Spring - Summer 2013
NEWSLETTER #issue 1
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Welcome to the first issue of the SIforAGE newsletter. This newsletter aims at informing you about the new SIforAGE project, its goals and its activities. Every six months we will keep you updated about our latest events and news on active and healthy ageing. In this first issue you will find an introduction to our project and to the members who are taking part in it, a link to our new website as well as the communication tools we have launched to keep in touch with you. In the last sections, apart from news and upcoming events, you will find our “Scientific Corner,” where you will be able to read scientific reports and interesting papers written by SIforAGE scholars and external researchers. SIforAGE is in motion. Be part of it … and keep growing!

 In this issue 

About us

° All about SIforAGE and how can it contribute to improve your welfare!


Latest news

° SIforAGE General Assembly

° Alzheimer’s Disease Network

° SIforAGE in the social networks

° SIforAGE presented at the JETSAN 2013


Upcoming events

° Envejecimiento Activo. Calidad de Vida y Solidaridad Intergeneracional

° The 8th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology

° International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing (IIIA)


Science corner

° Taking care of our elderly … a moral duty?

° Nature: Brain-training prevents age-related cognitive decline

° Family Watch: The role of the family in active ageing

 

About us

SIforAGE –The European project “Social Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing” is designed to strengthen cooperation amongst stakeholders working in the field of active and healthy ageing. We aim to bring together scientists, end-users, civil society, public administrations, and companies in a drive to improve the competitiveness of the European Union regarding the promotion of research and innovative products for longer and healthier life. In addition, SIforAGE sets out to change minds and attitudes towards elderly people as key contributors to the socioeconomic development of the European Union.
 
The SIforAGE consortium is made up of a large number of stakeholders involved in ageing and social welfare, such as private foundations, care-centres, civil society associations representing elderly people, universities, public policy-makers, think-tanks, and experts at both European and International level … a wide range of interactants that serve to bridge the existing fragmentation.
 
Aware that each one of us is at one stage or another of the ageing process, SIforAGE partners encourage all citizens, of all ages, to engage in the task of providing elderly citizens with the opportunity to contribute to their own good health and active life-styles, as well as to use their creativity and innovative spirit, for as long as possible. A selection of communication tools have been and are being devised to facilitate the participation of all those interested in our project:

Latest news

The SIforAGE General Assembly in Barcelona

On May 7th SIforAGE celebrated its first General Assembly in Barcelona. Twenty partners from several European Union countries, Turkey, India, and Brasil came together in the University of Barcelona for the Consortium Meeting. The SIforAGE Consortium discussed how, in the following months, the major challenge for the SIforAGE project will be to develop new bonds and to bridge the gap between public institutions and companies, as well as to properly address the needs of the elderly in each of the countries in which the Consortium is operative. The meeting served to facilitate active cooperation between partners, deal with organizational challenges, and specify the activities each partner will carry out during the following weeks and months.

more information

Launch of our first network on “Mental Capacity and Alzheimer's”

One of the SIforAGE task groups – Knowledge Management Unit 2 (KMU2) – has just started to work on ways in which to confront mental capacity and Alzheimer’s. The purpose of KMU2, which is coordinated by the Université de Pau (UPPA), is to elaborate and disseminate best practices that are designed to improve the decision-making capacity in persons with mental health problems. KMU2 is also working on the best ways by which to obtain the informed consent of this type of person. The KMU2 call for participation addressed to all SIforAGE partners was sent out on April 10th, together with a specific protocol procedure which is being studied by all partners involved in the group. The initial results of the study are to be presented at a meeting with stakeholders working in the field that is to take place before the end of June 2013.

more information

SIforAGE is also on the social networks

SIforAGE expects to be more than just a roadmap. Rather, an important part of the project’s mission is to raise questions and influence current thinking. The Consortium is aware of the important function social networks play in the difusion of knowledge. For this reason, apart from its official website, SIforAGE is currently active on three of the most popular social networks: Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You are all encouraged to keep up-to-date with the progress of the project using these networks, and to contribute ideas, comments, and suggestions, thereby making the SIforAGE project more active and dynamic. Your participation is crucial for the success of SIforAGE and, ultimately, for healthier and better ageing for all!

SIforAGE presented at the JETSAN 2013

Workshop on e-health in Fontainebleau, France – May 29th 2013

Vincent Steinmetz, CEO of CARINNA (Champagne-Ardenne Research and Innovation Agency, France) presented the SIforAGE project during the session dedicated to “Living Labs, a new paradigm for conception and evaluation”. A specific focus was made on the Technology Experience Café to be organized on October 15th and 16th 2013 in Troyes, France.

more information

SIforAGE in the 2013 Basque Country University Summer School

In the framework of the 2013 Basque Country University Summer School, last 17th and 18th of June a member of GISME-UB working on the European Project SIforAGE attended the presentation “Social and Cultural key points for an Elder Participation plan for the Basque Autonomous Community”. This meeting provided SIforAGE with the opportunity to get in touch with new stakeholders and take advantage of the mutual learning work done by Basque Autonomous Community in the field of Active Ageing.

more information

Upcoming events

2-4/09/2013: “Envejecimiento Activo. Calidad de Vida y Solidaridad Intergeneracional. ” in Basque Country University Summer School.

