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Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Tribute to Vijay, fighting down Alzheimer’s

It was sad to know the demise of Vijay on 21st Jan 2011. Vijay had early onset of Alzheimer’s and fighting it out for nearly 12yrs.

He was family loving person and music was one of his hobbies. During his Alzheimer’s days, I still remember him Whistling song and playing popular song with Mouth Organ.

The family was just with him; they provided him 24x 7 care at home and did everything possible to fight the disease. They showered him with love and caring.
His wife Anu was his darling and she kept balance in managing home and work. His children have never left him alone. They all supported him to be independent till he can.

Hats off to the family who care for him and never allowed Alzheimer’s to become obstacle.

But Alzheimer at end won, it took away Vijay from all of us. It’s sad that since hundred years , the medical science has not found cure to this deadly Alzheimer’s disease.

But Vijay and his family will always be inspiring us and remind us to be more proactive and passionate towards the person and family suffering from Alzheimer’s. They will always remind me that Love and Care is the only medicine for Dementia & Alzheimer’s.

Just a small tribute to our beloved Vijay

Remember me with smile not with tears,
For all the joy through all the years.
Recall the closeness that was ours,
A Love as ‘sweet’ as fragrant flowers.

Don’t dwell on thoughts that cause you pain,
We’ll see each other once again.
Iam at peace….try to believe,
It was my Time… I had to leave.

But ‘what a view’ I have from here,
I see your face, I feel you near.
I follow you throughout the day,
You are not alone along the way.

I Love you and want you to be happy always.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Meeting and Submission of Memorandum to MP Priya Dutt on Behalf of Senior Citizens

On 20th Jan 2011 a delegation of Joint Action Committee of Senior Citizens Maharashtra consisting Dr.S.Kinjawadekar,Mr.Vijay Aundhe, Mr.Kaka Samant and Mr.Sailesh Mishra met young and dynamic MP Priya Dutt. On behalf of all Senior Citizens and JAC we submitted her a Memorandum and had good discussion with her on issues related to Senior Citizens at National , State and Local level. Rubina and Ruchika from 1298 Senior Citizens Helpline were also present on this occasion.

Priya Dutt was receptive and gave patient hearing. She was particulary worried about Health and Financial condition of Elderly. She assured her support to the delegation and promised to take up the issue in Parliament and also address the same in state and local municipal corporation.

Following is the copy of Memorandum:

Date 20th Jan 2011

Priya Duttji (MP)
Mumbai. India.

Dear Priya Duttji,
On behalf of Joint Action Committee of Organization working for Senior Citizens in Maharashtra we would like to thank you for Inviting us for discussion on various issues related to Senior Citizens and Central / State government role in addressing such issues.

For more then 12 (twelve) years there is gross neglect by Government of India and State Government for various issue and problems of Senior Citizens. You will agree with the fact that elders have waited for years on end to get attention from our rulers but all that we have received is indifference towards our issues. While we are keen to play our role in the development of our Country and the activities for the welfare of community, we also demand that our concerns must be addressed.

During these 12 years the world has changed, there has been significant demography change in India's population due globalization and improved medical facility and lifestyle. The fall of joint family system and rise in nuclear family system has brought new dimension to the care and welfare of Elderly. Population of people above 60 years of age is estimated to be 96 million in 2010.The Life span has increased by 60% in 60 yrs. India has today second largest population of Senior Citizens. There is sharp increase in population of Young Old 60yrs to 69 yrs and Old old 80+. Due to this demand and needs of various age groups have changed. Now it is time for civil society and government to rethink their strategy to address the needs of Senior Citizens.

After 63 years of Independence and democracy experiment there are segments of people who are not treated at par with others, there is injustice and discrimination towards them. 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, and they are suddenly considered ‘Retired’, good for nothing. Government and Civil Society are not bothered of this experienced and skill group of people.

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 gradual Urbanization of Rural India is also a new trend to worry.

You must be aware that on 16th August 2010 to address various issues of Senior Citizens a National Protest Day was observed by all Senior Citizens organizations and Senior Citizens themselves. This was historic occasion where all the organization working for Elderly came under one umbrella to protest against continuous neglect by both central and state government.

All over India and in Maharashtra protest rally and march was observed in places like Mumbai ,Pune, Palghar , Nasik ,Thane ,Navi Mumbai , Nagpur , Kalyan Dombivali, Mira Bhayandar etc

In Mumbai around 2000 Senior Citizens assembled at Azad Maidan at 2pm on 16th August to raise their concern with government authority. We were grateful that Shri Sachin Ahir State minister for MSJ met the delegation and accepted the memorandum. He gave patient hearing and appreciated our effort as united forum for Elder Right. He accepted most of our demand in principal including the formation of Senior Citizens commissionrate. He also asked Shri J.N. Rathod Dy. Secretary to call an urgent meet and discuss various issues including implementation of NPOP and Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act. He also assured us for arranging bigger meeting with Hon Minister Shri Shivajirao Moghe and Principal Secretary to take decision on all pending matters.

As advised by Hon. Minister Shri Sachin Ahir a meeting of JAC was conveyed by Shri J.N. Rathod Dy. Secretary on 20th August. In this meeting Shri J.N. Rathod and Mrs.V.M.Bharose under Secretary extended their full cooperation and assured us of action plan. They informed us that for NPOP they will moved the Draft policy submitted by us as it is to Cabinet for approval and as they could not get replies from other departments. With regards to Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act we were informed that Rules had been notified in June 2010 but the implementation and formation of Tribunals is pending with Law and Revenue department respectively. They also promised to call for bigger meeting in 15 days for more discussion.

