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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
August 2016

In this issue:

A Message from the President

This is the last newsletter before the NZAG biennial conference that will be held in Wellington from the 15th to the 17th September. This conference follows on from our very successful Dunedin event and is titled ‘Making Active Ageing a Reality’. Following the NZAG tradition, our 2016 conference will offer stimulating and thought-provoking research and perspectives on being active and growing older.
New Zealand policy makers are interested in creating communities that are appropriate places for older citizens to age in. Consequently, we have invited Dr Kathleen Brasher as one of our international keynote speakers to provide us with a guide to creating age-friendly communities. In addition, there will be a wide range of concurrent, panel and participatory sessions, as well as other speakers around the conference themes:
  • Environment – housing, transport, social context
  • Physical – preventive health initiatives, maintaining sensory capabilities
  • Mental – stimulation, brain health, dementia
  • Social – connection, participation, community involvement
At NZAG we are committed to the development of future generations of gerontology researchers and so we are pleased to offer a workshop for new and emerging researchers, facilitated by Dr Sally Keeling. Also Professor Lynne Parkinson, Editor in Chief of the Australasian Journal on Ageing, myself and Associate Professor Debra Waters will be running a writing for publication workshop as a pre-conference workshop. The day before the conference begins is the Ageing Well National Science Challenge SNAP event. Finally, remember the Annual General Meeting will be held during the conference and we hope that as many members as possible will attend and contribute.
As you can see the 2016 conference is going to be an event not to be missed. For those of you who have not yet registered there is still time. We wouldn’t want you to miss out. Finally, I am looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

Stephen Neville.                                              
Congratulations Business Professional Services Ltd

NZAG wish to congratulate Business Professional Services Ltd (BPSL) on celebrating their 30th anniversary this month.  BPSL have been providing secretariat services for NZAG since 2011 and we wish them all the best for the next 30 years.
NZAG member and past president Valerie Wright-St Clair with the BPSL team at their 30th anniversary celebration.
Pictured left to right: Rosemarie Dawson, Linda Storey, Kathy Moore, Kyle Perwick, Julie Adamson,
Valerie Wright-St Clair and Laura Jenkins (front)

Information relevant to NZAG members

New Zealand: Staying UPright and Eating well Research (SUPER)

Source: Ageing Well Science Challenge

Life expectancy has increased in New Zealand and it is estimated 16.5% of the population will be aged over 65 by the mid-2020s.

Staying UPright and Eating well Research (SUPER), aims to test the impact and cost-effectiveness of physical activity and/or nutrition, and social group attendance, to reduce frailty and falls of older people.

Frailty is a multidimensional geriatric syndrome involving several inter-related physiological systems.  It is a precursor to functional loss and results in considerably increased risk for health care needs.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Ageing Well joins Science Challenge Collaboration with China 

Source: Ageing Well National Science Challenge

Ageing Well National Science Challenge has joined with Healthier Lives, and A Better Start National Science Challenges to lead a new research venture with China. The collaboration will focus on non-communicable diseases and is called the New Zealand-China Non-Communicable Diseases Collaboration Centre.

A grant of $1.25 million has been made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Catalyst Fund to establish this research collaboration centre. The Fund supports activities that leverage international science and innovation for New Zealand's benefit.

Read more here >

Ministry of Health: Health of Older People Strategy Consultation Draft

This document sets out a draft strategy for the health and wellbeing of older people for the next 10 years. Its vision is that older people live well, age well, and have a respectful end of life in age-friendly communities.

It sets out a direction for people-centred health and social services, future policies, funding, planning and service delivery that:
  • prioritise healthy ageing and resilience throughout people’s older years
  • enable good acute care, effective rehabilitation, recovery and restoration after acute events
  • ensure people can live well with long-term conditions
  • better support people with high and complex needs
  • provide end of life care that respects personal, cultural and spiritual needs.
It proposes a set of actions for delivery in the first two years, and for the remainder of the 10-year period. 

The draft Health of Older People Strategy is a consultation document, and the Ministry of Health is seeking your views on the direction and actions proposed for the health system and for other sectors.

You can make a written submission by:
  • filling out our online submission form
  • downloading and completing our submission form
  • making a written submission in your preferred format. Written submissions should be either emailed to or posted to Health of Older People Strategy Consultation, Ministry of Health, PO Box 5013, Wellington.
The closing date for submissions is 7 September 2016

New Zealand: Ageing Well National Science Challenge Governance Group Members honoured 

Source: Ageing Well National Science Challenge

The Ageing Well National Science Challenge is delighted that three of our Governance Group members have been recognised for their accomplishments. Two have received Queen's Birthday Honours, and one a prestigious appointment.

Dr Dianne McCarthy has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, business and women, as part of the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours. Read more here >

Adrienne von Tunzelmann, recently appointed to the Governance Group, has been made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for her services to governance and the community. Read more here >

Dr Traci Houpapa has been appointed by the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce to The Victoria University of Wellington Council. Read more here >

New Zealand: Ageing Well first research publication

Source: Ageing Well National Science Challenge

Ageing Well National Science Challenge is delighted to celebrate the first of many publications expected from our research projects.

