An EU-funded study encompassing Italy and South West England has just demonstrated the significant health benefits of social media for older people. At the report launch in Italy, Tony Watts OBE gave one of the keynote presentations – on how the way to reach the most digitally excluded older people was to break down the artificial barriers between inclusion and health. Read more here.
People living in northern countries could be more likely to develop dementia, according to researchers at Edinburgh University. The study suggested that environmental factors, such as lack of sunlight, could increase the risk of developing the illness. Scientists mapped the disease in Scotland among 37,000 people born in 1921. A second study involved more than 26,000 Swedish twins. Researchers found that the further north people lived, the more likely they were to suffer from dementia. Read more here.
While the rapid ageing of China's population is thought to condemn the nation to a dismal future, past policies on education and new policies to improve health and foster internal migration could ease the challenges posed by an older citizenry, according to a new study of the impact of aging on China's future.
Film and television are increasingly turning to the subject of dementia with the potential to influence and inform the attitudes of a new generation, says Australian film critic and writer Rose Capp.
Research has shown that contact with a person with dementia reduces stigma and improves understanding of the disease. However, emerging research in Australia and overseas suggests that viewing positive media representations could be just as powerful.
Older people in England are being left "high and dry" by councils cutting back on the care they provide, Age UK says. Research by the charity showed the numbers getting help had fallen from just over one million three years ago to 850,000 last year. Age UK said the cuts were one of the major causes behind the growing pressures on A&E units. Read more here.
A Northern Ireland health trust plans to halt daily delivery of meals to older people at home replacing it with a fortnightly delivery of frozen meals. The plan has been criticised by the SDLP's health spokesman.
The trust said people would continue to receive a nutritious meal and would benefit from a wider choice of options.
The HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Network is pleased to announce a new HERA Joint Research Programme (HERA JRP) on “Uses of the Past”. With up to €20 million available, the research programme will fund new and exciting humanities-centred projects involving researchers from four or more countries. Deadline for applications Thursday 9 April 2015. More information here.
Budget 2015 in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) brought good news to the over 65s with a return of the Christmas bonus and a €100 payment toward water charges for those in receipt of the household allowance or winter fuel allowance.
Announced on 14 October 2014 by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, the budget was heralded as the “end of austerity” budget, with no cuts to social welfare for the first time since 2009.
The key points relevant to older people are outlined below by Conor Breen, CARDI's policy officer in this CARDI blog: