government

Forward-looking policies, not big GDPs, make countries good to grow old in.

 

The Global AgeWatch Index ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. Unsurprisingly, Sweden tops the 2013 index and Afghanistan ranks lowest. (The US is #8.) The size of the national economy isn’t a reliable predictor. Older Sri Lankans, for example, fare better than their Pakistani peers despite GDPs of similar size, because the Sri Lankan government invested early on in education and healthcare.

the perfect storm: when class, age, race and environmental catastrophe converge

In an excoriating piece in Truthdigcolumnist Chris Hedge labels Hurricane Sandy “the Katrina of the North.” He begins and ends with 76-year-old Avgi Tzenis, whose house in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, was wrecked when three feet of water and sewage swept through it five weeks ago. She was widowed last year after nursing her husband through years of dementia, and has no idea how she’s going to pay for repairs.

some interesting quotes from this year’s Age Boom seminar

On March 21-25 I attended the 12th annual Age Boom Academy, a seminar for journalists covering “the myths and realities of aging in America.”  Billed as a Joint Program by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Journalism School, it was sponsored by the Atlantic Philanthropies, AARP and The New York Times and took place at Columbia.  (Previous Age Booms were held at the International Longevity Center and hosted by Bob Butler, whom I sorely missed. It was terrific and I’ll be writing about it more substantively, but in the meanwhile here are some thoughts from assorted speakers that stuck with me.