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My photography project evolved from a good idea into an amazing journey. I knew I would enjoy taking pictures of the elder residents of Frasier Meadows, but I had no idea the special gifts this experience would give me. After every shoot I would be inspired by each resident and their willingness to share their talents with me as I shared my talent with them.

–Heidi Wagner

Heidi Wagner, a professional photographer and Exercise Therapist at Frasier Meadows in Boulder, Colorado, embarked on a photographic journey she titled The Passions Project.  Heidi began to capture the love for life, talent, art and adventure of the many talented residents at Frasier Meadows.

Heidi took nearly 100 photos of each resident, who then got to select their own final picture.  The residents were invited to come to Heidi with interest in having their photograph taken and the collection in black and white really captures the big hearts of the people willing to share their life passions.

There is Clint Heiple on his motorcycle, Pat Doughty with the masks she makes, Bill Ardourel playing the mandolin and many more inspiring images.  Each photo is accompanied by a quote from the resident.

The project came together in a collection of photographs which will be displayed at the LeadingAge Annual meeting in Denver, October 21-24, 2012.  IAHSA will offer several international sessions and an IAHSA reception.  To register for the event, please visit the conference registration page.

To view some of the photos, visit The Passions Project blog page.

Betty [Credit: Heidi Wagner Photography]

Global Connections

Margie Van Zyl (left) making Global Connections with Debra Rose (2nd from left), Jan Montague (2nd from right) and Rayne Stroebel of GERATEC (right)

Margie van Zyl, Direct of Strategic Partnerships at GERATEC, gave a presentation on Global Connections made to date at the recent IFA conference in Prague.  

The starting point for the Global Connections began in Trondheim, Norway when Margie met with IAHSA’s former Executive Director, Ginger Nuessle, to set up the country support network through IAHSA.  “We started emailing each other sharing ideas and thoughts” recalls Margie.

Following the IAHSA Conference in London in 2009, partnerships began to develop: Staff visited across countries, donated equipment, and supplied one another with training materials.

At the IFA in Prague, Margie made more connections. She is currently working on linking them to organisations in South Africa.  These programs include computer clubs for senior networks in Australia and South Africa, and a project on hope in long-term care in Canada. 

Then there was Jan Montague, President of Whole-Person Wellness Solutions, Inc. and Dr. Debra Rose, professor of Kinesiology Department and director of the Center for Sucessful Aging at California State University, who came to South Africa on holiday early in July.

Margie asked Jan and Debra if they wouldn consider running a workshop for staff in and around Cape Town. They agreed and about 80 nurses, social workers, carers, administrators attended the presentation on 3rd July 2012. Jan presented on Advancing Whole-Person Wellness and Debra on Fall Risk Reduction as a Pathway to Whole-Person Wellness.

They then went to visit Ekuphumleni, an old age home in KwaZulu Natal, and they were able to see first-hand the struggles of South Africa’s ageing.  Jan returned to the U.S. very committed to speaking to people at home to encourage support abroad.

Another successful connection was with Dan Dixon of Guardian Angels of Elk River, whom Margie met in Washington DC.  Volunteers from Elk River had visited Tanzania to work on an elder care project. Dan and Margie have been exchanging ideas and Dan is now raising funds through Rotary and getting matching grants for this project.

“For me the potential is limitless – it just takes passion and commitment!” says Margie. “It is IAHSA that gives the impetus for such global connections.  Thank you IAHSA!”

The Global Connections Program continues to inspire team work.  We look forward to welcoming new connections and international partnerships this year.


“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa

Older adults are subject to discrimination world wide. As the global population ages, this trend will only grow larger. The United Nations has produced a report titled, Strengthening Older People’s Rights: Towards a UN Convention. The goal is to create a UN Convention for older people, therefore helping protect our elders globally.

Find out what you can do to help the cause.

The following is a guest post from Jeffrey W. Anderzhon, FAIA, of Crepidoma Consulting. Jeff is a long time IAHSA supporter, as well as a founding member of our International Design for Ageing Symposium & Showcase team.

Almost everyone who stays in tune with the world’s aging population knows that Korea is one of the fastest aging countries. It is also a country that is well aware of the issues that it faces in this regard and is a country searching for solutions.

Traditionally, elderly Korean parents were cared for by their adult children in an extended familial setting. With the country’s generally booming economy, save for the current economic slowdown, families have depended more on two incomes, a population movement toward cities and a desire for independence from traditional responsibilities as individuals move into a ‘global’ culture. Korean society has become hungry for solutions that are culturally appropriate but that also provide contemporary solutions for their increasingly elderly population.

I had the opportunity and pleasure of sharing examples of how the world is addressing care and housing options with the Korean Gerontological Society in Seoul and at the 3rd Annual International Symposium on Aging in Gwanju at the end of November. This was accomplished by sharing the great examples provided to IAHSA through the International Design Symposium first presented in London at the IAHSA conference.

