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Sunday, May 31, 2009

20 Easy Ways to Boost Your Memory

Worried about fading brain power? If you're older than 27, you have good reason. That's the age when cognitive skills start to decline, according to new University of Virginia research. But while some changes in thinking and memory are inevitable as we age, the good news is that lifestyle seems to be able to blunt those effects -- and keep many minds working sharply well into old age.

That's reassuring, given headlines from the Alzheimer's Association's new annual report showing that every 70 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's (the most common form of dementia).

Debilitating memory loss doesn't happen to everyone, though. Learn what you can do to preserve yours.

1. Take the stairs: Exercise benefits your head as much as the rest of your body, a growing number of studies indicate. Overall cardiorespiratory fitness also lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems -- all known risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Theories on why that's so range from improved blood flow to the brain to less brain shrinkage.
Experts recommend making regular aerobic workouts part of your routine. Failing that, it appears that even small efforts add up. So avoid elevators. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Start by walking around your block in the evenings, and add a few minutes more each day.

2. Change your wallpaper: When doing routine things, the brain runs on autopilot. Novelty, on the other hand, literally fires up the brain as new data creates and works new neural pathways.
So shake up what you see and do every day: If your computer screen background is "invisible" to you, run a program that mixes it up every day or every hour. Take a different route home from work. Brush your teeth with your nondominant hand. Buy, borrow, or download a book that makes you think about new ideas.

3. Steal some zzz's by daylight: It's while you're sleeping that your brain sorts, consolidates, and stores memories accumulated during the day -- that's why eight hours at night is so valuable. But a mere six-minute nap is as valuable as a full night's sleep to short-term recall, according to German research. And a 90-minute nap has been shown to speed up the process that helps the brain consolidate long-term memories.

4. Take a mental "photograph": Memories aren't just stored in one spot in the brain; bits of data are processed and stored in different areas. To help make the memory of an incident last, take a "snapshot" of it while you're in the moment, using all your senses. Look around and think about what you see. Notice colors and textures. What do you smell? If you're eating or drinking (or kissing), what's the taste?
This "mental camera" trick can help you hang onto a happy memory longer. But it can also help you remember where you parked your car.

5. Eat less: After only 12 weeks, healthy volunteers (average age 60) who reduced their daily calories by 30 percent scored 20 percent better on memory tests, University of Munster (Germany) researchers reported in January. The possible reason: decreased levels of insulin, created when the body processes food, and of the inflammation-associated molecule C-reactive protein. Both factors are linked to improved memory function.
The people in the study were cautioned not to consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day. If cutting back on your diet by nearly a third seems too daunting, focus on eating less fat, meat, and dairy products. Earlier this year, Columbia University Medical Center researchers reported that in a long-term study of more than 1,300 participants, those with the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet -- rich in vegetables, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated oils (like olive oil) but low in fat, beef, and dairy -- had the lowest risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

6. Try a "brain-training" game -- or join a "brain gym": The science is promising, if not conclusive, as to whether so-called brain-fitness software can actually improve memory. A study in the April 2009 Journal of the American Geriatric Society shows that people over 65 who used a computerized cognitive training program for an hour a day, over a period of eight weeks, improved memory and attention more than a control group.

7. Spend some time online: Neuroscientist Gary Small, director of the UCLA Memory & Aging Center and author of "iBrain," says searching the Web is a bit like using a brain-training course. His researchers used MRI to measure brain activity in Web users ages 55 to 76; the net-savvy users showed twice as much brain activity, especially regarding decision making.

8. Stop and sip a cuppa: Green and black teas have a protective effect on memory, possibly by influencing enzymes in the brain. The caffeine sparks concentration, too. And people who drink moderate amounts of coffee at midlife -- as many as three to five cups -- have lower odds of developing dementia in late life, Finnish and French researchers say.
Another benefit: Taking a coffee or tea break in your day (or three times a day) is a good opportunity for destressing.

9. See a doctor if you feel depressed: Maybe it's "just a mood." But untreated depression is common and can impair memory. Talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication can resolve the problem. Two red flags worth mentioning to a physician: a loss of interest in things that once gave you pleasure and a persistent sense of hopelessness.
People at higher risk for depression include caregivers of older people and those who have a family history of depression.

10. Take the "multi" out of your tasking: Especially when they're trying to learn something new, people remember less well later if they were multitasking while learning, UCLA researchers have shown. If, for example, you're studying while listening to the radio, your memory recall may be dependent on the music to help you later retrieve the information during the test -- except, of course, that you can't usually replicate the same circumstances (like music during a test).
Try to learn something new -- reading a contract or directions, copying a skill -- when you can give it your full concentration. Cut out distractions like the TV in the background or pausing every few seconds when you hear the "ding" of your e-mail or text-message inbox.For information and advice for caring for an elderly relative.

11. Keep your blood sugar under control: If you're diabetes-free, work to maintain a normal weight and follow a balanced diet to reduce your odds of developing the disease. If you're a type 2 diabetic already, follow medical advice for managing blood sugar levels.
New research shows that brain functioning subtly slows as diabetics' blood sugar rises and the blood vessels that supply the brain are damaged. This process begins well before memory problems become obvious, or even before there's a diabetes diagnosis.

12. Waggle your eyes back and forth: To help you remember something important, scan your eyes from side to side for 30 seconds. This little exercise helps unite the two hemispheres of the brain, say researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in England. When the two hemispheres communicate well, you're better able to retrieve certain types of memories.

13. Eat your green vegetables: There's no such thing as an "anti-Alzheimer's diet." But people who are deficient in folate and vitamin B12 have an increased risk of developing dementia. (The research is iffy, in comparison, on the benefits of taking so-called memory enhancers: vitamin C supplements, ginkgo biloba, and vitamin E.)
Great vegetable sources of folate include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets. For you vegetable haters, the nutrient is also abundant in lentils, calf's liver, pinto beans, and black beans.

14. Don't ignore sleep apnea: People with sleep apnea -- a condition involving blocked airways that causes people to briefly stop breathing during sleep -- show declines in brain tissue that stores memory, researchers at UCLA reported last year.
More than 12 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea. If your doctor has suggested you have the condition, be vigilant about trying treatment, which can include wearing oral appliances and "masks," losing weight, and surgery.

15. Learn something new that's a real departure for you: If you're a sudoku fan, you might think a good way to stretch your mind would be to take up a different Japanese numbers game, like kenken or kakuro. But an even better strategy for a nimble brain is to pursue a new kind of activity using skills far different from those you're accustomed to using.
If you ordinarily like numbers, try learning a language. If you're an ace gardener, try painting flowers instead.

16. Quit smoking: The relationship between smoking and Alzheimer's disease is hazy. But smokers do develop the disease six to seven years earlier than nonsmokers.
In case you were looking for another good reason to quit.

17. Eat some chocolate! Every year some study extols the virtue of dark chocolate, and the effects of this wonder-food (or, at least, wonderful food) on memory have not gone ignored by researchers. In 2007, a Journal of Neuroscience study reported on the memory-boosting effects in rats of a plant compound called epicatechin, possibly because it fueled blood vessel growth.
In addition to cocoa, epicatechin is found in blueberries, grapes, and tea.

18. Put everything in its place: While novelty is like growth hormone to the brain, your memory needs a certain amount of familiarity to keep your life functioning smoothly. Place your keys and glasses in the same place all the time. Write notes to yourself as reminders (the very act of writing will help your recall). If you want to remember your umbrella tomorrow morning, place it right at the door, so you won't miss it.

19. Don't retire: Good news for those who can no longer afford to quit: Provided you like your work, you're helping your brain by sticking with it as long as you can. A satisfying work life offers social stimulation and decision-making opportunities -- and exercises problem-solving skills.
Next best: Volunteering, such as at a school or museum, where your training involves learning new material and the task involves interacting with others.

20. Throw a party: Being around other people lowers one's risk of developing dementia. The catch: They should be people you enjoy who make you feel engaged and stimulated. People who are physically isolated (not around people) or emotionally isolated (around people but feeling lonely nevertheless) are at higher risk for depression.

