Articles of Enduring Interest
Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide – Available in Russian
Thanks to Dr. Gulnara Minnigaleeva of the NGO, Retired Persons’ Organization “Wisdom Ripening” the WHO Age-friendly Cities Guide is available in Russian. The establishment of “Wisdom Ripening” came about as a result of the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities Project in the city of Tuymazy, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russian Federation. The organization serves the interests of older peple of the city and works on making the city “livable” for all ages. They received the official status of a nonprofit nongovernmental organization in 2008 and are registered with the Federal Authorities of the Russian Federation.
Their mission is to contribute to providing social security for older persons; create Age-Friendly Environment in concordance with the Age-Friendly Cities Guidelines developed by the World Health Organization; to organize, facilitate and support projects to ensure Active Aging in Tuymazy, Russian Federation; and to work to strengthen humanitarian society and volunteerism. Go to http://wisdomripening.org/ to learn more.
Current and Emerging Issues Facing Older Canadians
The IFA has just released a report on current and emerging issues facing older Canadian that aims to improve policy responses to critical age-related issues through the identification, investigation and analysis of specific country trends and responses that are applicable to the Canadian context and population trends. Ageing issues are complex and not only about seniors.
The notion of a life course perspective was introduced more than a decade ago yet is seeing resurgence in the context the labor market strategies, the work-life balance, the role of family caring and being active and connected as we age. In the study of current and future issues facing older Canadians, all levels of governments, industry and the non-governmental sectors revealed not only layers of a discreet subject (such as an ageing workforce) but more importantly the interrelationships among the issues and the interconnectedness between the issues.
Not surprisingly the issues of ageing in place and support to caregivers were rated as the highest priority. On behalf of the IFA our thanks to members and contributors to this important study. You can view the full report here.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012 - WEAAD in Cyberspace
The concept of World Day has spread across all nations, absorbing influences from other traditions, growing even richer and more profound in its campaign to bring awareness to issues of elder abuse. WEAAD has helped people understand what elder abuse is, acknowledge the importance of human and civil rights, and recognize the need for research, education, advocacy and policy development.
We invite you to make this the year of ‘WEAAD in Cyberspace’…a bold vision where globalizing a social media approach can raise elder abuse awareness to heights never before imagined. In moving forward into the smart, fast and powerful world of interactive technology, our messages will be heard collectively around the world.
ACTION : June 11 – 22, 2012
Conduct a media blitz using LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Internet, etc. and send out messages, slogans, quotes, about elder abuse mistreatment awareness and the meaning of World Day. Tweets can be inspiring, insightful, whimsical, challenging and controversial…just keep them going! To access the Twitter account generated by Ryerson Digital Media Zone, please sign in and follow us @WEAAD1 or with the link to our Twitter homepage at https://twitter.com/WEAAD1. If you don’t have a Twitter account, it only takes a moment to Google “Create a Twitter Account” and register. Every Tweet will help delete elder abuse.
View the flyer here.
Ageing, Alzheimer’s disease/dementias and caregiving in NCD Summit 2011 Outcomes
Seventy five per cent of the 35 million deaths from NCDs worldwide affect people aged 60 and over, the majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. The rapid increase predicted in the number of older people in the developing world from 473 million in 2009 to 1.6 billion in 20502 makes addressing older people’s needs regarding NCDs an urgent priority.
The UN High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases can be a critical moment for rallying global efforts to meet the needs of all age groups affected by NCDs. The proposals on the table have the potential to help shift the behaviour of millions of people to healthier lifestyles and provide much needed healthcare, treatment and support.
UN Member States’ efforts to tackle NCDs will be strengthened greatly by ensuring the following:
Ageing is recognised as a key driver of NCDs and active steps are taken to address people’s health needs across the life-course;
Health planning focuses on preventable morbidity and death without setting arbitrary age limits for good health;
Mental and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, are recognised as an important cause of morbidity that contribute to the global NCD burden and that NCD prevention programmes and health care interventions provide equitable access to effective programmes for these illnesses;
Palliative care and support provision is scaled up alongside preventive and curative measures for NCDs;
Follow-up to the commitments made at the NCD High Level Meeting include specific indicators relevant to older age groups.
We welcome the progress made so far to address these issues as reflected in the draft Political Statement. These commitments also need to be reflected in national NCD plans that Member States will develop.
