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Elder Rights in Europe and Central Asia

Articles in Arabic | Chinese | French | Russian | Spanish

A World Tour of Older Persons Homes
Come on this World Tour to a little known place in the world to discover how older persons are living.

Reports & Articles


EU: Report: Around 40% More Women Than Men Among the EU Population Aged 65 and Over (March 7, 2012)
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has released new data on women and old age on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2012. Among their conclusions, two interesting facts stand out: the proportion of women at risk of poverty or social exclusion is higher than for men in all 27 Member States, and there are twice as many women as men aged 65 and over in the Baltic countries. The demographic difference is biggest in Latvia, where there are 208 women per 100 men in this age group.


Russia Begins a Program to Support Older Persons Who Suffered From Fascism (July 25, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
This program is intended to change the quality of life of old people and fill their lives with new interests. Ten NGOs from the Leningrad region, Pskov region and St. Petersburg won the open contest to receive the program. Their projects are directed toward supporting and actively involving Russians who suffered from Nazism.  The projects will also develop  dialogue between generations.

Spain: Nursing Home Administrators Alert the District Attorney’s Office of Neglect to Seniors for Nonpayment (July 24, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Some older adults and persons with special needs from Catalan did not make their August payments, indicating that they were possibly recipients of neglect.  “Even though the Generalitat (the autonomous government of Catalan) decided to abandon the weakest, we will defend them to the last,” explained the Vice President of Asociación Catalana de Directores de Centros de Atención a la Dependencia Gerontológica (Ascad).

Older Russians to Learn How to Use Internet Kiosks (July 25, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
On July 24, older persons came to a seminar for elderly people and social workers in Samara at the social service center. Thanks to more than 200 Internet kiosks in the region,older people.can learn to use them to investigate subsidies, how to arrange for a medical appointment and much more.

Technologies in an Aging Society (July 11, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
An aging society can pose serious economic challenges in a society.  According to the UN forecasts, by 2050 some 22% of the world population will be pensioners. It means that the production is likely to decrease; the tax burden will increase due to pensions and  an expanding health care system.  At the same time,  the number of people working age will decrease. The author discusses technologies that can improve the quality of life in an aging society.

Russia: The Majority of the Flood Victims in Kuban Are Elderly People (July 8, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
The recent flood in Kuban impacted the cities of Gelendzhik, Novorossiisk and Krimsk. The largest number of casualties – 130 people- were found in Krimsk. Unfortunately,many older people lost their lines in the flood.  The government declared July 9 as the day of mourning. Surely, it would be helpful if these Russian old people had enjoyed access to emergency procedures to assist them in such a catastrophe.  Other nations, including some developing nations, have such programs in place. Why should Russian citizens be denied such programs?  Surely such a measure would guarantee an important human right to Russia’s aged citizenry.

France: Free Transportation Will Cease for Seniors and Disabled in Paris (July 5, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
The Parisian Municipality terminated public transportation services for older persons and individuals with special needs.  Citizens that receive a minimal State pension now pay an annual fee of 20 Euros.  Retirees with mid-range incomes buy access to the public transportation for 40 Euros.

United Kingdom: NHS Doctors “Ending the Lives of Thousands of Elderly Patients to Free Beds" (June 20, 2012)
In the United Kingdom, 450,000 deaths occur annually in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals.  Of these 450,000 deaths, 29% or 130,000 deaths occur when the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is initiated, a pathway commonly used in hospitals for severely ill patients whose recovery is not anticipated and death is projected to occur soon.  Professor Patrick Pullicino has revealed that NHS physicians are using the LCP as a form of euthanasia for older adults due to “pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients.” 

Ukraine: In Ten Years the Number of Pensioners and the Number of Citizens of Working Age Will Be Equal (June 11, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Economics expert Oleg Ustenko emphasized that Ukraine still has the so-called Soviet system of “solidarity responsibility” that the employed citizens support a pensioner.  He says that this system slows down economic development.  Rather, he states that the pension system should be reformed not through increasing of the pension age but through the personal  accumulation of income. 

Spain: Swindlers of Older Persons with Poor Psychological Health Take Advantage of Power of Attorney to Appropriate Their Goods (June 9, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Swindlers habitually use the Power of Attorney to obtain the material goods of older persons, they may purchase the Power of Attorney for 80 to 90 Euros.  They commit a range of crimes, from taking money out of the older person’s bank account to placing their own name on real estate.  Notaries are unable to demonstrate that the abusers are guilty of these economic crimes, because they lack the tools to confirm their suspicions. 

