Health and Wellbeing in Ageing

  • Principal Investigators

    Dr Hamish Jamieson

    University of Otago

    Reducing social isolation with big data

    “Risk Factors in Reduced Social Engagement” (Phase One project) found many challenging social factors and loneliness in older people, and early entry into aged residential care facilities. The current project will apply more sophisticated research techniques to look for longitudinal patterns and possible causal relationships leading to the risk factors identified in the Phase One project. Findings from this project will have the potential to be used to modify the care plans of the 120,000 older New Zealanders who have an assessment using the interRAI.

    This study was funded under the Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant. 

  • Principal Investigators

    Professor Merryn Gott

    The University of Auckland

    Promoting social connection through challenging public attitudes

    Promoting social connection through challenging public attitudes: a participatory project with older people

    The Phase One project, “Social Isolation and Loneliness” explored older people’s understanding and experience of loneliness, social isolation and social connection within the culturally diverse context of New Zealand. This resulted in a 5 minute animation titled Elder Birdsong  incorporating the research core themes. The current project aims to co-create with older people and middle school students a film about later life loneliness and social connectedness, focusing on the potential value of inter-generational social connection.

    This study was funded under Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant. 

  • Principal Investigators

    Dr Ofa Dewes

    The University of Otago

    Building connections as we age

    Building connections as we age: From younger carers to societies

    This intergenerational family caring phenomenon was identified as a significant area for future research in Dr Dewe’s Phase One project, “Tāpinga ‘a Maama: Pacific Life and Death in Advanced Age.” The current project aims to provide new evidence-based information to address the needs of younger carers caring for older adults to support the development of more effective and efficient provisions of responsive healthcare and social support services. This should produce better health, education and employment outcomes.

    This study was funded under Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant. 

  • Principal Investigators

    Associate Professor Michal Boyd

    The University of Auckland

    Developing an early warning system to recognise resident deterioration in residential aged care

    This work extends on the “Neurodegeneration and Individualised Interventions” project which used a co-design approach to develop the Frailty Care Guides. These guides were successfully completed and have recently been disseminated nationally. The current project seeks to complement the Frailty Care Guides by developing an evidence-based and user-friendly, Early Warning System (EWS) for early identification of residential deterioration in residential aged care (RAC). Currently, no systematic EWS exists for RAC in New Zealand.

    This study was funded under Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant. 

  • Principal Investigators

    Professor Ngaire Kerse

    The University of Auckland

    Ageing Well through Eating, Sleeping, Socialising and Mobility Programme (AWESSoM)

    Loss of independence is a key concern for older people of all nationalities. The AWESSOM programme integrates projects across population groups to maximise independence and push back the threshold of disability. A new LifeCurve TM phone app focussing on the way difficulties with daily activities are acquired will suggest to the user (older person) solutions to maintain or recover function. A social connector is developed to maximise utility of community resources for social engagement. Māori and Pacific people co-create health programmes to meet their needs and evaluation ensures impact. Care homes will trial a comprehensive oral health and cognitive stimulation programme. A new way of understanding health complexities using big data and novel analyses will lead to new treatment strategies to tackle complex multimorbidities. Themes of healthy sleep, oral health, mobility and cognition, complement social capital and community integration in a balanced programme involving older people across the ability spectrum.

    The AWESSoM team consists of teams from the University of Auckland, University of Otago, Tū Ora Compass Health, Allied Health Scientific and Technical Bay of Plenty District Health Board, The Centre for Health, Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, and Newcastle University in the UK.

  • Principal Investigators

    Dr Ruth Teh

    The University of Auckland

    Towards Optimising Vitality in Older Adults

    The aim of this project is to co-design a lifestyle intervention programme – “Ageing Well in Outdoor Gym” (AWinOG) with older Māori. Kaumātua will be involved in developing a conceptual framework for the programme at a two-day focus group.  Over a three month period kaumātua will carry out gardening activities and record observations related to strength, balance and flexibility. At the end of three months, the group will reconvene to review the process, data collected and formalise the programme.

    This study was funded under Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant. 

  • Principal Investigators

    Dr Katherine Bloomfield

    The University of Auckland

    Frailty Trajectories, Resilience and Quality of life in the Retirement Village Community

    This research aims to assess:

    • The effects of a multidisciplinary team intervention on frailty trajectories by repeating interRAI-Community Health Assessment (CHA) on the original Retirement Village intervention participants;
    •  Frailty prevalence and trajectories in all Retirement Village Phase One participants; and
    • The relationship between frailty, resilience and quality of life.

    The research will also validate quality of life (QoL) items in interRAI-CHA by a validated QoL tool, and assess the relationship between baseline frailty and healthcare outcomes, such as hospitalisations and entering residential care.

    This study was funded under Ageing Well National Science Challenge Emergent Opportunities grant.