News from Pass It On Network
Welcome our new Country Liaisons from Australia, New Zealand & Ireland
Nan Bosler – A Life of Service and Learning
What a pleasure it is to meet Pass It On contacts in person after a long period of only online contacts. Moira Allan, Pass It On’s Coordinator, had that experience getting to know Nan Bosler personally in Sydney at the very successful 18th Australian Computer Conference for Seniors. Nan is what the French would describe as a “force tranquille” — discrete, calm, ever alert. She’s the force behind the Australian Senior Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA), founded in 1998. With its 126 clubs around the country, it is recognized today as the peak body for seniors and technology in Australia. ASCCA is a member of ACAP, the Active Aging Consortium of Asia Pacific through which the Pass It On Network made contact with her. Nan invited Moira to present at the November conference and then rallied to our call for an Australia liaison for the Pass It On Network. Nan is a lifelong learner and server. Read her bio here
Meg Evans – A Positive Aging Educator and Blogger
Meg has lived back and forth between New Zealand (home country) and Australia all her life and is now in New Zealand. She travelled to Sydney to meet Moira Allan, co-founder and international coordinator of the Pass It On Network. It was a stimulating meeting. Meg’s on a mission to share her enthusiasm and help people in their 2nd half of life to live with vitality, curiosity, and a sense of aliveness. She describes herself as a positive aging educator and blogger, https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZenAging/
So why is she so excited and inspired by being older? “Because we are the pioneers for a new way of ageing,” she says. “We are the generation to live many healthy vital years after our traditional working lives before our decline and demise. We have the opportunity to carve out a new important role for elders once we stoke up our confidence, refuse limiting stereotypes about older people, and work with our peers and our new felt freedom and energy to change forever how ageing is perceived and lived in our societies. We have long life experience and we have TIME. Time first to be still and reflect about what really matters in life, and then to do important work we couldn’t do before, like mentoring youth and standing up for unborn generations on important issues. Look after our amazing life supporting planet and all life species…” Read her bio here
Marie Carroll — Happy People = Happy World
With a history of being both “younger & older”, Marie has harnessed learnings and “unlearnings” from her colourful and innovative careers, ranging from social entrepreneur to thought leader and the precious role of being a parent.
Her primary focus now is to support others in creating a new model of engagement for a newly emerging Universe, where relationships are developed from a platform of love & compassion rather than power. Marie believes in and lives through “communication and collaboration” with others to further develop her passion for Conscious Leadership.
Currently supporting & navigating The Freebird Club organization and website www.thefreebirdclub.com through its start-up phase, she is really enjoying the experience of positive ageing.
Life on Purpose!
Carol Fleischman is Pass It On’s Membership Leader
As described in the Senior Resource Guide from her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, “Carol Fleischman lives life on purpose…doing what she loves to do. Her career as a facilitator, trainer and life coach has affected meaningful change in people’s lives — her stated life purpose. Now a part of the Positive Aging Movement, she stays connected with other professionals across the globe who provide services to those in their 2nd half of life.”
As the Membership Leader for the Pass It On Network, Carol has taken on the task of shepherding new members of the Pass It On Community through the process of exploring our website’s resources and connecting with people or programs that fit their interests. This volunteer task connects Carol’s profession as a Life Coach with the Success Unlimited Network (SUN), leadership in the International Association of Facilitators, and love of worldwide travel. In New Orleans, Carol has developed the “Cycles of Life Legacy” program, a process that identifies individuals’ attributes and contributions to the world. Participants gain new appreciation for their life’s impact and more clearly see possibilities for their future. Carol embodies what the Pass It On Network is all about – Positive Aging.
News from the Field
AgeNet International in Kyrgzstan
One of the goals of the Pass It On Network is to encourage the development of regional networks dedicated to support for positive aging. So far, Pass It On has developed partnerships with regional networks for Europe, Asia Pacific countries, and North American countries. When Pass It On’s co-founder, Jan Hively, spoke at the Moscow conference on “The Culture of Aging” in October, she had the pleasure of meeting four representatives from AgeNet International, a regional network crossing from Europe into Western Asia, comprising 48 organizations focused on supporting and protecting the quality of life and the rights of elderly people in 10 countries: Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus.
