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Elder Rights : World

Archives : 2003

As Europe Ages, a Grocery Chain Extends a Hand (December 27, 2003)  In Austria , the grocery chain Adeg has designed the first supermarket targeted towards the needs of older people, a demographic with increasing buying power in aging Europe . “Adeg Aktiv Markt 50+” features big labels, wide aisles, plenty of places to sit, specially calibrated lights, and lower shelves for easier reach. The supermarket’s employees are also mostly people over 50, primarily women who stopped working to raise their children or men who lost their jobs late in their careers. The stores also attract younger people, who find them “friendly and bright.”

Canada: Buzz Hargrove (December 29, 2003)

Buzz Hargrove, the National President of the Canadian Auto Workers  Union, acts to protect workers’ rights and deals with companies’ representatives. He says that age retirement reform proposed by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is an important issue and needs a national debate. The reform aims at deleting the mandatory retirement age. Supporters of the reform say it would enable people to choose if they want to retire or not. Mr. Hargrove thinks it would have negative consequences on retirees’ benefits.  In fact, employers could be reluctant to keep older employees longer and introduce tight supervision of older persons to “catch them” making errors so that there is a basis for dismissal.  In a country where nothing exists to guarantee employer pensions when the company goes into bankruptcy or insolvency or changes the terms of its pensions, there is a more important focus for changes.

United Kingdom: Cold Snap Kills 2,500 (December 23, 2003)
Between  December 15th and December 23rd, 2,500 people died in England due to the cold snap. This is a huge and shameful number, higher than numbers in Finland or Russia. The worst fact concerns an elderly couple that died in October because the gas company cut off their gas. The two octogenarians hadn’t paid the bill.  They didn’t receive gas anymore. In defending itself, the gas company said it didn’t tell the social service programs about this case because of the Data Protection Act. This law protects every British citizen’s privacy.  It is more and more controversial, since—in an unrelated case—it prevented the UK police from knowing about a sex abuser who killed two young girls after getting employment at their school.  

South Africa: Pensions for elderly to be increased next year to R700 (December 19, 2003)
In South Africa, 300 elderly received a Christmas Lunch from the Department of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation. They will also receive a pension gift: their pension grant will increase by R700 from R500. The department's spokesman, Eric Ntabazalila, said,  “it is an indication that we care for the most vulnerable members of our society.” According to him, old people are the ones who struggled for a better life for their children and grandchildren, even in the face of apartheid. 

More women report that they're homosexual (December 19, 2003)
An Australian study founded that older women are more reluctant to reveal same sex sexual preference than are younger women.  British and American research also confirmed this study. It seems that social changes influence the younger women’s attitudes. Researchers say that they must strongly consider if a “change” has taken place in women’s sexual orientation in English-speaking countries. 

Australia: A fresh take on an old fix (December 23, 2003)

Professor Warren Hogan was asked by the conservative Australian government to report on the ageing Australian society. He tries to reinvent health-care and everyday life of seniors within a market context.  Hogan said people have to take into account the needs of an ageing society: since life expectancy is rising, new demands are created. An ageing society is a society that spend money for its seniors: reform the health care system and the seniors nursing home system, create houses with wheelchair access, and redefine the interior of a house to make it easier for seniors and people with disabilities but do it within a market and corporate framework.  Not surprisingly, many disagree.  

China: Elderly enjoy higher living standards: survey (December 19, 2003)
The life of elderly Chinese people has been improving for 10 years. Their income has more than doubled (2.1 times) for urban dwellers and increased 1.7 times among rural elders.  In addition, they have a better access to modern facilities, such as refrigerators, televisions and washing machines. At the same time, they moved ahead at the cultural level: urban illiteracy decreased by 28.4 percent from 41.2 percent in 1992. 

Canada: Canadian Court Affirms Pension Claim (December 19, 2003)
In Canada, the Ontario Superior Court announced a historic decision on December 19.  Justice Ellen Macdonald said pension discrimination against gay and lesbian was illegal. From 1985 to 1998, she decided that lesbian and gay retirees suffered from pension cuts and death related-benefits. In fact, in case of the death of their partner, they did not receive any benefit.  If the Federal state doesn’t attack the decision, it will pay 100 million dollars to the partners. This decision, first of this kind in the world, doesn’t concern Quebec, which has its own pensions’ policy.   

World Population in 2300 to be Around Nine Billion (Press Release) (December 17, 2003)

The UN Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has just issued a report about rising world population. In 2300, the world population is expected to be 9 billion persons. This report includes issues about fertility, the aging of the population and the various growth rates between the North and the South. 

United Kingdom: Elderly "in Dark" on Power Rights (December 15, 2003)

Energy companies offer elderly services such as free annual safety checks and priority reconnection after any power cuts.  However, Ofgem research shows that only one fourth of the customers eligible for such advantage is aware of it. Regulators say companies need to improve frontline staff training so they can recognize and refer eligible.

France:Collecte Record pour «+ de Vie» (December 10, 2003) 
(Article in French)
Ms. Chirac, president of the « Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France Fundation » said that 1, 3 million euros have been collected by the charity « + de vie ». Created in 1997, this group collects funds in order to improve everyday life for the elderly at hospital. Even if « + de vie » is less known than the « Pièces Jaunes » (that aims at improving children’s life in hospital), it assists families visit their loved ones, to have enjoyable activities and to make available needed medications to help the older persons’ situation.

Australia: It's never too late for a sporting life (December 4, 2003)
Dawn Hartigan, a 47 year-old-Australian woman, has just written a book aimed at encouraging old people to get active. She tries to demonstrate the benefit of a healthy and exercise filled life for retired people. Her book includes stories of a 100-year-old runner and a 71-year-old swimmer. The older they get, the more engaged in sport they become, and the better they feel.

Japan : Helping the elderly lead active lives(December 1, 2003 )
Ms. Chika Sekine aims to improve the lives of elderly and disabled people in Japan by making information technology more accessible. As a former employee at IBM Japan, she founded her own company in 1998 to make the internet, computers, and other technology easier for elderly and disabled people to use.

Yokohama subway gives elderly, disabled passengers priority to all seats (December 1, 2003)
In eastern Japan , the Yokohama municipal government has decided to require the entire population to give up their subway seats to elderly people. Seniors hailed the decision, but some younger people grumbled that “sometimes young people feel sick too.”

Forgotten families: Older people caring for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS (November 2003)
This report by Help Age International and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance highlights how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left many older people to care for families when their adult children fall sick or die. Older people are often responsible for feeding, clothing, and educating vulnerable children on a limited or nonexistent income.  The report calls on national governments and NGOs to develop programs that would meet the special needs of older people caring for children, including direct income support, flexible education, and health care.

Elderly Chinese Re-marry to Face Old Age (November 20, 2003)
In China, getting married late in life after a divorce or the death of a spouse has a certain stigma.  Sometimes conflicts between parents and children can lead to difficult relations.  However, things are changing, due to government support of late re-marriage. In fact, there are advantages since spouses take care of each other and the State doesn’t have to spend money.  

Call for Elderly Task Force (November 19, 2003) 
A senior citizens’ rally in Belfast , NorthernIreland , denounced the failure of the police and the political parties to protect vulnerable old people against violent robbery. The chief constable has been urged to set up a task force to track down robbers and redirect police resources in a way that would benefit pensioners.

Neck Sling "Beats Signs of Ageing" (November 18, 2003)
The older people get, the younger some want to seem. Each year, 24,000 U.K. citizens use Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and some of them are old people. American researchers have created an artificial plastic sling, in order to reduce wrinkles around the neck-in fact ageing effects first appear on the neck-. The concept is simple: the sling is put under the skin, and strained under the chin, between earlobes.
However using more and more surgery to reduce ageing effects may not be considered as progress in human beings.   Perhaps fighting age discrimination would be a better tactic! 

Reserve Chief Says Wealth War Ahead (November 14, 2003)
may be heading for conflict between young people shut out of the housing market and a wealthy older generation owning most of the community's assets, Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane has warned. Mr Macfarlane also called last night for higher quality university education and said the public would have to get used to "much lower" rates of return on assets such as houses and shares. In a speech to a conference of economists in Melbourne , Mr Macfarlane said there was potential for conflict between a tax-weary younger generation and the retired baby-boomers they would have to support.

United Kingdom: Play tackles elderly abuse (November 11,2003) 
A Scottish charity which looks after the interests of the country's senior citizens has come up with a novel way of tackling the sensitive subject of the abuse of the elderly. The audience will be invited to take part, either individually or in groups, with the role-plays. Ann Ferguson, the charity's elder abuse project manager, said: "This approach to raising awareness of a problem affecting around one in 10 older people in this country is unique to Scotland , although there is significant interest being shown from other parts of the UK . "Experience has shown that using theatre is an ideal way of tackling difficult issues and we believe the production will have an immediate effect on the audience and those involved. 

Australia: Older Women Choose to Stay in Work Longer (November 11, 2003) 
The workforce presence of older women has almost doubled in a generation. Over the same period, older men have been dropping out of the labour force, figures show. Bureaucrats say the workforce is "full of opportunities" for people approaching the age at which everyone once customarily retired.
The figures show many over-65s are opting for part-time careers. For those aged 60 to 64, 26.2 per cent of males and 56.7 per cent of females work part-time. The report, Ageing in Australia, says while working women have achieved far greater acceptance since the 1970s, their careers are often broken by child-rearing. Many women in their 40s return to full-time work as their children leave home or become more independent, while many with younger children work part-time. Population projections show the proportion of people aged 45 to 64 is expected to increase every year for the next 50 years.

United Kingdom: Pensioners Protest Against Home Care Charges (November 11, 2003)
Broadcaster and campaigner Claire Rayner led a protest to
Downing Street today to call for greater financial support for those needing long-term care. Wheelchair-bound Rayner, who spent three weeks in intensive care earlier this year after suffering multiple organ failure following an operation on a tendon, handed in a 100,000 name petition to No 10. War veterans, disabled people, pensioners and younger supporters also joined the Armistice Day protest organised by the Right to Care coalition. The campaigners are worried that under current rules patients in hospital receive assistance with personal care such as bathing and bandaging free of charge, but those in their own home or care homes have to pay.

Australia: Elderly struggle to Pay their Way (November 9, 2003)
The cost of living could be life itself for some older South Australians this summer. Hemmed in by a tide of rising costs on all sides, older people are skipping meals, medicine and heating just to pay basic bills needed to stay in their own homes as Brad Crouch reports. Welfare agencies fear a wave of illness, malnutrition and even deaths this summer as the elderly cut back on such essentials as air-conditioning.
Social isolation also is on the rise as many people shy away from spending money on transport, telephones or socialising.

Thailand: Abandoned by their own Children Elderly find new place to call Home (November 9, 2003)
Tambon Don Larn Home for the Elderly in Phak Hai district of Ayutthaya is
Thailand 's only local body-run welfare centre for old people. It is home to 28 people aged 70-80 who were abandoned by their children. The centre was set up by Don Larn Samphan Group in 1992 and transferred to the Tambon Don Larn administration organisation in 1996. Residents live free of charge and receive 24-hour care provided by villagers hired with donations and the Kamnan's personal money. 

France: Trois magazines cherchent à conquérir la clientèle des plus de 50 ans (November 8, 2003)
In France, « Notre Temps », « Vivre Plus » and « Pleine Vie » are magazines for adults in early retirement that include both with news, such as pension reform, and in-depth studies on issues facing “younger” seniors. The magazines are popular with seniors who may already be grand-parents, but who still have to take care of their own elderly parents.

Russia: Bolshevik Revolution Anniversary Is Marked (November 7, 2003) 
Pomp mixed with politics as Russia marked Friday's anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution with marches and rallies on a holiday that coincided with the start of the campaign for December parliamentary elections. Hundreds of World War II veterans marched on Red Square, including what Russian media said were 130 who were retracing steps they took in a 1941 parade, when they marched straight from the shadow of the Kremlin walls to trains bound for the front. "We're against the authorities ... nobody needs us, we're hungry and we have no voice,'' said a 65-year-old woman named Antonina, who wore red clothes and a sandwich board bearing Lenin's portrait. 

France: Holiday cut to finance health care (November 6, 2003)

French employees will have to work an extra day a year to help fund health care for the elderly under a new government plan. The move follows the deaths of about 15,000 people during this summer's heat wave. The plan aims to raise an extra 1.7bn euros in social security income. It needs approval by parliament before its expected start date next July. 

France: Who Cares? (November 6, 2003)
The shocking death toll of the summer heat wave in
France has made care of the elderly a national priority. Brett Kline discovers the home help system largely depends on a workforce of poorly-paid African women.

EU: To Ban Gender Bias In Insurance, Pensions (November 6, 2003)
The European Commission formalized a controversial proposal to ban sex discrimination on everything from insurance rates to private pension funds. In the first step toward establishing a new law for the 15-nation European Union, the commission, the EU's executive agency, published draft legislation that would ban the use of a person's sex in the calculation of insurance rates and related pension plans. It also would ban banks from discriminating against women in lending.

Australia: Saving Medicare (November 5, 2003)
The federal Coalition government's $1 billion plan to “save” Medicare has been widely exposed as a wolf in sheep's clothing — a set of changes that would radically change Medicare from providing universal health care to little more than a safety net for the poor. This was further confirmed by the October 30 release of a report by the Senate inquiry into the government's Medicare proposals. Setting up free clinics for the disadvantaged on the cheap will only accelerate the process of a two-tier health system with high-quality health care for the rich and second-rate health care for the poor.

Pour financer la dépendance, le gouvernement laisse aux entreprises le choix d'un jour travaillé en plus ( November 5, 2003)
In order to finance a fund for elders who require continuous care, the French government has decided to remove a traditional holiday. But Prime Minister modified this decision by allowing the private sector to decide how to contribute to the elder fund. Private firms will have a choice between removing a holiday or working during an RTT day (day that is off due to the 35 hour workweek law). Moreover, the Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced measures to modernize hospitals and nursing homes.

