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ICAA unveils new model of active aging

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Association outlines comprehensive picture for ICAA Conference 2012 attendees

VANCOUVER--A new model of active aging was introduced today by the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) at the ICAA Conference 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Established in 2001, ICAA has led, connected and defined the active-aging industry for the past 11 years. The association's new, industry-shifting model-the "Nine Principles of Active Aging"-is designed to guide governments, product and service providers, employers, and the health care industry in implementing their active-aging strategies.

Colin Milner, ICAA founder and CEO, presented the "Nine Principles of Active Aging" during his keynote presentation, called "The Big Think: Ideas that Drive Change." According to Milner, all change starts with an idea. These ideas grow into new innovations, trends and opportunities. The ICAA leader provided insights and information in his keynote to help conference attendees identify new ideas within the "Nine Principles." He also challenged them on how these ideas may change the active-aging industry and its future when incorporated into the model for aging services providers.

These principles, together with brief explanations, appear below.

Nine Principles of Active Aging

1. Populations: The older population is extremely diverse, from ability and age, to income and culture, to sexual orientation. How will we meet the needs of these different individuals?

2. Perceptions: Ageism and negative stereotypes of aging are stalling the opportunity to empower older adults. To move forward, we need to leave the old way of thinking behind.

3. People: Who will serve the older population's needs? With fewer people entering the labor market, where will the workers come from? Will technology fill the gaps?

4. Potential: A society in which older consumers dominate purchasing decisions creates untold business opportunities. What are these opportunities, and how can businesses tap them?

5. Products: Whether due to a lack of interest or understanding among product or service providers, too few offerings today are geared to the older population. From technology to housing, the result is immense opportunity for those who respond strategically.

6. Promotions: Effective promotions are needed to inspire change. Yet marketers often earn a failing grade from older adults when they focus on the older population, perhaps because they have an inaccurate or incomplete picture of these consumers. To be effective, promotions must be rooted in the realities of today's older adults.

7. Places: Environments can encourage or discourage older adults in leading active, engaged lives. From indoors to outdoors, what environments support active aging?

8. Policies: How do policy decisions affect active aging? Consider how important policies are in areas such as age discrimination, and affordable care and housing.

9. Programs: As promoted by ICAA, the seven dimensions of wellness-physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, vocational and environmental wellness-are the backbone of active aging. They are also key to meeting the challenge of providing diverse programs and environments that fulfill the needs of the diverse older population.

More information about ICAA and the annual ICAA Conference is available online at www.icaa.cc.

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About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies. These include the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport, among others.

For interviews or more information about ICAA, active aging or aging-related issues, contact:

Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595

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