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Gerontology Matters
July 2013

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

In this issue:

President's Welcome

It’s time to renew or take up your New Zealand Association of Gerontology membership (click here). From the beginning of this membership year, 1 July, your NZAG Executive is working to introduce more, tangible member benefits, made possible through the consolidated structure of being one Incorporated Society with all members joining the one organisation; the NZAG. Three visible member benefits will be:
Establishing a ‘member only’ section on the NZAG website where resources will be available such as:
  • Conference keynote presentations
  • Presentations or notes from NZAG Webinars, Regional Hub activities
  • Member blog
  • NZAG submissions to Government policy discussions
  • Regional Hub activities so any member resident or visiting in the region can attend
  • NZAG Executive meeting agendas and minutes
  • NZAG documents: Constitution, Strategic plan, Business plan, Operational Plan
  • Links to other useful sites;
Delivering a regular continuing education programme of video conferences and webinars. NZAG is exploring a partnership with the Australian Association of Gerontology to deliver six trans-Tasman, web-based conferences that will stream live to your computer, wherever you are; and
Supporting member interests and activities within the four geographic regions; Auckland/Northland, Waikato/Central North Island, Lower North Island and South Island. Having a centralised office means taking the administrative worries, like direct correspondence with members and managing budgets, away from the Regional Hubs and enabling you get on with the things that you decide you would like to do.
You will notice a difference this year with how the Annual General Meeting is run. For the first time it is being offered by video conferencing, using the Access Grid facilities, at four venues nationally (see the AGM notice). It is exciting to work with the HOPE Foundation to offer those attending the AGM, the additional benefit of participating in two summer student research presentations. While I hope in the future the AGM can be streamed to all members, wherever you live in New Zealand; it is a step in the right direction to bring you the AGM and the research presentations to Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Dunedin.
Mark your diary for the NZAG 2014 conference in Dunedin, 12-14 September; The Age of Ageing. Plan to submit an abstract on your research and/or practice and participate in what will be a strong scientific programme. Download a conference poster for your workplace and help make the NZAG conference an outstanding success.
Kind Regards,
Valerie Wright-St Clair

The International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG)

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Member Opportunities 

Information relevant to NZAG members

SUPA-NZ Launch

17 July 2013 - Carole Gordon

A new social enterprise, SUPA-NZ was launched in Tauranga on Saturday 13th of July. Seniors United to Promote Age–Friendly New Zealand is the lead organization to award age-friendly accreditation to business, products and services. Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said “What a brilliant idea, Business will want to this accreditation and use this symbol because they will need to be age-friendly.”  A National Board was appointed to provide a strong basis for future development.
“SUPA-NZ is entrepreneurial says Carole Gordon, National Convenor, “we engage mature people and elders in assessment and  auditing to validate the accreditation process. SUPA-NZ is currently working with TrustPower on age-friendly customer service accreditation."
“As people live longer it is already evident that they want to live more. This is  creating significant opportunity for age-friendly innovation in business, products and services. 

National Dementia Cooperative

June/July 2013 - Long Term Conditions Network & Health Navigator Trust

A national dementia cooperative has been formed. Their objective is:
To co-operate and collaborate with like-minded people who are passionate about advancing knowledge of approaches to dementia care in New Zealand. 

Their priorities for 2013 are: 
  1. Establish regional dementia community networks.
  2. Support implementation of the National Framework for Dementia Care Pathways.
  3. Identify the needs of people with dementia and their carers by collating existing.

