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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
September 2016

In this issue:

A Message from the President

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology’s conference “Making Active Ageing a Reality” was held in Wellington from the 15th to 17th September. The conference was preceded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge SNAP event held at Te Papa on the 14th September. As always the conference was excellent and well attended, providing a great opportunity for researchers and others working in the ageing space to meet. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the speakers and range of topics presented. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank the organising committee for all of their hard work, the presenters, as well as the delegates for choosing to attend the conference. There were plenty of opportunities to network with others, whether to reconnect with existing friends and colleagues or to meet new people.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Friday 16th September at the conference. I have included in this issue of Gerontology Matters my President’s report presented at the AGM for your information. The Executive for 2016 - 2017 are:

President: Dr Stephen Neville
Vice President: Dr Debra Waters
Executive: Diana O’Neill, Dr Asmita Patel and Dr Carol Wham
Auckland/Northland Regional Hub: Dr Kathy Peri
Wellington Regional Hub: Dr Judith Davey
Canterbury/Upper South Island Regional Hub: Jane Large
Otago/Lower South Island Regional Hub: Dr Linda Robertson

A key focus for the rest of 2016 and into 2017 is revitalise our marketing strategy and develop an expertise database.
International Day of the Older Person is October 1st. This day celebrates older people, recognising the significant contributions older people make to the world, as well as raising awareness about specific issues related to ageing. The 2016 theme is taking a stand against ageism. A number of organisations are planning specific events to mark the day so have a look in your local area for events that you can attend and/or contribute to. If you know of any events please let the NZAG office know so we can advertise them on our website and via social media.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Neville

Information relevant to NZAG members

New Zealand: Reducing Harm from Falls programme evaluation

Source: Health Quality and Safety Commission

The Reducing Harm from Falls Programme is a national programme led by the Health Quality & Safety Commission. The programme was established in mid-2012 and was one of the first focus areas of the national patient safety campaign Open for better care. The New Zealand Triple Aim was one of the programme’s founding principles. 

In November 2015, Synergia was commissioned to evaluate whether the programme was meeting its objectives and intended results; and to assist in determining what the sector needs from the Commission, to support a sustained focus on reducing harm from falls across care settings.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Creating safe environments for older people


Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says there is now easier access to the latest and best approaches for building safe, secure, and stimulating care homes for people with dementia.

“Older people with dementia need close and continued contact with the real world. Things that enrich their lives such as plants and animals. At the same time they need to be monitored and protected all the time,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The Secure Dementia Care Home Design Information Resource released on 12 August gives dementia service providers a handbook to help design the right environment.

Read more here >

Welcome New Members

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology would like to extend a warm welcome to all new members who have joined the organisation recently, including those who became members though our conference special offer.

New Zealand: Talkin' 'bout my generation

Source: INsite Magazine

Jude Barback looks at the benefits, challenges, practicalities and limitations of intergenerational activities.
It was “Poppa Jim” Battersby who inspired the agreement between Metlifecare and the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). Ninety-one-year-old Jim Battersby, a resident at Metlifecare’s Hillsborough Heights, has been a friend of nearby Roskill South Kindergarten for the past four years. He was walking past the kindergarten one day when he heard children laughing over the fence. He asked for an introduction and head teacher Karen Ramsey took him on for a ‘trial’ period. He has been visiting the kindy every Tuesday since then. He is such a special visitor that he even has his own special chair at the kindy, where he reads stories to the children.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Active ageing - why keeping physically and mentally fit is so important for older people

Source: INsite Magazine

At Beyond Fitness in Tauranga, there is a man named Ross who is 75 years old and can perform a perfect full-range squat on a BOSU ball. The exercise itself is impressive, but given Ross’s age, even more so.

There will no doubt be many people like Ross dotted around the country who are actively looking after their physical health and fitness as they get older. But similarly, there are many older New Zealanders who are not.

Read more here >

Conference Presentations and President's Report

In case you missed out on coming to Conference, the speakers presentations are available on the conference website here >

For a summary of the past year read the President's Report here >

New Zealand: Exploring the role of health care assistants as mobility activators for older people in an Assessment, Treatment, and Rehabilitation ward

Source: Nursing Praxis in New Zealand

The health care assistant is a source of untapped potential to support mobility rehabilitation, especially when allied health professionals are not available after traditional working hours. Intensive mobility rehabilitation can improve strength, balance, and confidence. Service benefits could include shorter hospital stays and decreased falls. A qualitative descriptive approach was used to examine the feasibility of health care assistants’ participation in rehabilitation for older people in an Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation ward. 

Read more here >

New Zealand: Knitting group helps North Shore Hospital's delirium patients


Crafty knitters are helping nurses at Auckland's Waitemata District Health Board with a special project.

North Shore Hospital's gerontology nurse specialists Elaine Docherty and Catherine Mounsey are hoping to raise more awareness about delirium.

