(US) Aging In America: Future Challenges, Promise And Potential
Fifty years after its inception, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will have a more important role than ever as America's senior population continues to grow, according to the newest issue of the Public Policy and Aging Report (PPAR). For five decades, the committee has called attention to pressing needs that have faced older Americans. And as the PPAR's authors point out, members of the committee - and indeed all elected officials - must prepare the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. "Major population changes are now underway or accelerating, changes that are taking place within the older population but across the life-span as well, involving individuals of all ages," stated PPAR Editor Robert Hudson, PhD, chair of the Boston University School of Social Work's Department of Social Policy.
Link to article: Aging In America: Future Challenges, Promise And Potential (Medical News Today)
Link to paper: Public Policy and Aging Report (National Academy on an Ageing Society)
(US) China’s ‘Demographic Tsunami’ Begins
Wang Fuchuan lies in bed wearing a quilted black jacket, with two comforters pulled up to his chin to keep out the chilly November air. The heating at Beijing Songtang Caring Hospice is broken and the 90-year-old’s nostrils are stuffed with toilet paper to stop them dripping. Cockroaches scurry across the floor of his room, which has no running water or toilet. His possessions, a few articles of clothing, are in a plastic bag under his bed next to a pink wash bowl with a sliver of soap. His only entertainment is a transistor radio. Wang counts himself lucky. While he has no family or savings, he fought against the Japanese and Kuomintang in the 1940s, so the government pays the clinic’s monthly fee of 2,000 yuan ($318). His 200-yuan pension buys food. “A lot of people my age can’t afford to be here,” Wang says. “The food isn’t too good, but I have nothing else to complain about.” Wang is in the vanguard of a looming demographic shift for China, Bloomberg Business week reports. The latest government census shows 178 million Chinese were over 60 in 2009.
Link to article: China’s ‘Demographic Tsunami’ Begins (US)
(US) Generations of Talent Study: Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College
A new research study by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College examines work experiences of employees, finding that those 40 years old and older are the most engaged and demonstrate the highest level of organizational commitment, and that those 50 years old and older are the most satisfied with their jobs. The Generations of Talent Study is one of few to assess the effects of country, age, and career stage among employees worldwide. It gathered data about work experiences from 11,298 individuals, working for seven multinational companies, at 24 worksites in 11 countries. In this initial data release, researchers analyze responses in individual countries as well as divide countries into two groups: those with older populations and developed market economies (Old-Developed Countries: Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, UK, U.S.) and those with younger populations and developing market economies (Young-Developing Countries: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, Botswana).
Link to article: Older Workers Are Most Engaged, Committed, and Satisfied with Their Jobs — Generations of Talent Study (Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College)
Link to report: Generations of Talent Study (Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College)
(US) Workers Compensation and the Aging Workforce
There is widespread concern about the potential adverse impact on workers compensation loss costs as the ―baby boomers‖ postpone retirement and accelerate the aging of the workforce. In this study, NCCI has examined this issue and offers some surprising and yet reassuring conclusions. The paper starts by confirming that the share of older workers is increasing. The analysis then looks at differences in the components of loss costs—frequency (injury rates per worker) and severity—across age groups. The factors that account for the observed differences in severities between older and younger workers are then identified. The analysis concludes by comparing the combined effects of frequency and severity—that is, loss costs per worker.
Link to report: Workers Compensation and the Aging Workforce (NCCI)
(IRE) Government announces measures to improve affordability of Private Health Insurance for Older People (Dept of Health and Children)
(IRE) Martina Devlin: Yes, pensioners deserve apology but not a free ride (Irish Independent)
(IRE) In firing line for savage cuts -- young, old and vulnerable (Irish Independent)
(UK) Rise of the 'Wearies': more pensioners working in their 70s (Daily Telegraph)
(IRE) Health In Ireland: Key Trends 2011
The purpose of Health in Ireland, Key Trends 2011, as with previous editions, is to provide summary data on the main areas of health and health care over the past decade. It also aims to highlight selected trends and topics of growing concern and to include new data where it becomes available. A further objective is to assess ourselves and our progress in the broader EU context. With these goals in mind, the booklet is divided into six chapters ranging from population, life expectancy and health status through to health care delivery, staffing and costs. Preliminary results from the Census of Population, 2011,
show continued strong population growth in Ireland. In addition, it is estimated that the numbers and proportion of the population in the older age groups is increasing. Each year the total number of people over the age of 65 grows by around 20,000 persons. The population over 65 will more than double over the next 30 years with evident implications for health service planning and delivery.
Link to report: Health In Ireland: Key Trends 2011 (Dept of Health)
(IRE) Transforming Primary Care in Ireland: Information, Incentives, and Provider Capabilities
Ireland’s health system is at a key turning point. The Irish government was newly elected in February 2011, and the policy directions adopted over the coming months will likely exert a major impact on system performance for many years. Drawing on recent international experience with performance measurement and financial incentives, this paper examines strategies for enhancing quality and value in the Irish health system, focusing predominantly on the role of primary care. Three take-home messages emerge from the literature. First, substantial improvements in quality of care often can be attained at a reasonable cost, such as through the use of checklists and evidence-based clinical pathways, or by better aligning the skills of health care providers to patients’ need. Second, rigorous performance measurement is a vital tool for quality improvement that is lacking in Ireland, and this could be particularly powerful if underpinned by risk-adjustment to enable reliable evaluation of clinical outcomes. Third, although pay-for-performance is a prominent quality improvement strategy, little evidence exists to support its purported benefits and it can exert negative effects. Incentives are unlikely to be effective if providers lack the capability to respond appropriately, therefore it is imperative to foster professionalism and pride in high-quality care, and to develop the managerial and clinical skills necessary for high performance.
