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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
March 2017

In this issue:

A Message from the President

On Saturday 25th February the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) held a one day meeting for the executive at the Conference Centre Auckland Domestic Airport. This was a busy and productive day. I thought I would share with you some of the key issues discussed and decisions made at the meeting.
Our biennial conference is a main event for NZAG and at the meeting we agreed in 2018 the conference will be held in Auckland. We are currently looking for volunteers to join  an organising committee so if you live in Auckland and would like to help please contact me directly. Our first task will be to employ a conference organiser, then determine a date and focus for the event.
As mandated at our last Annual General Meeting in Wellington the executive has reviewed and updated our Strategic Plan. We have set strategic objectives that we believe are appropriate to the organisation but are also achievable considering that NZAG is a largely voluntary organisation. We will send a draft of the strategic plan out to members for feedback.
As I have previously indicated NZAG has developed a strong working relationship with the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG). Our relationship will be further strengthened with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. This will formalise the joint ventures we are currently engaged in, for example the monthly webinar series, as well as future initiatives. AAG, NZAG and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) are working together to put in a joint bid to host the 2029 International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics World Congress in Australia.
Stephen Neville.

Information Relevant to NZAG Members

New Zealand: Summary of Public Consultation on the Update of the Health of Older People Strategy

Source: Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health consulted widely to develop the Healthy Ageing Strategy. The strategy began its journey as an update to 2002’s Health of Older People Strategy.

Between 13 July and 7 September 2016, the Ministry of Health consulted the public on the draft update. The Summary of Consultation document presents the Ministry’s analysis of the main feedback from that consultation.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Eating for healthy older people/Te kai tōtika e ora ai te hunga kaumātua

Source: HealthEd

To stay healthy as you get older, it is important to eat well. Older people may have a smaller appetite than when they were younger, so they need to choose healthy food to get the best nutritional value.

This pamphlet includes information on healthy food choices, how to maintain a healthy weight, the benefits of including physical activity in your day, and other aspects to help you be a healthy older person.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: The Missing Million: A practical guide to identifying and talking about loneliness

Source: Campaign to End Loneliness

There are an estimated one million, one hundred thousand people aged 65 and over who are chronically lonely. They are difficult to find. A new practical guide,The Missing Million: A Practical Guide to Identifying and Talking About Loneliness, provides guidance on how to find the loneliest in our communities.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Towards improved decision support in the assessment and management of pain for people with dementia in hospital: a systematic meta-review and observational study

Source: Health Services and Delivery Research Journal

Pain and dementia are common in older people, and impaired cognitive abilities make it difficult for them to communicate their pain. Pain, if poorly managed, impairs health and well-being. Accurate pain assessment in this vulnerable group is challenging for hospital staff, but essential for appropriate management. Robust methods for identifying, assessing and managing pain are needed.

Two studies were undertaken to inform the development of a decision support tool to aid hospital staff in the recognition, assessment and management of pain

Read more here >

2017 AAG Conference - Call for Abstracts

AAG is hosting its 50th Conference in Perth, Western Australia from Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th November 2017.

The theme for the 2017 Conference is “Ageing: The Golden Opportunity”.

The Call for Abstracts is open until 21 April – do not miss this powerful opportunity to share and gain recognition of your expertise, research and projects among fellow gerontology peers and colleagues and be part of the premier multidisciplinary conference in Ageing in Australasia.

Click here to submit and to view the call for abstracts help sheet.

United Kingdom: Mental wellbeing and independence for older people

Source: NICE

This quality standard covers interventions to maintain and improve the mental wellbeing and independence of people aged 65 or older, and how to identify those at risk of a decline. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. It does not cover the mental wellbeing and independence of people who live in a care home or attend one on a day-only basis.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Changing risk behaviours and promoting cognitive health in older adults

Source: GOV.UK

A summary of reviews supporting the commissioning of interventions across a range of health behaviours for older adults.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: What is truth? An inquiry about truth and lying in dementia care

Source: Mental Health Foundation

This is the report of the major Inquiry about Truth and Lying in Dementia Care, commissioned and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

There are around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the ageing population suggests this figure will rise significantly. Around half of these people may be living with different realities.

Carers often have challenging decisions to make when a person is living with different realities and beliefs - something that increases as the dementia accelerates. Should they agree or contradict? What should they say? This report looks to provide guidance in these situations.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Staying put: developing dementia-friendly care and support for people with a learning disability

Source: Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Staying put focuses on how best to support the growing numbers of people with the condition. The publication aims to improve the quality of life of people with a learning disability and dementia, addressing the challenges to this goal.

Read more here >

United States: Evaluation of an Intervention to Prevent Falls

Source: RAND Corporation

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the RAND Corporation to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to prevent falls in the elderly, with a particular focus on fall-related injuries and on health care costs.

Researchers linked data collected during a randomized trial to Medicare enrollment and claims files to compare health care costs and the frequency of fall-related emergency department (ED) visits between treatment and control groups. Using claims from both before and after trial enrollment, they adjusted for baseline differences and used intention-to-treat analyses, thereby overcoming limitations inherent in the outcome data collected during the trial.