Further the delegation of JAC was also called for meeting with Governor of Maharashtra Shri K. Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai on 7th Sep 2010. The Governor assured the delegation that he would take up the issues raised by the delegation with the Chief Minister.

On request by Governor on 17th Sep 2010 Shri Satish M. Gavai , then Principal Secretary ,Social Justice, Special Assistance,Government of Maharashtra called the meeting of Joint Action Committee and promised to get approve the draft NPOP with the cabinet and implement the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act immediately.

It’s also to be noted that delegation of AISCCON annual conference in Oct 2010met Shrimati Sonia Gandhi and she assured separate National Commission for Senior Citizens.

But we are disappointed that till date not much has been done by state and central government.

Following are our Major Demand:

• Uniform Age of 60 yrs
• Health insurance for all Senior Citizens (BPL & APL) without any age related restriction or that due to pre existing health condition.
• Immediate implementation of the existing NPOP (National Policy on Older Person) with budgetary support and not to postpone it till the reviewed / revised Policy is ready.
• NPOP should be passed by cabinet and parliament and made an ACT
• Immediate implementation of the Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act all over the Country.
• Formation of National and State Level Senior Citizens council with representation of all the organization working with Elderly
• Cover all BPL and resident of Old Age Homes including the terminally ill under fully subsidized health insurance and pay those eligible the Old Age Pension.
• Truthful and honest implementation of the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme all over the Country and payment of pension as per current inflation rates. Minimum age for qualification should be 60yrs
• Implement the rights of the elderly citizens as enunciated in the Constitution of India and establish a unified governance structure to implement the rights.
• 50% concession in Railway and State Bus fares for all Senior Citizens.
• Provision of Multi-service Centers / day Care centers , Dementia Day centers in each city, town and large village with facilities of recreation, games and news papers etc.
• Speedy, time-bound disposal of legal cases and other matters relating to Senior Citizens, Fast Track court could be an option
• Early setting up of the promised National Institutes of Research on Aging and development of affordable Assistive Devices and courses in Medical Colleges in Gerontology and Geriatrics
• Exclusive Ministry and National Commission for Older Persons at the Centre.
• As India is Signatory to UN ‘Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002’ implement/adopt all the principals of Madrid plan in NPOP (National Policy of Older Person).
• Comprehensive Dementia & Alzheimer’s policy
• Increase participation of NGO’s and Organization working with Elderly
• Special attention to Rural Elderly, Tribal Elderly, Transgender Elderly , Destitute Elderly, Women Elderly and 80 + population

We wish to point out that senior citizens comprise of 9% of the total population, 13% of the electorate and if you consider those who actually go for polling we are 20% of effective electorate. You would agree, that no government can continue to ignore us for decades at a stretch.

We hope your good office will take due note of our demands and subsequent meetings & assurances given by government of Maharashtra after 16th August. We also request your intervention with regards to NPOP with central government.

We hereby demand immediate Declaration and implementation of State Policy on Senior Citizens (NPOP), immediate Implementation of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act & other demands raised by us with the ministry at central and state level.

Your positive and proactive approach will help our Elderly to live in peace, security and dignity.

Yours Sincerely,

On Behalf of Joint Action Committee, Maharashtra/Mumbai:

Dr.S.P.Kinjawadekar - President, AISCCON
Mr.Vijay Aundhe - Gen Secretary,FESCOM (Mumbai)
Mr.Kaka Saamant - General Insurance Pensioners, All India Federation
Mr.Sailesh Mishra (JAC Coordinator)-President, Silver Inning Foundation

1. Memorandum submitted to Prime Minister dt. 18th July 2010
2. Memorandum submitted to CM/Sachin Ahir dt 16th August 2010
3. Letter dated 18th August 2010 to Shri Sachin Ahir
4. Press Release by Rajbhavan dated 7th Sep 2010
5. Letter to Shri Satish Gavai, Prin. Sec., Social Justice, Maha. Govt. dt 17th Sep 2010
6. Letter to Railway Minister dt 10th Jan 2011
7. Letter to Finance Minister dt 10th Jan 2011
8. Letter to Shri Mukul Wasnik , Hon.Minister MOSJE , Govt. of India dt 24th April 2010
9. List of JAC member organizations
10. Copy of Approach paper recommendation to Planning Commission of India for 12th five year plan

Senior Citizens National Protest Day, Mumbai/Maharashtra Supporting Organization 16th August 2010:

3. International Longevity Center - India
4. Silver Inning Foundation
5. Harmony for Silvers Foundation
6. Shree Ramanugrah Trust
7. GIC Pensioners Association
8. The Family Welfare Agency
9. General Insurance Pensioners, All India Federation
10. Brihan Mumbai Pensioners Association
11. All India Bank Retirees Federation
12. Jeevan Adhar Seva Sanstha
13. Dignity Foundation
14. Help Age India
15. Indian Federation of Ageing
16. All India Retired Reserve Bank Employee Association
17. MTNL Pensioners Workers Associations
18. All India Central Government Pensioners Association
19. Brihan Mumbai Retired Employees Association
20. All India Retired Insurance Employees Federation
21. Alzheimer’s Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI) , Greater Mumbai Chapter
22. Center for Life Long Learning , TISS
23. 1298 Senior Citizens Helpline

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Developed countries have seen an unprecedented mass increase in numbers of older people, and now face the challenge of mass survival of the old old. They are struggling to evolve strategies to meet this challenge. Developing countries are and will face in the next three decades more than a doubling of their elderly. The very rapid onset of this enormous increase will have a dramatic impact on countries which are largely unprepared for this tidal wave of ageing - as they lack the necessary infrastructure of policies and personnel to meet the challenge, which will be made even more grave as the very development they are undergoing itself tends to erode and undermine the traditional pattern of care in extended families.