Integrated Care Workshop UK – View Presentations & Paper

June/July 2013 - Long Term Conditions Network & Health Navigator Trust

The Kings Fund held a one day annual summit on 8th May 2013. A number of excellent presentations can be viewed online. 
  • Norman Lamb: enabling integration at every part of the system (Minister for Care Services) Listen to Norman's presentation.
  • David Oliver: designing services that are age appropriate David Oliver, Visiting Fellow at The King’s Fund, looks at the challenges around providing health care for an ageing population, and the solutions to achieving better joined-up care. Listen.
  • David Prior: driving improvements in the quality of care across the system David Prior, Chair, Care Quality Commission, explains how clinicians, providers, commissioners and service users all have a role in regulation. Listen.
  • Anne Eden: a high value health care system Anne Eden, Chief Executive, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, explores the role that hospitals can play in delivering integrated care. Listen More presentations online, click here.
  • Paper – Ham, C. Chris Ham, Walsh, N. Making integrated care happen at scale and pace - Lessons from experience - 21st March 2013. Read more.

NZ scientists in Alzheimer's breakthrough

18 July 2013 - Martin Johnson, NZ Herald

The following is from the NZ Herald:

Discoveries by Auckland University team give hope of finding suitable drug treatments.
Auckland neuro-scientists have made important discoveries in how Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may affect the brain, work which has prompted preliminary experiments with drugs they hope could help people who have the diseases.
The Auckland University team investigated how stem cells move around the brain and become connected to other cells, forming circuits for thinking, movement and other brain functions. Stem cells can develop into other types of cells to replace those damaged or destroyed.

Work as long as you can, it's good for your health - study

17 July 2013 - NZ Herald

The following is an article from the NZ Herald:

People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a study of nearly half a million people in France found.
It's by far the largest study to look at this, and researchers say the conclusion makes sense. Working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged all things known to help prevent mental decline.
"For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent," said Carole Dufouil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government's health research agency.
She led the study and gave results Monday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston.

Rest homes fail to meet standards 

07 July 2013 -

The following is an article from Stuff:

Fewer than one in 10 rest homes is meeting all mandatory health care requirements, according to an audit of Ministry of Health reports by Consumer New Zealand. 
Of the 634 homes reviewed, 28 per cent of facilities had minor shortfalls; 61 per cent had more-than-minor shortfalls; and 3 per cent had major shortfalls. 
Only 57 met or exceeded all criteria. The highest rate of failure was in criteria that ensured residents' needs were assessed and they got appropriate care - what Consumer called "the basics of what a rest home is supposed to do". 
The Consumer review also identified a number of rest homes that have had recurring problems, dating back years in some cases. 

Push to make rest-home audits public 

15 July 2013 -

The following is an article from the Stuff, and is related to the article above:
Rest home audits could soon be made public as the Government responds to pressure to make the facilities more accountable, although critics say there is still a long way to go. 
The industry's reputation has suffered damage in recent years with several critical reports and stories of neglect and malpractice. 
There have been calls for more information to be made available, for mandatory staff-to-patient ratios and for improved monitoring of homes. While there have been improvements, critics say they are not enough. 
The Government says it is likely to concede some ground by making full audits already carried out on rest homes available to the public. 

Grant for research to help stroke victims

16 July 2013 - Otago Daily Times

The following is an article from the Otago Daily Times:

Promising research involving drug therapy to improve limb function after strokes is among several University of Otago projects boosted by nearly $390,000 in the latest Neurological Foundation grant round. 
Dr Andrew Clarkson, an award-winning senior research fellow in the Otago anatomy department, has gained $182,835 to pursue this research. 
Associate Prof John Reynolds, deputy director of the university's Brain Health Research Centre, and also an anatomy department member, gained $194,124 to undertake another project which aims to reduce tremors among patients with Parkinson's. 

New strategies to help stroke victims 

09 July 2013 - Southland Times

The following article is from the Southland Times:

Discoveries from University of Otago neuroscientists may help stroke victims in the future, Southlanders were told yesterday. 
Neuroscientist Andrew Clarkson spoke at Invercargill's Civic Theatre as part of the Neurological Foundation's 2013 Annual Appeal. 
Medical practitioners and members of the public attended the free lecture to hear Dr Clarkson's views on strokes and also the discoveries recently made following tests on mice. 
Dr Clarkson focuses his research on post-stroke regeneration, repair and recovery of function. 

