Physical Activity Prevalence and Correlates Among New Zealand Older Adults

Source: Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity

The world’s aging population has stimulated the need to investigate ‘everyday’ activities that can prolong independence and reduce the impact of aging on health systems and people’s quality of life (World Health Organization, 2015). One example is physical activity, for which the benefits for older adults’ mental, cognitive, and physical health are well-established (reviewed in Bauman, Merom, Bull, Buchner, & Fiatarone Singh, 2016). According to current evidence-based guidelines from the World Health Organization (2016) and US Department of Health and Human Services (2008), older adults (aged 65 years and over) can gain notable health benefits by engaging in as little as 2.5 hr of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) each week. Guidelines from several other jurisdictions (including New Zealand and The Netherlands) specify further that the 2.5 hr total should be achieved via bouts of at least 30 min of activity on 5 days each week (Government of the Netherlands, 2016; Ministry of Health, 2013).
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OnApril 29, 2019, posted in: News by

Objective Benefits, Participant Perceptions and Retention Rates of a New Zealand Community-based, Older-adult Exercise Programme

Source: Journal of Primary Health Care

Much research has demonstrated the benefits of exercise for older adults.1–3 However, most of these studies have been conducted in hospital or university settings, with relatively few involving existing community-based exercise programmes. While a number of international studies have demonstrated a range of significant functional, health and wellbeing effects of community-based exercise programmes for older adults,4–6 little data is available in New Zealand.

New Zealand–based researchers have developed and evaluated a number of effective older-adult community-based exercise programmes – for example, the Otago Exercise Programme7 and the Green Prescription.8 While these programmes have many benefits for their target populations, they are not necessarily group-based. This is important, as many older adults prefer group activities because they provide opportunities for socialisation in addition to the reported physical benefits.
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OnApril 29, 2019, posted in: News by

Health Professional Student Education Related to the Prevention of Falls in Older People – A Survey of Universities in Australia and New Zealand

Source: Australian Journal on Ageing

Around one-third of people aged over 65 years fall each year. The multifactorial nature of falls means that fall prevention interventions can be delivered by a range of health professionals in a range of settings.  Relevant professionals may include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, social workers, optometrists, podiatrists and exercise physiologists. One barrier to widespread implementation of appropriate fall prevention interventions is a lack of knowledge among health professionals about effective strategies. A potential solution lies in the targeted delivery of information regarding fall prevention and management within undergraduate and postgraduate university programs for all health professional students.

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OnApril 29, 2019, posted in: News by

Faecal Incontinence in Older  People in Australia and New Zealand: A Narrative Review

Source: Australia & New Zealand Continence Journal

The International Continence Society (ICS) defines faecal incontinence (FI) as “the involuntary loss of liquid or solid stool that is a social or hygienic problem”. Anal incontinence encompasses the definition of FI with the addition of involuntary loss of flatus. Older adults in the community and residential aged care in Australia and New Zealand were the focus of this review because age is a well-recognised risk factor2. Ageing alters the cellular make-up of the intestinal mucosa and structural changes in the anorectum impair motility. The aim of this review was to describe the current literature pertaining to prevalence, assessment and diagnosis, and well-being of people diagnosed with FI in an Australian and New Zealand context and to compare this with international data.

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OnMarch 28, 2019, posted in: News by

How Does it Feel to be a Problem? Patients’ Experiences of Self-management Support in New Zealand and Canada

Source: Wiley Online Library

Health systems risk being overwhelmed by the significant impact of long-term conditions – the healthcare equivalent to climate change.” Ongoing illness is affecting a growing number of older people, especially those who are poor and belong to ethnic minorities. Many experience multiple concurrent conditions that require complex care with different treatments and involve a range of various health-care providers. People with long-term conditions often feel they are a problem, a burden to themselves, their family, friends and even health providers. Patients, and providers, often struggle to “control” long-term conditions and “failed management” is repeatedly cast as a patient problem, even though providers can have deficits in knowledge and confidence, face time constraints and find care coordination a challenge. There is an urgent need to transform how community-based primary health care supports people with long-term conditions to self-manage, take more control over their health and improve their health outcomes. Providers must be aware
of patients’ needs and preferences to be effective in improving patients’ health, defined as the “ability to adapt and to self-manage.”

