October 2014

Depth Perception: Fusion of Art and Culture 


On behalf of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and OCAD University, we hope you will join us at an art auction with an international twist - Depth Perception: Fusion of Art and Culture.


Auction: 19th November 2014

Artscape Youngplace, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Public Exhibition: 17th - 19th November


Join in on an exciting evening and silent auction of art works created in Toronto this summer by 13 accomplished artists - six from Turkey and seven from OCAD University.  Your opportunity to savour - perhaps to own - a great piece of art by a recognized or emerging artist awaits. 


Proceeds from the auction will support the IFA and its work to raise awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  While great strides have been made in preventing communicable eye diseases, action is needed now to combat the dramatic growth in non-communicable age-related eye conditions like AMD.


Come and enjoy! Bring your friends for a fantastic evening of art, education, and culture, and supporting a great cause!




International Day of Older Persons - China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA)

In response to the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October as well as The Day of Elder Persons in China on 9 September, the International Department of China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA) has disseminated information regarding plans for the development of programs for older persons as well as preferential policies for older persons in China.


These documents reflect CNCA and its relationships with relevant United Nations agencies in China, foreign embassies of China, and other international organizations related to ageing and older people.  The aim is to develop programs for older persons at a faster pace and to provide them with various forms of economic subsidies, privileges and convenient services in medication, food, housing, utilities, transport, and entertainment.  


For further information read the Plan for Development of Elderly Programmes in China during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan Period and the Preferential Policies for the Elderly. 

Action in Global Advocacy - Germany Project Call to Action


Action in Global Advocacy (AGA) is an initiative established by the IFA to respond to gaps in coalition building and mobilize effective and responsible advocacy campaigns globally towards the goal of addressing preventable vision impairment and blindness across ageing and vision organizations.


In Germany, two organizations, the German Federation for the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV) and the German Association of Senior Citizens Organization (BAGSO) are taking action against the growing numbers of eye disorders and related issues in old age.  Currently, there is not enough support in Germany for preventative measures against vision impairment and blindness, which was clearly demonstrated at the June 2014 symposium in Germany.


The symposium did demonstrate a willingness from experts in the field of nursing, research, ophthalmology, optometry, rehabilitation, senior organizations, self-help, and businesses to provide social change and collaboration in the areas of eye health and older persons.


The Bonn Declaration was developed and the first objective is to "prevent avoidable vision loss and ensure people with vision loss have optimal support."


Learn more about Germany's collaborative project and the following fields of action here. 

Age-Friendly World Website - World Health Organization

In order to make our world more age-friendly by facilitating the inclusion of older persons, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a key strategy known as Age-Friendly World.  This enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities, stay connected to those around you and those you love, stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages, and helps those who can no longer look after themselves to live with dignity and enjoyment. 


Many cities and communities are already taking active steps towards becoming more age-friendly by creating accessible, barrier-free, inclusive and cohesive communities for all ages.  A new dedicated website, Age-Friendly World, supports them in this endeavour by providing a one-stop-shop on age-friendly action at the local level: guides and tools, as well as age-friendly practices and information on hundreds of city and community initiatives around the world. 


Browse the Age-Friendly World website to learn more about what can be done to make your city or communities more age-friendly. 


In This Issue
Depth Perception: Fusion of Art and Culture
International Day of Older Persons - China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA)
Action in Global Advocacy - Germany Project Call to Action
Age-Friendly World Website - World Health Organization
Become an IFA member
Global AgeWatch Index 2014 - Insight Report
IFA Blog - Companion Animals and CAG 2014
Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life
Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL) Recognizes Contributions....
New Music Technologies for Older Learners and their Teachers, By Anita Pincas
Ageing and Poverty in India - Dr. Penny Vera-Sanso
New Book on 'Epidemic' of Age Discrimination in United States, By Patricia G. Barnes, J.D
Marius: 90 Years Old and Still Riding a Bike
3rd International Conference on Ageing in a Foreign Land: "Real People with Real Experiences"
Closing Note
Quick Links


IFA Patron Members 


BMO logo eNews


The IFA is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn! Join our Online Community Now !



Become an IFA member


The IFA has a long established and wide-ranging network of member organizations around the world.  The network extends to over 70 countries covering every region.  Together these organizations represent over 55 million older people.


There are two categories of membership: (1) Full Members or (2) Associate Members.


Full members, comprise of local, regional, provincial/territorial or national not-for-profit or non-governmental organizations, including for-profit organizations working with or representing the rights and interests of older people.  Fees vary dependent on the total annual operating budget for the organization.  Full members are the only category of membership with voting rights.


