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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Some of the recommendation to fight Terrorism in India

Following are some of the recommendation for to fight Terrorism from my article My heart bleeds as Mumbai is attacked :

• Immediately have Federal Agency to control Terrorism

• An ex defense or serving defense expert in counter terrorism to head this Federal agency, they should be given Authority and responsibility. This should not be political appointment but only on merits under watchful eyes of Supreme Court

• This federal agency should work in coordination with three wings of Army and Para Military forces

• This federal agency should work in coordination with global anti terrorism agency

• India should take proactive step to establish Global Anti Terrorism Agency and work with them

• The NSA (National Security Advisor) should be of the a defense person only

• Any act of Terrorism should be under federal government and not on the state government

• To make our National, State, District, City, Panchayat level Intelligence powerful – take help of local police, post office , ration office , Cable TV wala , Barber , laundry wala etc

• Make a strict Law to tackle terrorism - even if we have to sacrifice some of our basic freedom

• Max punishment should be Death for any act of terrorism and it cant be appealed

• Immediately Hang all the terrorist who have been convicted

• Make a special court with time bound to tackle terrorism cases - max 6 months time to dispose the case
• To have NSG at all state Capitol

• At time of any terrorist attack NSG should only play the active role supported by local police and para defense forces

• At any terrorist attack ,a Curfew should be implement till the final sanitizing of the place or clearance by NSG

• To have 6 monthly drill in each metro city of the state

• To have one single national ID card programme

• All Bangladeshi should be removed from this country - Supreme Court has already issued this order long ago

• To have Electrical fencing all through out the border

• To have multi tier and well coordinated Air and Sea surveillance system

• To train all people near border and sea coast with basic defense and security system

• To train one squad of Police / Defense in each district with Anti Terrorist warfare

• To immediately have latest weapon/ ammunition for fight with Terrorist – like infra red guns, night vision guns, helicopters, speed boats etc

• To have strict vigil at all time at all the entry points of all the major metropolitan city

• To immediately install CCTV at all major traffic signals, entry points, railway station , hotels, major installations. Also to maintain the same and have routine check ups.

• To have Disaster management at place in each district , which meets every month

• Media should be regulated at such event, what kind of reporting should be done

• Jammer for Satellite phones should be tried

• To take action on all those corrupt government officials, politicians and citizens who collaborate with terrorist – the enemy of country ,the enemy of humanity

• No public or politician should be allowed at this site at time of action

• To take help of specialized forces around the globe

• To give basic training in self defense to all college students

• To emphasis on Education, employment and self employment of weaker section of society

A proactive approach and a will, could help to tackle Terrorism.

Lets not sit down, lets not blame any one, let’s take action, lets make effort towards better and peaceful world

India needs a strong leader, a political will, needs a responsible and nationalist citizens.

Together we all can DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Salute to all those security persons who fought with the terrorist and Lets pray for the peace of those who died in this battle.

So wake up Indians ,Unite - this might be last opportunity to save our Country, to save ourselves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Karmaveer Puraskaar 2008 : National awards for social justice and citizen

The Mumbai base dedicated social activist and Founder President of Silver Inning Foundation Sailesh Mishra received the prestigious award from leading actress and social activist Amala in New Delhi for his commendable work for the cause of Senior Citizens in India ,after having been nominated for the awards which has been accepted and shortlisted.

The third Karamveer Puraskar, national awards for social justice and citizen action took place today at Satyagraha Mandap, Gandhi Darshan, RajGhat. November 26 every year is pledged to be recognized as the National Social Justice and Citizen Action Day to rekindle the spirit of our constitutional pledge. It was adopted this day in 1949 when the nation was announced as a Republic.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jeroninio Almeida, Founder and Chief Volunteer, iCONGO said, "In a country of almost 1.2 billion Indians we have many awards for movie stars and other achiever awards launched by tobacco, FMCG, media and beverage brands as marketing campaigns but we are yet to recognize the Real Life Unsung Heroes who believe that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness by leading change. He further added "Karmaveer Puraskaar is given to change dreamers & doers who practice Philanthropy for social justice."

Karamveer Puraskar is being instituted by iCONGO-Indian confederation of NGOs, the representatives of people sector and social justice through citizen action movement in India. This is to recognise individuals who have been pivotal for leading change beyond their business by being committed on individual levels to work on social issues. The awards are given to individuals for their contribution to promote social justice and citizen action who are chosen from various sectors and this year the focus is on 'people from Government, Businesses, and Media'.

The shortlisting of the screened entries is carried out by an expert panel from iCONGO comprising representatives from across areas of work and past awardees based on a process set and created by Mercer and Grant Thornton. Mercer and Grant Thornton are International Audit firms.

