Our perceptions about ageing affect our health and quality of life as we grow old. Added longevity, new medical procedures, and assistive technologies have empowered positive aging. It’s important for us to see the potential and learn about the ways in which we can live better longer. We must combat pervasive ageism that focuses exclusively on needs and disabilities. Here, we show information about demographic trends and resources relevant to positive ageing – i.e, promoting and maintaining health and wellness. We include resources for combatting “ageism,” defined as the expression of negative expectations about ageing that act as a barrier to positive ageing.
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Projects & Organizations
ACTIVE 80 Plus, European Union Erasmus+ Project, 2014 – 2016. With the goal of raising awareness about the potential of very old people, the Active 80+ project developed research-based training for care staff and volunteers to function as coaches for people aged 80+. Project involved Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, and Lithuania. 3/17
AGE Platform Europe. A network of more than 150 organizations of and for people ages 50+ representing directly over 40 million older people in Europe. The work focuses on a wide range of policy areas that impact on older and retired people. 3/17
GATEWAY TO GLOBAL AGING, USC Center for Global Aging Health and Policy. The Gateway to Global Aging is a platform for population survey data on aging around the world. For comprehensive technical resources, including surveys and charts, go to this website: https://g2aging.org/. 3/17
SIforAGE, European Commission, 2016. The “Social Innovation on Active and Healthy Ageing for Sustainable Economic Growth” project engaged multi-sector users and stakeholders in mutual investigation of current and emerging social needs and expectations in an ageing society. The purpose has been to explore how the EU can improve its future research and economic performance by co-designing new technologies, products and services in line with the needs and values of users in an aging society. The goal is a society that encourages the active participation of all generations. 3/17
Active 80 Plus. Full record, training package, and newsletters at the website for Active 80 Plus: Valuing the knowledge and Skills of People 80+. 3/17
Aging Readiness and Competitiveness. AARP teamed with FP Analytics to take an in-depth look at how 12 countries are adapting their societies to an aging population. The resulting 2017 Aging Readiness and Competitiveness Report identifies creative programs to promote volunteerism and entrepreneurship, lifelong learning in finance and technology, support for caregivers and intergenerational communities. The challenge is to take advantage of this information to help us all live well every day. 9/17
Anti-Ageism: The Next Big Social Movement. In his most recent issue of Tikkun, an interfaith newsletter, Rabbi Michael Lerner has presented a great review by Ruth Ray Karpen of Margaret Morgenroth Gullette’s new book, Ending Ageism or How Not to Shoot Old People. “Of all the prejudices that divide us, ageism is still the most universally shared and tolerated.” As an independent scholar famous for an earlier book titled Aged by Culture, Gullette argues that our feelings about ageing are defined by medicine, economics, politics, law, media, the arts, language, and the stories we tell ourselves about getting old. Whether active or passive, aggressions against old people “tear at the social fabric and undermine the wellbeing of all people, young and old.” A grassroots anti-ageism movement will start when we get in touch with our “age-wise anger” and speak up. Read here.
The Economics of Longevity. A special report on The Economics of Longevity titled “The New Old” was published by The Economist in London in July. With contributions from over 30 experts in ageing, it’s clear that the impacts of the Global Ageing trend are as great as those from Climate Change or New Technologies. “Making longer lives financially more viable requires a fundamental rethink of life trajectories.” “Given the right input from governments, employers and individuals, it should be possible to stretch the increasingly productive in-betweener stage and compress the dependent period at the very end of life.” The report reinforces our appreciation of intergenerational programs with research that shows that, “Older people in multi-generation teams tend to boost the productivity of those around them.” 9/17
The FrameWorks Institute Toolkits. The way society currently thinks about aging creates obstacles to productive practices and policies. How can the field of ageing help build a better understanding of ageing, ageism, and what it will take to create a more age-integrated society? To answer this question, a group of leading national aging organizations and funders in the USA commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to conduct an empirical investigation into the communications aspects of aging issues. In Gaining Momentum: A Communications Toolkit (2017), you will find this original research as well as a variety of materials to help you apply it. This collection of research and resources equips advocates in the aging services sector to change perceptions about what it means for the society to get older. 9/17
Making Choices for a Society for All Ages, SIforAGE White Paper, 2015. Reports on multi–generational workshops and other innovative mutual learning, plus good practice examples of older persons’ participation in society, plus comprehensive recommendations for future policies and interactions are available through http://siforage.eu/policy_doc.php. Policy Recommendations Guide – available in 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. 3/17
Four Arcs toward Transformation. Although 78% of the people in Africa are under the age of 35, its population of older adults is expected to quadruple between now and 2050, thanks to increased longevity and reduction in births. At the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Isabella Aboderin is connecting socio-economic data about ageing in Africa with development agendas across the continent. 11/17
Let’s end ageism. Ageism is a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. In this video of her TED talk, Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.” 4/17
6’36 – Redesigning Long Life
Stanford Center on Longevity
Older People are Happier. In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world. 12/11
Why We Will Rely on Robots. Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less mundane and mechanical challenges. Rodney Brooks points out how valuable this could be as the number of working-age adults drops and the number of retirees swells. 2/13
What Is An Elder
What age do you consider to be old? AARP posed that question to Millennials and asked them to show what “old” looks like. Then they were introduced to some real “old” people. Watch what happens when folks let go of their outdated beliefs and embrace the idea that ageing is not about decline. It’s about growth! Learn more about AARP’s efforts to Disrupt Aging 11/17
The Water Lily Effect. Dr. Edgar Mitchell, 1930-2016, Apollo 14 Astronaut, Founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences (www.noetic.org) and chairman Emeritus of Eternea, Inc. (www.eternea.org) featured in an important video on the sustainability issues facing humanity and all life on earth. 2/16
View all videos of the three day event organized by the SIforAGE Project. 11/16