Associate members are all individuals and sectors of society interested in understanding the issues and improving the lives of older people.  This category of membership provides entitlement to attend members' meetings, be appointed/elected to the Board and participate in other activities of the Corporation, but does not have the right to vote at any meeting or in any proceedings of the Corporation.


Find out more about member benefits here.

Become a member here.

Global AgeWatch Index 2014 - Insight Report

The Global AgeWatch Index is in its second year and was launched on 1 October 2014 to coincide with UN International Day of Older Persons.  It is the only global index on the wellbeing of older people and was created in response to the call for action from the UN Secretary-General for a data revolution to ensure that no one is left behind. 


The Index ranks 96 countries - 91 percent of older people in the world - on their social and economic wellbeing.  It is based on four domains: (1) income security; (2) health status; (3) capability, and (4) enabling environment. 


Read the Global AgeWatch Index here.

Read HelpAge International's Press Release here. 

IFA Blog - Companion Animals and CAG 2014


The IFA is pleased to announce the re-launching of our ageing issues blog.  The blog's focus is on providing fresh perspectives on issues ranging from elder abuse, to gerontechnology, to the depiction of older adults in popular culture and much more.  Please see below an excerpt from the IFA Blog.


Symposia Session VIII: Companion Animals and Aging


"I never thought I would have the opportunity to present at such a well renowned conference such as the Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG). Being involved in the Symposium Companion Animals and Aging gave me the opportunity to both speak about the therapeutic benefits of companion animals to the health of older persons as well as listen to others discuss current research and implementation of this important topic. I was informed that this symposium was one of the most well attended at the CAG conference, which speaks volumes to how essential this area of research is to individuals working towards improving the quality of life for older persons."


Read more here.
If you would like to contribute to the IFA blog and stimulate a discussion on any ageing topic of interest to you, please contact danabandola@ifa-fiv.org or call our office at +1 (416) 342 - 1655. 

Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life

The World Health Organization (WHO), together with its partners, is working on the implementation of the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020.  This Joint WHO-WPCA (Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance) publication is a great example of collaborative effort to position palliative care higher in the global and national health agendas. 


The "Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life" is an excellent tool to advocate for the inclusion of palliative in the global, regional, and national health agendas.  The aim is to recognize that palliative care, when indicated, is fundamental to improving quality of life, well-being, comfort, and human dignity for individuals, being an effective person-centred health service that values patients' need to receive adequate, personally and culturally sensitive information on their health status, and their central role in making decisions about the treatment received.


Learn more here.

Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL) Recognizes Contributions of Older People in Liberia Amid the On-going Ebola Crisis


In observance of the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October, the Coalition of Caregivers and Advocates for the Elderly in Liberia (COCAEL) held an impressive ceremony in recognition of older people in Liberia amid the on-going Ebola crisis on the same day under the theme: "Do not leave Liberia's Older People Behind."

The event was held at the S. Triwen Nagbe United Methodist Church and brought together a group of older people, representatives of provider agencies of nursing homes and community-based organizations catering to older people in various communities, the Ageing Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and advocacy groups for older persons.


The COCAEL has also recently set up an Ebola Response Committee to design strategies and mobilize resources to provide an effective Ebola Response for older people in Liberia. 


Read more here.

If you have not yet donated to COCAEL to help them protect older persons among the Ebola crisis, you can donate through the IFA website here

New Music Technologies for Older Learners and their Teachers, By Anita Pincas, Institute of Education, University of London

Considerable attention is paid to new technology for older adults, especially smart technology that can help them navigate uneven ground, find their way along tricky routes, use computers more simply, and many more.  The value of creative pursuits for older persons is another growing field of interest.

However, even though the creative arts are recognised as valuable for the older population, the potential beneficiaries are sceptical of their own abilities.  To persuade them that they can learn and enjoy music in some active way calls for assistive solutions.  Luckily there are a huge number of these for learning, practising, performing, and composing music.  But it is largely unknown to traditional classical teachers, and to a lesser extent ignored by the popular learning and teaching music professionals.

This paper will refer extensively to the website in which the author has set out approximately 100 music apps [software, applications] according to a pedagogic classification, and will briefly explain the most  important features of some examples in each category.  The website is relevant and freely available to all musicians, music teachers, learners, technologists, researchers, and musical instrument creators who would be likely to benefit from knowing what is currently technically and digitally possible. 

