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Gerontology Matters
December 2015/January 2016

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

In this issue:



 

A Message from the President

Best wishes and seasons greetings to all our NZAG members 


2015 has been a year of consolidation at NZAG. Our activities included strengthening our external relationships with organisations such as the Australian Association of Gerontology, HOPE Foundation and Selwyn Foundation. In addition, we have continued to offer members free access to our webinar series and have increased our regional hub activities. 2016 will see us offering more activities in each of our four regional hub areas. Also remember that in September 2016 our Conference will be held in Wellington and is an event not to be missed. You will see later in this newsletter that submission of abstracts has opened.
 
I have just been notified that Dr Rod Perkins, the General Manager at Selwyn Foundation, is leaving the organisation after seven years of service. Dr Perkins has been an avid supporter of NZAG and through this we have been able to fund the monthly webinar series. He leaves Selwyn to take the role of CEO of Alzheimers Auckland. On behalf of NZAG I would like to thank Dr Perkins for his support and wish him all the very best. We look forward to continuing our relationship with him once he settles into his new role at Alzheimers Auckland.
 
The next issue of Gerontology Matters will be distributed at the beginning of February 2016. I would like to wish you all a very happy and safe festive season spent doing all of the things you didn’t have time to do during the year. Thank you for your support of NZAG this year and we look forward to your ongoing involvement in 2016 and beyond.
 
Regards,
Associate Professor Stephen Neville
President
New Zealand Association of Gerontology

Information relevant to NZAG members

New Zealand: Unaffordable Housing may leave Baby Boomers Homeless

Source: 3News
 

Many Baby Boomers may be left homeless unless the Government can do

something to make housing more affordable for the elderly, the Salvation Army says.
 

Its new report has found that as housing ownership becomes less likely and accommodation allowance budgets become stretched, many people who have worked and saved their whole lives could be left without homes for the first time in old age.


Read more here >

New Zealand: Multi - Source Protein Foods for Optimal Mobility in East Asian Seniors

Source: Massey University

A group of Massey University’s top scientists at the Riddet Institute have been awarded almost a million dollars of research funding to create foods that will keep the elderly active and independent for longer.

The money comes from a total of $7 million research investment funding from the High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge to build the science behind innovative new foods.

The project between Goodman Fielder and the Riddet Institute hosted by Massey University, will explore bringing together unique combinations of proteins to create foods that will naturally stimulate muscle function.

Renew your membership for the 2015/16 year!


To renew now, and receive the many benefits NZAG membership offers:

New Zealand: Reverse Equity Mortgages - Read both sides of the story

Source: New Zealand Herald


Reverse mortgages are back from the dead. These mortgages, from providers such as Heartland Bank and SBS Bank allow people aged 60 and older to release capital from their homes for spending.

There are no monthly payments and the money advanced to the older person is repaid only when they die, move permanently from their own home, fail to maintain the property or insure it.

Older people are often sitting on a lot of capital, but are cash poor. Grey Power's Bill Rayner knows many people in this situation. His own home, for example, bought in 1978 for $36,000 is now worth more than $1.2m. Yet if he was surviving on NZ Super alone, he would barely have enough money to pay the basics.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Temporal trends in the utilisation of preventive medicines by older people: A 9-year population-based study

Source: National Center for Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine


For older individuals with multi-morbidity the appropriateness of prescribing preventive medicines remains a challenge. This study, the first of it's kind, investigates the prevalence and temporal trends in utilisation of preventative medicines in older New Zealanders.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Evaluation of a New Zealand program aimed to improve transition of care for older high risk adults

Source: National Center for Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine

Transition interventions aim to improve care and reduce hospital readmissions but evaluations of these interventions have reported inconsistent results. We report on the evaluation of an intervention implemented in Auckland, New Zealand. Participants were people over the age of 65 who had acute medical admission and were at high risk of readmission.

Read more here >

Australia: How can we best design housing for Australia's ageing population?

Source: The Conversation


Few older Australians actually live in non-private housing such as nursing homes. Data from the 2011 Census reveals that 94% of Australians who are 65 or older still live in private housing. More than half live with a partner and another quarter live alone.

Life expectancy is nearly double what it was a century ago. And since the 1950s, a new group of young-old has evolved. These people are fit and healthy, and have little need for specialised housing.

This does not mean, however, that Australia’s current housing options are future-proofed for its ageing population. Architects, developers and clients should be designing new homes that have the agility to adapt to suit the changing needs of occupants. With the number of people aged 65 and above expected to more than double by 2055, homes being built now for young families may eventually be accommodating empty-nester couples or singles.

Read more here >

Member-Only Resources 


Did you know: As a member of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology you have access to the member-only section of our website, giving you access to exclusive member-only news articles and blog posts. This section now includes webinar summaries and resources from the Australian Association of Gerontology.

You must be logged in to view member-only content on the Gerontology website.

If you are having problems logging in, or have forgotten your username or password please email national@gerontology.org.nz so we can sort it out for you.

