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IAHSA and its chapter in China, the China Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA-China) are pleased to announce the joint sponsorship of IAHSA’s 10th International Conference.

The conference theme, Connecting our Global Community, provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the most diverse programmes from around the world, along with an exciting forum for the exchange of both practical knowledge and new strategies focused on the provision of care and services for older adults.

The conference will take place in Shanghai, a bustling international city, full of multicultural flair. Shanghai also offers exciting travel opportunities and cultural attractions. From historic landmarks like the Yuyuan Garden and the Jade Buddha Temple to modern marvels like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Towere, there is something for everyone.

Faced with a fifth of its population that is 60+ years old, Shanghai has been developing its nursing home care industry rapidly. The country itself is at a climactic point in understanding and deciding how to manage population ageing, housing and pensions for their greying population.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your interest areas, learn about innovations, technology, research, design and practices from around the world and to interact with care models in ageing care from around the world.

 
Submit a proposal for consideration.

Dates To Remember:

30 October 2012 Call for Presentations submission deadline
December 2012 Submitters notified of status of their submissions
17-20 November, 2013 IAHSA/IAHSA-China Global Ageing Conference
Illumination [Yuyuan Garden / Shanghai]

Shanghai [Photo Credit: d. FUKA, Flickr]

As the International AIDS Conference winds down, the culmination of the event anticipates that one message is clear: Ageing with HIV is an urgent matter that requires a lot of attention.

As one man put it, “I fear that if I need to be cared for, the carer would be as ill-informed and prejudiced about HIV as the general public.”

A number of integral sessions were conducted with regards to HIV and ageing. Andrea Beal of Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) in Canada presented “One Day an Army of Grey-Haired Women may Quietly Take over the Earth”.

Global experts from around the world served on a panel on “HIV and Aging: The Challenge of the Epidemic’s Fourth Decade” covering topics such as ageism, stigma, prevention and the critical role of caregivers.

Judith Currier presented on the “Intersection of non-communicable diseases and Ageing in HIV” discussing a global action plan.

Here is what we learned from the AIDS2012 conference:

  •  It is expected that 50% of all persons with HIV in developed nations will be age 50 or older as early as 2015
  • Increased life expectancy for treated HIV now approaches survival rates similar to the general population.
  •  Older people with HIV have twice as many age-related health conditions as their HIV negative peers
  •  Discrimination, ignorance and poor clinical treatment continues to ensue about AIDS illness
  • Many health systems are not ready to cope with the influx of ageing HIV-positive people requiring medication and care
  • Older adults accounted for 15% of new cases of HIV in the US
  •  HIV positive people are at a greater risk for illnesses common in old age
AIDS awareness in Chimoio

AIDS awareness ad in Chimoio, Mozambique [Credit: Ton Rulkens, Flickr]

Today, June 23 2012, Richard Jackson of CSIS and Christian Toft of University of Kassel, Germany, spoke about “Work, Retirement Age, and Fiscal Sustainability in an Aging World” hosted by AARP International.

Dr. Jackson highlighted CSIS’s Global Ageing Preparedness Index (or GAP Index) which reviews pension reform, solvency and income protection in 20 key countries.  The countries include most developed countries and some emerging economies such as India, Brazil and China.

Professor Toft looked at retirement-age policies and labor force issues relating to increases in retirement age in the U.S. and EU15.

According to the report, “the purpose of the Global Aging Preparedness Index (or GAP Index) is to provide a comprehen­sive assessment of the progress that countries are making in preparing for global aging, and par­ticularly the “old-age dependency” dimension of the challenge.

Ten or fifteen years ago, global aging barely registered as a policy issue. Today, with large age waves looming just over the horizon in most of the world’s leading economies, it has become the focus of growing concern. Many governments are beginning to debate—and some have enacted—major reforms. Yet despite this progress, there ex­ists no satisfactory measure of how well countries worldwide are actually responding to the chal­lenge. The Global Aging Preparedness Index is designed to fill this gap.”

You may view your country’s individual data sheet or see a cross-comparison across countries.

Dr. Jackson was a keynote speaker at the 2011 LeadingAge Annual Meeting and IAHSA Global Aging Conference.  He presented on the GAP index during last year’s opening plenary of the Annual Meeting.

Hands

[Credit: Ms Logic, Flickr]

In February 2012, Student British Medical Journal revealed a study on rising STI and STD rates, including HIV, in seniors. “Sexual Health and the Older Adult” estimated that in the US, UK and Europe rates of transmission doubled in the last 10 years.  

For instance, in Britian, HIV among the 50-90 age group comprised 20% of the reported infected population.

Some may shy away from this taboo subject, or turn a blind eye so as not to get involved. But if the health of the aging community is a primary concern of providers and care givers, sexual health is equally important.