Read more here

Ageing and Poverty in India 

Research undertaken into older people's lives in India has found that older people play a significant but unacknowledged role in India's economy.  Researchers, Dr. Penny Vera-Sanso and Dr. V Suresh, conducted research in urban South India between 2007 and 2013, finding that not only did older people contribute to family budgets but they also buttress the national and global economy by supplying low-cost services to workers and low-cost inputs to industry.  To see how widespread older people's work is in India as a whole, the research team launched a national photo competition with The Hindu newspaper.  The nearly 3,000 photos submitted irrefutably demonstrated that older people are working throughout India's mountains, plains, coasts, villages, towns and cities.

To get their findings into the public domain the researchers have pursued a number of strategies including a photographic essay, which they have exhibited as a pop up exhibition in India, and production of two documentaries with award winning director, Deepa Dhanraj.  The documentaries were shot in three locations, urban Tamil Nadu, rural Rajasthan and tribal Maharashtra in order to capture the diversity and commonalities of older people's situation. 

We're Still Working (17 mins), unseats the assumption of old age dependency by uncovering the extent to which older people are shouldering the burden of India's economic development, yet their work and moral and legal rights as workers, citizens and people remain unacknowledged.  In The Forgotten Generation (40 mins) older people reveal the reality of their lives, relationships and work as well as their expectations of the future. We learn how they manoeuvre within tight constraints to create new social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families and friends and how targeted social pensions are producing Kafka-esque encounters with the State.

Dr Penny Vera-Sanso, Birkbeck, University of London, p.vera-sanso@bbk.ac.uk

Dr V Suresh, Centre for Law, Policy and Human Rights Studies, Chennai 

New Book on 'Epidemic' of Age Discrimination in United States, By Patricia G. Barnes, J.D.

A new book addresses the "epidemic" of age discrimination in the workforce in the United States, and highlights a problem that often catapults older workers into a penurious, unwanted retirement.  Patricia G. Barnes, J.D., writes in 'Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace' that age discrimination has skyrocketed since the Great Recession but is hidden behind catch-phrases like "long-term unemployment" and "early retirement."  

She says the leading law addressing age discrimination in the United States, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, was weak to begin with and has been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court.  For example, Barnes says the Court in 2009 raised the level of proof in age discrimination lawsuits far above that in race and sex discrimination lawsuits.  She also states that the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have ignored the problem, even though the number of age discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC reached a record high of 24,582 in 2008.  Age discrimination is becoming normalized in America, writes Barnes, and is trickling down to ever younger workers.  

Betrayed is available as an e-book or in soft-cover at Amazon.

Marius: 90 Years Old and Still Riding a Bike


In Ardeches (South-East of France), the goal of the Annonéens cycling club is to encourage the well-being of the older people through the practice of riding a bike.


For over a year, this innovative program has encouraged over 100 older adults to have the pleasure of riding a bike.  Some older people pursued this recreational activity even after 30 years of no-practice.


Rediscovering the pleasure of cycling has given 90 year old Marius a new lease on life.  For a couple hours a day, Marius is able to leave the retirement home and meet new people while maintaining his psychological and physical well-being.


Watch the video (fr) below. 

Marius: 90 Years Old and Still Riding a Bike!
Marius: 90 Years Old and Still Riding a Bike!

3rd International Conference on Ageing in a Foreign Land: "Real People with Real Experiences"  - Flinders University
On 24 - 26 June, 2015 the School of Humanities at Flinders University is holding the 3rd International Conference on Ageing in a Foreign Land in Adelaide, South Australia.  The 2015 'Ageing in a Foreign Land' conference will present findings of research regarding the needs of ageing migrants in Australia, focussing in particular on the issues of language and cultural identity, and service provision for older populations within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Australia.  The conference presents an opportunity for CALD voices to be heard regarding their needs and aspirations as they grow older in Australia.

Attendance and participation from academics, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, service providers, and aged care workers is welcomed.  The conference presents a unique opportunity for institutions and individuals to extend their learning, share their experiences with others, promote their activities, and create a dynamic and vibrant network to further advance knowledge. 
Find out more about the conference here

Closing Note


Dear Readers,


If you are interested in submitting an article for a future edition of the IFA eNews or wish to make comments or recommendations on how we might improve this publication please email Greg Shaw (gshaw@ifa-fiv.org) or Izabella Kaczmarek (ikaczmarek@ifa-fiv.org) You can contact us by telephone +1 416 342-1655. 

The IFA is now on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn! Join our Online Community! 


Forward email

This email was sent to ikaczmarek@ifa-fiv.org by gshaw@ifa-fiv.org |  

International Federation on Ageing | 351 Christie Street | Toronto | Ontario | M6G 3C3 | Canada