Opinion: Revising the Health of Older People Strategy


Judith Davey – Blog Post for Age Concern 4 November 2015

Round about the year 2000 – whether or not associated with the turn of the millennium – the New Zealand Government produced a swathe of policy documents, depicted as “strategies”. They included the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy (2001), the Health of Older People Strategy (2002), the Disability Strategy (2001), the Transport Strategy (2002), followed by the Housing Strategy (2005). Notice that the first two of these concerned older people.

This reflected increasing attention on population ageing in the international arena. In the late 1990s the OECD published a series of reports on the topic - Maintaining Prosperity in an Ageing Society (1998); Reforms for an Ageing Society (2000). I don’t intent here to review progress since this time or to examine where the Positive Ageing Strategy has taken us (although both might be the subject of blogs to come). Instead, I want to draw your attention to a review of the second item on my list above - the Health of Older People Strategy (HOPS).

Read full blog post here >

Opinion: We always knew that older people were valuable – but can they help combat climate change?


Judith Davey - Blog Post July 2015

We are often having to defend the value of older people against accusations that they are a “burden” on society – costing too much for pensions and health care and so on. So I was intrigued and potentially delighted to see the headline “Our ageing populations could help slow greenhouse emissions”.

This was in the June 9th edition of “The Conversation” an Australian-based daily compilation of news stories, which I subscribe to. Its slogan is “academic rigour, journalistic flair” and it contains items on politics, economics, health, arts and culture, environment and social issues. Every day I find several articles of interest.

So what about the question I started off with? Is there an up-side of ageing for the environment?

Read full blog post here >

Australia: How can we improve housing and care for people with dementia?

Source: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Dementia is an incurable syndrome that impacts on higher cognitive functions, behavioural and psychological traits and physical function.

It will shortly be the leading cause of disability in Australia with the numbers of people affected projected to increase to almost a million by 2050. Currently, an estimated 70 per cent of all people with dementia are living in the community, and this is expected to grow over the coming decades. 

This project examined the role of housing in caring for people with dementia, and whether more could be done to assist those in marginal or insecure housing situations.

Read more here > 

United Kingdom: Leading a healthier lifestyle can delay dementia, disability and frailty in later life

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

People should be encouraged to stop smoking, be more physically active, reduce their alcohol consumption, and adopt a healthy diet to help lower the risk of developing dementia, disability and frailty in later life.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Transforming care pathways for people with dementia

Source: National Housing Federation

Housing associations are ideally placed to help health and social care commissioners to meet growing needs and transform care pathways for people with dementia. They can promote better integration and a personlised approach, applying the best evidence to practice and co-designing support packages with individuals to deliver better health outcomes.

Read full report here >

United Kingdom: Prevalence of dementia in population groups by protected characteristics: A systematic review of the literature

Source: Public Health England

In some groups people do not always appear to be diagnosed with dementia when they have it.  Research should focus on the causes of this and how to increase the diagnosis of dementia. Specific research is needed to understand how common dementia is in people from a south-east Asian background in the UK. Research is needed to investigate the exact impact of the known 
risk factors (depression, diabetes and stroke) across the protected characteristics, as this will help organise and target services.

United Kingdom: Models of Dementia Assessment and Diagnosis: Indicative Cost Review

Source: NHS England

This report identifies and reviews in detail three models of
dementia assessment and diagnosis currently being used in dementia care in the NHS in England.

Through semistructured interviews with each unit it presents indicative costs for each model, benefits for patients and carers, key messages and considerations about developing the service, giving insight into how a local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) might approach a review of their local service with an aim to making improvements.

Read full report here >

Focus on Falls: Toolkit for Clinicians

Focus on Falls is a quarterly publication for everyone interested in understanding and preventing falls in older people. Reducing harm from falls is the name and the broad aim of the programme.

For everything you need in falls prevention click here >

United States: How our feelings of envy fade as we get older

Source: New Zealand Herald
 

The green-eyed monster of envy has a tighter grip on young adults than on their elders, a study has found.

While people of all ages admitted to the emotion, 80 per cent of those under 30 reported feeling it in the past year compared with 69 per cent of over-50s. The study found younger people were more likely to envy others for their looks, success in love, popularity and educational achievements. The only areas where older people were more envious were wealth and jobs.

"Envy of monetary success and occupational success was common across all aggroups, but these two domains were unique in being more often envied by older people," the study says.

Read more here >

International: World Report on Ageing and Health

Source: World Health Organization

Comprehensive public health action on population ageing is urgently needed. This will require fundamental shifts, not just in the things we do, but in how we think about ageing itself.

The World report on ageing and health outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability.

Making these investments will have
valuable social and economic returns, both in terms of health and well-being of older people and in enabling their on-going participation in society.
 

International: High Intensity versus Low Intensity Physical Activity or Exercise in People with Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis (Cochrane Review)

Source: Wiley Online Library

Exercise or physical activity is recommended for improving pain and functional status in people with knee or hip osteoarthritis. These are complex interventions whose effectiveness depends on one or more components that are often poorly identified. It has been suggested that health benefits may be greater with high-intensity rather than low-intensity exercise or physical activity.

