Grants Available for Age-friendly Community Projects

Applications are now open for Community Connects grants.

The Community Connects fund supports communities to become Age-friendly. We offer grants up to $15,000, from an annual budget of $100,000. There are up to two grant rounds each financial year.

The fund supports projects to either:

·         start development of an Age-friendly Communities Plan, or

·         implement an Age-friendly Community project.

Who can apply?

Any New Zealand council, community organisation, or registered not-for-profit organisation can apply. (Non-council applications must have support from their City or District council).

The grant is not open to businesses or individuals.

Closing date

Applications close on 13 October, 2019.

More information

The application form and application guidelines (including evaluation criteria) are available at http://www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/age-friendly-communities/community-connects/community-connects-grants.html

Alternatively, contact us at Community_Connects@msd.govt.nz 

read more
OnAugust 16, 2019, posted in: Gerontology Projects, Home page feature by

Validation of the Nutrition Screening Tool ‘Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition, Version II” Among Octogenarians

Source: The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

Those aged 85 years-plus are the fastest growing age group within the 65-plus population in New Zealand and most live independently in the community. This group are the highest consumers of health and disability expenditure. Older people are known to be at disproportionate risk of malnutrition and have an increased risk of developing health problems as a result of inadequate food and nutrition intake. Nutrition screening allows early identification of those who are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnourished. The detection of impaired nutrition in older adults can be difficult as a wide range of health, social and economic constraints affect the nutrition status of community living older adults. There is no gold standard for the detection of malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults and it remains underdiagnosed and under treated. Whilst a dietitian has the expertise to assess and detect malnutrition, dietetic resources are limited in the community setting. A simple, valid and cost effective method to detect nutrition risk prior to the development of overt malnutrition in people of advanced age is required.

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnJuly 25, 2019, posted in: News by

Caregiving, Ethnicity and Gender in Maori and Non-Maori New Zealanders of Advanced Age: Findings from LiLACS NZ Kaiawhina (Love and Support) Study

Source: Australasian Journal on Ageing

Caregiving in home settings is a cornerstone of “ageing in place” policies in New Zealand and many other countries. Families and neighbours have long been the primary source of care for people in advanced age although, for social and demographic reasons, the pool of informal (usually unpaid) caregivers is diminishing even as need becomes greater. Ongoing shifts in the balance of care away from residential institutions are occurring and, while more home support services are now provided, informal caregiving remains the backbone of home care.

Research is fundamental to the development of policies providing supports to assist older people to live well at home even with frailty, disability or illness. Due to the gendered nature of caregiving, identifying patterns of sex and ethnicity in informal caregiving should be part of this research effort.  The Kaiāwhina (Love and Support) study, a sub‐study of Te Puāwaitanga O Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu/ Life and Living in Advanced Age, a Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ), provides research data that are relevant to understanding how gender and ethnicity relate to informal caregiving.

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnJuly 25, 2019, posted in: News by

Being Well and Wellbeing: Better Understanding of Patient Priorities in Primary Care

Source: The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

General practice in New Zealand (NZ) is facing increasing demands from funders, providers and users of its services. The dynamic environment is not unique internationally, but the NZ health system’s limited resources and challenges of our particular patient demographic, including Māori and Pacific peoples’ health-care access inequality, make consideration of how best to care for our patients and achieve desired health outcomes a critical and perpetual issue.

Doctors are trained in health, disease prevention and treatment, and survival for their patients, to fight the perceived failure that is death. They are monitored and measured against standards of good medical practice. However, they are seldom asked to consider what exactly they are fighting for in their relationships with patients. Wilson and Cunningham discuss the dissonance of the biomedical model, describing a mismatch between the theory and reality of medicine, where the biomedical model is insufficient to achieve whole-person care for patients and creates anomalies that leave both clinicians and patients dissatisfied. Kleinman identifies the dangers of the medical model in its denial of a person’s moral significance through a technical process that only superficially touches on a person. Wilson and Cunningham describe the superiority of a biopsychosocial model of care, coupled with valuing emotional quotient (EQ, the capacity for engaging well with others). A functional doctor–patient relationship is highly dependent on making empathic and caring connections within this model.

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnJuly 25, 2019, posted in: News by

The Dialogic Educational Pathway as a Strategy of Care with Elderly Women in Sexuality

Source: Esc Anna Nery

Discussions around sexuality, although still fraught with prejudices and prohibitions, have long evoked power relations and denounced strategies of control of the individual and of the population, a characteristic of modern society. It turns out, however, that control and power are asymmetrical in gender relations and sexuality is a strong ally in the normalization of female conduct in all age groups, mediated by the control of man.

