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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chasing the Grey Population, a Japanese way

DESIGNING underwear to fit human curves is tricky. For decades, Wacoal, a global manufacturer of lingerie based in Kyoto, has been measuring the female form and making products that factor in the toll of time and gravity. Its research is proving ever more rewarding. The company’s sales to senior citizens—who are just as interested in a graceful silhouette as women decades younger—are growing by double-digit rates each year.  
Many societies are ageing, from America to China, but Japan has a head start. One in four Japanese are over 65; by 2035 it will be one in three. So the country is serving as the world’s laboratory for selling to older consumers. Elderly Japanese outspend younger ones, says a study by the Boston Consulting Group. They now account for two-fifths of personal consumption.
Many of the country’s biggest firms have adjusted their strategies to tap into the grey yen. Panasonic, a maker of domestic appliances, has rolled out a string of new products, including foot heaters and lightweight vacuum cleaners. Aeon, a giant retailer and shopping-centre operator, has a “Grand Generation” strategy, which ranges from providing one-stop medical clinics on the premises to making in-store signs easier to read. Fujitsu, an electronics firm, has sold 20m of its “Raku Raku” mobile phones, with larger buttons and simplified functions, and is now introducing them into Europe.

Japanese firms have been equally inventive in the area of medical products for the elderly. But this is an area where cumbersome regulation can hold them back. Cyberdyne, a spin-off from the University of Tsukuba, designed a robotic exoskeleton suit to give mobility to the elderly and disabled. Although it gained approval for clinical use in Europe in 2013, it has yet to do so at home. Testing for medical products is costly as well as slow in Japan, and getting new devices covered by health insurance is a long and arduous process. Having opened up a lead in robotics for nursing care, the country risks losing it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alzheimer's trial stirs talk of senior sexuality

Whether Mom still wants sex probably isn't top-of-mind when most people are picking a nursing home for their loved one.
But experts from the Widener University-based Sexuality and Aging Consortium say a ground-breaking Iowa court case illustrates why both consumers and long-term care facilities should do more thinking about sex - before they get into trouble.
In the case, Henry Rayhons, a 78-year-old former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, is charged with sexual abuse for having sex with his wife of seven years in her nursing home. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. A doctor at the Garner, Iowa, facility where Donna Rayhons lived, along with her two daughters from a previous marriage, had concluded that she was too impaired to consent to sex.

The case, which is now at trial, raises complex questions about what constitutes consent for a person with dementia and how nursing homes should prepare for the inevitable: People of all ages want and need sexual contact.
"Our need for touch is universal, from birth to death," said Robin Goldberg-Glen, a social work professor at Widener who is co-president of the consortium.
The group, which includes about 40 experts on sexuality and aging from around the country, educates professionals and students in an attempt to reduce discrimination and advocate "for the rights of people in long-term care to have their sexuality respected and their choices respected," said co-president Melanie Davis, a sexuality educator in Summerville, N.J.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20150418_Alzheimer_s_trial_stirs_talk_of_senior_sexuality.html#xVRc1T78BMmeWkAO.99

Unequal Until the End

For the affluent, old age has its challenges. For the impoverished, it's only harder.

“No one understands old but old people.”

James made this proclamation over an ancient pool table in an impoverished neighborhood of the greater San Francisco Bay. The other men gathered at the senior center nodded in agreement. A slender African American man who grew up in segregated Georgia during the Great Depression, he elaborated for the benefit of the Gen-X sociologist by his side. As James deliberately lined up his next shot he explained: “Everything changes. Old is a different animal all together. And the only way you can understand it is you have to get there.”

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/unequal-until-the-end/389910/ 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tackling dementia and non-communicable diseases together

Tackling dementia and non-communicable diseases together is featured at 30thconference of Alzheimer’s Disease International 


Perth, 16 April 2015:  Risk reduction in dementia and other non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) were the focus of several workshops at the 30th InternationalConference of Alzheimer’s Disease International held April 15-18, 2015 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Australia

Professor Martin Prince from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, highlighted how dementia risk for populations can be modified through tobacco control, education and better prevention, detection and control of hypertension and diabetes

According to World Alzheimer Report 2014 ‘Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors’, dementia and NCDs are collectively driven by the same shared risk factors and social determinants; Very often they experience the same challenges, myths and misconceptions and demand similar approaches and solutions

That was the theme of an NCD dialogues session wherepolicies for prevention of dementia and other NCDs’ as well as key actions taken by individuals and businesses to minimize exposure to risk factors, where discussedThere is strong call for dementia to be integrated into both global and national public health programmesalongside other major non communicable diseases (NCDs).

