NZ Association of Gerontology - Gerontology Matters

Welcome to Gerontology Matters
for December 2012

The New Zealand Association of Gerontology

Meri Kirihimete, Mele Kilisimasi, Sheng Dan Kuai Le, Glædelig Jul, Zalig Kerstfeast, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas.

No matter what language you say it in; Christmas is a time to focus on the meanings of things. It is a central date in the Christian calendar and celebrated as a holy day by many peoples around our global community. For many of you it will be a time of great joy when you gather with family and friends, show generosity of spirit, and take time out from your usual routines to reflect on life. Yet the Christmas season can also throw a light on sadness as it can stand as a marker for those who cannot be present and things lost. The NZAG Executive hopes, on balance, your Christmas is a time of happiness and connectedness with people and places that matter.

Christmas 2012 is a time to celebrate the fact that our communities are homes to more seniors with many more people living longer, healthier lives. The recently released Director-General of Health’s Annual Report (Ministry of Health, 2012) reveals that, with an average life expectancy of just over 81 years, New Zealanders are doing better than the average life expectancy across all OECD countries. Coupled with most people reporting good health, that is something to celebrate. And it is heartening to see that improving the health and independence of older people is one of the Minister of Health’s current priorities. An extract from the report is given under the ‘Other Resources’ section.

This year also saw the release of the 'Tüpuna – ngä kaitiaki mokopuna: A resource for Mäori grandparents’ report revealing that “it is common for Mäori grandparents to live in multi-generational households with members of their extended families and there are many reasons for doing this, including cultural preferences” (p. 44). This report is just one indicator that there is an increasingly diverse body of good evidence to draw on when researching, designing, and funding services for older New Zealanders; All good things to be joyous about.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Valerie Wright St. Clair
Families Commission. (2012). Tüpuna – ngä kaitiaki mokopuna: A resource for Mäori grandparents. Wellington: Families Commission.
Ministry of Health. (2012). Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2012 including the Director-General of Health’s Annual Report on the State of Public Health. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Regional Hub Representatives

The National Executive is pleased to announce that nominations have been received for Regional Hub Representatives
  • Lower North Island - Dr Judith Davey, Wellington
  • South Island - Dr Debra Waters, Dunedin
As there was only one nomination for each position, there is no requirement for an election and they are both duly appointed. 

The National Executive is seeking nominations for representatives for the Auckland/Northland and Waikato Regional Hubs as no nominations were received. 

National Conference 2014

The National Executive announces with pleasure that the 2014 Conference will be held in Dunedin. Further details will be announced in due course. 

NZAG 2012-2013 Membership

Member subscriptions are still at the low rate of $35 plus GST. Joining NZAG has never been easier. The new membership year runs to 30 June 2013. Just follow the link to join NZAG online. Click here to join now.

Pass on this newsletter to colleagues who are not members; anyone can now join NZAG online anytime. Click here to join now.

The International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG)

IAGG: Like to receive the IAGG Newsletter?

As an NZAG Member, you are invited to register for the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics (IAGG) newsletter and stay up to date with international news.

You can register here for the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics newsletter or by sending your email contacts to IAGG

Access the previous IAGG newsletters by clicking here

Member Opportunities 

Expressions of interest for Stroke course in early 2013

We are looking at expressions of interest to attend a 1-2 day workshop with an internationally acclaimed Occupational Therapist, Jan Davies. She is coming to Auckland in late February and has offered to present a workshop on:
Assessment and functional Occupational Therapy practise for stroke / hemiplegia.
Trained as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in the United States, Davis’ career has spanned several areas of healthcare. She has worked in inpatient rehabilitation centers and directed OT departments in rehabilitation centers located in California and Switzerland. She has held faculty and guest faculty positions at universities. In addition, Davis has presented at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the American Society of Neuro Rehabilitation and the American Academy of Neurology. Her work has been published in university texts, medical journals, publications for OTs and PTs. She has written articles to provide helpful information for families and caregivers published by the American Stroke Association and the National Stroke Association.

Perhaps best known for providing high-quality continuing education to physical therapists and occupational therapists worldwide, she makes complex principles easy to understand as she provides practical, functional treatment ideas to illustrate her classes. Her teaching style is highly effective as she skilfully combines Motor Learning, Motor Control and Neuro Developmental theory.

