Planning and design for an ageing population: Coursework for Re-thinking aging

Currently, I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Melbourne on the topic of Re-thinking aging:  are we prepared to live longer?

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started the last week in April and runs for 5 weeks. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ageing/home/welcome

We were encouraged to keep a journal or blog about our journey through the course, particularly to note where our opinions and ideas have changed from the beginning of the course to the end. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share the course information and my opinions with you – a little something different than my usual posts 🙂 As such, this will be a work in progress over the next 5 weeks.

Week 3:  Planning and designing for an ageing population

Week 3 of the course highlights the planning and design principles for an age-friendly environment for housing, retirement communities and health care settings. Continue reading

Advertisements

Carers falling through the cracks

Compensating the kindness of strangers

Mary makes $8.40 an hour before taxes — $1.60 below the Massachusetts minimum wage — from the private agency that employs her. She nets $610 a week for 84 hours of work — and makes no overtime, although state law entitles her to time-and-a-half for every hour over 40. Continue reading

Dementia frontrunner Japan destigmatises condition, stresses community care

Dementia frontrunner Japan destigmatises condition, stresses community care

When Masahiko Sato was diagnosed at age 51 with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he felt his life was over. A decade later, Sato has a mission: destigmatising a condition with a growing social impact in a country that leads the global aging trend.

“Whether people with dementia can ‘come out’ depends on the values and culture of the community,” said Kumiko Nagata, research director at the Dementia Care Research and Training Centre, Tokyo, adding that attitudes were changing.

Read the whole article and watch the video at:  http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-japan-dementia-widerimage-idUKKCN0XB2WS

Shaping Ageing Cities

Shaping Ageing Cities

‘Shaping ageing cities’ is a comparative overview of the performance of 10 European cities, according to ageing data and observing them under the lenses of society, mobility, built and digital environment as the basis to further investigate the correlation among politics, planning and ageing.

Action to improve dementia care

Take action to improve dementia care

More than 70 people living with dementia and their carers have outlined priorities to improve dementia care in Australia.

“Especially with a diagnosis of dementia, I have an important contribution to make to the discussion around the funding for dementia and the way in which we are supported by the Government and the Community. It’s about improving the future situation for people who have been diagnosed with dementia.”

Read more at:  https://news.agedcareguide.com.au/2016/03/29/take-action-to-improve-dementia-care/

Read the full communique here. For more information about dementia call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit fightdementia.org.au

Baby Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees

This article comes to us from Huffington Post. With increasing use of wearable technologies, robotic assistants, home automation, and a whole range of welfare technologies to support independent living, safety, and health, this generation of retirees are doing it differently than we have seen before!

Baby Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees — And Have The Home Renovations To Prove It

08/11/2015 9:36 am EDT by  Sr. Editor | NowItCounts.com

Newest retirees want state-of-the-art technologies in homes and home offices for consulting work.

Time to throw out the notion of the “stuffy” grandparents houses like we used to visit in our childhoods. Continue reading

Playgrounds for Seniors Improve Fitness and Reduce Isolation

I found this article on Huffington Post a few weeks ago. Hope it gives you some inspiration!

We have outdoor workout stations in parks like this here in Denmark. They aren’t marketed or talked about as playgrounds for adults, but rather as public exercise equipment.

Playgrounds For Seniors Improve Fitness, Reduce Isolation

Continue reading

Dementia care in Japan is being solved through volunteer schemes, not government

This post comes to us from the UK source, The Guardian. You can read the original article by clicking on the title below. I think that utilizing volunteers to support dementia is a wonderful strategy! It serves to train and educate the wider public, getting them involved in compassionate care, and also raises awareness and reduces stigma. PLUS, then there is a whole force of people who are trained, ready, and able to help people with dementia to stay active and engaged in their communities and lives.

By Mayumi Hayashi on November 18, 2014

Community projects, such as open houses which provide all-day care, are innovative and low-cost

japan dementia

4.6 million people in Japan are living with dementia. Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

With the world’s fastest ageing population where one in four are over 65 and there are 4.6 million people (15% of the older population) living with dementia, Japan is struggling to find sustainable and affordable solutions. With the world’s highest level of debt – 230% of national GDP – these solutions to the challenge of dementia must be both innovative and cost-effective. Continue reading

Cultural awareness improves dementia care for South Asian minorities

This article comes to us from the UK-based news source, The Guardian. You can access the original article by clicking on the title, below.

