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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
October 2016

In this issue:

A Message from the President


International Day of the Older Person was observed on October 1st with many NZAG partners and associates participating across the country. The focus for 2016 was “Take a Stand on Ageism”, particularly the negative attitudes and discrimination older people experience and the impact this has on their health and well-being. Ageism can and does occur across the lifespan along with a range of other ‘isms’, for example, heterosexism, racism and eurocentrism.
Ageism describes the negative and stereotypic attitudes society holds about getting older. Ageism is endemic and insidious and does not always manifest itself overtly. It is these views and actions that move the focus of ageing away from being a natural process into it being a significant socio-political problem.
Terms or references such as “grey tsunami” or “the greying of the workforce” which are evident in media and are also utilised by ‘so called’ gerontologists are examples of the subtle ways ageism is played out. They are derogatory terms that position older people negatively, as a burden and potentially marginalise, as well as exclude them from society. These can have detrimental effects on health and well-being. For example if older people perceive they are a burden on society or do not feel valued this may lead to social isolation, loneliness and depression.
There are things as individuals as well as collective members of NZAG that we can do to combat ageism. We can be vigilant to identifying and challenging ageism with no exceptions. As members of NZAG we should be modeling inclusive behaviours in our professional and personal lives. I have committed to correcting any reference to the term ‘elderly’ and suggest using ‘older person’. This action is simple but has been effective.  NZAG are interested in hearing ways that you are challenging ageism.

Kind Regards,

Stephen Neville

Information relevant to NZAG members

NZAG Conference Summary

The NZAG Conference held last month has been hailed as a great success. All the keynote speakers were all highly rated. MC Bevan Grant, a "delightlyfully impish contribution" to the conference, helped to keep everything running smoothly. 

The quality of the presentations was unprecedented with the 100 abstracts received being narrowed down to 65 oral presentations and 11 poster presentations at the event. 

The conference attracted a wide range of interests and experts from all walks of life attended including;
  • 8 Australians 
  • 43 from Universities 
  • 30 from NGOs including 5 from Age Concern 
  • 18 from DHBs 
  • 9 from government departments 
  • 8 from local government 
  • 5 from aged care facilities
  • 142 attended Parliamentary Reception
  • 68 attended conference dinner

"I attended the residential care sessions, the second day was outstanding, passionate young presenters with unique topics. We need to see more of this."

"So many good sessions to choose from."

"Excellent choice of keynote speakers-set the scene for the whole conference."

The NZAG executive would like to thank all speakers and attendees for their contributions and hope to see everyone next year.

New Zealand: NZ needs radical overhaul on dementia care

Source: NewsHub

A global report warns that countries like New Zealand are unprepared for a surge in dementia cases.

The latest World Alzheimer Report says half of dementia cases go undiagnosed and there's not enough focus on services and support.

The report makes key recommendations, including:
  • Continuous, holistic and integrated healthcare for people with dementia;
  • Increasing the role of primary care services to increase diagnosis and continuing care;
  • Introducing care pathways to improve standards and tackle the lottery dementia patients and their carers experience in accessing care and support;
  • More investment into research on cost-effective care;
  • Prioritising the search for new treatments.
Read more here >

New Zealand: $15k to develop ‘lighting prescriptions’

Source: Otago Daily Times

The Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy has been awarded $15,000 for a project to develop "lighting prescriptions" for  elderly Dunedin residents who are visually impaired.

Otago Polytechnic occupational therapy principal lecturer Mary Butler said the six-week  project would provide individual lighting prescriptions for up to 50 residents.

Six first-year occupational therapy students had volunteered to work with four third-year students who were undertaking placements in low vision, Dr Butler said.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Putting the balance back into ageing lives

Source: Massey University

Increased frailty in the elderly means a higher risk of falls, fractures, lack of independence and an overall decreased quality of life. Now a new study from Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise has highlighted the benefits of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) therapy for the frail elderly.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Older peoples’ unmet needs result in lower quality of life

Source: University of Auckland

Older New Zealanders with unmet needs have a lower quality of life, according to new research from the University of Auckland.

Research that examined socioeconomic and cultural profiles and correlates of quality of life in non-Māori New Zealanders of advanced age, found that despite these challenges, a higher proportion of women reported they can count on someone to help with daily tasks, (83 percent vs 77 percent in men).

Read more here >

New Zealand: Opinion - Sobering predictions for aged care

Source: Otago Daily Times

New Zealand's ageing population should lower their expectations of healthcare during retirement, as the cost and increasing type of treatments outweigh the country’s ability to pay for health services for the aged.

