Ageing Well eNews
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NARI Ageing Well eNews                  September 2018

From the Director  

Dear Friends

Aged care is receiving extraordinary media and political attention currently with many reviews complete and others being commissioned.  Much of the attention is due to the shocking findings from the Oakden Nursing Home report which have cast a shadow over the sector.

NARI’s views about the state of play in aged care in Australia have been sought by journalists and politicians. This is not surprising.

As the independent medical research institute in Australia focused on ageing and aged care, we have over 40 years of research findings aimed at improving health outcomes and aged care practice aimed to guide policy to invest in solutions for positive ageing for all older people in Australia.

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Save the date: NARI Annual Dinner

16 November

NARI supporters are invited to the Institute’s annual black tie dinner on Friday 17 November in Melbourne.

The three-course dinner includes operatic performances, and a guest speaker.

Tickets cost $238 per person.

Funds raised from the event will be directed to NARI’s research.

To book seats, please go to:

Contact Details:  Judith Hooper 0406 369 877

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News From NARI

Royal Commission into Aged Care welcomed

NARI has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of a Royal Commission into Aged Care in Australia.

Associate Professor Briony Dow, Director of NARI, commended the attention and thoroughness that a Royal Commission would bring to making sure that the sector offered the quality of life and quality of care that all older Australians deserve. The shocking stories of ill-treatment and abuse, whilst hopefully rare, are never acceptable. A Royal Commission will collect comprehensive evidence and shed light on the issues to be addressed.

She urged the Government to ensure that the terms of reference were broad to embrace quality of life and not just physical care in aged care facilities. “Ensuring mental wellbeing in care homes is essential, as is proper funding.”

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 NARI shares ageing research priorities at ALP Roundtable

Many of the issues raised at the NARI-led round table What Makes A Good Old Age? were shared with Australia’s Shadow Prime Minister Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health Julie Collins and Assistant Shadow Minister for Ageing Senator Helen Polley at a recent think tank.

Industry leaders, including NARI Director Dr Briony Dow, shared their vision for aged care in Australia focusing on residential aged care, the workforce, access to home care packages, sustainable funding, and dementia.

“Central to our vision is that aged care policy has to be informed by a strong evidence-base,” Dr Dow said.

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NARI welcomes ‘A Matter of Care’ 

NARI commends the recent release of a significant report, A Matter of Care – Australia’s aged care workforce strategy, which highlights fundamental factors underlying many of the problems with aged care today.

The report provides a strong roadmap to address the disturbing issues emerging and highlighted in recent shocking media reports. 

NARI particularly welcomes the call in the report for an Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research. Such a centre will enable the sector to draw on the most innovative and effective models of care and guide the investment and uptake of improvements.

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Victorian election strategy for ageing

Victorians are preparing for the state election on 24 November, and NARI along with other organisations in the ageing sector is renewing calls for a statewide bi-partisan plan for ageing and older people.

Earlier this year NARI was among 20 organisations which prepared and launched an Agenda for Ageing at Parliament House where political leaders were encouraged to embrace the opportunities and tackle the issues of 21st Century modern ageing. The preparation of the action plan was led by COTA Victoria.

Currently in Victoria, 1.25 million people are aged over 60, accounting for more than 20% of the population. By 2031, our older population is set to increase, comprising 22% of the population in Greater Melbourne and 31% in regional and rural Victoria.

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Older people having a say in the design of research projects

Recognising the importance of engaging many different stakeholders, several of NARI’s projects are using a co-design approach.

Co-design – also known as participatory or co-operative design – ensures people who use or are affected by a service are involved in the design, implementation and review of new services. As a result, the new or improved service is more likely to meet the needs of consumers.

A current NARI co-design study is the PITCH Project, where NARI is involving people with dementia, family carers, home care workers, case managers and service managers in developing and evaluating a dementia-specific training program for home care workers.

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Grant to improve access to interpreters

A $50,000 Dementia Australia Research Foundation – Victoria grant is enabling NARI researchers to trial ways to improve access to interpreters during the diagnostic process for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Using web-based videoconferencing methods like Zoom, Dr Xiaoping Lin hopes the presence of an interpreter will improve dementia diagnosis for people from CALD backgrounds, regardless of where they live.

