January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

In honour of Alzheimer's Awareness Month, the Alzheimer's Society of Canada is launching the #StillHere campaign to combat the negative perceptions about living with dementia.

The social media aspect of the campaign encourages people to share their experiences and stories about dementia.  The Alzheimer's Society of Canada has also created a quiz where people can test their knowledge and assumptions about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in order to dispel myths and misinformation.

For more information about the #StillHere campaign, or for information about becoming a supporter, visit http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/StillHere.


OUTREACH 
Open Registration for Webinar on How Age-Friendly Communities Can Reduce Social Isolation

January 27, 2016, 1:00 - 2:30pm

Registration is now open for the webinar discussing How Age-Friendly Communities Can Reduce Social Isolation.  This webinar is jointly hosted by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Association on Gerontology.

The webinar is directed at seniors, researchers, policy makers, community programmers and practitioners, health care professionals and caregivers with an interest in Age-friendly communities and social isolation related to older people.

Visit CHNET-Works! for webinar details and registration.

#CompanionAnimals Photographic Competition

The IFA is pleased to officially launch an international photographic competition on Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons.

All amateur and professional photographers are invited to join in highlighting the multiple therapeutic benefits of companion animals for older adults.  These benefits are categorized into subthemes for the photo competition:
  • Physical Health
  • Mental / psychological health
  • Emotional health and well-being
  • Social and community health
Entries can be submitted by sending a high-resolution photo and short description (150 words) to Ms Dana Bandola (dbandola@ifa-fiv.org).  With permission, photos will be showcased at the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing in Brisbane, Australia from 21-23 June 2016 for a chance to win up to $1,000 USD!

For more details, read the official contest guidelines.

Innovative Housing & Community Solutions for Adults with Autism Prize Challenge

Autism Speaks has launched a prize challenge to empower adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to move out of their family home and live as independently as possible, while remaining connected to the larger community.

Currently, more than 3 million individuals in the US are living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and around 500,000 of these individuals will be entering adulthood over the next ten years.

People from around the world, from any background are invited to submit innovative, breakthrough ideas in the following three home and residential support solutions:
  • For individuals who require 24/7 support
  • For individuals who require daily support
  • For individuals who require weekly support
Prize Details: The best solution in each of these categories will receive a $50,000 USD prize. The total prize purse is $150,000 USD.

Application Instructions: Last date for submission is March 1, 2016.  No entry fee is required.

Challenge Guidelines/ Registration Link: Visit the Autism Speaks House to Home Prize challenge page to find out more and to register as an innovator.

In case of any questions, please contact Henna at henna@herox.com.  

INITIATIVES
Dementia Friends Initiative Launched in Nigeria

The diagnosis of dementia whether a loved one, a neighbour, or even a stranger affects us all.

In Nigeria the NGO "Dementia Friends Nigeria" are working to create national awareness about the misinformation and stigmas surrounding people with dementia and to increase public engagement.

Nigeria is the third country to implement the Dementia Friends initiative by the Alzheimer's Society.  A Dementia Friend is an individual who signs-on to learn what it's like to live with dementia, and also to participate in simple actions to help people with dementia live well.

The initiative will be officially launched on January 28th, 2016, with many campaign initiatives carried out online.

For more information about the Dementia Friends Nigeria initiative and how to sign-up to this important initiative, click here.

NEWS!
Health in 2015 from MDGs to SDGs, New Report Released by WHO

With the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) coming to an end in 2015, WHO has launched a comprehensive report analyzing global health trends over the past fifteen years.  The report includes 34 "snapshots" on various health related trends, achievements and challenges, such as non-communicable diseases, mental health and universal health coverage.

The report introduces the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), effective January 2016.  The SDGs are broader in scope, and intended to be inclusive of people in all countries, addressing economic, social and environmental development in a synthesized manner.  SDG3 makes specific reference to older people, aiming to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages".

The report outlines the key drivers of advancements in health made under the MDGs and forecasts the major challenges affecting health for the next fifteen years.  Priorities and actions are outlined for countries and the international community in order to achieve the new targets.

The full report can be viewed here.

Practical Guide to Implement and Use in Municipalities

The Basque country has taken a proactive approach to the WHO Age-friendly cities and communities initiative by developing Euskadi Lagunkoia Sustraietatik, implemented by the Department of Employment and Social Policies.

Rallying institutions, agents and individuals to make living spaces more "age-friendly", where people can live without physical obstacles and barriers is a primary goal.

The new guide aims to support all municipalities in Euskadi in the creation of age-friendly cities.

The guide documents a pilot project designed to analyze and implement methods of advancing the age-friendliness of territories, as tested in 15 pilot municipalities.

To learn more about the initiative and read the full report, click here.

Older People: Victims of Policy Gaps in Liberia

Older people in many less developed countries face the reality of the absence or extremely limited social protection in policy and health care systems.  Often times during policy development, older people seem to be an afterthought.

This was the case in Liberia, West Africa during the deadly Ebola outbreak.  When the epidemic started in March of 2014, the government did not have an effective response to the disease.  Later in July, a national response policy to prevent the further loss of life was issued.  The National Ebola Response Policy specifically identified the most vulnerable groups to be women and children.  The lives of older people were not viewed as a priority nor were older people seen as vulnerable.

In a published article in the African Social Work Journal, Mr. Sam Togba Slewion documents the narrative of what happened.  Persistent activism from many fronts resulted in policy changes and the creation of a national movement to protect the rights and improve the quality of life of older people in Liberia through policy changes and concrete social actions.

Learn more about the ageing community during the Ebola crisis in Liberia here.

Voices of Senior Citizens, January 2016 Issue Released

Ageing Nepal has released their January newsletter, summarizing the major achievements in 2015 including the Older People's Rally and delivering a petition to the National Human Rights Commission.

The publication also documents the challenges that older people are facing from the earthquake.  Many children and older people are living in temporary shelters for months and are particularly vulnerable as winter approaches.

Ageing Nepal, in partnership with Ageing Nepal Switzerland are seeking applications for an Ageing Research Fellowship (ARF). Three fellowships are being offered in 2016, and the program aims to support students in fulfilling their post-graduate study requirements. Applications are due on February 29th, and full details can be found here.

Access the full issue here.

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