Lifelong participation: 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:

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 2:  Lifelong participation

Week 2 of this course is focused on lifelong participation. It dives into the physical and psychological changes that are more common in later life and how the gains in technology advancements enable people to be active, independent and socially connected to support lifelong participation.

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Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement Planning – 30 Questions You Should Ask To Plan For Your Future

Retirement planning doesn’t stop the day you retire. It continues as your life unfolds. As such, it’s important for you to talk with your adult children or other family members about what you want for your life now, and in the future.

It’s important for you, since it’s your life that you’re planning for. Continue reading

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.

ReThink Respite

Dispelling respite myths for people with dementia and their carers

ReThink Respite is a new online resource aiming to support people with dementia and their carers and help them to better understand the benefits of respite services.

“There is plenty of evidence to show that respite can sustain carers to continue in their caring role and keep the person with dementia at home for longer, and yet the proportion of carers that use available respite and other support programs is low,” according to project leader, Dr Lyn Phillipson.

“The ReThink Respite resource will help people better understand respite services by dispelling myths and educating carers of the benefits of respite services. Ultimately, we want to increase uptake and inform and shape service delivery of respite in the community,” she adds.

Read more at:

Visit the ReThink Respite webpage at

WHO/Europe | Healthy ageing requires a life-course approach

The first World report on ageing and health calls for urgent, comprehensive public health action to address population ageing. It summarizes current evidence, redresses common misconceptions and assumptions and outlines a framework of action to foster healthy ageing worldwide.

Key messages of the report underpin those of the upcoming WHO European Ministerial Conference on the life-course approach:  Start early to maximize functional ability. It is never too late to maintain peak health by preventing and delaying the onset of noncommunicable diseases. Minimize loss by ensuring supportive environments, effectively managing chronic conditions and developing systems of care.

Source: WHO/Europe | Healthy ageing requires a life-course approach

Evidence-based programs for older adults

This website was brought to my attention through a Gerontological Society of America community forum. It was a message by Alan Stevens, the Holleman-Rampy Centennial Chair in Gerontology and Director of the Center for Applied Health Research at Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, TX.

This website is a free resource and provides a toolkit with some great information describing evidence-based programs, how to select and implement, and evaluate these programs, and more. Click on the title below to go to the website.

Toolkit on Evidence-Based Programming for Seniors!

As part of the NIH-funded Community Research Center for Senior Health, we have created a new web-based resource in the arena of evidence based programs (EBPs) –

The website is designed for community-based organizations who are interested/mission driven to provide health interventions for seniors. This tool can be used by seasoned professionals and those less familiar with the topic alike. Users can explore paths for learning how to select an EBP as well as how to implement a selected program. This is also a valuable educational tool for universities.

From the website:


Health promotion programs that have been found to produce positive outcomes based on the results of rigorous evaluations are often termed “evidence-based.” To be identified as an evidence-based program (EBP), an intervention or program must be thoroughly evaluated by researchers who are able to attribute positive outcomes to the intervention itself.

When you look at various programs to see if they are evidence-based, you will come across many evaluation study designs. You do not need to be an expert in research methods to understand these study designs, but it is useful to understand some basic terms. The following terms are used when describing participants in studies.

  • Experimental group – Individuals in the experimental group are taking part in the program that is being evaluated in the study.
  • Comparison group – Individuals in the comparison group are not taking part in the program that is being evaluated. They may not be enrolled in any program or they may be enrolled in some alternative program. Members of the comparison group may or may not be similar in characteristics to the members of the experimental group.
  • Control group – Individuals in the control group are not taking part in the program that is being evaluated; however, they may be enrolled in some alternative program. Members of the control group are likely similar in characteristics to members of the experimental group.

When evaluation researchers have identified evidence supporting a particular program, they will often publish their findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Publishing their findings allows experts in the field who are not associated with the evaluation to examine the evaluation and determine if they agree with the methods used and with the conclusions drawn about the effects of the program. Evaluation researchers may also submit evidence to research organizations and federal agencies that will examine the evidence and approve or endorse the programs they find to have solid bases of evidence. This approval or endorsement communicates to others in the field that these programs have met various standards of effectiveness (see Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for more information).

Check out Community Research Center for Senior Health. Toolkit on Evidence-Based Programming for Seniors for more information!!

World’s first mobile hospital lab to help elderly

I found this short article through Healthcare Denmark. Check out their website to find out more about how health and social care is organized and carried out in Denmark, with some more great examples of using technology for health!

World’s first mobile hospital lab to help elderly

September 04, 2015

Mobil Lab
The world’s first mobile hospital laboratory for examination and treatment of elderly citizens in their own home, is now a reality in Denmark.

A collaboration between Køge Hospital and Køge Municipality has resulted in the development of the world’s first mobile hospital laboratory for examination and treatment of elderly and vulnerable citizens in their own home.