Russia: Pension payments may be decreased from 30 to 28% (June 4, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
The Federal Ministries proposed their own individual designs for the development of a pension system in Russia. The Ministry of Economic Development suggests focusing on collecting payments and then cutting them from 30 to 28%.  The Ministry of Finance proposed increasing the pension age to 63 years old. And the Ministry of Social Development wanted to assemble pension payments from many different sources.

Spain: Older People Will Pay for an “Official Authorization” in Madrid’s Day Centers (June 8, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)   
The Social Affairs Advisor, Salvador Victoria, revealed that Madrid older persons will begin spending 30% of their income as an “official authorization” to use the geriatric day centers of the regional governmental branch.  The municipality and city of Madrid already charge these rates for the use of their day centers.  The official authorization is part of the Project of Law (Proyecto de Ley) which modified the regional budget. 

Spain: 30,000 Older Madrid Residents are the Object of Maltreatment (June 1, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Maltreatment makes up the most common form of passive neglect of old people in Madrid.   Other forms of maltreatment include psychological, physical, and economic abuse. Some 65% of maltreated older adults are women, while 75% of older adults studied exhibited cognitive deterioration or other mental disorders.

Russia: New Law Will Oblige Children to Support Their Parents (May 22, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
The governor of Ryazan region came forward with a proposal to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to oblige children to support their parents. The Prime Minister approved the idea and ordered to elaborate amendments for Family Code of Russian Federation. He has also emphasized that lawmakers should be careful since the problem has very deep moral aspects.

Tajikistan: Problems of Elder People and Their Reasons (May 13, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Elderly people in Tajikistan have various problems today: loneliness, social and physical vulnerability, age discrimination in employment, access to elementary medical services and only a small pension. According to Oleg Serezhin, an employee of the UN Social Policy and Development Division, adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing would be a good next step in Tajikistan.

Spain: Directors of Geriatric Centers Claim that Physical Restraint of the Elderly Prevents Injury (May 11, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
The Commission of Social and Familial Wellbeing of the Generalitat (la Conselleria de Bienestar Social y Familia de la Generalitat) emphasized that 20% of older adults living or serviced by geriatric centers are subjected to physical restraints involving a “fastening down” mechanism.  Managers of geriatric centers emphasize that physical restraints should not be called ataduras (ties).

France: Older Entrepreneurs Ignored by Politicians (April 27, 2012)
(Article in French)
In France, the issues surrounding older people are largely ignored, a particularly striking phenomenon in this election period. Indeed, the candidates' programs, regardless of their political parties, leave aside the issue of the employability of older workers. While this year's theme is active aging within the European Union, companies continue to snub people aged 50 years and older. It is crucial that governments and employers realize the importance of the growing senior population and implement measures to fight against prejudice targeting seniors.

France: Retirees: Votes...Organized (April 23, 2012)
(Article in French)
A team of journalists monitored the first round of the presidential elections in two nursing homes in small French villages. Special measures were organized to enable the old people to use their right to vote. This article is an interview with residents and managers of these institutions.

France: The Presidential Election in the Eyes of  "Old Women" (April 23, 2012)
(Article in French)
Therese and Dominique live in Montreuil, near Paris, and are fighting for a "different aging." They want to give older women the opportunity to end their days in a community with civic solidarity, far from nursing homes. After following the results of the presidential election, they shared their feelings and wishes with the journalists.  For them, the dismal reality is that "women and old people  were completely overshadowed throughtout this campaign."

France: Ways to Support Struggling Caregivers (April 17, 2012)
(Article in French)
The National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA) has published a document outlining possible measures that could be implemented to support the eight million French people who are caring for a disabled or elderly relative. The report calls for the establishment of discussion groups among caregivers and with psychologists. Also considering that 47% of them have jobs, the Fund recommends negotiations in business so they can combine work and care.

France: Retirement Homes:  Quality of Accommodation on the Rise (April 17, 2012)
(Article in French)
A recent study ranks more than 10,000 French nursing homes. The authors have spent seven years visiting various public, private and voluntary locations and have rated them according to the environmental quality, the building, living areas, bedrooms, hygiene, luxury, entertainment, outings, restoration, composition of the care team, staff attention and quality/price ratio. Compared to the previous report, the average score has increased, but 5 percent of homes should, according to the authors, be closed. Fifty-five institutions have earned full marks.