The objective of this programme is to stimulate discussion and understanding of the relationship between health promotion, quality of life and well-being from a life-course perspective. This is done in the context of the highly complex and multifaceted nature of growing old in society. Special emphasis is put on the totality of the human being including health, social and economic aspects. Health problems related to older persons in developing countries will be highlighted.

The programme is divided into lectures, seminars and site-visits to local facilities. Topics include: the Nature of Ageing; the Relation between Ageing and Disease; Health Expectancies; Risk Factors; the Burden of Chronic Disease and Disabilities; Dementia and other major conditions prevalent at Older Age; Policies and Practices for Health Promotion; Prevention; Holistic Care and Rehabilitation: Financing Care.

This programme is aimed at upper level health professionals (from the various disciplines) holding or being proposed for leadership positions in the care of older persons and having being able to assure responsibility for health service planning, delivery and training with a potential to disseminate the acquired information.

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 organization.
4. A personal letter (giving reasons for attending the course).
5. Copies of relevant certificates.

Closing date for application is 1 March 2011.

Course Fee: US$2,680 (includes tuition, board-accommodation and meals but excludes travel).

INIA might have available a limited number of partial scholarships. However, since these are extremely limited, it is in the interest of prospective candidates to secure alternative sources of 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: programmes@inia.org.mt
Web-site: http://www.inia.org.mt


The number of older people in most developing countries will at least double in the next two decades a time, at whom the fertility rates are falling. The economic challenge of this demographic change will effect development and the financial implications of sustaining this mass survival are formidable and complex. How can “sustainable longevity” be financed in order to ensure an acceptable quality of life for the increasing number of the young-old and the old-old?

The programme is aimed at providing the participants with a broad and up-to-date understanding of the basic issues involved. It helps participants to evolve viable and realistic policies appropriate for their own countries and communities to meet the very real challenge of sustaining in an acceptable way the life and health of older persons. In so doing, while maintaining the economic development of the country, a high quality of life is ensured to older persons.

The programme consists of lectures, seminars and site-visits. Topics include: Longevity and Development; Sustainable Longevity; Demographic Realities; the Cost of Care; Long-Term Care; Social Security Systems; Policies for Productive Ageing; Assessing the Needs of the older persons; Review of Current Policies in Developing Countries around the World; Alternative Sources of Income.

Applications are especially invited from candidates who have one of the following experiences in the field of ageing:
1. Social security administrators and policy advisors.
2. Central planning agency officials; Social Welfare Ministry Officials and Private Sector Providers.
3. Representatives of cooperatives, mutual benefit societies, community action organisations, women’s movements, peoples’ participation movements and other ageing-related and concerned organisations.

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 organization.
4. A personal letter (giving reasons for attending the course).
5. Copies of relevant certificates.

Closing date for applications is 14 January 2011 ( PLS CONTACT US FOR QUERY)

Course Fee: US$2,680 (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 especially for air travel.

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: programmes@inia.org.mt
Web-site: http://www.inia.org.mt

UN INIA International Training Programme in Social Gerontology : 14 - 25 February 2011, Malta

The dramatic and unprecedented increase in the number and proportion of older persons in the World will lead to unique political, economic and social consequences. In developing countries, where by the year 2025, seventy-two per cent of the World’s older persons will live, this demographic development 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.

This multi-disciplinary Training Programme in Social Gerontology, designed by an International Expert Group, 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, which will ensure for older persons, a high quality of life in their own society.

The programme consists of lectures, site visits and workshops. Topics dealt with include: Basic Concepts in Social Gerontology; Demographic Determinants and Consequences; Socio-Cultural Changes and their Impact; Economics of Ageing; Environment and Ageing; Health Aspects of Ageing; Social Care in the Family; Community and Institutions and the Needs of Special Concern Groups. Candidates will also be given an opportunity to pursue one of the following skills: Social Policy Development; Community Development Programmes and Services and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

Applications are invited from social workers and trainers in the field of Ageing in developing countries. Applicants should have one of the following pre-requisites:
1. Be directly engaged in social service delivery for older persons in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors in their own country.
2. Be trainers with a potential to provide leadership in securing a better social service delivery system to older persons.
3. Be active in awareness development in the field of ageing.

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 organization.
4. A personal letter (giving reasons for attending the course).
5. Copies of relevant certificates.

Closing date for applications is 22nd January, 2011.

Course Fee: US$2, 680 (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: programmes@inia.org.mt
Web site: http://www.inia.org.mt

Short term training course in Social Work for Senior Citizens: Feb 2011

The College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, will conduct a three-month training course in Social Work for Senior Citizens (19TH BATCH), at its Extension Centre, Goregaon, from February 14th 2011. The medium of instruction is English. The last date for admissions is 7th February 2011. This course has been approved by the University of Mumbai.

