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Rural Aging Issues
around the World

- Archives 2008 -

Articles in Arabic | Chinese | French | Russian | Spanish


Zimbabwe: Social Facility for the Elderly Unveiled (June 24, 2008)
A new facility for the elderly over the age of 80 is opening in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Now older persons will be able to pay 50 percent less in supplementary charges and tax rebates on some services. The City Council in Bulawayo continues its work of prioritizing the elderly and creating opportunities to “cushion the pensioners from the current harsh economic conditions in the country.” 

Rwanda: Do We Need to Uproot Witchcraft in Africa? (March 24, 2008)
Is belief in witchcraft a form of religion in Africa? Why do so many people want to eliminate it? According to the author, some older Africans have a strong belief in the supernatural, in traditions and rituals. And, especially, elderly citizens have a strong belief in the traditions and rituals that they’ve known throughout their lives. The author suggests that these belief systems are “part of their lives.” 

Uganda: Karimojong Elders Left to Starve (March 24, 2008)
The lack of food has provoked horrible consequences on people living in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. Responsible persons must to find ways to handle this situation. Because of floods in the Eastern and Northern Uganda, houses and infrastructures are destroyed. That is why an able bodied Karimojong said that elders “are useless and food should not be wasted on them.” 

Namibia: Flood Centers Overwhelmed (March 17, 2008)
Namibia is flooding and there will be increasing numbers of flood victims coming to the care centers. It is a challenge for every person in the area to live with the catastrophe, but especially for older people, who are more vulnerable. Their houses are flooded but often they refuse to leave. They need food and help with hygiene, and many of them do not have families in the area to help provide care.

Nigeria: Rural Poverty in Nigeria (February 28, 2008)
Nigeria is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world and 70% of its population is considered as poor, and 35% as very poor. Many older people live under the poverty rate, especially in rural areas. National programs for health and education exist in the cities, but they are not accessible to older people in rural areas. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a major concern for people of all ages in Nigeria. 

Swaziland: Elderly Caregivers Given Little Support (January 25, 2008)
Gogo Twhala, 72, raises three grandchildren all by herself after the death of her son and his wife. She relies on a small hillside farm to raise corn, and a sewing kit to mend her granddaughter's school uniform. Elder people are often left alone due to the AIDS crisis in Swaziland, as the government's welfare services gradually start to recognize the needs of the elderly and “desperately poor” caregivers. 

Americas & Caribbean 

Canada: Report: Seniors in Rural Canada (December 2008)
As the population of Canada continues to age, more attention must be paid on how aging affects older people in rural areas. The researchers show that the population of rural regions is generally older than that of urban regions. While seniors can be great assets to rural communities in providing volunteer help and extensive knowledge, there are also many challenges associated with these aging communities which may increase their vulnerability in the future. 

Ecuador: Nursing Home Needs Help (November 15, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Seventeen older persons are residents at Carmen Ruiz Echeverria nursing home, in a small town in Ecuador. Most of these older adults came to the home because they were left by their children or caregivers to fend for themselves and were found wandering the streets searching for food. Currently, the home is seeking help so that they can continue to give the people meals and provide other assistance as needed.

Guatemala: Dying Old (November 9, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In the town of San Jose La Arada in Guatemala, people living there often reach 100 years of age. Can it be their nutrition, the weather or perhaps the place where they live? No one is certain what causes them to live so long, but the weather and their diet are thought to be two of the reasons. However, living at peace may also contribute to their longevity.

Colombia: Old Age (October 17, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Growing old is something inevitable that one must face sooner or later. However, many are not ready to assume the type of responsibility that comes with age. Many families in the South of Cali view older persons as an inconvenience, mostly because they do not have the economic resources they need to care for them. The program Volunteers of Geriatrics in Cali was set up to give the older population the opportunity to have someone listen to them, show them love, and build a good relationship between them until their last days. 

Mexico: Old People Suffer a Violent Robbery (October 13, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
An old couple suffered from a violent robbery that took place in their home in the early morning. The robbers took the equivalent of $180 and the couple’s 2005 Ford pickup truck, which was later found, abandoned and burned. The couple alerted the authorities and when they got there they saw that the old woman and man had been beaten. The robbers are still on the loose and authorities are looking for them.

