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AAA™ In the News October 2020 - It takes a village

As we now spend more of our lives near home, and may well for the foreseeable future, it is essential we understand how well those spaces support healthy and happy lives.SHAPES – a 4 year €21m research initiative funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 – aims to do just that.Led by the Assisting Living & Learning Institute at Maynooth University, Ireland, SHAPES will enable EU-wide learning to support our health and social care sectors, while ensuring public spaces fit for all...

October 3, 2020

Together We Can Ensure Public Space Does Not Become A No-Go Zone

"A lack of co-ordination at the local, national and international level on numerous initiatives launched rapidly to combat COVID-19 could result in notably reduced co-operation and exchanges of data and results between funded projects.” Issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this warning claims that “Involving multi-sector and multi-partner co-ordination mechanisms is key to help countries better prepare for the world of tomorrow.” Given the likel...

September 22, 2020

AAA™ - In the News September 2020 - Ageing With Purpose

If this year has taught us anything, it is there are few guarantees in life. Failing to imagine how our older selves will live, however, does guarantee a few surprises when you get there. If you’ve kept up to date with the AAA’s work this year, you’ll know we've been working to bridge that gap by helping establish a pioneering set of ISO Standards for our neighbourhoods of the future. But as we cast our eye around the world, what other evidence is there of people or organisations prep...

September 1, 2020

AAA™ In the News - August 2020: Back to the future

As we slowly emerge from taking one day at a time, thoughts turn naturally to what tomorrow holds. With few aspects of our lives unaffected by this year’s events, AAA is committed to a number of pioneering projects identifying and accelerating innovation to achieve real societal change. In his new article, Ian Spero has united the threads of that activity – inviting us to explore a possible future for our older selves. There you’ll find details of our AAA ISO Leaders Forum - establishing a...

August 4, 2020

Let's start a conversation about other possible futures for our older selves

A different mood seemed to be settling as I began drafting this article. It feels like a cautious breeze of change and optimism is heading our way, the tentative welcoming of an autumn reset on the horizon after months of uncertainty and turmoil.New starts, and big change, can be inspired by innovation, and for me that innovation comes from two primary sources: The AAA ISO Leaders Forum in May was jam-packed with original thinking. If you missed out, this link will take you t...

July 23, 2020

YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD NEEDS YOU!

Kick Starting a Market for More Inventive and Inclusive Housing Schemes Long before COVID 19 reared its ugly head, social networks had created a pandemic of loneliness. When life eventually returns to some semblance of normality it is likely we will want our loved ones closer to us under our own care and protection. Will this stimulate demand for more inventive and inclusive housing schemes? Realistically this is not going to happen at any scale until we can agree on what best practice looks lik...

July 18, 2020

We’ve built the wrong type of real estate, for the wrong type of reasons, with the wrong type of consequences

I asked Andrew Edkins, Director, Bartlett Real Estate Institute at UCL, what he thought about the idea of a new standard for multigenerational neighbourhoods and how should we be looking to shape the development work to ensure maximum impact?Andrew began by reflecting on how the system generally works, calling for academics to move out of university and sector specific silos. This, he said, is essential if we are to understand the complexity of the issues we face today.Time to disrupt ...

June 19, 2020

University Challenge: Translating research into real world impact

“As researchers we need to understand the life world of older people to ensure our smart neighbourhoods are truly responsive and supportive during the known trials and unexpected tribulations of later life”.These are the words of David Prendergast, Professor of Science, Technology & Society, at Maynooth University, who kicked off one of the liveliest sessions at the AAA ISO Ageing Societies Leaders Forum.David provided some fascinating insights into the lives, skills, practices of older...

June 18, 2020

Is it Really Possible to Design for Everyone?

Paul McGarry, Assistant Director, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, makes a strong case for including local government in the discussions around and development of an ISO standard for multigenerational neighbourhoods. As Paul says, local governments are major policy and economic players in this area. For example, Greater Manchester spends around £6b on housing and health related areas that impact on the lives of older adults. He says the ISO development needs to work with a range of regi...

June 17, 2020

Design for Life

Design-led innovation can lighten the load of ageing  The AAA invited some of the worlds' foremost design gurus to reimagine the relationship between our older selves and the built environment. Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design Royal College of Art, opened the session by pointing out that the majority of older people will not move into specialist housing or retirement villages. Most will be obliged to make do, adapting and retrofitting their existing properties wher...

June 16, 2020

One Size Does Not Fit All

“This project constitutes an opportunity for stakeholders to break the tyranny of uniformity to design and build homes and multigenerational neighbourhoods where adaptation and addressing changing needs are core principles.”Paul Quinn, Director of Regeneration for Clarion Housing Group, is on a mission to break down age segregation in housing, an industry which still operates with typologies based on age and life-stage, e.g. older people, young professionals and families. Consequently, the&n...

June 15, 2020

Why Are We Systemically Supporting The Creation Of Class B Citizens?

In this session we ask how can policy radically accelerate the path of change Stephanie K. Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities at AARP International, gave a somewhat chilling overview of where we are today and the issues that have been exposed by the COVID-19 crisis. As she put it, "Countries like the United States and the UK have systemically supported the creation of Class B citizens: people of colour, immigrants and older adults, and we've done this i...

June 12, 2020

Assistive Technology Think Tank

An irony of the connected home is that many devices are unable to talk to each other. Cross-party think tank Policy Connect (PC) has been exploring the potential of smart technologies to transform social care and promote independent living among disabled and older people. Here, we review what was said when AAA and PC joined forces to ask insightful experts to consider how the new ISO standard could impact assistive technologies.Clive Gilbert, Policy Manager for Assistive Technology, Policy ...

