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Sunday, June 24, 2012

BBC News - What can the old and young learn from a life swap?

Age is said to come with wisdom, but do the young still expect to learn from the old and can they teach their elders anything?

At 73, Betty Dunbar admitted it was years since she had sat down to talk with a teenager. And her opinion of them was not good.

"The youths that I've come across are obnoxious," she says. "Respect? I don't think there is any."
Living in a retirement village in Surrey, she is one of four million pensioners in the UK who live isolated from younger people. 

So when four young people spent three weeks with Betty and her neighbours, both young and old found they still had some life lessons to learn.

Read here this interesting article :
BBC News - What can the old and young learn from a life swap?

Lets give them Dignity , Security , Love , Care & Smile.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Recognising rights of old: A step to prevent abuse | The Asian Age

June 15 in many countries across continents is observed as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) since it was first launched in 2006 by the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

Since December 19, 2011 United Nations (UN) has recognised elder abuse as a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has maintained that “side by side with older persons who are in good health and whose financial situation is acceptable, there are many who do not have adequate means of support, even in developed countries, and who feature prominently among the most vulnerable, marginal and unprotected groups” (General Comment No. 6, para. 17.

Older people and all those who support fulfilment of their needs believe that the crux of elder abuse and neglect in society is violation of rights of seniors. The rapidly increasing numbers of older people, especially in Asia, where China and India take a lead in growing ageing population, are at a considerable risk of abuse, neglect and marginalisation. In developing countries, like India, older people don’t always fully enjoy fundamental human freedoms and rights.

It is common knowledge that for older people the right to accessibility — including physical and economic accessibility, access to education and information, and non-discrimination — as a key component of the normative content of the rights, is not followed. There are numerous examples of when older people do not have access to a reasonable standard of living (adequate food, water and housing), health and education. There is high percentage of illiterate older people, especially women, and yet limited emphasis on this age group in adult education programmes or in financial literacy campaigns when growing number of older people are becoming victims of financial frauds and abuse, are just some of the illustrations of how elder rights are violated in the society.

Today India, besides being a young society, is also an ageing country with over 9 per cent of population of older people, and the world is currently experiencing the annual growth rate for the older population (2.6 per cent) more than twice that recorded for the total population (1.2 per cent). (UN data, 2011) It is time that the international community and various governments pay attention to having universal human rights standard that protects people from human rights infringements based on old age. The majority of older people in our country as well as in other parts of the world do not enjoy old age benefits with regard to social and health security.

There are no compulsory old age social assistance and insurance provisions. Families which traditionally provided and even now are doing come under certain constraints and stress, can’t always be dependable due to various obvious social economic changes impacting the societies.

The vulnerability of older people to the risk of various forms of abuse is not only on the increase but there are no adequate mechanisms to address them and provide relief to victims of abuse and neglect both from the family and the community. World Health Organisation in their publication Abuse of the Elderly, estimates that 4-6 per cent of older persons at home and in community settings have suffered some form of abuse — including physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial abuse or neglect — and the corresponding figure for elder abuse in institutional settings is believed to be significantly higher. Some risk factors for elder abuse include social isolation, the societal depiction of older people and the erosion of bonds between generations.

In certain parts of the world since the last five years there is much interest in having an international human rights convention on rights of older persons. Argentina, together with Brazil, Chile, and many other Latin and South American countries, are working toward a regional convention on rights of older persons. The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights is poised to establish a Protocol on Older Persons. Asia needs to also get its act together and stress on a comprehensive legal instrument on elderly rights which has a universal as well as a regional appeal. India, especially as a leading member of Saarc and a global player, needs to be vocal on including older people amongst the other vulnerable groups to have a binding international instrument addressing their rights specifically. Today there are internationally agreed conventions which protect the children, women, migrant workers, persons with disabilities. It is true that some of these conventions cover certain aspects of vulnerabilities of older people, but a specific instrument especially to protect all aspects of rights of older people once signed and ratified by UN Member States would regularly monitor and report on the implementation of violations against older people often in the form of abuse, exploitation, deprivation, isolation and marginalisation.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by including focus on older women requires that specific human rights violations against older women are to be included in country reports on implementation of human rights for women.

This has, in fact, led to in India, for instance the ministry of women and child development to consider programmes for better quality of life of older women than the ministry of social justice and empowerment, the nodal ministry for addressing concerns of older people, to do so.

Similarly, the heightened risk to which older persons are exposed is explicitly recognised, for example, in article 16 (2) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires “age sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families... [to prevent] exploitation, violence and abuse”. It, however, does not bring under its purview older people without disabilities, but may be because of frailty, whose rights to care and support are violated. Universally non availability of long term care provisions, palliative and home care services, respite care, recreational and day care facilities for older people are not only violations of their rights but increase the risk to abuse and neglect.