Just go easy on the alcohol at those parties. Studies on its effect on memory are mixed. Long-term, excessive drinking is clearly linked with dementia. Binge drinking also impairs short-term memory. On the other hand, for people who drink moderately (one drink a day), alcohol may have a protective effect. One study found that in people with mild cognitive impairment (mild memory loss that doesn't necessarily advance to dementia), those who drink less than one drink a day progressed to dementia at a rate 85 percent slower than teetotalers who didn't drink at all.

Source: http://www.thirdage.com/brain-fitness/20-easy-ways-to-boost-your-memory

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DONT fool Senior Citizens Maharashtra Government told

The Media including Outlook Magazine February 20, 2009 and Mumbai Mirror February 19, 2009 reported that Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007,a central government legislation, which provides for imprisonment for neglecting parents and senior citizens was passed by Maharashtra cabinet recently, which decided to implement the law in the state from March 1 2009,after 14 months of delay.

But its shocking that till date nothing has been done and government has fooled the Senior Citizens, the most neglected and ignored. The Act is still not implemented and no progress had been done to form the Tribunals and create awareness.

We hope that this monsoon session of Maharashtra Assembly the ACT is passed
and GR issued. Many Senior Citizens are waiting for justice.

The Act provides that anyone who shows disrespect to or does not care for his or her parents who are above 60 years of age is liable for punishment up to three months of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 5,000 or both.

The Act came into existence on December 27, 2007 by a central government notification but the state was yet to come out with a notification, mandatory for implementation of the Act.

The Act makes it clear that 'maintenance of parents' means provision of food, shelter, clothing and medical attendance and treatment and a 'parent' means father or mother whether biological, adoptive or step-father or step-mother, whether or not the father or mother is a senior citizen (whose age is 60 or above).

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had written to the State Government last year, with a request to notify the Act in Maharashtra.Till date only 15 state have implemented it.

NGO and activist like Silver Inning Foundation, Helpage India, and AISCON are advocating and pressuring the government to immediately implement this act all over India.

To see the ACT: http://www.prsindia.org/docs/bills/1182337322/scr1193026940_Senior_Citizen.pdf

This is warning to government, if this does not happen this assembly session then Senor Citizens and NGO's will be on the street.

Social Worker required by Silver Inning Foundation


REPORTING TO: President / Director

LOCATION: Mumbai, India

Silver Innings is a Social Entrepreneur organization dedicated for the cause of elderly and their family members. We are committed in ensuring that ageing becomes a positive, rewarding experience for all. On 10th April 2008 Silver Innings (SI) started off with a website www.silverinnings.com which contains comprehensive information for elderly and issues related to them. After the success of the website, Silver Inning Foundation an NGO was started initially to provide non-institutional services for the elderly.

Silver Inning Foundation (SIF) requires a full time Social Worker for managing services and projects that we are currently running and also planning to start. Trained Social Workers or persons with experience in the social sector can apply. The person concerned should be interested and willing to work for the cause of the elderly. He or she should be Passionate, Progressive, Non materialistic, Self Starter, open to new ideas and Technology friendly.

The roles and responsibilities would include the following:
Initiation and co-ordination of projects
Conducting surveys
Writing reports/proposals
Conducting volunteers meetings
Managing and coordinating with volunteers
Representing SIF at various forums
Handling dementia cases and other case work
Handling Elder Abuse
Attending conference/seminar
Organising/Conducting Workshop, Lecture, Talks
Coordination with government authorities
Handling CSR projects
Networking with NGO’s and organisations
Fund Raising
Events and activities

Must Have/Be:
Operations and management skill
Leadership skills and ability to manage and motivate team/teams.
Skills in Networking and Advocacy
Good communication & representational skills.
The incumbent must be able to commit to a minimum of 3 year full time stint.
Patience and good listeners
Entrepreneurial skills
Willing to learn
Must be willing to travel any where in India

Mumbai based candidates only
Fluent in English, Marathi and Hindi
Ready to join immediately/one month
Fresh / 1 to 3 years experience


We assure you of Job Satisfaction and Growth.

Please note as SIF is startup organisation Salary will not be in five digits for at least one year and later it will be decided as per appraisal report and performance.

Interested individuals may please submit their CV, with a passport size photo and 3 references by email to silverinnings@gmail.com with the subject line indicating Social Worker-SIF. No phone calls in this regards will be accepted and application by post/courier will not be entertained. Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted. The last date of receiving applications is 10th June 2009. Appointment will be preferably from 1st July 2009.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prof. P.V. RAMAMURTI:Silver Personality of May 2009

Prof. P.V. RAMAMURTI – The Father of Modern Indian Gerontology

Prof. P.V. Ramamurti was born in 1936 at Madras, now Chennai. He has graduated with Honours in Psychology (1956) from the Madras Christian college (MCC) and Dip. in Anthropology from Madras University. He briefly served at the MCC before joining Sri Venkateswara University in 1959. He superannuated in 1996 as Professor of Psychology, Co-ordinator UGC, DSA Programme; and Dean of School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. He was the first Ph.D in Psychology of Aging in India; first to secure a Research Project on Psychosocial aspects of Aging (from ICSSR); first to author a scientific paper on Psychology of Ageing (1956) first to introduce the teaching of Ageing as a subject in India, and was the founder Director of the Center for Research on Ageing in the Department of Psychology, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati.

He secured the Sandox International Project Award, on the study of successful Ageing, the Basu Medal of the Association of Physicians India. The Distinguished Gerontologist Award of Age care (India). The Indian Science congress Association Platinum Jubilee lecture Award, Pranavananda Trust lecture award and Award for life Time achievement in Research in Psychology and the Life time Achievement Award of the Association of Gerontology India. He was also awarded the US Fulbright senior fellowship. He was a member of the National commission on older persons.

His Academic distinctions include being a consultant to the United Nations on the Agenda for Ageing Research, consultant UNFPA and continues as faculty for the United Nations international Institute on Ageing, Malta, short training programmes. He is also a consultant in the area of Ageing for INIA,UN Malta, UGC, ICSSR, ICMR, DST, MSJ & E and NIHFW and is patron of the Association of Gerontology India and its former President.

At 73 years of age he still contributes for the future of many youngsters, Salute to the Father of Modern Indian Gerontology.

Silver Surfers: Senior Citizens in India Embrace the Internet to Cope with a Lonely Future

Dennis Meredith has two sprawling bungalows on 15 acres of rich fertile country land in McCluskiegunj where he has spent his life nurturing a beautiful garden and orchard. Dennis has lived here since he was just a year old in the house his late father, Felex Meredith christened “The Hermitage.” For the past 59 years, Dennis has never considered leaving, but now a “For Sale” sign hangs over the entrance.

Dennis’ only son, Ryan, is a photographer and works on ships. Where Dennis lives, electronic communication has only just recently arrived and the area’s Internet services are not up to par with the modern information age. It takes hours and sometimes days for Dennis to send an email from the town’s only cyber café. Sometimes the connecting server drops its connection; other times, erratic electric supply stalls communication. Dennis wants to move to the city and learn how to use the Internet so that he can communicate with Ryan – uninterrupted.

Dennis’ current dilemma shows precisely how far senior citizens in India are going just to keep in touch with their children.

In India, the joint family arrangement, with sons and their families once living with their aging parents in their ancestral house, ensured that seniors never had to look elsewhere for a caregiver or companionship. From the very moment a daughter is born, parents begin the process of accepting that she will eventually marry and leave home. The Hindu religion thus delegates many responsibilities to the sons, including caring for their aging parents to eventually lighting their funeral pyres.

For seniors who have been culturally conditioned to believe that their children will be at their sides in their winter years, living alone has come as a rude awakening. Loneliness itself is largely disorienting, and the absence of family members at this critical time makes it all the more profound. Now that the ideal of the Indian family structure is becoming more and more passé, seniors are finding new ways to stay connected with their children.

But, unlike in developed nations, it’s a late start for many seniors in India. Since they did not grow up with iPods and cell phones in their back pockets, and neither were they exposed to computers at work, integrating seniors into the virtual world is initially a challenge. But more often than not, once they get over their inhibition, exploring the new world at their fingertips is becoming a fascinating experience that many seniors are slowly enjoying. With children settled abroad or in other cities, a large number of senior citizens are now seeking out tutors and training schools where they can learn to use a computer.

