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Gerontology Matters
February 2016

In this issue:


A Message from the President

The existing Health of Older People Strategy was originally published in 2002, after the 2000 release of the New Zealand Health Strategy. The New Zealand Health Strategy is currently under review so as a consequence of this in 2015 the Ministry of Health embarked on a process of updating the Health of Older People Strategy. The focus of this update is to ensure the health and disability support needs and services for older people living in New Zealand are appropriate and available.
The Ministry of Health began the review process by holding more than 20 workshops and meetings around the country. The focus of these meetings was to find out from older people, key stakeholders and others from the sector what existing services are working well and what areas need improvement. More than 1000 people attended these workshops and meetings as part of this first round of consultation.
The second round of countrywide consultation is planned to begin this month, running through to 10 March 2016. If you, or your organisation, have not yet had the opportunity to comment/contribute to the updating of the strategy, you can do so through the Ministry’s Health of Older People Strategy Update website: or by emailing:

Stephen Neville

Information relevant to NZAG members

New Zealand: Late life self-harm in the Waikato Region

Source: The New Zealand Medical Journal

This paper looked at the attributes of late life suicide attempts i.e. in the group over 65 years of age, in the Waikato region. Elderly people identified that concomitant medical conditions and depressive illnesses were important stresses contributing to their self-harm attempts. The study highlighted some important strategies for identifying and better managing elderly people who may attempt suicide in the future.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Findings from LiLACS NZ 2015-2016

Source: School of Population Health, University of Auckland
The LiLACS NZ longitudinal study was started in 2010 by the School of Population Heath at the University of Auckland. In 2010 LiLACS NZ interviewed 934 people in advanced age; Maori aged 80-90 years and non-Maori aged 85 years living in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards region. It has now been running for 6 years.

Find out more about the LiLACS study here >

Read the research and reports published here >

New Zealand: How 'Gramping' is keeping family traditions alive

Source: New Zealand Herald

New Zealand families are getting in on an increasingly popular summer activity dubbed "gramping".

Gramping is the term given for young children and grandparents camping while the parents come and go according to their work demands.

Department of Conservation media adviser Leigh-Anne Wiig said it seemed to be happening more as parents often had to work and didn't have enough annual leave to cover the entire school holidays.

She said gramping had taken off in Australia and tourism operators in New Zealand should start preparing for it.

Read more here >

Renew your membership for the 2015/16 year!

To renew now, and receive the many benefits NZAG membership offers:

Australia: Engaging dental professionals in residential aged-care facilities - staff perspectives regarding access to oral care

Source: Australian Journal of Primary Health

The limited access to oral care for older people living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) has been noted repeatedly in the literature. The aim of this study was to explore RACF staff perspectives on how to engage dental professionals in the provision of oral care for RACF residents.

Read more here >

Australia: Easy to open? Exploring the 'openability' of hospital food and beverage packaging by older adults

Source: Science Direct

Food is increasingly a packaged commodity, both in the community and in institutionalised settings such as hospitals, where many older people are malnourished. Previous research with patients aged over 65 years in NSW public hospitals identified difficulties opening milk, water, juices, cereal and tetra packs. The aim of this paper was to assess the ability of well older people living in the community to open food and beverage items routinely used in NSW hospitals in order to gain further insights into the older person/pack interaction and the role of hand and finger strength in pack opening

United Kingdom: Dementia -  Through the eyes of women

Source: John Rowntree Foundation

Dementia disproportionately affects women, but their experiences and voices are missing from research and literature. This project aimed to inspire people to think differently about women and dementia by using stories and reflections from individual women to inform the debate in a unique, inspiring and insightful way.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Women and Dementia - All but forgotten

Source: University of York

Dementia is an issue that disproportionately affects women. Of the estimated 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, two-thirds are women (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014), three-quarters of family carers for people with dementia are women (Lindsay and Anderson, 2004), and it is mostly women who deliver paid care (Hussein and Manthorpe, 2012). The conditions that lead to dementia are, of course, largely associated with older age. Thus, while women continue to live longer than men do, they will likely continue to be over-represented in the population of people with dementia. However, there is growing evidence that socio-economic circumstances, education and stress in younger life – all areas in which women as a group may find themselves more disadvantaged than men – may play a part in the genesis of conditions that lead to dementia (Basta et al., 2007; Johansson et al., 2013; Russ et al., 2013). 

Focus on Falls: Toolkit for Clinicians

Focus on Falls is a quarterly publication for everyone interested in understanding and preventing falls in older people. Reducing harm from falls is the name and the broad aim of the programme.

In this issue:
  • Looking through another lens at Whanganui District Heath Board
  • Addressing the challenges of an aging population
  • Reducing falls risk through medicine review: An improvement in Hawke's Bay
  • Archie and Joy - flying the flag for being bold, not old
  • Evidence based publications and resources
For everything you need in falls prevention click here >

United Kingdom: A review of the dementia research landscape and workforce capacity in the United Kingdom

Source: Rand Corporation

This report seeks to inform funding and capacity-building efforts in dementia research by answering the following questions: What types of research on dementia are being carried out in the UK? How does the UK perform in comparison to global benchmarks? What does the UK dementia research workforce look like? What are the associated strengths and gaps in this landscape?

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework

Source: Skills for Health

The Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework was commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health and Health Education England (HEE) in partnership with Skills for Care. The Framework supports implementation of the HEE mandate and the objectives for education, training and workforce development set out in the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020. In particular, the aim is to support the development and delivery of appropriate and consistent dementia education and training for the health and care workforce.