Italy: Economic Crisis Triggers Wave of Suicides (April 17, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Recently, Italy has been experiencing an increase in suicides attributed to the devastating current economic crisis. The most affected groups are entrepreneurs, pensioners and desperate elders. Suicide estimates have risen by 24 percent since 2008 and of the 4000 suicides committed last year, one third were due to economic reasons. Psychoanalysts are urging those afflicted to not be embarrassed and suffer in silence but instead seek help.
(Article in French)
A survey conducted by Ipsos and the Pfizer Foundation reveals that 85 percent of youth grow up with help from the older generations. Yet 73 percent of adults think that teenagers do not need them. It shows lack of communication between teenagers and their grandparents: 58 percent speak face-to-face with their grandparents against 84 percent with their parents. The study demonstrates that intergenerational relationships help adolescents feel better and 51 percent of seniors believe they can learn a lot from their grandchildren. Adolescents interviewed believe that grandparents are, after parents, the best transmitters of values (41 percent), tradition (38 percent) and etiquette (37 percent), before teachers, friends or religious figures.

France: French Elderly Prefer to Live in Their Homes Rather than Living in Nursing Homes (April 12, 2012)
(Article in Arabic)
Most French older persons refuse to leave their homes and move to a nursing home. They prefer to stay home and live with their pension income, governmental assistance or some support from their children.

(Article in French)
Each year, notaries in France publish the numbers of home buyers organized by their age.  This study aims to show the evolution of the market since 2000. It appears that since then, the young have invested less in old buildings, while the share of people aged 60 or more is increasing. Seniors made 14.5% of home acquisitions in 2011, two percentage points more than in 2010, a phenomenon explained by the numerical growth of this segment of the population and the fact that older persons are  more likely to see a safe haven in owning their home.

(Article in Spanish)
Recently, a Greek pensioner committed suicide in an Athenian plaza; there he also left a note attributing his decision to the country’s failing economic state. In an effort to avoid bankruptcy and obtain international monetary help, Greece agreed to reduce pensions and salaries and increase taxes starting in May of 2010. The 77-year-old pharmacist’s suicide has sparked more intense public outcries, with many vocalizing disbelief, sadness, and anger toward a system that has left its people abandoned and uncared for, especially the elderly.

France: Adventurous Seniors Looking for New Alluring Bodies for Intense Relationship (March 28, 2012)
(Article in French)
Older people are buying more than half of new Mercedes cars and sedans at a cost of over 18,000 euros. Indeed, 22 million people aged 50 and older are part of the automotive buyer’s market. Of the 1.2 million passenger cars sold in 2011, 55 percent of the purchasers were seniors, totaling 660,000 vehicles. This population group also represents 40 percent of the owners of 4 × 4’s, and attracts manufacturers because 7 out of 10 seniors decide to buy quickly, on average in three months.

Czech Republic: Babylon, "Student Magazine for Seniors" (March 27, 2012)
(Article in French)
Petr Placák runs Babylon, a social and cultural magazine distributed in Prague since 1992. Mainly distributed in graduate schools and intended to open his readers to political and cultural plurality, Babylon’s subtitle is "student newsletter for seniors" because it appears that after having read it, students give the review to their grandparents. In addition, the newspaper regularly invites other figures of dissent to appear in its columns, such as Šustrová Petruska, a 65 year-old signatory and spokesperson for Charter 77.

France: Reversion: How to Apply for your Pension? (March 26, 2012)
(Article in French)
In order to receive the pension to which the widow is entitled, the concerned authorities have to be reached because it is never automatically assigned. Applications must be submitted twice, once for the general pension and once again for the complementary one. This article details the procedures to follow after the death of a spouse.

France: Young Retirees Sharing Apartment (March 26, 2012)
(Article in French)
If the nursing home does not attract you, loneliness scares you, your income is low and if the idea of living with your children does not please you, why not try sharing a place? Sharing a house or apartment between seniors is a new phenomenon in response to isolation and special needs faced by the elderly. Local initiatives or websites can assist in finding one or more roommates. Opportunities are growing, and this system is becoming increasingly popular. Read this article for testimonials from happy roommates.