The 'Karmaveer Puraskar' is a national award for Social Justice & Citizen Action. The award is instituted by iCONGO – Indian Confederation of NGOs – the people sector association- in partnership with government, business, media, civil society and other sectors and leading global and national organisations which over the years include institutions like TISS, BCCI, NASSCOM FOUNDATION, PHDCCI, CMS, RAI, UNMC, UNODC, The art of living, UNDP, World Bank, UNFPA, GTZ, WOTR, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, NDTV, Business World, Outlook and various others.

The recipients of the Karmaveer Puraskaar 2008 include:
* Lifetime Achievement Karmaveer Puraskaar - Maj. Gen. Raghubir Singh Pannu
* Global Indian Karmveer Puraskaar – Dr. Venkat Pullla and Dr.Sailesh Rao
* Real Wealth Creators For The Communities - Rajendra Joshi and Vipin Sharma
* Lifelong Fight for Social Justice Through Citizen Action - Pamela Gale Malhotra
* Government Citizen Karmveer Puraskaar - Syeda Hameed
* Media Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar
- Print Media - Umesh Anand and Rita Anand
- Film maker- Mainstream - Pritish Nandy
- Filmmaker on contemporary Issues - Bhavna Talwar
- Documentary film maker - Nitin Das and Akanksha Joshi
- Short Film maker –Swati D'Souza, Sehej Mantri, Aalap Deboor and Sheetal Bhan
- Author - Vandana Shah
- Literary Consultant - Mita kapur
*Corporate Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar
- Corporate Citizens for Holistic CSR Initiatives – CEO-Ajay Bijli, CSR Head- Deepa Menon
- Corporate Citizens for Holistic Media Initiatives- Chairman- Indu Jain, Director- Pooran Pandey
- Corporate CEO's Foundation – Ashok Kurien
- Corporate Executive Citizen - Meera Sanyal
*Civil Society Karmaveer Puraskaar
- Disability - Divya Arora
- HIV – Dr Ashok Rau
- Community Welfare - T. K. Mathew
- Fund Raising - Surat Sandhu
- Education, Health and Empowerment - Shobha Murthy
- Women Empowerment and Child labour - Nusrat Naqvi
- Animal Welfare and Environment - Nigel Otter
- Cancer - Harmala Gupta
- Care for the Elderly - Sailesh Mishra
- Social Communications and Campaign Strategist - Meenakshi Madhwani
- Social Venture Mentoring - Varun Sahni
- Social Entrepreneurship/Transformation - Rejendra Misra
* Student Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar - Inir Pinheiro
* Artistes 4 Change karmaveer Puraskaar
- Dance - Geeta Chandran
- Music – Bobby Cash, Gautam Ghosh and Ritika Sahni
- Theatre - Lushin Dubey and Arvind Gaur
- Mainstream Actress– Kajol
* Young Social Entrepreneur Citizen - Meghna Agrawal and Madhusudan Agrawal
* Professional Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar - Madhu Bhatnagar and Shrenik Rao
* Kids 4 Change – Aradhna Chhachhi and Diwakar
* Young Creative Citizen - Ambar Prakash

November 26th is the day the citizens of India adopted the constitutional pledge in 1949 and is now promoted by iCONGO as the National People's Socal Justice and Action Day. Next year is the 60th year of adopting the pledge and on the occasion, iCONGO would be launching a mammoth signature campaign to have the GOI, an appeal addressed to the President, Prime Minister and all citizens serving in Government" to announce this day as the national social justice and citizen action day.

The Karmaveer Puraskaar is given out at the Right every Wrong Conclave every year which is a National Forum for Social Justice and Citizen Action. Every year eminent thought leaders and concerned citizens with constructive opinions from India and overseas gather to discuss social issues like Poverty and marginalisation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Media, Climate Change, Child rights, Animal Rights and other social justice issues and understand the need for a citizen movement to come together as one and pledge to try and right every wrong. This year's theme is about Citizen Action for Electoral Reforms.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Caregiving: Taking care of elders

Thanks to the rapid advances in the field of medicine, more and more people live to a ripe old age, it is increasingly likely that you will be taking care of older relatives at home. While this has always been a traditional practice in the joint Indian family, caregiving can prove to be quite a burden in Mumbai, where most of us lived in small cramped flats, and space is at a premium.

While many people think of caregiving as a burden, in reality entering into a caregiving relationship offers a valuable chance to reconnect with someone for whom you care deeply. And don't forget that you'll be setting an example for your children, so that when it's time for them to take care of you when you become old, they'll do a good job too.