The condition, also known as acute brain failure, is a state of altered consciousness that occurs suddenly as a result of physical illness or in response to treatment.

It is different to dementia in that it is generally reversible and more likely affects older people or people who are physically frail, on multiple medications, or unwell.

Docherty and Mounsey have found a way to help ease anxiety and provide distractions for delirium patients by providing them with colourful knitted hand mitts.

Read more here >

Celebrating the United Nations International Day of Older Persons

Thursday 29 September 2016
5:00pm - 7:00pm
AF116 and Foyer AUT North Campus 

Auckland University of Technology invites you to a discussion of key issues relating to older people and the wider community.

Join AUT and our collaborators as we celebrate the UN International Day of Older Persons with the launch of the AUT Centre for Active Ageing and the Silver Line Charitable Trust NZ. The Trust is modelled on the UK’s highly successful Silver Line charity, which provides services to help overcome loneliness of older persons, and stands to make a significant contribution to older people’s health and wellbeing in New Zealand.

By 2050, one in five people will be 60 or older according to UN estimates. It has established 1 October as the International Day of Older Persons. The NZ Government also acknowledges the significance of ageing, recently releasing a consultation document on the “Health of Older People”.

We warmly welcome you to participate in discussion of this important topic. 

Click here for the full invitation >

New Zealand Opinion: Indian nurses as caregivers in New Zealand - "I would not have come"

Source: INsite Magazine

Nyemundzai Esther Ngocha Chaderopa shares the stories of four Indian nurses working as caregivers in New Zealand residential aged care facilities. Their experiences – at times distressing – differ significantly from their expectations of life and work in New Zealand.

Read more here >

Opinion: What do Baby Boomers want?

Source: INsite Magazine

New Zealand Nutrition Foundation chief executive Sue Pollard gives a personal perspective on what baby boomers want – and don’t want – when it comes to food.
I am one of those ‘baby boomers’ we hear about in the media. We are not the same as our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. We are living longer, we are more active, we are still working into our 70s.

I completed my training as a dietitian in the 1960s, and over the years worked in many different dietetic roles, including foodservice management in hospitals, and nutrition and dietetic services in the community. For the past 10 years I have been the CEO of the 
New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. We have an active Healthy Ageing programme, which initially concentrated on nutrition communication and education for health professionals and caregivers in the aged care sector, but which now concentrates on nutrition initiatives for community living older people.

Read more here >

Age Concern: International Day of Older Persons

5 October 2016
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Age Concern New Zealand, Freemason House, 195-201 Willis Street, Wellington

International day of Older Persons (IDOP) is a time to celebrate the value of older people and a chance to acknowledge their contributions to our communities; in the work place, as volunteers, as caregivers and as whole people, with dreams, aspirations, wisdom and experience. 

The 2016 international theme is Stand againist Ageism.

This year we want all Kiwis to join us as Age Concern Dignity Champions. Everyone at any age can become a Dignity Champion by showing a commitment to breaking down stereotypes and encouraging dignity and respect for older people. Please join us for a celebration, refreshments and entertainment.

Please RSVP to by 30th September 2016 and include any dietary requirements.

United Kingdom: Researchers find that if you think you're old, you'll age faster

Source: 50s Forward News and Views 

“Many of you likely know someone firsthand who has seemingly defied the hands of time, looking, thinking and acting the age of someone decades younger. Your lifestyle — healthy diet, exercise, avoidance of pollutants, etc. — certainly plays a role in how well you fare as you get older, but so too does your attitude.” — Dr. Mercola,

Your attitude towards something can directly affect the outcome. This is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy, where you unknowingly cause an event or outcome to come true simply by expecting or believing that it will happen. If you think you are old, chances are you will age faster. Several studies demonstrate this self-fulfilling prophecy, and they share key insights into how your attitude affects both your physical and emotional health and ultimately how quickly you age.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: New Drugs for Dementia

Source: UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

Dementia is a progressively debilitating condition that has been the focus of recent national and international political attention. Currently no drugs are available to treat the underlying diseases causing dementia. Recent policy has committed resources to fund more research and improve treatment and care. This POSTnote provides an overview of dementia, current treatments and potential new drugs. It examines the challenges involved in developing new drugs and in ensuring patient access. Finally, it considers prevention strategies.

Read more here >

Hope-Selwyn Foundation Scholarships for Research on Ageing

Applications close 31 October 2016
These post graduate scholarships are for $6000 per year and can be renewed for up to 3 years for doctoral students subject to support from their supervisor.

Applications can be made through the Scholarships Offices of all NZ Universities except Lincoln University. Last year 9 scholarships were awarded.
Applications can come from any Faculty, not just Health Faculties, and can be on any subject that is impacted by ageing. 

Applications are to be sent to the following address:

Secretary/Executive Officer 
HOPE Foundation for Research on Ageing 
PO Box 32082 
Auckland 0744 

For the application checklist click here >
To see the projects of previous applicants click here >

Wales: Hearing the voices of older people in Wales - what helps and hinders us as we age?