Cultural awareness improves dementia care for South Asian minorities

Reduced awareness and stigma around mental health can prevent people from the south Asian community accessing dementia care. Continue reading

Rural communities as a radical idea for dementia-friendly living

With the promotion in the past few years to create age-friendly communities and dementia-friendly communities, my brain has been thinking of how this could change our way of looking at community living and intergenerational socialization.

Today, over my cup of coffee and thinking about a documentary I had seen on aging in Japan, I had one of those spark moments. You know, when you get an idea that seems like it could really make a difference in the world. Continue reading

Good Practices for Active and Healthy Aging

Launch of an EU-wide repository of good practices supporting active and healthy ageing

March 09, 2015 – 09:00

Europe is ageing rapidly. To address the challenges posed by this unprecented demographic change, European local and regional authorities, universities, civil society organisations and industries, have already developed and implemented a large number of initiatives in the fields of public services, healthcare, ICT, transport, housing, accessibility, and social participation. Today, the AFE-INNOVNET Network is taking the opportunity of the first EU Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing to launch a Europe-wide repository set up to gather and share interesting initiatives and help make population ageing an opportunity for Europe’s economic and social growth. Learn from existing initiatives and share yours as well!

With more than 256 members today, the AFE-INNOVNET is an EU-funded Thematic Network aimed at supporting innovation in the field of age-friendly environments, i.e. the adaptation of our social and physical environments to our needs as we age, according to the WHO approach. Launched in February 2014, this network is contributing to the European Innovation Partnership on active and healthy ageing by creating an EU-wide community of stakeholders willing to implement a holistic approach to active and healthy ageing.

Continue reading

Crowd-sourcing age-friendly locations

AGE-CAP (AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES ASSESSMENT APP)

 
The Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL) at the University of Toronto (Department of Occupational Science and Therapy) has developed a smart phone app to create a crowd-sourced database of age-friendly locations, called Age-CAP. They are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers (engineering, computer science, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and gerontology) who aim to develop zero-effort technologies (technologies that require zero effort from the “user”) that are adaptive, flexible, and intelligent.
You can read more about their work (and participate in a research study in the Toronto area) on their website.

Age-CAP is a cross-platform smart phone application which aims to create a crowd-sourced database of age-friendly locations. It consists of survey-style forms which allow users to quickly rate the age-friendliness of a location or service. The criteria for rating was developed using the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities guidelines (which I also worked on during my internship with the WHO in Copenhagen), and age-friendly community initiatives in other North American cities.

Continue reading

Golden Girls lifestyle

I found this article on the Changing Aging website, where you can read the original, if you would like, or explore other interesting topics.

The Future of Robot Caregivers

I came across this opinion piece on The New York Times, you can read the original article here. I think that Louise Aronson brings up a really good point when there are discussions of the ethics of using robots as caregivers, and the effect on future generations:

As Jerald Winakur, a San Antonio internist and geriatrician, put it, “Just because we digitally savvy parents toss an iPad at our kids to keep them busy and out of our hair, is this the example we want to set when we, ourselves, need care and kindness?”

It’s a point I hadn’t thought of before, and I think she brings up an even better point as she is weighing the effect of not pursuing the use of robots as caregivers:

In an ideal world, it would be: Each of us would have at least one kind and fully capable human caregiver to meet our physical and emotional needs as we age. But most of us do not live in an ideal world, and a reliable robot may be better than an unreliable or abusive person, or than no one at all.

Continue reading

“Having dementia is an adventure, not a disease”

I came across these inspiring articles about living with dementia. You can also find the original articles by clicking on the headlines.

The message is clear: they still have the capacity to enjoy life and want to be involved in their community. So let’s encourage and support them by making sure people with dementia have a good social network and live in the right environment. This is key to their health and wellbeing.

The Momentia movement helps people with dementia contribute to society, and lessens the stigma that can accompany diagnosis

Continue reading