22 - 29 SEPTEMBER 16
Authors educate kids about suicide prevention
Tomohiro Sawai. The Japan News. 27 Sep 2016.
[Japan] Two authors of a picture book that appeals to readers about the importance of life are visiting primary and middle schools across the nation to deliver lectures aimed at preventing children from committing suicide. Authors Mika Muraoka, 48, and Makoto Yoshizawa, 42, live in Tokyo and have both lost acquaintances to suicide. Using a picture book that they published themselves, the pair began delivering lectures at schools in 2007, and have now delivered more than 500 lectures.
Ontario urged to expand daycare in non-profit sector
Laurie Monsebraaten. The Star.com. 23 Sep 2016.
[Canada] With Ontario poised to pump up to $3.75 billion into 100,000 new child-care spaces over the next five years, advocates are warning against spending that cash on for-profit centres. Currently, there are licensed spaces for just 20% of Ontario kids under age 4 and spots for less than 5% of babies under 18 months old. Waiting lists for spots are long and for parents lucky enough to secure a space, fees are often higher than mortgages. Not surprisingly, last week’s throne speech announcement, aimed at doubling the number of licensed child-care spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers by 2022, was music to parents’ ears. But daycare advocates are worried about so-called “big box” child care and corporate chains swooping in and taking over.
Average child-care costs exceed in-state college tuitions nationwide
Michael Alison Chandler. The Washington Post. 28 Sep 2016.
Cyprus seeks to improve tourism facilities for disabled visitors
Famagusta Gazette. 27 Sep 2016.
[Cyprus] In a press release on the occasion of the International Tourism Day for 2016, Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) assures of it supports in practice and on various levels the effort to develop and promote accessible tourism. In this regard it has launched a subsidy scheme, it has organised workshops and has submitted proposals in the context of Cyprus` planning generally for people with disability. It has also drafted a booklet on the standard guidelines for the correct adjustment and review of hotel businesses accessibility and a guidebook for people with disabilities. Between 2010 and 2016 6 automated mechanisms (Seatrac) for the access to the sea were funded, as well as the construction of 10 wooden or plastic accessibility corridors, the purchase of six beach wheel chairs, one chair lift and in beaches with difficult access metal staircases were placed.
Long-term carers to get pay rise
Lee I-chia. Taipei Times. 25 Sep 2016.
[Taiwan] The ministries of health and welfare, labor and education will work together to encourage more young people to invest in the long-term care industry. The hourly wage or monthly salary for long-term care workers is to be increased as an incentive to attract more people into the long-term care services industry, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday, adding that the industry lacks between 5,000 and 10,000 workers. Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien, said that a “long-term care services program 2.0” is scheduled to be launched on Jan. 1 next year, and will include three pilot schemes: a three-level long-term health system; a multiple assessment scale and payment standards; and a simplified verification process for service units. Lin said that the three-level long-term health system consists of community-based integrated service centers, combined day-care service centers, and long-term care stations in alleys and lanes, which would allow the services to be more flexible.
Local govts, businesses encourage active seniors
The Japan News. 27 Sep 2016.
[Japan] With the goal of getting senior citizens to get out more, local governments have been gaining the cooperation of businesses in a new type of program that is providing benefits all around. Keeping seniors active is believed to help stave off the need later for nursing care, which becomes a major burden for local governments. In the program, local authorities offer special discount cards to seniors aged 65 or older which can be used at area businesses. The seniors get out of the house to use the cards, the businesses gain more customers, and the local governments hope to reduce future nursing care costs. It’s an alignment of interests that is drawing attention nationwide.
Not driving gives elderly women the blues
[Australia] Elderly women who stop driving become more vulnerable to depression because it leaves them socially isolated, Australian researchers have concluded. The University of Queensland's School of Psychology studied 4000 women aged in their late 70s and 80s over nine years, finding the women who stopped driving reported poorer mental health compared to those who stayed behind the wheel.
Those who hung up their keys but maintained social contacts and involvement in activities such as going to events or playing cards, however, reported better mental wellbeing. "There's a sense of losing control and independence when you stop driving so it's important to have social support and take action to put alternatives in place before you or a loved one has to stop," Professor Nancy Pachana said. Steps to reduce social isolation can include talking to neighbours, regular phone calls, being active on the internet, learning the public transport system, taking advantage of courtesy bus systems or car-pooling with friends and family.
FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS
Babies born to women aged 45 and over rises by a third
[U.K.] There were 1,578 babies born to mothers aged 45 and over in England in 2009, but in 2015 there were 2,119. London has the highest rate of older mothers, seven times that of the North East. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were regional "social, economic and cultural differences". The number of babies born to mothers under 18 is half what it was in 2009, down from 11,135 (11.8 per 1,000 women) to 5,788 (6.3 per 1,000 women) in 2015. Prof Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said: "The age at which women are having their first baby has increased over the past few decades due to a variety of social, professional and financial factors, and this trend is unlikely to be reversed.
Child allowance emerges as last resort for low birthrate
Lee Kyung-min. The Korea Times. 25 Sep 2016.
[U.K.] Politicians are moving to introduce a child allowance, almost as a last resort to increase the nation's birthrate. The practical approach to provide parents with cash for childcare costs has come after the country has failed to boost the plummeting birthrate despite numerous measures including spending 151 trillion won over the past decade. Last year, Korea's birthrate was the second lowest after Portugal among 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Among the 34 OECD countries, only 4 ― Korea, the U.S., Mexico and Turkey ― have yet to pay the allowance.
Millions in U.S. Climb Out of Poverty, at Long Last
Patricia Cohen. The New York Times. 25 Sep 2016.
[U.S.A.] 3.5 million Americans who were able to raise their chins above the poverty line last year, according to census data released this month. More than 7 years after the recession ended, employers are finally being compelled to reach deeper into the pools of untapped labor, creating more jobs, especially among retailers, restaurants and hotels, and paying higher wages to attract workers and meet new minimum wage requirements. Poverty declined among every group. But African-Americans and Hispanics — who account for more than 45% of those below the poverty line of $24,300 for a family of four in most states — experienced the largest improvement. Government programs — like Social Security, the earned-income tax credit and food stamps — have kept tens of millions from sinking into poverty year after year.
All Rights Reserved: “The Japan News, The Star.com, The Washington Post, Famagusta Gazette, Taipei Times, news.com.au, BBC, The Korea Times and The New York Times, ” where applicable.