Celebrating Innovations in Ageing and Brain Health at #ifaTO2018

Posted on July 20th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

Cognitive Health Innovation Contest Winners

Innovation is at the heart of one’s imagination and inspires positive change.  The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) in its promotion of the IFA’s 14th Global Conference on Ageing sponsored a contest highlighting innovation in support of healthy ageing.

The Cognitive Health Innovation Contest invited people from all walks of life to share their solution for addressing issues related to ageing and brain health.  Contestants were invited to submit a short video on social media explaining why their innovation would help improve the quality of life for older people around the world and how it was relevant to CABHI’s innovation themes:

The Winning videos really illustrated the opportunities that population ageing provides and the depth of understanding of some of the real-life issues.  Read more about the three contest winners and their innovative solutions below:

Amélie Gauthier-Beaupré, PhD student, University of Ottawa, and co-founder of Mouvable.

Mouvable aims to develop an innovative exergaming platform for older adults.  Amélie believes that physical activity is the most powerful lifestyle factor protecting against cognitive decline for older persons.  Her solution is a technology-based game platform to encourage physical activity for older people, therefore promoting brain health.  It provides an immersive, multiplayer experience, featuring games that are adapted to the needs and conditions of older people living at home or in long-term care.

Watch Video here.

Kathy Bell, Director of Education at Integra College, and founder of the Clever Companion Program.

The Clever Companion Program is designed to train experienced educated professionals to work with seniors and encourage cognitive health and social connectedness.  Using her own experience in teaching, research, and career program development Kathy created the perfect match between retiring professionals who want to stay connected, and seniors who need cognitive and social stimulation to help develop and maintain cognitive reserve.  The program addresses the Priority Area of Caregiver Support by seeking to validate and activate wisdom, opinions, and experiences, and encourage lively and challenging discussions in the home, one-on-one or in small groups.

Watch Video here.

Frank Nicholson, Chair, Video Conferencing Working Group, Academy for Lifelong Learning.

Internet-based video conferencing, Mr Nicholson believes, would significantly improve the quality of life for older persons.   This kind of medium can be used to conduct a transatlantic public affairs discussion forum, where older persons can connect internationally each month to debate international issues.  Special thought has also been given to how this technology could help those who have diminished mobility and suffer from social isolation.

Watch Video here.

For more information about the Contest Sponsor visit: Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation.

An Economic Analysis of Flu Vaccination

Posted on July 11th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

The IFA welcomes guest blogger Mr David Sinclair, Director, ILC-UK

New research by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) argues that Government should take into account the economic as well as the health benefits of vaccination when assessing its value.

The new research highlights how influenza can have an adverse impact on productivity within the economy. It finds that the greatest economic benefit from vaccination is derived from reducing the cost of lost employment and lost care giving (“human capital costs”).  ILC-UK have developed a new static economic model which finds:

According to ILC-UK, there were over 6.2 million “at risk” individuals who had not been vaccinated against influenza during the 2016/17 flu season.

The researchers find substantial potential cost savings when the vaccine is well matched to disease but argue that, if we are to maximise the economic return, it is important to raise the efficacy of the vaccine among older age groups in particular.  ILC-UK argue that the cost-benefit analysis is highly sensitive to vaccine administration costs and urge Government to look to ways of delivering the vaccination more efficiently.

An Economic Analysis of Flu Vaccination is available here.

#AIDSageism: Raising Awareness for Older People with HIV

Posted on July 4th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

With one in four Canadians with HIV exceeding the age of 50, Realize, a national, charitable organization that responds to the rehabilitation needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, has launched a campaign to fight #AIDSageism at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in July 2018.

Ageism involves negative stereotyping, prejudice and/ or discrimination against older people, and is both persistent and often socially acceptable, intersecting with many other global issues.  In areas of the world where people living with HIV are older, such as Canada, the US and Western Europe, the world’s response to HIV and AIDS is impacted due to ageism.

Older people living with HIV are being overlooked in health strategies, planning and policy-making; their unique experiences are being forgotten, and the evolving health and social uncertainties they face are barely on the radar.

While this issue is large in scope, Realize is determined to make a change.  In collaboration with international partners, Realize organized an information and networking zone for the Global Village at the conference.  This information and networking zone was supposed to focus on what it means to age with HIV.  Unfortunately, they were turned down by organizers—something that further emphasized the lack of focus internationally on HIV and ageing.

Undeterred, Realize approached the human rights and HIV community with hope and determination to secure an opportunity in the Global Village.  With the support of partners, they will now be presenting a panel titled “The Gray Zone: Ageism as a Human Rights Issue in the Global Response to HIV” in the Human Rights Networking Zone.

Now, Realize needs your help:

The IFA is a named partner with Realize and the #AIDSageism campaign; the IFA takes pride in ensuring the voices of older people living with HIV are heard.  When the world meets in Amsterdam to think about the future of the global HIV response, Realize and the IFA want to make sure older people with HIV are part of the conversation.

Help fight #AIDSageism today.

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