View the UN Declaration of the NCD Summit.
Voices of Advocacy: Older Women Speak Out!
“How do we engage, nurture and sustain older women advocates in civil society?” In 2009/10 Peggy Edwards studied the unique Grandmothers To Grandmothers Campaign (in Canada and Africa) to find answers to this question.
Older women who volunteer in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign are working to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and to provide a voice in Canada and with international agencies for African grandmothers and the millions of AIDS orphans in their care. The Grandmothers Campaign is affiliated with the Stephen Lewis Foundation. (www.grandmotherscampaign.org)
There are now over 240 groups in Canada from coast to coast.
“Against all odds, the Grandmothers Campaign has become a social movement. The grandmothers have not only raised awareness but a huge sum of money ($12 million in five years!) but they have become a force of political advocacy at crucial political moments… The Grandmothers Campaign has helped to transform international development policy.” … Stephen Lewis, former UN Envoy on AIDS in Africa.
Peggy’s website at www.grannyvoices.com provides the results of her work through a 10-minute video and other innovative products and teaching tools. Use of these tools will provoke reflection and discussion about the role of older women as passionate, committed and skilled advocates for social justice, and the Grandmothers Campaign. Peggy’s work was supported by the Alan Thomas Fellowship granted by the Carold Institute for the Advancement of Citizenship in Social Change (www.carold.ca)
“The video inspired us to stand in solidarity with the African grandmothers who are raising millions of AIDS orphan, and to keep working to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS in Africa”. … member of a grandmother group, Toronto, ON.
“The video and handouts break down negative stereotypes about aging and provoked a good conversation about intergenerational relationships and the capacity of older women as leaders and learners in modern society”. … professor, School of Nursing, George Brown College, Toronto, ON.
Food Crisis and Older People
16 October 2011 was both World Food Day and Blog Action Day. As a result, the theme for Blog Action was food, but more specifically, the focus of World Food Day was “Food prices – from crisis to stability”.
Older people key providers of food
Older people have been affected by the food crisis, price hikes and the devastating drought and famine in east Africa.
At first, the situation seems contradictory: Older people are the key producers and providers of food, yet millions go hungry. They play a vital role in producing, preparing and providing food and high proportion of farmers in developing countries are older people.
In Jamaica for example, the average age of farmers is over 55. In Mozambique, more than two-thirds of the Small Farmers Union members are over 50.
However, there are many reasons why so many older people are going hungry. Reduced mobility can affect older people’s access to food. Land can also be a problem; as the need for farmland increases, older people can be victims of land grabbing. The declining capacity to farm, changes in the environment, as well as the demands of caring and insufficient income can also be huge issues for older people.
The crisis in Ethiopia is an example of many of the above reasons converging and leading to devastating results.
For more information or donation, click here.
Japan Disaster Appeal – Supporting Older Vulnerable People
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) together with Friends of IFA (FOIFA) Japan are launching a focused fund-raising campaign for a specific project that aims to assist organizations providing support and care services to vulnerable older people affected by the most powerful earthquake to hit north east Japan in more than 100 years.
Our prayers and sympathies go out to our friends, colleagues and their families of those lost in the earthquake in Japan. The effect of the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis has had devastating consequences for the lives of tens of thousands of people, their families and their communities.
The IFA has a strong affinity with older people in Japan through members such as the Japan Productive Ageing Centre, the Japan Well-Ageing Association, Meals on Wheels Japan, and FOIFA Japan. FOIFA Japan has offices and a medical network and old age homes in Akita Prefecture which is 200 kilometres north-west of Sendai City which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.
How Can You Help?
The funds raised through this appeal will be used to support much needed services to older people in communities affected by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, FOIFA Japan has direct links to the service providers in the most affected areas. The funds will provide immediate and long term support for:
Seniors organizations, displaced older people and their families with essential care and support services in addition to recovery assistance
Organizations serving older people to rebuild and supply essential long term care facilities
Help two long-term care facilities with replacement vehicles.
You can make a difference today, by providing donations directly to FOIFA Japan or through the IFA. Donate online now or download the Japan Disaster Appeal Donation Form now.
Friends of IFA Japan: by email at email@example.com or by fax at +81-18-868-6220
International Federation on Ageing: by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at +1- 416-392-4157