Taking care of the elderly as they become more infirm and demanding with each passing day can create a lot of stress. If you're trying to shoulder the burden all alone, the frustrations may overwhelm you. An amicable situation can turn sour and, in some cases, mistreatment or abuse of the older person could be the tragic result. As testimony to this disquieting but indisputable reality, the media is reporting more and more cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly in India. Many parents have even been forced to commit suicide when they have got fed up of the ill-treatment they have received.

To sidestep an unpleasant situation and to ensure that you handle caregiving as successfully as possible, you should go in for a little thought, education and preplanning.

To start with, hold a family session when your parents are well. Talk about the future, and what they would like you to do for them in case they fall stick. Involve your brothers and sisters in the discussion and hold it in a positive atmosphere. Although talking about old age and impending debility can be uncomfortable, and disconcerting, this could be the most positive approach in the long run.

Consider covering the following areas:

* Division of labour: Decide who will do what - in an unambiguous manner - when your parents need help. If one relative lives close by and decides to be the primary caregiver, it's crucial that the other siblings play a supportive role. One should also find answers to the following important queries: Who will give the primary caregiver a break when he or she needs it? Who will help financially? Who will lend a sympathetic ear when the primary caregiver feels overwhelmed?
* Money: To plan for the years ahead, you should know your parents' financial resources. Such information helps you avoid the pitfalls of arranging for your parents to live beyond or below their means. If you're the main caregiver, decide well ahead of time if you want financial compensation for your efforts. This attitude might seem very commercial , but may actually help in the long run.
* Insurance: Make sure your parents have taken adequate medical insurance to cover their medical expenses.
* Living will: This document puts into writing what medical measures your family member does and doesn't want to be taken in the event of a terminal illness or condition.
* Power of attorney: This legal document allows a designated person to make specified legal and financial decisions if your parent or elderly relative becomes unable to manage his or her affairs.

Try to make your caregiving relationship as positive as possible, while, at the same time, being realistic. The relationship you had with your parent as a child doesn't disappear, and if you had a friendly, easygoing rapport with your mother or father when you were younger, it's likely to continue. However, if the relationship was subject to stresses, they may re-emerge. Also remember that prominent personality traits tend to become exaggerated as both of you grow older.

Caring for an older adult is very different from caring for a child. With the passage of time older persons become more dependent on others, not less. On some days, the experience may feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride: you quickly move from pity and guilt to love and on to anger and frustration.

By Dr Aniruddha Malpani

Source: http://www.timeswellness.com/index.aspx?page=article§id=27&contentid=20081123200811230033289714daad333

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcoming the Approach of the Golden Years

"Gettin' old ain't for sissies."

So said a frail, but feisty, 76-year-old woman I met several years ago in my role as community mental health worker.

Her words, which offered more of a challenge than a complaint, would signal the beginning of a significant change in my views about old age.

Like most of my youth-obsessed, baby- boomer contemporaries, I had always regarded growing old with dread and disdain.

The gradual and, sometimes, not-so-gradual corruption of the body that attends the aging process was never something I wanted to contemplate, much less ever face.

My apprehensions about becoming an older adult did not pertain only to the inevitable decline in physical prowess. I also stressed over the prospective slowing, if not total arrest, of my mental abilities.

Three of my grandparents and two of my aunts suffered from dementia. So, somewhere in my psyche simmered the question: Will this happen to me?
Besides my fears about what would happen to my body and what could happen to my mind, something else disturbed me about getting old.

I shuddered to think that one day I, too, would be treated in the same condescending way the elderly in our society are often treated. I worried that once my so-called productive years were behind me, I would be regarded as obsolete and relegated to the sidelines of life. I imagined feeling lonely, isolated and depressed, no longer finding any meaning or pleasure in being alive.
Given the many pejorative stereotypes that permeate our collective thinking about older people, combined with the unsettling possibilities raised by my family history, it's hardly surprising that I felt about aging the way I did.

However, since the encounter with my spirited client, and subsequent experiences with similarly inspiring older persons -- including my wise, vibrant 82-year-old mother -- my ageist attitude has undergone a metamorphosis.

This is a good thing since I am now well past the half-century mark, and my "golden years" are on the horizon.

I have finally begun to grasp that how we imagine what lies ahead very much influences our actual experience. If, either consciously or unconsciously, we expect to feel useless and miserable in old age, it is highly likely that just such a prophecy will come to pass.

If, on the other hand, we roust ourselves from our fear and negativity and create a new blueprint for how to live out our final years, we may not escape pain and loss, but we open ourselves to a sense of contentment and gratitude, despite the disappointments and defeats endured along the way.

Another thing I have learned that has dramatically altered my perceptions of growing old is the distinction between being elderly and being an elder.
In his book From Age-ing to Sageing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older, Rabbi Zalman Schachter- Shalomi argues that an elderly person merely acquiesces to life's final passage, whereas an elder chooses to meet it with intention, determination and purpose.