Silver Surfers
In 2005, the Pune-based Computer and Media Dealers Association (CMDA) started an initiative to educate seniors about the Internet. Spokesperson Sunil Gugale explains: “[Many] seniors in Pune have siblings abroad, [so] it’s beneficial for them to learn [how to use] email.”

A similar observation was made by The Rotary Club of Coimbatore East during their specialized eight-day computer course called “Silver Surfers” which was offered to seniors in 2008. Connecting loved ones through email was the course’s main objective.

Mrityujay Bhatarjee is seated in front of his PC, attentive and carefully listening to his tutor who is barely half his age as she explains how to switch the computer on. After she demonstrates the procedure, he slowly follows her directions and surprises himself when he succeeds – on his first attempt. His wrinkled face lights up.

Piyali Mukherjee, proprietor and trainer of Computer Training Center in Kolkata where Mrityujay is a student, has trained a number of senior citizens in their basic computer program.

“Silvers come with their own priorities,” she says. “They prefer to be tutored at their home and at their own pace. Competing for a certificate is not their objective.” She explains that communicating with their relatives, children and grandchildren is the driving force that brings them to the center. “They want to focus on basic functions of the computer like sending and receiving emails, viewing pictures, connecting a webcam, mobile phone and digital camera.”

She says educating seniors about computers takes patience. “The instructions have to be written down and repeated many times for them to follow. Their children who are settled abroad leave them with laptops and sophisticated mobile handsets to help them stay connected, but they often don’t teach their parents how to switch the gadgets on,” says Piyali.

Dhira Sur’s daughters, Moushumi and Arpita are married and settled in the US. Dhira is amongst the few seniors who is net savvy, thanks to her career as a Chemical Engineer. Apart from using the Internet to send emails to her daughters and video conference with her grandchildren, she does her banking online and checks the availability of railway and airline tickets.

Dhira lives alone in her spacious house in the plush locality of Salt Lake in Kolkata where other seniors like her reside. “Life is unimaginable without the Internet,” she explains, “but [still] I cannot help feeling alone despite the convenience of being able to communicate easily with my loved ones. This is why I feel the mind has to be kept occupied and the body active.”

Dhira is a member of the BJ Block Morning Walkers Association. She also sings, dances and is into drama. Dhira keeps herself occupied and busy so she can stay fit. This is her survival mantra.

“Most of all, we must be mentally prepared to face the fact that today, our children are not going to be with us in our old age,” Dhira says. “The worst fear of an old person living alone is falling ill. So besides these gadgets that keep us connected with our children, we must keep ourselves fit.”

Isolation and Depression
Even as these handy gadgets prove to be a blessing for these seniors who live alone, while they sit at their laptops and type away at the keypad, many of them do so with moist eyes. Though technology has managed to stroke back life into their frail bodies, there is no denying that gadgets cannot replace the human touch.

The longing for their children’s tight embrace and the sound of baby feet padding through their empty homes is leading to many depressed seniors. According to a study by The Internet Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology, depression was found to be three times higher in people without family support.

In developing countries like India, depression is recognized as a serious public health concern. In these countries, research from The Global Burden of Disease, has found that depression is expected to be the single leading cause of Disability-adjusted Life Years by 2020. And by 2050, the worldwide population of persons above 65 years of age is expected to climb from the current 6.9%, to 16.4%. By then, the United Nations has indicated that in India, 21% of the population will be over 60. When that happens, a huge portion of seniors will be living alone.

But children do not forsake their aging parents by choice and, whenever possible, take them along to live with them. The seniors understand their predicament and seek compromise.

Yet, in the past twelve years Ryan has only been home once.

“He seldom comes ashore and when he does return, he goes to Goa where he has built his own photo studio. He intends on settling down in Goa because his business is there. Mccluskiegunj has no job opportunities for a photographer,” reasons Dennis.

Ryan blames circumstance for the distance with his father.

“It’s not that I no longer care about my dad, but my job doesn’t permit me the leisure time to travel back home.” Though Ryan has often asked Dennis to move to Goa, the real estate prices there are beyond his father’s reach.

“Only when I get my own house can I bring him over,” explains Ryan. “Until then, it’s only through phone and email that we converse.”

By Lesley D. Biswas

Silver Inning Foundation ,a NGO working with Elderly promotes Computer and Internet training promotes Senior Citizens: www.silverinnings.com

Senior citizens can now go for health cover

Senior citizens no more need to feel insecure because of insurance companies' denial to give health cover as regulator IRDA has asked insurers not to deny medical insurance to customers of at least till 65 years of age.

"All health insurance products filed hereafter must allow entry at least till 65 years of age," Insurance Regulatory and Develoment Authority said in a communication to CEOs of all general insurance companies.

It also said any denial to health insurance for senior citizens should be made in writing with reasons furnished and recorded. Such reasons should stand scrutiny of reasonableness and fairness," it added.

The insurance regulator further said the premium charged for health insurance products catering to the needs of senior citizens should be fair, justified, transparent and duly disclosed upfront.

IRDA said insurers should devise mechanisms to reward policyholders for early entry and continued renewals with the same insurers.

Insurers will reimburse at least 50 per cent of the cost incurred by the insured in pre-insurance medical examination, in cases where the risk is accepted, insurance regulator said.

"This circular shall take effect for all policies issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2009," IRDA said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/Senior-citizens-can-go-for-health-cover/articleshow/4577048.cms

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Elder Storytelling Place

Old people love to tell stories from our lives. They have lived long enough to have a lot of them and they get better and better with each re-telling until they are polished to a sparkling brilliance. Do they exaggerate sometimes? Certainly. Do they give the stories (and ourselves) better punchlines than what really happened? Of course. Because it's what they would have said or done if they had been as quick-witted then as they are now.

Sad, poignant, happy or funny, not infrequently our stories contain lessons they have learned and the wisdom they have gathered in their long journey through life and that should not be lost - which is what led to this blog.

Everyone's stories are welcome - except that you should be at least 50 years old.

There are a couple of rules and some guidelines for submissions. So Submit your story today: http://ronnibennett.typepad.com/elderstorytelling/about.html

Saturday, May 23, 2009

EU Project Empowers Elderly to Live Independently

Researchers in the EU-funded PERSONA (Perceptive spaces promoting independent aging) project are drawing on a range of advanced technologies to empower the elderly and support them in their efforts to maintain both their independence and a good quality of life.

Over EUR 6 million of the project's EUR 11.6 million budget comes from the 'Information Society Technologies' Thematic area of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). PERSONA began in 2007 and is scheduled to run until 2010.

The proportion of senior citizens in Europe's population is rising steadily, and by 2020 a quarter of this population will be over 65 years of age. Many of these people will suffer from health conditions and memory problems that could reduce their quality of life and make it harder for them to live independently.

The concept of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) refers to the range of technologies and services, particularly those based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), that can be used to help the elderly remain independent and maintain a good quality of life.

The aim of the PERSONA project is to further the development of AAL products and services that are affordable, easy to use and commercially viable. Crucially, the project partners are developing an integrated technological platform that seamlessly links up the different products and services.

Furthermore, the team is working on certain hardware developments, such as intelligent textiles for use in devices that interact with the users, short-range communication networks to link up sensors and systems, and an indoor localisation system.

"Our aim is to help the user[s] to be autonomous, to increase their self confidence and [to] increase their participation in society," explained Siri Bjørvig of the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine, one of the project partners.

With this in mind, the partners are focusing their efforts on four scenarios, which involve safety, mobility, communication and autonomy. As its name suggests, the 'feel safe' scenario looks at AAL services designed to prevent injuries in the home environment; this gives users the confidence to live without the constant presence of a carer. If someone living alone has an accident or collapses, there are AAL solutions that can detect the problem and alert a neighbour or the health services, for example. Similarly, the system could alert the users if they forget to switch the oven off.

The mobility scenario investigates how senior citizens can be supported when they leave their homes, with the help of a mobile device that reminds them of errands they have to run, for example.

The 'keep in touch' scenario places emphasis on preventing isolation and loneliness, by providing users with ICT tools to help them create and maintain social contacts and participate in community life.