The College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan has been involved in training graduates and post-graduates in the field of Social Work since 1955.

In the course of its work the College has realised that it is necessary to provide similar inputs to many more people in the community. There is a need to train local leaders and volunteers to assume responsibility for the development of their communities/milieu, to be aware of and protect their own human rights and those of other vulnerable groups.

In 1996, the College of Social Work started a six-month Weekend Training Course in Social Work for Grass root Workers. In response to a growing need for similar training expressed by Senior Citizens.the College of Social Work has initiated a nineteenth short-term three-month training course in Social Work commencing on February 14th 2011.

Total Fees: Rs.3000/-

3 MONTH(February - May- 2011)

Timing and Days: 2.00 – 5.00 p.m. (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays)


Age: 50 yrs & Above

Medium : English

Kindly Note: This course has been approved by the University of Mumbai.

For further details contact :

College of Social Work-Extension Centre.
St. Pius College Campus,
Virvani Road, Goregaon (E),
Mumbai - 400 063.
Tel: 28742284 - MONDAY – SATURDAY , 11.00 A.M. – 5.00 P.M.

Silver Inning Foundation recommends this course for all Senior Citizens for Productive Ageing.

Does Japan need a Strategy to Achieve Growth ?

Japan faces daunting challenges due to the decline and aging of the population. If Japan were to become much more open to immigration, the picture could change, but a major increase in the number of foreigners living in Japan appears unlikely. Further deregulation, better utilization of women in the labor force, and a reversal of the low birth rate will all help, but the shrinking population will be the dominant factor affecting economic performance over the next several decades.

The short answer to the question posed by this title is “yes,” Japan does need a strategy. Even with a strategy, however, the starting point for any discussion of Japan must be that the economy’s growth over the next several decades will be very low due to its shrinking population. What Japan needs is a coherent strategy to ensure that the economy performs as well as possible given this severe demographic constraint. The obvious strategy of simply removing that constraint through expanded immigration is considered later in this paper.

In the short to medium term, Japan also faces a number of pressing issues regarding its financial markets and the conduct of both fiscal and monetary policy. Others on the Japan panel will tackle those issues. This paper, therefore, focuses mainly on some of the longer term issues raised by demographic change.

General Background

Japan is what might be called an early-late-developer. Civil war in 1867-68 led to a new government that quickly adopted a commitment to modern economic growth and development. By the 1970s their dream had come true, with the level of GDP per capita reaching European levels (though still slightly below that of the United States). During that long period of catching up, the government played a relatively activist role in guiding the allocation of productive resources, particularly after the Second World War. Aided by stiff import barriers and strong controls on the inflow of foreign direct investment, the government was able to shape an economic system quite different from that in the United States or Europe. This system was characterized by a number of features, including a heavy reliance on bank financing (rather than on capital markets), indicative lending by government-owned banks that provided signals to commercial banks, weak shareholder rights, “lifetime employment,” and a government-private sector coordinated effort to acquire technology from abroad and to develop new technologies at home.

From the early 1950s through 1973, the economy grew at an average real rate of almost 10 percent. This performance seemingly endorses the value of the distinctive “Japanese economic mode,” but economists remain divided on the question of whether the economic system enhanced the growth rate. From 1992 through 2002, in contrast, Japan experienced an average annual real GDP growth rate of only 0.8 percent. The immediate cause of this “lost decade” was a bubble in real estate and stock market prices in the second half of the 1980s, followed by a collapse in the early 1990s. Recognition that structural problems contributed to the asset bubble, its collapse, and the subsequent prolonged stagnation, led to extensive reform and deregulation in a number of areas.

On the regulatory front, the response of the private sector to some of the changes remains mixed. A long list of legal changes have affected corporate governance, ranging from tighter accounting rules, easier merger and acquisition procedures, better bankruptcy work-out procedures, encouragement for the venture capital industry, and new stock markets aimed at listing small, new, innovative firms. Nonetheless, many aspects of corporate behavior have changed little. Start-ups of new firms remain low in international comparison. The venture capital industry is very small relative to those in the United States and Europe. Bank loans remain the dominant form of corporate outside fund-raising. And despite supposedly improved corporate governance, return on assets and return on equity are still much lower in Japan than in the United States.

From 2003 through 2007 growth accelerated to an average annual 2 percent. However, this acceleration came predominantly from a fortuitous jump in (net) exports enabled by currency weakness and rapid growth in China, not from the beneficial effects of resolving some of the problems in the economy. When exports dropped as the global recession hit (with Japan’s exports falling 50 percent from the summer of 2008 to a low in February of 2009), the economy experienced a severe year-long recession in which GDP shrank by 5 percent. Like other advanced economies, Japan is now experiencing a relatively weak recovery.


Going forward, the economy faces a number of problems or distortions that could jeopardize economic performance. Among these are reliance on exports to drive economic growth, and demographics.

As the economy recovers from the recent recession, the pattern of reliance on growth of net exports has resumed. If this continues, the implication is a re-emergence of global current-account imbalances of questionable sustainability. As the current-account surplus rose to over 4 percent of GDP in the 2003-2007 period, Japan faced no serious criticism from the United States (mainly because Japanese import markets appeared to be more open than in the past, and because China became the new target of American criticism). Nonetheless, Japan clearly cannot rely upon exports to drive growth indefinitely. One of the major problems the economy faces, therefore, is a need to create a sustained domestic basis for growth.