The purposefulness of the elder, though, differs from that of the young and the middle-aged in that it is no longer about ambition, acquisition or status.
It is about acceptance. Acceptance of the past, present and what is yet to come. It is about facing one's mortality and learning the art of letting go. It is about surrendering the protective armour of one's adopted persona and moving inward towards one's less visible self.

The "eldering" process that Schachter-Shalomi proposes is a contemplative one. It involves a psycho-spiritual model of development that allows elders "to complete their life journey, harvest the wisdom of their years, and transmit a legacy to future generations."

To do this they would turn to different spiritualities like yoga, Zen Buddhism, contemplative Christianity or Kabbalah, and explore disciplines like journal writing, meditation, tai-chi and other body-mind technologies now accessible in the West.

Our mainstream culture can also learn much from aboriginal traditions. Notwithstanding the myriad challenges facing native peoples today, they still honour and respect their elders, who respond by sharing the fruits of their life experience and hard-earned wisdom. The community receives guidance and grounding, while the elders retain a sense of involvement and dignity.

It has been said that when a culture forgets its elders, its elders begin to forget who they are. It is crucial, then, that the young and middle-aged know and remember their elders. It is equally critical that elders know themselves and recognize the unique, precious gifts they have to share.

One gerontologist summarized the essence of this reciprocal relationship this way: "We do not have elders because we have a human gift ... to keep the weak alive, we are human because we have elders."

By Gary Westover , Canada

Source: http://www.globalaging.org/elderrights/world/2008/golden.htm

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Student Projects May Help Elders with Driving and Rehabilitation

For Spring quarter 2008, five teams of Stanford students in the Senior Design course, ME 113, are working on projects that could benefit the elderly and persons with disabilities. Under the guidance of Professor Drew Nelson and a teaching staff of coaches, teams are working on a variety of projects: a seat design that may help elders be more comfortable entering and exiting their cars; an attachment that will make it easier for wheelchair users to get in and out of a special rehabilitation treadmill; a device that motivates children with Cerebral Palsy to walk better and that may have applications for stroke survivors; a surfboard steering system for disabled surfers, be they young or old; and a training device for an Olympic wheelchair racer.

At the end of the quarter, the teams’ functional devices will be displayed and demonstrated at the EXPE 2008 event (http://expe.stanford.edu/index.php). While the students’ efforts will be prototypes, each may have a significant commercialization potential. Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing (http://otl.stanford.edu/) will work with companies that are interested in bringing these devices to market.

The projects:

1) BMW Ingress/Egress
Design team: Jared Murphy, Samantha Cunningham, Mickey McDaniels, Melissa Kamura

The majority of low-slung vehicles have seat designs to accommodate a limited range of consumers. Individuals with restricted mobility –– such as the elderly, obese, and handicapped –– require further exertion and strain to enter and exit such cars. Driver's seat modifications in the BMW 5-Series Sedan provide additional support for the seated individual. However, little assistance is available to support drivers as they enter and exit the driver's seat.

As a result, older and handicapped individuals tend towards larger vehicles, although they would prefer the efficiency, aesthetics, and cost of a smaller car. Observation of individuals revealed various sources of discomfort for people maneuvering into their vehicles: low-slung seats, having to clear a low-positioned steering wheel, dashboard obstruction, doors that swung too far open and are difficult to close, a too-small car door frame, and hindrance from the bottom lip of the door frame.

The BMW Ingress/Egress project will explore solutions that could expand ingress/egress comfort in the BMW 5-Series to persons of limited mobility. An optimal solution will assist the individual in entering and exiting the car while maintaining seat functionality and overall BMW safety standards.

2) G-Trainer Access Assistance –– Team America
Design team: Jonathan Hofus, David Woodbury, Taiei Harimoto, Robert McBride

Alter-G's G-Trainer is a cutting-edge training treadmill for competitive athletes, and an ideal tool for rehabilitation and therapeutic purposes. Recently cleared by the FDA, the G-Trainer's unique “un-weighting” technology enables users to gradually regain walking or running ability by experiencing as little as 20 percent of their body weight as they walk or run on the treadmill.

While the G-Trainer has great potential in the field of rehabilitation, currently it has significant barriers of entry for the market that includes physically weak or disabled persons. This student team will design an attachment to the G-Trainer that will make it easier for wheelchair users to get in and out of the G-Trainer.

3) Pediatric Gait Project -– Step Function
Design team: Whitney King, Obinna Emenike, Nydia Cardenas, Roseanne Warren

The Step Function team is continuing to work on a project begun last quarter in ENGR110 that addresses poor gait among children with cerebral palsy. This project also has applications for stroke survivors who have walking problems.