Finally, the 'be autonomous' package is designed to assist the users throughout the day, providing guidance on daily activities to boost independence and autonomy while minimising risks. For instance, the system could remind users to take medication at a certain time.

The technologies developed by PERSONA are set to undergo tests at three sites in Denmark, Spain and Italy.

Source: http://www.globalaging.org/elderrights/world/2009/empowers.htm

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ARDSI XVth National Conference ,Kolkata Dec 2009

It is our sincere pleasure and privilege to invite you to the 15th National Conference of Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Society of India in Kolkata. "Dementia Solidarity” is the Theme of the Conference – ARDSICON 09. The Kolkata Chapter of India’s Dementia platform ARDSI is getting ready to host you and be witness to the uncovering of a remarkable social Solidarity for the urgent mission: “Remember Those Who Cannot Remember.”

ARDSI’s annual conference is the only one in India that brings together scientists, clinicians, care professionals, family carers, volunteers and people with Dementia as well as various other stakeholders. This multidisciplinary event will provide a unique opportunity to examine achievements and priorities in Dementia care.

ADI is raising awareness about the global impact of Dementia and calls for recognition of Dementia as a global health priority. We live in a world where there is one new case of Dementia every seven seconds. The globe is facing an epidemic as the number of people with Dementia is projected to spurt from 30 million to 100 million by 2050.

With this conference we have an opportunity to engage all communities around the world and truly make Dementia a global health and social priority.

Caring for people with Dementia and their families is a joint responsibility of all those who can still reason and remember. We hope this event inspires you to make a difference to the lives of those affected by Dementia.

Once referred to as “The Jewel in the Crown of the British Raj”, Kolkata is a city that throbs with vibrant life forces. It is an epitome of culture and creativity that nurtures and rejuvenates your thinking prowess.

No other city in India enjoys such visible contrast, as does the City of Joy of Lapierre. The quaint little fishing village has grown up to become the most populated city of India bearing the scars of more than three hundred years. It is truly an enigma that defies any description.

It’s THE place to make friends with, to be romantic, to taste rosogolla, to sing a song, to write a poem, to debate, to ride a bus, to walk in the rain, to shop, to play cricket, to watch football, to get refused by a taxi, to live in the warmth of your family, to have a golden heart and to be happy!

Love it or hate it, you can never ignore its enticing allure.

We look forward to welcoming you to Kolkata for yet another interesting and stimulating conference in December 2009.

Dr. N N Sarangi
Chairman, ARDSICON ’09

Dr. T K Banerjee
Secretary, ARDSICON ’09

Hyatt Regency Kolkata
JA-1 Sector III, Salt Lake City,
India 700 098

4th, 5th & 6th December 2009

Conference Secretariat: Ankur, P-5 Regent Estate, Kolkata 700 092, West Bengal, India
Email: ardsicon09@gmail.com Phone: +91 33 32017044, +91-9831394012

Organised by:
ARDSI, Calcutta Chapter
Website: http://www.ardsikolkata.org/

Free medical Camp:Ayurveda for Parkinson Disease

Smt.K.G.Mittal Ayurveda Hospital ,Mumbai has organised a Free Ayurveda Medical camp for Parkinson Disease on 31st May 2009.

Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 50. Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually. In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others. As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to interfere with daily activities. Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.

What can Ayurveda do in this disease:
  • Scientfically proven treatments that reduces disease progression
  • Reduce Fatigue and Weight Loss
  • Reduce pain and troublesome sensations
  • Improve bone health and sleep
  • Manage constipation and improve appetite

Smt.K.G.Mittal Ayurveda Hospital
Behind Taraporewala Aqaurium,
Near Charni Road Station,
Mumbai - 400002.

Date: Sunday 31st May 2009

Time: 9am to 6pm

For registration contact: 9324344820 / 9322221851. Email: namyata@gmail.com / ayurvedaforparkinsons@gmail.com

As informed by Dr.Namyata Pathak.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Story of The First Alzheimer's Patient

In November 1901, German psychiatist Alois Alzheimer encountered a woman named Auguste Deter (Auguste D, as she came to be known) who had been brought to Alzheimer's Frankfurt clinic by her husband.

According to the husband, the couple had been harmoniously married since 1873, but he had recently noticed a gradual decline in his wife that went beyond short- and long-term memory loss. At the relatively young age of 51, she had become disturbingly absent-minded, making obvious mistakes in food preparation, neglecting her housework, stashing objects in nooks and crannies around their apartment, wandering aimlessly from room to room, and suffering from intense bouts of jealousy and paranoia.

As the months went by, thoughts of Auguste D. stayed with Dr. Alzheimer. He recognized that Auguste D.'s case could prove to be of great scientific importance because of her young age. At fifty-one, she was exhibiting the behavioral symptoms that one might expect to observe in a dementia patient in their seventh, eighth, or ninth decade.

The dilemma for Alzheimer and his colleagues was the same as it is today: Did Auguste D. (and others like her) have a specific disease separate from normal aging? Or were their brains simply moving quicker along the continuum of aging and experiencing the symptoms of senility a bit more rapidly than others? This quandary puzzled Dr. Alzheimer for years to come.

In 1906, Auguste D. passed away. Dr. Alzheimer performed an autopsy, finding a high volume of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the tissue of her brain. In November of that year, Dr. Alzheimer delivered a now famous lecture to the Assembly of Southwest German Psychologists in Tübingen. Alzheimer stood before nearly ninety of his colleagues in this lecture theatre and reported on the case of Auguste D, interspersing his lecture with wonderfully-drawn slides of the plaques and tangles found in and on Auguste D's brain in post mortem investigation.

Until the day he died, Alzheimer was reluctant to label the condition he observed in Auguste D. as a specific disease. Nevertheless, his boss, Emil Kraepelin, the authority on psychiatry in Europe, published an account of Alzheimer's disease on in the 8th Edition of his definitive Psychiatry textbook. And so, in 100 years we've gone from having one Alzheimer's disease patient, Auguste D., to having more than 25 million worldwide.

Postponing Retirement May Delay Dementia

Working a few years beyond retirement could help stave off Alzheimer's disease, according to a new British study published 18th May 2009.

Experts from King's College London analyzed data from more than 1,300 people with dementia. They considered factors including education, employment and retirement.

Researchers found that people who retired later were able to avoid the mind-robbing Alzheimer's disease longer than people who retired earlier.

Each extra year of work was associated with approximately a six-week delay in the onset of dementia.

The study was published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and was paid for by the Alzheimer's Research Trust and Britain's Medical Research Council.

"The intellectual stimulation that older people gain from the workplace may prevent a decline in mental abilities, thus keeping people above the threshold for dementia for longer," said Simon Lovestone, one of the paper's co-authors, in a press statement.

But Lovestone acknowledged that doctors still did not fully understand how to delay or prevent dementia.

Previous studies have suggested more education may lower dementia risk.

Other experts said more research was needed to confirm the study's findings.

"There could be a number of reasons why later retirement in men is linked with later onset of dementia," said Suzanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society. Sorensen was not linked to the study.

She said men who retired early might have done so because of other health problems like high blood pressure or diabetes, which increases dementia risk.

"It could also be that working helps keep your mind and body active, which may reduce risk of dementia," she said.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for nearly 60 percent of all cases. Dementia affects 1 in 20 people over the age of 65. According to Alzheimer's Disease International, there are an estimated 30 million people worldwide with dementia.

Source: http://www.thirdage.com/brain-fitness/postponing-retirement-may-delay-dementia?utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl_health-wellness_20090518&utm_campaign=thirdage

Monday, May 18, 2009



The interested Elderly could foster motherless stray puppies and kittens or abandoned pets who would in turn give them the much needed companionship, love and exercise. These animals could be picked up from the nearest animal shelters, with whom I or anybody can very easily coordinate beforehand or from the streets or from other people involved with this cause. In the meanwhile, word would be spread around for their adoptions through networks and websites. In case they do not get adopted for a few weeks, they would be sent to any animal NGO with whom we can pre-determine this. This would also act as a means of group bonding and activity as those involved can share their experiences collectively. Innumerable health benefits of the companionship of animals are proven by research, which include psychological and physical health benefits.