Regarding elderly women, the domestication of female behavior in the past decades must be considered, coupled with the conception that the elderlies are asexual. This reality implies insufficient health care in this area and needs to be overcome, since sexuality in aging is usually neglected by health professionals due to the lack of preparation and appreciation of the young, healthy and sexually active body in our culture – reinforcement for the prejudice towards sexuality in aging as well as its wider understanding.


Read more here >

read more
OnJune 28, 2019, posted in: News by

Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline And Dementia – WHO Guidelines

Source: World Health Organisation

These new WHO guidelines provide the knowledge base for health care providers, governments, policy-makers and other stakeholders to reduce the risks of cognitive decline and dementia through a public health approach. As many of the risk factors for dementia are 6 shared with those of non-communicable diseases, the key recommendations can be effectively integrated into programmes for tobacco cessation, cardiovascular disease risk reduction and nutrition.


Read more here >

read more
OnJune 28, 2019, posted in: News by

Restrictive Practices in Residential Aged Care in Australia

Source: Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Australia)

The use of restrictive practices in residential aged care in Australia is contentious. There is significant public interest in the issue of restraint and ways to reduce or avoid it. Numerous media reports and inquiries have highlighted accounts of the misuse or overuse of physical restraint and psychotropic medication. This includes personal accounts from members of the public about residents being physically restrained frequently, or for long periods of time, or restrained without consent.

Read more here >

read more
OnJune 28, 2019, posted in: News by

Living into Death: a Case for an Iterative, Fortified and Cross-sector Approach to Advance Care Planning

Source: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Advance care planning (ACP) has been framed as best practice for quality palliative care, yet a growing body of literature affirms the need for an early iterative ACP process to begin when people are young and healthy. A significant gap appears to exist in the literature regarding the utility of death conversations outside the end-of-life context. Could ‘death conversations’ early in life be an effective tool by which doctor and patient can co-construct a more healthful way of life, and realistic relationship with death? And what variables must be taken into account for these conversations to proceed successfully? This paper provides a narrative exploration of the value of death conversations in the clinical context in New Zealand. Five exemplars are discussed, drawn from a sample of 21 semi-structured interviews with young older adults (54–65 years old) not receiving palliative care or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Together, these narratives indicate that further community consultation is required to determine culturally appropriate ways to initiate productive conversations around aging, death and dying and how to build patient/practitioner/family relationships which allow these conversations to happen safely. There is a need to acknowledge the important factor of culture related to age, generation, sex, faith and ethnicity when engaging in conversations about aging, death and dying. By doing so, health professionals will be best equipped to assist their patients to live well into death.

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnMay 27, 2019, posted in: News by

Temporal Trends in the Utilisation of Preventive Medicines by Older People: A 9-year Population-based Study

Source: Elsevier

Preventive medicines focus on preserving health, preventing diseases and managing the well-being of communities and defined populations (Miettinen, 2014). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated the benefits of prescribing preventive medicines in the general population; however older people are often under-represented in these trials, particularly those aged 65 years and older. Evidence-based guidelines for prescribing preventive medicines are formulated from these RCTs therefore making it difficult to extrapolate the findings to the older population with multimorbidity (Calderon-Larranaga et al., 2012; Iyer, Naganathan, McLachlan, & Le Couteur, 2008). Importantly, evidence-based guidelines are population based and do not take into consideration individual variations, multiple co-morbidities and individual preferences. Hence reviewing the treatment needs of older people taking multiple medicines can be a multifaceted task. Continuing preventive including antithrombotics, cholesterol-lowering medicines and bone preserving agents until the end-of-life potentially increases the likelihood of adverse events (Best Practice Advocacy Centre, 2010).

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnMay 27, 2019, posted in: News by

Falls and Depression in Octogenarians – Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand

Source: Journal of Primary Health Care

New Zealand, like many countries, has an ageing population, with an increasing proportion of people in the older age groups and a declining proportion of children. The population aged 65 years and over has increased from 11% of the total population in 1991 to 13% in 2009 and is expected to reach 21% by 2031. Correspondingly, the number of people aged 65 years and over is projected to increase from ~550,000 in 2009 to 1 million in the late 2020s. The number of people aged 85 years and over is projected to increase from 67,000 in 2009 to 144,000 in 2031, then more than double to ~330,000 by 2061.

Falls in older adults are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly population, and up to one-third of adults aged over 65 years fall yearly; 22–60% of people aged 65+ years are injured yearly from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation and account for 40% of injury-related deaths.

Click here > to read more.

read more
OnMay 27, 2019, posted in: News by