Read more here >

Canada: Behavioural Symptoms of Dementia: Care for Patients in Hospitals and Residents in Long-Term Care Homes

Source: Health Quality Ontario

Quality standards are a go-to resource for quality care. They are concise sets of easy-to-understand statements based on the best evidence.

This quality standard addresses care of behavioural symptoms for people living with dementia. It focuses on care for people who are in an emergency department, admitted to a hospital, or in a long-term care home.

Read more here >

Europe: Development of a Communication Intervention for Older Adults With Limited Health Literacy: Photo Stories to Support Doctor–Patient Communication

Source: Journal of Health Communication

Successful doctor–patient communication relies on appropriate levels of communicative health literacy, the ability to deal with and communicate about health information. This article aims to describe the development of a narrative and picture-based health literacy intervention intended to support older patients with limited health literacy when communicating during their primary care consultations.

The authors conclude that narrative health communication may be an effective strategy for increasing the effectiveness of communicative health literacy interventions and decreasing resistance to messages.

Read more here >

Japan: As welfare costs climb, gerontology groups propose higher age for definition of ‘elderly’

Source: Japan Times

Japanese between 65 and 74 should no longer be classified as elderly because they are physically and mentally much younger than their counterparts were decades ago, says a proposal backed by two academic societies.

Under the recommendation, released Thursday by the Japan Gerontological Society and the Japan Geriatrics Society, the definition of elderly should be used for people who are at least 75, rather than 65 at present. It also proposes a new term for those 90 and over: “superelderly.”

Read more here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

New Zealand Events

Ageing Well National Science Challenge: Roadshows & SNAP Events

The National Science Challenge for Ageing Well is organising Roadshows and SNAP (Stakeholders Networking for Action-Research Partnership) Events throughout NZ:
  • Wellington SNAP Roadshow 27th March
  • Auckland SNAP Roadshow 23th May
  • Hamilton SNAP Roadshow 24th May
  • Christchurch SNAP Roadshow 8th June.
These will be interesting and informative sessions for anyone interested in the variety of issues that surround ageing in New Zealand. Please hold these dates and if you are interested or require more information please contact

More information about the SNAP Roadshows and other Ageing Well events can be found here.

FallsStop – FREE seminar about falls reduction with Anne-Marie Hill

3 - 7 April 2017
Dunedin, Wellington & Auckland

FallsStop is a free seminar about reducing falls in hospital and other care settings, designed for hospital falls champions, nursing management, and physiotherapy, gerontology and aged care representatives.

Find out more here >

Open Forum with Dr Karen Hitchcock: May you never grow old

10 April 2017
Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Wellington

Join Dr Karen Hitchcock and New Zealand experts to discuss and debate both the importance and the role of older people in New Zealand, and the implications for improving the quality and safety of our health care system.

Find out more here >

ANZSGM Annual Scientific Meeting

10-12 May 2017
Energy Events Centre, Rotorua

This year's meeting theme, "Older People’s Care through Community, Collaboration & Communication", will showcase successes and challenges in the provision of accessible, efficient and co-ordinated care for older adults in both acute and community settings.

Find out more here >

SAVE THE DATE: Knowledge Exchange

17 November 2017
University of Auckland Tamaki Campus, Auckland

The HOPE Foundation for Research on Ageing and the Selwyn Foundation are jointly hosting the KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE.

Gerontology researchers, students, and practitioners are invited to attend the day of presentations and discussions about current research evidence and innovative practice. Attendance is free. Programme and registration information will be notified as soon as possible.
International Events

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 >

AAG and ACS 2017 Regional Conference: Sowing the Seeds - Collaboration for Best Practice

6-7 April 2017
New South Wales, Australia

The AAG and ACS are again joining forces to bring together providers, researchers, educators and policy makers across public health, housing, community and residential aged care to share learnings and opportunities to collaborate for best practice.

Find out more >

Canadian Geriatrics Society 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting

20 - 22 April 2017
Toronto, Canada

The theme of the 2017 ASM is Integrating Care, Making an Impact”.

Find out more here >

Palliative & Aged Care Forum: Re-Thinking and Improving End-of-Life & Ageing Care for Senior Citizens

14 - 16 June 2017
Melbourne, Australia

A single platform dedicated to providing trending information on critical issues and challenges in the Palliative and Aged Care in Australia that have been concerning the public.

Find out more here >

Summer Course on Ethics in Dementia Care

5-6 July 2017
Leuven, Belgium

The Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law of the KU Leuven is organizing the 3rd edition of the Summer Course on Ethics in Dementia Care (Leuven, Belgium, 5-7 July 2017). The objective of the course is to foster exchanges on foundational, clinical-ethical and organizational-ethical approaches to dementia care practices.
Find out more here >

2017 AAG Conference

8 - 10 November 2017
Crown Perth, Western Australia

Ageing: The Golden Opportunity

Get involved with the only evidence based multidisciplinary conference on ageing in Australia and make new connections with delegates, speakers, supporters and exhibitors from all over the country and overseas.

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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Copyright © 2017 New Zealand Association of Gerontology - Te Ropu Matauranga Kaumatuatanga o Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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