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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
May 2016

In this issue:

A Message from the President

On the 9th May 2016 the New Zealand Herald published an article about the increasing number of older migrants who have come to our country to be with family and find themselves lonely. Although published in Auckland based media, this issue is serious and one the whole country should be concerned about. The article focused on older Chinese migrants, as according to statistics this ethnic group is the most highly represented of all older migrants coming to New Zealand.
New Zealand has a generous reunification programme which allows older people from other countries to join their families here. Frequently, these people are grandparents and willingly help their children with childcare. However, circumstances change, children grow up and the services of the grandparent may no longer be needed. In addition, many older migrants may not have particularly good English language skills; all of which can result in feeling lonely and being socially isolated. The impact of social isolation was part of a study of older people in the NZ Indian community called Families, Ageing and Migration co-authored by NZAG member Dr Judith Davey. More information can be found on the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies website.
Reducing loneliness and social isolation in older adults is one of the issues the Minister of Senior Citizens the Hon Maggie Barry and her team are interested in. I think the media article on older Chinese migrants challenges those researching in the area of loneliness and social inclusion to be cognisant of and ensure the perspectives of older migrant people are sought and reported on. Some research does exist in New Zealand but more is certainly needed with older people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
One of the international keynote speakers in our September conference has a particular interest in this topic.
In the April issue of Gerontology Matters I identified the importance of including older people in all aspects of the research process. Ensuring diverse ethnic and cultural representation on advisory groups of any kind is an obvious first step. All older people should have opportunities to be socially connected in ways that are meaningful to them. Here is the link to the article:

Stephen Neville        

Correction: There is a mistake in the President’s Message of the April issue of Gerontology Matters. The last sentence “NZAG currently has a small student chapter comprised of younger members who are committed to gerontology and it is these people who are the next generation of older people” should read “NZAG currently has a small student chapter comprised of younger members who are committed to gerontology and it is these people who are the next generation of researchers in gerontology”.

Information relevant to NZAG members

New Zealand: Age is no barrier to exercise


Not ready to retire to a rocking chair yet? Don’t let age stop you being active.

If you are planning to remain strong and physically active as you age, then it’s not too late to start, and there’s no set age you should stop.

Thankfully the days of retiring and spending the rest of your days knitting in a rocking chair are long gone. For most, plans for older age include making the most of the extra time and possibilities for an active life that continues well beyond retirement.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Hospitalisation of older people before and after long-term care entry in Auckland, New Zealand

Source: Age and Ageing

Global population projections forecast large growth in demand for long-term care (LTC) and acute hospital services for older people. Few studies report changes in hospitalisation rates before and after entry into LTC. This study compares hospitalisation rates 1 year before and after LTC entry.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Smart devices study could transform health care for over 65s


There’s good news for older New Zealanders worried about having to move out of their homes into residential care because of declining health.

A new study funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) will investigate how different sources of information from a variety of digital devices could be integrated with information from sensors located in the home, or on a person (e.g., fitness devices), and distributed via social media networks to help monitor and manage the health of older people so that they can live in their homes for longer.

Read more here >

Breaking Conference News!

We are delighted to announce that we have confirmed Professor John Raeburn as a Keynote Speaker!

 In 2015 John was the winner of the Public Health Association's 'Public Health Champion' for his influence on the facbric, structure and essence of health promotion and public health policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

After a long career as a university academic, John is now a full time author and consultant.  He is passionate about health promotion, wellbeing and community issues, especially from an empowerment perspective, and about innovation in these and other sectors, now turning his attention to the wellbeing of older people, in particular with projects called Super-ageing and Life is Do-able, and also aspects of Auckland as an Age-Friendly City. 

For more information on John and and outline of his session 'Super Ageing - A whole new way of looking at older people' check out the conference website here >

New Zealand: Late-life suicide - Insight on motives and contributors derived from suicide notes

Source: Journal of Affective Disorders

The aims of this study were: (i) to investigate the proportion of older people writing suicide notes in New Zealand; (ii) to compare the socio-demographic and clinical variables of older suicide note writers and non-note writers; and (iii) to perform a thematic analysis of the content of suicide notes.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Alcohol use across retirement - A qualitative study of drinking in later life

Source: Glasgow Centre for Population Health

This report presents the results of a qualitative exploration of older people’s drinking and the factors which influence their use of alcohol. In doing so, it locates alcohol use within the broader patterns, networks and routines that make up older people’s lives and suggests new ways of approaching alcohol use amongst older people.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Technology Charter for people living with dementia in Scotland

Source: Alzheimer Scotland

The Technology Charter is a call to action, calling for the delivery of health and social care to people with dementia to incorporate and promote the use of technology; helping people with the condition to live healthier, safer, more active and more confident lives as valued citizens. It also seeks to raise public and professional awareness of how technology can enhance lives, promote independent living and assist and complement care and support.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Health matters - Midlife approaches to reduce dementia risk

Source: Public Health England

Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing. This resource for health professionals and local authorities makes the case for action in midlife to promote healthy lifestyles that can reduce the risk of dementia.

Read more here >

HQSC: Quality improvement toolkit for use in age related residential care

This toolkit is designed to help health care staff undertake quality improvement, specifically those working in age related residential care (ARRC).

