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What's New? July 9, 2012

   Pension | Health | Elder Rights | Aging Watch



The Pension Bubble (June 29, 2012)
With the housing market collapse and the European debt crisis, another financial disaster looms. Recently the Governmental Accounting Standards board highlighted the reality of mismanagement of state and local government pension programs. It reported on a $1.38 trillion gap between the assets states have set aside for retirement payments and health care programs compared to the amount of their obligations to retirees. Without changes, many State and local governments will find themselves filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. At the same time, these gaps likely cannot be resolved without cuts in benefits or increases in taxes. US elected officials need to realize that the government must act before the entire system collapses.


South Korea: South Korea's Aging Society Could Burst Housing Bubble (June 26, 2012)
In South Korea, the percentage of working-age population peaked this year at 73.1 percent and will start to decrease beginning next year. The population bonus that South Korea has been enjoying thus far will become an aging wave of baby boomers. The Hyundai Research Institute warns that this development could burst the housing bubble and trigger a financial crisis as has happened in other countries. It recommends that laws and regulations be changed to reflect the changing demographics.

China: Retirement Age Remains Unchanged for Now (June 25, 2012)

For decades, the retirement ages for men and women in China have been set at 60 years for men and 50 or 55 years for women. A recent proposal by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to postpone retirement has sparked so much controversy that the Ministry announced that retirement ages will remain unchanged for now. China faces a pension shortfall and this debt could be alleviated if retirement is postponed. White collar workers support the proposal but blue collar workers do not. Blue collar workers usually have unstable and harsher work conditions. When they get retrenched, they still have to pay into their pension plans even though they have no income sources. Citizens are also against the dual-tracked system in which the government pays the share of personal contributions for civil servants but others have to pay out of their salaries.



In Documents on Pain Drug, Signs of Doubt and Deception (June 24, 2012)
Researchers have found that Celebrex, a drug, is no better at protecting the stomach from side effects than other drugs. However, Pfizer and its partner, Pharmacia, put forth results from only the first six months of a yearlong study. The primary selling point was its effect on the stomach. Surprisingly, earlier studies revealed it was no better at alleviating pain than most common drugs such as ibuprofen. This apparent falsification of data is of great concern to older persons and their advocates. When will such corporate corruption stop?

HIV Crisis Facing Black Women in Metro Atlanta (May 9, 2012)
Nearly one in 30 African-American women is diagnosed with HIV during her life time. This number is 15 times higher than Caucasian women and four percent higher than Hispanic women.  While studies show that race has nothing to do with the issue, the problem is being traced back to countries in Africa.


Aging Eyes are Seeing Better (June 29, 2012)
According to a study in Ophthalmology journal, older persons are seeing much better. Advances in cataract surgery, smoking reduction and better treatment for diabetes have contributed to this trend. Regardless, regular eye exams are essential for everyone as they age and should be maintained.

Spain: The First Edition of the “Manual of the Geriatric Medical Resident” Was Announced (June 7, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
The 54th Congress of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (54 Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Geriatría y Gerontología) and the 24th Congress of the Galician Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (24 Congreso da Sociedade Galega de Xerontología y Xeriatría) announced the manual.  It begins with three principal sections: a section that explores the value of geriatrics as a field of study, a section revising the levels of healthcare provided, and a section about key syndromes.

Barbodas: HIV Prevention Strategies Needed for Elderly (June 4, 2012)

Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackette, calls to attention the older persons who are “potentially at risk of HIV infection.” After an older person is out of the child bearing age, they stop practicing safe sex and thus they have a higher chance of getting STIs.  It Is important to prevent and educate the elderly about the dangers of HIV/AIDS before we have to face the consequences at a global scale.

World: The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic (June 2012)
The Global Commission on Drug Policy describes that forms of drug law enforcement that both fail to decrease rates of drug use and block provision of HIV treatment.  The report includes a summary of recommendations and details issues within law enforcement that exacerbate the HIV epidemic.

World: HIV Infection Double Among the Elderly (February 3, 2012)
Researchers are suggesting that it is vital to promote safe sex for sexually active adults aged 45+. Statistics show that about 80% of 50-90 year olds are sexually active, thus the number of sexually transmitted diseases has doubled in the past 10 years. While the reason behind this seems undiscovered, the reason is based on the fact that post-menopausal women are more vulnerable to STIs.

World: Elderly Children in the Care of their Parents, A Recent Phenomenon (2012)

(Article in Spanish)
According to a Chilean study, young-old children are caring for their old-old parents in increasing numbers. This investigation explores the challenges and the situations that the children face.

China: China Elderly Facing HIV/AIDS Crisis (November 30, 2011)

Prostitution accounts for much of the problems with HIV and AIDS. While most people target middle aged men as primary victims, the older population is ignored. An example lies in Wuhan, China, when an old widower was diagnosed with AIDS.  As living conditions in China are rapidly improving, and the senior population is increasing, aged men can now fulfill their sexual needs in the absence of a partner.  This vital issue affects older people who are elderly who are disposed to having medical conditions.  We must target HIV/AIDS awareness in the senior population.



Ten Resources to Help Prepare for Aging With Dignity and Independence (June 29, 2012)
As people age, they will need some form of help with daily activities such as cooking, transportation and even health care. Consider the resources of your community, especially in terms of available resources. However, knowing about standard resources that are available to all and being aware will allow you to be prepared for special needs in old age. Read further to research more into these options.


China: China mulls amending law to protect seniors (June 26, 2012)
A draft revision to the law protecting senior citizens’ rights and interests proposes changes to the current law such as mandating visits to parents left behind in rural communities. The Central Government will also formulate a national program on seniors’ welfare and local authorities are to do the same. China is focused on providing community- based nursing care as more parents are left with ‘empty nests’. To promote public awareness, the draft also proposes September 9 of the lunar calendar as an officially designated festival for seniors.

World: Older Adults Have a Right to Sex (June 28, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Spanish women ages 65 and older living in their own homes reported on their current sexual behavior.  20% said they had engaged in sexual activity and intercourse formed 60% of these cases.  When older adults live in a geriatric residence, privacy is often not permitted for intimate activities.  This lack of respect to older persons’ right to intimacy reflects a shortcoming in the training of caregivers and a social taboo against old age sexuality.


General Segment: Draft Programme (2012)
A substantive session of the UN is composed of five segments: the High-level Segment; the Coordination Segment; the Operational Activities Segment; the Humanitarian Affairs Segment; and the General Segment.  The General Segment will discuss nine agenda items relating to the work of the UN in the field of development.  Three main types of discussions will occur: the review of the reports of the Council’s subsidiary and expert bodies, the system-wide coordination and review of specific development issues, and special country or regional issues.