Source: Social Services Improvement Agency

Drawing on interviews and focus groups with 135 older people living in urban and rural areas in Wales this report looks at what helps and what gets in the way of wellbeing for older people and those caring for them.

Read more here >

International: Is sport good for older adults? A systematic review of psychosocial outcomes of older adults’ sport participation

Source: International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Although sport is promoted as a vehicle to enhance health and well-being throughout the life course, little is known about the psychosocial benefits and costs associated with sport participation in older adulthood. A mixed studies systematic review of English-language, peer-reviewed, original research articles (from the earliest record until March 2015) was undertaken to identify psychosocial outcomes of sport for adults over age 65 and to determine whether sport provides psychosocial outcomes that are distinct from other forms of physical activity.

Read more here >

New Zealand Newsletters of Interest

Focus on Falls

September 2016

In this issue:
  • A major investment in falls prevention from ACC
  • Findings from the Reducing Harm from Falls programme evaluation
  • A patient's perspective
  • Just-in: Evidence-based publications and resources.
Read the newsletter here >

New Zealand Nutrition Foundation Healthy Ageing Bulletin

Issue 27
September 2016

The Committee for Healthy Ageing is a special interest group of the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, which was initially established in 2004, to champion the cause for improving the quality of life of older New Zealanders, through nutrition and physical activity. Each quarter, this bulletin updates you on issues of importance or topical interest in relation to optimal nutrition and physical activity of older people.

In this issue we have a closer and practical look at food safety. As people age, they can be more vulnerable to food poisoning, and some tips to keep safe are highlighted here.

Read the September Issue here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

New Zealand Conferences

Alzheimers New Zealand 2016 Conference

3-5 November 2016
TSB Bank Arena and Convention Centre

Top flight speakers from New Zealand and overseas will share the latest research, evidence, learnings and insights, and discuss how we can address this challenge.

With real life case studies, and an emphasis on what works, this conference has practical relevance to the real world of people affected by dementia, policy makers, service providers, health and care professionals, researchers and NGOs.

Find out more here >

2016 Selwyn Foundation Gerontology Nursing Conference

7 December 2016
Alexandra Park, Epsom

A professional development conference for gerontology nurses and those involved in the pastoral and spiritual care of older people

With an exciting line-up of world-class speakers in the fields of gerontology and ageing and spirituality, we have made a slight change to our approach this year, incorporating the practical aspects of care, and the philosophical and spiritual facets of ageing and spirituality. 

Early Bird registration closes 30 September 2016. 

Find out more here >
International Conferences

2nd International Symposium: Biology of Aging - Paving the way for healthy ageing

19-20 October 2016
Hotel Bonaventure

The symposium will shed light on a variety of broad topics related to the biology of aging. Students, professors, researchers and health care professionals will be able to acquire more knowledge in this field. Speakers will be able to transmit their professional views on the current and future stakes in the field of aging, and to discuss their latest projects with those in attendance.

Find out more >

2016 AAG Conference: Re-imagining our Future

2-4 November 2016
National Convention Centre
Canberra, Australia

The theme for the 2016 Conference is “Capitalising on the Ageing Dividend: Reimagining Our Future”. In Canberra, the nation’s centre of government, this conference will provide an opportunity to explore the future of ageing, and how we can best capitalise on the social and economic potential of our ageing society.

The AAG Conference is truly multidisciplinary and brings together people with a wide range of professional interests. They include health and aged care practitioners, researchers, community care providers, policy makers and planners and anyone interested in current issues in ageing. This unique meeting of the minds offers delegates an exciting opportunity to make new connections with people and ideas.

Find out more >

IOF 6th Asia Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting

4-6 November 2016

The International Osteoporosis Foundation and the Endocrine and Metabolic Society of Singapore (EMSS) look forward to welcoming you to Singapore for the IOF Regionals 6th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting taking place at the Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec) from November 4-6, 2016.

Download Programme

Find out more >

IV World Congress on Geriatrics & Gerontology - International Conference on Healthy Ageing in Changing World

23-25 November 2016
Indian Institute of Science, India

The International Congress, which is held every year, is an opportunity for many well-known gerontologists, geriatrics scholars, policy decision-makers, professional activists, related companies, and researchers to get together and share recent discoveries and study results.

Find out more >

15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH2017)

3-7 April 2017
Melbourne, Australia

As a key WCPH2017 partner, the Public Health Association of New Zealand would like to encourage public health workers and leaders everywhere in the Asia-Pacific region to engage with this World Congress – to submit an abstract and to attend if they can.

The Congress serves as an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on key public health issues, contributing towards protecting and promoting public health at a national and global level.

Find out more >

Global Disability, Ageing & Healthcare Conferences Online Guide 

See a comprehensive list of conferences on the Global Disability and Health Care Services website.
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