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Global experts to recommend policies on aging

May 24, 1999

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Experts on aging from around the world are expected to announce a series of policy recommendations regarding the rural elderly today at an 11 a.m. news conference.

The Expert Group on Rural Aging, whose members are with the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Association of Gerontology and West Virginia University, has been meeting at the town's Bavarian Inn since Sunday.

The policy recommendations will be made to the U.N. as part of the organization's 1999 International Year of Older Persons and will set the tone for the International Rural Aging Conference in Charleston, W.Va., in June 2000.

The U.N. estimates 60 percent of the world's over-60 population lives in rural areas as defined by their countries, according to a WVU news release.

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"The issue of rural aging has not yet been addressed by a major international conference," Dr. Hana Hermanova, director of the WVU Center on Aging, said in the release.

"The Expert Group meeting will bring important issues to the attention of the U.N."

Among expected participants at today's news conference are Gov. Cecil Underwood, U.N. representatives Gary Andrews and Alexandre Sidorenko and Martha Pelaez of the World Health Organization.

Participanting experts were invited from several foreign nations Argentina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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