Representatives from the AgeNet International Network speaking at the Moscow conference on “The Culture of Aging” include, left to right: Svetlana Bashtovenko, Kyrgyzstan, founder and coordinator of AgeNet; Bayan Akhmedzhanova, Kazakhstan; Saodat Kamalova, Tajikistan; and Dona Tursunova, Uzbekistan
December conference in Kyrgyzstan
Svetlana Bashtovenko coordinates AgeNet International through the Resource Center for the Elderly (RCE), a 25-year-old public association based in Kyrgyrzstan of which she is president. The AgeNet newsletter for October, shown here, illustrates its range of support services and outreach programming.
On December 12-13, RCE is organizing a major conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to analyze and discuss international experiences in developing national policies and programs aimed at improving the social welfare, health and well-being, and human development of senior citizens. The dual goal is to set priorities with AgeNet’s leaders and stakeholders along with a sustainable national strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic for the period 2017 – 2022.
London Report on “The Future of Aging”
From Vera Mensinga, our Country Liaison in the UK
Pass It On’s UK Liaison, Vera Mensinga, attended the November 9 “Future of Ageing” conference held at Westminster and sponsored by the International Longevity Center (ILC-UK). She reports that the former director of Age Concern, Baroness Sally Greengross (below), chaired the conference with energy and passion.
At age 81, Lady Greengross inspires active aging as both a member of Parliament and the ILC-UK’s executive chair. Her leadership mirrors what was said at the conference by Jonathan Stevens from AARP, “The leaders for change are people who disrupt stereotypes and shift the conversation about aging.”
Vera mentioned two other presenters who were inspiring:
- Islene Araujo de Carvalho is a Brazilian doctor and senior who is a Strategic Advisor on Ageing and the Life Course for the World Health Organization. With a global perspective, she said that there is no “typical” older person. Healthy aging is an investment, not a cost issue. Health depends on our body’s capacities, genes, attitude, and opportunities that society can provide such as access to health care, career opportunities, and education. She sees many more opportunities in Europe and the U.S. than in her own country and countries in Africa.
- Reverend, Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury. He talked about the break-up of traditional neighborhood-based communities, resulting in many people not feeling valued at all and losing a sense of connection when they retire and lose their work/friends connection. Now, there is too much value attached to the physical and material aspects of life and much less on spirituality. It’s critical for churches and other spiritual institutions to reach out and care for elders.
Useful messages about the future of ageing can be found in these powerpoint presentations from the conference.
Sustaining and Enhancing Wellbeing Across Life
For example, the presentation by Sarah Harper, a professor at Oxford University and lead author of “Future of an Ageing Population,” pointed out that: “Growing old in a society where most people are young is fundamentally different from doing so in a society where most people are old. In the latter, there is a smaller proportion of economically active individuals and the responsibility of providing for old age dependency may increasingly fall to older people themselves.” This fits with studies in rural communities, for example, where a higher percentage of seniors are working longer and caring for neighbors as well as family members – because they are the only ones around to do the work and caring.
Professor Harper is concerned about inequality that creates barriers to fair treatment.
“The challenge is to sustain and enhance wellbeing across life, reducing inequality within each generation and assuring equal allocation of resources between generations.” She is particularly concerned about the digital divide, because technology can contribute so much that is positive for:
- Work – Smart and connected homes and workplace innovations assist extended work life
- Housing – Low-fi solutions (stairs, footing, lighting) as well as digital tools
- Health – Remote home-based care and telehealth
- Connectivity – Social connectivity counteracting isolation and loneliness
Six “magic bullets” for Future Progress
The presentation by David Sinclair, Director of the ILC-UK, offered six “magic bullets” for policies to encourage future progress:
- Maximize the economic contributions of older people
- Keep us healthy (exercising wellness – active work and travel)
- Maximize the potential of technology — close the digital divide
- Stop patronizing old age – treat older adults as adults with rights and responsibilities lifelong
- Start talking about the end of life (self-determination all the way through life)
- Let’s make ageing fun!
Here is his description of the life course: Grow up, have fun, spend, work, save, care, spend, learn, work, save, have fun, work, save, care, learn, work, be cared for…
Australia, Moving to Close the Digital Divide
From Moira Allan at the 18th Australian Computer Conference for Seniors
Tech savvy seniors flew in to Sydney from all over Australia – Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth – to attend the 18th Australian Computer Conference for Seniors organized by their national association of computer clubs in November. In an opening keynote, Moira Allan spoke about the digital divide and the Pass It On Network. You can view her presentation here.
