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Rural Aging: World 

Archives  1998 to 2002


Canada: Depression and Rural Aging (November 2001) 
(Article in French) 
Consider the most frequent mental health disorder affecting older persons: Depression. In a society where both ageing and depression are taboo, treating it can be very difficult. Another big obstacle is the widespread idea that depression is a part of aging. Older persons suffering from depression usually feel that they donít dare tell their relatives. Because psychiatrists and psychologists are in cities, the depressed elderly need their relatives others to help them get treatment. Depression for older people who live in rural area brings with it many forms of discrimination. 

Recovery in Mozambique - listening to older people (November 5, 2002)

Older people in Mozambique have struggled to recover from the devastating floods of 2000. Necodemus Chipfupa of HelpAge International describes how older people's organisations have mobilised support for vulnerable people in the community.


Ukrainian phenomenon of the old age (October 1, 2002) (in Ukrainian)
Ukrainian Institute of Gerontology says that Ukraine spends only 2.7% of GDP for the health care for older people, whiles the WHO recommends this number to be about 8%. Also almost no one senior man's health meets standards set by the WHO. The scientists also mention wide spreading mental illness among the older people, caused by many factors, such as lost of social status, pessimism, absence of rehabilitation help and others.

Shanghai Implementation Strategy (September 23-26, 2002)
This paper deals with the Shanghai Implementation Strategy (regional implementation strategy for the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 and the Macao Plan of Action on Ageing for Asia and the Pacific 1999). Asia and the Pacific is the most rapidly ageing region of the world. A strategy on how to prepare society for the challenges of ageing is essential in ensuring that the goals of active ageing are achieved.


Responding to southern Africa's crisis (August 28, 2002)
Older people are already among the poorest in Mozambique. Most receive no pensions and failed harvests are pushing them into hunger and malnutrition. This crisis is exacerbated by the effects of HIV/AIDS, which is destroying the middle generation of breadwinners, reducing already poor families to extreme poverty.


Istat / L'indagine 2002 sulla povera? (July 17, 2002)
21,1% of Italian families lives in poverty, according to ISTAT, the National Statistics Institute. Most of poor families live in the south of Italy. One of their characteristics is the fact of having one or more seniors in charge.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Survey (June 2002)
An United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Survey has been conducted to review the current situation of older persons in the Asian and Pacific region and analyses future directions for a regional strategy for the implementation of international, regional and national commitments on ageing.


A generation in transition: Older people's situation and civil society's response in East and Central Europe (May 2002)
This Help Age International booklet was published to accompany the UN Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid in 2002. It draws on a series of consultations with older people's groups within several countries in East and Central Europe.

Third World Network Paper On The WTO, The Post Doha Agenda And The Future Of The Trade System (May 2002)
Martin Khor from the Third World Network reveals a serious bias in the WTO's Doha trade round: developing countries tend to pay more adjustment costs and receive fewer benefits than developed countries in trade agreements. Khor also suggests an agenda for a new round of negotiations that would cater to the needs of developing countries.


Ageing and Development (October 2001)
This Help Age International publication is focused on different topics which affected the life of the elderly in the Third World: HIV/AIDS in Thailand and India, poverty in Ethiopia, sex abuse in Serbia and South Africa.

Intergenerational Accounting and Economic Consequences of Aging in Brazil
Population aging is a new phenomenon in Brazil. New projections indicate that in the year 2050 the population aged 65 and over will represent 15 % of the total compared to 3% in 1970. Despite these dramatic changes the debate on the economic consequences of aging has just started in Brazil. Here is an extract of a master's thesis written by a student at the University of Pennsylvania.


Aging in the Americas into the XXI Century
The growth rate of the older population in the Americas has been higher that that of the total population for many decades. Population aging usually has been associated with the more industrialized countries of Europe and North America. But in less industrialized countries? Uruguay, for example, currently has higher percentage of older population than does Canada and United States.

Coping with loss (October 18, 2002)
Elderly persons are likely to become depressed or develop physical illnesses that require active medical or psychiatric intervention .The article includes some tips for elderly persons to cope with loss.


Russia will become a country of older people (October 17, 2002)
In May 2001 in Rostov oblast president's representative asked local companies to provide address help to older people, especially to veterans of the WWII, and their widows. By October 2002 more than 6,000 people received some assistance. But it is not a decision of real problem: according to scientists' forecast, the number of pensioners will be greater then those who work in Russia by the year 2005. And now there are more than 92,000 veterans living in the region, most of them below the poverty line.


One Third of the Crimean Population are Poor (October 17, 2002) (in Russian)
More then 150 thousand older people in Crimea are below the poverty level, says Deputy Minister of the Social Protection of Crimea. To reduce poverty, the Ministry plans to shift from the system of providing benefits to the system of personalized help or subsidies. The complete transformation is planned by the year 2011.

Slovakia's population (October 3, 2002)
The population of Slovakia will drop in age according to a new study by the Slovak Statistics Office (SSU). Last year, the death rate exceeded the birth rate for the first time.


ADB Says Asia Needs to Prepare For Impact of Falling Population (August 6, 2002)
Governments in Asia need to start planning for falling birth rates and growing life expectancies. Economies must be more efficient because of a shrinking work force and an increase in retirees. Countries may be forced to extend the age of retirement in order to accommodate.


U.N. Warns of Drought, Food Shortages in Ethiopia (August 2, 2002)
An estimated four million Ethiopians are in need of food assistance after Mother Nature failed to bring rains earlier this year.  In some areas, local populations, including the elderly, are being forced to migrate in search of food and water. Malnutrition among children, women and the elderly has not set in yet, but is expected to come rapidly.


