New Zealand Association of Gerontology - Gerontology Matters June 2013

Welcome to Gerontology Matters for June 2013

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

In this issue:

President's Welcome

I am very pleased to be able to write these words from Seoul, Korea, as the 20th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress comes to a close. New Zealand and the NZAG were well represented in the scientific programme. Just to give you some numbers, there were:
  • 3794 abstracts submitted from 78 countries
  • 724 oral presentations, and
  • 3493 total presentations with the greatest number coming from our Asia Oceania region.

NZAGs membership of the IAGG brings tangible benefits. You will see more of them over the next four years. The current IAGG Executive is focusing on advances in gerontology and geriatric sciences and research, education and training. In addition, there is a lot of work being done in partnership with the United Nations to advance the human rights for older people with work through the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons. See more information about the Human Rights working group at It is exciting to see the IAGG build on its status as a consultative NGO to the UN and participation in the General Assembly.
Mark your calendars for 23-27 July 2017; Gerontological Society of America is host for IAGG 2017 world congress in San Francisco with John W Rowe as convenor. Theme: Global aging and health: bridging science policy and practice

After that, Buenos Aires, Argentina will be host city for the 2021 world congress. Two other cities put up bids for the congress, Sydney (from the Australian Association of Gerontology with NZAG as a support partner), and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The IAGG Council vote saw the AAG-NZAG bid coming in second; ours was a strong bid with very professional preparation and presentation at the IAGG Council meeting in Seoul. I hope we can line up in a bid for the 2025 world congress in another four years’ time.

Thank you
Kind Regards,
Valerie Wright-St Clair

The International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG)

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Member Opportunities 

AGHE Call of Abstracts

The following is from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education:

AGHE’s 2014 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference will be very special indeed – its our 40th Anniversary! As such, we are planning a number of special events, and focusing on our theme “Taking Quality to New Heights”, to celebrate our “mile high” venue in Denver and AGHE’s role in promoting educational quality. To capture the comprehensiveness of our members’ and colleagues’ work, the 2014 conference is organized within a series of substantive topical tracks. This variety of themes is designed to maximize your opportunity to share your valuable work, models, programs and innovations in gerontology and geriatrics education. I encourage you to select one of these themes and add your own contribution to ensuring the success of our “anniversary meeting” by submitting an abstract.

The 2014 thematic tracks are:
  • New Directions and Strategies in Program Administration and Development
  • Emerging Issues in Cross-cultural Research and Education
  • New Models for Connecting Communities and Classrooms in Lifespan Education
  • Innovations in Geriatric and Public Health Education: Linking Education to Improving Practice
  • Arts and Humanities: Exploring the Richness of our Aging Society through Education
  • Aging and Education: Policy Issues in the 21st Century

Information relevant to NZAG members

Improving baby boomers’ health 

31 May 2013 - Health Promotion Agency

The following is an article from HPA:

Increased awareness about how to better support over 65s with alcohol issues is behind a series of Health Promotion Agency (HPA) funded workshops recently held around the North Island.
Earlier this year, the HPA contracted the Napier-based Kina Trust to run training workshops for people in the care industry working with older people. 
Kina Trust interim director, Andrew Raven, says the Trust has held a number of day long workshops in the Hawke’s Bay, Tauranga and Kapiti for carers, nurses and social workers aimed at helping them detect where alcohol abuse has become an issue for their clients. 

Watch this space: Implementing models of primary health care for older adults with complex needs

27 June 2013 - Health Improvement & Innovation Resource Centre

The following is an article from HIIRC:

This research programme addresses the question: What are the steps to implementing innovative integrated community-based primary health care (CBPHC) models that address the health and social needs of older adults with complex care needs?
The programme is directed at 4 levels of analysis: policy, organisation, provider, and patient and family/caregiver and will be conducted in 3 phases.
Phase 1 identifies and describes successful integrated CBPHC models; phase 2 involves in-depth case studies of exemplar models and creates a framework to explain conditions that lead to successful implementation; phase 3 evaluates the implementation of innovative CBPHC models.

Falls video compilation

14 May 2013 - Health Quality and Safety Commission

The following is an article from the HQSC:

The Health Quality & Safety Commission has produced four short videos highlighting the impact of a fall for an older person and their families/whānau, and some of the ways falls can be prevented in different settings.
A short compilation of the videos has also been produced.

Plans please dementia researcher

15 June 2013 - John Gibb, ODT

The following is an article from ODT:

MSI held workshops in June to develop National Science Challenges, which Dunedin brain health researcher Prof Cliff Abraham hopes will result in an increase in funding for dementia research. 
In the recent Budget, the Government announced its final list of 10 selected ''science challenges'' and said a $73.5 million boost would be provided to fund them. 
Prof Abraham, who directs the University of Otago Brain Health Research Centre, noted that Ageing Well-''harnessing science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life''- had been listed among the 10 challenge priority areas. 
These areas cover research to protect the environment, advance economic growth and improve the health of New Zealanders. 
Prof Abraham was encouraged that dementia research could become better supported through the ''Ageing Well'' challenge.

