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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.


[Credit: Ms Logic, Flickr]

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

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.


The Asia Women’s Welfare Association Centre for Caregivers was set up in 2006 and is supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) of Singapore as a key organisation to promote the welfare of caregivers. Since their establishment they have developed resources on caregivers’ needs to promote emotional and social well-being among this group of workers who may be at risk of social isolation.  AWWA Centre for Caregivers has just awarded their 2012 caregiver award. Learn more by checking out this video:

IAHSA is pleased to announce that we have received Arcadia as our first Peruvian member. A full service CCRC, the facility is currently under construction and will open in March of 2013. As a functioning property, the home will have a total of 100 apartments that are available to couples and singles; residents will have access to a pool, garden, communal barbeque area, as well as recreational programming. “Our goal is to have a first class CCRC right here in Lima,” said one of the founding business partners, Augusto Elias. “For a long time in Peru, residences for the elderly have been seen in a negative light. Our goal at Arcadia is to give seniors a wonderful place to call home with access to all to supportive services they need to maintain optimal wellbeing.”

Persons interested in learning more are encouraged to visit the website or email

Rendering courtesy of Arcadia Residencias Para La Tercera Edad.

The Chinese Minister of Civil Affairs, Li Liguo recently spoke at the National Social Work Conference, focusing on pension development and reform.  This conference also discussed the need to develop an aged care sector in China, complete with residential and skilled care. Commentator Chen Jinsong,  reflected on the current challenges stating “To solve the pension crisis, we must establish a system that is more specialized, standardized, with trained practitioners and sufficient beds to meet the demand”.  Investors see China as a hot market for aged care services, and partnerships and investment deals emerge on an almost daily basis. Interested in learning more about aged care in China? Consider joining the SAGE Study Tour in June.

The video below highlights some of the amazing sights that China has to offer.

A recent report from Chile reveals that over the past year, reports of elder abuse have increased by 38%. This statistic was given by a non-governmental organization named Activa, who urge the National Service for the Elderly (SENAMA) to study the issue further. According to the director of SENAMA, Rose Kornfeld, the increase in reported cases may not actually reflect an increase in cases, but rather  an improvement in access to reporting services. Over the past 10 years, SENAMA has established regional service centres to provide adult day and legal services to the elderly throughout Chile. Prior to the establishment of SENAMA centres, the elderly would have to arrive at a police station in order to report abuse. SENAMA reports that they have recently hired an elder abuse specialist and that they plan to expand their activities in prevention and intervention as budget is available. The last Chilean census was taken in 2002 at which time 11.4% of Chileans were >60. The government expects that by 2025 the 60+ population will encompass over 20% of the population.

Photo courtesy of  Fernando Mandujano.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) sponsored a walk in Visakhapatnam to celebrate World Health Day on Saturday. This event reflects a shift in national thinking on health, from controlling infectious diseases to managing noncommunicable diseases that frequently occur in older populations.  The Health Ministry of India has announced plans to set up eight geriatric care centres across the country under its National Programme for Healthcare for the Elderly. It will also initiate geriatric units at 100 district hospitals in 21 states and units at community and primary health centres.

Over the past century, life expectancy in India has dramatically increased and India now shares the prospect of supporting a large number of older persons.  The World Health Organization has developed four policy recommendations for countries to promote wellness and limit strain on the medical system. These recommendations include promoting healthy behaviours at all ages to prevent or delay the development of chronic diseases. Specifically, WHO recommends eating better, quiting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and increasing physical activity.

Photo courtesy  Victor Frankowski

The China International Senior Services Expo will be held in Shanghai  at the World Expo Convention Centre from 17 – 19 May 2012.

The China International Senior Services Expo (CHINA AID 2012) has been successfully held for 6 times since its debut in 2000.  The event is organised by IAHSA member  China Association of Social Welfare along with China Silver Industry Association and the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau. The event is endorsed by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and China National Committee on Ageing. The event features hundreds of exhibitors from around the world as well as site visits and policy symposia that allow attenees to develop an understanding of the Chinese senior care industry.

The goal of the China International Senior Services Expo to promote the implementation of the Plan for the Development of Social Senior Service System (2011-2015) and the Year for the Development of Social Senior Service System. Specifically it will cover the areas of eco-friendly residential environment, rehabilitation, healthcare, spiritual/cultural needs, organization management, IT services and products, human resource training, and brand promotion. The event provides a networking platform for investors, providers, and exhibitors that are seeking to break in to the Chinese senior service industry and gives you access to strategic influencers in Chinese senior care.

More information can be found at

In Puna India, calls reporting crime and abuse of senior citizens have gone up to 20% of the total calls in 2011,  compared with 14% in 2007. This is a considerable rise in the reporting of cases of abuse and crime against the elderly in the city. According to Jyoti Pund, a police spokesperson,  “in 2011, there were a total of 380 calls reporting elder abuse and crime. Crime and abuse include harassment at the hands of children, not being cared for, physical and verbal abuse from relatives and children, cheating, robbery, and attacks.”  According to Mr. Pund, the police intervene by providing counseling  and if the problem persists, a police complaint is lodged.

Interested in what is being done to address seniors’ needs in India? Check out this video or visit the HelpAge India website.




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".

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Virginia Nuessle, Study Tour Director

Majd Alwan, Director, CAST

Alla Rubinstein, Program Administrator, IAHSA

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