New rest homes to be smokefree 

06 July 2013 - Manawatu Standard

The following article is from the Manawatu Standard:

Future rest home developments in Manawatu will be required to be smokefree, under a new clause rolled out by the MidCentral District Health Board. 
Existing aged-care providers can sign up to be smokefree on a voluntary basis, and MidCentral deputy chief executive Mike Grant said a "high number" have already signed up to the initiative. 
Those that have will be required to monitor their outdoor grounds, with people caught smoking either warned or fined, by July 1, 2014. 
All residents and staff at aged-care providers that have signed up to the policy must also have access to support services to help them kick the habit in the lead-up to going smokefree. 
The smokefree policy is part of the goal to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025. 
Mr Grant said MidCentral had been including smokefree clauses on a voluntary basis. 
"Providers to date have been open and supportive of this approach, so it was agreed to roll this into all contract variations going forward," he said. 

NZ and Canadian health research collaboration gets funding

27 June 2013 - Voxy

The following article is from Voxy:

The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) has announced funding for a research collaboration in which New Zealand and Canadian researchers will work together to explore ways to better care for older people with high health needs in the community.
This joint research project is being led by Professor Toni Ashton at The University of Auckland in New Zealand and by Dr Walter Wodchis at the University of Toronto in Canada. The research will be carried out over five years and will seek to identify and implement innovative integrated community-based primary health care models that address the health and social needs of older adults with complex care needs.

Conference Calendar

Elder Law for the Health Sector

02-03 September 2013 - Auckland, NZ

Elder law is a potential legal minefield of rights, responsibilities and obligations for health professionals, managers and carers in the elder care sector. This comprehensive 2-day training course will ensure that you have the knowledge and tools needed to comply with the many different Acts and legislation that come into play when dealing with elderly patients and residents.

Ageing and Spirituality one day conference

06 September 2013 - Auckland, NZ

The following information is from The Selwyn Centre and Goodfellow Unit:

6 September 2013, 9:30 am - 4 pm
Tamaki Campus - University of Auckland

As we age, and especially as we become frailer and face death, spiritual issues - about the meaning and purpose of our lives - begin to loom large. Yet spirituality can be neglected in health and aged care despite its importance - perhaps because people often feel ill-equipped to discuss this sensitive topic.

This one-day conference is an opportunity to hear New Zealand researchers and others with an academic interest in the area speak about ageing and spirituality. 

Public Health Association Conference 2013

17-19 September 2013 - New Plymouth, NZ
Partnership or Collaboration; is there a difference?

A number of high-profile speakers have already been confirmed, including:
  • Hon Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Health
  • Metiria Turei, Green Party Co-leader and Spokesperson on Social Equity, Maori Affairs and Education
  • Professor Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law, University of Auckland
  • Moana Jackson, lawyer specialising in the Treaty of Waitangi.
The conference will feature the usual high standard and wide variety of presentations and workshops around partnership and collaboration and other important public health themes. 
Very early bird registrations open Monday 17 June.

Clinical Densitometry Training Course

19-20 October 2013 - Auckland, NZ

The following information is from Osteoporosis New Zealand In conjunction with Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society:
Training Course for practitioners and operators involved with bone densitometry
This clinical densitometry course is intended for both practitioners and technologists. It covers the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, as well as the principles and practice of bone density and body composition.

You should consider this course if…
  • You have a tertiary education in a science based course, including nursing, and you have not previously received formal training for bone densitometry.
  • You are currently a DEXA operator who has not undertaken formal training or who is seeking an advanced update of their work practices.
  • You are a medical specialist, or specialist registrar in training, with responsibility for bone density testing, and are seeking deeper knowledge of the technological and quality assurance aspects of bone densitometry measurement and reporting.

Overseas Conferences

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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