Nutrition and Dementia in Older People

June 2013 - NZ Nutrition Foundation Bulletin no. 14

The following is an article from the NZ Nutrition Foundation:

Can diet and exercise help cognition in older people?
According to international data, the prevalence of dementia in NZ in 2011 is calculated to be 1.1% of the total population, i.e. 48,000 people, most over 65 years of age. Because New Zealand has an ageing population, especially in the over 80 year-old group, it is estimated the prevalence of dementia by 2050 will increase three-fold to 2.6%, i.e. 147,000 people (Alzheimer’s NZ 2012). Is this increase inevitable? Tantalising data has arisen in two recent international papers suggesting the incidence of dementia may be falling by as much as 3% per year (Schrijvers 2012, Langa 2008). This is unlikely to stall the increasing prevalence of dementia, but even a small reduction in incidence may have a significant impact on the burden of dementia. If this reduction is shown to be true, the authors suggest possible reasons such as higher levels of education in later cohorts, improvement in vascular risk from medications, changing lifestyle, and perhaps changing nutritional habits and physical activity.

Home-based therapy for stroke survivors

06 May 2013 - University of Auckland Press Release

The following is an article from the University of Auckland:

Research into a new home-based therapy for stroke survivors by a University of Auckland scientist was one of six projects to gain funding in recent grants from the Health Research Council.
Research into New Zealand’s high brain injury rate was boosted this week with six scientists awarded grants from the HRC to help improve the prognosis of New Zealanders with brain injuries.
Findings published in The Lancet Neurology journal in December 2012 showed that New Zealand’s traumatic brain injury burden is six times greater than even the World Health Organization estimated, and far higher than that reported in Europe and North America.
In New Zealand, only 11 per cent of people with stroke receive any rehabilitation therapy after they leave hospital. This is despite research that shows rehabilitation therapy is capable of improving hand and arm function months or years after stroke.
Research scientist, Dr James Stinear from Sport and Exercise Science at The University of Auckland will use his Feasibility Study Grant of $134,515 to evaluate a new home-coach model of therapy for stroke survivors.
“There are tens of thousands of people living with stroke in our community who have an untapped capacity to recover,” said Dr Stinear. “The objective of this study is to test and design a ‘home-therapy’ protocol.
“This will involve a physiotherapist assessing the therapy needs of a person with stroke and training a family member, friend or other volunteer as a ‘home-coach’ to deliver daily therapy in the home,” he said.

Keeping healthy down in the shed

12 May 2013 - Health Promotion Agency

The following information is from the Health Promotion Agency:

For the past five years Donald Pettitt and then Martin Cox from the Canterbury Men’s Centre have been involved in promoting and supporting a very special organisation – MenzShed Aotearoa (thanks to sponsorship from Caritas).
The name MenzShed – contrary to people’s assumptions – refers to a group of men, rather than a building (although each group has the specific aim of setting up a workshop where they can meet).
The initiative originated in Australia in 2005 as a response to a need for a positive men’s health programme and continuing education. Eleven years later Australia has 900 sheds with 100,000 men using them and has attracted $4 million in government support. They are now an established part of the health infrastructure that supports programmes to improve men’s health and wellbeing.

Conference Calendar

AgePlus Upcoming  Workshops

The following information is from AgePlus:

AgePlus offers a highly visible and accessible resource centre where elderly and carers are able to access information and daily living aids. AgePlus provides specialist information for older persons ranging from social groups to health, home support and relevant legal matters, e.g. Power of Attorney. Many carers and next of kin value having this information in one area and staff at AgePlus guide them to the right information. Community education awareness weeks are held regularly featuring expert speakers and representatives. AgePlus also promotes positive ageing by selling affordable daily living aids from jar openers to wheelchairs, which assist older persons to live independently in their own homes.
AgePlus continues to provide relevant information on positive ageing for older people, their families and caregivers. Located in Clyde Road, Browns Bay, AgePlus is a registered charity and a community resource centre promoting independent living. As part of our quest to keep people up to date, we host regular awareness weeks with various experts in store.
The upcoming Awareness weeks are: 
  • 1st -5th July - Continence
  • 15th -20th July - Alzheimers
  • 5th - 9th August - Heart Health
  • 26th -31st August - E-Health
  • 9th -14th September – Stroke Awareness
  • 23rd - 28th September – Arthritis Awareness

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.

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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