Dominican Republic: The Dominican Population Older than 60 Years of Age will Double Between 2008 and 2015 (October 1, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The number of people 60 years and older in the Dominican Republic is expected to double between 2008 and 2015. The Dominican Republic has put a plan in place that will benefit the older population by granting them access to programs that will help them receive medications, geriatric care, and pensions among other benefits. Cuba is one of the first Caribbean countries that is dealing with accelerated ageing and has collaborated with other countries to help with the cause.

Peru: Elders of Ventanilla Have a New Center (June 15, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
A Center for Elders is under construction in Ventanilla, Peru. The center will have space for shelter and recreation. Builders want to create a better environment for aging people. Community people are organizing more programs around family integration, inter-generational events, and social-cultural programs. The center will promote ageing, with an emphasis on living actively in the community.

Spain: 3,000 Elders Over 80 Years Old Alone and Uninformed about Social Benefits (June 11, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In 2007 Cataluna's Red Cross detected about 3,000 people in the province of Barcelona over the age of 80 years living alone and without information about assistance and social benefits available to them. In April 2007, the Red Cross initiated a program called Closer, a campaign designed as a collaborative effort with the Delegation of Barcelona to reach out to older people with special needs. 

Peru: Peruvian Population Reaches 28 Million (June 9, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The Peruvian population has reached 28.2 million, increasing by 1.6% annually. The older population has increased as well. Fertility rates have gone down and the total population figures will decrease in the future.

Cuba: The Cuban Population Decreases Three Consecutive Years (June 2, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Experts predict that by 2025 the Island will have 74,000 fewer people than in 2007. The Cuban population is aging at an accelerated rate. Emigration of young adults and lack of resources lead many fertile women to decide not to bear more children. Elders now are 16.6% of the population. The prediction is that in 2025 people over the age of 60 will make up 26% of the total.

Peru: Ageing in Peru (May 29, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The majority of rural Peruvians that turn 65 years old do not change their life's routines. The majority of them have to live like they always have: working to live. Only a small minority has enough resources to live comfortably outside the workforce. A few have a retirement pension that allows them to live their later years peacefully. But the poor people do not have access to a retirement pension. 

Argentina: After 22 Years, He Won the Trial to Readjust his Retirement (May 29, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
José Lampugnani launched a lawsuit in 1986 because his retirement funds equaled only 20% of his salary. His employer had improperly calculated his retirement pay. He received no response for many years. Last week, a month before he turned 95 years old, the Supreme Court said he was right. The Court ordered his retirement pay tripled and the accumulated differences paid from the moment of his claim. Not many retirees or pensioners could wait until they reach 95 years to have their claims awarded. 

Chile: Elders Over 60 Continue Working, Seeking to be Proactive (May 26, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Each time retirement is near, it is becoming more common for older adults to decide to continue working. The elders continue working to have a better retirement or to fill a part of their lives. Slightly over 556,000 elders in Chile have a job. Some 43% of third age workers are men and 17% are women. The elders are more expensive workers, but they know how to stay active and up to date with technology.

Honduras: Although Retired, Remain Active (May 20, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In Honduras, retirees rely on retiree’s associations to help them keep busy and adjust to retirement. The most common problem is that many retirees become inactive and depressed. The associations produce seminars on the changes of life and how to deal with them. One such association, the Association of the People of the Third Age of Honduras, helps seniors with medicine, electricity, water and telephone bill discounts.

Guatemala: Central America Searches For Sufficient Resources (May 6, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Central American countries are trying to mitigate the crisis of higher grain and fuel prices by expanding social welfare programs to the needy. The price of corn alone --a local food staple — has increased by 30% in the past 15 months. The old, who often live on limited incomes, are particularly hurt by this rise. In Guatemala, as with other countries affected by the crisis, the rise of food prices has led to an increase in hunger and malnourishment with accompanying social unrest. 

Dominican Republic: Recreation for All Ages (April 13, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
Recreation is a form of education. The National Institute of Physical Education is considering the time citizens dedicate to activities during their free time. Entertainment opportunities should be available during all stages of life. Older people should be able to do activities that are not too physically demanding. One person who responded to the challenge was Mario Jiménez of the NIPE who has worked on systems to develop games for all ages.

Costa Rica: Improvement of Elderly Home (April 9, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The administrators of the elderly care home of Esparza has begun to remodel the entire building. Workers will change the wood ceiling and the zinc sheets, which are very old. The work will some 20 million pesos. The elderly home of Esparza houses 18 older persons. As a result of the remodeling efforts, the elders will have a better quality of life and increased safety.