Read more here >

The Australasian Journal of Ageing content updates

The Australasian Journal of Ageing (AJA) is a comprehensive publication which provides a balance of academic papers, industry perspectives and practice reports. An invaluable source of current information and research, it covers a range of topics including social gerontology, home and community care services, geriatric medicine, health services research and the biology of ageing

NZAG invites members to sign up for free Australasian Journal of Ageing content updates.

In order to receive these updates you must first sign up on Wiley Online Library. After signing up visit the Journal’s homepage and click “Get New Content Alerts” on the left side-bar.

Instructions on how to sign up for Wiley Online Library >
Instructions on how to sign up for content alerts >

United Kingdom: Dispensing health in later life

Source: Pharmacy Voice

The NHS is facing unprecedented financial pressures and general practice teams are struggling to cope with an expanding workload. While GP numbers decline, the number of people requiring care and support, in particular vulnerable older people, continues to rise. Community pharmacy could help the NHS unlock many millions of pounds every year, and improve the quality of later life, through regular review of patients’ medicines use. GPs are increasingly concerned that older people could be taking too many medicines, and are not taking them as prescribed, new research shows. Dispensing Health in Later Life reveals that GPs believe more than half their patients (50.3%) aged over 75, and taking four or more medicines, would benefit from taking fewer medicines.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Dementia and Homecare - Driving Quality and Innovation

Source: United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd

Skilled homecare has a crucial part to play in enabling people to remain living as full lives as possible in their homes; supporting family carers and allowing them to remain economically active as well as easing stress; identifying changes in condition and behaviour and signposting to other sources of support in the community.

Read more here >

Member-Only Resources 

Did you know: As a member of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology you have access to the member-only section of our website, giving you access to exclusive member-only news articles and blog posts. This section now includes webinar summaries and resources from the Australian Association of Gerontology.

You must be logged in to view member-only content on the Gerontology website.

If you are having problems logging in, or have forgotten your username or password please email so we can sort it out for you.

Canada: Future Care for Canadians Seniors - A Status Quo Forecast

Source: Conference Board of Canada

The reliance on unpaid caregivers and volunteers to provide continuing care supports will grow dramatically and could compound the perceived level of unmet or under-met needs of seniors. Responding to these needs in an efficient and sustainable manner will require collaboration among the diverse mix of public and private stakeholders that make up the continuing care sector.

Read more here >

Spain: Reinventing Chronic Care Management for the Elderly

Source: Brookings Institute

The Complex Care Plan coordinates care across multidisciplinary teams that may include physicians, nurses, home health aides, mental health professionals, paramedics, social workers, the patient’s home caregiver, and the patient. This integrated approach to disease management provides better care for the patient, and provides specialized attention across primary, secondary or home-based care. It has also demonstrated significant cost savings, particularly through decreased emergency room use. To date, the program has resulted in significant reductions in unnecessary and avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions.

Other Newsletters of Interest

Ageing Well National Science Challenge Newsletter

Newsletter #2

Included in this issue:
  • Ageing well constable funding round
  • 2016 Ageing Well National Colloquium - 14 September
Read the full newsletter here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

2016 NZAG Conference

Early Bird Registration Open Now - Click here to register

Call for Abstracts Now Open - Click here for more information (Closing date for submissions is 2 May 2016)

For more information about Conference 2016 including the working programme click here

I’m losing my memory! - Assessing and supporting those with cognitive decline and dementia in primary care

Interprofessional Workshop

Date: 23 February 2016
Time 3:00pm - 7:30pm
Venue: Room C02/05
University of Otago (Wellington Campus)
Cost: $85 inc. GST

To register, email or phone (04) 918 6787

For more information click here >

8th Annual Elder Law for the Health Sector Conference

22-23 February 2016
Crowne Plaza, Auckland

Bringing you the latest legal updates and prominent case law, as well as key discussions on how to achieve greater collaboration.

10% discount for NZAG members. Simply enter the discount code MCO4OK when you register.

Find out more here >

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services - Services for Older People Conference

12-13 May 2016
Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland

The conference is open for anyone working with older people in aged residential care, home support or community-based services to attend.

Find out more here >

2016 Ageing Well Colloquium

14 September 2016

The Ageing Well Colloquium, following on from a successful debut, will be held on 14 September 2016 - the day before NZAG Conference! Consider taking an extra day to check out this interesting event.

Read the report on the 2015 Colloquium here >

Alzheimers New Zealand 2016 Conference - Call for Abstracts

3-5 November 2016
TSB Bank Arena and Convention Centre

Call for Abstracts for Alzheimers New Zealand's biennial conference which will also be the 19th Asia Pacific Conference of Alzheimers Disease International.

Submissions close on Tuesday 7 June 2016. 

Find out more here >

Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine 2016 (ANZSGM) Annual Scientific Meeting

1-3 June 2016
Melbourne Convention Centre, Victoria

"The AGEnder Paradox" will showcase the intersection of gender issues and ageing, examining the question of how women and men age differently, and highlighting the impact these differences bring to bear on the medical care of both sexes as they age. 

Find out more here >

egister as a delegate here >

World Congress on Active Ageing

28 June - 1 July 2016
Melbourne, Australia

The 9th World Congress on Active Ageing is currently open for online registration

Register as a delegate 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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