Moira comments that it was fun to listen to Nan Bosler, Founder President of ASCCA, stir displays of team spirit as she ran the roll call of member clubs. There was excitement and anticipation: excitement because it was time to announce the winners of the annual photographic and writing competition; and anticipation because of the top level speakers gathered to bring members the latest hands-on information on today’s technologies and to help them take a leap into the future to which technology is taking us.
There was only one problem with the conference – the offerings were so rich and the sessions concomitant that it was impossible to attend and learn from each. For example, we had to choose between using the Internet for family history, a demonstration by Microsoft of Photo Story, Google learning programs, how to value and protect privacy, recording your life story, and the Internet of Things.
The presentations that catapulted us into the future were a pure delight.
Four presentations by passionate speakers struck Moira particularly:
- Nick de la Force, Microsoft’s community development specialist, on “Achieving More with your Technology”
- Angus Daveson, the industrial designer who created The Maker’s Muse to spread the amazing technology of 3D printers.
- Robert Wickham, of Innovation and Digital Transformation, who said that virtually all business would be run from smart phones within the next few years
- Shane Treeves, head of social communications for Google Asia-Pacific, who talked about the switch from Search to Google Assistant.
Rebecca Wilson, founder of what is today considered the most highly engaged and widely read media site for over age 60 adults in Australia and New Zealand, Starts at 60, gave a stirring presentation of why she was putting her all into shaping a new image of aging, “It all goes back to the examples my parents have set for me.”
The Sydney Opera House is truly spectacular!
Nan Bosler, Founder and President of the Australian Senior Computer Clubs Association with Moira Allan, Pass It On’s Co-founder and International Coordinator in Sydney.
3D produced textile, a big hit with the fashion industry, and captured the imagination of the audience as did a variety of other 3D printed items.
Drawn from all corners of Australia to the annual gathering of the Australian Senior Computer Clubs Association, a lot of fun, a lot of learning together!
Ever eaten fried ice cream? If not, have a try, it’s good.
Singapore Visit with Dr. Leng Leng Thang
Travelogue from Moira Allan
Walking, talking and sharing in Singapore’s Botanic Garden
You will agree that it would have been such a pity not to take the opportunity of a connecting flight from Sydney to Paris to stop over for 24 hours in Singapore. I arrived at midnight, caught eight hours’ sleep in a transit hotel at Changi Airport, consigned my carry-on luggage and set off on the very efficient and clean train system to the Singapore Botanic Garden and my rendezvous with Dr Leng Leng Thang, of Singapore University, whom I had met in March in Fukuoka at the 10th anniversary conference of ACAP (Active Aging Consortium of Asia Pacific). What a warm welcome I had!
Rounded off with a visit to the new age friendly town of Punggol
After a lingering visit in the orchid garden and under a threatening sky, we set off to discover Punggol, a new age friendly town that will have 96 000 units when fully developed. The new town replaces the traditional low-density farming and fishing village where the houses were built on stilts. Today the two rivers flanking the town, the Punggol and Serangoon, are being dammed to create a freshwater lake. Punggol embodies the government’s goal to be friendly for ALL ages by co-locating eldercare and childcare facilities to encourage intergenerational bonding. The town is one of 20 that is benefiting from the government plan to build 56 new Senior Activity Centres. The centers are located close to blocks of rented apartments and studios and the accent is placed on fostering social networks. They are places where seniors can make friends and engage in exercise and regular social activities. They may also receive social support services, especially if they are living alone.
Leng Leng Thang, Ph.D. of the Singapore University, is also co-editor of The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships (JIR) with Rafel Engel, Ph.d. MSW, of the University if Pittsburgh
A beautiful way of honoring leaders
Orchid named after Nelson Mandela
Punggol as it was before redevelopment. It was known for its sumptuous seafood.
Punggol will have 96 000 housing units when fully developed. The new town is age friendly from the start. The government provides cost-price access to young couples who can then resell their properties after 10 years at market prices – what if that system could be applied elsewhere!
The water way
Celebrity chef Willin Low tossing yusheng for Chinese New Year with 21 elderly folk from
Thye Hua Kwan Seniors Activity Centre on Sunday at Wild Oats@Punggol Park.
The development of the new town incorporates easy access to transport and shopping centres with their Village Square. The day we visited there just happened to be a “retirement roadshow” on the go.