Mexico: They Want to Create Awareness of Cultural Ageing (April 4, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The Mexican census of 2000 to 2005 shows that the majority is between the ages of 35 and 55. In 2025, there will be one elder over the age of 60 for every two children. In Monterrey, there are only 15 geriatric physicians. Older persons make up 6% of the population. This is why the older persons die young compared to other Mexican cities. The Regional Center for the Study of Elders of the Geriatric Service of the University Hospital hopes to create a climate where more people will be attracted into service specialties for the elderly.

Ecuador: Grandparents as Swallows (March 19, 2008)
(Article in Spanish) 
Families rotate older members from house to house for care. They are called “swallows” since they switch homes from month to month, child to child, because no one can take care of them full time. These changes stress the elders and their families. Grandparents carry their personal situation, age, sicknesses, and character through all their life changes. They also pass along traditions, morals, and culture to succeeding generations. The Spanish Dependency Law has been created to provide economic assistance to family caregivers of the old.

Asia Pacific

China: Haidian District Starts the Senior Preferential Treatment Card (November 17, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Haidian District is now offering a senior preferential treatment card to the 255,000 households in the district. Starting next year, the first card for older people will allow them to enjoy free use of public transportation and treatment services. In Haidian District, registered residents over 65 years of age can apply for the card.

New Zealand: Cash Needed for Rural Elderly Care, Says Group (October 19, 2008)
According to Health Care Providers New Zealand, care for the elderly in rural areas could be in trouble because funding was not pegged to cost of living increases. "HCPNZ members are saying that there are no hospital or dementia beds in Dunedin or Invercargill, which is causing considerable stress on the elderly and their families," chief executive Martin Taylor said. In order to continue to be viable, care facilities need to be bigger and this is not economically possible for providers in rural areas.

China: A Vision for the Olympics for 2008 Elders (July 31, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese) 
In March 2008, Nanhui district used 6,000,000 Yuan from a charitable fund to provide poor rural elders with free cataract operations. This is an effort to enable these elders to recover their sight so they can watch the Olympics. In addition, 20 new 29-inch colored television sets were given to these poor rural elders who do not own a television set, to enable them to view telecasts of the Beijing Olympics.

China: Rural Elders in Shuyang County Get Greater Medical Benefits (July 29, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Beginning in 2008, Shuyang County will supplement 100 Yuan annually to each person who signs up for the medical plan for rural persons. Each person will contribute only 20 Yuan annually towards the plan, the remainder to be subsidized by the government. Elders between 70-89 years need only contribute 15 Yuan and those over 90 need not pay at all. The claimable amount has been raised from 50,000 Yuan to 80,000 Yuan. At present, 99.66% residents have participated in this plan.

China: Is Pension Really Effective for Rural Elders? (July 25, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Professor Dong Ke Yong from Ren Min University in China has highlighted the fact that rural elders are not benefiting maximally from the state pension plan. This is because rural elders do not have fixed incomes and cannot contribute to their pension. He proposed that the government give all elders over 65 years old a fixed sum of allowance annually to help them cope with daily living and costs of medical care. This will help to ensure that no rural elder is left without help.

China: Home Based Elder Care Services to Be Launched in Rural Areas (July 21, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
During 2008, 122 elders in Xinzeng City have benefited from home-based elder care services. At present, there are 8 of these home-based eldercare programs in the city and 119 elders have used their free services. Each senior would have spent 400 Yuan monthly for 40-60 hours of service. Officials are considering using one or two of these programs next year to cater to seniors in rural areas, where a large number of older people reside. 

China: Medical Benefits for Yubei’s Rural District (July 18, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Yubei’s District is helping its needy citizens overcome medical costs, a benefit to 26,000 citizens. Citizens normally have to pay a minimum threshold of 5000 Yuan before they can claim a medical subsidy. Needy citizens will now have a card that will allow the hospitals to waive this amount for them. Beginning in 2008, needy rural citizens, those with chronic illnesses and those over 80 years of age, will also obtain 300 Yuan worth of medical services annually.

China: Citizens in Jiang Bei Rural District to Get More from Social Protection Scheme (July 9, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Rural citizens in Jiang Bei County will receive an addition of 500 Yuan per person per year. This will total up to 1900 Yuan annually per person. In addition, needy seniors over 80 years old, those who are chronically bedridden and seriously crippled citizens will get 120 Yuan in allowance to provide them with assistance.

