AARP International
Interview with Barbara Beskind
  • Jan 01, 2017
  • AARP

Interview with Barbara Beskind

Meet Barbara Beskind, a 93-year-old designer who uses age to her advantage by inventing products that improve the quality of life for older people.

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  • BREAKING NEWS
    • Aug 13, 2018

    College in India offers program to help senior citizens become computer, smartphone savvy

    The computer science department of Maharani’s Science College for Women is offering a free course on e-knowledge to increase digital literacy among senior citizens. The initiative will include a 30-hour free program. According to Prof Bhagyavana S. Moudigowdara, Head of the Department of Computer Science, the program also aims to bridge the gap between tech-savvy youngsters and senior citizens. more info

    • Aug 12, 2018

    Increased longevity in Australians reshaping economy

    An international comparison by the Bureau of Statistics shows Australia's life expectancy at birth has reached 82.5 years, the third highest in the world behind Japan (83.3) and Switzerland (82.7). Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said there has been a significant decline in the share of people over 55 reporting a health impairment that restricts their everyday activities. This is one factor contributing to a steady rise in the workforce participation rate of older Australians, especially women. About one in five Australian workers are now aged over 55 years, compared with less than one in 10 in the 1980s and 1990s. This trend has also been supported by an ongoing shift in economic activity towards service industries, which tend to be less physically demanding. As life spans grow, many will delay leaving the workforce because of the need to increase savings to finance a longer life. more info

    • Aug 12, 2018

    Edmonton seniors host fundraiser to support their social center, programs

    Seniors organized a Bagel Loop Fundraiser in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to help pay for programs at the city's Jewish Senior Citizens' Center. The drop-in center is a place for anyone over the age of 50 to go for food, fun and friendship. Dozens of people took part in the fundraiser in Victoria Park. The center was established over 60 years ago and offers meals made by a paid cook. Seniors enjoy the special educational programs and exercise programs as well as socializing with fellow members. Seniors can attend special events organized by the center, including attending plays, movies and special trips. more info

    • Aug 9, 2018

    Taiwanese man uses bike set up with 11 phones to play Pokemon Go

    A Taiwanese senior, Chen San-yuan, has set up 11 smartphones on his bicycle to play Pokemon Go and plans to add four more. Known as Uncle Pokemon, he learned about the game from his grandson. He currently spends more than $1,290 a month on his habit. Chen uses portable battery packs to power his multiple devices and can play for up to 20 hours before he runs out of battery power. He says the game has helped him to make friends and to fend off Alzheimer's. more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    Taiping Life launches community for elderly in Shanghai

    Taiping Life Insurance launched its flagship community in Shanghai for the elderly as it taps into the market for China's rapidly aging population. It comes as insurance companies compete to sell services to elderly Chinese looking for a quality life and care in retirement. Taiping opened sales for its $5.83 million community which is expected to welcome its first batch of residents next year. Taiping Life clients will be eligible for admission if they have paid a certain amount in premiums. Other would-be residents can pay an entry fee and a monthly management service fee.  more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    Over 1.4M Baby Boomers expect to buy new home in next five years: Royal LePage

    According to Royal LePage, 17% of Baby Boomers expect to buy a home in the next five years, 41% are thinking of downsizing before retirement, 56% consider their local housing market unaffordable for retirement and 9% don't expect their kids to move out before 35 years old. At the same time, 59% of Boomers would rather renovate their current home than sell it. In Canada, 77% of Boomers own a home and 61% live in a detached home.
    Related News:
    Half of Ontario boomers willing to downsize - Toronto Star (sub. req.)
    Nearly 1/4 of Canadian Baby Boomers still have adult children at home - Huffington Post more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    Australia advocacy organizations to get $2M for elder abuse prevention