What's Left for Canadians If Americans Buy Their Drugs? (November 4, 2003)
A Canadian pharmacists' group is blaming the burgeoning trade in prescription-drug sales to U.S. patients for reported instances of local drug shortages. Barry Power, a director of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, says his organization has been hearing from members across the country that supply problems are cropping up more often and lasting longer than before the Internet pharmacies set up shop. While Canada's federal health ministry says it doesn't have any evidence that the online pharmacies are causing shortages, a senior official acknowledged last week that swelling cross-border sales raise that risk.  

Italy: New Figures Show 7,659 More Died In Italy In Summer Heat (November 4, 2003)
A least 7,659 more people - nearly all elderly - died during this past summer's scorching European heat wave compared with the same period last year, Italy said Tuesday as it sharply updated its figures on the death toll. Figures released Sept. 11 had said 4,175 more people died, but that toll did not include the second half of August, one of the hottest periods of the summer. The revised death toll still leaves Italy second after France, where the government reported 14,802 deaths.

Israel: The senior citizens beat the elderly ( November 4, 2003)
Considered a mere curiosity five years ago, the Power to the Pensioners Party rose this year to win seats in the Tel Aviv City Council. The Pensioners list won by listening to people's actual problems and addressing their needs, putting constant pressure on the city to maintain welfare programs even as city budgets dwindled. The success of the Pensioners list "reflects the longing for more accessible, human leadership - not the old generals, but the leadership of the wise old man on the park bench."

Lilian Akinyi Okumu: Kenyan woman acts for elder people in her country
Ms. Lilian Akinyi Okumu, a state counsel in the office of the Attorney General in Kenya, writes about the situation of older people in her country. In Kenya, she observes, old people live in entrenched poverty, social neglect, political contempt, and lack of appropriate health care. Ms. Okumu has decided to create a non-governmental organization in order to protect the elderly and to advocate for elder-appropriate laws, a social security system, and health care.

A run for ages (November 2, 2003)
Among the tens of thousands of people running the New York marathon, one man provides special inspiration to a range of people in England : 92 year old runner Fauja Singh. The British Sikh will run his sixth marathon to promote awareness of Sikh culture, drawing hundreds of Sikhs from around the New York area to cheer him on.  Singh recently ran his personal best of 5 hours and 40 minutes.

France: Dying at Work (October 2003) 
(Article in French)
As the French government considers extending the age of retirement, some may forget hidden figures that are good to know. Each year, 270 million people have accidents at work and 5 000 die while on the job. Official statistics show that France has a high rate of deaths at work with 780 each year. This silent suffering does not show in the government debates about extending retirement. This is close to what social writers used to call “the death retirement” at the end of the 19th century. It is also the other side of “competitivity” and “growth.” These death figures force consideration that human lives lie behind the retirement issue.   

Canada voices concern over drug deals to U.S. (October 29, 2003)
The Canadian government voiced concern on Wednesday that sales of low-cost prescription drugs to the United States might cause shortages in Canada. Health Minister Anne McLellan urged professional associations on Wednesday to condemn the practice of Internet sales to the United States. "There are associations, be they pharmacists in particular or doctors, who have not passed resolutions condemning the practice," McLellan told reporters. "There are some associations that have taken a strong line in relation to Internet pharmacy practices. I would suggest that other associations should do the same." McLellan said she had no evidence of any shortages, and her department called for information on the impact of the cross-border sales.

A partir de 2004, les salariés travailleront le lundi de Pentecôte (October 29, 2003)
The French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced the removal of a traditional day-off called “Lundi de Pentecôte.” Government tax collected from profits on this new work-day will finance a fund for elders who require constant care. The government expects to collect 1, 9 billion euros for the fund. Elderly people will receive money from the fund according to age and level of handicap.

Old and In the Way? (October 28, 2003)
Europe is aging fast, but this journalist debunks some popular myths about the causes and implications of an older population. European governments exploit the “myth of the pension time bomb” to justify many cuts in welfare systems by focusing on the “problem” of the elderly, but cutting pensions isn’t the right solution. Instead, more unemployed could be put to work, women could join the workforce in equal numbers with men, and elders should be able to work longer with flexible working conditions.

Canada: Liberals focus on medicare (October 28, 2003)
Ontario's new Liberal government will focus on the prevention of illness and restoring public confidence in medicare as it takes over the $28-billion Health Ministry, new minister George Smitherman said yesterday. Medicare is "the best expression of Canadian values," Smitherman said after literally rolling up his sleeves to get a flu shot and kick off the province's $44-million immunization program. "We want to work very hard on the preventive side of health care," said Smitherman, who called the free flu shots "a very significant example" of how the government can refocus the health-care system to prevent illnesses in the first place.

France to Scrap Holiday to Pay for Elderly Care (October 27, 2003)
In order to finance better health care for the elderly, the French government may give up a national holiday: the Monday after Pentecost. The extra work day should bring an average of £1.3 billion (1.8 billion dollars) that the government could use to improve care to older persons in hospitals and nursing homes. However, French people may be reluctant to give up one of their 11 official days off per year. 

Maria prepares to celebrate her 110th birthday (October 27, 2003)
Scotland’s oldest woman, Maria Pettigrew,
turned 110 years old on October 27. She credits a healthy life, simple food, and the “odd drop of sherry” to her outstanding longevity. Maria was born before telephones, televisions, and washing machines were invented, and remembers vividly many of the greatest historical events of the last century.

Aged Chinese to increase by 3.2 percent yearly (October 26, 2003)
The elderly population of China is forecast to grow by 3.2 percent every year in China, said Minister of Civil Affairs Li Xueju Saturday, October 25. Li gave a report on protecting the rights and interests of China's senior citizens at the fifth session of the 10th National People's Congress Standing Committee. China reports a high growth of its aged population and has already moved into an aging society in step with many other countries, he added. China has about 134 million people older than 60, or 10 percent of the country's total population, among whom 94 million are over 65 and 13 million over 80.

Canada: Seniors often drugged illegally, lawyers say (October 24, 2003)
Nursing homes and hospitals routinely use mind-altering drugs to subdue elderly patients without getting the required consent for treatment, a group of Ontario lawyers says. "Treatment without consent seems to be a common practice in nursing homes and hospitals, especially with respect to drug treatments for older adults with some degree of cognitive impairment," the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly says in its latest newsletter. The centre, a legal clinic for low-income seniors, says several families have made formal complaints on the issue to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. "In every one of these cases, the (family) has felt that the physician's disregard for the patient's right not to receive treatment without consent was very harmful," writes lawyer Graham Webb.

Average ages for retirement in the main European countries (23 October 2003)
The legal retirement age in most major European countries is 65, but the actual age when many people leave their jobs is often lower. European countries are starting to reform the legal retirement age, increasing the number of contribution years a worker must put in to receive their full pension benefits. This article presents an overview of EU countries’ retirement laws and proposed reforms.

Koizumi tackles octogenarian MPs (October 23, 2003)
The Prime Minister of Japan has asked two octogenarian members of parliament not to run again, in an effort to “spruce up” the image of the Liberal Democratic Party. One of the targeted MPs, 85-year-old former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, qualifies this as “political terrorism” in the form of age discrimination. Nakosone warns, "If they give the impression that old people aren't needed, then all the old people in the country will oppose them."

Though silent, frail pontiff speaks volumes to faithful (October 23, 2003)
Pope John Paul II presented 30 new cardinals with their rings during the traditional “Mass of the Rings” ceremony on the day of his 25th anniversary as Pope. The Pope, visibly very ill and frail, still performed most of his regular duties during the ceremony. According to Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, the Pope is “giving to us a marvelous example of how to bear the infirmities of old age.” 

Quebec waitress wins $16,700 for age discrimination (October 22, 2003)
The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal charged three people with age discrimination against an employee of their bar, awarding the woman $15,000 in “material losses.” The Tribunal found that a bar attempted to fire a 56-year-old waitress after renovating the space to attract younger customers. The decision was based on the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which prohibits age discrimination. 

Wood Universal Design Keyboard with Large Size Keys: 13 times larger (October 2003)
A Japanese company has come up with a new universal design product, a wood keyboard, whose key size is 13 times larger than those on ordinary keyboards. Called an "Easy Keyboard" the price is 24,000 yen (approx $200). The company expects older persons and the disabled to buy this product. Severely disabled persons can use a Japanese government subsidy to help to buy the "Easy Keyboard".

Gov't forces companies to raise retirement age to 65 ( October 22, 2003 )
Japan plans to increase the minimum retirement age, at which people are eligible to receive their full pensions, from 60 to 65 by the year 2025. However, current laws continue to allow businesses to set their company retirement age as low as 60. The Labor Ministry wants to legally oblige businesses to employ willing workers until they are entitled to receive full pension benefits, so that workers won’t have a 5-year gap without income or employment, but businesses are resisting the measure.  

Grey power will advise government (October 22, 2003)
New Brunswick , Canada ’s “oldest” province set up a Seniors’ Advisory Council this year to deal with issues concerning seniors’ daily lives, such as the high cost of health care and car insurance. Premier Bertrand Lord, who made the decision to establish the council, said, “I decided to create the council because I felt it was paramount for us as a government to hear directly from the seniors”.

What the Elderly Demand from Us ( October 21, 2003 )
The population of
India is aging rapidly, and many Indians are worried about how to take care of the elders. With the structural evolution of the “modern” nuclear Indian family, older people are becoming the new outcasts of society, with no state structure to replace family support. This author calls on insurance companies, state welfare programs, and non-governmental organizations to mobilize to meet the needs of older people, but argues that Indian families need to take responsibility for older parents.  

Iraq: 'Living on memories of my family' (October 20, 2003 )
It is six months since 10 members of the large family of Abid Hassan Hamoodi were killed when coalition aircraft mistakenly bombed his
Basra home. He says: “They are of my blood. My wife, my daughter, who was a doctor, my son, a computer engineer and my grandchildren. They have all gone.” The 72-year-old tells how he is coping. 

South Africa: Poverty Hinders a Hunger to Learn (October 19, 2003)
In a rural corner of South Africa , a grandmother is raising eight children on R700 ($97, GAA) a month - and her biggest worry is paying school fees. IT'S 6.30am . Suzan Dolo sniffs her snuff, with her right hand clutching a hand-made grass-broom. At 64, she still sweeps her sandy 100m' yard before sunrise - the first activity every morning for the women of Vergenoeg village, 80km northwest of Mokopane in Limpopo . Here is the story of her life.

France : Mutuelles: des augmentations de cotisations de près de 10 %( October 17, 2003 )
The French Parliament will consider a bill at the end of October that would shift some of the burden of prescription drug costs from public Social Security insurance funds to private insurance companies. While the French Social Security system must find a way to manage its large deficit, decreasing the “couverture de base” (base level of reimbursement) could have largely negative consequences. People who don’t benefit from the “CMU” (Couverture Maladie Universelle) will be forced to pay for private insurance companies, whose rates will increase on average of 10 percent after April.

UN: Gender and age: a challenge that matters (October 17, 2003)
The issue of human rights has always been a top most priority in the United Nations' agenda. Over the years, many committees have been formed solely for the purpose of researching human rights violations and developing policies to stop their growth. Yet even today, in spite of all the efforts to prevent such cases, violation of fundamental human rights is a significant threat to people of the world. Thus, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural committee (Third Committee) to discuss not only ways member nations can prevent human right violations, but also ways to implement these sound policies. One of the related topics of the Committee is Advancement of women. This year, Margit van der Steen raised the issues of gender and age at the meeting of the Third Committee and her statement was also dedicated to the role of older women. 

United Kingdom : Legion joins council tax fight ( October 17, 2003 )
The Royal British Legion has joined pensioners across the South West in calling for reductions in council tax.
It says it has received more calls than ever before from pensioners in the region facing financial hardship. The charity has combined with several other groups in calling for reforms to the council tax system. The legion says the system unfairly penalises the over 60s. The organisation says the recent large increases in council tax have been too much for pensioners to bear and that many of those eligible for council tax benefit are not claiming it. 

Russia : Every 5th Russian citizen - elderly person ( October 1, 2003 )
Russia has almost 30 million elderly people, that is, virtually one fifth of the country's population. 12.5 mln people out of them are over 70 and 5.3 million are disabled. About 20,000 are long-livers who are already over 100. These figures were cited in an interview with the governmental Rossiyskaya Gazeta by Deputy Prime Minister Galina Karelova on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly Persons. In recent years, the country has witnessed a drastic increase in the number of social services institutions, she said. At present they comprise over 1,200 in-patient institutions and almost 2,000 centers for temporary stay.

Kyrgyzstan: Elderly call for improved conditions (October 15, 2003 )
Following the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991, together with the comprehensive health care it the offered its citizens, elderly people in the mountainous state of Kyrgyzstan are increasingly feeling sidelined by a system that no longer cares. "I bought an apartment in Soviet times and lived well. I planned to live on a fairly-earned pension," Svetlana Valentinovna told IRIN in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. But following independence and the introduction of a new national currency - the som - the 78-year-old soon saw her plans fall apart. "My pension was not sufficient for anything," she cried. Adding to her pain, her own son deceived her by selling her home with a promise of taking his elderly mother in afterwards. "Now I have to live in a nursing home. I have nowhere else to go," she said. 

New puzzle for older Chinese ( October 13, 2003 )
China’s population is rapidly ageing. Statistics vary but UN figures show over 65-year-olds making up 23% of the total population by 2050, as opposed to 7% in 2000. The effect on the labour market will mean the ratio of working age people to support each person over 65 will change from today’s 
five to one to three to one by 2050. This in a country where economic transitions have blurred the once guaranteed pension allowance and where many people have only the one child to support them.