Reliance on exports may also face a more short-run problem. The yen has strengthened over the past two years, eliminating one of the causes of rapid export growth in the 2003-2007 period. By historical standards the real value of the yen (the real effective exchange rate) remains well below its peak in 1995, but the relatively rapid increase over the past two years is certainly driving some marginal producers out of export markets.

The second problem is demographics. The population is now falling and aging, driven by a low birth rate (that has been below the steady-state reproduction level since the early 1970s). The government produces a future population estimate every five years, laying high, middle, and low scenarios. The current (made in 2006) middle forecast by the government shows a decline in total population of 21 percent by 2050 (from 127 million to 100 million). The working age population (those aged 15 to 64 years old) in this estimate would fall by 35 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population age 65 and over was already 22 percent of total population by 2008, and is estimated to rise to 28 percent by 2020 and 36 percent by 2050. Population estimates are notoriously inaccurate, but over the past twenty years actual population trends in Japan have been closer to the middle or pessimistic estimate rather than the high one.

A shrinking and aging population presents a number of problems for the economy. First, with a diminishing pool of people of working age, labor supply will certainly shrink (even if somewhat more people over age 65, and more women, work). Therefore, GDP growth will be low (at best), even if rising productivity enables GDP per capita to grow close to the 2 percent rate that has characterized industrialized countries for a long time. Second, aging presents the usual problems for financing the social security system and the national health insurance program (concerning which at least partial solutions involving higher payments and lower benefits have already been put in place). Third, the paucity of young new entrants to the labor force could rob Japanese firms of some of their vitality (if one believes that young engineers and managers are often the source of innovative new ideas). Fourth, aging may accelerate the structural shift in the economy away from efficient sectors (manufacturing) to inefficient ones (labor-intensive personal services for the elderly).

Ensuring Future Growth

Realistically, the world must recognize that Japan will not be a global engine of growth under the best of circumstances because of the daunting demographic developments. The important question is whether Japan will perform up to its constrained potential or not. During the 1990-2009 period, clearly the economy under performed. To ensure a performance closer to potential, the following issues are critical:

Deregulation. Further deregulation and legal changes are needed, particularly regarding industries in the service sector. Unfortunately, the current government appears to be more interested in traditional government involvement (such as using government financing and other resources to promote high-tech manufactured exports) rather than further efforts to unleash the power of the market. The political uncertainty over privatization of the large post office savings bank and life insurance company is a further example of the unclear stance of the government.

Sexual Equality. With a shrinking pool of potential employees, Japan desperately needs to make better use of its well-educated women in the workforce. Japan continues to rank near the bottom in international comparisons of women managers, for example. Laws against sexual discrimination in employment were enacted in Japan over 20 years ago, but relatively little change has occurred in the proportion of women among managers, or in the gap in pay between men and women. The evidence indicates, therefore, that women remain poorly utilized in the corporate sector. Making better use of their education and talent would help to accelerate productivity growth. How to accomplish this goal is a difficult question, though simple enforcement of existing laws, and encouragement for women to file more court suits, would be a start.

Pro-Family Policies. Marriage and bearing children has become an increasingly problematic choice for Japanese women. The percentage of unmarried women in the age cohort 35-39 years old, for example, rose from 12 percent in 1990 to 26 percent by 2005. Japan needs to create an environment in which men and women are more confident that they can be married and raise a family while also working and living a fulfilling life. Doing so will have little impact on the economy in the next two decades, but would eventually address the problem of a falling working-age population. The issues can be complex and difficult to diagnose, but to its credit the government has given some attention to this topic (with an announced desire to improve the availability of day care centers, and provision of subsidies to families with children).

Greater International Economic Openness. Japan is more open today than during earlier decades, and yet the economy could benefit from further progress in this area. Although inward foreign direct investment has increased, the stock of that investment relative to GDP remains far lower than in other industrialized countries. And, although manufactured imports have increased, in a number of markets the share of imported products is remarkably low. Productivity growth would benefit, for example, if more foreign private equity firms saw more opportunities to buy and transform Japanese companies. And, more competition at home from the products of non-Japanese firms would have a stronger impact on the productivity and competitiveness of Japanese manufacturing firms.

Greater International Human Openness. One obvious solution to a falling population is to allow or encourage immigration (and not simply “foreign workers” who are often thought of as living in Japan temporarily and without families). The percentage of the population born outside Japan was 1.2 percent (1.5 million people) in 2008, the lowest among advanced industrial countries. If immigration were to fully offset the government’s middle prediction for the decline in population, then the number of foreigners living in Japan would need to rise to 27 million by 2050, and they would amount to 21 percent of the population. In addition to the simple increase in workers, a large increase in immigration would bring a higher birth rate, and (to the extent that foreigners are young corporate managers) new vitality into Japanese management.

Can such a large increase in immigration occur? The experience of the major European countries and the United States over the past several decades suggests a positive answer. However, Japan is one of a relatively small number of countries that is both a nation state and a relatively homogeneous ethnic group. Society has been quite resistant to large inflows of foreigners. Immigrants in most societies face discrimination, so Japan is not unusual in that sense. The barrier is more likely one of both a reality and a perception among potential immigrants of limited opportunities for personal success. Making Japan a location where foreigners perceive a real opportunity to succeed is likely to be very difficult.