Read full review here >

International: Exercise and Rehabilitation delivered through exergames in older adults: An integrative review of technologies, safety and efficacy

Source: International Journal of Medical Informatics

There has been a rapid increase in research on the use of virtual reality (VR) and gaming technology as a complementary tool in exercise and rehabilitation in the elderly population. Although a few recent studies have evaluated their efficacy, there is currently no in-depth description and discussion of different game technologies, physical functions targeted, and safety issues related to older adults playing exergames.

This integrative review provides an overview of the technologies and games used, progression, safety measurements and associated adverse events, adherence to exergaming, outcome measures used, and their effect on physical function.

Read full review here >

International: Health Benefits of Cycle Ergometer Training for Adults: A Review

Source: European Review of Ageing and Physical Activity

As the number of older adults continues to increase worldwide, more attention is being paid to geriatric health care needs, and successful ageing is becoming an important topic in the medical literature. A preventative approach to the care of older adults is thus a priority in our ageing societies. The purpose of this study was to update evidence for the health benefits of cycle ergometer training for older adults over 70.

Read full review here >

International: Integrating care for older people with complex needs: key insights and lessons from a seven-country cross-case analysis

Source: National Center for Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine

Formal social care services are often organized and funded separately from health care or medical services, and this can result in fragmented care for people who need both types of services. A common response is to develop integrated health and social care for older people with complex needs. Integrated care can mean different things in different settings, but a common feature is that it seeks to improve the quality of care for individual patients, service users and caregivers by ensuring that services are well coordinated around their needs.

Other Newsletters of Interest

Hope Foundation for Research on Ageing

November 2015

Preparing New Zealand for an Ageing Future.

Included in this issue:
  • Friends Committee of the Hope Foundation seeks to raise funds for scholarships for research into aging
  • Researchers meet to share their experiences and results
  • From the Annual General Meeting
Read the Editorial here >
Download the full newsletter here >

The Australasian Journal of Ageing content updates


The Australasian Journal of Ageing (AJA) is a comprehensive publication which provides a balance of academic papers, industry perspectives and practice reports. An invaluable source of current information and research, it covers a range of topics including social gerontology, home and community care services, geriatric medicine, health services research and the biology of ageing

NZAG invites members to sign up for free Australasian Journal of Ageing content updates.

In order to receive these updates you must first sign up on Wiley Online Library. After signing up visit the Journal’s homepage and click “Get New Content Alerts” on the left side-bar.

Instructions on how to sign up for Wiley Online Library >
Instructions on how to sign up for content alerts >

50s Forward News & Views eNewsletter

Friday 20th November 2015

Keeping you updated on events, news and trends, both local and overseas, that are relevant to an ageing population.

Included in this issue:
  • Eldernet releases moderated Aged Care Feedback System
  • Overseas Trends: Do the ravages of age create a case for UN protection?
  • Overseas Trends: Connecting online can help prevent social isolation in older people
View eNewsletter here >

50s Forward News & Views eNewsletter

Friday 13th November 2015

Keeping you updated on events, news and trends, both local and overseas, that are relevant to an ageing population.

Included in this issue:
  • Savings vital for retired people
  • Domestic help needed by older people
  • It's time to talk honestly about dying
  • Tai Chi found to be as effective as physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis
View eNewsletter here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

2016 NZAG Conference


Call for Abstracts now open

Closing date for submissions is 2 May 2016

For more information on submissions click here >

For more information about the upcoming 2016 Conference click here >

I’m losing my memory! - Assessing and supporting those with cognitive decline and dementia in primary care


Interprofessional Workshop

Date: 23 February 2016
Time 3:00pm - 7:30pm
Venue: Room C02/05
University of Otago (Wellington Campus)
Cost: $85 inc. GST

To register, email events.primaryhealthcare@otago.ac.nz or phone (04) 918 6787

For more information click here >

8th Annual Elder Law for the Health Sector Conference

22-23 February 2016
Crowne Plaza, Auckland

Bringing you the latest legal updates and prominent case law, as well as key discussions on how to achieve greater collaboration.

10% discount for NZAG members. Simply enter the discount code MCO4OK when you register.

Find out more here >

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services - Services for Older People Conference

12-13 May 2016
Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland

The conference is open for anyone working with older people in aged residential care, home support or community-based services to attend.

Registration opens 13 January 2016.

Find out more here >
 

Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine 2016 (ANZSGM) Annual Scientific Meeting

1-3 June 2016
Melbourne Convention Centre, Victoria

"The AGEnder Paradox" will showcase the intersection of gender issues and ageing, examining the question of how women and men age differently, and highlighting the impact these differences bring to bear on the medical care of both sexes as they age. 

Find out more here >

World Congress on Active Ageing

28 June - 1 July 2016
Melbourne, Australia

The 9th World Congress on Active Ageing is currently open for online registration

Find out more here >

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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