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ISSN 2463-5367

Gerontology Matters
February 2017

In this issue:

A Message from the President

I have just returned from a week working in Cambodia, running a seminar on developing research capacity to academic staff at the University of Puthisastra located in Phnom Penh. The University of Puthisastra is a relatively new university offering a variety of health programmes including dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing and pharmacy. Sadly, none of the participants participating in the seminar were focused on gerontology, which is not surprising considering Cambodia’s history.
Currently only approximately 6.6% of the total Cambodian population are aged 65 years and older. However, this number is expected to increase to 19% by 2050. The lack of visibility of older people was evident in many places in Phnom Penh. The only time I saw older people was very early in the morning where small groups would gather to talk or exercise. There are several possible reasons for the lack of visibility of older people. Firstly, according to 2012 figures, men have an average life expectancy of only 62 years, while women can expect to live to approximately 65 years.
Secondly, many older people in Cambodia have lived difficult lives, including experiencing civil war, political violence, dislocation, and poverty resulting from the Khmer Rouge period of the 1970s. Many of those killed during that violent period were male. Consequently, the number of women significantly outnumber men and as in other countries the fastest growing group of older people is the ‘oldest old’, or those aged over 80.
Finally, the physical environment in Phnom Penh does not enable older people to easily ‘get around’ the city. Traffic flows in Phnom Penh are chaotic to say the least with limited traffic lights and places where pedestrians can safely cross the road regardless of age. Walking spaces are also limited and many of these have uneven surfaces, as well as other obstacles that act as barriers to safe mobility. However, many health and social service providers recognise the changing demographics, including predicted increases to the numbers of people aged 80 years and over, and are now influencing social and health policies.
Stephen Neville.

Information Relevant to NZAG Members

ANZSGM and NZAG join AAG for 2029 IAGG World bid

Source: AAG

2029 IAGG Global Congress bid for Sydney – January 2017

Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) and New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) , with the support of BE Sydney and NSW Government, are partnering to bid for the 2029 IAGG Global Congress bid for Sydney

Read more here >

New Zealand: $3.25m in new projects for Ageing Well in Maori and Pacific Peoples

Source: Otago University

New funding of $3.25 million for four innovative research projects to be undertaken as part of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge (NSC) was announced last year by Acting Chair of the Challenge, Dr Di McCarthy CRSNZ CNZM.

In recognition of the specific challenges and opportunities faced by Māori and Pacific Peoples to age well, the focus of this Ageing Well NSC 2016 Contestable Funding Round was research that investigated aspects of ageing that are prevalent for these groups of people.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Editorial - Ageism is a problem when we need older people to keep working

Source: Dominion Post

Ageism makes no sense when the economy needs older workers. But still the prejudice persists, as Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell points out, even though it's both stupid  and destructive.

She rightly rails against outmoded stereotypes such as satirical references to over-60s employees "bringing Zimmer frames to the office." When, she asks, "have you ever seen a 65-year-old with a Zimmer frame?"

Part of the problem might be that prejudiced younger people run recruitment agencies and other important gate-keeping organisations. If they don't like the look of older workers, then ageism is not just a prejudice but a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Decline in falls and broken hips a success story for New Zealand health care

Source: Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand

The Health Quality & Safety Commission is celebrating the success of New Zealand public hospitals in reducing the number of in-hospital falls that result in a broken hip. New Zealand appears to be the first country to achieve this on a national scale.

A paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today highlights a sector-wide commitment to preventing harm and in reducing the number of falls resulting in serious harm in New Zealand.

Read more here >

New Zealand: April Falls 2017

Source: Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand

Themes for April Falls 2017 at a national, regional and local level are being developed and consulted on, so watch this space! We value your opinion – please get in touch with us if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas.

One of the features of April Falls 2017 is a follow up visit from Associate Professor Anne-Marie Hill (PhD). Anne-Marie will be hosting four free ‘FallsStop’ seminars between 3 and 7 April 2017 in Dunedin, Wellington and twice in Auckland. More information about the seminars is available below.

This year we hope to broaden the reach of April Falls. We are looking at how we can help primary care and aged residential care organisations work with their local district health board in an integrated approach to falls and fracture management.

We will provide more updates about April Falls 2017 soon, but we encourage you to start thinking about your local and/or regional themes. We also welcome hearing about your plans, and how we can support this.

Please email Gabrielle Nicholson if you’d like to discuss April Falls 2017.

New Zealand: Sport & Recreation Case Study Toolkit

Source: Sport New Zealand

This toolkit helps clubs, groups, facilities, event organisers and more to record, report and understand value to members, participants, the local and wider community, and stakeholders.

Read more here >

New Zealand: Keeping older people active discussion paper


Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes the release of a discussion document that focuses on supporting older people to stay active.

“If we want New Zealanders to remain active in their later years we have to ensure we’re offering them the right opportunities,” says Dr Coleman.

“Being physically active has many benefits for older people including enhanced social integration, reduced health and social care costs, prevention of injury such as falls, and also improved productivity.

Read more here >

New Zealand: New Carers' Guide Available

Source: Ministry of Social Development

The newly updated Guide for Carers - He Aratohu mā ngā Kaitiaki is the Government’s main resource on caring support and services, with a range of practical tips, including how to schedule regular breaks, organise relief care, develop a plan for emergencies and connect with other carers.

Download guide here >

New Zealand: Age Concern North Shore Information Directory for Older People

Source: Age Concern North Shore

Age Concern North Shore, in consultation with community organisations, local groups and government agencies, has recently updated their informative and useful Information Directory for older people living on the North Shore.

