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Lifelong Learning
Positive Ageing
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Our perceptions about ageing affect our health and quality of life as we grow old. Added longevity, new medical procedures, and assistive technologies have empowered positive aging. It’s important for us to see the potential and learn about the ways in which we can live better longer. We must combat pervasive ageism that focuses exclusively on needs and disabilities. Here, we show information about demographic trends and resources relevant to positive ageing – i.e, promoting and maintaining health and wellness. We include resources for combatting “ageism,” defined as the expression of negative expectations about ageing that act as a barrier to positive ageing.


What issues or topics relevant to Ageing would you like to discuss with others?   If you have an idea for a topic and some interest in either facilitating or joining a short-term Special Interest Group (SIG), please send an e-mail to Jan Hively at


If you have information about an innovative program, that you want to share, complete the online Program Submission Form or download and scan/email or mail to Moira if you prefer. (mailing information included at bottom of printed form)

Projects & Organizations

Access to Care for Cancer from Asbestos Exposure. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure. Due to the long latency period of mesothelioma, approximately 20-50 years, about 80% of those who are diagnosed with this terrible disease are seniors. The Mesothelioma Center works 1-on-1 with these individuals to help them find doctors, treatment centers and support groups. Visit the Mesothelioma Center’s website to learn more about the free care and support that this resource center provides to help seniors suffering from mesothelioma.

ACTIVE 80 Plus, European Union Erasmus+ Project, 2014 – 2016. With the goal of raising awareness about the potential of very old people, the Active 80+ project developed research-based training for care staff and volunteers to function as coaches for people aged 80+. Project involved Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, and Lithuania. 3/17

AGE Platform Europe.  A network of more than 150 organizations of and for people ages 50+ representing directly over 40 million older people in Europe.  The work focuses on a wide range of policy areas that impact on older and retired people. 3/17

EveryAge Counts. The EveryAGE Counts project that is taking on Australia’s ageist attitudes in all sectors and generations, with the goal of changing them to be positive. Led by the Benevolent Society, decision makers from more than 20 organizations are working together on the national campaign with the understanding that shifting attitudes across generations may take 10 or more years. Past research showed that seniors tend to couple ageing with decline and death. The reality is that there are a lot of older people who are living happy, fulfilled lives. The campaign that will be launched in October 2018 will present the reality rather than stereotypes to shift attitudes and policies about ageing across generations. 9/18

GATEWAY TO GLOBAL AGING, USC Center for Global Aging Health and Policy. The Gateway to Global Aging is a platform for population survey data on aging around the world.  For comprehensive technical resources, including surveys and charts, go to this website:  3/17

Old School. Anti-ageing activist Ashton Applewhite (author of This Chair Rocks) is developing a clearinghouse of free and carefully vetted resources to educate people about ageism and help dismantle it. The goal is to help catalyze a movement to make ageism (discrimination on the basis of age) as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice. Check out the Old School website and sign up for updates or submit resources explicitly focused on ageism. 9/18

SIforAGE, European Commission, 2016.  The “Social Innovation on Active and Healthy Ageing for Sustainable Economic Growth” project engaged multi-sector users and stakeholders in mutual investigation of current and emerging social needs and expectations in an ageing society.  The purpose has been to explore how the EU can improve its future research and economic performance by co-designing new technologies, products and services in line with the needs and values of users in an aging society.  The goal is a society that encourages the active participation of all generations. 3/17


AARP’s 2018 Aging Readiness and Competitiveness Report. This report concentrates on small innovative economies of 10 countries, each with fewer than 25 million people: Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Mauritius, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Taiwan. Five best practices common to all were: policies were person oriented, bottom up, holistic, interdisciplinary and evidence-based. Read the whole report. 12/18

Active 80 Plus.  Full record, training package, and newsletters at the website for Active 80 Plus: Valuing the knowledge and Skills of People 80+.  3/17

Do older women in your area do better than their sisters in New Delhi? The Agewell Foundation published its latest study on March 8, 2018 on Human Rights and the Status of Older Women in New Delhi to coincide with International Women’s Day. The 25th in a remarkable series of in-depth studies on ageing in India, the report highlights the plight of older women in Delhi. The conclusion states, “Older women have always been marginalized from the mainstream of the society.” Living as second class citizens for centuries, most of them illiterate, they have not yet enjoyed privileges and potential offered by development. 4/18