Professor Valery Feigin and his team’s work on stroke prevention has been published in the prestigious journal Lancet Neurology. The research investigated data from 188 countries as part of a systematic review of the global burden of stroke and risk factors for the period 1990-2013.

Read more here >

Read the research article here >

Ageing Well National Science Challenge

The Ageing Well National Science Challenge is based at the University of Otago's main campus at Dunedin. It is a national research collaboration which will involve the major New Zealand research groups in ageing research with expertise in public health, Māori health, social science, biomedical science, clinical practice, population and community health, health service provision, and ICT.

The Challenge will link this expertise as well as international networks, and will align with the other health and wellbeing Science Challenges, the Centres of Research Excellence with overlapping interests, and key funders such as Health Research Council, to encourage collaboration, and to build and leverage capability and resources.

The Challenge supports research under five interlinking strands of research to address our mission: push back disability thresholds to enable all New Zealanders to reach their full potential through the life course with particular reference to the latter years of life. These strands are focussed on:
  • enabling independence and autonomy / tino rangatiratanga of older individuals and their whānau and families
  • ensuring a meaningful life through social integration and engagement
  • recognising at a societal level the value of ongoing contributions of knowledge and experience of older people
  • reducing disability
  • developing age-friendly environments.
These strands will incorporate work to push back the disability threshold by optimizing brain and body health, and social and physical environments for older people.

For more information on the Ageing Well National Science Challenge click here >

See below for more information of the Ageing Well SNAP event


New Zealand: The characteristics and experiences of older New Zealand caregivers

Source: Massey University

This research aimed to describe the experiences of older caregivers in New Zealand, to explore the impacts of caregiving, and determine whether coping differs according to demographic factors and health.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Vitamin D status and its predictors in New Zealand aged-care residents eligible for a government-funded universal vitamin D supplementation programme

Source: Public Health Nutrition

The provision of prescribed vitamin D to all aged-care residents has been implemented in New Zealand as part of a government-led falls prevention programme. To our knowledge, there has been no evaluation of this universal programme on vitamin D status and functional and health outcomes. Thus, we aimed to determine 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and their predictors in aged-care residents across the country and to investigate whether the government-funded programme was associated with adequate vitamin D status.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Iodine Status of New Zealand Elderly Residents in Long-Term Residential Care

Source: Nutrients

In response to the re-emergence of iodine deficiency in New Zealand, in 2009 the government mandated that all commercially made breads be fortified with iodized salt. There has been no evaluation of the impact of the program on iodine status of the elderly, despite this population group being vulnerable to iodine deficiency or excess. The aim of this study was to describe the iodine status of elderly New Zealanders in residential aged-care homes following the implementation of the bread fortification program.

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 >

Australia: Retirement - A Transition to a Healthier Lifestyle? -  Evidence From a Large Australian Study

Source: American Journal of Preventative Medicine

Population aging is associated with a rising burden of non-communicable disease, profoundly impacting health policy and practice. Adopting and adhering to healthy lifestyles in middle or older age can protect against morbidity and mortality. Retirement brings opportunities to reconfigure habitual lifestyles and establish new routines. This study examines the longitudinal association between retirement and a range of lifestyle risk behaviors among a large population-based sample of Australian adults.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: The interface between dementia and mental health - an evidence review

Source: UK Mental Health Foundation

While there has been considerable and welcome attention in the area of dementia over recent years, the mental health of people in later life, and specifically the complex relationship between dementia and mental health problems, is a neglected area in public discourse, policy and service provision. In this paper [the authors] explore the relationship between dementia, mental health and mental health problems.

Read more here >

The Friends Committee of the HOPE Foundation
Invite you to a play to raise funds for The HOPE Foundation

Sunday 25th September, 4:00 pm 

The Dolphin Theatre, 12 Spring St Onehunga

$40 per person
Proceeds raised will facilitate ongoing research into ageing


United Kingdom: Building bridges, breaking barriers - Integrated care for older people

Source: Care Quality Commission

Building bridges, breaking barriers looks at how well care for older people is integrated across health and social care, as well as the impact on older people who use services and their families and carers. The review seeks to improve our understanding of how services work together to meet the needs of older people.

Read more here >

United States: Meeting the dietary needs of older adults - exploring the impact of the physical, social, and cultural environment 

Source: National Academies Press

On October 28-29, 2015, the Food and Nutrition Board convened a workshop, Meeting the Dietary Needs of Older Adults, in Washington, DC. Participants examined factors in the physical, social, and cultural environment that affect the ability of older adults to meet their daily dietary needs. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Read more here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

New Zealand Conferences



Click here to Register Now

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

Ageing Well NSC SNAP Event

14 September 2016

Ageing Well NSC is holding the Stakeholders for Action research Partnership (SNAP), which aims to create opportunities for developing partnerships in stakeholder-led research.

Registrations close 31 August 2016.

Find out more here >
Register Now

2016 Home & Community Health Association Conference

28-29 September 2016
Te Papa, Wellington

Registrations are now open, with the early bird opportunity closing on 18 August.  Mark these dates in your calendar.

Find out more here >

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 >
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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