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OnMarch 28, 2019, posted in: News by

Current Bowel Care Practices in Spinal Cord Units in Australia and New Zealand: A Prospective, Cross-sectional Survey


Source: Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association (JARNA)

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a catastrophic injury that alters the life trajectory of those who are affected by it. Its causes are either traumatic (external events, such as road crashes and falls) or non-traumatic (internal events, such as infection and disease).  Typically, traumatic SCI is an injury incurred by young men aged 15–24 years while engaged in sports or leisure activities, with land transport crashes (especially involving users of motor bikes, bicycles and quad-bikes, and pedestrians) being very common (AIHW: Tovell, 2018). More recently, however, there has been an increasing number of fall-related SCIs in the 65 and over age group (AIHW: Tovell, 2018).

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OnMarch 28, 2019, posted in: News by

A Cross-Sectional Study of Coping Resources and Mental Health of Chinese Older Adults in the United States

Source: Taylor & Francis Online

The Asian population is the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). But they are much less studied compared to African American and Hispanic populations in mental health issues (Kuo, Chong, & Joseph, 2008). As the largest sub-population of Asian Americans, Chinese elderly in the United States have been found to have higher anxiety symptoms, higher sense of loneliness,  and similar or higher depression prevalence rates than the general American older populations (Chang, Beck, Simon, & Dong, 2014; Chen et al., 2013; Dong, Chen, & Simon, 2014; Simon, Chang, Zhang, Ruan, & Dong, 2014). Besides this descriptive information, our knowledge about protective and risk factors of Chinese older adults’ mental health is still largely limited to studies in China or small, non-probability samples of Chinese elderly in the United States (Chang et al., 2014; Kuo et al., 2008).

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OnFebruary 28, 2019, posted in: News by

The Relationship Between Self-Reported Health and Mental Health Problems Among Older Adults in New Zealand – Experiential Avoidance as a Moderator

Source: Routledge Aging and Mental Health Research

This study sought to examine the influence of experiential avoidance (EA) as a moderating variable between reported physical health problems and anxiety and depression among older adults. Experiential avoidance has been found in previous studies to be strongly associated with a number of psychological disorders in younger adults but has received minimal attention in older populations. Two-hundred-and-eight individuals from New Zealand between the ages of 70 and 92 years old participated in this study. The Geriatric Anxiety Inventory, the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire were used to measure anxiety, depression and EA, respectively. It was hypothesized that self-reported health (SRH) and EA would be associated with depression and anxiety at the zero order level. We also hypothesized that EA would be a unique predictor of depression and anxiety and would moderate the relationships between SRH and both depression and anxiety. Multiple regression analyses indicated that EA explained 8% of the unique variance in depression, 20% in anxiety and moderated the relationships between SRH and both depression and anxiety. This study also found that the relationships involving EA were more pronounced with anxiety as compared with depression in this elderly sample. The theoretical and practical applications of these findings are discussed.

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OnFebruary 28, 2019, posted in: News by

NZAG & AUTCAA present Professor Simon Biggs & Dr Irja Haapala-Biggs

Workshop on ‘Dementia in the Public Domain: findings of a three-year research study and future directions’.

Saturday, 6 April 2019
10:00am – 1:00pm
AUT North Shore Campus, Room AJ100

Professor Simon Biggs -Professor of Social Gerontology and Social Policy

Dr Irja Haapala-Biggs – Senior Research Fellow Dementia in the Public Domain – NHMRC project

‘Dementia in the Public Domain’ consists of three year’s research aiming to look at the public perception of dementia and how campaigning can better reflect key perspectives on it as a social issue

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OnFebruary 26, 2019, posted in: Gerontology Events, Home page feature, News by

Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering – Review of Community Contributions in Later Life

Source: Centre for Ageing Better

The review of Community Contributions in Later Life was led by the Centre for Ageing Better in partnership with the Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). The review ran from October 2017 to June 2018. Its remit was to consider how to enable more people to contribute their skills, time and knowledge to their communities in later life (defined as aged 50 and over) with a focus on how to increase participation among underrepresented groups, especially poorer people and those in poor health or living with long-term health conditions.

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OnDecember 4, 2018, posted in: Home page feature, News by