AARP International
Interview with Barbara Beskind
  • Jan 01, 2017
  • AARP

Interview with Barbara Beskind

Meet Barbara Beskind, a 93-year-old designer who uses age to her advantage by inventing products that improve the quality of life for older people.

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    • Jan 15, 2019

    Elderly Chinese embrace digital tech

    According to Si Xiao, head of the Tencent Research Institute, the growth in popularity of digital technology among the elderly can be attributed to apps catering to their needs. WeChat, the most popular social media app in China, reported having 61 million users aged between 55 and 70 as of Sept. 2018. Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall, two of the biggest e-commerce sites, reported having about 30 million middle-aged and elderly online shoppers.
    Smartphone app caters to needs of dancing aunties -
    How apps help seniors with better mobility, safety, and quality of life - Yahoo! News more info

    • Jan 14, 2019

    Poll shows almost half of Canadians don't have financial plan for retirement

    According to the 2019 RBC Financial Independence in Retirement Poll, poll respondents expressed varying degrees of confidence about their ability to save enough to build their nest egg, with 45% feeling somewhat confident, 16% very confident and 39% having no confidence they would ever reach their goal. Respondents also have a number of actions they would be willing to take to help them create their nest egg, including:

    • Spend less on non-essentials (74%);
    • Eat out less (59%);
    • Postpone major purchases (45%); 
    • Cut back on travel (34%); and
    • They want to be debt-free (66%).
    While the poll found that the percentage of all Canadian adults who have a financial plan has been growing, reaching 54% in 2018, 32% of those report their plan is "in my head" and 46% still have no plan at all. more info

    • Jan 14, 2019

    U.K. soldiers supply 20,000 ration packs for homeless, elderly

    Partnering with charity group FareShare, U.K. army personnel are putting together ration packs to be given to the homeless and the elderly to combat the rising number of people in need of food in the U.K. The rations, which include packs of beans, pasta and peas, contain 4,000 calories' worth of food. Up to 20,000 unused operational ration packs are to be donated to citizens in need in the U.K. over the next few years and will be distributed by charities. more info

    • Jan 13, 2019

    Canadian service for riders with physical, mental disabilities, mobility issues sees senior getting attacked

    A Montreal senior was hospitalized after public transportation service for the elderly and disabled put her in a vehicle with a stranger who turned violent. Laura Tamblyn Watts, an advocate for older Canadians, called the attack a "failure of the entire system," which often puts costs ahead of safety when it comes to providing services for seniors and the disabled. One cab driver believes the transit company needs to do a better job of preparing drivers for when violent attacks happen, noting driver training doesn't include how to deal with violent or aggressive passengers. more info

    • Jan 13, 2019

    Elderly patients with hip fractures in U.K. given extra meal per day see deaths cut by half

    In a pilot project led by the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, staff found an extra meal provided to geriatric wards under the HIP QIP program provided extra calories and also improved the morale of the patients that helped them recover faster. The mortality rates from hip fractures among the elderly dropped from 11% to 5.5%. This pilot trial was launched in 2016 and it was noted an extra meal could also reduce the hospital stay of these patients from an average of 25 days to 20 days. more info

    • Jan 13, 2019

    Brexit will cut spousal automatic right to live in U.K., making retirement decisions difficult

    Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, once the Brexit transition period is over, spouses would have no automatic right to live in the U.K. One U.K. national living in the Dutch city of Enkhuizen, Nicola James, finds herself caught between one day having to choose between living with her Dutch husband, who has multiple sclerosis, or being close to her elderly parents in Hertfordshire. This is especially concerning as she nears retirement and her family income is below the current U.K. minimum threshold, barring her husband from settling in the U.K. if the rules remain unchanged after 2020. more info

    • Jan 11, 2019

    Malaysia to pass stronger legislation to safeguard rights, welfare of elderly by 2020

    Seniors advocates in Malaysia have been lobbying for a specific law for senior citizens which will not just protect them from abuse but also address population aging, age discrimination and guarantee their rights and access to services. In response, the government announced a commitment to legislating an act to protect the rights and welfare of the elderly, however a precise date beyond 2020 was not provided. While protection of the elderly should be the priority of the new law, researchers, who are part of the Multimedia University's Prevent Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative, hope it will focus on empowering seniors through structures and policies to help them access their rights. more info

    • Jan 11, 2019

    Boomers change face of Australia's capital

    Canberra is a city less than six decades old and once attracted young families from across the country. The Australian Capital Territory has experienced one of the steepest rises in the population aged 65 and older over the last two decades. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows 12.7% of Canberrans were part of that age group in 2018, up from 7.8% in 1998. Only Tasmania saw faster growth. Australian National University demographer Liz Allen notes the transformation shows the city was no longer just a career stop, but rather Canberra became their home. more info

    • Jan 10, 2019

    Greying Japan attempts to keep elderly out of hospitals

    Even though it promoted home care for many years, demographic circumstances are making Japan push even harder as health care costs begin growing in the country, pushing it to third in spending among OECD countries. The policy is especially beneficial given the average hospital stay in Japan is three times longer than in the Netherlands. The health ministry predicts one million people will receive care at home in 2025 or 1.5 times the 2018 total. The number of special nursing units exclusively for home visits has risen from 7,473 in 2014 to 10,418 in 2018. A government panel also suggested raising the amount doctors are paid for home visits and making telehealth consultations eligible. It also proposed rules to encourage care at home. Hospitals should be obliged to talk to social services when they discharge a patient, for example.
    How aging Japan defied demographics and revived its economy - The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
    In fast-aging Japan, elder care is a high-tech pursuit - The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) more info

    • Jan 10, 2019

    Japanese retailers, fast-food chains create senior-friendly workplaces to attract workers

    Retail and food service operators are trying to make things easier for senior workers by taking into account their decreased physical strength or reduced eye sight in an effort to bolster their workforce by attracting seniors. For example, the Mos Burger chain switched to cash registers with larger, "easy-for-seniors-to-read" characters and Seven-Eleven Japan changed the location of its plastic shopping bags at the Tokyo stores so employees don't need to stoop to grab one from below the checkout counter and made the bags easier to open. more info


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