Link to report: Transforming Primary Care in Ireland: Information, Incentives, and Provider Capabilities
(IRE) Coming of age: a study in longevity (Irish Times)
(IRE) Prevention of falls strategy is in danger of collapsing (Irish Medical Times)
(IRE) Alzheimer Café Dublin (Alzhiemer Cafe)
(US) Interactive Tools to Assess the Likelihood of Death (New York Times)
(US) What Can Accelerometer Research Show about Active Aging? (Aging in Action)
(US) Hormone in Women Linked to Dementia, Study Finds (ABC News)
(UK) Hopes for reversing age-associated effects in MS patients (Cambridge University)
(UK) Social care professionals should join multi-disciplinary teams to integrate chronic care management in every area (Community Care)
(US) The Unspoken Diagnosis: Old Age (New York Times)
(US) Elderly Can Be As Fast As Young In Some Brain Tasks (Medical News Today)
(EU) Irish Hospital in New IMS MAXIMS Deal to Help Keep Older Patients Independent for Longer (eHealth News)
(US) Most Doctors In Europe Concerned About How They Will Be Treated When They Are Old (Medical News Today)
(UK) Study shows memory loss can start as early as 45 (Reuters)
(US) A Community Time Bank
Joan Black took a serious tumble two years ago, climbing up on a stepladder to reach for a punchbowl. She was about to host one of her frequent patio parties for a regional theater company in Montpelier, Vt. Ms. Black had been doing quite well in her ground-floor apartment downtown. But the fall broke a vertebra, and since then she’s had trouble walking and standing for any extended period. Happily, a city program called the Reach Service Exchange Network began operation in the fall of 2010, powered by a grant of $1 million from the federal Administration on Aging. The network functions as a time bank. Montpelier residents of all ages join for $25 and get access to a site listing requests and offers: driving, pet care, reading aloud, help with grocery shopping, computer tutoring sessions and more. “We ask all members to provide services to the network,” explained Daniel Hecht, the network’s director. “We think people of any age or level of ability can contribute.”
Link to article: A Community Time Bank (New York Times)
(US) Social protection of older people
Despite the growth and extent of social protection programmes (SP) in both developed and developing countries, most emerging economies have systems that are only just coming into existence. Subsequently, only a small portion address the specific vulnerabilities and needs of older people. This paper: discusses the vulnerabilities of older people and the benefits of crafting social programs to address them; describes the nature of social protection and the forms it can take to address those vulnerabilities; reports descriptive evidence on the availability and use of social protection programs; delineates steps that can be taken to remedy the shortfalls experienced by older people.
Link to paper: Social protection of older people (Harvard University)
(IRE) NUI Galway’s ‘Click & Connect’ computer training seeks to close digital divide (Silicon Republic)
(IRE) Increase in elderly experiencing ‘age apartheid' (Irish Examiner)
(US) Aging in Place: US State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices (AARP – Report)
(US) Gerotechnology: Shifts in the Study of Aging & Technology (Aging in Action)
(EU) Top 20 eHealth News Articles - a Look Back at 2011 (eHealth News)
(EU) Ambient technology for older people, designed by older people (CORDIS)
(US) Babyboomers: The New Disability Market (Brand Channel)
(US) Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing With No Regrets (New York Times)
(UK) Integrated care for patients and populations: improving outcomes by working together
This report examines the case for integrated care; what current barriers to integrated care need to be overcome and how; what the Department of Health can do to provide a supporting framework to enable integrated care to flourish; and options for practical and technical support to those implementing integrated care, including approaches to evaluating its impact. It asserts that developing integrated care should assume the same priority over the next decade as reducing waiting times had during the last.
Link to report: Integrated care for patients and populations: improving outcomes by working together (The Kings Fund)
(IRE) A new phase in palliative care services
The Director of the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, Paddie Blaney, talks about the establishment of the Institute and the potential for much positive development in the area of hospice and palliative care. This looks set to be an exciting year, full of opportunities for those involved in the hospice and palliative care sector in Ireland and Northern Ireland, following the launch of the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) in October 2011. AIIHPC is an all-island organisation, working to promote and improve the experience of supportive, palliative and end-of-life care on the island of Ireland through education, research and policy development and implementation.
Link to article: A new phase in palliative care services (Irish Medical Times)
(IRE) Long Stay Activity Report for 2010 (Dept of Health)
(IRE) Long Stay Activity Report for 2009 (Dept of Health)
(US) Older Adults with Disabilities Can Age Well in Place (Aging In Place)
(US) Mad as Hell (New York Times)
(UK) Is there a future for care homes? (Age UK)
(UK) Care for elderly in 'absolute crisis', charity warns (Guardian)
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