As the global voice on dementia, ADI hopes that the conference will aid the crucial collaborative action that is now required from all disease areas to tackle one of the largest health epidemics of the 21st century. “An increased focus on healthier lifestyles, and implementation of effective public health campaigns may help to reduce the global risk.” says Marc Wortmann, ADI Executive Director.

Paul Zollinger-Read, Chief Medical Officer at Bupa, explains: “With half of the world's population in work, workplaces are a natural avenue to promote the behaviour change needed to tackle dementia and other NCDs, where we can start to change the conversation from 'getting ill' to 'staying well.' Prevention is key, and dementia and NCDs are driven by the same shared risk factors. As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease it should become second nature to think that 'what's good for your heart is also good for your brain."

Co-hosted with the Alzheimer’s Australia (WA), this global conference unites a dynamic community of international researchers from all over the world, dementia care professionals, medical experts, healthcare practitioners, people with dementia, family caregivers and Alzheimer organisations to address significant issues that 44.4 million people living with dementia worldwide have to face

Information on the programme and on the conference can be found at: http://www.adi2015.org



About Alzheimer’s Disease International
ADI is the international federation of 83 Alzheimer associations throughout the world.  Each of our members is a non-profit Alzheimer associationsupporting people with dementia and their families.  ADI was founded in 1984 and registered as a non-profit organisation in the USA.  Based in London, ADI has been in official relations with the WHO since 1996 and has consultative status with the UN since 2012.  

ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. 

For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk




Friday, February 27, 2015

What Senior citizens Got From Rail Budget 2015

Senior Citizens population rise is on fast track and all government machinery, country's infrastructure, community services, communication, financial, health and social sector should also match up the demand from such growing Silver Population. 


#‎RailBudget2015‬ ‪#‎Railwaybudget‬ was interesting and awaited by all, as it was first rail budget of #Modisarkar, and high expectation from all quarters of society. There seems to be no appeasement but a progressive step ahead.

We at Silver Inning Foundation have been advocating for Rights, Dignity and Security of our Elders and we had demanded from Railway Minister #SureshPrabhu that  ‪#‎seniorcitizens‬ wants equal gender right and concession in fare; they need special coach in local suburban trains; need Elevators, rams, battery operated vehicle, baggage trolley on stations; want lower berths for reservations; more pilgrimage special trains; diet food; First Aids and medical care; easy and friendly road transport from stations, shuttle bus service and elder friendly design and architecture.

And we were happy that Railbudget has met some of our important demands.


Following are announcement which will help Seniors of this country, while making their trian travel comfortable:

Direct Benefit :
Any senior citizen or pregnant woman who's travelled by Indian Railways can attest to the difficulty in getting a lower seat berth while booking tickets, something that only gets more difficult once the train has been boarded. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu seems to have heard their plea and with his first railway budget made it easier for them to get berths that they can get into much more easily.
Prabhu announced that the number of lower berth seats reserved for senior citizens and pregnant women in every coach so that they have a higher chance of getting it while buying the ticket.
The minister also said that ticket examiners would be instructed to help senior citizens and pregnant women, who weren't alloted lower berths during the reservation process. Middle bay of coaches to be reserved for women and senior citizen.

The Railway Minister also said that they planned to allow senior citizens to reserve wheelchairs at stations before they arrived there so that they could be assisted in getting to trains. In order to make it easier for them to cross platforms, he said that the railways would work on increasing the number of elevators and escalators across stations.

The Minister also announced a slew of measures for the physically challenged, including better access to railway stations, Braille lettering on coaches and availablility of wheelchair facilities for them as well.