Russia: Employers More and More Willing to Remove Age Limit from New Job Openings (March 22, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Even though the job age in most demand in the Russian market remains between 25 to 45 years of age, in recent years more and more companies are removing the age limits and looking to hire a more experienced group of people—those in the 45 plus age range.

England: TV Show About Sex Life of People Over 70 Shocks (March 22, 2012)

(Article in French)
Tracey Cox, sex expert of the morning show “This Morning” broadcast on ITV in England, is once again the target of critics. After setting up a demonstration of vibrators and sex toys designed for older people last October, she has devoted her column to the sexuality of those aged 70 and older, including giving tips and tricks. An elderly couple was on set to "mimic" the positions recommended by the host, which didn’t please some viewers.

France: Employment Rate of Older Workers Finally Taking Off (March 20, 2012)
(Article in French)
France has tried over the past ten years to promote the employment of older workers in order to increase its rate, including by the implementation of a series of measures in their favor. Even if they did--as President Nicolas Sarkozy stated--help lower the unemployment rate for older workers, the Research Department of the Ministry of Labor reminds us that their impact has been limited.

France: "Zero Social Tax for Seniors’ Employment" Promised Again by Sarkozy (March 19, 2012)
(Article in French)
Employers are often reluctant when it comes to hiring older workers, especially because their seniority entitles them to a higher salary. President Nicolas Sarkozy faces growing unemployment of older people. To fight against this phenomenon and as part of his campaign, he announced that he wants to exempt firms that hire unemployed people over the age 55 for more than six months from social taxes. This is not the first time he has mentioned this possibility; it was written into his pension reform of 2010 but was never implemented. He stated that this change would cost the state 100 million euros the first year and that 50 000 to 60,000 people would benefit from it every year.

Europe: Generation that Lives Off Elders: Young People’s Lives Not as Good as Older Generation’s (March 19, 2012)
(Article in Chinese)
In the UK, children live off their parents because their standard of living is comparatively lower due to reduced social benefits, even as expenses increase.  In 2000, family incomes of 20-30-year-olds were for the first time lower than those of baby boomers. In Greece, families supported by grandparents or parents are more resilient in the crisis. In Spain, the average age at which children leave home is now 32, the highest in Europe. This has negatively influenced their ambition and life skills like cooking. In Italy, some parents have sought government help in moving adult children out of their parental homes. 

Czech Republic: Number of People Aged over 100 Increases in the Czech Republic (March 17, 2012)
(Article in Arabic)
A study stated that the number of Czech citizens aged over 100 has reached 961; 813 women and 148 men.

Germany: German Government Considering "Grandparents’ Leave" (March 14, 2012)
(Article in French)
Germany is about to raise the age of retirement to age 67, which may transform the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. By working longer, seniors will not have as much time to look after their grandchildren. Following this, the Conservative Minister of Family, Kristina Schröder, wants to put in place before September 2013 a leave for grandparents to allow them to suspend their activity and then resume it after taking care of their families.

Russia: “Buranovskie Grandmothers” Will Represent Russian Federation on the Prestigious Eurovision Song Contest (March 12, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Two years after almost making it to the prestigious Eurovision contest, a recent music sensation and already beloved folk group "Buranovskie Grandmothers" (Buranovskie Babushki) finally won the prequalifying rounds and will represent the Russian Federation in the upcoming Eurovision 2012. Buranovskie Grandmothers won first place with 38.51 points by viewer voting. The long anticipated competition will be held in Azerbaijan's capital Baku May 22-26, and will represent 40 European countries.

Russia: Buried Alive or Just Crossed Off  List Due to Age? (March 12, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
One of Galina’s biggest surprises in life was being notified by authorities that she passed away about four months ago. The elderly woman from Yekaterinburg got a letter from social services stating that she is no longer eligible for senior discounts and privileges due to the fact that she passed away. Galina says that even though she is 91 years old, she is very much alive and enjoys reading Chekhov and spoiling her cat Kesha. Galina is working with authorities to sort out this misunderstanding.

UK: UK Takes Care of Their Elderly Drivers (March 12, 2012)
(Article in Arabic)
According to a British government report, elderly drivers who are caught violating the traffic law should be sent to special training courses to make sure they are still healthy enough to sit behind the wheel.