Lecturers seated together at the Gwangju ISA conference

The interest that was shown for how other countries are providing for their elderly was overwhelming. There is significant interest in Korea for providing meaningful environments, with a distinct Korean cultural overlay, for the aging population. This interest is both sincere and introspective with a distinct desire to “do it correctly” by learning from other cultures and from other projects. IAHSA has played an important role to date within this movement and will maintain its connection to the Korean initiatives through Professor Yeunsook Lee, an advisor to IAHSA from Yonsei University in Seoul and a well respected authority in Korea and all of Asia on the elderly.

As residents of the world community we must consider the entire world’s elderly population and how each country succeeds in enhancing their quality of life. Cultural differences may involve differing and unique approaches, but fundamentally care and housing for the elderly in all cultures involves security, human interaction and protection from nature’s harsh elements. Korea is a society that needs to provide for their elderly and a society that is willing and able to look at how other cultures and countries are accomplishing this. As a part of the IAHSA family, I am proud to have contributed in some small way to moving them forward.

Alex Tranter, CEO of CareMalta, discusses what he has gained from his
membership in IAHSA and why others should join the Global Ageing

If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, contact Maggie Flowers at

IAHSA is building on its successful Design for Ageing Symposia from the past two conferences. We are looking for ways to continue this important conversation virtually. As luck would have it, Norsk Form, an IAHSA business member in Oslo, recently sent me the following information on their design for ageing programme:

Norsk Form is a foundation that works with architecture, design and urban area planning. With the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, they have established an interdepartmental network including 13 municipalities, that range from small to large in size and are located all over the country. What unites them is a wish to discuss the design of care homes for the elderly of tomorrow.

The network aims to help develop different care service models that can be adapted to local conditions and needs. Its strategy for the development of care homes can be summarised as follows:

  • Development of interdepartmental cooperation for planning and integration in the municipal plan
  • Cooperation between sectors so that resources are viewed across departments; for the development of shared use, joint localisation and vicinity with public and private enterprises.
  • Integration of care homes and nursing homes in regular residential areas with shared functions
  • A coherent housing service that addresses the need for different types and degrees of care.
  • Design of good aesthetical surroundings, outdoors as well as indoors, that promote social, cultural and physical activities
  • Surroundings that permit local inhabitants to take part in various activities; the care centre as a local meeting place

For more information, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about IAHSA’s Design for Ageing programme, please let me know.

IAHSA members provide leading edge care and services and technology plays a vital role in what many members are doing.

This year at AAHSA’s Annual Meeting, participants will be able to see a full scale house with innovative technology. The AAHSA House—a fully functioning 2,600 sq. ft house will boast the best in universal design and cutting-edge technologies in a hands-on, interactive environment; allowing buyers to understand and test out products.

To learn more, click here.

Looking at other ageing blogs helps us find good material to share.  This post is thanks to the Changing Aging Blog for sharing this video about ageing in Japan.  Enjoy

Join the Tsao Foundation as they host the first Asia Forum on Aging.

Who should attend:
Architects, Housing Developers and Planners, Health and Social Services Providers and Professionals, Government Representatives, Academia,
Keynotes and Plenaries:

Principles of Designs on Housing for Older Persons

Good Practice Senior Housing Models Around the Region

Linking Housing and Services for Ageing in Place

Framework for Effective Community Based Planning and Provision

Quality Issues in Housing and Community Care

Opportunities and Possibilities for Ageing in Place

Facilitating Family Care and Independence

Special Plenary:

Ageing Research in Asia – the development of a research agenda

Distinguished Panel of Speakers include:

Robyn I. Stone, Executive Director, Institute for the Future of Ageing Services

Edward Leung, President, Hong Kong Association of Gerontology

Mary Ann Tsao, President, Tsao Foundation

Dan Gray, President, Continuing Development Services, Inc, US

Carol Benner, Field Director, The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign

Anna Ortigara, Director of Communications, The National Greenhouse Project, US

Jane Verity, CEO, Dementia Care Australia

Robert Lagoyda, Director of Professional Development, International Association for Homes and Services for the Ageing

Emi Kiyota, Consultant and PhD Candidate of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Visit for more information about the conference and registration.

Nintendo, the make of the Wii phenomenon, is taking their virtual world one step further. Earlier I told you about how retirement communities were using the Wii technology to get residents to be part of bowling leagues – increasing opportunity for exercise and social interaction.

According to a USA Today article, in May 2008 Nintendo will roll out the Wii-Fit Balance Board, a small platform where users can exercise, stretch and do yoga with on-screen avatars — all designed to help keep you fit and lose weight.

The Wii Fit product will also include access to the “Wii Fit Channel,” an interactive online channel that lets users check in daily to track fitness progress through weight and body mass index (BMI).

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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