China: 23.4 million empty nesters struggle to live alone (October 8, 2003)
"Empty nesters" refers to senior citizens in a family without children around, including both the married and the widowed. China has at least 23.4 million "empty nesters" and the number is still growing, statistics showed. In Tianjin , 54 percent of senior citizens lived apart from their children in 1997. This figure rose to 62.5 percent in 2002 and is estimated to hit 90 percent in ten years. Currently, the empty nester group is expanding quantitatively and proportionately, said He Maishou, a professor on aging with the Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences. The empty nesters are concerned with three major problems, namely moderate income, lack of physical care and insufficient emotional support, experts said. 

Canada: Aging Boomers will have to work longer (October 7, 2003)
A new report from the Conference Board of Canada warns that the shift of the baby boomer generation into retirement will have a significant impact on the labor market and on the health care system in Canada. The report says that a shortage of replacement workers may force companies to provide incentives for older workers to stay on the job longer, and may require the government to extend the retirement age past 65. 

Sri Lanka: New services for elders (October 3, 2003)
The government of Sri Lanka is taking several measures to improve the quality of life for older people. The National Savings Bank raised interest rates on older people’s savings deposits, and the State Pharmaceutical Corporation will reduce the price of drugs for older people, allowing the aging population to have better health care. The government will also set up Elders’ Committees and Elders’ Homes countrywide.

South Africa: Chronic poverty among aged (October 1, 2003)
A quarter of all older people living in South Africa may be classified as chronically poor, with most living in households earning less than US $100 per month. According to a recent report commissioned by HelpAge International (HAI), South Africa has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in Africa, with a particular increase in the 64- to 74-year age category, from 25.8 percent of the total population of older people in 1996, to 26.5 percent in 1999. The report, "Chronic Poverty and Older People", noted that while the aged in
South Africa continued to work well into the later stages of ageing, fulfilling an important economic role in the household, "chronic poverty reduces the options of older people to move from producer to consumer". 

Ukraine: A Sketch of an Older Ukrainian (October 10, 2003)
Ukraine is located in southeastern Europe, and its largest neighbors include Russia, Poland, Romania and Byelorussia (Belarus). The country has about 49 million people in an area about the size of Texas, making it the biggest European country next to Russia and Turkey. The population has been shrinking in the last few years, decreasing by almost 3 million people from 1991 to 2003, and the average age is getting older. Today people over 60 comprise more than 20% of the total population and in the next decade this number is projected to increase by 9%. Dmytro Komshyn tells you a story of someone who still lives in Ukraine and who went through the process of becoming a poor senior citizen after the break up of the USSR. This story is typical for millions of elderly Ukrainian women and men.  

Seeking Love ( October 10, 2003 )
The 50-plus dating game has never been hotter. Here's how millions are finding new romance that second marriages are statistically more likely to fail than first marriages. There are more players than ever before: Higher divorce rates, longer life spans, and a greater tendency to never marry are churning out more single Americans than at any other time in the country's history. Of the 97 million Americans who are 45 or older, almost 40 percent—36.2 million—are on the loose, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Japan: When it becomes too late to save (October 8, 2003)  
The percentage of savings in
Japan has fallen dramatically in the last two decades, while incomes have failed to keep up with rising costs. Economists worry that if the trend does not reverse, Japan ’s aging population may find that their savings do not meet their basic needs in retirement.  

Japan is slowly waking up to the problem of abuse of the elderly in its rapidly greying society ( October 8, 2003 )
Not long ago, old age was a curse in some poor villages in Japan . Starving villagers abandoned the aged to die on mountain tops, so that they would not be a liability. The barbaric practice was portrayed in a 1980s' award-winning movie, The Ballad of Narayama. Abuse of the elderly continues in Japan , which has the world's longest life expectancy - 84.93 years for women and 78.07 for men. 'The human rights of Japan 's elderly have been ignored for too long though we are a developed nation,' says Professor Soji Tanaka, 68, of Nihon University. But things are changing.

Grant to cut 'bed-blocking' (October 6, 2003)
A social services chief has said money will be spent preventing elderly patients "blocking" hospital beds in
Kent rather than saving it to pay fines. The government has given councils across the UK extra money to reduce the bed-blocking problem but will take it back in the form of fines paid to the NHS if they fail. Kent County Council has said it intends to take the gamble of spending its £1.2m grant in advance to provide alternatives to acute hospital care rather than saving it to pay any fines it may incur. Bed-blocking is when vulnerable elderly people are kept in hospital because of a shortage of beds available in care homes.

United Kingdom: The truth about ageing (October 5, 2003)
Will Hutton of the Observer argues that the UK government has to face up to its responsibilities concerning retirement age, pension rates, and how to finance pensions.  The government must develop a framework that will mitigate complex social inequalities while developing a sustainable way to pay for pensions - a difficult but necessary task.

Ireland: Rally against attacks on elderly (October 1, 2003)
About 200 people have marched through Belfast city centre to protest against a series of attacks on elderly people. Speakers at the rally on Wednesday called on the police, government and community groups to do more to protect the more vulnerable members of society. Police say the chances of an elderly person being the victim of burglary are small, but fear of crime remains a concern. 

Nigeria: Group Harps On Well Being of Elderly (October 2, 2003)
A non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the aegis of Centre for Social Policy (CSP) based in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital, has declared its intention to improve on awareness and understanding of the situation, problems, needs and rights of older persons in the society. Executive Director of CSP, Ibadan, and Project Coordinator , Dr. Dayo Akeredolu-Ale, who made this known at a media briefing and consultation on the theme: "Promoting the Well Being of the Elderly," said the Centre for Social Policy and Community Health, a not-for-profit organisation, founded on September 25, 1994, was to contribute significantly towards the emergence and consolidation in Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general, of a social-policy environment that facilitates and guarantees the attainment of adequate and sustainable human development and human welfare.

UN: Powerful resource of older persons must be tapped for says Secretary-General in message on International day ( October 1, 2003 )
Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the International
Day of Older Persons, observed 1 October.

South Korea: 300,000 Jobs to Be Created for Elderly ( October 1, 2003 )
In preparation for an aging society, the government plans to create 300,000 jobs for senior citizens by 2007. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday that it will operate a resource center for the elderly from next year for that purpose. The center, which will focus on creating jobs for people above 65, will employ seniors in such sectors as environmental preservation, traffic and parking regulation and maintenance. 

Ireland: Aged go on the offensive for protection ( October 1, 2003 )
Older people from across
Northern Ireland today demanded Government action to protect them against violent attacks. Hundreds of people were set to take to the streets for Help the Aged's Community Safety Rally where they were told that society would "not stand idly by while they are attacked in their homes".

Ukraine: Thousands Rally for Soviet Benefits in Kiev (October 1, 2003 )
Thousands of veterans, pensioners and
Chernobyl victims rallied outside Ukraine 's parliament on Tuesday, demanding the cash-strapped government leave in place Soviet-era benefits that many say they cannot live without. Carrying red Soviet flags and posters with slogans such as "Veterans, everyone defend your rights" and "Take away your own benefits, return our health," thousands of elderly people protested the 2004 draft budget, which would replace free municipal transport and special medical and social privileges with fixed payments in an effort to cut expenditures.

South Korea: Korea, the Most Rapid Aging Nation ( October 1, 2003 )
Korea took first place in terms of the most rapidly aging country in the world. The number of people 100 years and older were estimated to 1,872 persons in total as of late July, 2003. According to a report by The National Statistical Office (NSO) and Ministry of Health and Welfare, the country’s population aged over 65 has already marked 7.2 percent in 2002 and therefore has stepped into “the aging society.” In addition, the nation is anticipated to become an ‘aged nation’ by the year 2019 with 14.4% of people aged 65 or older and a ‘super-aged’ nation by the year 2026 with 23.1%. This result reveals that the nation is indeed the most rapid aging country among statistically-comparable nations. 

United Kingdom: Free personal elderly care urged (September 30, 2003)
A lack of free personal care for the elderly is forcing thousands to sell their homes, says a Royal Commission. The problem remains "acute and a matter of major public concern", the nine commissioners claimed in a highly critical statement on Monday. Four years ago the commissioners reviewed elderly care provision on the orders of the newly elected government. Labour should have followed the report recommendations and introduced free personal care, they said. Ministers promised to pay for nursing care, but only the Scottish Executive has extended this to personal care, such as washing, cooking and eating. As a result, thousands of elderly people have been forced to sell their homes, the commissioners said on Monday.

Vietnam: Various activities to be held to mark Elderly People's Day ( September 30, 2003 )
Various cultural and sports events will take place in Ha Noi from Oct. 4-10 to mark the International Elderly People's Day (Oct. 1). These events are aimed at honouring the elderly Vietnamese people's contributions to the country's development. On this occasion, a fine art exhibition will also open from Sept. 29 to Oct. 9 to display 59 paintings by 49 aged members of the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association.
Viet Nam now has over 6 million elderly people, accounting for 7.5 percent of the population. 

Bahrain: New social benefits for elderly on way (September 30, 2003)
New laws are being drafted to improve services being provided to the elderly, announced a top social worker yesterday. Assistant Under-Secretary for Social Affairs Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa said plans include providing new benefits for the elderly, as a token of thanks for their services for their nation and families. These will include reductions in air travel fares, free use of public transport and discount cards which give the elderly special reductions in outlets across Bahrain.

Vietnam gives play to potential of elderly people ( September 30, 2003 )
Vietnam has attached importance to the role of elderly people, especially intelligentsia, in socioeconomic development in recent years. "Our country has been actively issuing policies to fully tap experience and expertise of the elderly," an official of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly told Xinhua on Tuesday. The policies include establishing centers for retired state employees, creating favorable conditions for people of great scholarship to give university lectures, inviting the talented to participate in national projects, and encouraging the elderly to do business, said Do Trong Ngoan, the association's general secretary.

United Kingdom: Elderly care plans to be policed ( September 29, 2003 )
The City watchdog is taking new steps to protect people who purchase long-term care plans - savings products which cover the cost of specialist support in old age.
Financial advisers will have to pass exams if they want to sell the plans. Policyholders will also be allowed to seek compensation if they have been given bad advice. A Royal Commission report on Monday, September 29, found that thousands of old people are selling their homes to fund care costs. 

Denmark: Volunteerism amongst older Danes ( September 20, 2003 )
As in the rest of the developed world, the growth of the older population in Denmark is projected to be considerably larger than that of the younger population.  According to the Danish National Institute of Social Research (2001) the 60 years and older population will grow by 30% compared to approximately 2% for the youngest generation (0-18 years old) and 3% for the 19 to 59 group between 1998 and 2020.  Denmark is facing similar concerns to that of the developed world regarding how to cope economically with an aging population. For example, by the year 2020 the cost of services to the aging population will rise by 20% to what it is today (over $54,000,000).  Hence interest has grown in policies that may ameliorate this economic burden. And volunteerism is one such possible avenue. The goal of this brief article is to describe volunteerism in Denmark, particularly amongst older adults, and what the future holds. 

Italy pension overhaul to get unions' input (September 24, 2003)
The Italian government said Tuesday that it was open to discussing pension reform with Italy's labor unions - which had threatened this week to call a general strike to protest measures to keep workers on the job longer - but it gave no indication that it would budge on planned changes to the country's bloated social security system. After meeting with labor unions and industrialists to discuss the 2004 budget, which seeks to raise E16 billion, or $18.4 billion, from spending cuts and revenue measures, Welfare Minister Roberto Maroni said consultations on pension reforms would likely begin Thursday (Sep.25).

United Kingdom: Pensioners feeling the pinch (September 22, 2003)
Pensioners are often reluctant to claim additional benefits and, with fixed incomes, their living standards are very sensitive to small increases in the cost of living. Evidence suggests many have found that above-inflation increases in council tax, water bills, insurance costs and other expenses are putting their incomes under increasing pressure. BBC News Online spoke to three pensioners about how they are coping.


Italy : Older, but Not Better, in Italy. Despite TV Show's Celebration of Aging, Pensions Draining System (September 21, 2003)
"Velone," a hit summertime television show that featured geriatric women singing and kicking up their heels in a quest for a $270,000 grand prize, ended its run last week with the victor dancing a barefoot tarantella under a shower of confetti. The creators of the series, the latest and wackiest version of the showgirl-heavy, shake-your-booty programming that is a staple of Italian television, hailed the event as a celebration of aging. But Italy as a whole is not so much celebrating the elderly as ruefully trying to figure out how it is going to care for and feed a population that is Europe's oldest. With birthrates low and life spans growing longer, more and more people are entering Italy's generous pension system -- and money is running out. Already, more than 40 percent of income tax revenue is spent on supporting Italians in retirement.


United Kingdom: 'Action needed' to protect elderly (September 17, 2003) 

The government must take more action to protect elderly people in the community, the Democratic Unionist Party has said. The party outlined their concerns during talks with the Minister for Social Development, John Spellar. The meeting followed an attack on a 96-year-old woman and her daughter at their home in Tullylish outside Gilford, County Down, earlier this week. North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said too many senior citizens were "living in fear" in Northern Ireland. "Newspaper and television reports of horrific assaults on some 80 and 90-year-olds has created a climate of fear amongst elderly people who feel isolated and vulnerable," he said.


Shizuoka / Drive-through pharmacy helps elderly (September 15, 2003)
A pharmacist in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, who opened the country's first drive-through pharmacy is also offering home delivery service. The pharmacy, P Station Mikatahara Yakkyoku opened in June and is located in a 360-square-meter space along a prefectural road in the city. The owner, Hiroaki Suzuki, 40, has worked as a pharmacist at several pharmacies in the city, and waited 10 years to open his own. He often saw people tired and sick people having to wait in line to receive medicine, which he felt must have been very hard on them. The outside of the pharmacy has the appearance of a fast-food restaurant. Customers drive up to the reception window, hand their prescriptions to the pharmacist, and wait in their cars while their prescriptions are filled.