• FOSTERING means taking care of motherless stray puppies and kittens and abandoned pets in your homes for a short period, from the time they are rescued from the roads till the time they get adopted by their new family. ADOPTION means getting a pet, i.e. those animals who are homeless are adopted.
• During the fostering period, they just need to be fed and provided with a decent environment to stay in. Fostering is required because motherless babies inevitably die on the streets and our animal shelters have very high infection rates so these fragile little creatures die there also, very soon and inevitably. These animals if given an opportunity to stay alive are a source of immense joy to the people whom they spend their lives with as pets. So animal lovers keep trying to foster and adopt stray animals.

• We need to feed the puppies or kittens with whatever we cook at home (chappati, rice, vegetables, dal and not necessarily non-vegetarian food) and quarter-half cup (small) diluted milk (water:milk 50:50), thrice or four times a day.
• Water and resting place (any corner of the room with a cloth or cushion for comfort), needs to be provided for them.
• It is also advisable to take them to the Vet once, for any veterinary suggestions, which would always be provided free of charge by the animal NGOs from where they are brought in and we can rope in private vets too, many of whom are happy to render their services for this cause.
• Since the animals do not require much, therefore the costs involved are very minimal and veterinary assistance is free of charge.

• Many websites are available to understand how to foster animals and about the benefits that they may bring to us too.
• Websites for fostering can be the websites of the animals shelters themselves, for adoptions are www.dogadoption.in, and many online communities and blogs of animal lovers.
• Websites for list of animal shelters in each city www.weforanimals.com and particularly for Mumbai www.mumbaionline.in (http://www.mumbaionline.in/EmergencyServices/AnimalCare/).

Monika Mehta
Email- mailmmehta@gmail.com
Ph- 09920171269

Inviting Essay on ELDER ABUSE : Essay Competition

SILVER INNING FOUNDATION an organisation dedicated for Elders and their Family Members invites an Essay of 1000 words on the topic of "Elder Abuse: Role of Civil Society and Government ".

On the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Silver Inning Foundation, a dedicated organization for senior citizens and their family members will be commemorating Elder Abuse Day on 15th June’2009. It has taken the initiative to create awareness among civil society and Government to eliminate elder abuse at both micro and macro level.

World Elder Abuse Day 15th June ,programme aims to increase society's ability, through various programmes to recognise and respond to the mistreatment of older people in whatever setting it occurs, so that the latter years of life will be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The Three (3) best essays will be published on Website www.silverinnings.com as also on Blogs: http://peopleforsocialcause.blogspot.com/; http://silverinnings.blogspot.com/ And best Ten (10) will get Participation Certificate.

All the essays will be property of and used by Silver Inning Foundation as database/paper presentation for its strategy to Tackle Elder Abuse. The verdict of management of Silver Inning Foundation & Silver Innings for selection of best essay will be final.

Silver Inning Foundation consists of a dedicated team of professionals contributing to the cause of the elderly. Silver Inning Foundation conducts seminars, camps, lectures, awareness modules, Dementia management services and also has support groups for home based advice.

The Last date for submission of Essay is 31st May 2009.

Email your essay on or before 31st May 2009 to info@silverinnings.com and copy to silverinnings@gmail.com .The winners will be announced online by email after 10th June 2009. For further information please call on Tel no. 09987104233 – Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.

Terms and Condition:
Essay not more then 1000 words
Essay should be in English
Essay should be sent by Email only
Indian Residence or POI can participate

This Programme is promoted by INPEA (International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse) Indian Chapter through Development, Welfare and Research Foundation (DWARF) and 'Little Things Matter Initiatives' (LTMI).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Caring for Ill, Elderly Has Reward: a Longer Life

Aiding ailing family may reduce death risk and boost attitude, studies find. Caring for an older, ailing family member may be stressful, but studies say it may actually increase your lifespan.

Boomers sandwiched between growing children and ailing aging parents often worry that the stress from all that caregiving might shave years off their lives. But it turns out that the opposite may be true — the nurturing they give may be repaid by a longer lifespan, a study shows.

Earlier studies found that people who had cared for sick relatives died at a younger age than people who didn’t help. But researchers from the University of Michigan suspected the caregiving wasn’t the problem.

“We thought that it wasn’t the helping that was harmful, and that the harm seen in those studies came from watching someone die,” says study author Stephanie Brown, a social psychologist and an assistant professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Michigan.

To see if caregiving was truly beneficial to the caregiver, Brown and her colleagues scrutinized data from 1,688 couples who were at least 70 years old. Over a seven year period, the elderly couples were surveyed four times. During each survey, husbands and wives were asked whether they either provided or received help with such daily activities as eating, dressing, bathing, walking across the room, or using the toilet. They were also asked who performed household tasks such as grocery shopping, managing money and meal preparation.

Brown and her colleagues found that if you accounted for the negative impact of stressing over a loved one’s illness, that caregiving actually led to longer life. During the course of the study, people who spent at least 14 hours a week caring for a sick spouse were almost 30 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who spent no time helping, according to the research recently published in Psychological Science.

A smaller study in the journal Stroke came to a similar conclusion. Researchers interviewed 75 people who spent an average of almost 37 hours per week caring for a loved one who had suffered a stroke. A full 90 percent of those interviewed reported that their caregiving enabled them to appreciate life more. Many also reported that it helped them develop a more positive attitude toward life.

When it came to stresses associated with caregiving, 44 percent said they felt “no strain” while 41 percent reported “some strain.”

The studies make sense to Kathy Yates, a 54-year-old executive from San Jose, Calif., who has been making regular trips to the East Coast for the past four months to help care for her ailing parents. Yates was laid off from her job in January and is thankful that it happened just when she was most needed — her stepmother had a stroke in December and her father caught a respiratory bug and died just months later.

“This has been one of the best experiences of my life,” Yates says. “I’m extraordinarily thankful for the time I’ve had with them and for the perspective the caregiving has given me. It helps me to not be overly anxious about my career because this is so concrete. You know you’re helping another human being. The rewards are palpable. It makes you feel like you’ve got a purpose in life.”

The only downside, Yates says, is the lack of respect caregivers get. “It’s a tragedy that it’s so undervalued by most people,” she adds.

The research by Brown and her colleagues fits in with results from studies showing that animals release higher levels of a hormone called oxytocin when they are parenting. That hormone leads to lower levels of stress-linked substances, Brown says. It also makes sense in light of studies showing that people who volunteer tend to live longer than those who don’t, she adds. Caregiving expert Victoria Raveis suspects that people might get even more health benefits from helping others if their labors were appreciated more by the public. They would be getting the added bonus of improved self-esteem, she explains.

“We’ve been studying adult daughters who are caring for older parents,” says Raveis, who is an associate professor of clinical sociomedical sciences and director of the aging and public health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “And we’ve found that the caregiving makes them feel good about themselves and closer to their parents. It gives them strength.”

Besides, says Raveis, many of the tasks involved in caregiving are simple and straightforward. “You can have closure on a task,” she adds. “You’ve done something and you see that what you’ve done is making a difference. That gives you a sense of accomplishment and control.”

By Linda Carroll a health and science writer living in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Health magazine and SmartMoney.

Source: http://www.globalaging.org/health/us/2009/caring.htm

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"I Promised My Parents I'd Never Put Them In a Nursing Home"

Our parents cared for us and now, as they age, it’s natural that we want to care for them. At first, we figure we’ll stop over at their home and do what they need us to do. That can work for while, when all that’s needed is some help with errands, the lawn or fixing a meal now and then. It’s kind of a pleasant way to help out and show our love for our parents.

However as care needs increase, we are faced with more decisions. Many of us promised in good faith, back when our parents were healthy, that we wouldn’t ever put them in a nursing home. That would be abandoning them. We aim to care for them ourselves until they die.

Admirable thinking. However, as years go by and care needs mount, we find ourselves faced with the fact that we can’t raise our families, work our jobs and run to Mom and Dad’s condo three times a day.

So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room so everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read “Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?”

Another option you might start with, though there is some guilt attached, is getting some in-home agency help. Why the guilt? Because you are now sharing the caregiving with someone else. Someone who is not a family member. You are hiring help for your parents. That isn’t what you had in mind for them, but they are not safe alone all day, and you can’t be there all the time. You have to do something.

