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Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.

Today is the 25th International Day of Older Persons

The 2015 celebration of the 25th anniversary of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP), in anticipation of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in 2016, will focus not only on the impact of the new urban environment on older persons, but also the impact of older persons on the new urban environment.

Already, the move of people worldwide to cities is happening at a record pace, with 6 out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Consistent with the phenomenon of urbanization, the number of older persons is increasing most rapidly in urban areas of developing countries. The combined effect of both phenomena means that the number of people over 60 living in cities may grow to over 900 million by 2050 – making up a quarter of the total urban population in developing countries.  

In principle, these trends offer older persons prospects for improving their quality of life. Well planned cities are more likely to provide income generating and education opportunities, in addition to housing and urban environments that are more accessible and safe for older persons, including the incorporation of age-friendly features in public facilities. This includes access to affordable, reliable, safe and physically accessible transportation, which is one of the cornerstones of older persons’ participation, independence and social inclusion.

Secretary-General's Message for 2015

On the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons, we recognize that older persons are an enormous asset to society and make a significant contribution to global development.

On September 25 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Heads of State and governments committed themselves to building a sustainable world where no one, regardless of their age or gender, is left behind. In implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we must account for the demographic changes of the next 15 years. These will have a direct bearing on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Rapid population ageing and urbanization will increasingly shape our societies. The number of people aged 60 years and above living in cities is projected to grow to more than 900 million by 2050. This will comprise a quarter of the total urban population in developing countries.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Older Persons -- “Sustainability and age inclusiveness in the urban environment” -- highlights the need to make cities inclusive for people of all ages. The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in Quito in October 2016 offers an opportunity to advance this effort.

Making cities inclusive of older persons means generating opportunities for their economic and social participation in accessible and safe environments. It also means providing affordable housing as well as the health and social services needed to support ageing in place.

On this International Day of Older Persons, I call on Governments to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable so that no one - of any age - is left behind.

Ban Ki-moon

[Retrieved from: http://www.un.org/en/events/olderpersonsday/index.shtml]

interRAI WEBINAR – Tuesday 14 July 2015, 14:30 -16:30

The IAA and ILC SA are to host a webinar to introduce colleagues to interRAI tools. interRAI has developed instruments for  comprehensive assessment of function, mental health, cognition and physical health of people across the continuum of care The webinar should appeal to professionals, practitioners and researchers  in the health sciences and the social sciences who have an interest in research on and care of older persons. 

InterRAI (www.interrai.org) is a collaborative network of researchers in over 30  countries committed to improving care for persons who are disabled or medically complex. The consortium strives to promote evidence-informed clinical practice and policy decision making through the collection and interpretation of high-quality data about the characteristics and outcomes of persons served across a variety of health and social services settings.

The three presenters in the webinar will be:

Brant Fries,  a professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health and a research professor  in the Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, and chief of health systems research for the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center.

Dr Fries  founded and is the President of interRAI. He co-authored interRAI’s assessment systems for community-based elders, acute care and long-term mental institutions, palliative care, intellectual disabilities, and correctional facilities. He is the author of 23 books and over 140 articles on long-term care and quantitative modelling of health care systems.

Anja Declercq, who has a degree in applied economics and in sociology, and a PhD in social sciences. She is currently a professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Catholic  University Leuven in Belgium and a project manager at Lucas, an interdisciplinary research institute at  that  university. Her research  focuses on care for elderly people in terms of innovation and quality improvement.

John Hirdes,  a professor and chair of the Ontario Home Care Research and Knowledge Exchange at the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He is the senior Canadian Fellow and a board member of interRAI. He chairs the inteRAI Network of Excellence in Mental Health (iNEMH)and the interRAI Network of Canada, a collaborative network of researchers and graduate students from across Canada.

Dr Hirdes has over 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals and academic book chapters. His primary areas of interest include geriatric assessment, mental health, health care and service delivery, case-mix systems, quality, health information management, social determinants of health, and quantitative research methods.

Venue:      J2 Psychiatry Groote Schuur Hospital

Please draw the attention of interested colleagues to the webinar. . All welcome. Enquiries: Sonya, 021 406 6211, sonya.hendricks@uct.ac.za


Second World Congress on Healthy Ageing: July 30 – August 2, 2015

The Second World Congress on Healthy Ageing with the theme “Bridging the Ageing Divide” is to be held in the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa on July 30 – August 2, 2015. Dr Kalula will participate in a panel discussion entitled “Understanding the Law and Ageing, and how to Protect the Elderly”.