International Group of Scientists Led by Fordham Professor Daniela Jopp Respond to Call by United Nations to Create Human Rights Legislation to Protect Older Individuals
Prof. Daniela Jopp has taken the lead to respond to the call for non-governmental organization input from the United Nation’s working group on ageing, issued by the Division for Social Policy and Development. A total of 20 internationally renowned scientists with research programs focused on very old individuals –centenarians in particular – have contributed to the letter sent to Social Affairs Officer Robert Venne, and supported its submission.
The multidisciplinary group of psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors and gerontologists represented countries from around the world including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
On the basis of their research findings, the group made proposals on how to foster the human rights of older adults, and raised specific awareness for the demographic of very old individuals, which represent the fastest growing segment of the population in developed countries around the globe. The scientists urged the UN to consider the very old individuals’ increased vulnerability and frailty, but also to take into account the unique potential of these individuals to contribute to our societies in many ways, given their exceptional longevity, life histories, resilience, and psychological strength.
A full-text version of the letter can be found here.
This letter was written with input from the following scientists and is fully supported by them (in alphabetical order):
Kathrin Boerner, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Co-Principal Investigator Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine, Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA; Senior Research Scientist, Jewish Home Lifecare, New York, USA)
Johannes Doll, Ph.D. (Associated Professor, Principal Investigator of the Research Group “Education and Aging”, member of the Interdisciplinary Study Group of Aging of the School of Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (FACED/UFRGS), Porto Alegre, BRAZIL)
Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator of the US National Institute on Aging Project on Exceptional Longevity, Center on Aging, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, USA)
Natalia Gavrilova, Ph.D. (Co-Principal Investigator of the US National Institute on Aging Project on Exceptional Longevity, Center on Aging, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, USA)
Yasuyuki Gondo, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Principal Investigator of Septuagenarian Octogenarian Nonagenarian Investigation with Centenarian Study, Osaka University, JAPAN)
Bo Hagberg, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Lund University, Unit of Gerontology and Care for the Elderly, Medical faculty, Lund University, SWEDEN)
S. Michal Jazwinski, Ph.D. (John W. Deming, M.D. Regents Chair in Aging, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, Tulane University, USA; Director, Tulane Center for Aging; Director, Louisiana Healthy Aging Study; Director, Louisiana Healthy Aging Family Study; Project Leader, Georgia Centenarian Study, USA)
Anita Liberalesso Neri, Ph.D. (Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program of Gerontology, leader of the Fibra Project, a multicentric study dedicated to the investigation of the phenomenon of frailty in Brazilian community-dwelling elderly; Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, BRAZIL)
Peter Martin, Ph.D. (Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Co-Principal Investigator of the Georgia Centenarian Study, Principal Investigator of the Iowa Centenarian Study, and Principal Investigator of the First Heidelberg Centenarian Study, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA).
Bertil Nordbeck, Ph.D. (Chief Psychologist Emeritus, Central Hospital Kristianstad, SWEDEN; Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Lund University, SWEDEN)
Constança Paúl, Ph.D. (Director of the Research Unit on Aging and of the Ph.D. Program of Gerontology and Geriatrics, UNIFAI/ICBAS, University of Porto, PORTUGAL) 7
Sang Chul Park, MD, Ph.D. (Professor, Gachon University Medical School, Incheon, SOUTH KOREA)
Leonard W. Poon, Ph.D. (Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus and Principal Investigator of the Georgia Centenarian Study, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Oscar Ribeiro, Ph.D. (Auxiliar Professor, ISSSP and University of Aveiro, Principal Investigator of the Oporto Centenarian Study, UNIFAI/ICBAS, University of Porto, PORTUGAL)
Christoph Rott, Ph.D. (Senior Research Scientist, Principal Investigator of the First Heidelberg Centenarian Study, and Co-Principal Investigator Second Heidelberg Centenarian Study, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, GERMANY)
Perminder Sachdev, Ph.D. (Scientia Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, UNSW Medicine, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales & Clinical Director, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Sydney, AUSTRALIA)
David Sinclair (Assistant Director, International Longevity Centre, London, UK)
Dario Spini, Ph.D. (Professor, Director of the LIVES Swiss National Center of Competence in Research, University of Lausanne, SWITZERLAND)
Jose Vina, MD, Ph.D. (Professor of Physiology, Director of the Free Radical and Antioxidants Research Group, Department of Physiology, University of Valencia, SPAIN)
Bradley Willcox, MD (Co-Principal Investigator, Okinawa Centenarian Study; Principal Investigator, Kuakini Hawaii LIFESPAN Study, Kuakini Medical Center, Honolulu, USA)