Belgium: Belgian Law on Euthanasia Still Questioned (March 11, 2012)
(Article in French)
Euthanasia was legalized in Belgium ten years ago. In 2011, 1,133 cases were registered, representing 1 percent of all deaths in the country that year; 50 percent of euthanasia requests were granted. Proponents of this practice, including many doctors, want the scope of the law to be expanded, for example, to patients who are not terminally ill. However, others are opposed to a “trivialization” of euthanasia, recalling that this is not a minor decision and that it must be carefully circumscribed.

UK: Visiting the Elderly Could Save Lives, Say Campaigners (March 11, 2012)
Based on Office for National Statistics data, it was found that almost two-thirds of deaths as a result of accidents such as gas leaks were among people aged over 65. Community members should keep an eye on their elderly neighbors. Sometimes, support and reassurance can be the difference between life and death. Neighbors should check whether carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working, that boilers are serviced yearly and that older people know whom to call if they smell gas.

France: Pro-Euthanasia Organization Shows Three Presidential Candidates on Their Deathbeds (March 6, 2012)
(Article in French)
The Association for the Right to Die with Dignity (ADMD) which advocates for the legalization of euthanasia has hit hard with its latest advertising campaign. Finding that the candidates to the presidential election do not speak enough about the subject and that they are mostly opposed to it, the association has created posters showing candidates on the deathbed, with the message "Mr. Candidate, must we put you in that position to change yours on euthanasia?”

France: Retirement Home Forced to Accommodate Families (March 5, 2012)
(Article in French)
The retirement home in Villepreux has seen a new population move in the building, and retirees are not happy with this change. Until space becomes available in overcrowded social housing, the municipality has allowed families to move into the retirement home. Seniors must live with noisy children and families that stay up later, prompting some to relocate to find some peace. Elected officials have lamented the lack of solidarity and reminded residents that this solution is temporary.

Netherlands: Euthanasia at Home (March 2, 2012)
(Article in French)
Ten years ago, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia. On March 1, 2012, the Dutch Association for Voluntary end of life (NVVE) launched its "End of Life Clinic" which travels the country to help incurable patients whose doctor refused to fulfill their last will. The six mobile teams, each consisting of a doctor and a nurse, have already been contacted by 70 people across the country.

France: Housing Equipment for the Elderly: Renewed Tax Credit (March 1, 2012)
(Article in French)
The need for elderly or disabled people to install equipment specially adapted to their needs in their principal residence entitles them to receive a tax credit. The French Finance Act 2012 extended the possibility for three years, until 2014. The technological risk prevention is also included in the new law as opposed to the acquisition of an elevator, which is no longer eligible. Read this article to find how to calculate your rights.

France: Should There Be a Right to Die? (February 23, 2012)
(Article in French)
The issue of legalizing euthanasia is becoming increasingly urgent throughout the French presidential campaign. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande suggested that he would allow medical help to end life. Jean Leonetti, who drafted the law named after him that now deals with the end of life, called the proposal "dangerous." In this debate on the issue, he opposes Marisol Touraine, who supports Francois Hollande and notes that 90 percent of the French want a reform in this direction.

Belgium: Hire Seniors... Increase Your Company’s Productivity (February 23, 2012)
(Article in French)
The author of this article published in Belgium describes the German model to urge companies to employ older workers. As shown by the German institute ZEW, the productivity of firms that employ seniors is higher than that of companies consisting mostly of young people. However, unions have said that 800,000 people aged 60 to 64 are working in precarious conditions that do not allow them to capitalize.

Germany: Many German Seniors Return to Prestigious Universities, Compete with Younger Students (February 17, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
In Germany, thousands of elders returned to universities to undertake study courses they didn’t have a chance to complete earlier. They believe that age is not an obstacle and it is never too late to learn. However, many younger students are quite disappointed by this turn of events because seniors are quite dedicated students who set high standards and are taking up already limited space in prestigious schools. 

Russia: Yekaterinburg Seniors Have Special Plans for St. Valentine's Day (February 12, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
St. Valentine's Day is a relatively recent phenomenon in the Russian Federation; however, this holiday quickly spread among the younger generation and now the elders are also embracing this lovely tradition. On February 14, in Yekaterinburg, couples in their 70s and 80s, married for 30-40 years, will see how well they know each other and what they value most about each other in a special holiday version of a popular game called “Love at first sight.”

