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Gerontology Matters
September 2013

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

In this issue:

President's Welcome

"Longevity is a public health achievement, not a social or economic liability. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us pledge to ensure the well-being of older persons and to enlist their meaningful participation in society so we can all benefit from their knowledge and ability” (Secretary-General United Nations, Ban Ki-moon).
In 1990, a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons. The theme for the 2013 International Day of Older Persons is “The future we want: what older persons are saying”. The United Nations has identified this focus to ensure issues related to ageing are clearly and strategically place on international development agendas.  So what does that mean for NZAG? I think, and hope you will agree, that the vision and key activities associated with our organisation are related to the focus identified by the United Nations. Vodafone New Zealand is hosting an event to celebrate this day on the 3rd of October in Auckland. Information about the event can be found here.
Also Age Concern Otago is hosting a positive ageing expo. Information for this event can be found here. If you know of other activities happening to celebrate International Day of Older Persons please let us know.

The focus of NZAG’s work during September has been on future planning for the year ahead. Some of the work we have been undertaking includes progressing the initiation of a member-only section on our website. We hope to have this part of the website up, running and available to you over the next couple of weeks, including information on how to access this part of website. We are also working on providing a calendar of events that we will be making publicly available as soon as the schedule has been finalised.
A key priority for us at the moment is to fill the Waikato Regional Hub vacancy, so anyone living in the Waikato region who is interested in joining our other regional hub representatives please get in touch with us. Finally, I have been working with The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) to enable NZAG members to participate in on a series of ‘webinars’ over the next year. The ‘webinars’ will be free to members of NZAG but non-members will also be able to join in at a cost. Information about these ‘webinars’ will be available on our website.
Stephen Neville

The International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG)

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Information relevant to NZAG members

The Sandwich Generation: Older Women Balancing Work and Care

Institute for Public Policy Research

Women’s lives have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Women who are now in their sixties were the first generation with access to the pill, vast educational opportunities, and greater employment prospects. Today’s generation of older women are healthier, wealthier, and more active contributors to their communities
and workplaces. Older women have driven increases in older people’s employment rates. For many, paid work has widened opportunities and provided greater financial security as well as improved wellbeing (in terms of self-esteem, physical health, and life-satisfaction).

Ageing in place: The experiences of older adults accessing health services in the Wakatipu

18 September 2013 - Health Improvement & Innovation Resource Centre (HIIRC)

The following is from the Health Improvement & Innovation Resource Centre:

This qualitative study explored the experiences of eight older residents (aged over 75 years) accessing health services in the Wakatipu area, to provide the opportunity for older people in the area to have their voices heard, and to inform local service provision.

How hangovers ease with age - study

17 September 2013 - NZ Herald

The following is from NZ Herald:

Good news for those who like a drink but hate the after effects - hangovers get better with age, a study has found.

Unfortunately, for those in their 20s it may take another 30 years before they stop waking up the morning after the night before without the headaches, nausea and sickness.
But in a major study examining the drinking habits and the subsequent suffering of more than 50,000 adults, it seems the whole drinking experience gets easier with experience.
It could be down to the wisdom of experience in being able to take preventative action or a cure, or it may even be down to nature, said health researchers.

Regular physical activity can reduce risk of Alzheimer's

18 September 2013 - Newstalk ZB
The following is from Newstalk ZB:

People who do regular physical activity can reduce their risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A report by Alzheimer's Australia and Fitness Australia says apart from overall health benefits, physical activity significantly improves brain health.
It says that about half of Alzheimer's disease cases are potentially attributable to risk factors we can change. 

How to supersize retirement incomes

04 September 2013 - NXZ Newsroom

Press Release by Financial Services Council 04 Sep 2013:

The Financial Services Council aims to spark a national debate on super-sizing savings to double retirement pensions and is hosting a one day conference on October 14 in Auckland to discuss how to make Super and KiwiSaver fairer, more affordable, accessible and work harder for us for longer.
Keynote conference speakers include OECD Head of the Private Pensions Unit, Juan Yermo, who works with public and private sectors from 37 countries on the operation and regulation of privately managed retirement income systems, and former New South Wales state Liberal Leader and current CEO of the Australian Financial Services Council, John Brogden, who will present a case study on how our neighbours have retirement savings of A$1.8 trillion from their 20-year-old and evolving compulsory Superannuation Guarantee scheme. (If we had the same contribution rates and coverage as Australia we would have more than $1000 billion dollars invested in KiwiSaver by 2066.  NZ scrapped compulsory retirement savings in 1975, a decision most New Zealanders now regret.)