Anti-Ageism: The Next Big Social Movement. In his most recent issue of Tikkun, an interfaith newsletter, Rabbi Michael Lerner has presented a great review by Ruth Ray Karpen of Margaret Morgenroth Gullette’s new book, Ending Ageism or How Not to Shoot Old People. “Of all the prejudices that divide us, ageism is still the most universally shared and tolerated.” As an independent scholar famous for an earlier book titled Aged by Culture, Gullette argues that our feelings about ageing are defined by medicine, economics, politics, law, media, the arts, language, and the stories we tell ourselves about getting old. Whether active or passive, aggressions against old people “tear at the social fabric and undermine the wellbeing of all people, young and old.” A grassroots anti-ageism movement will start when we get in touch with our “age-wise anger” and speak up. Read here.

Blue Zone Lessons – from People Around the World who have Lived the Longest. How do you score on these 9 healthy lifestyle habits of centenarians that Dan Buettner identified around the world?  In his research report titled ‘Blue Zones’, Buettner said:  “I saw how the environment dictated the lifestyle of the world’s healthiest people. They weren’t trying to be healthy. Their lifestyles helped them to: Move naturally, Know their purpose, Slow down, Apply the 80% rule, Plant slant, Wine at 5 pm, Family First, Belong, Right Tribe.”  Click here to view large image of Power 9. 3/18

The Economics of Longevity. 
A special report on The Economics of Longevity  titled “The New Old” was published by The Economist in London in July.  With contributions from over 30 experts in ageing, it’s clear that the impacts of the Global Ageing trend are as great as those from Climate Change or New Technologies.  “Making longer lives financially more viable requires a fundamental rethink of life trajectories.”  “Given the right input from governments, employers and individuals, it should be possible to stretch the increasingly productive in-betweener stage and compress the dependent period at the very end of life.”  The report reinforces our appreciation of intergenerational programs with research that shows that, “Older people in multi-generation teams tend to boost the productivity of those around them.” 9/17

The FrameWorks Institute Toolkits. The way society currently thinks about aging creates obstacles to productive practices and policies. How can the field of ageing help build a better understanding of ageing, ageism, and what it will take to create a more age-integrated society?  To answer this question, a group of leading national aging organizations and funders in the USA commissioned the FrameWorks Institute to conduct an empirical investigation into the communications aspects of aging issues. In Gaining Momentum:  A Communications Toolkit (2017), you will find this original research as well as a variety of materials to help you apply it.   This collection of research and resources equips advocates in the aging services sector to change perceptions about what it means for the society to get older.  9/17

Healthy Life Expectancy – Closing a 20 Year Gap. What if our first goal as seniors were to keep ourselves well above the threshold for dependency? In fact, this is the new goal set by WHO and Europe’s Age Platform to increase “healthy life expectancy”. It is detailed in the Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health (GSAP). The major public health goal is “to live not just long but also healthy lives” and it suggests the use of “healthy life expectancy” as the measure of health care success. The current gap between life expectancy (80) and life expectancy in good health (62) is close to 20 years. AGE Platform has been campaigning for this goal since the creation of the European Innovation Partnership for Active and Healthy Ageing in 2011. The World Health Organization (WHO) will now use “healthy life expectancy” as the primary measure of success for its focus on developing age-friendly environments for healthy ageing lifelong. 3/18

Photo: Antonio Olmos, HelpAge International, Colombia

HelpAge International – Freedom to decide for ourselves. Read what older people say about their rights to autonomy and independence, long-term care and palliative care. Read report here. 5/18

In Our Own Words. Read what older people say about their experience with discrimination and human rights in older age in this consultation report developed by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP). 9/18
Making Choices for a Society for All Ages, SIforAGE White Paper, 2015. Reports on multigenerational workshops and other innovative mutual learning, plus good practice examples of older persons’ participation in society, plus comprehensive recommendations for future policies and interactions are available through  Policy Recommendations Guide – available in 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.  3/17

OECD Better Life Index – A Fun, Interactive Way to See How Well You are Doing. The Better Life Index is designed to let you visualize and compare 11 key factors – education, housing, environment, income, jobs, community, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance– that contribute to wellbeing in 35 OECD countries. It’s an interactive tool that allows you to see how countries are performing, based on the importance you give to each of 11 factors that make for a better life. See the Executive Summary that is available in several languages. 3/18
Older Persons’ Self-Advocacy Handbook. AGE PLATFORM has produced an excellent online handbook to support the involvement of older persons in all processes that affect their human rights at the United Nations, Council of Europe and European Union levels. 6/18

