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What's New? July 30, 2012

   Pension | Health | Elder Rights


PENSION

US

63% of Laid Off South Florida Workers Forced to Live Off Retirement Savings, New Study Finds (July 19, 2012)
According to a nationwide survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 63% of workers with 401(k) retirement accounts through their most recent employer used funds to pay their bills.  These individuals were required to pay penalties and taxes on withdrawals from 401(k) accounts.  Workers in their 40’s and 50’s reported a median retirement savings of $2,300 in their accounts. 

WORLD


UK: Suicides Soar Among Elderly Britons Due to Recession (July 26, 2012)
Over the past decade, suicide incidences among Britons ages 55 years and older have increased by 12%.  Men between the ages of 45 and 54 years are the most likely to commit suicide.  Loss of jobs due to the recession might have contributed toward these suicides.  Cuts in services to aid individuals with depression need to be reassessed during this campaign season. 

Russia: Prime Minister of Russia Promised to Increase Pensions 1.5 Times (July 17, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
On July 17 the Russian government took up the federal budget for 2013 and the  planning period that extends until 2015. Dmitry Medvedev announced that beginning in 2015 the size of pensions would be increased by not less than by 45%. This statement shocked almost all pension experts.

El Salvador: $50 per Month Changes the Lives of Older Salvadorians (June 24, 2012)

(Article in Spanish)
16,000 older adults from 53 municipalities have benefited from El Salvador’s Basic Universal Pension (Pensión Básica Universal).  The pension’s goal is to reduce poverty among seniors in the 100 municipalities with the highest poverty incidence.  Before the Basic Universal Pension began, 9 out of every 10 older adults who lived in rural areas did not receive a formal pension.  The program will end in 2014 with the conclusion of the presidency of Mauricio Funes.  The next government must consider continuing the project. 


HEALTH

US


Securing our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders (July 2012)
In the US, 1 in 5 seniors in Latino or non-White, and by 2030 the number of LGBT older adults will double to 4 million.  The report describes a number of policy reforms that could benefit the older population regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation. 


D is for Dazed (July 13, 2012)
Jane Gross, the founder of The New Old Age Blog in The New York Times recalls her three-day struggle to determine which Medicare Part D coverage plan would best satisfy her prescription drug needs. After several phone calls to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, her local pharmacist and an insurance carrier, Gross found the best deal. She criticizes the amount of time and money the process requires and says that it "could use some streamlining." Additionally, Gross admits that many older people cannot or would not be able to manage such an important and demanding research task. 


WORLD 


Mexico: Calderón Signed a Degree to Create the National Institute of Gerontology (June 25, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
The National Institute of Gerontology (Instituto Nacional de Geriatría) will study aging and will train specialized caretakers for older adults.  The Executive also initiated Popular Security (Seguro Popular) that will begin an Alzheimer’s program. 

World: Genetic Mutation Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease (July 11, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
After studying the complete genomes of 1,795 islanders, a central team of deCODE Genetics from Reikiavic, Iceland, discovered a genetic mutation that reduces the formation of a protein that causes cognitive decline in older adults.  Researchers think that cognitive deterioration and Alzheimer’s disease share the same or similar disease mechanisms. 

Spain: Seniors Grade Quality of Life as a 6.6, According to a Study (June 19, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
According to a study by the Biomechanical Institute (Instituto de Biomecánica), older adults are the population’s most discontent group with their quality of life.  They value their quality of life as a 6.6 out of 10 while the general population esteems it as a 7.  The percentage of seniors that indicate that their quality of life is “good or very good” diminishes as they grow older.  The study suggests that stress negatively impacts quality of life. 

ELDER RIGHTS

US


Elder Abuse: Study Finds Agencies Recruit Dangerous Caregivers (July 13, 2012)
Research published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society reveals that a large number of nursing and care-taking agencies recruit and hire people from websites such as Craigslist.  They often fail to run criminal background checks or administer drug tests to their employees. In fact, of the 180 agencies surveyed, only fifty-five percent run federal criminal background checks and one third test workers for drugs. Having so many unqualified, untrained caregivers puts many vulnerable seniors at risk. By making unannounced visits, checking in on caregivers and asking for referrals, loved ones may feel more protected.     


WORLD


Russia: Russia Begins a Program to Support Older Persons Who Suffered From Fascism (July 25, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
This program is intended to change the quality of life of old people and fill their lives with new interests. Ten NGOs from the Leningrad region, Pskov region and St. Petersburg won the open contest to receive the program. Their projects are directed toward supporting and actively involving Russians who suffered from Nazism.  The projects will also develop  dialogue between generations.

Russia: Older Russians to Learn How to Use Internet Kiosks (July 25, 2012)

(Article in Russian)
On July 24, older persons came to a seminar for elderly people and social workers in Samara at the social service center. Thanks to more than 200 Internet kiosks in the region,older people.can learn to use them to investigate subsidies, how to arrange for a medical appointment and much more.


Australia: Diabetes Risk for Elderly Couch Potatoes in Australia (July 24, 2012)
In Australia, nearly 2,000 older persons in Australia watch TV for an average of four hours a day. While many think that this is allowing them to rest, each hour spent watching TV increases their risk of getting diabetes.  It is critical that older persons keep themselves active, for even folding a piece of clothing can make all the difference! 

South Africa: Call For Aids Researchers to Refocus on Elderly Africans (July 23, 2012)

In South Africa, scientists have noted a 6.4% prevalence rate among adults older than 50 years old, in comparison to 16.9% in 15-49 year old. While nations continue to neglect HIV (both awareness and care) among older persons, adults that are HIV positive face many more difficulties than those who are HIV negative. As the population of older persons increases rapidly, so is the HIV rate, thus making it crucial for us to take action now!

India: Looking After Elders Makes Workers Fear Losing Job (July 23, 2012)

Researchers at Engage Mutual Assurance found that fourteen percent of adults between 40 and 65 years old fear that their employers consider employees taking time off to care for elderly family members as absenteeism. In contrast, only twenty-one percent of those polled think that employers would be supportive under such circumstances. Engage's Director feels that employers should be equally accepting of time off for elder care and child care.


Sub-Saharan Africa: HIV Drugs Reach 8 Million in Needy Countries (July 18, 2012)
Approximately eight million people are taking antiviral drugs to treat HIV. This increase in drug coverage was followed by a 31% drop in deaths from HIV/AIDS related causes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sadly, access to this treatment is not universal.  All citizens must work to assure such access in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.  All people have a stake in the fight against HIV/AIDS


World: Technologies in an Aging Society (July 11, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
An aging society can pose serious economic challenges in a society.  According to the UN forecasts, by 2050 some 22% of the world population will be pensioners. It means that the production is likely to decrease; the tax burden will increase due to pensions and  an expanding health care system.  At the same time,  the number of people working age will decrease. The author discusses technologies that can improve the quality of life in an aging society.


World: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15, 2012)
On June 15th, the Centre for Ageing and Rural Development (CARD) held its seventh worldwide Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It was the first time the event was held in Kenya. There were over 200 participants, many of whom listened to and interacted with guest speakers on many issues. They took up such topics as elder abuse, human rights violations, discrimination, neglect, lack of social and governmental support, old-age related illnesses and general poverty issues. While the event was successful, the organization needs resources to advance elder rights and to help abandoned seniors living in Nakuru.