Tailored care for older CALD people is a growing priority given the prevalence of dementia which is expected to triple in the next 30 years.

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Roundtable to create CALD and dementia action plan

NARI is joining forces with the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) to develop a roadmap for research focusing on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people living with dementia.

The first workshop, to be held on 20 November, brings together researchers, clinicians and community representatives to identify research priorities and how these can be translated into policy and practice initiatives.

CALD Australians make up nearly 30 per cent of Australia but are represented in less than 10 per cent of dementia research studies. The prevalence of dementia among older CALD Australians is projected to increase by more than three-fold, from approximately 35,000 in 2010 to 120,000 by 2050.

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Tapestry breaking down barriers to communication

Over 350 residents in seven residential aged care facilities, together with 200 families and aged care staff have been taking part in the evaluation of For You For Life Tapestry, an enhanced multidisciplinary care program to encourage better communication.

The program has been developed at Royal Freemasons in partnership with NARI to encourage greater care consistency.

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Desert Mob Symposium celebrates Indigenous older artists

Dr Frances Batchelor and Paulene Mackell recently attended the Desert Mob Symposium in Alice Springs as part of a NARI research project exploring the important role that art centres play in supporting older people.

The symposium celebrated the artistic and cultural achievements of the artists of Desart-member Aboriginal art centres. The symposium focused on highlighting the stories, deep cultural knowledge, and contemporary concerns of Aboriginal artists and their art centres in Central Australia. Around 450 people attended, with eight artist presentations.

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End of Life Care project seeks input from CALD communities

MARC has received funding from the Victorian Private Geriatric Hospitals to seek input from older CALD people to learn more about how to improve care services and communication with people who are dying.

The end of life care project is tackling all the components of a good death, such as respecting patients’ wishes and advance care plans, enabling patients and clinicians to act as partners in care, ensuring integration of services and care, and facilitating open and effective communication.  

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Seed Funding for Clinical Researchers

MARC is hoping to fund up to four small starter projects to investigate practice in dementia, end of life care, falls and healthy ageing workforces.

Nominations to the 2018 seed funding scheme are now closed, but interest in the program has been high according to Debra O’Connor, MARC Director.

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Elder abuse is gaining increased attention worldwide due to global population ageing.

Prevalence studies in the UK and Canada found approximately 5% of people aged over 65 experience abuse in any one year. The World Health Organization estimates 10% of older people globally are victims of abuse.

Our annual seminar will showcase innovations in policy, practice and research across Australia and in the UK.

The opening address will be delivered by Hon Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, with closing remarks by Dr Kay Patterson, Age Discrimination Commissioner.

As well as the work that NARI is championing on the topic, delegates will hear from Trischia Ritchie from the Aged Rights Advocacy Service about how they are working with Aboriginal communities to prevent elder abuse. There will also be a virtual interview with Dr Claudia Cooper, a pre-eminent elder abuse researcher from University College London.

Proudly sponsored by Australia Unity.


Elder Abuse: Innovation, research, policy and practice

Date: Friday 12 October 2018

Time: 8:45am, for a 9:00am start – 3.30pm

Venue: Australian Unity Federation Room, Level 15 / 114 Albert Road, South Melbourne

Cost:  Standard (after 31st July) $160, Concession $90


October 2018 Workshop:

Thinking about Thinking - Assessment of cognition in older people

Friday 26 October 2018, 9:30am – 1:00pm

Cost: $250 (10% discount for early bird registration before 5th October)

Do you work with older people with cognitive impairment? Does your job involve cognitive screening? Want to know more about cognitive assessment and how to do them? 

Neuropsychologists Dr Anita Panayiotou and Dr Anita Goh, both from NARI, will lead an interactive, evidence-based workshop to help delegates learn more about the difference between normal ageing, dementia, depression and delirium; gain practical experience in administering and scoring cognitive screening tools; and learn tips, hints, and tricks for administration, assessment, and scoring (including what to do in non-standard situations)


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National Ageing Research Institute Ltd · PO Box 2127, Royal Melbourne Hospital VIC 3050 · 34-54 Poplar Rd., Gate 4, Building 8 · Parkville, VIC 3052 · Australia

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