AARP International

Why are digital skills critical for older persons? CSocD56 Side Event, 2 February 2018.

How can we invest in life‐long learning and continuing education to ensure that older persons have the chance to acquire digital skills? 2. In what ways can we make innovation and technology accessible to older persons so that they don’t miss out on their benefits? 3. How can older persons use innovative technologies to contribute to poverty eradication and the well‐being and prosperity of their societies? 4. How can we develop and disseminate user‐friendly information to assist older persons to respond to the technological demands of everyday life? 


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    • Nov 20, 2018

    Research highlights nutrition concerns for older adults living in Auckland, New Zealand

    Massey University School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition researchers found 12% of older adults, with a median age of 79 years, living in Auckland, New Zealand were malnourished or at greater risk of malnutrition. Associate professor Carol Wham, who led the study, said every yearly increase in age was associated with higher odds of nutrition risk. Gait or walking speed were positively correlated with muscle mass, body fat percentage and BMI. Furthermore, those with better gait speed showed lower odds for nutrition risk. The researchers are calling for better screening of vulnerable older adults at risk of poor nutrition and diminished physical performance, to identify those in need of dietary intervention. more info

    • Nov 19, 2018

    Shinzo Abe government aims to bring in hundreds of thousands of 'semiskilled' foreign workers

    As the U.S. and Europe take steps to limit immigration, Japan's Shinzo Abe government introduced a bill to open its long-defended borders to "semi-trained" foreign workers. Japan's population is continuing to shrink and age, and its labor force is dwindling, sparking debate in the country over the loosening of controls on its culture and ethnic homogeneity that discourage immigrants. Despite Abe's government being conservative, it's also entwined with the business community, and the message it hears from the shipbuilding, construction, agriculture, fishing, elder-care establishments and convenience-store owners is the need for more workers. Meanwhile, the far-right Japan First party held rallies across Japan in October protesting Abe's plan, although the demonstrators were often outnumbered by activists accusing them of racism and hate speech.
    Japan wakes up to exploitation of foreign workers as immigration debate rages - The Washington Post more info

    • Nov 19, 2018

    U.K. faces numerous challenges as population ages: Future of an Ageing Population report

    According to the U.K.'s Foresight committee's 2016 report Future of an Ageing Population, Britain's aging population should be encouraged to lead longer working lives. With life expectancy increasing and smaller family sizes, retirees will require things to keep them busy, says Professor Sarah Harper, founder of the Institute for Population Aging at Oxford University. She says volunteer and further education opportunities eventually dry up for retired seniors and they must then depend on others to keep them busy.  more info

    • Nov 19, 2018

    'Creative Aging' program in Canada uses existing resources to improve quality of life of seniors with dementia

    Art4Life founder Anita Punamiya provides art classes to help seniors improve their overall health and quality of life. She bases the program on research to prevent and slow the progression of illnesses like dementia, using a concept known as "Creative Aging," which is defined as exploring the creative potential in the later years of life. It's a movement which recognizes the beneficial role of the arts in improving the quality of life for older adults and its contribution to their psychological, physical and emotional well being, she adds. more info

    • Nov 19, 2018

    Survey in India finds elderly feel they're not entitled to good things

    According to a survey in India, 96% of seniors said at the workplace they were made to feel they had their turn and it was time for the younger generation to take over. Furthermore, 62% were told at least once, they should act their age. About 40% of elders don't feel their income post retirement covers their basic needs and 70% said they have trouble accessing quality health care. more info

    • Nov 16, 2018

    Swedish dementia incidence may be declining: Study

    European researchers in the Clinical Epidemiology journal examined 30-year trends in dementia within the Swedish population. They found after an increase, especially in those over 85 years of age, dementia incidence started to decrease in the last five years of the study period. After 2011, one calendar year increase was associated with lower hazard ratio of receiving a hospital diagnosis of dementia. The decrease had the highest magnitude in 70–74-year-olds, followed by 75–79-year-olds and 80–84-year-olds. The decrease was present in both sexes and at all educational levels up to 90 years of age. Age was associated with the level of dementia incidence and the trends differed by age group. Educational gradient was observed, with university-educated older adults showing the lowest rates of dementia. However, the trend over time did not substantially differ by sex or educational level. The results provide more evidence that dementia incidence may be declining, note the researchers. It suggests the number of new patients with dementia may decrease in the future. more info

    • Nov 16, 2018

    U.K. health policies need to be redesigned to become more accessible for men: Work Foundation

    A report by the U.K.-based Work Foundation, Men's mental health and work: The case for a gendered approach to policy, finds health policies should be redesigned to become more accessible for men. The researchers argue terms such as "mental health" risk alienating men, so services should be marketed differently and as part of targeted, gendered campaigns to reach men at greatest risk of poor physical and mental health. Out-of-hours access to general surgeries and health services should also be considered if more men are to be encouraged to get the help and support they need, the report notes. more info

    • Nov 16, 2018

    U.K. elderly being scammed by seniors' homes, says Health Minister

    Caroline Dinenage, the U.K. health minister says care homes have been found to be charging families for care for weeks after residents died, selling their possessions and keeping the cash as well as demanding fees for services which were never provided. She vows to end such malpractices and make care providers face criminal investigations if they continue to exploit pensioners. She says many care homes were taking advantage of families by hiding fees in small print, including charges which could never be justified, and relying on families forced to take decisions at times of "crisis and distress." more info

    • Nov 15, 2018

    Study finds amount needed to retire depends on geography

    Alessandra Malito looked at a Fidelity study's retirement savings milestones and age-based guidelines for different regions around the world. What she found was as people age, they need more money stashed away for retirement depending on where they live. For example, 40-year-old American should have three times their salary saved for retirement, whereas a 40-year-old would need four times their earnings in Germany and five times as much in Hong Kong. Canada was the same as the U.S., and the U.K. and Japan would only require twice. Move forward to the average retirement age in these countries, and it increases even more. In the U.S., a retiree needs 10 times as much as their salary, compared with 11 times as much in Canada and 12 times as much in Hong Kong. Germany was the same as the U.S., and the U.K. and Japan were both at seven times.
    Hong Kong: Workers urged to save at least 12x their salary for retirement - Asia Insurance Review more info

    • Nov 15, 2018

    Japan's Shinzo Abe needs to be bold to achieve his '100-year-life society': The Economist

    According to The Economist, for Japan to achieve its "100-year-life society," it must focus on having enough people working to support those who no longer can. The article suggests three ways to achieve this:

    1. Persuade current workers to work longer;
    2. Encourage greater workforce participation from women; and
    3. Allow more immigration.
    While the country is attaining some progress on these, there are challenges to achieving the "boldness" required. These include 1.6 job vacancies for every jobseeker, an annual population loss of 400,000 with a plan to bring in 70,000 immigrants to replace them and a growing concern that increased immigration will change Japan's closed society too much.  
    Labor shortage woes force Japan to pry open door to migrant workers - Rappler more info


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