France pledges to make elderly a priority (September 15, 2003)
A French Cabinet member said Monday, September 15 that the government had been stunned by the scope of devastation in an August heat wave and suggested it couldn't be blamed for failing to save thousands of lives. The government has faced tough criticism from doctors, who say it didn't react fast enough when temperatures soared to 104 degrees and stayed there. Most of those killed were elderly and weak. "We were caught off guard by the size, the brutality and the length of the high temperatures," Social Affairs Minister Francois Fillon said, testifying at a parliamentary committee on the heat deaths. "Nobody expected such a big crisis."

United Kingdom: Surveillance equipment to help elderly living alone (September 12, 2003)
Elderly people are to be monitored in their homes using sophisticated computer surveillance equipment, in a pilot scheme run by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Sensors will be attached to doors, locks, kitchen equipment, beds, baths and even toilets in the homes of the elderly, under the Insight Active Care Environments Scheme. Is that an attempt to improve elderly care or violation of privacy?

Canada: McGuinty courts seniors during visit to Belleville (September 12, 2003)
Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty met his opposition head on over a Conservative plan that would exempt seniors from paying the education portion of their property taxes. And he did it by raising the issue himself while addressing a room full of senior citizens. “You won’t have to pay for the education of your grandchildren,” he said, shaking his head over the Conservative pledge. “I don’t think we want to go down that path.” He also joked that the Liberals would “ban winters” and only allow rain between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. That drew guffaws, but McGuinty said he knew he had a tough audience because seniors had seen more than their share of politicians.

United Kingdom: 'Big Brother' for the elderly (September 11, 2003)
It could be an idea for a TV reality programme: take a group of elderly residents and monitor them 24-hours-a-day in their own homes with a hi-tech computer that follows their normal routine, interacts with them and tends to their every need. No, it is not the latest Big Brother show targeted at an older audience. Instead, it is the solution under-pressure social services bosses have turned to to deal with the ongoing shortage and rising cost of care home places.

Germany: Elderly still have much to offer our society (September 11, 2003)
The young complaining about free hip implants for old people, and the old grumbling about free university education for the young: In Germany, the war of the generations appears to amount to a banal feud over who gets what. But it is not only in Germany that the young are pushing aside the old, since the same principle applies to global competition among young, faster-growing nations and older, less dynamic ones. Yet new research shows that wisdom, long thought of as an intangible benefit of growing older, can be measured tangibly and put to practical use. While too many elderly put a burden on society, too many young people can also pose problems. And while population growth may temporarily relieve national pension budgets it is a dead-end street on a global level. In view of the world's limited resources, some are therefore considering the aging nations of Europe not as a dying breed, but as a pilot project.

Italy: Heat Killed 4,000 More Elderly (September 11, 2003)
The heat wave that scorched Europe this summer may be to blame in the deaths of more than 4,000 elderly Italians, the Health Ministry said Thursday, offering its first official figures related to the searing temperatures. The ministry said 34,071 people over the age of 65 died during the period of July 16 to Aug. 15, the height of the heat wave. That's 4,175 more than the same time last year.

Japan: A yen for a hi-tech life (September 11, 2003)
The ageing residents of Japan are turning to cutting-edge technology in their twilight years. Mrs Tanaka is 84. Today, as usual, she wakes just before 7am, slips on her dressing gown and flips a switch to start water boiling for her first green tea of the day. She's about to get dressed when she pauses. She turns to the low table near the door, where a soft toy sits incongruously, and greets it in her distinctive west-Japan accent."Good morning Teddy. How are you today?" "Pretty good, thanks Tanaka-san," comes the reply. "Have you remembered to take your pills? It's the pink ones this morning," the robot bear continues.

Australia: Loan push aimed at the elderly (September 11, 2003)
Big banks are targeting the equity in the homes of the elderly by offering loans against the value of their house - to the chagrin of consumer groups and those who value their future inheritance. The Commonwealth Bank announced yesterday the establishment of a reverse mortgage product which in effect swaps the retained value in a home for a loan. The loans are aimed at maintaining a lifestyle not available for most pensioners and superannuants.

Estonia's youth ready to jump to EU while elderly stay cautious (September 10, 2003)
While Estonia's youth largely see the European Union as a land of promise ahead of Sunday's referendum on joining, the elderly are more cautious, seeing perhaps a better future for their children in the bloc but little benefit for themselves. "There is no rise in pensions in sight, but the prices are going up even without the EU," 68-year-old Hilja Kukk, director of the Estonian Pensioners Union told AFP. "Even our government admits that many prices will skyrocket in the EU, so I can't imagine how the pensioners will be able to manage."

Japan: No way out: A future of fewer workers and more retirees looks grim (September 9, 2003)
It may not be a glamorous matchup-Finance Ministry versus welfare ministry-but it is certainly one that will help determine whether Japan ages gracefully or tumbles into precipitous decline. Add vote-wary politicians and grousing senior citizens at ringside, and you can see how the debate could develop into a donnybrook.

Ghana: The Old Beggars Who Should Be At Home (September 8, 2003)
Taking a brisk walk through the heart of the city of Accra notably Nkrumah circle and other traffic joints during rush hours reveal a lot. Beggars calling out is most outstanding. A number of these beggars are women- some with children including twins. The most pathetic of them all are the older women who should be nursing their grand children at home. Some older women who look very sick, with some visually impaired are helped by children of school going age to beg for alms. Others in wheel chairs are more concerned about the money they get than their lives and cross on-coming vehicles anyhow. According to a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Araba Apt the story of many African older women are sad. Faced with widespread poverty, deprivation, illiteracy, poor health and banishment, many older African women are still struggling.

France: Lack of communication to blame for French heat wave crisis: official report (September 8, 2003)
A breakdown in communication in France's health care system was mainly to blame for the crisis sparked by last month's heat wave, which killed more than 11,000, according to an official report. "An adequate alert, watch and information system would have allowed those involved to act more quickly in implementing measures to adapt the health care system" to help those at risk, said the team of experts who drafted the report and published it on Monday, on what went wrong during the heat wave.

China: “Silver Hair Car Lovers” Now Enjoy Fast-Forward (September 3, 2003)
Tianjin, China – Many driving schools in Tianjin showed there are more and more older people learn to drive today.  More than 10% of the students were over 50 years old.  Among them, learners over 60 years old started to increase rapidly.  Days ago, the Police Department allocated the “Automobile Management Ten Expedient Measure”.  It stated that starting from September 1, the age limit of obtaining adriving license change from 60 to 70. (The text is in Chinese.) 

China: “Grandpa Testee” Fulfilled College Dream (September 3, 2003)
Shanghai, China – A 62 years old from Zhejiang Province went for college entrance exam this year.  He scored 317 as the first “Grandpa Testee” passing the exam in the nation.  But his score was about 30 points lower than his desired college Shanghai Professional Medical Mechanic School’s acceptance criteria.  To fulfilled his dream, the school exceptionally granted his admission as a special testee. 
(The text is in Chinese.) 

Nigeria: 70-Yr-Old Ex-Serviceman Dies On Pension Queue (September 2, 2003)
The article examines the present state of the Nigerian pension scheme for military pensioners. The screening committee, which carries out the exercise on a monthly basis, according to sources, is meticulous in its work to ensure that only authentic pensioners are cleared to collect pensions. Many pensioners, however, complain that the exercise is tedious, especially for the elderly ones, and that the large number of pensioners in the state further worsened the situation.

India: Desperately seeking succour (September 9, 2003)
Ageing, it would seem, does not discriminate on grounds of gender. But a closer look reveals the loopholes in that argument. In the Indian context, it appears that men might not be as vulnerable to distress and miseries in old age as women generally are. This is because women in our country form a small percentage of the working population. They are thus denied the retirement benefits that working men have access to when they grow old. A survey conducted by the Calcutta Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology revealed an interesting fact. While 61.23 per cent of the male respondents cited economic problems as a major cause of worry after retirement, a significant chunk of 40.9 per cent among the women claimed that they did not anticipate any problems. This sounds ironical, especially in a social environment where old women are constantly being edged out of their own homes, and their children’s, once they are widowed.

France: Paris May End a Holiday to Improve Care of Aged (September 8, 2003)
Pentecost is one of the most important holidays in Christianity. The 50th day after the resurrection of Christ, it commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. In France, the day after Pentecost is also considered sacred, though for a far different reason. Workers get the day off. Last week, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin floated the idea of abolishing the Monday holiday — one of 11 national holidays — to raise money for improved health care for the elderly after last month's heat wave killed an estimated 11,000 people, most of them elderly and isolated.  

China: “Silver Hair Car Lovers” Now Enjoy Fast-Forward Experience (September 3, 2003)

Many driving schools in Tianjin showed there are more and more older people learn to drive today.  More than 10% of the students were over 50 years old.  Among them, learners over 60 years old started to increase rapidly.  Days ago, the Police Department allocated the “Automobile Management Ten Expedient Measure”.  It stated that starting from September 1, the age limit of obtaining a driving license change from 60 to 70. (The text is in Chinese.)

China: “Grandpa Testee” Fulfilled College Dream(September 3, 2003)

A 62 years old from Zhejiang Province went for college entrance exam this year.  He scored 317 as the first “Grandpa Testee” passing the exam in the nation.  But his score was about 30 points lower than his desired college Shanghai Professional Medical Mechanic School’s acceptance criteria.  To fulfilled his dream, the school exceptionally granted his admission as a special testee.  (The text is in Chinese.) 

The Netherlands: Cabinet to punish early retirement (September 3, 2003)
If you are thinking of retiring early in the Netherlands, you better have deep pockets. The Cabinet reportedly discussed a plan on Wednesday under which workers who avail of the VUT system to stop work before retirement age will have to pay a massive "advance levy" in tax equivalent to a year's salary. The FNV, the largest labour union confederation in the Netherlands, described the plan as "idiotic" and warned it would go to court to "fight tooth and nail against the violation of pre-pensioners".

China: Yes to cohabiting, no to marriage for the elderly (August 31, 2003)
A growing number of elderly widowers and widows in China's capital are putting an end to their loneliness, not by getting married, but by moving in together. Social workers said this arrangement was being favoured to avoid potential problems. Ms Yi Mi, vice-president of the local elderly people's federation, said: 'To some of them, walking directly into marriage can lead to problems such as property disputes. Some children also dislike a re-arrangement of the heritage due to another marriage by a parent.'

'Nursing home' jails for elderly (August 29, 2003)
Over-60s make up the fastest-growing age group in England and Wales, with 1,200 inmates - three times the number a decade ago, according to the study. The campaign group argues that steep rises in numbers have left the prisons struggling to deal with the health problems of the elderly. Building the kind of "nursing home prisons" that already exist in America could be the answer, the group argues.

Japan: Senior-friendly products good for all (August 29, 2003)
The population has been aging quickly, and in 2025 one of every four Japanese will be 65 or older. As people age, their vision, hearing, sense of balance, adaptability and other physical abilities inevitably deteriorate. The loss of these abilities progresses over time. Many elderly people suffer from multiple mild but progressive disabilities or are on the verge of becoming disabled. Therefore, a society nearing a phase in which a significant percentage of its population is elderly should orient itself toward serving the needs of disabled people. In their efforts to develop products and services for the elderly, businesses need to bear in mind that they must also be serving the needs of people with disabilities.


India: Violence Against Elderly Growing (August 24, 2003) 

The examples of the increasing incidence of abuse and violence against elderly people are provided in this article. An ominous trend likely to grow as many countries experience rapidly aging populations. According to HelpAge India Director-General, Maj Gen (retd) Inderjit S Dhillon, the organisation has for the past three years been conducting workshops with the Delhi Police to sensitize them to the special needs of the elderly.

UK: Pensioner home loan warning (August 22, 2003)
Pensioners are able to obtain cash advances secured against the value of their houses through equity release or home reversion plans. Under such schemes, people over the age of 60 sell their home, or a percentage of their home, to a lender who collects on the homeowners’ death. In return they receive a cash lump sum, or a monthly income, or a combination of both.

UK: The looming clash of the generations (August 22, 2003)
Some writers predict a new intergenerational war looming in the West. For once, youth could be on the losing side. Western countries need new social policies that address the consequences of demographic and technological change - but the baby boom generation that brought about the social revolution of the 60's and 70's could suffer under such policies, and has the numbers to prevent them from being adopted.

Food label reader makes shopping easier for the elderly and blind
(August 20, 2003)
A SCOTS inventor has found a state-of-the-art solution to a daily problem faced by thousands of blind and elderly shoppers. One in five Scots have trouble reading the small print on food labels and medicines which warn of potential allergic reactions. But a group of Glasgow-based engineers hope to bring an end to the problem by installing their futuristic invention in shops across the country. 

China: Hollow Family Increase; City Elders Longing for Emotional Care (August 18, 2003)
Beijing, China – According to a research from Beijing Marriage Family Center showed, among the total population of 1 million 780 thousands elderly living in Beijing city, female elders who lived in hollow family were 29.36% of the total, and male elders were 42.56% of the total.  28.17% female and 31.47% male elders demanded independent personal living space and expressed they don’t want to live with their children.  Though, the same research indicated that many elders wanted their children to take care of their needs, yet because their children reside far away or busy with work, they can’t take care of their elder parents.  Expert’s analysis indicated the country’s transition to a modern society, role exchange during the process of modernization, increase in hollow families and complication of family relation added much mental and emotional burden to the elderly. (full text is in Chinese)

Seniors A Go-Go On Italian TV (July 29, 2003)
After endless programs featuring half-naked girls pawing at balding hosts, this one tries to turn the trend on its head with a show of pageants in which each elderly woman sings and dances for a big cash prize while her height, weight and age are displayed on-screen. Some are appalled by the six-night-a-week program. The Vatican newspaper said this sort of thing shouldn't be televised; women's rights campaigners call it shameful. But many of the contestants describe "Velone," which can be roughly translated as "Big Showgirls," as a welcome bit of fun in a country that often overlooks its sizable elderly population.

Elderly in deprived areas 'at risk' (July 16, 2003)
Seven out of 10 older people in deprived areas are victims of social exclusion, a new study claims. The research, published on Wednesday, was carried out for the Economic and Social Research Council and looked at some of the most deprived areas of Liverpool, Manchester and Newham, east London. It also found that 45% of the elderly in the areas were living in poverty. And just 7% felt safe leaving their homes at night. The report defines social exclusion as the elderly missing out on material needs, social relations, civic activities or basic services.