UK: Tackling Financial Exploitation of Elderly People (February 8, 2012)
Researchers at the UK Research Councils’ New Dynamics of Ageing Program wanted to find out how professionals who deal with the elderly make decisions relating to possible financial exploitation. By analyzing how these decisions are made, it allows a better understanding of the most crucial indicators of economic abuse and the best way to approach this problem. The findings could be useful as future training tools.

Russia: In Nizhny Novgorod Region, Elderly Run Amateur Puppet Theater (February 8, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
A local amateur puppet theater in the Nizhny Novgorod region started and run by elders offers its audience a unique look at classic fairy tales. It all started as a hobby, and for most seniors it was initially something to occupy their time. However, very quickly this hobby has turned into a second profession. Now seats are booked a month in advance and the production has become a local hit. The only problem is the lack of grandpas for the male roles. On the other hand, a local grandma played the role of a weak-willed, tormented old man.

France: Family Housing? No, You're Too Old! (February 7, 2012)
(Article in French)
A circular of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development,Transportation and Housing dated January 13, 2012, has infuriated “Les Petits Frères des Pauvres,” a French organization that deals with housing for poor seniors. It states that family housing, which aims at enabling excluded people to be housed, "is not designed specifically for seniors." Recalling that discriminating against people because of their age is illegal, the association also said not opening the doors of family pensions to senior citizens, who are particularly affected by poverty in times of crisis, would have "tragic" consequences.

France: Euthanasia: How the Socialist Party Converted Its Candidate (February 6, 2012)
(Article in French)
The Socialist Party has admitted to taking "further steps" toward legalizing euthanasia in the program of its candidate for president, Francois Hollande. Of those surveyed whether doctors should be allowed to terminate the lives of people with incurable diseases and intolerable illnesses if they request it, 94 percent gave a positive response.

Russia: In Kaliningrad, Migrant Workers Beat and Rob 92-Year Old Veteran (February 2, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
In Kaliningrad, a veteran of WWII was robbed and beaten. Two migrant workers entered the home of 92-year-old veteran Nikolai Melnikov when he was sleeping, threatened him with an air rifle and demanded that he give them money, war rewards and memorabilia. They beat the veteran, took all his valuables, and left. One of the suspects has already been detained.

Russia: Foster Homes Opening in Kursk Region for Single Elderly and Disabled Individuals (January 31, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
In the Kursk region, a new kind of foster home is emerging. Families are allowed to open their homes to single older individuals and to persons with disabilities. Households wishing to be foster families can make their homes available to older single people if they pass a rigorous selection process. These families are eligible for monthly reimbursement from the government (up to 4500 rubles per month); however, this sum might be almost doubled depending on the number of elders living in the household. Additionally, 75 percent of each elder’s pension goes to the family budget for expenses. The reasoning behind this unusual proposal is an attempt to save regional health care costs. Currently there are 28 seniors living in 22 foster families.

European Union: Increase of Employment Rate of Older People in Southern Europe (January 31, 2012)
(Article in French)
The population of the European Union is the oldest in the world, and this raises the issue of how to fund pensions. Older people are now working longer, and the employment rate among the elderly has increased dramatically over the last decade. Indeed, it has jumped by 10.6 percent (from 50.3 percent to 60.9 percent) for people aged 55 to 59. As for the 60-64 age group, the results are mixed depending on countries: only 14.2 percent of them work in Malta, Greece is in a good position with an employment rate of 30.5 percent and Portugal and Cyprus peak, scoring respectively 40.2 percent and 41.9 percent.

France: Human Rights at End of Life: Democracy at Stake (January 28, 2012)
(Article in French)
Emmanuel Hirsch, Director of the Ethical Space of the Public Hospitals of Paris, expressed his feelings on the very thorny issue of euthanasia in this article, stating that it will be one of the hotspots of the presidential campaign. He then called for a dialogue on the issue, something unusual in our developed societies in which death is still a taboo, and recommends being careful not to exploit the debate on euthanasia for electoral purposes. He recalled that in France, 80 percent of deaths occur in a hospital or a place dedicated to the end-of-life and believes there is a "duty of restraint, decency and dignity" to the dying.

France: Better Support for Older Migrants: An Agreement Between Associations (January 26, 2012)
(Article in French)
French associations working for the poor and especially the elderly, Les Petits Freres des Pauvres and Adoma, have teamed up to meet the needs of older migrants who are particularly affected by loneliness, isolation and insecurity. Volunteers of the two associations provide support, companionship, accommodations and food, working together to help old people who came to settle in France.