Find out more >

United Kingdom: Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset 

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

This guideline covers mid-life approaches to delay or prevent the onset of dementia, disability and frailty in later life. The guideline aims to increase the amount of time that people can be independent, healthy and active in later life.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Active ageing and the built environment

Source: Housing Learning & Improvement Network

This briefing explains how the built environment and well-designed outdoor spaces can enhance the long-term health and wellbeing and looks at the role that social housing providers, housing with care, and local authorities can play. It also outlines key national and local policies that support active ageing and the build environment.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Is it nice outside? - Consulting people living with dementia and their carers about engaging with the natural environment

Source: Natural England

This report reveals that engaging in outdoor activities that have a purpose and those that involve being with other people provide the greatest motivation for people living with dementia. The report makes a series of recommendations that could encourage greater use of natural spaces by people living with dementia and their carers. For example, managers of outdoor spaces could work with local dementia action alliances to develop a Trip Advisor style ratings system to provide information about local dementia-friendly open spaces.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Tomorrow's World - The Future of Ageing in the UK

Source: International Longevity Centre - UK

Using data featured in the expert testimony delivered at the 2015 Future of Ageing conference, this report describes the future challenges and opportunities posed by an ageing population. What might the future of ageing look like? Will we live longer, healthier and wealthier lives, or will there be too little for too many?

Read more here >

Busse Research Awards

To promote international research in gerontology, the Busse Research Awards again will be given at the 21th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in San Francisco, CA July 23-27, 2017. Two gerontologists (late junior to mid-career) will be selected. One award will recognize a scientist from the social/behavioral sciences; the other from the biomedical sciences. Awards are $8,000 (USD) each, plus up to $4,000 (USD) for travel/living expenses. Awardees must present a lecture based on their research at the conference.

Deadline for receipt of nominations: November 1, 2016.

Find out more here >

Grab a nomination form here >

United Kingdom: Advanced Dementia Practice Model - Understanding and transforming advanced dementia and end of life care

Source: Alzheimer Scotland

This report sets out an integrated and comprehensive, evidence-based approach to supporting people living with advanced dementia wherever they are. Advanced dementia presents a range of complex health issues in addition to the social and psychological impact of the illness. Whilst the distinctions between the different illnesses of dementia will diminish as a result of the progressed condition, experience of advanced illness will be influenced by a range of factors unique to each person. The Advanced Dementia Practice Model honours the human rights of those living with advanced dementia and provides a bio-psychosocial approach in responding to the individual experience.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: The Right Medicine - Improving care in care homes

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) believes it is time to change the way medicines are used in care homes. Too many care home residents are taking medicines which are doing them more harm than good. At a time when every pound of NHS resource needs to be scrutinised, [the RPS] believe that a far more efficient system would have one pharmacist, as part of a multidisciplinary team, responsible for the whole system of medicines and their use within a care home.

Read more here >

Sweden: Effects of a high-intensity functional exercise program on dependence in activities of daily living and balance in older adults with dementia

Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

In older people without dementia, physical exercise has been shown to improve aspects of physical function such as muscle strength, gait, and balance, as well as cognition and ADL dependence. For optimal improvement in physical function, exercise should be performed at high intensity, close to the individual's maximal capacity, and be task specific (involving the target skill or components thereof). Task specificity may be particularly important in people with Alzheimer's disease because of concomitant difficulty in motor skill transfer (ability to use acquired skills in new contexts).

Read more here >

International: First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia

Source: WHO

This report follows the ‘First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia’; organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) with support from the Department of Health of the United Kingdom and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia fostered awareness of the public health and economic challenges posed by dementia, a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Member States and stakeholders, and led to a “Call for Action” supported by the conference participants.

Read more here >

New Zealand Newsletters of Interest

50s Forward News and Views

22 April 2016

In this issue: 
  • Research seeks to shed light on growing loneliness among the elderly
  • Auckland council's first step to increase pensioner housing
  • New CEO and National President for Age Concern New Zealand
  • Pensioners fear housing privatizations
  • Smart devices study could transform health care for over 65s
  • What about this idea? - Caring for older people to pay for your own future
  • DMU's new academy aims to change nature of health care for older people
  • Many doctors still don't talk to older patients about death
  • 16 things I would want if I got dementia
View the eNewsletter here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences


Early Bird Rates apply until 18th July 2016
Click here to Register Now
Call for Abstracts - Submission Date Extended
You now have until Monday 30th May 2016 to submit your abstract for consideration. Click here for instructions and a list of themes for 2016

More Details
See the Conference Website for more details including the Conference programme detailing the fabulous line up of speakers, presenters, workshops etc..

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 >
Register Now

Leading Edge National Symposium

11 August 2016
Mills Reef Winery

An insights and opportunity dialogue among thought leaders, scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, journalists, educators and the public.

View the flyer here >

Find out more here >

2016 Ageing Well Colloquium

14 September 2016

The Ageing Well Colloquium, following on from a successful debut, will be held on 14 September 2016 - the day before NZAG Conference! Consider taking an extra day to check out this interesting event.

Read the report on the 2015 Colloquium here >

Alzheimers New Zealand 2016 Conference - Call for Abstracts

3-5 November 2016
TSB Bank Arena and Convention Centre

Call for Abstracts for Alzheimers New Zealand's biennial conference which will also be the 19th Asia Pacific Conference of Alzheimers Disease International.

Submissions close on Tuesday 7 June 2016. 

Find out more here >

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 here >

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.

Read 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
Register Now

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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