Conducted by: I. Genua Goena (Matia Institute). Place: Miramar Palace, Donostia / San Sebastián.

 

9-11/09/2013: “2nd International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities”

The “2nd International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities” will be held from September 9th to 11th, 2013, in Quebec City, with the theme “Living and Aging Together in our Community.”

more information

4-6/10/2013: International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing (IIIA) “Achieving Intergenerational Solidarity”

The International Federation on Ageing (IFA), in partnership with Turyak Seniors Council Association, is planning to organise the International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing (IIIA) “Achieving Intergenerational Solidarity,” from October 4th to 6th, 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, at the WOW International Convention Center.

more information

April 2014: “The 8th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology”

“The 8th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology” is to be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway, from 10th to 12th April, 2014.

more information 

Call for applications for the award: “Social Innovation in Ageing – The European Award”

€19,000 aimed at awarding social innovation in the field of active and healthy ageing, an initiative of the King Baudouin Foundation, in association with LaCaixa Foundation & Unicredit Foundation.

more information

Science corner

In this section, you will find scientific papers and reports on active and healthy ageing written by SIforAGE scholars and external researchers. Here are some of our latest findings and discussions:



Mara Dierssen, neurobiologist at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, presents her paper about the relationship between two different pathological processes: Down syndrome and Alzheimer disease.

more information
 

Rethinking moral duties towards the elderly: the distinction between social and biological time (A. Errasti, N. Bilbeny, and A. Gonzalez)

The debate about demographic change and the need to face ageing as a political issue displays an initial theoretical inquiry: what is so special about senior citizens –taken as a social category– that makes them the subjects of morality? Most societies in humankind history have expressed a moral concern towards their elderly, considering their care as a moral duty. Is this just a matter of biological change strictly dependent on time? Or is it the result of some sort of intuitively-shared moral values? Ander Errasti (PhD student of Ethics and Political Philosophy at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra), under the supervision of Dr. Agustin Gonzalez and Dr. Norbert Bilbeny (Universitat de Barcelona), is currently working on this question. The article will be produced within the framework of the SIforAGE project for healthy and active ageing. The three researchers working on the paper are members of GISME: a group of junior and senior researchers from different academic disciplines who are working to correlate scientific progress and social needs.

more information

Nature: A little brain-training prevents age-related cognitive decline

A recent study published in PlosONE (and highlighted in Nature) has found that people who use a ‘brain-workout’ programme for just 10 hours have a mental edge over their peers even a year later. In the study, adults aged 50 and older played a computer game designed to improve the speed at which players process visual stimuli. The results of the study revealed that, one year later, people who played the game performed better at speed and showed improved attention, working memory, useful field-of-view, and other executive functions. When they compared the study participants' scores to those expected for people of their age, the researchers found improvement that translated from 3·0 to 4·1 years of protection in age-related decline for the field-of-view test, and from 1·5 to 6·6 years for the other tasks. Although these results are not conclusive, an interesting line of scientific research has been opened.

more information

Family Watch: Report about the role of the family in active ageing

Family Watch has recently published a report about the role of the family in active ageing. The document gives a definition of the concept of ageing, presents theories that explain it, describes different kinds of ageing, points out research and treatments aimed at delaying the process of aging, defines the concept of active ageing and, finally, the last section of the report is devoted to analysing the role of the family in relation to active ageing.
Among the factors that are pointed out as important for active ageing, the report underlines high social interaction, including amongst family members as the closest social network. You can have a look at the full report in the following link. The report is written in Spanish:

more information

Health in Europe 6: “Ageing in the European Union” (The Lancet)

The Lancet has published a series of papers on “Health in Europe.” One of them focuses on ageing in the European Union.
Abstract: The ageing of European populations poses new challenges to health, long-term care, and welfare systems. Although reports of ageing as a fundamental threat to the welfare state seem exaggerated, societies should embrace various policy options to improve the robustness of health, long-term care, and welfare systems in Europe in order to help people to stay healthy and active in old age. These policy options include prevention and health promotion, better selfcare, increased coordination of care, improved management of hospital admissions and discharges, improved systems of long-term care, and new work- and pension-arrangements. The ageing of the health workforce is another challenge, and new policies will have to address the particular needs of older workers (i.e., those aged 50 years or older), while recruiting young practitioners.
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