China: Rural Elders to Get “Pension” (July 6, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Beginning July 1, 2008, rural elders over 60 years old in Dong Chang District will get a minimum of 60 Yuan monthly in allowance. The payouts will cost the district government 2,700,000 Yuan annually. A total of 3,600 rural elders are expected to benefit from this plan. This allowance is similar to a pension scheme that will help older persons in rural areas cope with daily living.

China: Keeping Citizens of Peng Hu Satisfied with Better Living Standards (June 26, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
The government of Peng Hu has implemented several measures to improve the living conditions of its rural citizens. For the elderly, this includes redeveloping fifty-eight of its rural old age institutions and improving the living conditions of centralized institutions for the elderly from 44% to 97%. As for medical care, 954,900 citizens have joined the new rural cooperative health care scheme, with an estimated participation rate of 95%.

China: Neighborly Help Wanted for Rural Needy Dwellers (June 26, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Many needy rural persons depend heavily on willing neighbors to lend a helping hand. Because many young men in rural areas leave in search of work in cities, the elderly, women, children and the handicapped are left behind to fend for themselves. Many have difficulty with daily living and especially with reaping the summer and autumn harvest and transporting the grain. Reliance on neighbors is therefore essential and also a way to foster closer ties between neighbors. Despite neighborly cooperation, will rural people see agriculture production decline due to reduced “man” power?

China: Rural Seniors Benefit from Health Scheme (June 24, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Rural seniors in Bai He Zhen have benefited from the health scheme implemented in 2005. This program includes free health exercise for rural seniors over 60 years old and a health insurance scheme for major diseases. Each policyholder contributes 10 Yuan and may be reimbursed up to 500,000 Yuan. In 2007, some 892,100 rural older persons registered for the rural health emergency services. Some 64% sought treatment at the district and rural health services centers, while 26% got medical help at district and medical establishments and 10% sought care at city and hospital establishments. 

China: Pension Payouts for Rural Land Owners (June 23, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
In order to provide for its elderly citizens, the West District government has come up with a pension scheme for its citizens whose land has been lawfully acquired for state use. Each eligible elderly person can expect to receive about 419.06 Yuan monthly for maintenance. Affected citizens whose land was lawfully acquired after December 20, 2002, and who meet the criteria will qualify for this scheme.

China: Elders in Han Shan’s County get Welfare Benefits (June 20, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
In Han Shan rural county, workers at the centralized institutions will be paid 1800 Yuan per person annually. Staff working with elders in decentralized places will get 1200 Yuan per person annually. In addition, older persons enjoying the 5 guarantees of the country can expect yearly payouts of between 2200 to 2600 Yuan, and 100 Yuan annually for outpatient services. Older people in old age institutions can get 200 Yuan monthly, plus 20-30 Yuan pocket money monthly. 

China: Home-Based Elder Care for Jin Shui District (June 17, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
In 2008, Jin Shui District found in its investigation that the majority of lonely elders living in its area face problems with living. This matter has been brought to the attention of higher authorities. The government provides some elder home-based care staff to help older people. At present, 39 lonely elders in 18 of its villages get assistance from home-based care personnel. 

China: Greater Subsidy for Healthcare Services (June 12, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Xing Long Tai District has set up a health service partnership and is going another step further to increase the healthcare subsidy. This year (2008), the government will increase the subsidy from 40 Yuan to 80 Yuan. The maximum subsidy for a health examination is 200 Yuan and for hospitalization is 20,000 Yuan. At present, 23,452 people have signed up for this health partnership. This is an increase of 1,252 people since 2007. 

China: “New Homes” for Elders in Ningbo City, Zhenhai District (June 3, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Four older persons in Ningbo City, Zhenhai District, have decided to live together to take care of one another. Vice chairman of the ageing committee Cheng Meifang lauds this form of co-residence for rural ageing persons. At present, Zhenhai District has 62 administrative villages, with a yearly increase of 3,600 elders, aged 50-60 years, and 1,000 elders, aged 60 years and above. Zhenhai District plans to increase the number of younger residents by 3,600 yearly, and match them with similar interests and living proximity to the older persons for co-residence.

Report: Myanmar: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar (June 3, 2008)
Following the implementation of Council resolutions S-5/1 and 6/33, Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana submitted the present report on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Unfortunately, the situation of human rights in Myanmar has not changed for the better and almost no improvement has been made. Most of the critical issues still need to be addressed. The report recognizes the difficult situations created by natural disasters and the distress of the victims, in particular that of vulnerable groups such as older persons. The report advocates for assistance to, and protection of, such groups and requests that meeting the basic needs of these groups should be the priority of the concerned Government. 