A second aspect of human interaction involves Japanese universities. The number of international students enrolled at Japanese universities has increased over the past two decades, but lags behind the number of students (or the ratio of international to domestic students) in other industrialized countries. The same is true of the faculties of Japanese universities, which have very few foreign faculty members. The consequence is that the university system has been a less vibrant generator of new commercially useful technologies than has been the case in some other advanced economies.

To summarize, Japan faces daunting challenges due to the decline and aging of the population. If Japan were to become much more open to immigration, the picture could change, but a major increase in the number of foreigners living in Japan appears unlikely. Further deregulation, better utilization of women in the labor force, and a reversal of the low birth rate will all help, but the shrinking population will be the dominant factor affecting economic performance over the next several decades.

Source: Does Japan need a Strategy to Achieve Growth? | indiapolicyforum.org

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wellness Resolutions for Elderly in 2011

Through my work on our wellness and life enrichment listserv, I hear a lot of conversations, ideas, questions and feedback about this important topic. To that end, I composed a list of resolutions for improving our work in promoting wellness and life enrichment in aging services. I encourage you to share your own wellness resolutions for 2011. Happy New Year!

We resolve to:

* Always treat older adults as assets within our organizations and communities.
* Support the development of experiences that enrich the lives of older adults.
* Ask big, wide open questions to discover and understand the needs of the elders within our organizations and communities.
* Embrace a definition of wellness that moves far beyond physical fitness to include emotional, intellectual, vocational, social, spiritual and environmental health.
* Be creative and bold as we consider ways to expand the world of possibilities for aging.
* Partner with unexpected community organizations to enhance the lives of both residents/participants and community members.
* Include all levels of care and ability when developing wellness and life enrichment programming.
* Include staff and families as integral elements of wellness and life enrichment programming.
* Take risks.
* Be gentle with ourselves as we do difficult and rewarding work on behalf of older adults and their families.

By Kirsten Jacobs

Source: Wellness Resolutions for 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Growing Older With Grace and Yoga : Yoga for the Elderly

Growing old is an unavoidable circumstance that can be a beautiful and gradual process if you take care of your health. Older bodies become more susceptible to bone fractures, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other conditions of age. Even if a person has not experienced long bouts of depression before, it may occur at this stage in life. The deaths of lifelong friends, a spousal death, and declining health are all difficult to deal with, especially if the events take place around the same time in a person’s life.

When one’s physical and mental health are in a poor condition at any time during their life, they should think about taking up yoga by attending an instructional class. There are various types of yoga to suit the needs of the millions of people involved with the practice. An instructional class for beginners is the best choice for individuals who have no experience in yoga and may require additional assistance and more basic poses. Older students may choose this route for their level of comfort and health.

There are also asanas (the word yogis use for “pose”) that are ideal for older people interested in yoga that will target specific problem areas without injuring any body parts in the process. It is also important to remember that if yoga hurts at any time, you should ease out of the asana and rest until you are feeling better.

Asanas Suitable for Older Yoga Students

Corpse Pose, also called Savasana:
There are few steps involved in performing the calming corpse pose which is often held before or after each asana and at the end of the yoga session. First, lie down on your yoga mat with your arms and legs relaxed but straight and slightly away from the body. Your body should be as flat as possible. Raise your knees to your chest so your back is straight, and then return the legs to the resting position while maintaining the back’s posture. Next, lift your head off the ground so you know your upper back and shoulders are in alignment as well. Relax the head and lower it back to the ground. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth and concentrate on each breath. You may feel the effects of yoga throughout your body, and pay attention to what they are. To release yourself from the Corpse Pose, bend at the knees and roll to a side, and eventually to a sit-down pose. The Corpse Pose allows for total body relaxation and helps train the mind to meditate. When in the Corpse Pose at the end of a yoga session, all of the benefits acquired during yoga are free to flood the body with positive qualities. When in this state, heart rate returns to normal, blood flows evenly throughout the body, and the mind is very calm.

Easy Pose, also called Sukhasana:
Yes! There is actually an asana called “Easy Pose”, and indeed it is simple. Easy Pose often follows Corpse Pose as you are already sitting down. If you are not sitting with your legs crossed over top of the opposite foot, do so and rest the hands on the knees. Sit up straight with good posture because that is what the Easy Pose will improve. This pose is often used for meditation, and eases the internal body and mind.

Kapalabhati, which translates into that which brings lightness to the skull:
Kapalabhati is a different way to breathe to clean the lungs and sinuses; another word for a breathing technique is Pranayama. Kapalabhati gently forces mucus from the nose and lungs by rapid breaths. These breaths should come from the diaphragm, not the chest because the chest is used to force this mucus out of the system. Pressure builds as the short, forceful breaths continue. Kapalabhati relieves pressure from the head that is caused by sinus blockage, and clears the lungs, throat and nose of excess mucus.

Cat Pose, also called Bidalasana:
The Cat Pose is an essential asana because it teaches a yoga practitioner to relate their movements to their breaths so the body and mind can connect which is essential in yoga. To begin the Cat Pose, get down on your hands and knees on your yoga mat, with the body in perfect alignment. The hands should be underneath the corresponding shoulders, and the same goes for the hips sitting directly atop the knees. The fingers are spread apart, and the eyes are focused on the floor. Inhale bringing the chest high, exhale with it lowering as the breath is released from the body. Do this a few times so you grow accustomed to the way in which the movement should feel. Next, try the Cat Tilt. Inhale a deep breath and exhale it as you arch your back, and plant your hands firmly on the ground to remain in this position. The back should be rounded, the ears even with the arms, and the buttocks should be tight and nearly above the knees, if possible. The cat pose is a great spinal exercise that flexes and strengthens each vertebrae, which become stiff with age. The pelvis is also exercised which makes hip movement more comfortable.