France: Why Issue of Aging Is Not Addressed in Campaign (January 25, 2012)
(Article in French)
Annie de Vivie, founder of a news website, Agevillage.com, specializing in the elderly, explains in this editorial why she believes the issue of aging, assisted living and disability is not being addressed in the presidential campaign of 2012. She suggested the possibility that the rejection of this overarching theme is rooted in the whole of French society. According to her, the generation of women and men who thrived with sexual freedom, women's work and economic development, now aging, refuse to see themselves as aging and weakened..

France: "The Person’s Consent Must Never Be By-passed" (January 24, 2012)
(Article in French)
In this interview, Jean-Marie Delarue, whose job is to make sure that people are not deprived of their freedom, tells us about conditions in institutions specializing in caring for older people. He states that these very fragile and vulnerable individuals sometimes are forced to move into the institutional homes by their families, medical or administrative representatives. To prevent this violation of their rights, he calls for more care in ensuring that the elderly person consents to the placement and that it was decided in his or her interest.

France: "Seniorpreneurs" or Senior Entrepreneurship, Analysis of a New Phenomenon (January 17, 2012)
(Article in French)
Not only can seniors work longer and under better conditions thanks to medical advances and longer life expectancy, they also now want to own their own companies. More than 50,000 people aged 50 and above started companies in France in 2008. In 2010, 51% of older workers or job seekers were willing to take on this new challenge. The new phenomenon is facilitated by increased ease of self-entrepreneurship, allowing "seniorpreneurs" to supplement their income, to remain active after retirement, or to counter the lack of access to the labor market they must face.

Spain: Gang Targets Older People and Robs Them as They Leave the Bank (January 16, 2012)

(Article in Spanish)
n Baix Llobregat, a gang composed of eleven family members that targets older people as victims and robs them. The gang watches old people go into bank.  As they are about leave, some gang members approach them and distract the older person while another family members removes money from the victim’s pocket. An old man who withdrew about 1,000 Euros was a recent victim. The police caught the gang and five of the members are already in jail. The police estimate the total loss to all victims at more than 50,000 Euros.

France: Seniors Sharing Homes: Alternative to Loneliness and High Rents (January 17, 2012)
(Article in French)
There is an alternative to maintaining the elderly at home or placing them in nursing homes--the two solutions traditionally considered when a decision on senior housing must be made. A new phenomenon is slowly emerging in France: sharing between the elderly. Whether for financial reasons with ever increasing rent costs, to ease isolation, or simply to avoid the nursing home, this option could be a way to cope with the risk of poverty induced by the economic crisis, and a way to counter the loneliness experienced by older people.

France: "The Prime of Life": The Crucial Vote of Seniors in 2012 (January 12, 2012)
(Article in French)
People aged 60 and over will account for more than a third of voters in the presidential election later this year. They will number 13 to 14 million, and their political clout in choosing the next President of the Republic is not negligible. Looking at the figures of previous elections, they appear to be likely to vote for right-wing parties and reject extremism and centrism. In addition, seniors pay close attention to the theme of "protection of the French"--yet another reason to think they will support Nicolas Sarkozy. All the candidates should have an interest in attracting the attention of this segment of the population.

France: Charged with Murder for Helping his 83 Year-old Wife to Die (January 11, 2011)
(Article in French)
Jean Mercier, 83, helped his wife, Josanne, to die on November 10, 2011, describing his move as an "act of love." He is now charged with murder and failure to assist a person in danger. Married for 55 years, they had promised each other to be supportive and helpful if they decided to leave. His wife had even joined the Association for the Right to Die with Dignity two years ago. Jean, himself seriously ill, hopes his trial will help change mindsets and lead to the decriminalization of euthanasia.

France: Borloo Asks Fillon for a Favor (January 11, 2012)
(Article in French)
Borloo presented his vows for the New Year in front of many journalists as he asked the Prime Minister for a favor. The former minister of ecology urged Francois Fillon to publish the legal decrees to support reintegration of older workers from the Maghreb, the “Chibanis”, which he supported in 2007. Indeed, for them to get their housing assistance, health insurance or pension insurance regardless of their place of residence as provided in this law, it is necessary that it be published, which has still not been done. These workers who emigrated 40 years ago from North Africa could then return to their home countries and continue to benefit from these allowances, which for Borloo is a matter of "honor" for the country.