Adult health center to open in Waipahu (August 14, 2003)
A new adult day health care and child care center opened yesterday in Waipahu. When senior citizens exercised in Wallace Roig's class at Waipahu District Park, they always left with a smile, his wife, Saiwun, recalls. But in 1999 he was paralyzed by a stroke and could no longer teach the class. The new Waipahu Community Adult Day Health Care Center and Youth Day Care Center was dedicated yesterday and includes a room honoring Roig. The center aims to continue his legacy of keeping the community's seniors active.

Bulgaria: Saviours of the elderly (August 7, 2003)
FOR many of the elderly generation of Bulgarians, life is a time of grey despair, struggling to survive on less than two leva a day. Attempting to bring light into the greyness are the American Red Cross, in co-operation with the Bulgarian Red Cross, which launched a project last June aimed at helping elderly, low-income people. Their intervention is timely. "Elderly people are doomed to die," said 75-year-old Boika Kutsarova from Lovech with tears shining in her eyes.

Malta: Elderly of the year award to be held in September (August 5, 2003)
The first day of October is dedicated to the elderly throughout the world, and the activities organised by the parliamentary secretariat will reach their peak on 27 September. The parliamentary secretary urged voluntary organisations and local councils to nominate elderly people for the prize to show their appreciation and recognition for the voluntary work that was taking place in society. Nominations for the prize will be received by Friday 29 August at noon.

New Zealand: "Jobs Jolt" to hit older workers (August 5, 2003)
A new plan to shorten the dole queues will also make it harder for older workers to get a benefit. The so-called "Jobs Jolt" initiative includes a move to bring in work tests for people over 55. Social Services Minister Steve Maharey says it is going to get tough and suspend benefits for those who refuse to work.Of the jobless, 8,000 are 55 to 60 years old and on a transition to retirement benefit - they get the dole but aren't work tested!!!  

Knitting for the Needy (August 2, 2003)
Mona MacKellar, 77, of Port Erin, said she called on friends and family to help and the pensioners put their needles and wool into action.
The four women have produced more than 100 hats, gloves and scarves to help clothe the youngsters after the daughter of one of the group, Mona MacKellar, told them what was happening. The knitwear will start its long journey to Serbia this week, but it won't be alone. Linda explained: 'We were discussing the transporting of these things to Serbia when I mentioned that the saddest people were the elderly refugees who are without family.

Gambia: First African Old People's Home Here (July 28, 2003)
Banjul - A facility that is being dubbed the first old people's home in Africa has been inaugurated in The Gambia. The facility located in Bakoteh is perceived to be a "providential answer" for the predicament of old members of society who may find it difficult to enjoy the care and attention of hospitals already overstretched by the teeming number of younger people needing their services.

Bahrain: Elderly to get new medical center (July 28, 2003)
Bahrain – With the growth of aging population and urgency to respond to their needs, a community medical centre for the elderly is to be constructed in Salmaniya. The project will consist of a two-storey building with six general wards, three for males and three for females with 22 beds each, private rooms, recreation halls, consultation rooms, laboratory, pharmacy and medical records section. Other facilities are administration offices, kitchen, cafeteria, laundry, meeting room, reception and waiting areas and prayer rooms. The project is currently under development stage.

India:Life begins at 65 for theatre cast (July 28, 2003)
New Delhi - Life begins at 65. Just ask the mixed crew of amateurs, ranging from the ages of 65 to 96, who entertained audiences here with a rib tickling play to promote their key message -- active ageing. The senior citizens of the Chittaranjan Park Morning Club, gathered under the banner of Helpage India. "The main purpose of staging the play is that one can make one's life as productive and meaningful as possible, even though the people have crossed many milestones," said Helpage director general Inderjit S Dhillon.

Israel: Six elderly Iraqi Jews brought to Israel (July 27, 2003)
Six of the estimated 34 Jews remaining in Iraq have arrived in Israel. Among the six that arrived over the weekend was a 99-year-old woman and her 70-year-old daughter, another 70 year-old woman who was the last Jew in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, and a blind 90-year old Baghdad resident. The names of the six were not released, and the Jewish Agency kept the mission a secret until they landed in Israel. The effort to take them out of Iraq was considered a humanitarian mission, said Giora Rom, director general of the Jewish Agency, the organization responsible for bringing Jews to Israel.

India: The Courtyard Of Earthly Justice (July 26, 2003)
For nearly five years now, Laba, a journalist-turned-human rights activist, has struggled against all odds to keep the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) flag flying by pronouncing judgements, passing orders and sending show-cause notices to every arm of the government. Everyone, from rickshaw-pullers to former chief ministers, makes a beeline to his house to get justice, pure and simple. Whether the MHRC gets a new lease of life or not, one thing is sure: Laba will continue to fight for people’s rights.

Massacre of civillians continues in Ituri (Congo) (July 22, 2003)

The journalist of Agence France reports the massacre of about 20 civilians in the district of Ituri, located North-East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority of victims are elderly, women and children. The conflict between Hemas and Lendus, the ethnic groups in the area, resulted in more than 50 000 deaths since 1999 and forced more than one half-million of civil flee the settlements. Apparently neither the presence of French  soldiers nor Union military forces interfered to protect vulnerable groups. (original text in French)

Growing old disgracefully (July 22, 2003)
Chrissie Hynde (52), who was arrested in Paris last week at an animal rights protest, says she's "too old to be a rock chick". Her band, the Pretenders, has been going for a quarter of a century - but she is by no means its tamest. Hynde might be less recognisable if she did not look almost exactly the same as she did 25 years ago when she burst onto the British pop scene with her now legendary hit Brass in Pocket.

Elderly Stage Protest Over Threat of Closure (July 21, 2003)
Decision of Bristol City Council to close Rushlands Elderly Home has provoked mass resentment and protests. Officers say Rushlands and the sheltered housing complex next door in Kirkby Road is the most suitable site to build 55 one and two-bedroom flats as part of a £9 million sheltered housing scheme. Rushlands’ residents and relatives have formed Relatives' Action Group for the Elderly (RAGE) to fight the closure.

Transport ordered to install facilities for handicapped, elderly (July 21, 2003)
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has begun implementing the law that requires all transportation system to provide persons with disabilities and older persons with special facilities on-board sea-, air- and water-transport systems. Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza said that in implementing the Philippine Plan for Action for Older Persons and the promotion of the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, the efficiency, safety and reliability of transport systems should also be ensured.

Canada: Top court to rule on veterans' pensions (July 17, 2003)

Canadian federal government has long been managing disabled war veterans’ pensions, allowances and personal monies because they were unable to do so themselves. However, no interest was paid and often when the veterans died, the principal in the account reverted to the government. The Supreme Court of Canada rules on this class-action suit for compensation on July 17.


Taiwan: Age disparity on the rise, MOI reports (July 16, 2003)

The latest statistics show that the percentage of Taiwan people aged 65 or over has increased from 8.9% last year to 9.1 percent this year. The increase indicates further aging of the Taiwan population and the trend is even more evident in the countryside and outlying islands.


UK: Elderly in deprived areas 'at risk' (July16, 2003)

The research, published on July 16, was carried out for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and looked at some of the most deprived areas of Liverpool, Manchester and Newham, in east London. It found that seven out of 10 elderly people in deprived areas are victims of social exclusion. In addition, the researchers found that 45% of the elderly in the areas were living in poverty and just 7% felt safe leaving their homes at night.


Australia: Retirement may soon be a word of the past (July 15, 2003)

Australia's trend to early retirement is slowly grinding to a halt as more elderly are considering later retirement. Driven by a desire for a more satisfying balance between work and life, and a need to top up inadequate retirement savings, Australia's baby boomers are rethinking the dream of retiring in their 50s. Statistics show that half those in the 55 to 64 age group are in the workforce and that the big increase has been in employment of older women.


New Zealand: Elderly angry over driver retesting (July 14, 2003)

New Zealand requires drivers aged 80 or over will retake their practical test every two years. Many elderly say that the tests are nerve-wracking and feel that are being discriminated against due to their old age. Statistics show that 71% of those 80 and over fail their two yearly tests nationwide. However, OECD figures show there is no need for mandatory testing. The New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission is being asked to investigate claims of "gestapo-style" behaviour by those who retest elderly drivers.

Anti-Aging Middle East launched in Dubai (July 13, 2003)
Streamline Marketing, one of the region's premier event management companies, joined forces with the American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine to launch an innovative new event - the Middle East's first annual 'Anti-Aging Conference and Exhibition' that was held in 2004 in Dubai. This description details the program


Australia: Our elderly go hungry (July 13, 2003)

Despite Australia’s global reputation for healthy elderly citizens, a researcher at the University of Newcastle warned the inadequacy of nutrition among Australian older population. Statistics show that one in three older people admitted to hospital are under-nourished in Australia. Experts say that the government “should not be complacent about its good record looking after the elderly”.


China becomes an aging society (July 11, 2003) (in Chinese)

According to China National Statistics Bureau, China has 130 million older people aged 60 or over, consisting of 10% of total population. This represents the advent of an aging society in China according to the UN’s standard. Statistics show that China has about 10 million older people aged 80 or older, who need caring. However, China currently only has 40,000 caring homes with over 1 million beds for caring the elderly. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


China: Elderly bearers of love (July 9, 2003)

Every Tuesday afternoon, a team of volunteers, seven women aged between 56 and 73 years, brings bliss and happiness to a special ward in Linfen Hospital in Shanghai, China.  Patients in that ward, most of whom are the elderly, suffer from cancer, with a life expectancy of only up to three months. Volunteers comfort patients and make patients always look forward to Tuesdays.


Fewer young, more elderly in South Africa (July 9, 2003)

The elderly population (65 years old or over) in South Africa increased from 4.8 percent in 1996’s to 4.9 percent in 2001. In contrast, South Africa’s population younger than 15 were 34.3 percent in 1996’s and in 2001 it decreased to 32.1.


UN: Committee experts, noting important progress in Japan’s legal framework, welcome new legislation to foster gender equality (July 8, 2003)

The Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women of the UN’s General Assembly held a meeting on July 8, 2003, discussing the progress in Japan’s legal framework. The meeting raised the “need for adequate measures to care for Japan’s elderly female population given the extremely long life expectancy rate”. A Japanese representative claimed, with an average lifespan of 85 for women, the current social security system provides sufficient insurance for elderly women in Japan.


Malta: Elderly urged to report drivers who overcharge (July 8, 2003)

The Malta government has advised the elderly to report any bus drivers who charge higher rates than those established by law. To claim higher subsidies, bus owners have been directed by their association to suspend the discounted rates that retirees enjoy on bus travel. Instead of paying a flat 10-cent rate, elderly people will be charged at the normal rate of between 15 and 20 cents. The government has pledged legal action against drivers who overcharge the elderly.


UK: Over 60s reach for the mouse (July 8, 2003)

A study shows that a growing number of the over 60s in UK are online and using the internet on a regular basis. Favourite activities of these so-called silver surfers, who represent 12% of internet users in UK, are sending emails and collecting information. The research also found that the number of internet users decreases with age, from 29% of 65 to 69-year-olds falling to 21% of 70 to 74-year-olds. Overall, a quarter of those aged 60 or older use the net.


UK: Making up for lost time (July 8, 2003)

Peter Preston, guest editor of the Guardian and a senior citizen of UK, opens a discussion of the power of the internet: it's supposed to be for kids, but is it actually more powerful in the hands of those old enough to be grandparents?


UK: Pensioned off (July 8, 2003)

An angry guest editor of the Guardian and also a UK senior citizen wonders why life as a pensioner should be defined by a set of cliché. He writes anonymously for fear of being set upon by Saga.


China: Shanghai people have harmonious relationships among generations (July 3, 2003) (in Chinese)

A new study suggests that more and more families in Shanghai, China are three-person nuclear families. According to the survey, more than 80% of families have harmonious relationships between the young and the elderly. More Shanghai people are willing to provide economic assistance to their elder parents; however, fewer choose to live with the elderly. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Singapore Airline managers compensated for earlier retirement (July 3, 2003) (in Chinese)

Singapore Airline will grant compensation to managers who work at the company for over 25 years and who opt for earlier retirement. Voluntary retirees will receive one-month salary for every year of service at the company and four free airline tickets. Singapore Airlines laid off 414 employers in early June. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Brazil: The “passe livre” law is unconstitutional (July 2, 2003) (in Portuguese)

The Tribunal Justice Court of Rio de Janeiro decided that the “passe livre” law was unconstitutional in July 1, 2003. The law 3.339/99 gives free metro and bus tickets to public school students, elderly over 65 years old and people with physical disabilities. The decision, however, will be effective in August, after the judiciary recess, when the new decision will have been posted in the “Diario Oficial”. Consequently, this will be a set back to elderly people. (The text is in Portuguese.)


UK: Age discrimination to be outlawed (July 2, 2003)

Government proposals that could see millions of people working until they are 70 have been unveiled.  Under the new proposals employers would not be allowed to stipulate the required ages for a job or to tell older employees they did not qualify for training schemes. Furthermore, employers would not set compulsory retirement ages for staff, allowing people to work until they were 70.


Malawi: Group walks 50 km to raise funds for elderly (June 30, 2003)

A Malawi group for elderly people organized a record-breaking distance walk of 50 kilometres from Namadidi Turn Off (Seveni Mailosi) in Zomba to Limbe in an effort to raise funds to buy blankets for over 210 elderly people being cared for by the group. The group’s financial adviser said that they had one elderly person who died of exposure to cold weather.  The group was short of financial resources to provide better care for them and turned to fund-raising for the elder cause.