Dog Pose, also called Adho Mukha Shvanasana:
The Dog Pose begins exactly as the Cat Pose does, so get down on all fours with the body aligned. Perform all of the same movements as mentioned above, but be prepared for something slightly different. Inhale a breath and change the format of your stance. The back should now be curved similar to a U shape, with your belly closer to the ground than any other part of the abdomen. The head becomes part of this arch as the gaze is directed slightly, but not fully skyward. Place pressure on your hands to keep you firmly planted in the Dog Pose; this first part of Dog Pose is sometimes referred to as Dog Tilt. The next step in this pose takes the body in a slightly different direction. Take a breath in and lift your upper body off of the floor, and breathe out while shifting your hips so they allow you to perform the same action with your legs. The feet and hands should now be the only thing touching the ground and the bottom is in the air point towards the sky, ears even with the arms and the body forms a triangle. At different points in this part of the Dog Pose, the back may be arched or straight depending on the instruction the yoga class receives. The Dog Pose is beneficial to the body because it allows healthy amounts of oxygen-rich blood to circulate the brain, breathing becomes more pronounced yet relaxed, and the whole body receives a nice stretch.

Air-Releasing Pose, also called Pavanamuktasana:

The Air-Releasing Pose is essential for good digestion because it rids the body of excess air that forms uncomfortable gas inside the body. To perform this asana, lie backside down on your yoga mat. On the first inhalation bend both legs at the knee and bring them high to the chest. Breathe out and return the legs to their starting position on the mat. Repeat this exercise with each leg, one at a time. Some people prefer to lie completely still for this pose while others rock with the motions of the body. Do this pose whichever ways suits you the best. Aside from relieving the body of gas, this pose also stretches the legs and strengthens the stomach muscles.

*Because health problems are prevalent in older people, it is best to consult with your physician before beginning any type of exercise regimen or fitness routine.

You also consult qualified Yoga Teacher before you start.

Source: Yoga for the Elderly

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

26th International Conference of Alzheimer's Disease International 2011

Top 10 reasons why delegates should attend the 2011 Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) Conference.

One-stop opportunity: If you attend only one Alzheimer conference this year, this is it. Up to 1,500 international delegates devoted to all matters Alzheimer's will convene in one convenient place. It's one of the largest and most important conferences in North America.

Sparking ideas and solutions:
A packed agenda that covers all aspects of Alzheimer's disease and dementia allows for sharing experiences and gaining new knowledge with colleagues worldwide.

Groundbreaking content:
Hear, learn and debate Alzheimer issues that matter today in a friendly setting of informative sessions, face-to-face meetings, dynamic presentations, special exhibits and more.

Unparalleled networking opportunities:
Meet and connect with leading dementia experts in a variety of fields for fresh new insights in Alzheimer's and dementia research, care and policy. Hear firsthand the experiences of caregivers and people with the disease.

A truly global conference:
Take part in a truly global experience and find out what other countries are doing to change the face of dementia. Last year's ADI Conference attracted delegates from over 40 countries.

Register Here: http://www.adi2011.org/default.aspx?PageID=Home

Money Life Foundation presents Free counselling on Financial Issues in Mumbai

Moneylife Foundation & Disha Financial Counselling are here to guide you!

Disha's expert counsellors who have decades of experience will guide those who need help in understanding banking and financial products, credit issues and credit history and identifying suitable products and options. They will also advise you on debt management and dealing with defaults.

This is beneficial to Senior Citizens.

One-on-one counselling on financial issues,every Wednesday and Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Moneylife Foundation office.

Please call or email us to set up a prior appointment. Since these will be confidential, prior confirmation is a must.

To set up an appointment:

Call (022) 2444-1058-60 or email mail@mlfoundation.in
or visit www.moneylife.in

Venue: 305, 3rd floor, Hind Service Industries Premises,Off Veer Savarkar Marg, Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai 400028.
Landmark: Chaithyabhoomi lane, behind Tamnak Thai restaurant.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maharashtra’s first geriatric treatment centre will be set up at JJ Hospital

Maharashtra’s first geriatric treatment centre will be set up at JJ Hospital after the central health department decided to fund such departments in eight states.

Under the ‘National Health Care Programme for Elderly’ scheme, the Centre will give Rs2.13 crore to JJ Hospital in the first year. The hospital will create a special ward for patients over 60 years old with age-related diseases.

Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal medicine that focuses on healthcare for the elderly. It aims to treat any disease that a patient is suffering from and to decrease the effects of aging. There is no set age at which patients may be under the care of a geriatrician or physician who specialises in the care of elderly people.

According to senior doctors from the hospital, there is a no dedicated research done in our country on this specialty. “Abroad, they do a lot of research on healthcare for the elderly. Any physician can treat such diseases, but patients can do better if they are treated by specialised doctors,” a doctor said.

Geriatrics is becoming a sought-after medical field, as life expectancies rise. The life span of an Indian is between 60 and 64 years. Better treatment of diseases related to old age can extend life expectancies to 70 years.

