South Korea’s Most Dangerous Enemy: Demographics South Korea’s fertility rate has plummeted to one of the lowest in the world, barely more than one child per woman. Throw in rising life expectancy, and South Korea is now aging faster than any other advanced economy on Earth. – New York Times
Housing for Native American Elders Over time, these situations are improving, but it’s one household at a time. This makes me grateful for NRC’s home improvement service. Each summer we provide major home improvement or build modest housing for several Navajo Elders and Elders on other reservations when the homes they are living in or put life or health at risk. – Partnership with Native Americans
Dutch nursing home offers rent-free housing to students A nursing home in the Netherlands allows university students to live rent-free alongside the elderly residents, as part of a project aimed at warding off the negative effects of aging. In exchange for small, rent-free apartments, the Humanitas retirement home in Deventer, Netherlands, requires students to spend at least 30 hours per month acting as “good neighbors.” – PBS News Hour
The Babayagas’ house, a feminist alternative to old people’s homes, opens in Paris It’s been 15 years in the making but the Babayagas’ House, a name taken from Slavic mythology meaning “witch”, has just been inaugurated in Montreuil, on the east side of Paris. It’s a self-managed social housing project devised and run by a community of dynamic female senior citizens who want to keep their independence but live communally. – France – RFI
Norway ranked best country for elders; U.S. makes No. 8 No country takes better care of its seniors than Norway, where those over 60 enjoy social security bankrolled by the nation’s oil wealth and are well represented in politics and the workplace, a global study on aging reported this week. By contrast, the worst place in the world to grow old is Afghanistan, where per capita GDP is a mere $1,100 and life expectancy only 50 years.— San Francisco Chronicle
Aging Japanese Town Bets on a Young Mayor Most young people have already fled this city of empty streets and shuttered schools, whose bankrupt local government collapsed under the twin burdens of debt and demographics that are slowly afflicting the rest of Japan. Now, Yubari, a former coal-mining town on Japan’s northernmost main island, Hokkaido, is hoping an unlikely savior can reverse its long decline: a 31-year-old rookie mayor who has come to symbolize the struggle confronting young Japanese in the world’s most graying and indebted nation. —The New York Times
Film & Television
World getting super aged at scary speed The world is graying at a break-neck pace and that’s bad news for the global economy. By 2020, 13 countries will be “super-aged” — with more than 20% of the population over 65. That number will rise to 34 nations by 2030. Only three qualify now: Germany, Italy and Japan. “Demographic transition … is now upon us,” warn Elena Duggar and Madhavi Bokil, the authors of the Moody’s report. “The unprecedented pace of aging will have a significant negative effect on economic growth over the next two decades across all regions.” – CNN Money
As Hispanic population explodes in the U.S. so too will their need for long-term care By 2060, nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic. That population is expected to more than double from the current 53 million to nearly 129 million. And as a group, Hispanics are projected to make up more than a fifth of the 65+ U.S. population by 2060. – PBS
The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticize traditional societies—after all, we are shocked by some of their practices—but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. Provocative, enlightening, and entertaining, The World Until Yesterday is an essential and fascinating read.
The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner In this groundbreaking book, Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones”—those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way by Dan Buettner What makes us happy? It’s not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world’s happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives.
Two Old Women, An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska. this is suspenseful. shocking. ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute. they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail. Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women. she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal. friendship. community. and forgiveness speaks straight to the heart with clarity. sweetness. and wisdom ( Ursula K. Le Guin).