clinical staff to wash their hands for a certain period of time, install automatic faucets that dispense water for that period of time. If clinical staff should use a paper towel to open a door handle, provide a trashcan near the door. These types of simple environmental cues to action reinforce messaging and help people achieve change.

Interested in learning more? Check out Dan’s book or consider joining the EAHSA meeting that will feature sessions on culture change.

Dan Heath talks with a  workshop participant.

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