Changing tides of time (July 28, 2002)
Older women in India, especially widows, are left to the mercy of the public to eke out an existence over the years. But, by empowering them with self-sustaining skills, they can be made effective in nation building, says the War Widows Association.


Protesting Women Continue Occupation Of Chevron Flow-Stations (July 22, 2002)
In this special update, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), the largest environmental group in Nigeria, presents the voices of the protesting women speaking from the occupied Abiteye Flow Station, in their own words.


Surviving summer (May 20, 2002)
Summer is a cruel time particularly for the elderly. Here are some tips from an Indian newspaper to ensure their health and comfort through the scorching season.


Alone at the end (May 12, 2002)
In India, one district, Kerala, has the largest number of old age homes and possibly `home nurses'. But the welfare of the aged is still not assured. NGO activists say the elderly often become victims of insult, neglect and sometimes even physical assault at home. It is projected that by the year 2025, one in every five persons will be a senior citizen.

Population aging is unavoidable (March 15, 2002) (in Ukrainian) 
Some statistics from the UN on global aging in Ukraine. So, by the year 2050 for each pensioner there will be only four working (now this ratio is 1:9 and back in 1950 it was 1:12). The fastest growing group now is those who 'over 80'. The long life perspective is  inspiring, but the question is whether the country are ready for these changes.

Personal stories from Malawi
In Malawi, a daily life story of an elderly woman: seventy-nine year old Irene Lusiasi who had five children who all died of AIDS.


China's elderly face solitary future (January 3, 2002)
A survey has found that more than half of China's elderly people would rather live alone than with their children. The report suggests social attitudes are changing along with economic development and modernization.

About business women, long life and home fathers (January, 2002) (in Russian)
Some women are sure that there role is much harder comparing to men: they give birth, care for children, home and family - and work at the same level as men. Researches that looked at the relation between this factors and life expectancy come to interesting conclusions: this 'old' life style of woman helped her to live longer.


World's Aging Population (November 2001) 
An interesting and complete US Census Bureau 2001 report about international aging population: pensions, health, urban and rural dimensions...all around the World.

Lonely Old Age Is Not A Pleasure (September 19, 2001) (in Russian)
The habit of visiting his former work place every day saved the life of the 72 year old pensioner in Tumen, Russia. When he did not appear at the office one day, two of his former colleagues decided to visit him. Since nobody answered at the apartment's door, they called the rescuer service. The rescuers found the old man lying on the floor in his apartment, but still alive. They were able to provide medical treatment in time, saving the pensioner's life.


A parent's loss (March 11, 2001)
On one side is the spectre of a rapidly graying population, while on the other side lifestyle diseases cause the death of the middle aged. How do the elderly cope with the loss of a child? Two personal and moving stories of two older persons who lost their children.

Expertos Analizan la Economia Rural (March 6, 2001)(In Spanish)

According to la Prensa Libre of Guatemala, representatives of the public and private sectors are analyzing the economy in Guatemala's rural areas. They seek not only to understand the obstacles that prevent development but also to improve the economy in that area.  Will their recommendations use the talents and insights of the rural elderly who increasingly form larger percentages of the population?

Aging in India: its Socio-economic and Health Implications (2000)
The sharp decline in mortality since 1950 and a steady recent decline in fertility has contributed to the process of population aging in India. India currently ranks fourth among the countries of the world with a large elderly population; by the year 2000, it is likely to be second only to China.

The Perspectives of the 'Third Age' (October 6, 2000) (in Russian)
Tatyana Gerasimova, sociologist from Saint Petersburg, shares her finding from the study of current situation and life styles of pensioners in her city, and in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Older women after retirement prefer to rely on themselves rather then on help to government. The second significant motivation for working (after material needs) is the desire to provide financial help to children and grandchildren. They come to marriage agencies in hopes to find a partner 30 times more frequently than men do; their emotional state depends more on the relations with grandchildren than with children; and they prefer to live separately but not far away from their children.

Lottery boost for China's elderly (August 25, 2000)
By the year 2030 China officials estimate that care for an estimated 300 million elderly will consume a full 10% of national income. China has launched its first ever nationwide lottery on September 1st 2002, to raise revenue for the country's rapidly increasing elderly population.


Are Social Security Reforms Gender Neutral? Current Estimates of Standards of Living and Future Prospects for Chilean Elderly Men and Women (September 6, 1999)
The Chilean reform gets low marks for the provision of insurance and for administrative cost. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Chilean reform is the high cost of running a privatized social security system, higher than the 'inefficient' system that it replaced. Valdes-Prieto has estimated that the average administrative charge per effective affiliate while active is U.S. $89.10 per year. The cost per person is not far from costs observed in other privately managed pension systems, such as defined- benefit private pensions in the U.S. However, it compares unfavorably with administrative costs in well-run unified government managed systems.


It is not the end of the world (October 18, 1998)
The well-being of older persons is the goal of the Indian National Policy for the Aged, which will be achieved by securing them their place in society so that they live this phase of life with dignity and peace. India has a population of seventy million aged above sixty, half of which is female. In Dead Eye Dick, Kurt Vonnegut says "life is not over in the novel ". He takes an entertaining satirical look at the death of innocence and the randomness of life.


Aging in Cuba: Realities and challenges (June 1998)
In 1998, older people constituted 13.6% of the Cuban population. In spite of Cuba's economic crisis, social security services have been maintained, and pensions paid, unlike the situation in many other Latin American countries when faced with crisis.

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