The team will combine corrective and motivational therapeutic walking features into a wearable device. Specifically, students will focus on the problem of toe walking –– where there is little or no heel contact with the ground while walking. Most children who toe-walk could actually get their heels down if they concentrated on the task. For many, this is painful and difficult, so they give up. As a result they do not strengthen their tibialis anterior muscle, which will make it harder to correct their gait at a later age.

The iGait device incorporates a footswitch shoe insert that will trigger the playing of an iPod if the patient achieves heel contact for a given percentage of steps. We hope to have three levels of difficulty as well as provide immediate real-time feedback each time the heel strikes the ground.

4) Joystick Controlled Surfboard for Disabled Surfers –– Der Hammer'd
Design team: Andy Zimbroff, Cole Bennet, Mike Lindquist, Warren King

The Surfboard team is working with a local engineering company to develop a surfboard system appropriate for surfers with disabilities, be they young or old. Specifically, the surfboard will be designed for a quadriplegic rider who has no use of his legs and has limited upper body mobility.

The company will develop an electric propulsion system and the student team will design a companion steering system. The goal is to enhance the surfing experience for the disabled surfer by providing him with better control of his surfboard.

5) Draft Board for Professional Wheelchair Racer -– Velociraptors
Design team: George Nelson, Michael Bury, Jonah Greenberger, Nathan Fenner

The goal of this project is to construct a “draft board” that will mount on the back of a bicycle and be used by an internationally competitive wheelchair racer in training for the Beijing Paralympics in September. This device will be used to simulate a race-pace drafting situation for daily training. It will allow the athlete to regularly train at several miles per hour faster than she would be able to do alone.

Source: http://longevity.stanford.edu/mybody/mobility/assistivetechnology/studentprojects

Danish enjoy healthier old age

How many years of healthy active life people live after the age of 50 varies greatly across Europe, a study has shown.

People grew old most comfortably in Denmark, where men could look forward to 23.64 "healthy life years" and women 24.12. In sharp contrast, men in Estonia could expect no more than 9.05 trouble-free years after their 50th birthday.

Women in eastern European country had just 10.42 years of healthy life ahead of them after turning 50.

Generally, people in "established" western EU countries were far more likely to enjoy good health in their later years than those in the newer eastern states, the study found.

Experts believe "healthy life years" (HLYs) provide a better way to make health comparisons between regions than life expectancy. The new research involved studying 2005 disability statistics from 25 European countries.

A "healthy life year" is defined as one in which a person's activity is not limited by ill-health.

The research showed that in 2005 an average 50-year-old man in the EU could expect to live a healthy active life until the age of 67.3. Women were likely to enjoy good health until 68.1.

HLY variation across the EU was much greater than that for life expectancy, the research found. Life expectancy at the age of 50 differed by up to 9.1 years for men and 6.1 for women. But "healthy life years" varied by as much as 14.5 years for men and 13.7 for women.

The UK was ranked seventh in the HLY league table, with a healthy life expectancy for 50-year-olds of 19.74 years for men and 20.78 for women. The research was reported in an early online edition of The Lancet medical journal.

Professor Carol Jagger, from the University of Leicester, and colleagues wrote: "We noted a large variation in the remaining years spent free of activity limitations in men and women at 50 years of age between the 25 EU countries in 2005, amounting to a difference of around 14 years of healthy life."

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gu7Q3JqkfbiVQYf8MX1EuI042Nmg

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Circle of Support for an Elderly Neighbor

A few years ago, I met an older gentleman while I was out walking dogs. His dog was always out in his front yard so we got to know one another as I would pass by. At the time, his wife was undergoing dialysis at the end of a lifetime of diabletes and I offered to care for his dog on the days he had to take his wife to the doctor. That became a regular thing and eventually, when his wife passed away, we had become friends.

This man had no children or close relatives and did not know his neighbors well. Consequently, the loss of his wife hit him even harder than this kind of tragedy ordinarily would have. Since my work hours were (and are) very very long, I could only spend a little time with him, so I started talking to his neighbors when I would see them out in their yards, letting them know that his wife had just died and that he was having a hard time. Within a short time, the neighbors began stopping by his house.

It is now almost 10 years later, and far from being lonely, this man's home is now sort of a social center of the neighborhood! A group of 6 women, of which I am one, banded together to be his "support group". Together, we have kept him going through depression, a hip replacement and several surgeries. Someone in our group calls him daily, another walks his dog when he cannot, one drives him whereever he needs to go, someone else brings him food occasionally and together we all make a huge deal out of his birthday and Christmas each year.

