On April 7th, 2008 the International Federation on Aging and Ageing Design Montreal hosted a press conference at the Park Hyatt in Toronto to launch IFA’s 9th Global Conference on Ageing, an international event from September 4 to 7 2008, that will focus attention on the major issues affecting the ageing of people and of our societies. The event will also highlight the contribution of the design sector, which plays an essential role in creating quality living environments for older people. To this end, organisers will be simultaneously hosting the Ageing & Design Montréal Expo.
The city (Montreal) will welcome some 1,500 participants from 60 countries for the conference. “Global ageing is not a transitory phenomenon like the so-called baby-boom, which many affluent countries experienced in the 1950s. Instead, it is a fundamental shift in the history of mankind and it will be the essential demographic characteristic of the twenty-first century. Therefore, this conference will be the ideal opportunity for researchers, scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and program managers to share knowledge, expertise and best practices in fields related to ageing, particularly those pertaining to health, participation in society and security of older persons,” says Ms. Irene Hoskins.
Elected president of the IFA in 2006, Irene Hoskins has been a leading international figure on issues of ageing since the early 80s.
CARP’s VP of Advocacy Susan Eng was on hand to speak in support of this event and to reiterate that Canadian zoomers want to maintain active and healthy lifestyles while aging in place. “Canadians 44+, represent a full 42% of the population. We are the largest demographic, the most educated, most politically engaged and frankly the most impatient. Like all Canadians, we want to age gracefully, independently, with dignity and in our own homes. That means financial security, access to health care where and when we need it and freedom from discrimination in all its forms, especially ageism. But we are not going to accept excuses and delays. We expect to see governments and businesses responding promptly to the issues we raise.”
Echoing the fact that in many countries around the world the populations are aging rapidly, Mr. Beland, Chair of Ageing Design Montréal, says ” to better address the needs that this (r)evolution presents, “key decision-makers who play a role in the lives of seniors must now rethink their policies, adapt their products and reconsider their practices,” says Mr. Béland, who, from 1987 to 2000, chaired one of the largest banking cooperatives in the world, the Mouvement des caisses populaires Desjardins. Mr. Robert Landry, Executive Vice President, Life Insurance and Financial Services at AXA and proud partner of the Conference presented highlights of the AXA Retirement Scope (an International Study on Ageing and Retirement) which was conducted in 26 different countries. This study has been designed to help improve our understanding of aging and retirement, and better learn how, in various parts of the world, working people and retirees perceive problems related to this phenomenon, and how they react when they are faced with it. “This worldwide unique tool highlights the benefits of living retirement years as a rich and active period of time and suggests ways to attain those benefits.” The full results of the study can be obtained at: www.axa.ca