China: Rural Elders in Tianjin Begin to Receive Pension Payout (May 29, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Rural elders over 60 years old in Tianjin will now receive a monthly pension payout after the 20th of each month. Citizens between 18 and 60 years of age who are in the agricultural, farming and fishing trades can join the rural pension scheme. In order to encourage recruitment, the government will subsidize citizens’ pension fees. Those from 18 to 40 years will get 10% subsidy, those between 40 to 50 years will get a 15% subsidy.

China: 580,000 Shandong Rural Citizens Join New Rural Pension Scheme (May 29, 2008)
(Article in Chinese) 
Shandong now has 580,000 rural citizens recruited into the new rural pension scheme. A total of 16 counties have also introduced the new scheme as a test case. So far, 21 hundred million Yuan has been collected from pension fees. Shandong province aims to increase recruitment into this new pension scheme to 70% by 2010 and to 95% from 2011 to 2020.

China: 400 Elders to Receive Free Cataract Operations in Jianhu County (May 22, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
There are 9% of rural elders with cataracts and 7% of them are blind as a result of the disease. Jianhu’s government, in conjunction with its health, labor, finance bureaus and an eye hospital, organized an exercise to offer free cataract operations for needy elders in their county. A total of 400 elders have been identified to be recipients of this treatment. In a previous exercise some 94 cataract sufferers underwent treatment, with a 100% success rate.

China: 50,000 Rural Folk in Feng Tai District to Benefit from 14,360,000Yuan Pension Subsidy (May 16, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
In 2008, the Labor and Social Security bureaus of Feng Tai District will invest 1.4 million Yuan to cut pension fees for 53,000 rural residents in their new rural pension plan. Ordinary rural folk will receive a 10% cut with the neediest receiving up to an 80% discount. The government will begin by helping the 10% of residents paying the lowest fees under the new plan. This plan will also benefit 1150 rural residents with low pension protection and 3700 rural folk of limited household income.

China: New Pension Payout for Rural Elders (April 14, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Rural elders 60 years or older and on a pension can expect to receive a new basic payout of 280 Yuan. This is in addition to their monthly pension payout. The government will bear the cost of this new increase and will contribute 1.98 hundred million Yuan for it. The new payout is expected to complete disbursements by the end of April 2008.

China: Old Age Home for the Lonely and Needy Elders in Pujiang Village (April 5, 2008) 
(Article in Chinese)
Authorities have converted an old building in the Pujiang village area into an old age home for poor, lonely rural elders. The home can accommodate 100 elders and has 3 stories, in addition to 20 rooms. There will also be a kitchen, dining and recreational facilities. So far, 18 elders have registered to stay in this home. Moreover, residents of this home will receive free medical treatment, recreational and other services. At present, 40 needy elders and 63 infirm elders have been identified in this area as potential residents of this home.

China: Mending China's Buckling Social Security (March 7, 2008)
It is very important to take into account the rural areas in China because nearly 60% of old persons live in the countryside and 90% of them cannot survive without the support of their families. The implementation of a new social pension system is a must in China, involving both urban and rural areas. It must be a sustainable system that can support the astounding aging population growth to 200 million old citizens by 2015. The state must also think about the overcrowded nursing homes. It cannot be left up to the private sector because they are only interested in luxury facilities that the average Chinese citizen cannot afford.

China: Hebei Representative Highlights Problems of Rural Aging (March 5, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Some 70% of China’s 1.43 hundred million older persons reside in the rural areas. Recently Hebei’s representative commented on the situation of these rural elders. First, fewer births have resulted in smaller household units with a decreased ability to support extended family members. Second, these rural elders have to continue farming in their old age to support themselves as more young people leave for the cities. Third, the number of people opting into the pension system is still very small. Lastly, the development of age-related services and facilities in the rural areas is still very slow with little progress to show. 

Vietnam: Elderly Poor to Get New Homes (January 31, 2008)
The Viet Nam Elderly Association has launched a campaign to help the country's old people who often fall under the Vietnamese poverty benchmark. The project called on communities to build at least one home for the elderly and set up an Elderly Fund to make sure old people lead happy and healthy lives in their new homes. Last year the association built 30 houses and this year the volunteers are mobilizing financial support to help improve the quality of life for older generations. 

