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
    • Jul 17, 2019

    French-based assisted living multinational moves into Slovenia

    Orpea, a French multinational specializing in assisted living services, entered the Slovenian market via its Austrian subsidiary, Senecura, by purchasing a retirement home in eastern Slovenia, called Dosor. Senecura purchased the facility from the Radenci municipality and an Austrian bank, and plans to use it as a springboard into Slovenia, having previously acquired a license to build several small retirement homes around the country. more info

    • Jul 17, 2019

    U.K. pensioner stripped of savings after local council ruled she saved too much

    The elderly on low income may be stripped of their savings if they have more than roughly $15,000 saved. Mary Morley had about twice that amount. Last year, officials from Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) began the process of taking it back. The council canceled her Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support and then demanded she repay about $15,000 from her savings. In the last five years, HDC tracked 27 people whose savings were allegedly too high. Of these, 16 were pensioners in receipt of the State Pension and all of them were on a low income which met the means test for Housing Benefit. more info

    • Jul 16, 2019

    More than one-quarter of income in senior Japanese households stems from wages

    Over a quarter of Japanese households are headed by a person 65 years or older, notes data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. As of June 2018, there were 14.1 million such senior households, including those with unmarried members under 18 years of age. This amounts to 27.6% of all households in Japan, as compared to just 6.3% in 1986. While 61.1% of household income came from pension payments, 25.4% stemmed from wages in a current job, indicating how many seniors in Japan are continuing to work after retirement to supplement their incomes. more info

    • Jul 16, 2019

    Researchers note ratio of car crashes in Japan caused by elderly drivers rising

    According to the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis, drivers aged 75 and up in Japan were responsible for 7.9% of traffic accidents causing death or injury in 2018, a 2.1-point increase from five years prior. The study found older drivers were more likely to mix up the accelerator and brake. Analysis of crashes across Japan from 2012 to 2016 showed 1.5% of all accidents involving relatively new drivers aged 24 and under were caused by confusing the brake with the gas. The figure was 0.8% for 25- to 54-year-olds, 0.9% for 55- to 64-year olds, 1.5% for 65- to 74-year-olds and 3.1% for drivers aged 75 and up. Traffic policy expert and Kansai University professor Seiji Abe points out most elderly drivers obtained their licenses during Japan's postwar economic boom years, when motorization swept the country. Suburbanization, he adds, means many can't get out from behind the wheel even if they wanted to. He believes government should support manufacturers in developing safer technology, as opposed to revoking licenses. more info

    • Jul 16, 2019

    Japanese seniors use VR headsets to travel the world

    A team at the University of Tokyo is helping Japan's elderly travel through virtual reality, taking them everywhere from Venice to San Francisco. Many seniors can no longer travel, and using footage from a 360 degree camera, therapist Kenta Toshima developed VR Travel so the elderly can revisit places dear to them or take virtual trips abroad. He notes some wheelchair-bound seniors got up and walked after placing the VR headsets on.   more info

    • Jul 16, 2019

    Microchipping may solve Singapore's problem of wandering elderly suffering from dementia

    Roughly 10% of Singaporeans over the age of 60 suffer from dementia, thus the Agency for Integrated Care launched an app to help residents locate missing loved ones. Apart from the app, people are turning to cell phone location apps and radio frequency identification tags. A microchip may provide the latest solution. Inserted in a person's hand, the microchip not only allows those suffering from dementia to be located more easily, it allows emergency workers to identify a person found who may not remember their address, caregiver or name. more info

    • Jul 15, 2019

    Australian senior living community operator plans $281M project in China

    Lendlease, Australia's largest owner and operator of senior living communities, plans to build a $281-million project in Shanghai, the latest foray into the country by foreign investors seeking to profit from China's rapidly aging population. The Sydney-based property and infrastructure group said the seniors resort would be the first of at least four similar facilities it wants to open in China before 2025. The company's Shanghai facility will house 1,300 residents paying one-off fees starting at $280,000, plus monthly charges. 
    Related:
    China Focus: Intelligent tech backs up China's elderly care - Xinhau.net more info

    • Jul 14, 2019

    With lower arches, other changes, seniors should get shoes to avoid pain, prevent falls

    To assess the optimal characteristics of shoes for older adults, Anton Jellema of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and colleagues reviewed footwear and various health issues encountered by older people. They found older adults tend to have a lower arch but increased circumference of the forefoot, ankle and instep than younger people. Shoes that are too narrow or too small can cause pain, but loose shoes can result in lower gait speed, shorter stride length and an irregular gait pattern. When older adults get fitted with shoes tailored to match their foot length and width at the ball of their foot, their gait improves, the review found. Older adults who use arch supports may show better balance, functional mobility and describe feeling less pain than seniors who don't. more info

    • Jul 13, 2019

    Indonesia to raise legal age criteria for seniors from 60 years to 65

    With Indonesia's average life expectancy increasing to 71 years, the Social Affairs Ministry plans to revise the legal age criteria for seniors from 60 years of age to 65. Social Affair Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita stressed the move wasn't based on the government's ability to provide basic services to the elderly. more info

    • Jul 13, 2019

    Smartphones may have positive affects on seniors in India battling anxiety, depression

    About half of the elderly in India suffer from loneliness, and increased loneliness leads to depression and anxiety. The onset of dementia begins at the age of 60 in India, 10 years prior to developed countries. The problem with mental health issues in India is they are often not recognized. According to one study, older adults who were trained to use a computer or a tablet showed an improvement in many cognitive capabilities, particularly better processing speed and episodic memory. Another study found the risk of dementia decreased as computer use increased.
    Related:
    The dementia scourge in India and other countries - The need to spread awareness - Business Matters more info

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