Source:  Recognising rights of old: A step to prevent abuse | The Asian Age

WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY 2012: India & Transnational Programme : On the occasion of 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 15th June 2012 , Silver Inning Foundation (SIF) a NGO ( Not for Profit)  working with senior citizens and their family members will be commemorating Elder Abuse Awareness Day from on May 21st to June 30th 2012 . SIF through its networking partners and social media has taken the initiative to host various events pan India & Beyond Boundaries to create awareness and sensitize the Government and the Civil Society to eliminate/prevent elder abuse at both micro and macro level. This is first time we have partners from USA ‘The Forgotten Ones: Compassion for the Elderly ; The Forgotten Ones: International Card Exchange for the Elderly’ and  from Kenya ‘La Vie Foundation’ : http://silverinnings.blogspot.in/2012/05/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day-2012.html

Thursday, June 14, 2012

International Day against Elder Abuse WEAAD 2012 : AGE calls for an EU quality framework for long-term care


Press release 14/06/12 - Stop elder abuse: AGE calls for an EU quality framework for long-term care

International Day against Elder Abuse (en français plus bas)
Stop elder abuse: AGE calls for an EU quality framework for long-term care to support the wellbeing and dignity of older people

“With the ageing of the population and the major social and economic reforms this demographic change will entail, finding ways of preventing elder abuse and ensuring a dignified life in old age will be a major challenge across the EU and needs be at the core of the current EU active and healthy ageing policies”, highlights Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General, on the eve of the International Day against Elder Abuse on 15 June.
In the last few years, the issue of abuse and negligence against vulnerable older people has gained importance at European and national levels. Public authorities, policy makers, care providers and end users’ organisations are now aware that elder abuse and neglect is a serious infringement to human rights that can no longer be tolerated, and measures must be put in place to ensure that older persons are adequately protected and can enjoy a dignified old age even when they become dependent on others for care and assistance.

We all know cases of older people abused and neglected, and these poor practices can be found in all EU countries and in all care settings, at home, in the community or in institutions. Some of these cases are examples of intentional abuse and neglect but the vast majority of them reflect just unintentional ‘bad care’ which affect the wellbeing and dignity of older vulnerable persons. However, many positive experiences and (real) success stories exist as well across Europe.  Most of the time, carers - both formal and informal - are very devoted and go out of their way to provide the best care they can to the older person in need of assistance. 

In our view the best way to prevent ‘bad care’ and elder abuse is by improving the quality of care and support we provide to older people in need of care and assistance. As part of the EU funded WeDO project, AGE and a group of partners from 12 countries, are developing a European Quality Framework for Long-Term Care which includes quality principles and recommendations for the implementation of these principles which are based on the European Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance, developed in 2010. The European Quality Framework for Long-term care will be presented at the European Parliament on 14 November at the European Parliament in Brussels.

About AGE Platform Europe:
AGE Platform Europe (formerly AGE - the European Older People's Platform) is a European network of organisation of people aged 50+ and represents over 30 million older people in Europe. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million inhabitants aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most. www.age-platform.eu

AGE Platform Europe is the coordinator of the WeDO project which develops the EU quality framework for older people in need of care and assistance. More information at: www.wedo-partnership.eu.

For more information, please contact:
Anne Mélard
Information and Communication Officer
AGE Platform Europe
Tel: +32 2 280 14 70
Fax: +32 2 280 15 22


Maude Luherne
WeDO project coordinator
AGE Platform Europe

 Brussels, 14 June 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Tai Chi Makes Sense for the Elderly

Tai Chi may be a better exercise option for the elderly than typical exercises are. That's because typical exercises tend to stiffen arteries, while Tai Chi may make arteries more flexible.

Arterial flexibility - the ability of an artery to expand or contract as blood pressure changes - is an indicator of cardiovascular health. The more flexible the arteries are, the better one's overall cardiovascular health generally is. Poor arterial flexibility is a predictor of impending heart and circulation problems.

While effective at increasing muscle strength, a number of studies have shown that exercises that improve muscle tone also lead to stiffening of major arteries.

Exercises that improve muscle tone and combat the muscle wasting of aging are often collectively called strength training. They include working with weights, sit-ups and pushups, and swimming. While effective at increasing muscle strength, a number of studies have shown that they also lead to stiffening of major arteries. This is particularly important in the elderly, whose arteries naturally tend to stiffen with age. Exercise that strengthens muscles without stiffening arteries would be preferable. And Tai Chi may fill the bill.

The current study didn't directly test Tai Chi. What it did was compare the health of two similar groups of people in their 70s, one who had been regularly practicing Tai Chi and one who hadn't. The Tai Chi group showed greater flexibility in both large and small arteries (by over 40 percent), as well as greater muscle strength in their knee extensors and flexors. They also had lower blood pressure.

This doesn't show that Tai Chi was the cause of these benefits, but it does hint that Tai Chi can both strengthen muscles and improve arterial flexibility.

Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise that's been in use in China for over 2,000 years. It's been described as meditation in motion. Despite its long history, it's only recently come under the scrutiny of Western science. Specific studies have shown that practicing Tai Chi improves symptoms of people with arthritis and Parkinson's disease. Other studies on a more general population hint at benefits ranging from pain relief and stress reduction to lowered blood pressure and an improved feeling of overall well-being.

Tai Chi requires no special equipment and can be performed indoors or outdoors, alone or in groups. So it works both for people who prefer exercising as a social activity and for those who prefer exercising alone in the comfort of their home.

And while this study offers no proof of the benefits of Tai Chi, it's one of a growing number that suggests Tai Chi benefits both the body and the mind.

By Neil Wagner, The Atlantic 

Source:   Global Aging  Why Tai Chi Makes Sense for the Elderly

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