Russia: 79-Year-Old Kuzbazz Resident Deceived by Fraudulent "State Duma Deputy” for Million Rubles (January 11, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
A 79-year-old senior citizen voluntarily deposited close to a million rubbles in the account of a scam artist pretending to be a State Duma deputy.  The fraudulent representative was specifically targeting seniors. The scammer calls seniors who live alone, and introduces himself as a State Duma deputy who is deeply involved in issues facing the region’s older population. He establishes rapport and gains trust by ensuring victims that he is determined to make a change in the lives of the elderly.

Russia:  The Secret of Aging Gracefully (January 8, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Vladimir Yakovlev, a freelance photographer, is on a quest to derive a formula for happy aging. In his new project, Yakovlev is photographing and interviewing older adults who seem to have discovered the secret of infinite youth. Among the project’s characters is a working actor who began his career at the age of 82; a 79-year-old model; a 68-year-old  skydiver who set a record for jumping; a 95-year-old philanthropist who is an active rock climber; a musical band, whose members’ average age is 78; and a group of grandmothers with the seventh dan in aikido.

France: End of Exemption From Job Search for Senior Citizens (January 4, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Law No. 2008-758 dated August 1, 2008, on abolishing the exemption from job searches for older unemployed people became effective January 1, 2012. The opportunity for the unemployed over the age of 57 to be excused from actively seeking employment in exchange for their benefits, as desired by President Sarkozy at the beginning of his term, does not seem to be working. French unemployment figures are disastrous; at the end of 2011, seniors accounted for more than 800,000 of the 5,201,300 registered at employment centers. Older unemployed must now "prove the performance of positive and repeated attempts to find a job, create or acquire a business," a stressful, painful and complicated process.
UK: Why is Dignity in Elder Care so Hard? (January 3, 2012)
As the government of England attempts to reexamine how to care for the old, the important question of why dignity in elderly care is difficult remains. The Equality and Human Rights Commission believes the answer lies in human rights training, while the Mid-Staffs review concluded that the National Health Service has a mistaken approach. Shouldn't the cost of care be shared across society as a whole?

Canada: The "Grandparent Scam" on the Rise (December 30, 2011)
(Article in French)
The elderly, who are considered to be easy and naive preys, are more and more the victims of scammers. The technique of the "grandparent scam," a term used by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, is to call an old person pretending to be one of his grandchildren and to claim to have pressing financial problems. The scammer then asks the senior to transfer a large amount of money as soon as possible;  the elder often obliges out of fear or panic. Since June, the CAFC received about 20 complaints about this method, but is concerned that there is actually much more due to ashamed victims who do not speak out.

European Union: 2012 European Year of Active Ageing (December 30, 2011)
(Article in French)
European authorities have decided to dedicate the year 2012 to active ageing and inter-generational solidarity. The Union is preparing to face the inevitable reversal of the demographic pyramid.  By 2060 the continent will only have two persons aged 15 to 64 able to work for every citizen over the age of 65. It is only devoting a budget of 5 million Euros to the implementation of various projects, an amount well below the 8 million allocated to the year of volunteering in 2011 and 17 million in 2010 to that of the fight against poverty.

Russia: Elderly Woman Disarms Repeated Offender With Cane (December 12, 2011)
(Article in Russian)
After selling her Moscow apartment, 86-year-old Maria Sorokina was in the process of depositing 5,300,000 rubles into the bank. As she was about to give the money to the teller, a man came from behind and grabbed 2,500,000 rubles right out of her hands. However, Maria did not panic. She quickly hit the man with her cane, and he fell and dropped the money on the floor. Other senior citizens who were also waiting in line promptly came to the rescue and started to hit the man with their purses, assistive devices and anything they had in their hands. By the time security and police arrived, the robber had only 450,000 rubles left, and was easily transferred to the authorities with the evidence right in his hands and a full bank of witnesses.

Russia: Buranovskie Grandmothers Working for Soup (October 31, 2011)
(Article in Russian)
An elderly female folk group from Buransk called Buranovskie Grandmothers has taken the country by storm. It is hard to believe that the all-female ensemble was formed only a few years ago when the local grandmas decided to raise money to rebuild a local church. Fast forward to today, and the “grandmothers” not only came close to winning the most prestigious European song contest “Euro Vision 2010” but are now the opening act for many A-list celebrities, have their own nationwide tours and even perform shows for sold-out audiences in the Kremlin.

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