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Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Exclusive! Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons

The International Federation on Ageing and Bayer HealthCare Animal Health hosted a web conference on Thursday, September 25, 2014 with leading experts to announce the release of a new report Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons.

The [Press Release], [Executive Summary] and
[Full Report] are now available!


International Day of Older Persons: October 1

October 1 marks the United Nations General Assembly designation of the International Day of Older Persons!  The theme for 2014 is “Leaving no one behind: Promoting a society for all”, calling attention to the understanding that demography and population dynamics will shape developmental challenges and matters for sustainable development.


United Nations, Social Policy and Development: “Older persons make wide-ranging contributions to economic and social development. However, discrimination and social exclusion persist. We must overcome this bias in order to ensure a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations

United Nations, Human Rights: “We can turn a blind eye to many issues as if they do not concern us. But getting old is part of life and we will all pay the price for our inaction.” – United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte

World Health Organization: “Ageing is a development issue. Healthy older persons are a resource for their families, their communities and the economy.” – WHO Brasilia declaration on healthy ageing, 1996.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: “A growing divide in the well-being of older people will increase the stress on social protection. And it will jeopardize the effectiveness of recent reforms of labour markets, pension and long-term care systems.”

Global AgeWatch Index 2014

Global AgeWatch Index cover photoTo coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons on October 1, HelpAge International has launched the Global AgeWatch Index 2014.  It is the only global index on the well-being of older people and ranks 96 countries – 91% of older people in the world – on the social and economic well-being of older people.

The index is based on four domains: income security, health status, capability, and enabling environment.  The report looks at pension coverage in detail, with a section calling attention to data gaps on older people.  It concludes that economic growth will not improve older people’s well-being and that specific policies need to be put in place to address the implications of ageing.

HelpAge has developed this index as a way to:
1) Democratise international data by presenting it in a form that assists governments and policy makers in developing solutions to challenges facing the growing older populations,
2) Highlight data gaps in terms of both countries and areas relevant to the well-being of older people ,
3) Broaden policy makers’ understanding of the needs of older people to help us realize the multidimensional nature of later life, and
4) Provide countries with a baseline to measure future progress and for education purposes.

“The unprecedented rate and speed of population ageing presents policy makers with a challenge.” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive of HelpAge International. “Only if they act now will they have a chance to meet the needs of their citizens and keep their economies going.”

For more information, please see the press release and the Global AgeWatch Website.

Support Local Community Action Against the Ebola Virus in Liberia

ebola-liberia2As of September 22, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 863 confirmed cases and 631 deaths from the Ebola virus in Liberia. The WHO suspects there are about 817 cases and 364 deaths that have gone unreported since the outbreak. Liberia is now seen as the epicenter of the outbreak with approximately half the infected cases and deaths occurring in Liberia. The number of Ebola cases is expected to grow exponentially in the coming weeks; the WHO has anticipated approximately 1342 new cases and 544 deaths.

Increases in demand from the Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) are continuing to outstrip capacity in Liberia. The clinics are currently filled to capacity and a number of infected people who were not able to get into the clinic had to go back to their houses. People in the community are upset by the lack of treatment, causing sick individuals to return home, increasing the chance of transmission.

In Liberia the renewed focus is on community engagement strategies. The Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL), comprising of representatives from provider agencies, caregivers and advocates in collaboration with the Ageing Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) have set up an Ebola Response Committee to design strategies and mobilize resources to provide an effective Ebola response for older people in Liberia.

To ensure that older people in Liberia, who are bearing the brunt of this health crisis, remain survivors and not victims of the deadly Ebola Virus the COCAEL is asking for donations to be able to provide food and perishable items, preventative and awareness materials.

Read COCAEL’s Press Release [here].

[Donate here] and all proceeds will go to local communities associated with COCAEL.


Election of New Officers for the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)

In August 2014, an election was held for officers of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).  Over 80% of the INPEA membership from around the world voted for the following officers for a four year term.

Susan B. Somers, J.D., was elected to the Office of the President.  She served as Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York, heading sections of Consumer Fraud and The Elder Protection Unit and State Director of the NYS OCFS Bureau of Adult Services. She served as Secretary General of INPEA since 2003.  Her goal is to increase the capacity of INPEA members in developing and less developed countries to promote and strengthen the rights of older persons locally and globally through cooperation and collaboration, a goal that all officers will support.

Rosy Pereyra, M.D., was elected as Vice President. She is a geriatrician who has served as President of Grand Father’s Institute and as President of the International Longevity Center, Dominican Republic.

Pamela B. Teaster, Ph.D., was elected as Secretary General. She is a Professor and Associate Director for Research at the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

Cynthia Thomas, Ph.D., was elected as Treasurer of International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) for next term. She is a Senior Study Director at Westat, an employee-owned research company in Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Please [click here] for the full announcement.

Global World Sight Day Event

WSD14_logoOn October 9, 2014, Mexico City will be hosting an international day of awareness about avoidable blindness and its prevention entitled World Site Day (WSD).  The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the Mexican Society of Ophthalmology (SMO) are committed to ensuring that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) blindness prevention objectives are met.  The event will include lectures by renowned ophthalmologists and eye care leaders from around the world discussing the latest in eye health practices and roadmaps for the future.  The IAPB hopes to ensure that eye health is on the agenda of key government, corporate, and NGO stakeholders over the next few years.

Bob McMullan, President, IAPB will be chairing the event. “Universal Eye Health embodies many critical aspects of successful eye health practice”, he said. “No one should needlessly go blind. Those with permanent sight loss should be able to meet their potential. Together we can deliver on these objectives – World Sight Day is a great opportunity to renew our commitment”.

View the full press release [here].

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