The same guilty feelings are often attached to adult day care. Adult day care can be a wonderful choice for many seniors, as they get care and supervision, plus peer interaction and activities more stimulating than watching TV all day. But, this too means you are turning over some of the care to strangers. You were going to handle it all yourself. You told them you would. And now? You can’t. You need help.

Then the day comes where in-home care can’t handle all of their needs. Adult day care can’t take care of them. Only one choice remains, and that is a nursing home.

Cheryl E. Woodson, MD (and caregiving daughter) wrote a wonderful book titled “To Survive Caregiving.” One of the most important things Woodson says is that, while you may have to “break your promise” – you know, the one you should never have made – and put your parent in a nursing home, you have still honored the spirit of the promise.

I loved the way she put that. None of us knows the future. Our healthy parents have visions of nursing homes decades ago, and the very idea of living in one is unthinkable to them. You tend to agree. Yet, now the day has come where Mom is incontinent, confused and paranoid. She has wondered away from home twice, and once you had to call the police. Dad had a stroke and needs a lift to get him out of bed and two strong people to get him into his wheelchair. You’ve run up against a brick wall. There is no choice but a nursing home.

When the guilt starts to overwhelm you, stop it. Adjust your attitude. You have done all you can. You have honored the spirit of your promise. People live longer now, in far worse condition, than they did in the past. You know that both of your parents would be dead, had this been the 1970s. Because of medical advances, their hearts are still ticking. However, they are in such frail health that there is no way you can care for them alone. No one could have foreseen this way back when they were younger and healthy.

There are still some bad nursing homes. So, be proactive and tour the ones in your parent’s area long before the need arises. Be realistic but be aware. Find the best one you can. Hang around and you’re likely to find family members visiting their loved ones. Ask them what they think of the home.

Then, if it’s good, get your parents names on the list. The good homes are often full and hard to get into. You can always say no if they call with a room and you aren’t ready. But when you hit that brick wall of reality and know you must, for your elders’ safety and your health and sanity, put them in a nursing home, you have done your best. You cared for them in every way possible before turning to this last option. You have found the best home available. Now, you are ready to really share the care.

Even when your elders are in a nursing home, you are still a caregiver. I had a time when I had three people in a home (plus two others in separate apartments) and I was at everyone’s place every day. It wasn’t a cakewalk, by any means. I was still a caregiver.

If you put your parents in a nursing home, they still need you, the primary caregiver. They need you as an advocate. They need you to put the personal touches on their rooms and to be visible to the home staff and the other residents. They need you to help them settle in and make friends. The best part of this, if you will let the guilt go and think for a moment, is that you now can enjoy them again. You aren’t tied to doing everything for them, so when you visit, you can do extra little things. You aren’t too worn out to be pleasant. You can surprise them by bringing the children. You can bring their favorite chocolates or wine. You can make this their new home, and be the person who visits, without all of the exhaustion that used to make you crabby. And you can do it without guilt.

Caregivers can be dedicated, but that dedication can turn into martyrdom, and frankly, martyrs aren’t good caregivers. Using the help of a good facility, while keeping an eye on things and continuing to care for your elders in this new role, allows you to take off your martyr hat. You can do it without guilt because you have done your best. You are still doing your best. You are providing them with the best care humanly possible. Accept your humanity without guilt. Honor the spirit of your promises by being the best caregiver you can be. Be a caregiver who knows when to say when.

By Carol Bradley Bursack

Source: http://www.agingcare.com/Featured-Stories/133904/-I-Promised-My-Parents-I-d-Never-Put-Them-In-a-Nursing-Home-.htm?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=May+13%2c+2009&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2B-%2BMay+13%2c+2009

Security, health care main concerns of Elderly voters

With Delhi all set to go to the polls on Thursday, senior citizens in the Capital want security from crime and abuse and better health care facilities from the new dispensation at the Centre.
Announcing the findings of a new random survey of senior citizens here, HelpAge India said that out of a total sample size of 309 senior citizens, 96.4 per cent said they would cast their vote in the Lok Sabha polls.

While 82.2 per cent of the respondents were men, 17.7 per cent were women.

Pointing out that issues related to the younger generation have been the main focus in the run-up to the general elections, HelpAge India chief executive Mathew Cherian said: “While a lot of focus is on the youth, their need to vote, their contribution in forming the new government and what they want, the senior citizens and their needs are being overlooked. It is sad considering that they are the ones who make sure that they cast their votes in each election.”

According to HelpAge India, 41.4 per cent seniors have stated that they have been unhappy with the past governments and list security from crime as No.1 priority.

Safety and health were prime issues for 57.41 per cent of the respondents.

Thirty per cent of the senior citizens stated security from crime and abuse as their main concern followed by a close second of 27.41 per cent for better health care.

Fifty-nine respondents from across the city want the new government at the Centre to lay emphasis on multiple issues like better infrastructure, policing and legal facilities and availability of electricity and water.

Senior citizens also want increase and access to pension, faster implementation of the National Policy of Older Persons and the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, along with safety and health from the new government. “The senior citizens of Delhi are clearly unhappy with the State Government and want the new government at the Centre to be more assertive in preventing crime and abuse against the elderly and provide affordable and better health care. I am certain that this is a grievance of not only Delhi seniors but the entire country. With an estimated 20 per cent or more of the total votes cast belonging to the seniors, it will be difficult to ignore them for too long,” said Kapil Kaul of HelpAge India.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/06/stories/2009050659250400.htm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Election 2009 Senior Citizens puts Yongsters to Shame

One of the most neglected and ignored segment is of Senior Citizens. Elders are not considered as part of mainstream, there is unjust treatment to those who gain 60 years of age, they are suddenly considered ‘Retired’, good for nothing. Government and Civil Society are not bothered of this experienced and skill group of people.

Population of people above 60 years of age is estimated to be 86 million in 2008.The Life span has increased by 60% in 60 yrs. India has today second largest population of Senior Citizens.

The Indian subcontinent boasts of our ‘Great Joint Family’ ‘The Traditional Family’ System where we used to respect, care and love our elders, our parents. Due to Globalization and New lifestyle there is increasing number of Abuse, Neglect and Abandon case with regards to Senior Citizens.

The growing population and voice of senior Citizens can’t be ignored. At present India has around 7.5% of Elderly out of total population, but Senior Citizens constitute to around 13% of Voters. This 13% huge and powerful and unrecognized segment of voters can’t be left alone, they can’t be ignored. Political Parties has to include projects and programmes for the benefits of Elderly in their respective Manifesto.

Silver Inning Foundation an NGO working with Elderly had appealed Elders to use their voting power.It had also asked Political Parties to include Senior Citizens issues and solution in their respective Manifesto.

Senior Citizens were at their best as usual they participated in big numbers in 2009 General Election of India.See some of the news items in leading Indian News Papers:

Various News Item:

Inveterate voters make their mark

The enthusiasm of senior citizens to vote on Thursday should put youngsters to shame. As against the abysmal turnout of youth, senior citizens exercised their sovereign right mindless of their age.

Nothing was seen as an impediment by the enthusiastic elderly from casting their precious vote. Attired in crisp white pyjamas and kurtas and in some cases traditional outfits the earnestness shown by the aged to vie for their candidate was one of its kind.

Without disrupting the security norms and seeking any extra favours, senior citizens came out in full swing to choose their candidate. Withstanding the heat and long queues, the patience shown by the aged for voting was a commendable feat. "On Thursday autos were assigned to ferry electoral equipment and officers. But the striking aspect of the day was when I had to pick an ailing senior citizen to vote. He was finding it very difficult to walk and required assistance even to reach to the booth. However his determination to cast vote was amazing," said Vashi Taxi Rickshaw Chalak Malak Ekta Union's president Sunil Borde.

Placing complete trust on democracy for the senior citizen casting of vote is symbolic to the love one has for the country. The whole process is revered more than just an ink mark drawn upon the finger. "I'm 92 years old and voted inspite of having to walk a stretch of 2 kms. The Indian government renewed my passport for another 10 years, so if God wills then I will vote again the next time. God bless those who don't vote for it is a responsibility towards one's nation. It's an immensely thought out decision that I execute with total dedication on the day of voting for a candidate," said Belapur resident Sardar Kabil Singh.