This group, and his other neighborhood friends, have helped keep our friend involved in life. He sends text messages to his friends on his cell phone and has just this week gotten his first computer! Our arrangement evolved easily and naturally and makes us all very happy. I wish all older people could have something like this!

by falsemonkeypuzzl

Source: http://www.helpothers.org/story.php?sid=10239

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Guide for Aging Computer Users

Discover How to Make the Computer Easier to See, Hear, and Use

Having trouble seeing things on your computer screen? By the time we reach our fifties, two-thirds of us have vision, hearing, or dexterity impairments that will impact our use of the computer. There are easy ways to adjust your computer without downloading or purchasing anything. This guide shows you the features in Microsoft Windows that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer.

Make the Computer Easier to See

* If you have trouble seeing the screen, explore ways to increase text and icons, change colors, and add contrast to what you see on your computer screen.
* Try the built-in bifocals, called Magnifier, in Windows. Magnifier opens a floating window that magnifies a portion of the screen—just like a magnifying glass or pair of bifocals.

Make the Computer Easier to Hear

* If you have difficulty hearing videos or other computer sounds, try cranking up the volume. Also, using headphones can help block out background noise.
* Having trouble hearing email alerts? Try using text or visual alternatives for sounds and consider adjusting computer system sounds to tones that are easier for you to hear.

Make the Keyboard Easier to Use

* If you experience typing errors due to a mild tremor or stiff fingers, try Filter Keys to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes.
* If you find it difficult to press multiple keys at once, try Sticky Keys.

Windows Speech Recognition

* If still joints or dexterity issues are slowing you down, try using Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista. You can talk to your computer and use voice commands to dictate text, send email, and more. You'll be surprised how easy it is to get started once you plug a microphone into your PC.

Make the Internet Easier to Use

* If you have trouble seeing things on the Web, many options are available in Internet Explorer 7 to make the Internet easier to see and explore. Try zooming in on a Web page to magnify text, images, and controls. Also, try changing text, color, font, and other options to make Web pages easier to see and read.

Make the Mouse Easier to Use

* If you find yourself searching for your mouse cursor more often than you search the Web, adjust the mouse cursor size, appearance, and pointer options.
* If you find yourself wrestling to control the mouse, you can change the way the mouse scrolls and how the buttons work, including the double-click speed.
* Is dragging a drag? Try using ClickLock if you don't want to hold the mouse button down while you drag items with the mouse.

Courtesy: http://www.microsoft.com/enable/aging/default.aspx

History of Gerontology

It may be said that the history of gerontology begins with agriculture; prior to this the hunter-gatherer societies that existed could only support a marginal existence: food supply was short; frequent movement a necessity. These and other reasons meant that extremely few reached 'old age'. However, it could be argued that in a society with a life expectancy of 14 (such as 10,000 BC), being '40' was 'old'.

Things changed with the coming of agriculture. A more stable food supply and the lack of frequent movement meant that humans could now survive longer, and beginning perhaps around 4000 BC, a regular segment of the population began to attain 'old age' in places such as Mesopotamia and the Indus river valleys. Agriculture didn't simply bring a steady food supply; it also suddenly made older persons an economic benefit instead of a burden. Older persons could stay and watch the farm (or children); make pottery or jewelry, and perform social functions, such as story-telling (oral tradition, religion, etc). and teaching the younger generation techniques for farming, tool-making, etc.

After this change, the views of elder persons in societies waxed and waned, but generally the proportion of the population over 50 or 60 remained small. Note that in ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Pepi II was said to have lived to 100 years old. Certainly Ramses II lived to about 90; modern scientific testing of his mummy supports the written record. Ancient Greeks valued old persons for their wisdom (some reaching 80, 90, or 100 years old), while old age was devalued in Roman times.

In the medieval Islamic world, elderly people were valued by Muslim physicians. Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (1025) was the first book to offer instruction for the care of the aged, foreshadowing modern gerontology and geriatrics. In a chapter entitled "Regimen of Old Age", Avicenna was concerned with how "old folk need plenty of sleep", how their bodies should be anointed with oil, and recommended exercises such as walking or horse-riding. Thesis III of the Canon discussed the diet suitable for old people, and dedicated several sections to elderly patients who become constipated.

The Canon of Medicine recognized four periods of life: the period of growth, prime of life, period of elderly decline (from forty to sixty), and decrepit age. He states that during the last period, "there is hardness of their bones, roughness of the skin, and the long time since they produced semen, blood and vaporal breath". However, he agreed with Galen that the earth element is more prominent in the aged and decrepit than in other periods. Avicenna did not agree with the concept of infirmity, however, stating: "There is no need to assert that there are three states of the human body—sickness, health and a state which is neither health nor disease. The first two cover everything."