It is designed to provide information and knowledge of resources for older people and those working with them. In this way, older people are empowered to make decisions for themselves and the community is strengthened.

Download directory here >

New Zealand: Get them talking about Conversations that Count!

Source: Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand

Conversations that Count Day is on 5 April 2017. The day aims to raise awareness about advance care planning to encourage people to think about, talk about and plan for their future and end-of-life care.

With the theme ‘Get them talking’, a range of Conversations that Count Day activities around the country will help start conversations that encourage people to explore what matters to them and to share this information with their loved ones and health care team.

Find out more here >

Australia: Smallest worthwhile effect of exercise programs to prevent falls among older people: Estimates from benefit–harm trade-off and discrete choice methods

Source: Oxford Journals

In this study, the authors estimate the smallest worthwhile effect (SWE) of exercise programmes designed to prevent falls among older people and compare estimates derived by two methodological approaches.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Attitudes to dementia - Findings from the 2015 British Social Attitudes survey

Source: British Social Attitudes

Just 2% of people in Britain can identify all the health and lifestyle factors that can increase the risk of developing dementia.

28% of the British public is unable to correctly identify any potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, according to the findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey commissioned by Public Health England.

The survey, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, asked the public if they could identify the following risk factors: heavy drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes as well as the protective factor of taking regular exercise.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Active Ageing Event Guides

Source: BHFNC

Have you seen our Active Ageing Events Guides? These are a series of resources helping you to organise an Active Ageing Event to celebrate older adults' participation in physical activity, exercise and sporting opportunities. These resources aim to give you practical guidance and ideas to help support you to run a successful event.

Community Organisations’ Guide: Designed for local community organsiations and groups, this resource will help event organisers plan and promote events as well as think about what they are trying to achieve and measuring its’ success.

Ideas for action: A booklet full of ideas to help promote events and activities including walking events, team/individual challenges or scavenger hunts.

Promotion Guide: Information on working with the media to secure coverage of events and spreading the active ageing message.

Coordinator’s Planning Guide: A six step approach to planning an event to assist you to develop and run a successful event.

United Kingdom: Changing risk behaviours and promoting cognitive health in older adults

Source: Public Health England

This resource is intended for local authority and clinical commissioning groups to identify what types of interventions they should focus on to help the uptake and maintenance of healthy behaviours and promote cognitive health among older adults living in the community.

It is also intended for providers of lifestyle behaviour change programmes to support the development of evidence-informed prevention packages for older adults.

It is produced in a way that makes it accessible to public health managers and practitioners working in the public, private and third sector.

Read more here >

United Kingdom: Let's Get Moving

Source: Age Scotland

The overall aim of our campaign is to raise awareness about the impact that physical activity and exercise can have on the lives of older people. We want to showcase some good examples of what people do to keep active – with a view to encouraging and motivating people to move more and sit less.

Read more here >

United States: Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy was prepared by the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (National Prevention Council). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides ongoing administrative, scientific, and technical support for the operations of the National Prevention Council.

Find out more here >

Other Newsletters of Interest to Members

NZ Nutrition Foundation Committee for Healthy Ageing Bulletin

No 28, December 2016

View Bulletin here >

Ageing Well Newsletter

January 2017

View January 2017 Newsletter here >

Events: Workshops, Webinars and Conferences

New Zealand Events

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 >

A Policy Seminar: Housing an Ageing Population 

9 March 2017, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Judith Phillips OBE, Deputy Principal, University of Stirling, Welsh Government Expert Group on Housing and Ageing Population

Find out more here >

Ageing Well National Science Challenge: Wellington Roadshow

27 March 2017, 1:30pm - 4:30pm (tentative

The National Science Challenge for Ageing Well  is organising a Roadshow and SNAP(Stakeholders Networking for Action-Research Partnership) Event in Wellington on Monday 27th of March.
Please hold the date in your diaries and further details will follow

FallsStop – FREE seminar about falls reduction with Anne-Marie Hill

3 - 7 April 2017
Dunedin, Wellington & Auckland

FallsStop is a free seminar about reducing falls in hospital and other care settings, designed for hospital falls champions, nursing management, and physiotherapy, gerontology and aged care representatives.

Find out more here >

Open Forum with Dr Karen Hitchcock: May you never grow old

10 April 2017
Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Wellington

Join Dr Karen Hitchcock and New Zealand experts to discuss and debate both the importance and the role of older people in New Zealand, and the implications for improving the quality and safety of our health care system.

Find out more here >

ANZSGM Annual Scientific Meeting

10-12 May 2017
Energy Events Centre, Rotorua

This year's meeting theme, "Older People’s Care through Community, Collaboration & Communication", will showcase successes and challenges in the provision of accessible, efficient and co-ordinated care for older adults in both acute and community settings.

Find out more here >

International Events

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
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 >

Canadian Geriatrics Society 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting

20 - 22 April 2017
Toronto, Canada

The theme of the 2017 ASM is Integrating Care, Making an Impact”.

Find out more here >

Summer Course on Ethics in Dementia Care

5-6 July 2017
Leuven, Belgium

The Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law of the KU Leuven is organizing the 3rd edition of the Summer Course on Ethics in Dementia Care (Leuven, Belgium, 5-7 July 2017). The objective of the course is to foster exchanges on foundational, clinical-ethical and organizational-ethical approaches to dementia care practices.
Find out more 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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