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Welcome to the December Edition of Ageing Well Newsletter 
Update from the Director

It has been an exciting few months for the NARI team as we return to face to face events.

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference in Adelaide was a highlight, with 12 NARI presentations and a busy NARI booth. Two of NARI’s family carer co-researchers, Anne Fairhall and Cathy Roth OAM, presented with Dr Anita Goh on what family carers need from dementia carer support services. The Social Gerontology team were well represented with six presentations on their work enhancing dementia literacy and care with culturally and linguistically diverse groups in Australia and internationally, and Professor Pazit Levinger and Marcia Fearn provided updates on the ENJOY and Befriendas Projects.

We were also delighted to welcome back our research volunteers for the volunteer Thank You Day, held at the Treacy centre on 8 December, for the first time in 3 years. Together we wished Nelva Griffith a happy 100th birthday, and were able to vale our much-loved volunteer, the late Zelma Riddell. It was wonderful to celebrate more than 20 years the two spent contributing to NARI!

I am also delighted to report our new MRFF and ARIIA grants, which will enable us to pursue important programs of work in responding to elder abuse, enabling better participation of seniors in exercise parks and embedding technology into aged care provision. Congratulations to all the NARI staff and our industry partners.

It has been a tiring year with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, dreary cold weather (at least in Melbourne!) and many changes in the political landscape. I would like to thank all the NARI staff for their dedication and hard work and our partners, funders, research participants and volunteers for their continued support. I hope that you will all have a chance to rest and recover over the Christmas break.

I look forward to continuing to work with you all in 2023 to achieve our vision of a world where older people are respected healthy and included.

Yours sincerely,

Briony Dow

Director, NARI
Spotlight on Dr Anita Goh
A well deserved congratulations to Dr Anita Goh who was recently voted onto the board of the Australian Association of Gerontology as a Director, Victoria Division and in the capacity of Corporate Trustee of the AAG Research Trust. This is great news for Anita and continues NARI's valued collaboration with AAG.
Spotlight on Professor Briony Dow
Congratulations to Professor Briony, Director of NARI, for having been recognised for her dedication and service to the Australian Association of Gerontology Collaborating Research Centres. Briony accepted the award for her outstanding work as Chair of the AAG Collaborating Research Centres 2012 - 2021 at the 55th AAG Conference at Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC).

image courtesy of AAG conference and photographer Michael Blyde
NARI shares stories of caring to help dementia carers find their way
In September, the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) launched a new video resource, Finding My Way: Sharing tips on supporting people living with dementia, aimed at sharing the experiences of family carers for people living with dementia, including the challenging, positive, and rewarding aspects of caring.

Developed as part of the ‘Creative Caring’ study, the Finding My Way video was co-designed with family carers, through the guidance of a project advisory group, to portray the many facets of being a carer and challenge the negative stereotypes that surround the responsibility.

Dementia impacts over 400, 000 Australians, and approximately 65 per cent of people with dementia live at home – either independently or with the support of a carer.

Head of the ‘Creative Caring’ project, NARI Associate Professor Kirsten Moore, said the short film documents how varied the carer journey can be, as well as the strength, resilience, and compassion of those who give their time to support people living with dementia.

“Many individuals assume the role of carer unexpectedly, when a loved one’s condition worsens. And whilst there is no instruction manual for being a carer, this video is able to offer words of advice and encouragement for those who are taking on this role,” Associate Professor Moore said.

This video is an important resource to highlight the voices and experiences of family carers, changing the narrative of caring by addressing its challenges, and sharing the joy that can come from supporting someone living with dementia.

The Creative Caring project was supported by funding from the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, and the former Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration. To access the video, and further information, visit
NARI Awarded $3.5 Million in Grants Funding to deliver better outcomes for older Australians
The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) has received two significant funding grants from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), to support continued research into improving the nation’s health and aged care systems.

The MRFF’s 2021 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care grants included a combined total of over $3.5 million for two of NARI’s projects – No More Shame and ENJOY IMP-ACT.

The No More Shame project, led by Professor Bianca Brijnath, Director of Social Gerontology at NARI, aims to remove stigmas and improve the recognition of, and response to, elder abuse by health providers.

The project will comprise a co-designed training program for health providers, implementation of a co-designed screening tool, and a site champion in 10 sub-acute care sites across Australia.