The famous Arabic physician, Ibn Al-Jazzar Al-Qayrawani (Algizar, circa 898-980), also wrote a special book on the medicine and health of the elderly, entitled Kitab Tibb al-Machayikh or Teb al-Mashaikh wa hefz sehatahom. He also wrote a book on sleep disorders and another one on forgetfulness and how to strengthen memory, entitled Kitab al-Nissian wa Toroq Taqwiati Adhakira, and a treatise on causes of mortality entitled Rissala Fi Asbab al-Wafah. Another Arabic physician in the 9th century, Ishaq ibn Hunayn (died 910), the son of Hunayn Ibn Ishaq, wrote a Treatise on Drugs for Forgetfulness (Risalah al-Shafiyah fi adwiyat al-nisyan).

In medieval Europe on the other hand, during its Dark Ages, negative opinions of the elderly prevailed; old women were often burned at the stake as witches. However, with the coming of the Renaissance old age returned to favor in Europe, as persons such as Michelangelo and Andrea Doria exemplified the ideals of living long, active, productive lives.

While the number of aged humans, and the maximum ages lived to, tended to increase in every century since the 1300s, society tended to consider caring for an elderly relative as a family issue. It was not until the coming of the Industrial Revolution with its techniques of mass production that ideas shifted in favor of a societal care-system. Care homes for the aged emerged in the 1800s. Note that some early pioneers, such as Michel Eugène Chevreul, who himself lived to be 102 in the 1880s, believed that aging itself should be a science to be studied. The word itself was coined circa 1903.

It was not until the 1940s, however, that pioneers like James Birren began organizing 'gerontology' into its own field. Recognizing that there were experts in many fields all dealing with the elderly, it became apparent that a group like the Gerontological Society of America was needed (founded in 1945). Two decades later, James Birren was appointed as the founding director of the first academic research center devoted exclusively to the study of aging, the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California. In 1975, the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology became the first academic gerontology department, with Birren as its founding dean.

In the 1950s to the 1970s, the field was mainly social and concerned with issues such as nursing homes and health care. However, research by Leonard Hayflick in the 1960s (showing that a cell line culture will only divide about 50 times) helped lead to a separate branch, biogerontology. It became apparent that simply 'treating' aging wasn't enough. Finding out about the aging process, and what could be done about it, became an issue.

The biogerontological field was also bolstered when research by Cynthia Kenyon and others demonstrated that life extension was possible in lower life forms such as fruit flies, worms, and yeast. So far, however, nothing more than incremental (marginal) increases in life span have been seen in any mammalian species.

Today, social gerontology remains the largest sector of the field, but the biogerontological side is seen as being the 'hot' side. Indeed, some have said that social gerontologists look to the past; biogerontologists look to the future.

Source: http://www.reference.com/browse/all/gerontology

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

International Conference on Aging and Spirituality 2009

Sunday 30 August to Wednesday 2 September 2009 at the University of Auckland Business School, Grafton Road, Auckland City, Auckland New Zealand.

Hosted by Selwyn Centre for Aging and Spirituality (SCAS)

Journey to Auckland for a Voyage into Faith-based Aging and Care

Evidence-based models of medical care have paved the way for people to live much longer, healthier, physical lives. But has the quality of spiritual guidance and care offered to older people kept pace? Are older people’s spiritual needs being adequately met in healthcare and social systems around the world?

The 2009 International Conference on Aging and Spirituality will bring together researchers, aged care practitioners, and anyone with an interest in helping older people find deepest meaning and fulfillment in life.

The issues of aging and spirituality will be discussed against the backdrop of gender, culture and new models of care. This conference will consider the positive possibilities of aging well, and flourishing, despite difficulties.

Conference Themes:

- Advocacy, Policy formation and influencing political thinking

- ‘Baby Boomers’: spiritual models of care and lifestyle for the free thinking, wealthier, independent generation.

- Indigenous issues and cultural experiences: real life case studies on aging and spirituality in non-Western societies.

- Holistic ‘whole person’ care in an age where science is king

- End of life issues: touchstones and challenges

- Pastoral care and ministry in aging communities

- Funding and spiritual models of care: is the recognition there?

Call for Papers

The Organising Committee of the 2009 International Conference on Aging and Spirituality is pleased to invite submission of papers for presentation at the conference on any of the themes listed above. Initial expressions of interest should be as paper abstracts, a maximum of 400 words, and as MS-Word attachments to an email sent to conference@selwyncare.org.nz. Please include author and organisation information as well as an indication of the theme area the paper fits within.