Nurturing an aspiration for a stable government that provides a prosperous future is the primary motivating factor that prompts the aged to vote. "I want a stable government that can lead the nation to its best. If I don't vote then I have no right to complain for the bad governance that I will have to endure for the next five years. The initiative of independent candidates is praiseworthy, but the country can only be lead by a strong party. My vote will play a prominent role in bringing the correct party into power," said 84-year-old Gauri Mullick vice president of the Belapur-based Association for Senior Citizens.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1251905

Senior citizens in old age homes indifferent to polls
They have seen political parties come and go, all these years. While most senior citizens remain indifferent to the processes of democracy, a hopeful few still see it as an initiator of change.

Sixty-nine-year-old Sulochana Naik, a resident of the Nivara Old People's home in Navi Peth, voted in the last elections. This time around, though, she has no intentions of doing so. "I just wanted to see what the atmosphere is like," she shrugs adding, "And I did. In any case, I don't think it makes a difference."

In fact, Naik's response sums up the general mood of the senior citizens at the various old people's homes in the city, when it comes to the elections. Nirmala Sovani, trustee-manager of Nivaara says, "We have about 180 residents here.

Many of them are too old or too preoccupied with their own problems. Our organisation does not encourage or discourage anyone from voting. But political parties are allowed to canvas inside the premises. On the day of the elections, various parties arrange for the transportation. We also provide our own transport for those who are interested," she says.

At another old age home in Camp, 75-year-old Ronnie Perrera (name changed) gives you a blank look when asked if he is planning to vote. "I have recently suffered two cardiac arrests and besides, I am diabetic too. Do you think I'm interested in the elections?" he grumbles.

The warden at the old age home, points to a newspaper poll, which asks readers whether they actually believe in the promises made by politicians. "Ninety per cent have said no. Naturally, we aren't any different," she says. "Honestly, it's the local community which helps us.

They are the ones who want to know what we need, and help out. Even if we get a government that promises funds for old people's homes, the paper work will drown us!" she remarked. She said that there were some registered voters but most of them were just too old and sick to make it on voting day. Others would agree.

"Whatever we need, the people who live in the vicnity, ensure we receive. Be it ration, clothing or even money we don't run short. And the government has little to do with it," says another trustee. According to Sudha Dhamankar, manager, Tapodham Old People's Home in Warje, "Our inmates do vote. But as such, it's an indifferent process.

They know little about the candidate because they have never seen the candidates from the area," she says, adding, "Possibly because parties don't think the votes of senior citizens matter." In sharp contrast, Jayant Savlekar, manager at the 100-inmate strong Matoshree old people's home, says, "The inmates out here are pretty charged up about voting.

In the last elections, the voters' cards weren't ready as quite a few of them were from outside Pune.

But this time around, they are all in place." 75-year-old Usha Modak, a retired school-teacher affirms: "If you want the system to change, you must make the effort. I believe that in the next ten years, India's demography is going to show a huge change. As life expectancies increase, the number of old people are going to increase too. We need to come up with a pressure group to take up our issues."

For his part, 82-year-old Shriram Pundalik says, "The question of age doesn't bother me. Our collective political fate does." And how are they planning to travel on the day of voting? "By foot, because the polling booth is right next door. In any case, we wouldn't have accepted transport from any one,"says Savlekar.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Pune/Senior-citizens-in-old-age-homes-indifferent-to-polls/articleshow/4325619.cms

Senior citizens steal the show in Delhi
A large number of elderly people in the national capital today came out to cast their ballot as they did not want to be a 'pappu', a name given by Delhi electoral office to those who do not cast their votes.

Senior citizens across the seven constituencies queued up to vote right from the early hours of the polling. "I don't want to be a pappu," said 72-year-old Aditya Raizada, showing his ink-mark after coming out from a polling booth at Vinod Nagar in East Delhi constituency.

Raizada, a former scribe, who came with his wife and son added, "Though we don't have much choice, voting for me is a sense of duty. I hope the next government will be a better one."
In Tilak Nagar of West Delhi constituency, 91-year-old Vishambar Das came along with his 80-year-old wife Krishnawati to vote. "I came with a desire that government should do good work and should work for people like us," Das said.

Similarly, an 81-year-old woman was one of the early voters at the Nirman Bhavan polling booth, a VIP polling booth in the capital where political heavyweights exercised their franchise. Even physical discomfort could not deter the spirit of many such voters who braved long queues to exercise their franchise some times even under the scorching sun.

Ram Das, 80, a retired MTNL officer, turned up to vote at a polling station in Hari Nagar area. He came with a urine bag attached. A number of physically challenged persons voted in Tilak Nagar, Tilak Vihar, Trilokpuri, Mangolpuri, Hari Nagar, Rohini and Rithala areas. While for some it was a regular exercise of their duty, many came with certain pressing issues in their mind and expectations from their next representative.

"I only need food and cloth," said octogenarian Gyarasi Devi, who walked up to a booth at cramp Mangolpuri locality in North-West Delhi, soon after the polling started. For few, the reason for coming to vote was that they simply did not want to be left out of the political process. "I came here to vote so that parties later do not ask where were you at the time of voting," said Mustaqueen, 80. Delhi has over 21 lakh voters in the age group of 50 to 80 years out of the total 1.1 crore electorate.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=NLetter&id=d6d9ba25-ab6d-4ef7-bc11-bdbe645cfcd9&Headline=Senior+citizens+steal+the+show+in+Delhi

Silver Inning Foundation Salutes all the Senior Citizens.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Application Invited for 2009 UN Training Programme in Policy Formulation for Ageing

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGEING,United Nations - Malta in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Invites Application for INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME in POLICY FORMULATION, PLANNING,IMPLEMENTATION and MONITORING of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing on 12 – 23 October 2009.

The dramatic and unprecedented increase in the number and proportion of older persons in the World is leading to various political, economic and social consequences and challenges. In developing countries, where by the year 2025, seventy-two per cent of the World’s older persons are expected to be living, this demographic phenomenon will pose a particular challenge. Although a number of developing countries have initiated various innovative and concrete measures aimed at meeting the needs of older persons, there exists an acute shortage of trained care-givers at all levels in the field of Gerontology. In February 2007, the United Nations began its five-year review of progress towards the achievement of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing agreed upon by the international community at the Second World Assembly on Ageing which took place in Madrid, in April 2002.

This multi-disciplinary Training Programme in Social Policy, designed by an International Expert Group, is aimed at discussing the implications of population ageing, underscore the importance of including ageing issues in a country’s development planning and discuss options for policy formulation and programme / services’ implementation. It also aims at providing a broad and up-to-date understanding of the complex and far-reaching consequences of mass longevity. Participants are helped to evolve and implement appropriate policies, that will ensure the quality of life and well-being of older persons in their own society.

The programme consists of lectures, seminars, site visits and workshops. Topics dealt with include: 1) understanding the commitments of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing as well as the Regional Implementation Strategies; 2) ensuring that policies in response to population ageing have a holistic approach and are implemented in a coordinated manner over a wide range of policy areas; 3) exploring ways of facilitation the participation of all stakeholders namely: governments, civil society, the family, the community and the older persons themselves; 4) collecting and disseminating the best knowledge and evidence based practices available regarding adequate policy responses to population ageing and 5) monitoring progress towards the achievement of the Priority Directions and Recommendations of the Madrid Plan of Action.

Applications are invited from policy-makers and decision-makers in the field of Ageing in developing countries. They should be directly engaged in policy and decision-making for older persons in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors in their own country.

Interested persons and organisations may apply by sending the following to:
The Director, International Institute on Ageing, 117 St. Paul Street, Valletta VLT 1216, MALTA
1. An application form which is available through the Institute's web-site or directly from INIA.
2. Proof of proficiency in English.
3. A letter of recommendation from the Director of your Organisation.
4. A personal letter (giving reasons for attending the course).
5. Copies of relevant certificates.

Closing date for applications is 12 August 2009.

Course Fee: US$ 1750 (includes tuition, board-accommodation and meals but excludes travel).
INIA might have available a limited number of partial scholarships. However, since this is not guaranteed, it is in the interest of prospective candidates to secure alternative funding.