Scientists find clue to age-related memory loss

31 August 2013 - NZ Herald

The following is from the NZ Herald:

Scientists have found a compelling clue in the quest to learn what causes age-related memory problems, and to one day be able to tell whether those misplaced car keys are an early warning of Alzheimer's.
The report offers evidence that age-related memory loss is a distinct condition from pre-Alzheimer's and offers a hint that what we now consider the normal forgetfulness of old age might eventually be treatable.

Government to post rest-home audits online

29 August 2013 - NZ Herald

The Government has agreed to post full audit reports of rest homes online - but will take them down again after a six-month trial if people don't bother reading them.
The experiment will start in November after years of lobbying by Grey Power and Consumer NZ, which urges people to read the reports.

‘Close' to test for Alzheimer's risk

03 September 2013 - Otago Daily Times

A Dunedin researcher is ''close'' to discovering a diagnostic test which could help identify people at risk of Alzheimer's disease. 
Prof Bob Knight, of the University of Otago's Brain Health Research Centre (BHRC), told the Otago Daily Times the centre had been researching the test for about three years, comparing blood samples affected by the disease with healthy blood samples to identify differing molecules. 
''We have some preliminary results that identify there is an increase in some molecules [in affected samples]. We are close to knowing whether or not the molecule that we're interested in is important,'' Prof Knight said. 
''It looks as if it is.'' 

Older people’s attitudes towards their regular medicines

04 September 2013 - HIIRC

The following is from HIIRC:

This qualitative study explored the attitudes of older people, aged 75 years and older, towards their regular prescription and non-prescription medicines. In the first phase of the research, twenty older people were interviewed about their experiences of medicines over a lifetime. In the second phase, 40 people recruited from two internal medicine wards were interviewed about their experiences of medicine changes after discharge from hospital.

Conferences - New Zealand

Medicines New Zealand Conference

09 October 2013 - Auckland, NZ

The following information is from Medicines New Zealand:

Medicines Transform Lives Conference 
This one day conference will transform your views on the importance innovative medicines play in contributing to quality health outcomes for all New Zealanders. 
You'll hear from a range of high calibre speakers including international speakers about the medicines and wider health landscape. 
The conference is a must attend event for any one involved in the health, disability or pharmaceutical industry.

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.

Aged Care Service Delivery Conference

12-13 November 2013 - Auckland, NZ

Creating better service performance management
An event that creates a constructive platform that allows you to learn from industry experts and apply insider knowledge to your organisation. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network with and get inspired by your peers, improve your understanding of how to enhance the quality of aged care, and learn about the key factors that drive elder satisfaction.
This conference is a great way to:
  • Deepen your understanding of how aged care is delivered via local DHBs and rest homes across the country
  • Hear about new residential living and care pathways which allow older people to age in place
  • Facilitate discussion on how to restructure the aged care workforce for maximum staff retention
  • Learn about how to build a culturally conducive model of aged care within your organisation
  • Gain insight into what makes the most difference to consumer experience and satisfaction as told by the customer
Immerse yourself in the full-day separately bookable workshop:
  • Building a culturally competent model of aged care
NZAG Members: Enter the promotional code MA6KV0 when registering online and receive a 10% discount. 
Register today and join us at the conference to share your ideas and passion for driving the aged care industry forward.

Sharing Evidence - Supporting Action, NDC Knowledge Exchange Forum 2013

21-22 November 2013 - Auckland, NZ

The National Dementia Cooperative’s 2013 Knowledge Exchange Forum is an opportunity to push the current boundaries of what we do as caring professionals. This event will provide access to some of the latest New Zealand implementation and innovation stories and bring together creative and committed practitioners in the field.

Conferences - Overseas

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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