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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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About the IFA









 Raising Awareness of Adult Vaccinations

“Take the Survey Today”

vaccinationsImmunization 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.

Beyond the Boomers: Facing the Global Challenges of Ageing

3a566f8While a significant proportion of the ageing population consists of those born between 1946 and 1964, also known as the Baby Boomers, they still only represent a small fraction of the world’s ageing population.  The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division estimate that by 2050, 80 percent of the global ageing population will reside in developing regions.   Additionally, China, Japan, and Western European nations also have boom generations that are beginning to reach their later years.

Ageing populations combined with low birth rates have caused cultural shifts for governments on a macro level and financial amendments on an individual level.  Healthy ageing has become an important factor for the global ageing population that can be obtained through diet, exercise and appropriate medicines that pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer promote.

“Corporations such as Pfizer are to be applauded for the significant contribution they have made to the dialogue on ageing and the introduction of their Get Old Initiative in 2012 that dispels many of the myths about ageing, encouraging healthier lifestyles across all ages.  A quote from the Get Old website could not be more accurate when it states that it’s time to tell the truth about ageing.  The less you fear it, the more you’ll enjoy it.  In fact, it can be the best time of your life.” said Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the IFA.

Click [here] for the full article.

Click [here] to view the Get Old Initiative.

Will the United Nations Overlook Ageing Once Again? - 12th Global Conference on Ageing Symposium


From June 11 – 13, 2014, the IFA was honoured by the presence of our United Nations Representatives in New York at our 12th Global Conference on Ageing in Hyderabad, India.  Ms. Helen Hamlin, Ms. Valerie Levy, Ms. Cynthia Stuen, and Ms. Mary Mayer were a tremendous force at the conference and added significantly to the discourse through their meaningful comments and expert knowledge.

As part of their contributions to the conference, the IFA representatives gathered together during the morning session of June 11th to host an important symposium entitled “Will the United Nations Overlook Ageing Once Again?” discussing their work at the UN promoting the human rights of older people and the push towards a new international convention on the rights of older people.

Each of the UN Representatives spoke on a specific topic, ranging from the history of older people’s human rights initiatives at the UN, the  post-2015 Agenda, the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and an overview of the role of NGOs in UN processes.

All the presentations from the session are included below:

Ms. Mary Mayer’s presentation which contains a background and overview of the Sustainable Development Goals and the post 2015 agenda can be read online [here]

Ms. Cynthia Stuen’s presentation discussing the process of United Nations Open Working Groups can be viewed online [here]

Ms. Helen Hamlin’s presentation which discusses the role of NGOs is available online [here]

Ms. Valerie Levy’s presentation which discusses the development of advocacy strategies at the local level can be viewed online here [speech] [presentation]

New Study on Financial Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse, with most older adults having experienced money stolen or improperly used at some point in their lives. The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently published a study that found doctors, policy makers and caregivers to be too lenient regarding financial elder abuse. This often happens to older adults that are economically, medically and socio-demographically vulnerable since they are socially isolated and approaching various health declines. Most of the older adults interviewed had money stolen within the last year and others were deceived into giving up rights or property. Often times, cases of  financial elder abuse are perpetrated by family members and/or close associates.

For the full news article, please click here.

The Worldwide Face of Elder Abuse Scan II

The WorldView Environmental Scan I on Elder Abuse Scan was the first large-scale global survey of elder abuse and obtained more information from more respondents representing more countries than any previous study.  Its goal was to further our knowledge of elder abuse and understand how and why people abuse older adults on a global scale. The outcome provided information rich in content and diversity and although the process was a challenge, the researchers are enthusiastic to once again seek the support of the elder abuse community in conducting the second phase of this international study. There is again a need to share information and raise awareness of elder abuse in order to stimulate development of more programs and policies. Countries lack awareness of what is happening in other jurisdictions.  The goal of the Scan is to provide information sharing, identify promising initiatives, and strategies resulting in the general public becoming more aware of abuse and of how it can help prevent and address abuse issues. This research will further assist governments to develop sound policy built on an understanding of the extent of the problem and the far – reaching impact it has on society. Participation in the Worldwide Scan has the potential to make a very powerful contribution to the field of elder abuse.

Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons - UN 5th OEWG Side Event

side-event flyerThe fifth working session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing is taking place July 30th – August 1st, 2014.  As part of the OEWG meeting, there are a variety of side-events being organized by members of civil society.  This year, the IFA is co-sponsoring a side-event being organized by the John Marshall Law School about the process of engagement and drafting of the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons.

The Chicago Declaration is a working product of scholars, advocates and policy makers from more than a dozen countries. It builds on the principles proclaimed in international human rights instruments and previous regional and international instruments promoting the rights of older persons. Elements of the Chicago Declaration include the human rights and fundamental freedoms of older persons and proposed state obligations to ensure and promote those rights.

The Declaration will hope to inform and contribute to the work of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing. After an interactive panel discussion, the panelists and Chicago Declaration Working Group will be available for a Question and Answer session. Further discussions regarding the Chicago Declaration are encouraged and appreciated.

To see the list of speakers and to learn more about this event, please click here to download the promotional flyer.

If you wish to attend the side-event, please RSVP to Ms. Teresa Do (tdo@jmls.edu) by July 31st.

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