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Hello loyal followers and readers! We have some good and bad news.

The good news first?

IAHSA is launching its new and improved website featuring more robust content, user friendly layout and integrated features.  The new website will be available as of Monday, September 24.  It has a search feature which allows you to seek out older posts, scan new headlines and look under categories of interest.

The bad news: will be moving.  As of October 1st, you will no longer be able to view our blog posts here. BUT you may find all of our latest news, highlights and shout-outs on the new website.  If you are “following” our blog, you will be redirected to the IAHSA website for all new postings.

Actually, this isn’t bad news at all since now you will be able to see all of our exciting events in addition to reading about the latest trends in ageing care.

See you on the new!

Participants on the Housing Study Tour at Cathedral Square.

The IAHSA and LeadingAge Housing with Services Study Tour was inspiring, informative and interesting.  Each of the five communities we visited brought something new to the table and showed what dedication and commitment can do for senior living.  

The most important lessons we took with us are seldom taught, and less often shared.  The leaders of Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, Hebrew Senior Life, Sanborn Place, Cathedral Square and Hearth Inc taught us the following:  

1)          You can make anything happen with volunteers.

  • Many of the services we saw including fitness, educational initiatives and caregiving were conducted not by paid staff, but by willing volunteers.  Students, retired seniors, community centers and relatives can be found all around us.  Why not utilize their talents and time to enrich your community? 

2)          Maintenance Staff are the eyes and ears of your community.

  • All of the sites we visited recognized the value of their maintenance staff, and for good reason. While it may take time for residents to warm up to nurses and staff, maintenance personnel are invited right into the home.  They are there in a time of need when something goes wrong, they have daily contact with the residents which helps them identify risk concerns and can report incidents as they occur. 

3)          If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.

  • Finding funding opportunities is an arduous task of piecing together various resources.  A large support can come from private donors, annual pledges, rotary clubs and old fashioned fundraising.  People love to make a difference, help them find a way by talking to them about it.  One donor at Hebrew Senior Life said “I wanted to give back to an organization that gave my mother so much happiness in the later years of her life.”

4)          Take risks.

  • Jacqueline Carson, CEO of Sanborn Place in Reading, Maryland, has a unique and bold approach.  As her residents age, she remains flexible to adapt her community to their evolving needs.  If something doesn’t work, she finds an alternative that does. 

5)          Intergenerational programs are essential, not optional.

  • These programs aren’t just for seniors.  Intergenerational programs strengthen communities by enhancing the lives of youth and children, spread positive thinking about ageing, encourage cultural exchange and can even maximize your financial resources through partnerships.  They can also help you with point #1.

6)          Invite your greater community in.

  • While your senior community may not be able to parade around the town, your local leaders can certainly tour your facilities and get to know their supporters – after all, seniors vote! Nancy Eldridge frequently hosts events in her buildings and identifies concerns for her local leaders to address so that they stay involved and stay committed.  Her program, SASH (Supports and Services at Home) is an exemplary framework for coordination a the community level.
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]

On October 15-20 2012, IAHSA and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) will be hosting the Alzheimer’s Disease International Study Tour in Los Angeles and San Diego, California, USA.

ADI and World Health Organization (WHO) came together earlier this year for a publication titled “Dementia: A Public Health Priority”.  The report raises awareness of dementia as a public health priority, to articulate a public health approach and to advocate for action at international and national levels.

According to the report:

  • The number of people living with dementia worldwide is 35.6 million and will double by 2030
  • Worldwide costs of dementia were US$604 billion in 2010
  • Countries must include dementia on their public health agendas
  • Dementia is not a normal part of ageing
  • Priority areas of action that need to be addressed within the policy and plan include:      

                        – Raising awareness

                        – Timely diagnosis

                        – Good quality continuing care and services

                        – Caregiver support

                        – Workforce training

                        – Prevention

                        – Research

These developments are particularly significant for developing countries, especially those in Asia, where populations are aging much more rapidly.