This is a really exciting opportunity but we need to have the numbers to make it work. The conference would be held at North Shore Hospital in Auckland and be at a cost of approximately $140 per day (depending on numbers). She is only in New Zealand for a week, so it would be sometime between 28th Feb 2013 – 8th March.
I appreciate that this is a really busy time of year for everyone and apologies for the late notice, we were only made aware of her travel plans this week.

As stated, running of this course will be dependent on numbers likely to attend so please don’t delay, email now.

Links to Other Resources

Standing Against Elder Abuse Newsletter - December, 2012

This is the December issue of the monthly e-newsletter produced by Reaping Hope. 
With this newsletter, Raising Hope aims to raise their voice against the prevailing elder abuse in Nepal and all over the world. It is also a medium to put forward the scenario of senior citizens in our country.
Raising Hope hopes this newsletter and all the information collected shall be an effective learning medium to all our readers and successfully deliver the message against elder abuse. They kindly request you to share this information as much as possible and join them in their mission to stand against elder abuse all over the world.

Click here to view full e-newsletter.

Kiwis should be living longer - demographer

Tuesday, 4 December 2012 – Otago Daily Times
New Zealand has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world - but we should be living even longer, a senior demographer says. Anyone born in New Zealand is estimated to live past 80 on average, according to figures released by the Central Intelligence Agency that rank us with the 25th highest age expectancy when compared to 221 other countries.

However, 100 years ago New Zealand led the world, demographer Arvind Zodgekar said. "We still have quite a good expectation of life. [But] access to primary health care has become much, much harder for middle and lower classes," said Mr Zodgekar, who is now retired.

Read the full article on our website

Streamlined rest home auditing to be introduced in 2013

Press Release: New Zealand Government, 17 Dec 2012  

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew announced today that streamlined auditing of rest homes, saving up to six hours for each audit, will be introduced from 1 January 2013.  This follows a successful trial of the new process in 23 rest homes this year.  “We continue to look at ways of reducing the regulatory burden for providers while maintaining the integrity of the audit process,” said Mrs Goodhew… “Regular independent checks of rest homes against clearly defined, relevant standards are vital to ensure high quality care for older New Zealanders in aged residential care. It ensures providers meet current standards and any shortcomings are quickly identified and rectified….”

Hon Jo Goodhew
Associate Minister of Health 

Read the full article here

Improving the health and independence of older people

Extract from the New Zealand Director-General of Health’s Annual Report, pages 16-17
Statistics New Zealand population projections suggest that by 2031 one in five New Zealanders will be aged over 65 years. Longevity is predicted to increase and the proportion of New Zealanders in the 85-plus age bracket is growing rapidly. Many of these people will require care and support services. Greater integration of older people’s health and support services, aims to ensure seamless pathways of care for older New Zealanders. 

Read the full extract on our website

Nursing graduates steer clear of aged care

Less than 2 per cent of graduate nurses want to work specifically with the elderly, new data reveals.
And with a rapidly ageing population in New Zealand, drastic changes to the way that new nursing graduates are recruited needs to occur, says the New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO).
The stark numbers were revealed at a recent Waikato District Health Board meeting in a presentation by nursing and midwifery director Sue Hayward.
They showed that of the 1239 nurse entry to practice (NETP) applicants, only 20 wanted to work with the elderly.

Growing Older with A Disability - Online Published Articles

Published recently in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INTEGRATED CARE: The Growing Older with a Disability 2011 Conference Supplement.

The GOWD 2011 includes the Toronto Declaration, the Conference report, 3 Editorials and 22 Conference Abstracts.

Examples of some articles are:
  • The Toronto declaration on bridging knowledge, policy and practice in aging and disability by Jerome E. Bickenbach, Christine Bigby, Luis Salvador-Carulla, Tamar Heller, Matilde Leonardi, Barbara LeRoy, Jennifer Mendez, Michelle Putnam, Andria Spindel.
  • Key focal areas for bridging the fields of aging and disability: findings from the growing older with a disability conference by Vishaya Naidoo, Michelle Putnam, Andria Spindel.
  • Bringing stakeholders together across ageing and disability: GOWD conference series by Andria Spindel, Margaret Campbell, Jennifer Mendez.
  • International initiatives on bridging knowledge, policy and practice by Mathilde Leonardi, Jerome Bickenbach, Barbara LeRoy.
  • Advancing a research agenda for bridging ageing and disability by Luis Salvador-Carulla, Michelle Putnam, Tamar Heller. 
  • View articles.

