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BABA YAGA’S HOUSE: The CBC Radio documentary that aired on the Sunday Edition last fall sparked interest in new ways of living out the later years.

Baba Yaga’s House is the story of 19 aging feminists, who convinced French politicians to fund a women’s only seniors’ home that the women would run themselves.

Listeners across the country wrote to the program. They argued the same option should be available for older adults everywhere.

Where do we sign up, they asked.

Janet Torge has now launched a blog as a follow up to the discussion on the Sunday Edition. You can join the conversation at Radical Resthomes.


THE WAY IT WAS IN BRITAIN IN 1945: The generation that lived through the war set out to rebuild Britain and create a fairer society.

The Spirit of ‘45, a new documentary by Ken Loach, recounts the 1945 British general election that installed a labour government headed by Clement Attlee. In just five years, the National Health Service was established and public utilities were nationalized.

"We had won the war together," Loach said. "Together we could win the peace.

If we could collectively plan to wage military campaigns, could we not plan to build houses, create a health service and make goods needed for reconstruction? The spirit of the age was to be our brother’s and our sister’s keeper."

For the documentary, Loach, 76, mined the British regional and national archives and found moving film footage and sound recordings that show a country determined to build a better world. He also interviewed the people who were there like 90-year-old Ellen Thompson.

"The poverty was dreadful," she said. "In class, the teacher read out the register and if a child hadn’t been in to school the day before, it was always for the same reason: they had stayed in bed while their mother washed their only set of clothes."

In the film, Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Convention says the older generation must start talking to young people about the vision of 1945.

"We have a real chance to understand better what kind of life we want and to start to rebuild," she said.

Source: The Observer


OLDER KOREANS STRUGGLE AS FAMILIES CHANGE: In just one generation the proportion of older adults in South Korea has tripled, climbing to 11 per cent in 2010. On the other hand, the country’s fertility rate has plummeted.

In the current issue of The Journal, Korean Minister of Health and Welfare Chemin Rim has outlined strategies to address the reality of low fertility and a rapidly aging society.


To boost the fertility rate, the government has proposed:

  • better child care leave
  • flexible working hours
  • more public and private child care, and
  • special certification for family-friendly companies


The government has proposed a higher retirement age so people can save more money.

Other proposals include:

  • exclusive jobs for retirees
  • training for businesses start-ups
  • financial support/training for those who want to resettle and farm in rural areas, and
  • more opportunities for older adults in the voluntary sector

But some say the government was caught off guard by the quick erosion of family structures.

Last February, the New York Times reported the number of people aged 65 and older committing suicide in South Korea had nearly quadrupled in recent years, making the country’s rate of such deaths among the highest in the developed world.

Meanwhile, the award-winning novel Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin added a heartbreaking note to the theme of fraying family structures.


CENTENARIAN WINS APOLOGY FROM FACEBOOK: When Marguerite Joseph signed up with the social network three years ago at the age of 102, she was forced to lie about her age.

The native of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., tried to put 1908 as her year of birth, but Facebook insisted she meant 1928.

Earlier this year, she posted a note to her account expressing her displeasure with the media giant.

A spokesperson for the company said a "glitch" in the system meant that the maximum age anyone can be registered as is 99.

Facebook apologized for the issue and said a solution was being worked on.