“Health providers play a vital role in helping elder abuse victims realise that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and to create a safe environment for reporting and response. This project will help to change the rhetoric around elder abuse, both in health care settings and in our society at large.”
The ENJOY Seniors Exercise Park IMP-ACT project (IMProving older people’s health through physical ACTivity), led by Professor Pazit Levinger, is designed to increase participation in physical activity to improve health outcomes for older people in Victoria.

ENJOY IMP-ACT aims to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing and social connectedness of older people as well as build capacity and engagement within local health providers, seniors groups and community members to maintain sustainability long term. Five local governments will implement evidence-based, physical and social activity programs utilising specialised outdoor exercise equipment (the Seniors Exercise Park) for older people.

A number of external projects involving NARI researchers also received MRFF funding, including:
  • Implementation of a co-designed exercise and fall prevention program for older people from CALD backgrounds – University of Melbourne
  • EMBED: A stepped wedge cluster randomised trial of a tailored, integrated model of care to reduce symptoms of depression in home aged care – Monash University
  • Residential Aged Care - Enhanced Dementia Diagnosis – Monash University
  • A Preventative Care Program to optimise mental health during transition into residential aged care – The University of Newcastle.
NARI Executive Director, Professor Briony Dow, says the MRFF grants confirm these projects have real potential to improve outcomes for older Australians. “As the national leader in ageing research, we produce evidence, tools and resources designed to improve health and aged care systems, and inspire best practice public policy in the health and aged care sector,” Professor Dow said. “Thank you to the Medical Research Future Fund for funding our important work so we can continue to deliver better outcomes for older Australians.”
Major Grant awarded to implement new technology to improve- home care for older Australians

The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and leading in-home care provider, Silverchain, have received significant funding from Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA), to support the advancement of in-home care.

The ARIIA grant – which is focused on supporting projects in areas of urgent and critical need – will provide almost $150,000 to the Implementing Technology-Supported Home-Based Care for Older Australians project, which aims to innovate the delivery of home care in Australia.

Project lead, NARI Associate Professor Frances Batchelor, says integrating technology into the delivery of home care will help alleviate strain on the aged care workforce.

“New thinking and solutions are required to bolster our aged care system. By adopting multidisciplinary methods for providing care, we can improve staff capacity and capability,” Associate Professor Batchelor said.

Using co-design methods, NARI and Silverchain will identify the technological capacity of the aged care workforce to integrate technology into the care they provide in the home.
Associate Professor Tuan Anh Nguyen, Associate Professor Frances Batchelor and Professor Bianca Brijnath led a delegation from NARI to Vietnam in November to present at the 3rd National Conference on Gerontology and Geriatrics in Hanoi. They presented on Falls Prevention, Digital Health in Dementia and the e-DiVA project. A key component of their official travel included the signing of three MOUs with key Vietnamese partners in health and social care, opening the way for productive international collaboration and partnership for NARI. Their visit was featured in news coverage on Vietnamese national television.
The MOU's include:
  1. The National Geriatric Hospital and Vietnam Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, for collaboration in a number of areas starting with falls prevention in hospitals.
  2. Help Age International Vietnam office (HAIV - an NGO) for collaboration in applying intergeneration Self-help club (ISHC) model of home-based community care for the most vulnerable elderly and low socio- economic demographic sectors of the population. This collaboration will help in developing a new model of care for people with dementia in communities at the grassroots level.
  3. The Health Strategy and Policy Institute, Ministry of Health of Vietnam, whose function is to advise the Minister for Health in making policy in the Vietnamese health sector. This collaboration will involve providing evidence towards development of Law on Population Health, which has been put in the agenda of the Vietnam National Assembly for policy development in 2023. 

NARI is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana to collaborate with its Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD). Research to be undertaken includes healthy ageing, special needs of the aged, institutional support for the aged, dementia, elder abuse, falls prevention and other relevant areas. It provides an excellent opportunity to expand NARI’s research collaborations and academic networks in Africa.

NARI was proud to be a gold sponsor of the NARI 55th AAG Conference 22-25 November and welcomed the opportunity to support and collaborate with AAG and their members. Here are some of the staff who attended and presented at the conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC).


