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Monday, September 22, 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.

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].

Vision Problems Increase the Risk of Early Death in Older People

istock_000017472301large_wide-27dbcc7aa2c149ea03d15aea37f6617041dbe9b5-s40-c85While vision loss does not directly predict an increased risk of death, it is the correlation to a loss of independence that has affected older adults quality of life in later years.  Good vision is necessary for activities of daily living such as shopping, managing money, and doing housework.  The correlation of losing visual acuity equivalent to one letter on an eye chart each year was a 16 percent increase in mortality risk over eight years, due to a loss in independent living abilities.  Reducing this risk by getting a regular eye exam and dealing with impairments can help to maintain independence in later life, in addition to remaining physically active and postponing certain functional declines for as long as possible.

Read the full article by Nancy Shute [here].

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.

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