Key dates (subject to minor changes)

June 08 - initial call for abstracts

December 08 - abstract submission close off

February 09 - paper reviews completed

June 09 - speakers and conference programme confirmed and published

30 August 09 to 2 September 09 - Conference

Recommended for:

- Health professionals working with older people of diverse cultures and faiths in indigenous cultural environments

- Clergy, chaplains, theologians, spiritual or faith leaders

- Pastoral care givers

- Diversional therapists

- Aged care leaders, administrators and directors of listed and non-listed aged care organisations

- Researchers in aging, spirituality, and new models of aged care

- Aged care policy makers and funders

- Political leaders

- Media with interests in aged care, social or health policy or matters of faith

- Older people with interests in this area

Register here: http://www.selwyncare.org.nz/?t=139

This May Be the Most Useful Alzheimer's Advice

Here's the first step to solving countless behavior problems presented by someone with Alzheimer's: Ask, "Why is this happening?"

I'm not referring to the rhetorical question, "Oh why is this happening to me?" although it's sure understandable if that one crosses your mind. But when you're faced with upset, a refusal to cooperate, or even a catastrophic reaction, don't write it off to the craziness of the disease. You can usually solve the matter by stepping back to consider, "Why is this behavior happening? What might be triggering it?"

I first grasped this concept from Joanne Koenig Coste, whose insightful 2003 classic, Learning to Speak Alzheimer's, describes her theory of "habilitation care." Her basic idea: You can't rehabilitate someone with Alzheimer's, but you can habilitate them -- step into their world and adjust things accordingly in order to help them be as capable as possible. (Coste's husband developed early Alzheimer's at 44, when she was pregnant with their fourth child, and she cared for him until his death four years later.)

Then this week came this insightful account of Cameron J. Camp, an experimental psychologist in Ohio who's spent 20 years adapting the learning principles of Montessori preschools to people with Alzheimer's. Because the mind's first-developed abilities are the last to go, cognitive similarities exist between adults with dementia and preschoolers. (Both respond well to sensory input, for example.) This insight illuminates the path to many solutions.

As Camp says, "We don't say they're crazy, we say this is where they are in the developmental sequence...you only come up with the fix if you say, 'Why is this happening?'"

Some examples of this idea in action:

* A man stops using the toilet and has an increase in accidents.

Why is this happening? Depth perception fades for someone with Alzheimer's. A white commode fades into a beige wall and is easily overlooked -- therefore not used.

Solution: Instead of concluding incontinence, paint the wall behind the commode a bright red to make it stand out. (from Coste)

* A person becomes upset, claiming that she's being watched, especially in the bathroom.

Why is this happening? The person has lost the ability to understand that the mirror is showing a reflection of herself, not of another person.

Solution: Instead of trying to soothe the distraught individual over and over, cover the mirror or install a shade over it. (from Cameron)

* A woman continually asks why her daughter never visits -- beginning five minutes after her daughter just left.

Why is this happening? She's lost her working (short term) memory and truly doesn't remember.

Solution: Instead of trying to explain the truth, the daughter can keep a logbook of her visits, writing loving notes about each and when she'll visit next. When the mother feels abandoned, her caregiver can direct her to the sit in a comfortable chair with the logbook. This not only calms her in the short term, but eventually builds a positive association with that comfortable chair -- a kind of learning Cameron says people with dementia are still capable of because it builds on remaining cognitive strengths.

Alzheimer's may be maddening, but it can be made less mysterious.

By Paula Spencer

Source : http://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/this-may-be-the-most-useful-alzheimers-advice

Saturday, November 8, 2008

NGO's working for Elderly in Delhi

Helpage India

C-14 Qutab Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110016
Ph: 011 41688955-56
E-mail: headoffice@helpageindia.org

Website : http://www.helpageindia.org/

Agewell Foundation
M-8A, Lajpat Nagar-II, New Delhi-110024, India
Ph.:091-11-29836486, 29840484
Fax: 011-29830458
E-mail: agewell@bol.net.in
Website: www.agewellindia.org

ARDSI (Alzheimer's socierty of India)

163 Kailash Hills
(Ground Floor Back Portion)
New Delhi - 110065

Tel: 91 11 26922940, 91 11 64533663

Email: ardsi_dc@hotmail.com ; bogra30@aol.com

Website: http://alzheimersdelhi.org/index.htm

International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) Representative for India & South Asia
POSTAL ADDRESS: D 104 Anand Niketan, New Delhi 110021, India
Mobile: + 9818138553, Fax: 91-11-26196990

Email : malakapurshankardass@hotmail.com

Anugraha India

B-33, Arya Nagar Apts.,91, I. P. Extension, Patparganj, Delhi – 110092,
Ph. 011-22726632

E-mail: anugrahaindia@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.anugrahaindia.net/

Source: www.silverinnings.com

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