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Gerontology Matters
May 2014

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

In this issue:

A message from the President

 
The content of the 2014 Budget was released on the 15th May. Clearly evident is the aim of returning New Zealand’s balance sheet into a surplus with the prediction of increasing surpluses in the years to come. My message this month relates to the money allocated in the budget for health and in particular the Age Related Residential Care Sector.

Overall, an additional $1.8 billion is allocated to health. The media identifies the clear winners as home-based support services who receive $96 million, and the disability support sector who receive an extra $112 million. In contrast, the Age Related Residential Care Sector received an additional $40 million to provide services to older people including those living with dementia.

Chief Executive of The New Zealand Aged Care Association, Martin Taylor, estimates the Age Related Residential Care Sector needs an additional $76 million to provide the current level of services to older people in residential care. He cites increases in employer contributions to KiwiSaver, inflationary pressures, increases in the minimum wage, as well as increases to insurance premiums as reasons to increase funding to this level.

Media has previously reported the Prime Minister John Key as stating that an increase in funding to this sector is on the cards when the country’s financial position improves and New Zealand moves back into surplus. 2014 is also election year and as members of NZAG we need to make sure the government is held to account in regard to the well-being of older people including the funding of Age Related Residential Care services. I invite you to provide feedback to me on what you think about the contents of the contents of the budget. Send your feedback directly to me via email (S.J.Neville@massey.ac.nz). I look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
Regards,
Stephen Neville

The International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG)

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Opportunities for NZAG members

Call for Abstracts: IOF 5th Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting


Submissions close 04 July 2014.

The 5th Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting will be held in Chinese Taipei from November 14-16, 2014. Meeting themes include epidemiology of osteoporosis and burden in Asia, osteoporosis in men, secondary fracture prevention, horizon therapy and relation between muscle biology & clinical fragility as well as bone & diabetes. 
 
Members of New Zealand Association of Gerontology are invited to submit their abstract for this meeting. This is a great opportunity to showcase their research at the leading educational and research forum for osteoporosis and related diseases in the Asia-Pacific region.         
  • Accepted abstracts will be published in a supplement issue of ‘Osteoporosis International’
  • Top ranking abstracts will be selected for oral presentations at the Meeting
  • Young Investigator Award valued at 1,000 USD, to 5 top ranked abstracts by authors 40 years of age or under

Information relevant to NZAG members

NZ: Older workers should make way for the young – fact or fallacy?


By Judith Davey:

The argument that older people should leave the paid labour force to make way for younger workers is a hardy perennial in the news media and general comment. A good example was an article by Simon Collins in the Herald (February 17, 2012) with the headline Over-65s crowd teens out of market. This claimed that: “Old people have displaced more than 40,000 teenagers from jobs in the past five years as more choose to stay on in the workforce and employers shun youth for experience.” 

The main evidence produced for this assertion was research by the Salvation Army’s social policy unit, which found that “the number of 15- 19-year-olds in paid work dropped by 42,600 in the last five years, while the numbers still working beyond 65 jumped by 40,200.” 

NZ: Housing changes ahead as baby boomers plan to sell 

13 March 2014 - Massey University

The following is from Massey University:

Half of the baby boomers surveyed for a study on ageing say they plan to move or downsize as they get older – a trend government needs to factor into its housing policy and planning say the study authors.

The findings are the latest from a longitudinal study on ageing in New Zealand by a team of researchers from Massey University’s School of Psychology. The study, called Independence, Contributions and Connections (ICC), surveyed 2000 ‘baby boomers’ aged 63 to 78 years about a range of issues including housing, volunteering, employment, internet access and social connections. Researchers are now seeking online feedback and commentary on their findings from the wider public to help enrich the data.
Caption: Professors Fiona Alpass and Christine Stephens, from Massey’s School of Psychology.
 

NZ: Pressure for independence in old age can be disabling

29 April 2014 - Massey University

The following is from Massey University:

'Independence' may be an aspirational buzzword for the elderly. But too much emphasis on independence can be counterproductive if older people feel unable to ask for help when they need it, a Massey health researcher says.

