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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

About the IFA

WE ARE an international non-governmental organization with a membership base of NGOs, the corporate sector, academia, government, and individuals.

WE BELIEVE in ‘generating positive change for older people throughout the world by stimulating, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on rights, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life of people as they age.’

Depth Perception: Fusion of Art and Culture

This summer six artists from Turkey came to Toronto to work with seven artists affiliated with OCAD University.  In one intense week, they produced art works which the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) auctioned off on November 19. Proceeds from the auction support the work of IFA to raise awareness about age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — the leading cause of vision loss in Canada and around the world. More than a million Canadians are living with AMD, 100,000 of whom have experienced blindness or partial sight as a result.

There are currently six pieces of artwork available for purchase!

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Raising Awareness of Adult Vaccinations

Take the Survey Today!

Immunization is a core component of the human right to health, a standard element in any effective, preventative public health approach, and an individual, community, and governmental responsibility.  Current advocacy efforts to promote the importance of immunization have focused primarily on children, yet there is a grave lack of awareness about the fact that older people are equally, if not more vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases.

IFA has created a survey to better understand the uptake of adult vaccinations and to promote awareness of the importance of vaccinations throughout the life course.

Seeing the Future Through the Power of Global Advocacy

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An ophthalmologist performs a comprehensive eye exam in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. Photo by: World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

If you had to choose one of your senses to live without, what would it be and why?

Many people would not be willing to give up their vision. It is how we perceive reality and how we interpret our environment.

It’s a common misconception that vision loss is an inevitable part of the ageing process. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 82 percent of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above, with uncorrected refractive errors being the main cause of visual impairment.

Innovations in diagnosis, biomedicine, nutrition, technology, and preventative care have nevertheless made it entirely possible to age with strong, healthy vision. WHO also states that 80 percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. There is a sense of urgency as well as a global responsibility to address this leading cause of disability among this population.

Building a platform to strengthen organizational capacity and stimulate national and regional advocacy efforts is essential to ensure that this pertinent public health issue is a priority on every government’s agenda. Action in Global Advocacy mobilizes effective advocacy campaigns toward the goal of addressing preventable vision impairment and blindness across aging and vision organizations.

By Dana Bandola, Project Officer at the IFA

Please read the full article at Devex Global Views.

Check out the Healthy Means campaign and tweet using #HealthyMeans to showcase new ideas and ways we can work together to expand health care and live better lives.

We Were Older Then, We Are Younger Now

When is someone old?

A commentary written by Dr John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization, discusses the importance of reinventing our current health systems in ways that are both sustainable and can better meet the needs of those with multiple morbidities.

“Research suggests that while population ageing will certainly lead to an increase in expenditure on health care, the introduction of new technologies and treatments is likely to have a much bigger impact, as is john-beard-and-son-230pxthe natural tendency for countries and individuals to spend more on health as they get richer. There are also many inefficiencies in most health systems that have an enormous influence on costs.”

Dr Beard suggests a holistic approach such as using comprehensive health assessments as well as an interdisciplinary team of providers spanning the full range of services an older person may require, which would be both better for older persons and for the economic costs of the health system.

To read the full article, see the WHO Media Centre Commentaries.

Urbanization and Age-Friendly Cities

DPI NGO

On November 6, 2014 Helen Hamlin, IFA Main Representative at the United Nations, will be moderating the NGO Committee on Ageing New York meeting on Urbanization and Age-Friendly Cities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an Age-Friendly City as “an inclusive and accessible urban environment that promotes active ageing.”

The IFA has been a proud supporter of the age-friendly programme since its inception and is now partnering with WHO to lend its unique expertise in order to help ensure that Age Friendly World is an all-encompassing resource for all things related to age-friendliness and a useful community to connect all those across the world undertaking age-friendly initiatives.

Through its growing global reach via a large membership base and governmental network the IFA is uniquely placed to view the social and economic consequences of population ageing in the context of both its opportunities and challenges including financial protection, healthy ageing, age-friendly cities, health and social system change, labour market forces and the care continuum.

For more information, please see the Age-Friendly World Website.

The Revera and Reel Youth Age is More Film Project: Women’s Wisdom Edition

The latest video series in Revera Inc.’s Age is More initiative focuses on ageism as it impacts women. The process of creating the 10 videos for the Women’s Wisdom edition was just as important as the end result, says Dr. Jane Barratt.

Barratt, secretary general of the International Federation on Ageing, says the fear of aging amongst younger women isn’t about just getting older. “It’s a much more serious issue,” she says. “It’s about fear of losing mental capacity, physical abilities and independence.” This is why Revera’s partnership with Reel Youth, an organization of young filmmakers, is crucial to combatting ageism, she adds.

Read the full article on the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) website.

Reel Youth supports municipalities, schools, youth groups, businesses, and service agencies looking for exciting and meaningful ways to engage youth and adults in producing and distributing digital media.

Older People: The Forgotten Generation

world_we_want_logoThe United Nations is currently negotiating the international development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) post-2015. Also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this framework sets a standard with a universal agenda that also coincides with the UN theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2014 “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”.

However, some fear that international development politics may continue to focus on existing priorities, with the voice of older people continuing to be sidelined.

Ken Bluestone, Age International, discusses how the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons seemingly excluded age as a category in the post-2015 agenda of data to be collected. In its letter, the High Level Panel wrote: “We recall our proposal that targets should only be considered achieved if met by all relevant social and income groups – disaggregating data by gender, geography, income, disability and other categories to ensure that no-one is left behind.” The inclusion of older people as a marginalised group in the new framework is vital in ensuring the reduction of discrimination, isolation and marginalisation in later life.

For more information, please read the blog by Ken Bluestone – Older People: the forgotten generation.

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