This year's invited speakers included the 2022 Gary Andrews International Fellow Professor Ngaire Kerse. Professor Kerse is the Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well and Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care at the University of Auckland. Ngaire is a practicing GP and Director of the University of Auckland’s Research Centre for Co-Created Ageing Research (CCREATE-AGE). She is the President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG). 

Ngaire’s research encompasses aged health care, geriatrics and gerontology, primary health care, injury prevention, and health promotion. Her current research includes a bicultural longitudinal study of octogenarians in New Zealand, and a review of developments in primary care of older people over the last decade.


Professor Kerse's AAG presentation image courtesy of AAG
After 10 years of dedicated service NARI farewelled two of its long serving staff in November, senior research fellow Dr Kirsten Moore and outgoing Chief Executive Officer David Rischbieth.

Kirsten returned to NARI in 2020 after six years working at the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL in London where she focused on dementia and palliative care. In the UK she completed an Alzheimer’s Society senior fellowship on grief and preparation for end of life in family carers of people with dementia. Kirsten has been involved in developing resources for implementing evidence including an animation about carer grief, a decision aid for family carers during COVID-19 and environmental audit tools to enable more suitable hospital and residential aged care environments for older people and people living with dementia. We wish her well in her new position.
David Rischbieth has led the development and  establishment of  robust and reliable finance systems at NARI and his input into strategic and business development has been invaluable.  He has also been an astute and generous colleague to many at NARI, providing insight and support for contracts and research budget development and negotiations.  David Rischbieth is leaving to pursue his other many and varied roles and pursuits after a decade of valued service to the National Ageing Research Institute.
The National Ageing Research Institute has welcomed the Albanese Government’s first Federal Budget.

Professor Briony Dow, Director of NARI, said the Budget is an important step towards fixing Australia's aged care system. “The Budget includes reforms for aged care in Australia, and an emphasis on dignity and respect for older people,” Professor Dow said.

“NARI looks forward to working with Minister Mark Butler and Minister Anika Wells and the Department of Health and Aged Care to continue to provide high quality research to support improved policies and practices in aged care in Australia. “The acknowledgement of human rights and dignity firmly places the older person and quality of life at the centre of the reform agenda.

“Measures such as a Code of Conduct for all staff, regional stewardship, better qualified staff, and more support for older First Nations Peoples and those from diverse communities in residential aged care are a welcome demonstration of this focus.”

Read further details on the Government funding for Aged Care here.

Seminars in Ageing: The limits and ethics of autonomy and choice in older people who are care-dependent
6 December 12.00pm AEDT

Presenters: Professor Joan Ostaszkiewicz, Professor Katie Featherstone, and Dr Tiina Vaittinen
Register for the webinar here.

About the presentation
This special end-of-year seminar brings together three researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds whose research draws attention to the limits and ethics of autonomy and choice in older people who require assistance with everyday personal care, particularly transgressive intimate care. The researchers present findings from their individual programs of research that illuminate cultures of care in institutional care settings that privilege practices of containment, restriction, and restraint and inadvertently undermine the autonomy of people who are care-dependent. Using continence care as an exemplar, they will argue for an ethic of care that recognises the reciprocity inherent in caregiving relationships and reframing the concept of autonomy to accommodate the needs and dependency of the care-dependent individual and upholds their dignity. Further information about the presenters and the seminar can be accessed here.
Professional Development Workshops         

NARI hosts online professional development workshops through the year on a range of issues affecting an older population. All workshops are interactive and based on the most up to date evidence based research. They are designed to equip the participant with skills and knowledge to directly apply to their own practice.

Upcoming professional development workshops are advertised here and by email. If you receive updates about NARI's education program please contact the Education Coordinator at NARI.

If you are interested in commissioning a professional development program for your organisation, please contact the Education Coordinator at NARI
Wishing you a happy & healthy festive season.
Warmest wishes from all of us at NARI
Follow NARI
Follow NARI on our social media channels, where we frequently post updates about our work, events, and achievements.

          National Ageing Research Institute

            National Ageing Research Institute

NARI has a new YouTube page. Here, you can find videos, including:

  • NARI’s research on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled art centres
  • Moving Pictures, an innovative multi-media project with films co-produced with people from CALD backgrounds to raise dementia awareness
  • Short films that exemplify best-practice responses to cases of elder abuse in the context of dementia
  • The ENJOY Seniors Exercise Park, which has a range of outdoor exercise equipment designed for older people to help improve health
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