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In this economy, it’s important to invest wisely and to live prudently without sacrificing the health of your loved ones.  Making smart choices about purchases can affect the quality of care you provide or receive.

Around the world there are ways to save on all the disability aids and technology you need without burning a hole in your pocket or leaving your home.  We did a bit of research and came up with these:

In Australia:

 E-bility features a classifieds section for second-hand beds, chairs and more only for sale within Australia.  

In the UK:

Preloved , similar to Craigslist, offers a variety of miscellaneous items but has a large selection of mobility walkers, bed liners, and scooters both new and used for a fraction of the retail cost.  You can buy and sell equipment online.

DisabledGear – In addition to practical gear, DisabledGear has some thrilling disability gear for the adventurer like a Quad Tetrapalegic Off-road Vehicle and E-Cycle Trainer.

Demand – So much more than a re-seller, Demand also fixes broken equipment as needed.

In the US

The Mobility Market specializes in mobility aids, though there is a small fee for posting items worth $50 or more.  There is also a UK equivalent.    

Globally:

Apparalyzed covers over 20 countries in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East and ranges from modified furniture, to aids and equipment.  You can also request items by posting a “wanted” ad for your desired piece.  

Ebay – A classic favorite, Ebay really does have it all. Try searching for individual items to buy or swap out your items.  Depending on the seller, most items can be shipped around the world.

Please share your secrets and experiences with us to better the global community and accessibility for all!

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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.

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.

Have you heard of Cane-Fu? Championed by the American Martial Arts Institute, the practice utilizes a walking cane for self-defense and physical fitness. As a defensive art, it includes traditional moves such as blocks, strikes, self-defense, kicks, and empty-hand skills in conjunction with the cane. It prioritizes awareness and self-confidence, and it possesses a strong foundational heritage in traditional martial arts style. A number of care homes across the U.S. offer Cane-Fu to their residents in an effort to promote balance and strength. Want to learn more? Check out the website or view the video below.

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 arcadia@arcadia.pe

Rendering courtesy of Arcadia Residencias Para La Tercera Edad.

The Australian Counsel on the Ageing and the Department of Health and Ageing released results on a national listening tour on concerns surrounding aged care. The Minister of Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, participated in over 30 meetings with concerned citizens throughout the country. The conversations yielded some valuable insights, such as the fact that most Australians state that they would like to remain in their homes and receive services at home if possible. People also want a system that is easy to understand and use, and they want payment procedures to be transparent. Interested in the full report? Just click here.

Want to learn more about housing with wrap around services? Consider joining our study tour.

Photo Courtesy of  mugley.

MyFriends Online Week kicks off this Monday 19 March and runs through 25 March 2012. The purpose of the campaign is to help seniors learn to use the internet to access information, connect with family and friends and improve their ability to find care and supports. Check out this video from AgeUK on how you can be a part this year!

In honour of International Women’s Day, we bring you the top five concerns for older women. How do you think that progress can be made in these areas?

1. Women and Poverty
The feminization of poverty occurs in all countries, as mass poverty in many developing countries and as pockets of poverty amidst wealth in developed countries. The risk of falling into poverty is greater for women than for men, particularly in old age where social security is based on the principle of continuous remunerated employment. Adequate safety nets must be established and state-based and community based support systems implemented in order to ensure that men and women are on equal footing.

2. Education and Training of Women
The low educational level of older women challenges their full participation in the public and political life of the country. The goal of equal access to education must be advanced by taking measures to eliminate discrimination in education at all levels on the basis of gender, race, language, religion, national origin, age or disability, or any other form of discrimination, and as appropriate, consider establishing procedures to address grievances.

3. Women and Health
Postmenopausal conditions and diseases tend to be neglected in research, academic studies, public policy, and service provision. While women tend to outlive men in terms of life expectancy women’s quality of life is in danger of being compromised without specific understanding of the older women’s physical, functional and mental health needs. Health care service provision must be affordable, appropriate and accessible especially for those who live in rural areas.
The inter-relationship of ageing and disability among all women needs particular attention. The long-term health prospects of women are influenced by changes at menopause, which, in combination with lifelong conditions, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, may increase the risk of disabilities.

4. Violence Against Women
Older women are particularly vulnerable to physical, sexual, and psychological harm because of their economic and physical dependency both within the family and in society in general. This abuse often remains hidden and is therefore ignored. Improved gender-disaggregated and age-specific data on victims and perpetrators of all forms of violence against women of all ages must be developed.

5. Human Rights of Women
The World Conference on Human Rights (1993) reaffirmed that the human rights of women throughout the life cycle are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights.
The gap between the existence of legal rights and their effective enjoyment derives from a lack of commitment by governments to promoting and protecting those rights and the failure of governments to inform women and men alike about them.

Want more information on older women’s rights? Check out this video from HelpAge International.

Low to mid income Singaporeans without a family can expect more mutual support homes within their communities. The government has started a pilot project of senior group homes, where seniors live together in a cluster of rental apartments.  These communities are meant for people who can no longer live on their own, but who choose not to live in a nursing home.  It is hoped that members of the community will provide each other with companionship and support. A resident who recently moved to such a home expressed his contentment stating,  “Three people in a room, sharing is a wonderful concept, a wonderful idea. The only thing that can go wrong is if all three people start fighting among themselves, which I think is highly not probable because most of the old people are quite gentle people and they’re not aggressive. So it will definitely work.” The homes are under video surveillance as a safety feature. The Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Halimah Yacob, says that during the pilot phase admission of people without a family support system will be prioritized. If the programme is successful, it may be expanded in the future. Would such a scheme work in the country where you operate? Why or why not?

Photo Courtesy Hoong Wei Long

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has launched a website to stimulate conversations on what life is like for older people with high support needs.

The site incorporates a poem by a former Poem Laureate of the U.K., Sir Andrew Motion. Perhaps the most impressive feature are the lovely photographs by Jo Hanley and Chris Steele-Perkins.

The site was developed by Joseph Rowntree Foundation as a part of its “A Better Life” programme that encourages people to think creatively and positively about getting older.  The stories shared on the site come from a wide range of people including people living with disabilities; lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons, immigrants, and other marginalized groups.

Access the site at http://betterlife.jrf.org.uk/

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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