China: Grandpa admitted to college ( June 29, 2003) (in Chinese)

A 63 year old grandpa from Zhejiang Province, China passed the college entrance examination. Never having married, Weimin Zhou waited forty years and finally fulfilled his dream of higher education.  He was not able to take the entrance examination due to age limit until 2001 when the age limit was lifted by China Higher Education Department. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Philippines: QC dads eye free movies for elderly (June 28, 2003)

In Quezon City, Philippines, seniors will soon be able to watch movies for free. A landmark ordinance seeking to increase the privileges Quezon City gives to senior citizens “to make life more livable in their sunset years.” The proposal will give old residents of Quezon City a 100-percent discount in all local moviehouses filed at the city council.


Singapore: Call for council setup to help the handicapped, elderly and young (June 26, 2003)

The Singapore government will set up a National Council on Accessibility to help the less mobile in Singapore get around more easily. Their focus is on the elderly, the handicapped and those with young children. They intend to secure accessibility from home to destination and back.


India: Television fails to address the concerns of the elderly (June 25, 2003)

Aging people in India increasingly are being left alone, prompting them to seek refuge in their TV sets. However, a study shows that TV programmes rarely present solutions for how the elderly could cope with this loneliness and the problems they face.


Africa: Meeting Notes Increasing Abuse of Rights of the Elderly (June 24, 2003)

A three-day meeting regarding the elderly in Africa noted rising violations of rights of older people, and recommended formulation of country policies to effectively address their concerns. The meeting, organised by HelpAge International (HelpAge) from June 10 to 12, brought together a technical working group of various organisations working with older people in 10 African countries. According to HelpAge International, "the pervading attitude among many people is that older persons have outlived their usefulness, are unproductive and over-dependent, and have not rights to claim."


Northern China Province Adopts Rules for Seniors (June 23, 2003)

Shanxi, a northern province of China, established new rules to better protect the rights of senior citizens. According to the rules passed in late May, senior citizens in the province will enjoy various privileges, including free visits to local parks and museums, priority to buy public transportation tickets and to see a doctor, free legal assistance for the poor elderly. The new rules will take effect on July 1.


Cuba: A second home for the elderly (June 23, 2003)

In Cuba, most of the elderly live with their children or other relatives who may be spending the entire day outside the home, working or studying. Rehabilitation and recreation day care centers called Casas del Abuelo (literally Grandparent’s Houses) is one option to help these isolated older people. Throughout the country, at least one such center exists in every municipality, and all of them provide socially relevant support to the hundreds of thousands of people who go there. Despite low incomes, Cuba’s population lives longer than most Western Hemisphere countries, thanks to excellent social programs.


Japanese Group seeks to prevent abuse of elderly (June 23, 2003)

Unable to cope with the burden of looking after the elderly, many Japanese families physically abuse them or cease caring for them. To study the state of abuse and consider preventative measures, a Japanese association for the prevention of abuse of the elderly will be established in August. The first such organization in this country, it aims to protect the human rights of elderly people who have been abused and promote measures to assist families and nursing-care service providers.


Colombia's elderly targeted increasingly in kidnappings (June 22, 2003)

Lacking younger victims, abductors in Colombia turn to seniors to extract more ransoms. For the past two years, at least 55 people older than age 65 have been held by rebels. The oldest known victim in captivity is an 84-year-old man. They are among those least able to cope with the rigors of being held in the jungles and freezing mountains of Colombia.


Hidden abuse of elderly emerging problem for Japan (June 21, 2003)

The stresses of modern life, compounded by a 13-year economic slump, appear to be contributing to a growing number of abuse cases in Japan. It is a problem that has been largely hidden, partly because of the shame it brings on families. The government has commissioned a national survey on abuse of the elderly at home and the findings are expected to help the government decide an “appropriate system of intervention”.


Two thirds of Latin American elderly has no pension (June 21, 2003) (in Chinese)

In Latin America and Caribbean areas, only one in three people of 60 years and older is covered by pension, according to the Conference on Aging Issues in Latin America and Caribbean Areas held in Santiago, Chile on June 18-20. Most of the elderly without pensions are women. The region has over 45 million older people, 44 percent of whom are living below the poverty line. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Taiwan: Stipend for the disabled elderly reduced (June 20, 2003) (in Chinese)

An organization for the welfare of the disabled in Jinmen County, Taiwan criticized that the government reduced the stipend for the disabled elderly. The government reduced the monthly stipend from 2,000-3,000 Taiwan dollars to 1,800 Taiwan dollars if the elderly has other form of welfare stipend. This new regulation affects the disabled elderly most. The Social Department says that it will search for possibility to make improvements for the disabled elderly. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Japan: 10 percent consumption tax eyed to cover costs for elderly (June 17, 2003)

To cover the rising costs of Japan’s aging population, the government’s Tax Commission advised to double the 5-percent consumption tax and trim tax breaks for the elderly. The commission believed that the “consumption tax should be hiked to 10 percent or more in the future because the government needed to construct stable revenue structures to smoothly provide public services such as welfare programs.”


Japanese peak in old age (June 16, 2003)

With the longest life expectancy in the world and one of the lowest birthrates, Japan is aging faster than any country on earth. Government figures released last week showed that the number of people aged over 75 exceeded 10 million for the first time last year. The total population is expected to start shrinking within the next three years due to low birth rate. Luckily, the elderly have never been healthier or more energetic, and surveys suggest that two out of three elderly people are happy to keep working.


Japanese Government to study abuse of elderly (June 16, 2003)

The Japanese Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry will conduct the first nationwide survey on negligence and abuse of the elderly who require home nursing care. The Institute for Health Economics and Policy will conduct the survey with a sample of 20,000 abuse cases. The ministry will issue the result and establish preventative measures later this year.


New Zealand: Elderly want politicians to listen (June 14, 2003)

The increased cost of power in Timaru, New Zealand concerns the elderly. Although they cannot strike to get a fair deal, withdrawing their voluntary community services could be a way to make the Government deal with their concerns over increasing power costs and the uncertainty of supply.


Japan continues fast aging process with 10 million elderly over 75 (June 11, 2003) (in Chinese)

The aging population in Japan continues to grow, with more than 10 million older people over 75. Japan now has 23 million elderly over 65, consisting of 18.5% of the total population. The government estimates that by 2020 one in four Japanese will be over 65 years old. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Ireland: Call for new laws to protect elderly (June 10, 2003)

According to the Law Reform Commission in Ireland, an outdated and expensive legal system designed to protect vulnerable elderly people should be scrapped and replaced with a new, more flexible public guardian's office. The current ward of court system allows a ward of court order to be made to the elderly who are mentally incapable. A new guardian system should offer greater protection against abuse of the elderly, whether physical, financial or as a result of neglect.


New Zealand: Taranaki's elderly have support to stay home (June 10, 2003)

The New Zealand Minister for Senior Citizens said that the nation’s over-65s were not offered services that provided them with the essential link between their homes and their communities. In response to this comment, a New Plymouth-based non-profit private organisation established Access Ability program in Taranaki. With this program, Taranaki's elderly have extensive support systems in place to ensure they can choose to stay in their homes rather than go into rest home care.


Taiwan elderly calls for stipend (June 10, 2003) (in Chinese)

As Taiwan legislature passed a bill to allow some government pensioners extra stipend without deducting it from their pensions, thousands of the elderly called the government to ask when they will be allowed to do so. Local governments are expected to implement this bill no later than late July. However, local officials said that it would take some time to implement this bill since many administrators are still not clear about the details of the bills. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


UK: Inquiry 'to lift lid' on elderly care crisis (June 9, 2003)

The Bloucestershire County Council in UK ordered a public inquiry into the death of an 88-year-old woman five days after she was forced to move from her care home due to a fee increase. The old lady’s GP said she died from “a chest infection and acute stress and reaction brought by the move.” Opening today, the inquiry, the first of its kind, is expected to “lift the lid” on the crisis in long-term care of the elderly in UK.


Australia: Elderly soon to outstrip children (June 6, 2003)

A population expert in the University of Tasmania, Australia, said that Tasmania would have more elderly people than children within a decade. She also said that Tasmania would experience more deaths than births from about 2020 and this natural population decline could not be overcome through "replacement" migration.


Supporting Intergenerational Relationships: Implications for policy development (June 5, 2003)

Robert Huber, a UN official, spoke about intergenerational issues on June 5, 2003 in a meeting of the NGO Committee on Ageing in New York City. He said that UN is seeking to “combine a traditional ‘advocacy-based’ support for social groups with a new ‘intergenerational’ perspective that promotes communication and common agendas.”  Mr. Huber is UN Chief of Generational Issues and Integration Section in the Division for Social Policy and Development.


China National Committee on Ageing established “Silver Age Action” for well-educated elderly (June 5, 2003) (in Chinese)

China National Committee on Ageing established the Silver Age Action program to organize well-educated elderly to assist the development in the western China. This program mainly aims to provide retired educated elderly in Eastern China a chance to help the Western development with their knowledge and intellectual capabilities. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Norway: Elderly drivers face tougher standards (June 4, 2003)

The Public Roads Directorate wants to remove elderly drivers that really shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car and will now tighten medical demands for drivers over the age of 70. Only doctors who have completed a special course will be able to clear aged drivers for a new license.


As Japan grays, it looks to its elderly for inspiration (June 3, 2003)

With an estimated one in four citizens to be aged 65 or older in the country by 2020, aging stars are playing a greater role in Japanese society. The society is getting a morale boost from elderly stars including a centenarian bar hostess, a prominent doctor in his 90s and a 70-year-old who became the oldest person to conquer Mount Everest.


Taiwan: Parties agree to loosen the eligibility for elderly stipend (June 2, 2003) (in Chinese)

Taiwan legislature is considering a bill to loosen the eligibility for welfare stipends for the elderly, which all parties reached agreement on. The Democratic Progress Party has yet to sign on the bill because it doesn’t agree the source of the budget. Representatives of Kuo Ming Tang (National Party) said that the legislature would vote on the bill this Friday if DPP still refuse to sign. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


UK: Isolated elderly are invited to step out (June 2, 2003)

Research shows that a million people in the UK feel trapped in their own home. Many older people become confined to their homes due to low income, poor health, and fear of crime. One fifth of older people are so concerned about their finances that they will rarely use the telephone or go out on social occasions. The "Stepping Out" initiative offers discounted travel and activities to isolated, lonely older people to promote "active aging".


The Old Boys (and Girls) from Brazil (May 2003)

The proportion of Brazil's elderly is increasing more rapidly than that of children. In 1980 there were 16 elderly for every 100 children. In 2000, there were 30 elderly for every 100 children. The Catholic Church in Brazil is focusing its attention on them, this year.


Canada: Tories introduce bill on forced retirement would let seniors work past 65 (May 30, 2003)

The Ontario government took steps to end mandatory retirement at age 65. The government was announced the move in its April 30 throne speech. It is welcomed by seniors groups but has met opposition from employers and unions.


Phone fraudsters swindle elderly with 'It's me' ruse (May 30, 2003)

Japan - Police are on the hunt for a group of about 10 people who are duping elderly people out of millions of yen by pretending to be relatives, and then telling them they have caused accidents they need to pay for.


Taiwan: Taipei Congressman criticizes city reducing elder welfare (May 29, 2003) (in Chinese)

Jiaqing, Xu, a Taipei City Congressman, criticized the city government reducing the elder welfare illegally. Xu said that the government reduced the monthly welfare stipend by 10,000 to 15,000 Taiwan dollars by converting nursing stipends into the housing stipend. City officials explained that stipend is designed to assist nursing institutions, not the elderly directly. (The text is in Chinese. To read the Chinese article, please install the Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


Singapore: College graduates design special mechanics for elderly (May 30, 2003) (in Chinese)

To improve the life quality of the elderly, graduates of Singapore University of Technology and Science have designed 15 special mechanical devices for their daily use. These devices help the elderly with some simple housework as well as daily exercises so that they don’t have to rely on family members or nursing homes for help. (The text is in Chinese. Please install Internet Explorer Chinese language pack or NJ star communicator.)


UK: Village for elderly gets green light (May 28, 2003)

In Litchfield, UK, a £15 million "pensioners' village" will be built to provide 150 sheltered homes for frail or elderly people. The village will allow residents to live independently, but care workers will be available to provide 24-hour assistance. It will include a gym, Jacuzzi and steam room as well as a bar, restaurant, village hall, general store and hairdressing salon.


UK: Fear of crime 'trapping elderly' (M ay 23, 2003)

A survey by Age Concern, a leading British charity, indicates that almost 50 percent of the elderly aged over 75 were afraid of leaving their homes after dark. Two thirds of them believed that they would inevitably become victims of crime, as they got older. Although a study showed that people aged over 60 are less likely to become victims of crime than those in other age groups, the elderly were found to be worried about crime and personal safety. How can we help the elderly overcome their fears while improving the safety for the elderly?


Elderly anti-logging protester stays in jail (May 22, 2003)
In an emotional statement to B.C. Supreme Court Thursday, the 74-year-old great grandmother refused to sign an RCMP undertaking promising not to block loggers in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island. "I don't think this court has ever heard the complaints of the people of British Columbia," Krawczyk, who represented herself, "The way our forests are being trashed ... the court colludes in that."


Special chairs for the elderly (May 21, 2003)

Bahrain - The American Women's Association (AWA) presented two reclining chairs, specially designed for the elderly, to the American Mission Hospital (AMH) yesterday. The presentation was made at a special ceremony at the hospital.The event coincided with the hospital's celebration of International Nurses Week.


Health Care Eludes Veterans (May 21, 2003)

Two and a half years ago, World War II veteran Ernesto Tafoya decided to enroll as a new patient in the Veterans Health Administration system. His hearing was failing and his back was giving him trouble. Many of his friends who were VA patients were getting drug prescriptions filled at dirt-cheap prices. It seemed like a good deal. Tafoya, 77, is still waiting for the VA to give him a doctor's appointment.