Dr Mary Breheny, a senior lecturer in rehabilitation in the College of Health who researches health and ageing, says many older people do not like to ask for help and many talk about not wanting to be a burden to their families, neighbours and society. 

Her research on understandings of independence in later life has led to the development of a new set of measures for living standards, tailored to meet the values and needs of older people. Dr Breheny’s initial study, based on interviews with 48 people aged 55 to 70, revealed the predominant understanding of 'independence' was the value of self-sufficiency, with dependence on others seen as burdensome.
Caption: Dr Mary Breheny

Ireland: Measuring Old-Age Social Exclusion in a Cross-Border Context

January 2014 - Centre for Ageing and Research Development in Ireland (CARDI)

The following is from Centre for Ageing and Research Development in Ireland:

Social exclusion of older people is a multi-dimensional process that can have a detrimental effect on older adults and wider society. It can involve the denial of rights, resources, goods and services across social, economic and many other areas of life. However, even though social exclusion amongst older people appears to have become more of a problem during the economic crisis in Ireland and Northern Ireland, there are still critical knowledge gaps concerning how best to measure social exclsuion in later life. Without measuring old-age exclusion it is difficult to ascertain the level to which exclusion is prevalent amongst the older population in our society; it is difficult to identify the particular pathways, risk-factors and outcomes of social exclusion that need to be targeted; it is difficult to capture how exclusion changes over time; and it is difficult to think meaningfully about how to address social exclusion in later life.

UK: The Generation Strain - Collective Solutions to Care in an Ageing Society

April 2014 - Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

The following is from the Institute for Public Policy Research:

More of us are taking on caring responsibilities for our parents and we are worrying more about how we will be cared for ourselves when we are older. But few are convinced that politics has the answers – only a quarter think the government has the right policies on social care, which was viewed in a recent poll as the second most important area of public spending, behind only the NHS and ahead of schools and infrastructure (Kellner 2013). 

Most care for older people is not provided by the state or private agencies but by family members, at an estimated value of £55 billion annually. However, as the babyboomer generation ages, a growing ‘family care gap’ will develop as the number of older people in need of care outstrips the number of adult children able to provide it. This is expected to occur for the first time in 2017. 
 

UK: Learning for Care Homes from Alternative Residential Care Settings

April 2014 - Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The following is a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation:

What can providers of residential care for older people learn about improving quality of care from other sectors?

This review explores the learning from delivery of care in residential services for children and young people, residential services and supported housing for people with learning disabilities and hospice care, and considers how this can be applied in care homes for older people. 

The report:
  • finds that, while evidence of effectiveness is limited, there are promising ideas that could improve the culture of care homes, experiences of care and support for staff; 
  • presents evidence of how residential care homes in other sectors have created positive organisational cultures and increased relationship-based care to improve the quality of care offered;
  • looks at how greater involvement of people who use services and their families can improve experiences of care.

UK: Focus On - Social care for older people 

March 2014 - The Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust

The following is from The Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust:

This report describes the scale and nature of reductions in publicly funded social care for older adults in England that have occurred in part as a result of the Coalition Government’s efforts to reduce public sector spending following the financial crisis of 2008. In 2010, the government published spending plans that reduced central government grants to local authorities (who are responsible for funding social care) by 26 per cent in real terms between 2011/12 and 2014/15. Local government spending overall, which includes income from Council Tax and other charges, was projected to fall by 14 per cent in real terms. In June 2013, the government followed this with a further 10 per cent reduction in grants for 2015/16. 

UK: Ageing alone - Loneliness and the â€˜Oldest Old’

April 2014 - CentreForum
 
The following is from CentreForum:

Society is reluctant to talk about loneliness in old age but we have to stop brushing it under the carpet. Loneliness causes misery and poor quality of life for too many people, but it is the oldest old – the over 85s – who are most badly affected. Nearly half of this age group experience loneliness some or most of the time. Understanding loneliness in this cohort is becoming increasingly important as what was once a small group of exceptional individuals rapidly grows into a whole new generation. 

Loneliness also has both financial and social costs to wider society with research suggesting that loneliness is strongly associated with greater risk of various illnesses and that socially isolated and lonely adults are more likely to undergo early admission into residential or nursing care.