Paris – The Emerging Spirit of Elderhood
Old’Up’s symposium anthology
It was a full house for the November launch in the up beat left bank Paris book shop Le Divan of Old’Up’s anthology of all the presentations made at their landmark symposium on The Emerging Spirit of Elderhood – “Comment l’Esprit vient aux Vieux” just one year ago. The event created a media buzz around the question of aging and generated a multitude of requests to start Old’Up chapters around the country. Since then Old’Up has hosted a regional conference to help set up new chapter and published the book. Pass It On members Silvia Crom, from Buenos Aires, and Rina Rosselson, from London, flew in to attend the meeting.
Click on image to see the program in English. All presentations have now been published in the symposium anthology: Comment l’espirt vient aux vieux!” Editions-Eres
Marie-Françoise Fuchs (right), who masterminded the symposium, hands a copy of the book to Moira Allan, Pass It On Network’s Co-founder and International Coordinator who was one of the presenters.
New Chapter of Older Person’s Self-Advocacy Handbook Launched in Brussels
Eleanor Roosevelt, the driving force in creating the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, is known to have said that human rights begin in small places, close to home, and unless rights have meaning there, larger progress in the world is unattainable.
Endorsing this statement, AGE Platform Europe* has embarked in a 3-year project to explain how human rights work in practice.
The project is intended to support the involvement of older persons in all processes that affect their human rights: “Nothing about me without me » is the guiding principle.
By translating the international human rights framework in accessible language, using concrete examples from their experience, AGE aims to give older people the necessary tools to defend their rights.
Last year, the Pass It On Network featured the first two chapters from AGE’s online ‘Older People’s Self-Advocacy Handbook’ that cover general concepts and the United Nations framework. A new chapter that describes the main processes of the Council of Europe was launched in Brussels in early December.
“The Council of Europe has established some of the most relevant human rights norms for older people, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Rights, and the recent Recommendation for the promotion of human rights of older persons”, said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE’s Secretary General, when the new chapter was presented. “Unless older people know about all these instruments and how they relate to everyday situations, such as access to care and adequate income, human rights will not be realized by our older population”.
*AGE Platform Europe is a European network of more than 150 organisations of and for people aged 50+ representing directly over 40 million older people in Europe. Our work focuses on a wide range of policy areas that impact on older and retired people, including anti-discrimination, employment of older workers and active ageing, social protection, pension reforms, social inclusion, health, elder abuse, intergenerational solidarity, research, accessibility of public transport and of the build environment, and new technologies (ICT). AGE Platform Europe takes also active part in several EU projects.
The Power of Purposeful Aging
Read and pass on this compelling resource from the Milken Institute for the Future of Aging: ‘The Power of Purposeful Aging – Purpose +’.
“The aging population is our only increasing natural resource.”
–Marc Freedman, CEO of Encore.org
Extract from the preface: With people living longer than ever and the world’s older population expanding at an unprecedented rate, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging convened the Purposeful Aging Summit in Los Angeles in 2016. Thought leaders from public policy, business, academia, philanthropy, and media gathered to discuss reframing perceptions of aging in the 21st century. The participants acknowledged the importance of overcoming deeply ingrained bias, and the need to shed light on the compelling but little-understood benefits of purposeful aging. They recognized the upside of changing the culture of aging for individuals old and young. This report summarizes the themes, findings, and vision of the Purposeful Aging Summit. The evidence from numerous studies tells us that the record number of older adults is a unique human capital resource. Its sheer size demands that we explore its vast potential and employ it for the betterment of our world.
Let’s celebrate the fact that the aging population is, in the words of Encore.org CEO Marc Freedman, “our only increasing natural resource.”
Also from the Milken Institute, additional resources to read and pass on: ‘Purposeful Aging – Readings and Resources’. This valuable library of more than 100 books and resources goes hand in glove with the Power of Purposeful Aging Report. In its preface, Paul H. Irving, Chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, says: “In 1944, it was time to transform the global economy. Now, the moment has arrived for another grand challenge: to re-imagine the future of aging and change the public narrative about the roles and value of older adults.”
Join Encore’s New Campaign – Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen)
A new campaign powered by Encore.org is bringing older and younger people together to make life better for all generations.
Younger people thrive with the support of caring adults in their lives and older people have abundant skills and life experience to share with youth-focused organizations that are often stretched for resources and need an infusion of human talent.
The campaign invites seniors to get involved as mentors to help young people realize their potential through caring relationships that nurture success. It is believed that one in three young people will grow up without a mentor in their lives.