One organization, Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University in Pennsylvania, USA, has taken matters into their own hands and is providing education, safety instruction and guidance for professionals.  They have released numerous ads in public places to increase awareness and have caused a stir with their risqué YouTube videos.

In the media, the issue has come to attention in a more-light hearted article in June’s issue of The Atlantic about the re-release of the classic film Harold and Maude (1971), a film in which a woman pushing her 80’s is shown enthusiastically kissing and caressing a younger man.  The article explores senior sexuality through the eyes of pop-culture and the stereotypes of aging.

This week, the Journal of Medical Ethics published a report dealing with the subject of sex and seniors in a more serious tone. The report exposes lack of safety and discretion in nursing homes in protecting sex among seniors.  It discusses the difficulties in grappling with consensual sex, primarily in elderly with dementia, and the complexities providers must deal with regarding the subject.

How are care givers around the world responding to the sensitivity of this issue?
Hand in Hand

[credit: garryknight, flickr]

It is not surprising that the land of the crescent moon is drawing many of Europe’s elderly to health tourism.  A land of mysticism, ancient history and beautiful landscape has much to offer in retirement services. 

According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkey is leading an industry growth generating 130,000 visitors per year in the areas of rehabilitation, retirement homes and elderly care treatment at affordable rates for high quality of services.  Not far behind the leaders in Asia, it averages approximately $100 billion in global health tourism per year.

Credit: Dennis Jarvis

Turkey Health Tourism.Org gives the world a look into why Turkey is a leader in global health travel:

–  The country has the highest number of JCI accredited healthcare institutions in the world

–  It houses many regional headquarters of major international pharmaceutical companies

–  Nearly 60 internationally competitive medical faculties train thousands of Turkish and foreign medical students

Dr. Filiz Cevirme, General Coordinator of Private Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations Association (OHSAD) in Turkey says that people travel because of “exorbitant costs of healthcare in industrialized nations, ease and affordability of international travel, favorable currency exchange rates in the global economy, and rapidly improving technology and standards of care”.

 

        Today, May 21, 2012, University of Adelaide is launching the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC) focused on developing a sustainable population and workforce strategy for Asia Pacific and Australia. Research will include topics such as the impact of aging on the workforce, modern communications technology for the elderly, and issues of obesity among many others.

       This is a rare and exciting opening of a one-of-a-kind research institute. Research will be collaborated by a number of leading universities in the region as well as the United States and the United Kingdom.  Leading the center will be Professor Graeme Hugo and Deputy Directors Dr. Dianne Rudd and Dr. Helen Feist.  Professor Hugo had been studying labor mobility trends and implication of international migration on economic change.  Most recently, he has written a publication titled “Australian Population and Immigration Policy: An Opportunity”.

        The APMRC team have had 6 papers accepted for the International Federation of Aging conference which will be held in Prague in May 2012.

        We can’t wait to see what interesting findings come out of this exciting venture!

Chart: Projected population size for selected age ranges.

Credit: The Treasury, Australian Government; Australia’s demographic change

 

European Commission May 5 2012

Credit: Europa.eu

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 http://www.ageuk.org.uk/work-and-learning/looking-for-work/the-rise-of-the-olderpreneur/ 

For resources on elders starting their own business, please visit: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/work-and-learning/looking-for-work/starting-your-own-business/

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

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!

This morning IAHSA received a visit from the Executive Director of Fundacion Saldarriaga Concha, Dr. Soraya Montoya. The Saldarriaga Concha Foundation is a Colombian institution that has worked since 1973 to increase organizational capacity and societal awareness of issues faced by elderly or disabled persons. The  issue of ageing in Latin America is increasingly urgent, as Latin America has a growing population of older people and relatively underdeveloped social security and healthcare systems. Dr. Montoya stressed the importance preserving the human dignity of older persons. “They do not just need health care and a pension. Those things are important, but it is also very important for older people to feel like they are integrated into society.”

The Foundation is seeking to expand its work in the area of age appropriate technologies to help older people stay connected with their family members. In the past year they have financed courses to help senior learn basic computer skills and their on-line recipe competition received over 800 entrees. “The older people are so happy when they are able to get on the internet and send letters to their son or their grandchild,” said Dr. Montoya. “We really see that the interest is there and we are interested in helping people connect with one another through technology.” Want to stay connected with Saldarriaga Concha? Follow them on Twitter or Facebook or check out this video (Spanish), highlighting the Foundation’s ageing initiatives.

 

About this blog

IAHSA’s Global Ageing Network Blog was created because of you!! We got your message loud and clear – “Provide us with a quick and nimble communications vehicle so we can stay connected and create community across borders".

Questions? Email us at iahsa@leadingage.org.

Authors

Virginia Nuessle, Study Tour Director

Majd Alwan, Director, CAST

Alla Rubinstein, Program Administrator, IAHSA

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