International Institute on Ageing (United Nations - Malta),
117, St. Paul Street,
Valletta VLT 1216, MALTA
Telephone: (+356) 21-243044/5/6
Telefax : (+356) 21-230248
E-Mail: rosette.bonello@inia.org.mt
Web site: http://www.inia.org.mt/

Friday, May 8, 2009

A special Summer Camp for Senior Citizens

Rejuvenate yourself with Nature

Silver Innings a Social Entrepreneur organization dedicated for the cause of Elderly, has organized one of its kind first time in India a 4 days & 3 night special summer camp for Senior Citizens who are 50+ on Thursday 28th May 2009 at Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm, Panchgini, near Mahabaleshwar, India.

The Theme of this summer camp is Successful Ageing.

This is an initiative to give chance to elderly to Rejuvenate themselves, to make new friends and to explore nature. The camp is designed to enhance the camp experience for Senior Citizens.Para Medical staff and Doctor on Call Facility available.

Panchgini derives its name from the five hills in Sahyadri mountain range around it with Krishna River flowing alongside. Panchgani is about 285 km from Mumbai and 100km from Pune . It is situated at 1293meters (4242 feet) height. Its one of the most popular hill station in Maharashtra.

The activities includes – Yoga, Meditation, Nature Walk, Organic Farming, Talent Show, Bon Fire , visit to Local Market and many more interesting things.

Date of Camp:
28th May to 31st May 2009 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).Thursday 28th Early Morning Departure from Mumbai and Return to Mumbai on Sunday 31st late Eve.

Camp Site:
The Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm
Bhose Village
Panchgani (near Mahabaleshwar)
India : 412805

Rs.4750/- per person Ex Mumbai (This includes Travel by Non AC Semi Luxury Bus/CAR, Vegetarian Diet Food specially planned by professional dietician and Activities)

Detail itinerary and programme will be provided after registration.Please note there are no fans at camp side,as the emphasis is on to feel the nature.

If you are 50 + or you want to gift your parents a holiday then contact for registration and application form:
Mr.Bhavesh Chheda: 9892612992
Mr. Sailesh Mishra: 9819819145
Email id: info@silverinnings.com

Last date for registration and payment Thursday 21st May 2009.

Golden opportunity to discover yourself through sustainable living and understanding ecological balance.

This programme is organized by Silver Innings in association with Silver Inning Foundation and The Redstone Eco Center & Organic Farm.

Silver Innings, A New Beginning……………………………….

Attend Silver Inning Foundation 1st Volunteer meeting

Dear Friends,
Greetings from Silver Inning Foundation.

It has been one year when we started our never ending journey to serve elderly with launch of dedicated website for Elderly www.silverinnings.com . During this period we also formed an NGO for Senior Citizens ,Silver Inning Foundation.With our proactive approach and your support we have made small beginning with a difference.

We would sincerely appreciate your participation as volunteer with Silver Inning Foundation. We are in the process of starting new projects for serving the elderly and we are positive that your support and contribution will be immensely helpful in taking the cause of the elderly forward. For this purpose we are conducting a volunteers meeting on Saturday 16th May'2009 at 11.00 am at HELP Library,Fort,Mumbai,India.

We look forward to meet you.

Date of the meeting :16th May 2009

Timings: Sharp 11.00 am to 12.30 pm

Venue address:
HELP Library - Health Education Library for People,National Insurance Building,
Ground Floor,
Near Khadi Gram Udyog
206, Dr.D.N.Road,
Mumbai - 400 001.
Tel Nos.65952393/ 65952394/22061101

Please register at Silver Innings Help Desk on 09987104233 OR write at silverinnings@gmail.com - Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Elderly people see democracy as panacea for social ills

Age has not withered their spirit nor has it daunted their belief in the electoral process as senior citizens in the national capital seek to keep their tryst with democracy, even braving long queues at poll booths.

A survey, conducted by HelpAge India, an NGO working for the welfare of elderly people, has found that such people have full faith in democracy and want to exercise their franchise.

Notwithstanding their age, 96.4 per cent of the 300 elderly people said they will vote in the Lok Sabha elections in the city on Thursday.

However, voting is not just a customary exercise of right for these senior citizens, as they want the candidates to address their issues, the survey said.

Security against crime and abuse, and better health care top their list of issues. Over 30 per cent of the respondents in the age group of 51-90 years said safety was the principal issue for them, while nearly 28 per cent said they want better health care services.

Over 57 per cent said they will decide their candidates, keeping such issues in mind, the survey pointed out.

"I feel security is the main issue. Elderly people in the city have become an easy target these days and it is even difficult to trust the local police," the survey quoted 70-year-old Sudershan Arora as saying.

They think basic facilities like water, electricity and roads are necessary and the government should address such issues.

Over 41 per cent of the respondents said they were not happy with the performance of the past governments.

As much as 40 per cent of the respondents felt the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act had made "no visible difference since its inception (in 2007)", whereas only 15 per cent are aware of the National Policy for Older Persons announced in 1999.

Most of these respondents demanded faster implementation of these measures.

"Senior citizens of Delhi want the new central government to be more assertive in preventing crime and abuse against the elderly and provide affordable health care services," said Kapil Kaul, country head of HelpAge India.

The finding assumes significance as Delhi has over 21 lakh voters in the age group of 50-80 years out of a total of 1.1 crore voters.


Monday, May 4, 2009

New Indian pension scheme a path breaker

A good 16 years after it first started taking shape, India is just weeks away from finally having a pension system that is meant for private individuals. From April 1, any individual will be able to start a New Pension System (NPS) account with designated ‘point of presence’ and start saving up for a pension. The system is not just for private individuals, the pension of all central government employees who joined service after January 2004 are also part of NPS.

The design of the new system is simple. The POPs will be the front end, the National Security Depository Limited (NSDL) will be record keeper and six entities selected by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) will be the fund managers. The fund managers will run different plans that comprise of equity, government securities and corporate bonds. These plans will obviously have different combinations of risk and potential returns.

When compared to any other type of investment, the distinguishing feature of the NPS is the shockingly low cost. The annual cost of record-keping is Rs 380, each transaction will cost Rs 6 and the most amazing of all—the investment management fee is 0.009 per cent per annum. This alone destines the NPS to be the greatest thing that ever happened to the Indian investor. Why is low cost so important? Because the magic of compounding over the long time horizon of the NPS means that its beneficial impact will be magnified massively.

Here’s a simple comparison. Let’s say that there are two individuals, one of whom puts his monthly savings in the NPS and the other in a mutual fund. Let’s further assume that these savings start off at Rs 1000 a month and as the savers' incomes grow, they are able to increase their contributions by 10 per cent every year. The mutual fund charges a load of 2 per cent per investment and the NPS charges a ‘load’ (transaction cost) of Rs 6 per investment. Here’s the important part: we are assuming that the investment performance is identical—both are running the same portfolio which gains ten per cent a year. The only difference is that the management expense is 2.25 per cent a year for the mutual fund and 0.0009 per cent a year for the NPS.

After thirty years, the mutual fund investor would have Rs 55 lakh and the NPS investor Rs 79 lakh. That's a huge difference, and all of it results from lower costs. I haven’t put ULIPs (unit-linked insurance plans) into this picture because insurance companies’ effective management expenses and load/commission information is so expertly obfuscated, but their returns are going to be far lower.

There are some downsides to the NPS too. The biggest is that it really is a pension scheme, not an investment. You can’t withdraw the money till you are sixty years old, except for critical illnesses and for building or buying one house. Even at sixty, you can only withdraw as cash 60 per cent of the corpus, the rest must be used to buy an annuity. That’s not a bad thing by itself. There’s another big disadvantage of the NPS, which is the gains will be treated as taxable. However, this is obviously a blunder on the government’s part and one expects it to be corrected if the NPS is to take off at all.

Either NPS gains will be made tax-free or, if there’s a policy change in the offing then competing systems like the EPFO will also be made taxable.

Still, I fully expect those selling all rival retirement and pension 'solutions' to make a determined effort to badmouth the NPS. The NPS is so much better than whatever ‘solutions’ they are peddling that they just can’t afford a fair comparison.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=0ce7afd6-dee7-434e-99ce-6c5ad3c30e3b

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