IFA Skim | February 2017
Your Global Point of Connection to the World of Ageing
Growing older is not an easy process for many.  In fact for those of us who reach our 70s, 80s, and 90s we inevitably experience loss of loved ones as well as changes in our own functional ability. 

In an article recently published in STAT News arising from the ground breaking Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer Study, Dr Barratt briefly shares insights around the relationship between ageing, chronic diseases, health systems and health professionals.  

"To ensure that people of all ages, but particularly older people, can do what they value, national health care systems must be able to respond to those with age-related chronic conditions such as type II diabetes to ensure timely access to education, screening, and appropriate treatment."

Read the full article.
The Brain-Body Connection - 
Global Council on Brain Health Recommendations on Physical Activity and Brain Health

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), convened by AARP, has released new recommendations on physical activity and brain health in older people.  These of five recommendations are the result of consensus reached by brain health experts who examined this relationship. 
 
In addition to recommendations, the GCBH report also contains practical tips that can be applied by older people who wish to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine. 
 
This report is topical given that cognitive reserve and ageing is a focus of the IFA Copenhagen 2018 Summit

Read the full GCBH Report here.  
AARP-UN Briefing Series -
Empowering Women: Who Cares? 
The Nexus of Age, Gender, Decent Work and Care
Click on the image below for further information. 
Carers Online - The Reitman Centre, Sinai Health Systems
Carers Online is a video series produced by the Reitman Centre depicting the impacts, challenges, and opportunities associated with family caregiving, specifically for carers who are 55 years and over. 

The series includes testimonials on the realities of caregiving and highlights the work of organizations within Toronto that address the physical, mental, cognitive and social impacts of caregiving on the caregiver and care recipient.  



Lifeline Cover Story - Active Golden Years
Lifeline has released a report that links nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation and social engagement to the delayed onset of age-related physical and cognitive decline, and encourages people to become aware of the signs of physical and cognitive decline.  

This report underscores that conditions associated with age-related decline may be reversible if preventative measures are taken or if conditions are screened for or treated.  

Lifeline is published by the National University Hospital in Singapore. 

Read the Lifeline cover story here. 
Bradley University Nurse Practitioner Programs- 
End of Life Planning & Advanced Directives
Bradley University trains family nurse practitioners (FNPs) through online degree programs designed to teach skills that facilitate delivery of high-quality care throughout the life continuum.

The following infographic highlights end-of-life planning and care as vital throughout this continuum.
   

Why Should You Make End-of-Life Planning a Priority?

End-of-life planning offers the aging population:
  • Home versus hospital flexibility
  • Public versus private facility selections
  • The ability to save for care in advance, giving them more options
  • The ability to preserve quality of life longer
  • A greater sense of independence and staying at home or receiving community services for as long as possible

To learn more, click on the infographic created by Bradley University's Online Nurse Practitioner Program.

Vidya Inc. - MyCommunityVision (MCV)
Vidya is a software startup based in Waterloo, Ontario that has developed and implemented an innovative method of collecting age-friendly assessment data using a tool called MyCommunityVision (MCV).  User friendly and engaging, MCV is an on-line application that delivers information to community residents about age-friendly city initiatives, and provides a forum to contribute ideas and respond to questions posed by community officials:
  • For community residents, MCV provides an opportunity to participate when and where it is convenient for them.
  • For local officials, MCV shortens the time needed to gather the pulse of the community and identify trends by providing real-time analytics.  In effect, results are tabulated and graphically displayed as residents contribute their responses.  Beyond saving time analyzing data at the end of a process, unexpected patterns in the data can be spotted and probed by adding new questions to custom generated surveys.
  • MCV provides a two or three-dimensional view of the participant's own community.  This allows participants to place comments and suggestions at specific locations about AFC related issues (e.g. outdoor spaces and public, buildings, housing, transportation, etc.).  Participants are also intrigued by the ability to see places that are familiar to them.  This often makes the process of participating in a data collection exercise personally salient and enjoyable.
  • The notion that older adults can't use computers is a myth.  MCV provides an opportunity for older adults to enhance or learn new computer skills, either alone or inter-generationally with a young adult. 
If you represent a community and starting to collect AFC needs assessment data, or are evaluating the implementation of an AFC strategy and would like to know more about MyCommunityVision, contact the staff at Vidya at contact@vidyainc.com or visit the Vidya website.
Book Recommendation: Did You Just Call Me Old Lady? 
A 90-Year Old Tells Why Aging is Positive
Did You Just Call Me an Old Lady? Is an upbeat look at aging and the impacts of Canada's increasingly aged population through the eyes of 90-year old Lillian Zimmerman, a prominent educator/researcher in gerontology.  Zimmerman argues with grace and humour that older citizens are not a burden on society, but can live fulfilling lives and make valuable contributions to society. In the chapter titled "What I love about being old", Zimmerman says that her 80s and 90s have been among the richest periods of her life. At the same time, she acknowledges some of the challenges of aging and that serious illnesses, low income, mental health problems and isolation are difficult realities for some seniors.
 
This is one of the first Canadian books to look at ageism (discrimination and stereotyping based on one's age) from the perspective of someone who experiences it in her daily life. Zimmerman shows how ageism is prevalent in society, media and popular culture. We can all relate to the way older people are portrayed in advertisements, and to the jokes about sexual infirmity and memory loss. Ageism, like sexism and racism, needs to be part of our conversations around inclusion, equity and respect. This is a short (100 page), easy-to-read, thoughtful book with references and a full bibliography, available at Amazon.ca. It's a must read for people who study aging and indeed for all of us who are part of the longevity revolution.

Review by: Peggy Edwards, IFA Member and Contributor 
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