Lack of aid affects N.K. children, elderly (May 21, 2003)
Shortage of foreign aid has resulted in mass starvation of elderly and children in North Korea. As reported by U.N high ranking official the situation is highly critical. "I believe that only South Korea's assumption of a leading role in helping the starving North Korean people will galvanize other countries to subsequently extend aid to them," she said.


Asia’s ageing population stretching resources (May 20, 2003)

Asia is described as the world’s most rapidly ageing region. One estimate is that by the year 2050, Asia will be home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population of people over 60 and many will age in poverty. Due to longer life expectancies and falling birth rates, Asia is rapidly getting older. In many parts of the region the concepts of retirement and pensions barely exist.

Making Ends Meet Not an Easy Task for Elderly (May 19, 2003)
These are not the best of times for Russian pensioners, especially those who have been retired for some time. Older pensioners can't help comparing their current plight with the Soviet era, when a full pension of 132 rubles paid the bills with enough left over to help supplement their grandchildren's student stipends.

Advocates for elderly see care bills as a success (May 19, 2003)

Hawaii - When advocates for the elderly talk about this year's legislative session, their words are laden with relief. They got what they wanted — bills that protect Hawai'i's seniors and punish those who abuse and neglect them — but it took weeks of packed hearings, heated debate and last-minute compromises.

UK: Racism and quality of life of older people (May 19, 2003)

The impact of racism should be properly considered when attempts are made to measure the quality of life of older people among Britain's ethnic minorities, according to a report on new research sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council. Experience of racism was one of the clearest differences to emerge from a study of more than 200 older people led by Jabeer Butt of the REU, Britain's leading charity aimed at promoting race equality in social work and social care services for black and minority ethnic communities.


Korean lawmaker champions elderly (May 19, 2003)

A Korean reformist lawmaker yesterday submitted a proposal to the National Assembly aimed at preventing widespread abuses of elderly people's rights. Representative Kim Hong-shin of the opposition Grand National Party said he aims to increase the number of state-run nursing centers for senior citizens and encourage them to report any rights violations to law enforcement authorities.


UK: Don't force us to work beyond 60, say senior officials (May 16, 2003)

Britain’S top civil servants stepped up their opposition yesterday to government proposals to raise their retirement age from 60 to 65. The First Division Association, which represents the 3,000 senior civil servants, backed a motion opposing a common retirement age of 65 for all public sector workers. It also supported proposals to work with other public sector unions to stop the implementation of the new pension age.


Malawi: for the poorest, food is still a problem (May 15, 2003)

In Malawi, life is precarious among the poorest and many people are still short of food for certain season. The Elderly People’s Association of Malawi (EPA) develops day care centers to encourage older people to help themselves and to find alternative ways for income. EPA also provides food assistance for the elderly through day care centers.


Budget disappoints nurses, farmers, students (May 14, 2003)
Australia -
NSW Health Minister Morris Iemma today vowed to help elderly people languishing in the state's hospitals who should be in federal government-funded nursing home beds. Mr Iemma said there was nothing in the federal budget for aged care and he would take the matter into his own hands.

At home on a tip site (May 14, 2003)

Western Australia - They have few rights. They are not allowed to eat vegetables grown in their gardens or sink a bore. They have to pay much more for power than the rest of the community, pets and public meetings are frowned on and the earth under their mobile homes is sinking. They are Fremantle's dump dwellers, a mostly elderly community of retired public servants, nurses, teachers, engineers, authors and painters living on one of the State's forgotten and badly polluted tip sites in South Fremantle.


Chinese in Japan increase rapidly, mitigating Japan's aging problem (May 14, 2003)

In Japan, the population of Chinese youth has increased rapidly in recent years, mitigating the aging problem that the Japanese society is facing.  Statistics shows that there are 71,807 Chinese decedents under the age of 15 in Japan.  Youth with Chinese passport in Japan has also doubled from 17,109 to 32,880 in the past 10 years. (The text is in Chinese.)

Australia: Growth in Commonwealth Funding for Aged Care (May 13, 2003)

In Australia, total Commonwealth Government funding for aged and community care has grown from some $3.0 billion in 1995-96 to a projected $6.0 billion next year (2003-04) – an increase of around 100 per cent. The 2003-04 Budget represents an increase of $330 million over the 2002-03 Budget outlay of $5.7 billion.


Too old for a nurse (May 13, 2003)
The British government is under pressure to clarify who should finance long-term nursing care amid mounting criticism that chronically sick and frail elderly people have been forced to pay for care that should be free. Since the community care reforms of the early 1990s, there has been confusion about the financing responsibility of nursing care for the elderly. Increasingly, health authorities are refusing to fund the long-term care of elderly and chronically sick people. It saves money, but is it legal?


Elderly get a taste of the net (May 13, 2003)

At 75 locations around the U.K., Age Concern is offering free net taster sessions in a bid to help older people overcome any worries they have about using web browsers and e-mail. Net-savvy older folks will be on hand during the sessions to help novices and offer advice.

Consulting Africa's Elders On Conflict Issues (May 12, 2003)
Civil wars in West Africa and Africa, apart from destroying human lives and property, have painted a bad image for the continent worldwide. Gone are the days when kids use to get up in buses in order for adults to sit down. In this day and age where poverty has led to child delinquency and many children under the influence of drugs and even participating in civil wars, one may ask if asking for adults to mediate in conflicts will make an impact. Even in Ghana where respect for elderly counsel is still highly upheld in many areas, the concept of Council of Elders has failed to even solve internal political wrangling. 

Russia celebrates Victory Day (May 11, 2003)

Moscow - World War II veterans donned their medals Friday for parades and parties celebrating the victory over Nazi Germany 58 years ago, while today's servicemen marched on Red Square's cobblestones in the centerpiece of a holiday President Vladimir Putin called "great and sacred" for Russia. Putin said the "priceless unity" that enabled the allies to defeat Hitler is needed again for the fight against terrorism. In Chechnya, an explosion that killed a Russian police officer and wounded two others served as a grim reminder that war is as much a part of the country's present as its past.


Pensioner from Kazan has been sponsoring Mausoleum of Lenin for four years (May 6, 2003) (in Russian)

In Russia, 89-year old Hero of the Soviet Union, Michael Simonov has been transferring money to scientists responsible for the preservation of Lenin’s body. The termination of government funds to maintain the Mausoleum of Lenin has prompted alternative suggestions of burial of Lenin’s body and closure of this historical monument. Mr. Simonov, protests to that “I completely disagree with those who suggest to bury Lenin! Mausoleum and Lenin himself are integrating part of our history! In hundreds of years, people will be coming to look at the leader!” Mr. Simonov, as said by his family, is fond of sponsorship, from his pension of the veteran; he often sends donations to local orphanages and recently invested 1000 rubles in a children’s library. (Full text is in Russian.)


Help stop care home from closing (May 6, 2003)

Norfolk County Council in U.K. has earmarked a care home for closure, with its elderly residents set to be moved into a housing with care scheme in Sprowston. The authority is set to make a decision on whether to close it as part of a cost cutting measure on May 19. But John Philp, who heads the Save our Springdale campaign (SOS), believes doing so would cause unnecessary disruption to frail pensioners.

Pensioners unite in bus pass fight (May 06, 2003)
Hartfordshire, UK - Pensioners' pressure groups in Borehamwood are stepping up the campaign for free bus travel and they have Tony Blair's Government in their sights. Several groups from the town are joining forces to form the Hertsmere Elderly People's Forum, and yesterday sent a letter of complaint to Prime Minister Tony Blair.


Park Closure Tough on Retirees (May 06, 2003)
Australia - Where do you go if your home is a "permanent” caravan, you live on a pension and rely on public transport...but your park is being closed down? Ocean Pines is one of around 30 caravan parks throughout the area which are currently in the process of closing down, or being converted from residential parks to tourism usage.

Reliving Nightmares of Another Baghdad War (May 05, 2003)

Ms. Nuha al-Radi's shares her experience of Iraq during the Gulf War in her book "Baghdad Diaries”. "Anyone over 50 years old is told that there are no medicines," Ms. Radi writes. "Doctors want to keep what little there is for younger patients." Burglaries, kidnappings and thefts snowball in the wake of the war, and it becomes increasingly hard for many people to make a living…Is the current situation any better?


Elderly in Japan (May 2, 2003) (in Russian)

They have initiated an interesting experiment in Japan. The elderly people are invited to work at schools in order to keep them active in the community. Children who have been living surrounded by computers since a young age, enjoy talking and doing things with the elderly. Older people teach them ancient arts, martial arts, cooking and other interesting activities. Elderly share their life experience and knowledge with kids. They are not paid for the lessons, but according to their words, they get  an opportunity to interact with children. (Full text is in Russian.)


Elderly unionists arrested for holding meeting in Negros (April 30, 2003)
A militant sugar-cane workers’ union slammed the alleged illegal arrest and detention of two of its elderly members in northern Negros, one of whom hosted a meeting to discuss their problems and to plan for the annual Labor Day commemorations. Adelina Paglinawan, 70, and Dalmacio Castro, 55, both members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), were “forcibly arrested” in hacienda Amparo, barangay Mabini, Escalante City, around 5:30 a.m. on April 27 by 14 members of the city police.


Care home closures 'akin to abuse of the elderly' (April 29, 2003)
UK - Nurses told yesterday of the trauma faced by elderly residents of care homes that are being forced to close because the government and local authorities have failed to pay enough for their upkeep. The Royal College of Nursing voted overwhelmingly to lobby the government to increase the level of fees paid to local authorities and care homes, after hearing evidence that the eviction of people in their 80s and 90s was "tantamount to a policy of abuse of the elderly".


BEST bows to demands of elderly, disabled (April 29, 2003)
Acknowledging the special needs of the disabled and elderly, a new designer bus just stepped off its pedestal, shedding all of 185 mm, to assist these passengers.Called a ‘low-floor bus’ by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST), it will hit the road on Wednesday.


Power savings slammed Elderly ‘already frugal’(April 29, 2003)
New Zealand - Grey Power chairman George Groombridge said elderly people were already frugal power users, and asking for further savings could lead to health problems. “ Why is the Government imposing this on the elderly? We’re quite concerned because it’s a blanket cover and that’s disturbing. “You can have people who are trying to stay warm by not using electricity and that of course causes all sorts of problems.”


Ukrainians honour Chernobyl dead, but veterans complain (April 26, 2003)
Hundreds of Ukrainians gathered Saturday to pay tribute to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, the world's worst nuclear accident which took place exactly 17 years ago, but many veteran firefighters complained bitterly they had been forgotten. Their pensions "have lost 16 percent of their value since the mid-1990s, and they now receive on average just 220 hryvnias (37 euros, 41 dollars) a month.


Call to ban doorstep salesmen (April 23, 2003)
The announcement was made by the Trading Standards Institute (ITS) that door-to-door sales must be banned. ITS chief executive, Ron Gainsford, said pensioners are particularly vulnerable to criminals passing themselves off as roofers, gardeners, or plumbers; who often leave false names and addresses so that they cannot be traced. "With the rising aged population and increased home ownership, this is an area long overdue for strict legal control," said Gainsford.


Across the Former Soviet Union (April 21, 2003)
Feeding the elderly has been the core of Jewish welfare activities in many post-Soviet countries. Now, in Moldova at least, it’s time to feed the children. Among those who have benefited is Yulia Litivinova, age 12. She lives with her grandmother, who has taken care of her since she was born. Her mother left Yulia at the maternity ward when the infant was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. The grandmother and granddaughter — who is homebound — live on state pensions that total $23. More than half of the money goes for medicine.

Queen pays her Maundy dues to elderly (April 18, 2003)

In an annual ceremony that has its origins in Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, the Queen distributed purses of money yesterday to 154 pensioners in Gloucester Cathedral.

Elderly women in village fight (April 16, 2003)

Two frail, elderly women are locked in a bitter battle with the retirement village they have lived in for 16 years. The feud has made the women's health deteriorate and has almost forced them out of their homes.

Elderly abuse growing as quickly as aging population, experts warn (April 15, 2003)

The world's population is aging faster than before, and so are abuse and neglect of the elderly, the head of the World Health Organization's Aging and Health Program told a Montreal conference on elder abuse yesterday. "There are more old people in the world, and fewer and fewer younger people to provide care for them. So, rich or poor, we are experiencing growing world-wide intolerance, discrimination, neglect, and verbal and physical abuse of the elderly.

Elderly become "muti" targets (April 15, 2003)

Help Age, a global NGO focusing on the rights of the aged, says it will send a team to Malawi to investigate elderly slaughter cases and conduct a survey into the welfare of old people in the country.

Elderly start Songkran early (April 11, 2003)

Today, about 200 elderly people and 14 retired officers joined in traditional Songkran activities at Wachira Hospital this afternoon. Songkran is officially celebrated this year on April 12, but the festival actually takes place over a period of four days. Each year, the four-day celebration of Songkran consists of many activities and The Pouring of Water ritual is one of them.


Elderly NHS 'charges' scrapped (April 09, 2003)
Benefit cuts imposed on British pensioners, disabled and other people who stay long-term in NHS hospitals are to be scrapped, Gordon Brown has announced. "It's a hotel charge imposed on one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. For everyone else in our country, other than those on pensions and benefits, hospital care is entirely free of charge.”

Elderly prove they still have what it takes (April 07, 2003)
Elderly Thai people in Krabi have shown that age is no bar to business ability by first accepting a challenge and then investing in an oil palm plantation which now makes a profit. ``We are old, yet we can still serve our motherland,'' says Mr Winij , a 76 year old former chairman of the Krabi Network of the Elderly.

Money can talk faster than reforms. Homes for seniors not all created equal (April 2nd, 2003)
This article reflects diverse problems that the homes for seniors in Japan face today. The introduction of the nursing-care insurance system in April 2000 was a big plus for both homes and their residents. Financed by taxes and premiums from people over age 40, the system gives financial backing to both private and public institutions to provide care-related services. The article also mentions cases of abuse and rights violation and how competent authorities addressed them.