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: How Perceptions of Ageing Affect our Later Years. Learn how perceptions of ageing can have serious affects on health, behaviors, and even longevity. Download this useful research summary from Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging and discover how these perceptions can be changed to promote more positive perceptions of ageing. 6/18

The Science of Getting Old – Infographic. Here’s an infographic that you may want to use on your website. It graphically explains why we age, why our hair turns gray, why our skin wrinkles, why we forget, why we get shorter, and why we can’t see as well as we get older. Get the embed code here. 2/18
Transforming Life as We Age. Ten years ago, Public TV broadcasting stations around the United States were invited to join with Jim Pagliarini, the CEO of Twin Cities Public TV (TCPT), to create a TV show about “Transforming Life as We Age.” After trying out some alternative designs, Next was created as a news journal that is sent out weekly via e-mail to subscribers, with written articles illustrated by brief videos and photos. A free subscription is available at the Next website. Of special interest is a new Next Avenue report that compiles an assortment of articles pertinent to its title, “Transforming Life as We Age.” Here is the link to go directly to that report, which emphasizes options for continuing care. 11/18
The Wisdom of Age: Perceptions and Insights from One Generation to Another by Jeff Rubin
Jeff, a community leader from Berea, Kentucky, and member of the Pass It On Network, says, “My journey of discovery this past year has been an eye-opening experience culminating in the launch of Wisdom of Age  – Perceptions and insights from one generation to another”. The book, he says, reaffirms a long-held belief that we each have something to share and something to learn from one another, regardless of our age or ability. Jeff has collected words of inspiration, motivation and comfort from people across the age spectrum, including sage advice from precocious five-year olds, gentle affirmation from people passing their 100th birthdays, and extraordinary wisdom from everyone in-between. He invites you to join the conversation on ways we can foster the breakdown of barriers between young and old at 1/18
World Health Organization – Infographic – A quick reminder: This infographic from the World Health Organization gives a quick overview of the essentials for staying healthy and independent. 5/18


“What’s one thing that is important to your sense of well-being?” asks Jan Hively. Here is a four-minute video recording from 18 Pass It On Network Liaisons who responded, hear what they had to say. Think about how YOU would respond to that question, which is central to your quality of life. If you would like to add your response to those that we have, just identify your name, age, years of life experience, and tell us what’s important for YOUR well-being. Send the e-mail to: 11/18
African Research on Aging
Four Arcs toward Transformation. Although 78% of the people in Africa are under the age of 35, its population of older adults is expected to quadruple between now and 2050, thanks to increased longevity and reduction in births. At the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Isabella Aboderin is connecting socio-economic data about ageing in Africa with development agendas across the continent. 11/17
Ashton Applewhite
Let’s end ageism.
Ageism is a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. In this video of her TED talk, Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.” 4/17
6’36 – Redesigning Long Life

Stanford Center on Longevity
Laura CarstensenLaura Carstensen: TED Talk
Older People are Happier. In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world. 12/11
rodney-brooks-iconRodney Brooks: TED Talk
Why We Will Rely on Robots. Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less mundane and mechanical challenges. Rodney Brooks points out how valuable this could be as the number of working-age adults drops and the number of retirees swells. 2/13
what-is-an-elder-iconJan Hively, PhD
What Is An Elder
What is Old?
What age do you consider to be old? AARP posed that question to Millennials and asked them to show what “old” looks like. Then they were introduced to some real “old” people. Watch what happens when folks let go of their outdated beliefs and embrace the idea that ageing is not about decline.  It’s about growth! Learn more about AARP’s efforts to Disrupt Aging 11/17


The Water Lily EffectDr. Edgar Mitchell’s “Sustainability”
The Water Lily Effect. Dr. Edgar Mitchell, 1930-2016, Apollo 14 Astronaut, Founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences ( and chairman Emeritus of Eternea, Inc. ( featured in an important video on the sustainability issues facing humanity and all life on earth. 2/16
SIforAGE International Conference 2016
View all videos of the three day event organized by the SIforAGE Project. 11/16