OUTREACH 
Join the WHO's Campaign against Ageism

Images and experiences can help change the way we think and act.

The IFA joins the World Health Organization's Department of Ageing and Life-course Instagram campaign in challenging ageism by asking for photos that demonstrate how older adults from 
around the world continue to play valuable roles in their families and communities. 

If you are:

- An older person, please post a photo of yourself celebrating that you are years ahead 

- A younger person, please post a selfie with someone you value who is years ahead 

 

Photos can be submitted on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #YearsAhead or sent to healthyageing@who.int with the subject line: YearsAhead.  Each photo should include a short description and where it was taken.  Please make sure that you have permission from anyone featured in photos before posting or sending.

The Care of Terminally Ill Persons - Call for Papers

A new project of the Law Commission of Ontario (ICO) is to review Ontario's law and policy framework for providing care to terminally ill persons and services for those who support them, including caregivers, family members, friends and health care providers.

As part of the review, the ICO will fund a number of research papers to inform the development of options for reform. 

Ten potential paper topics are identified, though ICO will also consider proposals on other topics that could contribute to their understanding. 

More information is available on ICO's website
INITIATIVES
MedEx Wellness - Novel Community-based Chronic Illness Rehabilitation Program, Dublin City University, Ireland

The Secretary General, Dr. Barratt had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the impact of the MedEx Wellness Program which is part of the suite of programs and courses of the Age-Friendly Dublin City University.
Hosting 600 participants a week, MedEx Wellness is one of the largest centres of its kind in Europe.  It offers medically supervised exercise classes to participants living with diverse chronic illnesses. MedEx also provides educational classes and encourages peer support through social activities after classes.
The MedEx model utilizes the advantages of its university setting - excellent exercise facilities, skilled staff, volunteer students and a research infrastructure.  
This unique location facilitates a 'living lab environment' for multi- and inter-disciplinary researchers and practitioners to collaborate and study its impact and implementation.   Current projects include evaluating MedEx as a public health model, and developing a home-based programme. 
Read more about the MedEx program here.
Becoming an Age Friendly Employer

"I am constantly surprised by the insights people gain and the innovation that comes from working in clusters.  This is proving to be a very cost effective way to engage employers to work on very practical challenges." - Geoff Pearman from Partners in Change.

Ninety- eight percent of businesses in New Zealand and Australia employ fewer than 50 employees.  Some are aware that their workforce is ageing, but only a few have developed a strategy despite the average age of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) owners in both countries will be over 60 years of age.  These companies generally do not have human resource departments to advise and develop ageing workforce initiatives.

Partners in Change, an organizational and workforce consultancy working in Australia and New Zealand, has developed a unique cluster program which brings together eight businesses prepared to address the risks and explore the opportunities of workforce and population ageing.

Learn more about the program and Partners in Change here.
REPORTS
"Outstanding Publication" - The International Diabetes Foundation's (IDF) 7th Diabetes Atlas 

The IFA commends its readers to the latest Diabetes Atlas which has published disaggregated age-related findings by many countries.  IFAs relationship with IDF over the last two years has been both rich in dialogue and learnings, demonstrating the essential need to work across disciplines, sectors to find that common thread and understanding.

"Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century.  Each year more and more people live with this condition, which can result in life-changing complications.  In addition to the 415 million adults who are estimated to currently have diabetes, there are 318 million adults with impaired glucose tolerance, which puts them at high risk of developing the disease in the future." - IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition.

The Diabetes Atlas should not sit on the book shelf but rather be a reference book that helps us appreciate the impact of diabetes in every country, every age group and every economy across the world. 

Generations United "The State of Grandfamilies in America 2015 Report" - A Must Read!

In the second edition of the annual 'State of Grandfamilies in America' report, Generations United identified key state laws and policies specifically designed to address barriers and better support the diverse and unique population of grandparents and other relatives raising children.
 
Almost 65 percent of children in grandfamilies, or kinship care, live in states with only half or less of the key laws and policies designed to support them.  Yet nationally the numbers of children placed in foster care with relatives increased from 24 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2013. 

Read the full report on Generations United's website.
Report from the National Academic of Medicine on "Preventing Dependency in Later Life"

In 2012, there were 1.2 million dependant older adults in France. If no preventative actions are implemented to improve and preserve the health capital of older people, this number will increase to 2.3 million by 2060.

Ensuring healthy ageing is an important challenge for our society. A new French report published by the National Academic of Medicine on 24th November 2015 provides concrete measures in order to prevent dependency in later life. 

This report promotes health education and preventative actions in each stage of life to reduce risk of dependency related to chronic diseases and also describes how health prevention is becoming a national priority in France. 

Authors of this report suggested 10 recommendations to public authorities.

Read the full article about National Academic of Medicine's full report here.
NEWS!
Measures to Enhance the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights and Dignity of Older Persons Resolution ADOPTED

The UN General Assembly Third Committee adopted the resolution, "Measures to enhance the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights and Dignity of Older Persons" by consensus.  

This is an important step forward that to some degree signals the UN's continued commitment.

The key asks in the Open Letter from Civil Society Organizations to the Co-Chairs of the OEWG are reflected in the final text of the resolution by:
  • Recognizing the work of the OEWG and encouraging Member States to continue to support it
  • Encouraging Member States to continue to explore alternative measures to improve the protection of older people's rights by presenting possible content for a multi-lateral legal instrument at the OEWG
  • Recommending the next OEWG session to take place in 2016
Read the adopted resolution here.
Reitman Centre's Dementia Talk App

Family members or friends who are caring for a person with dementia often struggle with how to deal with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.  
A team of clinicians from the Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital collaborated with software developers to develop a new phone application, called 'Dementia Talk App'. The app is designed to help caregivers of people with dementia track and manage behaviours and emotions of persons with dementia at home.
The App recently won 1st place in the Caregiver category of the 'DementiaHack' in Toronto and focuses on three main components:
  • Responsive Behaviour Management
  • Responsive Tracker
  • Caregiver Corner
The App is currently under further development and the team is working hard to prepare it for release to the market in the next few months.  Read more about the Dementia Talk App here.
Shingles Can Lead to Painful, Long Lasting Complications

The IFA is committed to improving the uptake rates of adult vaccinations globally. In 2015 in collaboration with Hacettepe University in Turkey and Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMO), several Summits of experts came together to discuss the barriers.  Without question one of the single most important and preventable barriers is lack of education.

Shingles is a painful condition caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus later in life, with those aged over 60 years having a higher risk of reactivation.  Up to half of people who acquire shingles in the 60 years and above age group go on to experience longer-term nerve pain, which can be difficult to treat and lasts on average up to 3.5 years.

Research by Stein AN et al. 2009 demonstrated that among 1,000 people aged 60 years and over, only 4% considered themselves at high risk of developing shingles, despite ~97% having been exposed to the virus that causes it.

Learn more about shingles here.
60% of Older People Don't Expect Festive Happiness

While many of us are looking forward to the holiday season and spending time with family and friends, new research from Age UK shows that most people aged 65 years and older experience loneliness during the holiday season. 

Only 23% of those polled aged 18 to 34 years of age plan to spend Christmas with their grandparents and just under half (48%) of those aged 25 - 54 years of age say they plan to spend it with their parents.

Edeka's advert perfectly depicts the plight of older adults during the holiday season:
Edeka's touching video about older adult's loneliness during the holidays.
Edeka's touching video about older adults loneliness during the holidays.

We must all ensure that we cherish the older adults in our lives and that they always have a place in all festivities. 
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