World Bank estimates are that New Zealand’s health spending per capita has quadrupled in less than 20 years, the majority of it (about 82%) provided by the public healthcare sector.

Read more here >

Australia: Motivators and barriers for older people participating in resistance training - A systematic review

Source: Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

Regular participation in resistance training is important for older people to maintain their health and independence, yet participation rates are low. The study aimed to identify motivators and barriers to older people participating in resistance training.

Read more here >

Advance Care Planning Public Forum

5:00pm - 7:00pm
28 November 2016

Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland
Advance care planning helps people understand what the future might hold and to say what treatment they would and would not want. It means people, their families/whānau and health care teams can plan for future and end-of-life care.
At the forum you will learn more about making an advance care plan and go away with all you need to make your own plan.

Find out more here >
Register now >

United Kingdom: Mediterranean diet, cognitive function, and dementia - A systematic review of the evidence

Source: Advances in Nutrition

A growing body of evidence suggests that adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) may protect against cognitive decline and dementia. Many epidemiologic studies and several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have found positive effects of the MD on cognitive function, but findings remain inconsistent. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an update on the current knowledge of the effects of the MD on cognitive function, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer disease (AD), and all-type dementia.

Read more here >

Netherlands: Physical and social environmental changes to promote walking among Dutch older adults in deprived neighbourhoods - the NEW.ROADS study

Source: BMC Public Health

Physical activity is important for healthy ageing, and daily walking is seen as a feasible way to be active at older ages. Yet, many older persons, particularly in lower socioeconomic groups and residing in deprived neighbourhoods, are insufficiently active. Creating a physical and social neighbourhood environment that is more supportive for walking has the potential to improve walking behaviour. Current evidence of the impact of changes to the physical and/or social environmental on walking behaviour is scarce. The aim of the NEW.ROADS study is to design, implement and evaluate changes to the physical and social environment for the purpose of increasing walking behaviour among older residents of deprived neighbourhoods.

Read more here >

International: Continuation and maintenance treatments for depression in older people

Source: Cochrane Library

Depressive illness is common in old age. Prevalence in the community of case level depression is around 15% and milder forms of depression are more common. It causes significant distress and disability. The number of people over the age of 60 years is expected to double by 2050 and so interventions for this often long-term and recurrent condition are increasingly important. The causes of late-life depression differ from depression in younger adults and so it is appropriate to study it separately.

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 >


Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand Weekly Round-Up

7 October 2016

In this issue:
  • ACC expected to increase rate paid to health providers by 2.22%
  • Health Promotion Agency Monthly Update to DHB Communicators
  • Speech: Jonathon Coleman - New Zealand Aged Care Association Conference
  • Change in funding of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues (GnRH analogues)
  • Health Improvement and Innovation Digest
  • Primary Care Symposium Presentations
  • Healthy Families NZ having a positive impact
  • PSA Submission on the Health of Older People Strategy
  • Convention Management
  • Te Pou Mental Health Leadership Day
Read full newsletter here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

New Zealand Conferences

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 >

Advance Care Planning National Forum

28-29 November 2016
Ellerslie Event Centre

Advance care planning helps people understand what the future might hold and to say what treatment they would and would not want. It means people, their families/whānau and health care teams can plan for future and end-of-life care.
The forum is for health professionals, consumer advocates and others already involved in and promoting advance care planning, or who would like to learn more.

Find out more here >

2016 Selwyn Foundation Gerontology Nursing Conference

7 December 2016
Alexandra Park, Epsom

A professional development conference for gerontology nurses and those involved in the pastoral and spiritual care of older people

With an exciting line-up of world-class speakers in the fields of gerontology and ageing and spirituality, we have made a slight change to our approach this year, incorporating the practical aspects of care, and the philosophical and spiritual facets of ageing and spirituality. 

Find out more here >

Annual Elder Law for the Health Sector Conference

21-22 February 2017
Crowne Plaza, Auckland

The 9th Annual Elder Law for the Health Sector conference will address key legal and ethical challenges to support the best interests and wellbeing of the ageing population. New to this year, the event will examine legislation updates and reviews to inform you of upcoming changes in the industry, including the revision of The New Zealand Disability Strategy and draft update to the Health of Older People Strategy, as well as unpacking common industry issues and navigating difficult topics. 

Find out more here >
International Conferences

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 >

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

6-7 April 2017
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Cessnock, 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 >

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 © 2016 New Zealand Association of Gerontology - Te Ropu Matauranga Kaumatuatanga o Aotearoa, All rights reserved.

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