Lifts and escalators have been planned at major stations to facilitate easy movement of the elderly and differentlyabled passengers. An amount of Rs. 120 crore has been Page 21 of 53 provided for this purpose which is about 76% more than the final allotment in the current year. All newly manufactured coaches will henceforth be Braille enabled and Rail Coach Factory has been asked to explore the possibility of building wider entrances for the ease of differently-abled passengers.


Newly manufactured coaches will be Braille enabled; building wider entrances for the ease of differently-abled passengers

Accordingly, appropriation to the Pension Fund has been increased to Rs. 29,540 crore in RE


Indirect Benefit:  
No raise in fare 

Introducing 'Operation Five Minutes' to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes. 

Issuing unreserved tickets on smart phones.

Food can be ordered through the IRCTC website at the time of booking of tickets. 

Proposed to introduce an "SMS Alert" service to inform passengers in advance the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations. Similarly SMS alert would be sent 15/30 minutes in advance of arrival of the train at the destination.

Hand-held terminals will now be provided to Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs), which can be used for verification of passengers and downloading charts.

Online booking of retiring rooms has already been initiated. The facility of self-operated lockers would also gradually be made available at stations. It is proposed to provide concierge services through the IRCTC at major stations for the assistance of passengers for their pick up and drop.

To replace the present ladders used for climbing upper berths, which are uncomfortable with user friendly ones. We have approached the National Institute of Design for this purpose. Folding ladder would be made available in coaches for easy climbing.
 
IRCTC will work on Kisan Yatra, a special travel scheme.


But we were unhappy with #AGEDiscrimination in self-employment, promotion of products made by Self Help Groups. What Minister proposed:
To encourage self-employment, we will promote products made by Self Help Groups, consisting mainly of women and youth. Konkan Railway (KR) has already launched this programme in three states during the past three months. KR expects to generate employment for approximately 50,000 persons from this scheme in the next few years.
We at Silver Inning Foundation, raise our objection on age discrimination, and make this proposal for 'All Ages'. 
 
On the whole the budget seems to bring smile on Seniors, but still lots to be done, hope this is a step ahead, for many more good things to happen for our 60 plus population. 
 
Waiting now for #Budget2015 .....
 
 
Sailesh Mishra, Founder President, Silver Innings Group
 







Friday, February 13, 2015

Cultures That Celebrate Aging And Respect Their Elders: India

In India, elders are the head of the family.

Many Indians live in joint family units, with the elders acting as the head of the household. The elders are supported by the younger members of the family and they in turn play a key role in raising their grandchildren.



"Advice is always sought from them on a range of issues, from investment of family money to nitty-gritties of traditional wedding rituals and intra-family conflicts. And this is not just passive advice; their word is final in settling disputes," Achyut Bihani wrote in Slate. "The elderly are often the most religious and charitable members of the family."

Disrespecting the elders of the family or sending them to an old-age home has a social stigma in India, Bihani adds.
  
Sailesh Mishra of Silver Innings adds 'India is gradually undergoing a demographic change. With decline in fertility and mortality rates accompanied by an improvement in child survival and increased life expectancy, a significant feature of demographic change is the progressive increase in the number of elderly persons. Also due to globalization and migration the disintegration of the joint family system is taking place and the emergence of nuclear families, has affected the care of the aged the most. I feel currently Elderly are the most ignored and neglected segment in India'.



Courtesy:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/what-other-cultures-can-teach_n_4834228.html?ir=India

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cultures That Celebrate Aging And Respect Their Elders: China

Chinese children care for their parents in old age. 

As in Korea, Chinese families traditionally view filial piety and respect for one's elders as the highest virtue, deriving from the Confucian tradition. Although westernization has lessened the power of these values in some cities and communities, adult children are still generally expected to care for their parents in their old age.



"Placing your parents in retirement homes will see you labeled as uncaring or a bad son," Beijing resident Zhou Rui told China.org. "To abandon one's family is considered deeply dishonorable."

However, this tradition is beginning to break down in China, due to the country's one-child policy, rising life expectancy and an aging population. Nursing homes are beginning to become a more socially acceptable option for elderly care.

Courtesy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/what-other-cultures-can-teach_n_4834228.html?ir=India 

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