The mobile hospital laboratory is staffed with a biomedical laboratory technician from Køge Hospital and a nurse from Køge Municipality. They drive the mobile laboratory to the citizen’s home to examinate and take blood samples. The results are ready within 30 minutes and are sent directly to the citizen’s GP, who assesses whether there is a need for hospitalization or if treatment can take place in the citizen’s own home.

The target group consists of elderly and vulnerable patients who suffer from urinary tract infections, COPD, dizziness, dehydration, diarrhea, constipation or infections. With the mobile laboratory, many elderly can avoid a trip to the doctor or a stressful hospitalization and instead get their treatment at home.

October 1:  International Day of Older Persons

With advances in medicine helping more people to live longer lives, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050 and will require radical societal change, according to a new report released by the WHO for the International Day of Older Persons (1 October).

Source: WHO | WHO: Number of people over 60 years set to double by 2050; major societal changes required

See also:

WHO Fact sheet on Ageing and Health

WHO World Report on Ageing and Health (full report) (executive summary)

Lack of focus on Aging in the UN Sustainable Development Goals


This is a follow-up to my other post, Aging and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In that post, I discussed the launching of the Goals and the UN Population Fund’s summary of the goals – which disappointedly did NOT address aging or older adults. In this post, I look deeper into the Goals, reading all 17 and their 169 associated targets to see where aging is specifically addressed. I think I’m gonna need a coffee to get through them all 🙂  Continue reading

Aging and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Here at WHO in the UN City in Copenhagen, we will be celebrating the launching of the goals on Monday, September 28th. We will be having a little ceremony with the presentation of the Sustainable Development Goals, a symbolic soccer match in the building lobby, a reception, and raise the new Global Goals flag.

When I first walked into the building and saw the large display of the goals (see my picture below), I remember pausing to read them and not seeing any direct action towards promoting healthy aging or dementia and feeling a bit frustrated. But, I also hadn’t read the Goals yet so didn’t want to be so quick to judge. Continue reading

Internship on Age-Friendly Cities Initiative

Internship with the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities

In January, 2013, I started a 3-month internship with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. I will be working on how to incorporate eHealth in the Age-friendly cities initiative. I will be posting some updates here on how the internship is going and how gerontechnology will be playing a role in Age-friendly cities.


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Healthy living, aging, and longevity

This post comes to us from the July, 2015 issue of Marin Magazine, based out of California.

Science of Aging

Marin County’s top minds weigh in on healthy living and longevity. Part 1 of 2

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Science-backed information on habits for a healthy brain

This post comes via Reader’s Digest. Well, it is a Reader’s Digest article that I came across on an Alzheimer’s and Dementia group on Facebook 😉  It’s got some good info on healthy habits and diets for ALL of us.

Happy and healthy reading!

New Survey: Science-Backed Habits Reduce Dementia Risk, But Many Americans Are Misinformed

A new survey from Reader’s Digest and the Alzheimer’s Association reveals that many Americans don’t realize certain habits can lower risk of cognitive decline and don’t prioritize brain health compared with other aspects of well-being. Continue reading

Preventing cognitive decline in the younger generation

Millennials Have the Power To Prevent Their Own Cognitive Decline. Here’s How.

Millennials Have the Power To Prevent Their Own Cognitive Decline. Here's How.

The 18-to-34 set is the first generation to have information at their fingertips that can help prevent memory loss conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It starts with your diet. (Photo: Getty Images) 

Alzheimer’s is not a disease that strikes suddenly. Research shows that like diabetes and heart disease, it is a slow decline toward a devastating end.

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8 companies that are changing aging

This article comes from CNBC, and is a topic I am particularly interested in as I also like studying and being an entrepreneur in the gerontology and gerontechnology field! Aging2.0 is a GREAT program that is helping to launch many innovative and socially-beneficial companies, all focused on making life more enjoyable for aging adults! I had the pleasure of meeting with Stephen Johnston, the other co-founder of Aging2.0, when working on launching a start-up focused on making it easier to find a helpful and useful Assistive Technology. You can read more about that on my page on Adventures in Entrepreneurship in Dementia Care.

Tapping into the longevity economy

—By Julie Halpert, special to
Posted 08 April 2015

The longevity economy, representing all economic activity serving the needs of Americans over 50, is expected to top $13.5 trillion by 2032, according to Oxford Economics. This opportunity isn’t lost on savvy entrepreneurs.

Out of a total 290 entrepreneurs who attended the annual Boomer Summit last month in Chicago, 40 percent were entrepreneurs hoping to pitch their products to potential investors and get ideas on how to best appeal to this demographic. That was twice the amount as the previous year, and for the first time, they came from many different countries.

Katy Fike, co-founder of Aging2.0, a start-up accelerator program, and founding partner of Generator Ventures, a venture fund focused on aging and long-term care, said the industry is attracting graduates from top-tier business schools. Some entrepreneurs have already developed particularly successful products geared toward the demographic shift. Many of these ideas sprung from a personal experience and a desire to solve a problem endured by a loved one.

Here are 8 business owners who have already found millions in the longevity economy.

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