Dementia Statistics

                                                                                [credit: ADI,]

In continuation with the findings of this report, the Alzheimer’s Study Tour will explore research and treatment protocols for early stage dementia and share learning experiences through site visits.  Registration ends August 2, 2012.  Don’t miss this chance to be a part of the international collaboration to address the global crisis.

“Victims of elder abuse are parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends.  Elder abuse cuts across race, gender, culture, and circumstance, and whether physical, emotional, or financial. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we call attention to this global public health issue, and we rededicate ourselves to providing our elders the care and protection they deserve.” President Barack Obama proclaimed yesterday at the White House in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

Around the world, providers, carers, families and friends are coming together to promote a unified message.  It starts with wearing the color purple today, to bring the world together in solidarity against abuse. 

In the England, Age UK is organizing 10K runs in honor of WEAAD and even parachute jumps nationwide!  In British Columbia, a special awards ceremony is being held to recognize special media contributions and initiatives that address the issue.

HelpAge International, a partner of IAHSA, offers us great examples to follow in Thailand, Nepal, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, and more!

Larry Minnix, President and CEO of Leading Age, shares a message on WEAAD with “A Few Minutes with Larry Minnix”.

This past Monday, July 25, 2011, IAHSA joined the International Federation on Ageing and other non-governmental organizations in the ageing field to brief the U.S. Congress.  The briefing aimed to inform, stimulate interest and provide a mechanism through which further dialogue could occur to strengthen the rights of older people.  During our time before Congress, internationally respected academics, advocates, practitioners and human rights lawyers called for the full recognition of the rights of older people through the use of existing national legislation and encouraged the U.S. to actively participate in discussions about the need for a new international human rights instrument for older adults.

Speaking on behalf of IAHSA, Dr. William T. Smith said that while older persons are identified as being the foundation of our societies, they are frequently overlooked in the twilight of their years due to the many competing demands that governments must address.  There are many in our country, he said, that would say that older persons have “paid their dues” and are “entitled” to the services afforded by various programs.  Unfortunately “entitlement” has become a word with many negative connotations in the United States, he concluded.

Mr. Edward Ryan, speaking for AARP, stated that people everywhere have the right to secure living conditions that enable each one to age with fair recognition, respect, dignity and purpose.  He further asserted that “we cannot ignore the injustice of discrimination against people after they reach a particular stage of life or cross an imaginary line defining a person as old, then look at her or him as being different from what they were and create a basis to dismiss from employment or deny adequate insurance or quality health care.” Mr Ryan concluded by stating that  “AARP requests American leadership support for an international and universal human rights instrument that would help to obligate governments to provide, protect and help older persons to surmount their challenges to a quality of life with economic security, good health, social inclusion, family cohesion and safety that all human beings should have as a right.”

Ms Irene Hoskins, President of the International Federation on Ageing explained that “while the rights of older people are embedded in international human rights conventions reaffirming economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, these international instruments are are not specific to older people.”

Take a few minutes to see slideshow below, which includes the pictures of our briefing this past Monday and share your thoughts with IAHSA.

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U.S. Capitol

This Monday, 25 July 2011, IAHSA will join the International Federation on Ageing and other ageing organization to participate in a briefing to the U.S. Congress before the Special Committee on Aging of the United States Senate.  The briefing aims to inform the U.S. Congress on the rights and protections granted to older adults by international human rights conventions, to stimulate interest and provide a mechanism through which further dialogue can occur to strengthen the rights of older people.

By 2040, the planet will be home to more older people than children for the first time in history.  Yet, during this period of unprecedented demographic change, social, civil and political rights rights have been embedded in international treaties and conventions, but have not been made specific to older people.  As a result, many older adults experience discrimination and violation of rights at the family, community and institutional level.  Our message to the U.S. Senate will focus on the fact that rights do not change as we age, but that what does change, is that older men and women are considered to be inherently less valuable to society creating more dependency on others and loss of autonomy.

IAHSA’s participation in the briefing will be titled The Rights of Older People “in Care” and led by Dr. William T. Smith. This briefing will be open to the public and all IAHSA members are encouraged to attend.