China: Special Pension Measures for Elders in Rural Suburbs of Tianjin (January 21, 2008)                                                                                                                          (Article in Chinese) 
The government will put into effect a special measure in the pension system for older persons living in the rural suburbs of Tianjin. Elders, 60 years old and above, who are not covered by a pension at present will be included in this special scheme. They will receive monthly living assistance of 30, 40 or 50 Yuan, depending on their age category. Elders have to be a Tianjin resident for at least 20 years, be on the agriculture registry, and be without a fixed salary in order to qualify for this scheme. 

Philippines: Senior Citizens in Albay Denied Benefits (January 17, 2008)
Drug Stores in Albay ignore the law requiring discounts to seniors 60 and over. Some sales clerks may lie about the medicine being out of stock, saving it for sale to non-discount clients. The municipal government is also not willing to build a senior citizens' center required by law. Seniors complain that the Legazpi City government is “not using its powers to enforce the law.”

China: Lives of Poverty, Untouched by China’s Boom (January 13, 2008)
China’s economic boom brought many people out of poverty. However, some rural areas like Henan seem to have been forgotten in this process. The Chinese official poverty line is lower than the one used by the World Bank and accounts for why many Chinese people are not ‘officially’ poor. According to this author, older persons in remote areas are not getting nearly enough to eat. They often work until death and their pensions are very low. 

Europe and Central Asia

Spain: Seniors Living in Rural Areas who are Widowed or Live Alone Tend to Suffer from Memory Problems (December 28, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In Spain a study was conducted to see how many people over the age of 75 lived up to the myth that they suffer from memory or physical problems. The results showed that 80% of older people in this area did not suffer from anything that was debilitating to them. However, the results showed that older people living alone were vulnerable to memory problems and depression.


Germany: Germany Builds Cities for Older Adults (December 14, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In Germany, the population of people over 60 years of age is growing rapidly. In Eschwege, the population of older persons is expected to rise to 60% of the total population by 2030. In order to deal with this problem a center for older persons is being planned. The city will have buildings with apartments fit for older people, as well as amenities such as supermarkets so that they do not have to travel far. The city will have the facilities needed for the older adult population to live comfortable and secure lives. 


Spain: More Hope of Life, but also More Lonely Old People (November 11, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
In Spain older adults are living longer lives. Most of them live alone with no one to care for their needs. According to statistics, 40.5% of women and 20% of men older than 85 years of age live alone in their homes. These statistics change according to districts. Older adults live longer because many have quit smoking and live healthier lives. The Director of Public Health in Barcelona emphasizes that more attention should be given to the needs of older persons to ensure they lead longer and better lives.

France: Equipment that Improves Life Standards and Autonomy (September 16, 2008)

(Article in French)
Mobility is one of the biggest challenges for older people and for those concerned with the development of specific products designed to support them as they age: mobility leads to independence and it prevents feelings of isolation. A European study confirms these conclusions, adding that older persons are even more vulnerable in rural than in urban areas. This is because mobility gives access to a range of services.

France: Lack of Doctors in Rural Areas (September 8, 2008)
(Article in French)
A general councillor deplores the lack of transportation, the closing down of community shops and lack of doctors that plague the municipalities surrounding the city of Dunkerque. The situation is so bad that older people are forced to seek medical advice in Belgium. The councillor calls for a meeting in order to draw the attention of General Council members and members of the National Assembly to these issues.

Russia: Pensioners Will Learn the Art of Text Messaging (June 18, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
An unusual initiative has been launched in Penza, Russia. Volunteers will teach older persons how to use cell phones. In the first classes, taught by high school seniors, pensioners learned the basics of cell phone text messaging. The classes proved so popular that the project team plans to expand the topics to include seminars on use of the Internet and ISQ. 


United Kingdom: Ageing Rural Population Can be a Benefit Rather than a Burden (June 16, 2008)
In the United Kingdom, analysts show that the number of people who live in rural areas will increase in the future. They estimate that in 20 years the numbers for 75-year-olds will increase to 80%, impacting all areas of society and the economy. Yet, evidence demonstrates that older people are more successful at starting businesses than younger people. If allowed, elder-run businesses can offer a number of different and flexible employment options to older persons who wish to continue working as self-employed, part-time, temporary or seasonal workers.