Scotland: Delivering A Better Life for older people with high support needs in Scotland

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS)

The following is from the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS):

A Better Life was a major fve year programme of work developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which explored how to achieve a good quality of life for older people with high support needs. This briefing has been 
produced by IRISS to ensure that the messages and challenges of A Better Life are understood in the context of the current policy drivers in Scotland and are translated into practice across the country.

Australia: Defusing a Ticking Time Bomb - Improving the quality and delivery of home care in Australia

March 2014 - Palliative Care Australia

The following is from Palliative Care Australia:

Caring for our ageing population will become one of the greatest challenges of this century unless system-wide reform in the provision of home care to a growing number of Australians is recognised and adopted as a priority by governments, policy makers, healthcare professionals and the community.

This is the conclusion of a panel of leading disability and aged care stakeholders who convened to address the growing carecrisis in Australia. What emerged from the discussion was a picture of a system under immense pressure – a ‘ticking time bomb’ fuelled by demographic, social and economic change. 

Australia: Is the Incidence of Dementia Declining?

April 2014 - Alzheimer's Australia

The following is from Alzheimer's Australia:

The world-wide projections of the prevalence of dementia in the coming decades have been a source of great concern to health systems and societies around the world. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 estimated that there were 36 million people with dementia in 2010, with an expected doubling every 20 years to nearly 115 million in 2050. These sobering figures are based on assumptions that the age-adjusted prevalence of dementia would remain constant and the population would continue to age at the current rate. 

The assumption that the incidence of dementia will remain stable is now being put into question. There is emerging evidence to suggest that the incidence of dementia in older individuals may be declining. It appears that this change may be recent and has possibly occurred only in the last one to two decades. It may also be restricted so far to high income countries, although data from low and middle income countries are lacking. 
 

Conferences - New Zealand

Person-Centered Care for Diverse Populations in Aged Residential Care 


01 July 2014 - Tamaki Innovation Campus, University of Auckland 
  
The School of Nursing is hosting the above conference on the 1st of July 2014. 

It is being held in Tamaki Innovation Campus, University of Auckland, 261 Morrin Rd, St Johns, Auckland. 

This is a conference for gerontology leaders, qualified nurses, caregivers and all healthcare professionals with an interest in residential aged care and the care of older adults. 
  
For more information, download the flyer.
  
For registrations, please click here

New Zealand Association of Gerontology Conference


12-14 September 2014 - Dunedin, NZ

The organising committee received a wide range of topics from workshops and mini-symposiums on oral health, spatial analysis for building aged care systems, publishing in scholarly journals, Maori health, and current community falls prevention programmes, along with many abstracts covering a range of subjects covered under our main themes. We are also pursuing funding to offset registration costs for students, care workers and community attendees. Don’t miss out on what is looking to be an informative and exciting conference.

New Zealand Population Health Congress


06-08 October 2014 - Auckland, NZ

The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine, the Public Health Association and the Health Promotion Forum warmly welcome your registration for the inaugural New Zealand Population Health Congress being held 6-8 October 2014 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland.

The Congress will be a major event in New Zealand's population health calendar this year. It is a chance for you to learn, discuss and debate advances in population health thinking and practice in areas such as child health, housing, nutrition, indigenous health and climate change.

The overarching Congress theme is 'Connecting Communities, Science and Policy' and the programme provides multiple opportunities to achieve this goal. 

Dementia: the future is now


November 2014 - Rotorua, NZ
 
We have come a long way in the 30 years since the first Alzheimers group was formed in New Zealand and the dementia community started to focus on helping people affected by dementia.
 
We are now at a watershed moment with exciting developments in research, diagnosis, prevention, support services and treatment options, both here and internationally.
 
The biennial Alzheimers New Zealand conference "Dementia: the future is now" showcases these exciting developments and is a must attend for members of Alzheimers NZ, people affected by dementia, health professionals, community, home based and residential providers, primary health care professionals, educators, researchers and policy makers.

Conferences - Overseas

Global Disability, Ageing & Healthcare Conferences Online Guide 


See a more comprehensive listing of conferences at our web site 
For more information click here.
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