Conference Calendar

5th Annual Elder Law Conference

18-19 February 2013 - Crowne Plaza, Auckland

Protecting the vulnerable ageing population

The older people get, the more vulnerable they become. The law provides protection for many of the relevant issues affecting the older population but is there a thorough understanding amongst health professionals of how elder law works? The 5th Annual Elder Law for the Health Sector Conference aims to provide a comprehensive insight into the top legal issues affecting aged care practitioners and care givers, including:

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Capacity assessment
  • Advance directives
  • Elder abuse
  • Health information privacy

And many more. Click here to view the programme.

This conference is also being held on the same dates and at the same location as the Emergency Departments and Intensive Care Settings Conference, meaning delegates from both conferences can attend sessions for either event.

Don’t forget: Register two people from your organisation at the same time, and the second person pays only $395 (conference only). See
Special Offer: Readers can use the discount code 1DBCH5 to get 10% off the full ticket price (applies only to the conference full price only).

View the full agenda and register here.

8th European Congress of Biogerontolgy (ECB 2013)

10-13 March 2013 - Israel

Members are cordially invited to participate in the 8th European Congress of Biogerontology (ECB 2012), to be held on March 10-13, 2013 in Israel, starting at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheve, and continuing at the Dead Sea. Please click here for full details. Among the major questions that will be addressed are:

  • Is ageing a common mechanism of age-related diseases?
  • How can the breakthroughs in regenerative medicine help in promoting healthy lifespan?
  • What other ways can we achieve this goal?

The meeting will provide a unique arena for discussing these issues and will help to better understand - where we are and where to go. Developing recommendations for new strategies in health policy for middle aged and elderly people will be an important outcome of the meeting. The meeting will comprise invited talks, short oral presentations and poster sessions. There will also be enough time for personal communications, while enjoying great food and wine, authentic coffee and lovely trips with fantastic views.

Opportunities of Ageing Conference 2013

10-11 April 2013 - Hastings, New Zealand

Early bird has been extended to 28 February 2013!

The Opportunities of Ageing Conference will be held in April 2013 at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend this ground breaking conference and learn more about the opportunities with this important demographic group.
Why attend?
The ageing of the population is an opportunity. Today’s older people (65+) are different from past generations. They are in better health, are better educated, and live full lives for longer.

Consumer and spending habits will be different in the future, and the ageing population will be one of the largest growth markets. Volunteerism, community participation and the impact of the ageing population on our community will also change in years to come.
We want to celebrate this and offer you the chance to seek out business opportunities which will draw on the enormous talent that the ageing population has to offer.

Click here for more information or contact Nina Siers at or Claire Miller at or by phone on (06) 8715000.

Caring for Older People Conference

16 April 2013 - Manchester, UK

The provision of quality, dignified care is the aim of all health and social care providers. This event highlights best practice, evidence based research and examples of work in caring for older people from around the UK that can be taken back and developed at your own place of work. 

Download programme

Stroke Society of Australasia annual scientific meeting

31 July - 02 August 2013 - Darwin, Australia

Stroke Conference 2013

The SSA ASM 2013 Organising Committee warmly invite you to join us in Darwin, Northern Territory from 31 July to 2 August 2013 for our 24th Annual Scientific Meeting. This event is shaping up to be one of our best ever meetings in a truly amazing setting. The SSA annual scientific meeting has the theme "Top End Stroke: excellent care for ALL our patients" and is intended for health professionals, researchers and academics interested in ensuring that people with stroke receive the best available care.

Click here for more information.

Global Disability, Ageing & Healthcare Conferences Online Guide 

See a more comprehensive listing of conferences at our web site 
For more information click here.
Copyright © 2012 New Zealand Association of Gerontology, All rights reserved.
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