Russia: “Club 60+” will Assist Elderly (March 14, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
“Club 60+,” which now starts its work in the town of Volzhsk, aims to help older persons to deal with their body's aging processes, improve their spiritual state and teach them to self-diagnose. Local doctors will lead the classes for seniors over 60 years. 


England: Rural Poverty ‘Forgotten’ by Government (March 3, 2008)
Stuart Burgess, the Government Rural Advocate, depicts a very difficult situation facing people living in rural England. There are 928,000 rural households living below the national poverty line, including more than 2.2 million poor people. Poverty hurts many older people as the aging population grows rapidly. Indeed, many young people working in towns leave the villages, and with them schools, health care facilities and public services. The report encourages a special focus from the government on this particular topic.


Russia: “School of the Third Age” Celebrates its Three-Year Anniversary (February 29, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
The “School of the Third Age” in St. Petersburg turns 3 years old this year. The youngest student at the school is 55 years old; the oldest is 87. The school's “babushkas” live active lives attending classes on various subjects, including television journalism and computer literacy. Six hundred people are invited to apply for the new school semester in 2008.


Russia: Old Man and a Mouse (February 28, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
Pensioners in Chuvashia now spend more time in free computer clubs for the older persons, an activity gaining popularity in the region. Six clubs opened in Chuvashia during the past six months. Recently elders got a chance to take part in a challenging regional olympiad in computer use for people over 60 years. Due to its growing popularity, next year the organizers plan to hold an olympiad for pensioners on a national level. 


Ukraine: Charity Dinner for Pensioners (February 28, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
Local administrators in Chernigov organized a charity dinner for pensioners and children from poor families. Nadezhda Gerasimenko, 56, won a medal for preparing the best borscht, the Ukrainian beet soup, in the “Best Hostess” contest. With the support of some local singers, pensioners enjoyed eating and singing together at the event.

Report: Japan and United Kingdom: Planning for the Ageing Countryside in Britain and Japan: City-Regions and the Mobility of Older People (February, 2008)
Japan and the United Kingdom are wealthy countries. The current generation has a higher life standard than any generation before. In both countries, older people are increasingly influencing the development of their countries. In this report, researchers compare how older persons’ movement from urban to rural areas is changing the countries. 


Russia: No Country for Old Men (February 11, 2008)
Average male life expectancy in Russia is 59 year old. Thousands of “ghost” villages contain fewer than 10 people, most of them elderly women. Overall, more than 50 million pensioners live in poverty with an average pension of about $120 per month. Studies attribute the failure of many men to reach their 60th birthday to the high rates of alcoholism, especially in rural areas. Many are concerned that Russian villages may be doomed to die. 


Russia: Police Returns the Stolen Great Patriotic War Medal to the Veteran (January 16, 2008)
(Article in Russian)
Drug dealers stole the First-Degree Great Patriotic War Medal from a war veteran in the Altai region, Russia. Introducing themselves as a maintenance team, they gained entry into the apartment and stole the medal, selling it afterwards for RUB 100 ($4). Police found and returned the medal to the veteran. 



Report: Life-Course Events and Later-Life Employment (June 2008)
Researchers compare whether early or later life issues are more important in determining when a person will leave the work force. Early life issues include education, parental background and family formation. Problems of health, disability and pension savings influence late life decisions. The report also demonstrates how men and women face these choices differently.

Report: Spain and Mexico: Recognition of Aging from Significant Events in the Elderly in Rural Mexico and Spain (May 2008)
(Report in Spanish)
Writers of this study wanted to identify significant events where people could recognize aging in the elderly population in two rural areas of Mexico and Spain . The researchers designed a questionnaire based on a model that had been used in rural areas. The authors tested four hypotheses related to rural aging. The results show that significant events are held which recognize aging but they are different in the two rural areas. In Spain old age is reached when person is eligible for a pension. In contrast, Mexican culture assumes that “old age” begins when a person becomes dependent. 

Report: World: Elder Caregiving in Rural Communities (2008)
Old people living in rural areas face big challenges when their governments don’t support them in helpful ways. Low population density, large catchment areas, little access to available services or reimbursement possibilities create tall barriers to any form of community-based elder care. Family members, friends and neighbors often fill the service gap, providing both direct and indirect care services for poor, socially isolated, underserved, frail and chronically ill elders in rural communities. However, out-migration of adult children to urban centers for employment often reduces the number of family members available to function as caregivers. Many elders must depend upon haphazard and loosely-articulated combinations of informal services from friends and neighbors. Not a good situation for old people.

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