    State and territory advocacy organizations will be able to use $2 million of federal funds to help implement an elder abuse prevention and advocacy strategy. The funds, announced in the May federal budget and available from July 1, come on top of $1 million provided last year. The latest grant will go towards information, education and advocacy services provided by OPAN's national network, says CEO Lewis Kaplan. It follows OPAN's recommendation for a prevention and advocacy framework that arose from the previous round of funding, Kaplan said. He says while most of OPAN's services focus on the consumer, there will be a flow-on to the home care sector where staff work closely with clients in their homes and often find themselves part of the conversation. more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    Japanese department store provides services, products aimed at seniors

    Aeon Kasai Department store is providing a variety of services, amusement and entertainment for "Grand Generation" a concept that replaces the traditional "seniors" group. One event is Morning Activity. This gymnastics class for seniors is very popular and is held two times a day in the morning. The participants engage in the event to exercise and for meeting and communicating with friends. After exercise, some customers decide to spend their morning inside the mall. In this fitness club, the elderly can be seen working out or in the cafe the elderly can relax and enjoy meals right after exercising. more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    EU funded project found to improve quality of life in seniors

    The EU-funded H2020 IN LIFE project developed and connected tools and systems for the elderly with various early cognitive impairments such as early and moderate dementia. Supporting home activities, the services are personalized to user needs. IN LIFE developed a range of tools and systems for the dynamic adaptation and personalization of services. To help sort appropriate regimes initially, the language behavioral prediction test is the screening tool used for sensing mild cognitive impairment conditions. This tool is self-administered, and it was designed for people with objective memory issues. Six pilots were successfully conducted to ensure viability in Greece, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia and the U.K. For the users of most sites, there was an increase in the mini-mental state examination score, a widely used test for cognitive function. All types of users favored the functionalities offered by the applications. The possibility of continuous monitoring and communication between elderly user-caregiver through IN LIFE was very appealing to all users. Overall, quality of life (QALY) was found to have increased with the IN LIFE regime. more info

    • Aug 8, 2018

    Around the world countries are at risk of becoming demographic time bombs

    Demographers say countries need fertility rates of 2.2 children per woman to maintain a stable population, but many nations' birth rates have fallen below two. An increase in immigrant workers can help alleviate these trends, but immigration alone can't reverse a demographic time bomb if a significant number of citizens leave for employment in other countries. Some of the countries most at risk of becoming demographic time bombs include:

    • The U.S. - The fertility rate fell to an all-time low of 1.76 last year. Americans' average life expectancy, meanwhile, sits at 78.7 years;
    • Spain -  On average, women in Spain have 1.5 children;
    • Italy - A record-low 464,000 children were born in Italy last year, and the country's mean age has surpassed 45 for the first time ever;
    • Bulgaria - The population is shrinking faster than any other country; it's expected to hit only 5.4 million in 2050, down from seven million in 2017. Bulgaria's fertility rate is only 1.46 children per woman;
    • Latvia - The population, reported to be nearly two million in 2017, is estimated to fall to 1.52 million by 2050. The nation is one of 10 with the fastest shrinking populations in the world.
    • South Korea - The government has offered cash incentives to people who have more than one child, as the fertility rate currently sits at 1.26 children per woman;
    • Japan - The country's fertility rate has risen slightly, most recently reaching 1.44, which is comparable to the 1990s. Unlike other countries with similarly low fertility rates, Japan has not seen a significant influx of immigrants;
    • The U.K. - The number of British residents age 65 or older is rising due to better healthcare and higher living standards. The U.K.'s referendum to leave the EU has led to a decrease in the number of immigrants, who are generally younger, leading to an increasingly older population;
    • Singapore - The fertility rate, 0.83, is the lowest in the world. In 2017, for the first time in Singapore's history, the percentage of people who were 65 years old or older was equal to the share of residents younger than 15; and
    • China - The fertility rate keeps dropping despite the government's 2016 decision to allow families to have two children instead of one. About 25% of China's population is expected to be 60 years or older by 2030, a significant increase compared to the roughly 13% of residents who were part of that age bracket in 2010.
    more info

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