Dr TP Lahane, dean of the hospital, said, “We will create a state-of-the-art ward for geriatrics. With the setting up of such a centre, our resident doctors will also get a chance to learn geriatrics.”

He added, “We have planned a 20-bed ward for geriatrics. We have also decided to take some senior doctors on honourary basis. We will give special training to paramedical staff.” Around Rs1 crore from the grant will be spent on the new ward’s infrastructure. The remaining will be spent on buying medical equipment.

Dr WB Tayde, director at the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, said there is no super specialty degree in geriatrics. “But looking at the growing expectancy of human life, we need this degree. We will write a letter to the Medical Council of India to create this degree,” he said.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_maharashtra-s-first-geriatric-centre-to-come-up-at-jj-hospital_1492539

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Help Sailesh Mishra, Raise Fund for Silver Inning Foundation ,NGO dedicated for our Elderly

Iam raising Rs.5 lacs for Silver Innings Active Ageing Center,Mira Road.Center provides Elderly opportunities to interact with others in the community, and the mental, psychical and emotional stimulation through social activities.

Donate Online and support the cause of Elderly : United Way Mumbai -- Helping Build Sustainable Communities


Sailesh Mishra
Founder President
Silver Inning Foundation

MHealth: Mobile technology brings healthcare home

Nativo Mira Esplugues is an active 85-year-old from Delta del Ebro, near Barcelona in Spain. He is recovering after having had a total knee replacement.

This is serious surgery, with a long recovery time. Nevertheless the wound is healing nicely, and he was discharged from hospital after just a week.

Normally Mr Esplugues would attend daily physiotherapy sessions. Instead, he is being monitored remotely through an interactive terminal at home.

He accesses the service through a touch screen interface, which shows him what to do.

"The application is no problem, you have only to touch the screen and that's all. The machine says to you what you have to do," he says.

It is connected to the internet by 3G, meaning the unit is not only portable, but accessible to people without broadband - which accounts for 85% of over-75s in Spain.

He straps on sensors containing accelerometers - devices which help ensure he is exercising correctly. They send data on his progress through the telemonitoring unit to his health care professionals.

Mr Esplugues is pleased with the system.

"Somebody has to take me to the hospital and back to my home. Here at home I feel better because I can choose my time, I can make my exercises at seven o'clock or eight o'clock or nine o'clock."
Challenging times

The technology has been developed by telecoms giant Telefonica.

An ageing - and expanding - population is presenting health care providers and governments with a budgetary crisis. In Europe about 7% of GDP is spent on healthcare, and in the US that figure rises to 15%.

Telecoms companies are also facing challenging times, with traditional markets reaching saturation, forcing them to explore other revenue streams.

Vodafone, Orange, AT&T Wireless, Turkey's Avea, and Japan's NTT DoCoMo are all investing in mobile healthcare.

At the Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), attached to Barcelona's Hospital del Mar, cardiologist Dr Josep Comín is talking to one of his chronic heart patients at home, using video conferencing.

The patient is being followed through the remote monitoring terminal. The device tracks weight and heart rate, with scales and a blood pressure cuff using bluetooth technology. If a test is missed, a nurse contacts the patient to find out why.

Read More:
BBC News - MHealth: Mobile technology brings healthcare home

BBC News - Today - 'In my mind I'm still young'

Today's guest editor, Diana Athill, was surprised at how well her memoir on ageing was received internationally. Pakistan correspondent Aleem Maqbool speaks to his aunt and uncle in Lahore.

Excellent advice of staying young at old age.

BBC News - Today - 'In my mind I'm still young'

Monday, January 3, 2011

60-year-old woman raped, murdered in north Delhi - The Times of India



A drink with her husband's employer on the New Year eve proved costly for a 60-year-old woman in north Delhi when he allegedly murdered her after raping her, police said on Sunday.

The shocking incident took place in Majnu ka Tila, New Delhi on December 31 evening and Achey Lal (45), who was earlier acquitted in a rape case, was arrested for allegedly raping and murdering the woman, who worked as a maid.

She was found lying on the floor in her house and was rushed to Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital where doctors declared her brought dead, Rupinder Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), said.

"We solved the case within two hours of committing the incident," Kumar said.

Investigators zeroed in Lal after they got a tip off that he was the last person seen at the place of incident. His mobile phone was also found lying near the body.

Lal, who was trying to escape from the spot, was apprehended and during questioning, he "confessed" to the crime.

"Initially, he tried to mislead police by telling that she was a motherly figure. However he later broke down and confessed of having killed the lady after raping her," Kumar said.

According to Kumar, the accused told his interrogators that his wife had gone to her native place since a long time and his sexual desires were not being fulfilled.

"The victim was the wife of his labourer and he usually visited the house of the deceased. On December 31, he reached her house and sent her husband for work. He and deceased were alone at the house.

"They both consumed alcohol and after this, Lal allegedly attacked her. She resisted. When the victim tried to resist, he shut her mouth with a cloth which led to her death," he said.

Lal, who is presently residing in Gopalpur village in Timarpur, hails from Sultanpur district of UP and is working for last 15 years with various tent owners.

He has 7 children and is a habitual drunkard.

Read more: 60-year-old woman raped, murdered in north Delhi - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/60-year-old-woman-raped-murdered-in-north-Delhi/articleshow/7205559.cms#ixzz19xYCE3Cc

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