Report from New York Nonprofit Organization No.5: Global Action on Aging " http://www2.osk.3web.ne.jp/~osakanpo/musubi6.htm
 There are thousands of nonprofit organizations in New York. Among those organizations, Global Action on Aging has a small office in the UN building but plays significant role of advocacy on global aging.  Former GAA intern, Hiromi M. Wimalasiri,  wrote about our organization in a Japanese article of the Osaka Nonprofit Center. (full text in Japanese)

Sweden: Promoting Excellence in Elderly Care for Deaf Signers (March 2003)
Sweden is one of the leading European countries in promoting awareness for accessibility rights for Deaf people. Gertrud Högström wrote a report, “Signing Elderly Deaf People in Norrland,” for the Swedish National Association of the Deaf. This website is an English summary of the report, written in Swedish. The report talks about the special needs of elderly Deaf people and what the government has done to respond to their needs as well as what remains to be done.

Dar Es Salaam Tells African Americans: Come and Retire Here (March 31, 2003)
Dar Es Salaam Tells African Americans: Come and Retire Here. Tanzania hopes to attract foreign investment from the African diaspora in the United States by promoting Florida-style retirement homes around Lake Victoria. The US-based organization Africa United Against AIDS Globally led a group of wealthy African Americans to East Africa to discuss this and other investment opportunities. (East African (Nairobi))

WFP hopes Iraq war lasts no more than 6 weeks (March 31, 2003)
The World Food Program expressed concern that food in Iraq would run out if the US-led war lasted more than five or six weeks, leaving most vulnerable groups, particular elderly and children, without humanitarian aid.

Latest UN population figures in interactive database online
The latest United Nations population figures (World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision) are now available online as an interactive database.

A Mai-Décembre Romance, Rekindled Onscreen (March 30, 2003)
French actress Jeanne Moreau, born in 1928, continues to play great movie roles. In the recent "Cet Amour-Là," which is based on a true story of one of France's greatest 20th-century writers, Marguerite Duras, she portrays a woman in her mid-60's having an affair with a man in his 20's.

Banks deny older people credit (March 29, 2003)
Age Concern, the British charity for the elderly, says that there is evidence of discrimination by financial services companies. It says older people are often refused finance after a certain age, in part because the Consumer Credit Act 1974 does not prevent lenders from discriminating on the basis of age.

Is this the next scandal? (March 29, 2003)
The home reversion schemes allow seniors to get cash from their assets, supplementing their income. But poor regulation of this market from the Financial Service Authority, UK, creates possibilities for the elderly being cheated, and prevents providers from entering the market.

Elderly reflect on China's transformation (March 28, 2003)
In a high-rise apartment, near a street where Shanghai's young people shop for European fashions while chatting on cell phones, Zheng Jinlian summons memories of a time when an emperor still ruled China. Her fine silver hair is neatly combed atop a face furrowed by 103 years of life.

As Japan's Women Move Up, Many Are Moving Out (March 25, 2003)
In Japan, divorces among older couples have been increasing in recent years. Tomoko Masunaga, of Tama City, now 60 and an English teacher, wrote a book about divorce when her marriage ended after 20 years.

Silver learners (March 25, 2003)
The recent UK study says that about one in nine in the group ‘over 55’ is currently enrolled in learning. Studying modern languages and computers rank higher among their courses. The main point of the research is that politicians, probably, underestimate the benefits of educating older people.

Without walls (March 19, 2003)
A project in Dorset, UK, resulting from the collaboration between primary care and social service agencies, provides a new type of care assistance for seniors, best described as "homecare with a rehab attitude." Providing care in patients’ homes helps to unblock hospital beds and prevents avoidable hospital admissions of older people.

'Panic person' gives peace of mind (March 17, 2003)
If you live far away from your older parents, that doesn't mean that there isn't a way to care for them. A geriatric-care consultant offers unique services in Montreal: she assesses the needs of her clients' elderly parents and secures services for them, acting as their patient advocate.

Work longer, says EU (March 17, 2003)
The European Union is to issue a stark warning to Britons that they should be prepared to forget early retirement and work longer. The most comprehensive look at member states pensions will be presented at a key EU summit this week. Its main conclusion: workers should not be encouraged to take up early retirement.

Elderly getting “inadequate” primary care (March 14, 2003)
According to the primary care study, many elderly patients in the UK may be receiving inadequate medical care, particularly those in nursing homes.

Germany, Japan add jobs for elderly care (March 4, 2003)
Rising numbers of old people may become a drag on economic growth. For example, over the past four years, employment in health-care services has increased 7.9 percent in Germany. Farms, factories and stores in Japan, Germany and the US pared workforces last year. However, service jobs can stimulate the economy as employees use their earnings to make purchases.

La grand-mère moderne : question de distance ! (February 28, 2003)
Grandmothers' next generation will be strongly determined by the specific link which the women tie up around the children management. If was needed a word to define the grandmother, it would be the "distance", the one that she observes in the relation with her grandchildren.

Time for Marketers to Grow Up? (February 27, 2003)
Multinational companies are forced to define new strategies to face the aging of the population worldwide but some still prefer to concentrate on the high potential of youth market in the developing countries.

Leveraging the Age Gap (February 27, 2003)
The Federal Reserve chairman appears before a Senate committee to explore the impact of global aging on the economy. The major issue is the wide gap between the older population of the West and the vast working-age population of the developing countries. With their younger populations, developing countries might be in the position to take advantage of the so-called “demographic dividend”: falling labor costs, a healthier and more educated population, and the entry of millions of women into the work force. But the picture isn't all rosy

Court Puts Value At 175 Million Yen (February 25, 2003)
Retired wrestlers need to hold "oyakata-kabu" (literally elder rights) if they wish to remain active in the Japan Sumo Association. The Tokyo District Court ordered
the current head of the Tatsunami sumo stable (former "sekiwake" Haguroyama, 69) to pay 175 million yen to his predecessor in return for receiving his rights to operate the stable.

We have nationalized the elderly, as we are too busy to care for them (February 21, 2003)
"When Westerners get old and can't look after themselves, their families send them off to live in big buildings. They visit them once a week, if that, and let nurses do the rest. Sometimes, they forget them all together, and old people die alone and crying for their families." That is what a Middle East aged man told his children. The British author of this article proves how much individualism has let us forget about our duties toward the elderly in our western rich countries.

National and International Cooperation for Social Development (February 12, 2003)
John Langmore, head of the International Labour Office Liaison Office in New York, addressed how employment strategy in times of an economic downturn can be used to revive the economy and meet the service needs of the aged, youth and the disabled.

Statement of Mrs. Faith D. Innerarity (February 12, 2003)
This is the statement of Mrs. Faith D. Innerarity, Director of Social Security, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, for the country of Jamaica, addressed at the 41st Session of the UN Commission for Social Development on “National and International Cooperation for Social Development, at the UN in New York.

Making Global Trade Work for People
A recent UNDP report appeals to multilateral trade organizations to shift their focus away from promoting trade liberalization and towards fostering development instead. The report cites a lack of correlation between liberalization and high growth. This document recommends adding four basic principles to the World Trade Organizations’s agenda in order to achieve this objective. Poor working conditions mean chronic poverty in old age.

National and International Cooperation for Social Development (February 12, 2003)
John Langmore, head of the International Labour Office Liaison Office in New York, addressed how employment strategy in times of an economic downturn can be used to revive the economy and meet the service needs of the aged, youth and the disabled.

Strikes are not included into job experience? (February 10, 2003) (in Russian)
Ukrainian miners-pensioners are going to start a lawsuit against the Pension Fund because it did not count the time they were on strikes into the total duration of their work experience. The peak of strikes was in 1997-98, and recently some miners discovered, that they lack a few months of work to receive pension benefits after years of dangerous and heavy physical work conditions. None of those strikes was found illegal. But Pension Fund authorities say that legislation does not reflect their service for these periods and their benefit is thereby lowered.

"Troppo filo-americani" (February 9, 2003)
The Pope is worried about the possible consequences that a war in Iraq could have on the Iraqi population and on the political equilibrium in the region. He doesn't seem satisfied with the argument recently presented by the US Secretary of State Colin Powell on the demonstrated existence of a link between the Iraqi government and the international terrorist organization or the availability of weapons of mass destruction. The Pope believes that a US military intervention without the approval of the UN Security Council would mean the "end of the United Nation system," a vital system that has guaranteed the world stability in the last fifty years. He has also expressed criticism toward the Italian government and its strong, unconditional support to the US.  War imposes terrible consequences on unarmed civilians, including older persons.

Victims of Nazism have received 406 millions EUR (February 7, 2003) (in Russian)
Senior Ukrainians, who suffered during World War Two, continue to receive compensation from Germany and Austria. So, by the January 1, 2003, some 326,796 victims have received 406 millions EUR. The official from the Ukrainian Parliament points out that some victims, because of the different circumstances, cannot prove their right to the compensation.

233,000 seniors in limbo on nurse care (February 6, 2003)
At least 233,000 elderly are on waiting lists to enter special nursing-care homes in Japan. Ironically, the introduction in 2000 of the nursing-care insurance system could be behind the dramatic rise in the number of seniors. Potential residents deal directly with the nursing home.

Hospitals accused of neglect in feeding elderly (February 3, 2003)
Age Concern Scotland, an English charity organization, noticed that uneaten meals
were re-moved from elderly patients' bedsides without checks on why they had not had the food.” Scotland is working to find a way to increase the number of nurses to promote better care.

British pensioners got SMS-mania (February 3, 2003) (in Russian)

Senior ladies and gentlemen in Great Britain are keen on mobile technologies no less than teenagers. Grandmothers and grandfathers assert that SMS is no longer a prerogative of only the young generation.

Participatory research with older people: a sourcebook
“The importance of older people’s direct involvement in conducting their own analysis and using their knowledge in advocacy and decision-making is increasingly recognized.” Here are some case studies drawn from the experience of HelpAge International’s partners and the older people working with them.

Population Aging in 2002
Here is the Population Ageing 2002 data in form of wall chart from the United Nations Population Division.” It covers key indicators, such as the number and percentage of older persons, life expectancy at age 60, statutory retirement age, the percentage of older people in the labour force, the potential support ratio, and the percentage of the older population currently married.”

Gender and transport for older people
This is an Help Age International Paper highlighting findings of consultations with older women and men in over 30 countries. “Transport was repeatedly referred to as a principal concern. Transport problems are often related to older people’s lack of finances to pay for transport to health centers, markets, pension collection points, meetings and social activities, leading to increased fe
elings of isolation. As this population group generally includes more women than men, these problems are inevitably gendered.”

'Our Loss Has Brought Us Together' ( January 30, 2003 )
As AIDS takes a heavy toll on the adult generations in Africa , grandparents and especially grandmothers are left in charge of their orphan grandchildren, who sometimes suffer from AIDS themselves. These families face intense social stigma and criticism, and often the grandmother’s pension is the family’s only support for basic needs, not to mention expensive treatment. To help grandmothers cope with the pain and struggles of raising orphaned grandchildren, Sister Rose Letwaba of the Alex-Tara Children's Clinic in South Africa started the “go-go support group.” Thirty grandmothers come to the group to share experiences, support each other, and work on creative projects.

Life expectancy growth causes problems in Spain (January 27, 2003) (in Russian)
There are more than 5 thousands people aged above 100 years currently in Spain. Scientists predict that by the year 2020 there will be about 2 million aged from 80 to 85 who need care and assistance.

Drug licensing is an expensive pleasure (January 23, 2003) (in Russian)
Starting December 2002, Ministry of Health Care of Russian Federation introduced mandatory drugs licensing to reduce circulation of fake imported drugs, whose share had grown recently from 7 to 12-13%. Experts from the pharmaceutical industry predict that this will result in price increases of 5-30%, and pensioners will suffer most, as the prices for the cheapest drugs will increase most.

Scandal of elderly mugged by post (January 22, 2003)
Elderly can suffer from legalised muggings like lotteries as well as commission chasing life insurance agents.  Some lonely elderly suffer from addiction to illegal lotteries and phony prize schemes. But legal protection and restrictions have to be balanced against civil liberties of the elderly, including “the freedom to spend their money in ways others might think unwise.”

Komi. About 40 senior citizens of Syktyvkar gave up there apartments to mayor’s office in exchange on material help (January 21, 2003) (in Russian)
In 2002, 38 senior citizens of Syktyvrar, Komi Republic, Russia, signed an agreement with city administration for lifetime material support. In exchange they gave up the property rights to their apartments for the benefit of the city. Each pensioner receives additional 500-700 rubles a month, and the sum increases to 800 for those who reach 75 years of age. Pensioners also can get free foo
d and drugs, be transported to the hospitals if needed, and receive some other support. Officials say this service emerged in 1997, and the demand currently exceeds city’s capacity to meet it.

Englishmen struggle for their right to die (January 21, 2003) (in Russian)
A scandal has inflamed Great Britain around euthanasia, after it became known that Swiss doctors helped 74 years old Englishmen to voluntarily die. The last four years he suffered from progressing paralysis, and left for Switzerland shortly before his death, where legislation regarding the euthanasia is more lenient than in Britain.

Older Europeans are the biggest fans of travel (January 19, 2003) (in Russian)
Milan, Italy, hosts the second international exhibition “The Third Age in Tourism.” The growth of the number of pensioners reflects on the travel business: the number of older people make up 33% of tourists in Europe, they take 300 millions of tours a year, and spend €13,5 billions for these purposes.

Elderly and disabled will still get postal service (January 8, 2003)
Irish seniors and handicapped persons will continue to receive their mail delivered at home even if outside mailboxes are soon installed.  The Irish Post office, to save about 35 million euros a year, contracted for a supply of 500 000 mailboxes. Several political parties asked the Government to give up this project because it would be a hard blow for seniors with a risk of increasing isolation.

Wanted: People over 60 (January 6, 2003)
In Nakatsugawa-city, Japan, a local company manufacturing parts for home
electronic appliances, was recruiting part-time workers but only motivated
people aged 60 or over.