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
    • Nov 15, 2018

    Japan's Shinzo Abe needs to be bold to achieve his '100-year-life society': The Economist

    According to The Economist, for Japan to achieve its "100-year-life society," it must focus on having enough people working to support those who no longer can. The article suggests three ways to achieve this:

    1. Persuade current workers to work longer;
    2. Encourage greater workforce participation from women; and
    3. Allow more immigration.
    While the country is attaining some progress on these, there are challenges to achieving the "boldness" required. These include 1.6 job vacancies for every jobseeker, an annual population loss of 400,000 with a plan to bring in 70,000 immigrants to replace them and a growing concern that increased immigration will change Japan's closed society too much.  
    Related:
    Labor shortage woes force Japan to pry open door to migrant workers - Rappler more info

    • Nov 14, 2018

    KPMG report finds Australian health system "will fail" if pace of change not met

    Based on a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (Ceda) report by KPMG Health, Ageing and Human Services Partner Evan Rawstron and Policy, Programs and Evaluations Partner Steven Casey, the country's healthcare is not adapting to technological change quickly enough, and could soon fail to meet population needs. The report also suggests technology, service and business models create opportunities to influence consumer demand and the sector's response. According to Rawstron and Casey, the healthcare industry needs to envision a future where Australians have equal access to appropriate health and human services when and where they require the service, regardless of their geography and other demographic characteristics. These innovations include:

    • The use of technologies like drones and autonomous vehicles to aid in the delivery of medical products to remote regions, or in redirecting paramedics to patient facing functions;
    • The rise of wearable, digestible and implantable sensors will enable clinicians to track both health and wellness in real-time, while the patient contributes relevant information into their record and shares it with their treating clinician;
    • The use of digital and social platforms can engage consumers in ways including tracking medical progress, treatment adherence, reminders and scheduling, leading to improved self-management and psychological well-being; and
    • Using AI to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
    more info

    • Nov 14, 2018

    Aging causes much of Italy's debt problems: Professor

    According to Alessandro Antonelli, professor of International Economics and Capital Markets at John Cabot University in Rome, previous pension models in Italy were generous, providing too much to the retiring people. Now the country is in the opposite position and is responding by increasing the age of retirement. One fundamental reason is the aging of the population. It costs more to live longer, he stresses, and Italy must take this into account. more info

    • Nov 13, 2018

    Asia prepares for baby bust as singles wait longer to have children

    While seen as a triumph from a women's rights perspective, lower fertility rates pose a challenge for governments in Asia. The issue for policymakers is how to maximize the workforce while giving working couples the support they need to have children. Fertility rates in developed Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore have dropped below those of the U.S. and the EU. Analysts say emerging countries are ill-prepared to cope with similar downtrends they will face in the future. "Emerging Asian countries have prioritized economic growth and been slow to design social security systems," warns Makoto Saito, an economist at NLI Research Institute. more info

    • Nov 12, 2018

    Neck scan can spot dementia 10 years earlier: U.K. study

    A five-minute neck scan could predict a person's risk of developing dementia a full decade before symptoms emerge, said University College London (UCL) researchers at the American Heart Association's conference. The test, which analyzes the pulse of blood vessels in the neck, could become part of routine testing for cognitive decline, they argued. People with the most intense pulses, which pointed to a greater and more irregular blood flow, were up to 50% more likely to suffer reduced cognitive functions, the research found, because the strength with which blood traveled into their brains caused damage to the brain's network of blood vessels. Pulses become more intense when arteries near the heart are worn down and can no longer cushion the blood flow coming from the heart. more info

    • Nov 12, 2018

    Super-aged society provides investment opportunities: Government of Japan

    According to the Government of Japan, the country is at the forefront of managing an aging society, and managing a super-aged society as well. It represents an opportunity for innovation based on high-quality data and medical research. About 20 startups recently participated in pitch contests themed on high-quality digital health and aging. Now is a good time for foreign businesses to invest in these fields, argues the government, suggesting this is how a negative can be turned into a positive. more info

    • Nov 10, 2018

    VR company targets 50+ market, data may help transform healthcare services

    Eran Orr, the founder of VRHealth and a former F16 navigator in the Israeli army, came up with the idea of using virtual reality (VR) glasses when he was diagnosed with cervical disc herniation and decided to use for VR for therapy. The ability of the VR platform to provide real-time data analytics may help transform healthcare services, he believes, especially among the 50+ market. Orr hopes to take his technology one step further and use it to help in early detection of neurodegenerative processes such as dementia. This application can also be used to jog someone's memory, allow them to revisit past communities safely, reduce stress and increase apprehension. more info

    • Nov 9, 2018

    Australians over 65 report better physical, mental health, greater social interaction than younger counterparts

    According to the government's Australian Loneliness Report, 25.5% don't feel they have a lot in common with the people around them, 21.4% rarely or never feel close to people, 22.1% rarely or never feel they have someone to talk to, 21.4% don't feel they have people they can tun to and 24.5% say they can't find companionship when they want it. Anxiety about social interactions is also common. Married Australians and those aged over 65 were reported as being the least lonely. Australians over 65 years also reported better physical and mental health, lower levels of social interaction anxiety, fewer depression symptoms and greater social interaction than younger Australians. more info

    • Nov 9, 2018

    Canadian pilot programs assist seniors with affordable housekeeping, yard work, snow shoveling

    Ten communities in N.S., Canada have initiated a pilot program designed to assist seniors with affordable home services ranging from housekeeping to yard work and snow shoveling. The program also draws a connection to another vulnerable community group, those living with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues, who are being tasked to perform the work through the DIRECTIONS Council for Vocational Services Society. The program was the creation of DIRECTIONS and is being funded by the province. It supports SHIFT: Nova Scotia's Action Plan for an Aging Population, a government initiative to help older residents stay involved in work, entrepreneurship, volunteering and other activities. more info

    • Nov 9, 2018

    Aging market ripe for health scams in China

    According to a China Daily story, the country's aging population is creating demand for fraudulent health products based on the theory espoused by Robert Young, who suggests all disease is caused by acidity and that an alkaline diet is the cure. Many of those falling for the scams are relatively less well educated than the younger generations. These fraudsters don't believe in Young's theory, they just see it as a means to cheat people. To end such wrongdoing in China, notes the author, Zhang Zhouxiang, is to raise the awareness of the elderly so they are not so easily taken in by the claims of fraudsters and launch crackdowns on illegal groups that sell unlicensed health products. more info

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