Although this is an American campaign, there’s nothing to stop you, wherever you are in the world, from becoming a mentor to someone in your circle. See what other organizations are doing and draw inspiration from their methods – mentoring is a one-on-one process. By finding your own way to mentor you’ll be part of the million older adults joining the Generation to Generation.
Example of partner organizations:
Big Brothers Big Sisters – http://www.bbbs.org/program-partners/generation-to-generation/
Makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), in cities across the country. BBBS agencies support the Big, Little, and their family through the lifetime of the match.
MENTOR – https://connect.mentoring.org
The National Mentoring Partnership connects you to hundreds of quality mentoring opportunities in locations across the country through their national database — all you need is your zip code!
A free online community where aspiring college students connect with dedicated mentors to receive one-on-one guidance and support through the college admissions and financial aid application process.
Challenging Ageism in the Workplace
Elizabeth Fideler, Pass It On Network member and U.S. author of Women Still at Work and Men Still at Work, spoke at the Project Management Institute (PMI) November forum on “Ageism in the Job Market”, along with Ashton Applewhite (Next Avenue “Influencer of the Year” and author of This Chair Rocks), and Michael Herndon (AARP VP for Financial Resilience).
Sheryl Chuang, Photographer
The host for the event at the State University of New York’s Global Center, PMI’s Mark Schleisner, challenged the panelists with questions, starting with the topic of both institutional and internalized age bias, the former referring to society’s ill-informed stereotypes (e.g., older workers too experienced and expensive, younger workers too inexperienced); the latter referring to the ways individuals discourage themselves from applying for a job or promotion. Both are prevalent and harmful, not only to job seekers and their families, but also to businesses that lose out on potential talent.
Intergenerational Companies Are Stronger
One strategy for addressing the problem at the institutional level is promoting age diversity in the workplace, because generationally diverse companies are better and stronger according to AARP and other sources. However, developing an age-friendly workplace depends on corporate leaders, particularly personnel directors, ‘walking the walk’ as well as ‘talking the talk’ about recruiting, supporting, and retaining an intergenerational workforce.
As for individual workers, panelists emphasized the importance of maintaining a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing social and technological environment. Up-to-date skills and training are essential to success in the job market. Another strategy is shifting a hiring manager’s attention from one’s age to the strengths, skills, and experience one can offer the organization.
With countries all around the globe seeing their labor pools shrinking, it’s smart companies that view their older workers as valuable assets. In sum, ageism has no place in the workplace.
Expanding Learning Opportunities
China to Improve Education Service for Elderly
BEIJING — China will offer more policy support to boost education services for its senior citizens, according to a plan released by the General Office of the State Council.
The plan said China should establish a comprehensive elderly education system by 2020, with diversified teaching approaches and content.
Communities, nursing houses and other elderly care facilities are encouraged to offer a range of courses, and the government will provide full support, including financial subsidies and IT services.
According to the plan’s target, more than 20 percent of the total elderly population will be able to regularly participate in various educational activities by 2020. As of the end of 2015, people over 65 years old accounted for more than 10 percent of China’s total population.
By 2020, the number of senior citizens will reach 240 million, or 17 percent of the population, according to an estimate by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Editor’s Note: China already has a staggering 60 000 universities for the third age.
How Virtual Reality Can Boost Retirement Savings
Wall Street Journal Retirement Expert Maddy Dychtwald details research using virtual reality which affected how much test subjects decided to save for retirement.
What it is: Researchers from Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab (led by Jeremy Bailenson, who will be speaking at Abundance 360 in January 2017), UCLA and Microsoft wondered what would happen if connecting with your future self via virtual reality might change how much you save for retirement. As it turns out, it does: their research found that participants who were greeted by their “future self” in VR allocated over twice the retirement savings when compared to viewing their present-day image.
Why it’s important: VR has the potential to shift perspectives, create empathy and enable lasting behavioral changes. In this example, engaging with an “Older Me” created a connection between our present and future, which altered present-day decision-making. Tech-enabled “perspective shifts” have dramatic implications for psychiatric treatment, physical therapy, nutritional counseling, financial services and even travel. Join the Discussion
Spotted by David Allred / Written by Jason Goodwin and Marissa Brassfield.
As this busy and fruitful year draws to an end the Pass It On Network would like to express its gratitude to all who have contributed in so many ways to make this another milestone year in our brief history.
May 2017 bring you health, happiness and prosperity and may we continue to grow together as we explore and adapt to the challenges of the greatest demographic revolution of all times.
Jan Hively and Moira Allan