Monday, 25 July, 2011
2:00 – 3:30pm
Room 562, Dirksen Senate Office Building
U.S. Capitol Complex
Washington, DC, USA

Together with nine other organizations (see below), IAHSA has issued a statement urging the United Nations to add ageing and dementia, alongside cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, to the list of non-communicable diseases to be discussed by global heads of state at the United Nations Summit on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) this September.  The statement outlines the necessity for ageing and dementia to be included and the commitments the group believes should be made to these causes during the Summit.  Take a few minutes to read the statement and share your thoughts with IAHSA.

Full Statement

Other organizations supporting the statement:

  • AARP
  • Age UK
  • Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
  • HelpAge International
  • The Global Coalition on Aging
  • The International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
  • The International Longevity Centre-UK
  • The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)
  • The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA)

In an ageing world, non communicable diseases (NCDs), or diseases that distinguished by their non-infectious cause, are gaining an ever-increasing prominence in international public health.  According to the World Health Organization, the four main NCDs – cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes – kill three in five people worldwide today and affect every country, with particular harm done to developing nations.  As the world ages over the next few decades, cases of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other NCDs are expected to grow, giving added urgency to for the need to take global steps to against these epidemics.

Over the last few months, IAHSA has supported the work of the NCD Alliance to bring together a meeting of global leaders to lay out plans to take action on these diseases.  This meeting will be sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is scheduled to take place this coming September in New York City, USA.  However, IAHSA members can support the work done by the NCD Alliance today by contributing  to the World Health Organization’s online consultation form.    This contribution aims to  ensure that political leaders commit their attendance to the Meeting and agree to a needed plan to manage NCDs.  The NCD Alliance is thus urging all members to fill out the WHO questionnaire and 1. submit their own ideas, 2. include the ten points the NCD Alliance has suggested below, 3. attach the two documents that follow them, and 4. send a copy of your submission to

Ten Points to Support:

1. Commit to a whole-of-government response through costed national plans for NCD prevention and treatment

2. Establish an NCDs Partnership, linked to WHO, to coordinate follow up action with member states, other UN and multilateral agencies, foundations, NGOs and private sector

3. Increase national and international resources for NCD prevention and treatment

4. Include NCDs in future global health and development goals

5. Accelerate implementation of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

6. Reduce dietary salt, sugar, saturated and trans-fats and harmful use of alcohol

7. Implement strategies to encourage physical activity and improve diet

8. Strengthen health systems through integration of NCD prevention and treatment

9. Increase access to affordable, quality-assured essential medicines and technologies to prevent and treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, including vaccines and palliative care

10.  Establish a high level Accountability Commission on NCDs with cross sector representation to monitor Summit commitments


NCD Alliance outcomes priorities

Lancet and NCD Alliance priority NCD interventions

Foulkeways at Gwynedd

With two exciting opportunities ahead, this fall is gearing up to be an exciting one for IAHSA members interested in innovative design for ageing.

IAHSA just opened the call for entries process for our 2011 International Design for the Ageing Programme.   Held every other year, the Programme is an international survey and exhibit that highlights the latest trends and state-of the art technologies used  in senior living design.  These trends are identified by a multinational, multidisciplinary team from among design projects submitted by members of IAHSA’s Global Ageing Network.

The 2007 and 2009 editions of the International Design for the Ageing Programme led to exciting findings that will be featured during the IAHSA/AIA Study Tour of the United States, to be held 9-15 October, 2011.  The tour will allow participants to visit communities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland that have incorporated these trends in their day-to-day operations and will focus on exploring the trends in care provision that incorporate the changing environment and consumer demands.  The tour schedule has been timed to coincide with the IAHSA Global Ageing Conference/LeadingAge Annual Meeting, where the findings of this year’s Design for the Ageing Programme results will be presented in a forum where designers and aged care providers worldwide can share innovations in senior living design and programming.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to participate in these programs.  Submit your proposal and sign up for the tour today!

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


Virginia Nuessle, Study Tour Director

Majd Alwan, Director, CAST

Alla Rubinstein, Program Administrator, IAHSA

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