June 11, 2020

A Genuine Game Changer for a Healthier and Happier Society

Faith la Grange, is responsible for regional and local government business at Microsoft UK. I was pleased to discover that Faith has strong views on healthy and agile ageing, which she talks about in broad, holistic terms, covering everything from healthy eating, exercise, promoting good mental health and combatting loneliness. Speaking at the AAA ISO Leaders Forum, Faith claims that technology has a crucial role to play in enabling us to manage our own health for as long as possible. And, when ...

June 10, 2020

More than Half of England’s Coronavirus-Related Deaths will be People from Care Homes

The death toll by the end of June from COVID-19 infections and other excess deaths is “likely to approach 59,000 across the entire English population, of which about 34,000 (57%) will have been care home residents”. The estimate, produced by the major healthcare business consultancy LaingBuisson, and reported in The Observer, is based on data from the Office for National Statistics, as well as the analyst’s own modelling of the number of care home resident deaths likely to have occurred in...

June 7, 2020

AAA™ In the News June 2020 - We're only talking about this now!?

Last week, we came a step closer to realising our neighbourhoods of the future.Creating living spaces fit for a world in which, by 2050, the number of those aged 80+ is expected to triple, is a challenge we fully embrace.But 80% of the homes that we will be living in by 2050 are already built, and 97% of older adults in the US alone are ageing in place. So, what standards will developers, product designers and legislators rely on to ensure our neighbourhoods of the future are fit for p...

June 5, 2020

Around the World in 40 Minutes

According to Beret Aspaas, of ACK Architects in Norway, one of over 600 registered delegates, the Agile Ageing Alliances 6th annual Congress, in association with ISO, AARP and Microsoft was "Lockdown 2020's most inspirational day!"With support from Martin Hyde, Associate Professor of Gerontology at the Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University, here follows a summary of 40 plus presentations, together with links to video and slides, where provided.To set the scene,&nbs...

June 5, 2020

AAA™ In the News May 2020 - What have we learnt from lockdown?

How freely our older friends and loved ones can move around once lockdowns are relaxed is uncertain. This makes it impossible to ignore the need for a better approach to how our communities are set up. If we expect grandchildren to see grandparents in a world where pandemics are only predicted to rise, finding a way to live while supporting one another and realising common values is paramount. Helping build those neighbourhoods and communities is AAA’s objective. So, we're proud to be working ...

May 11, 2020

Your Neighbourhood Needs YOU to cocreate a new ISO framework

As each day in quarantine rolls insidiously into the next, we worry about the impact of social isolation on older members of society, especially our friends and loved ones. Long before COVID 19 reared its ugly head, social networks had created a pandemic of loneliness. When life eventually returns to some semblance of normality it is likely we will want our loved ones closer to us under our own care and protection. Will this stimulate demand for more inventive and inclusive housing schemes? I am...

April 22, 2020

AAA™ In the News April 2020 – Stay Safe, Stay Indoors

The world seems a very different place since we last spoke. That it was only a month ago is remarkable. Progression of Covid-19 - from an outbreak in Wuhan, China, to governments around the world enforcing country-wide lockdowns is staggering. Businesses are pivoting to produce essential products like hand sanitiser, ventilators and protective wear for health workers, while the UN enlists creatives to prepare countries not yet overrun by the disease. With so many daily updates from around the wo...

April 2, 2020

AAA™ In the News - March 2020: Older adults should be seen and heard

What does age-friendly mean to you? This month’s news from the world of ageing suggest it is the way in which older adults can remain an integral part of their community. Enjoying lives in which they retain independence, share knowledge, and may even continue learning themselves.Our starting point is the latest article from AAA Founder Ian Spero, which includes details of research in Ireland which reveals that older people who live in age-friendly environments are four times less lik...

March 1, 2020

Age-friendly Environments Improve Quality of Life by a Factor of Four

A new study of more than 10,500 over 55-year-olds living in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, reveals that older people who live in areas with accessible transport, green spaces and safer streets are less likely to suffer from depression and loneliness.According to the report’s authors Sarah Gibney, Mengyang Zhang and Cathal Brennan of Ireland’s Department of Health’s Healthy and Positive Ageing, the findings are consistent with previous research which shows that older adults believing th...

February 25, 2020

AAA™ In the News Feb 2020 - Needed: Better Stereotypes

Can you imagine a time where older adults were visible and celebrated in every public sphere? They inspired younger generations to open up about mental health. And they were the 'poster-children' of the biggest issue affecting mankind today.They would be new kinds of stereotypes. Better, more positive representations of what it means to age today, and this month’s news review focuses on just some of the ways they’re taking shape.Get the pictureWe begin with the news that AARP (formerly the A...

February 4, 2020

AAA™ - In the News January 2020 – 2020 Vision

As we begin a new year working for more equitable societies for every generation, we continue our commitment to scanning the horizon in the dynamic world of ageing.And as we near the end of one decade, Ian Spero has explored how we may navigate the next 10 in the World Health Organisation's 'Decade of Healthy Ageing' (2020-2030), offering six expert insights to better understand what the challenges may be.As Ian says, predicting the future will always be problematic, but as this month...

January 3, 2020

6 Insights For Navigating The WHO'​s Decade Of Healthy Ageing

The World Health Organisation are hoping to unite governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector for ten years of concerted action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live. While attempting to foretell the future will always be problematic, there is no risk in predicting that the WHO's Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) will throw up many challenges. That said, eve...

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