News & Events
Stay up to date with the latest details about news and events at the Centre.
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- International Women’s Day: Dr Helen Barrie. To celebrate the great contributions of women in research we shine the spotlight on Dr Helen Barrie, chief investigator of the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th 2018 we interviewed Dr Helen Barrie, chief investigator of the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing leading the Demography and Geography aspects of the research.
Helen was the National President of the Australian Association of Gerontology (2015 – 2017), having served for over 10 years on the National Board. She is the Deputy Director of the Hugo Centre for Migration and Population Research at the University of Adelaide.
What drew you to research?
Before going back to studies my previous career had been in community development. Working closely with communities is a very rewarding and enriching experience but it also gets you asking lots of ‘why’ and ‘what if’ questions. I see my research in the Social Sciences as a natural extension of this community based work. It is still about helping people, making a difference and understanding how and why individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities work the way they do.
What has been the best experience you have had so far as a research leader?
My first large project as research leader was a natural extension of my PhD, looking at older people living in small rural communities in South Australia. The larger project looked at how new technologies, such as laptops and iPads™, could enable older people to remain connected to their communities and families. I got to spend about seven years engaged with wonderful people and communities across the Murray Mallee and Riverland regions – in fact I am still doing research on new migrants groups across this region today! The most rewarding thing about this project was seeing the difference things like Skype and email could make to people’s lives. Over 10 years later and I still get emails, Facebook™ messages and play ‘Words with Friends’ with participants from this project. They still tell me how much richer their lives are from this project. It’s a rare thing when your research can make such a direct impact on participants’ lives and that you get to share that for so many years.
What is one thing you would like to share with female researchers?
I started my research career as a mature woman, a single mother of three teenage boys with a part time job and it wasn’t easy! As I get older I have replaced those parenting duties for caring duties – with an ageing mother and a grandchild and the part time job is now a full time research career that often involves long hours. It is tough – juggling a demanding career that will easily eat up all your time with research projects, grant applications, journal writing, teaching and mentoring others. It is tough but it is possible – hang on to the dream of having it all and take up all the opportunities that are offered to you; but also, be kind to yourself and put those opportunities and work demands into perspective – take time for family and friends and doing the things you love. What has helped me keep a good life balance is putting my career into perspective – I value what I do, in fact I love what I do - but it is not all I am or could be, just one part of the whole picture.
Which women in your life inspired/mentored you?
My mother definitely tops this list. She was an early example of women who returned to a career (as a teacher) after she had children. We were still quite small when she went back to work and then juggled further education, three children and a full time job for several years, and yet I never felt that we missed out on family life as children. Today she is a very independent and engaged 85 years old, living in her own home, still volunteering, actively engaged in many groups, and contributing positively to her community. She is a great example of how to live a full life and age well.
In my work life I have been lucky enough to work with some wonderful women who have mentored me, supported me, inspired me and who have been a pleasure to work with. One of the advantages of being in the field of Geography is that we tend to form part of very interdisciplinary groups, so I have had the opportunity to work with inspirational women in Medicine, Architecture, Public Health, Psychology and Planning as well as Geography. I feel very proud to have worked alongside such inspiring researchers, who are also terrific mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers.
The CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing would like to thank Helen for sharing her story with us and for inspiring the next generation of female researcher leaders.
- Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak joins the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing. With Prof RenukaVisvanathan.
Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak (former CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing PhD student) recently completed her PhD with the Adelaide G-TRAC Centre, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide. Dr Jadczak has just started her postdoctoral position within the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing research group lead by Prof Renuka Visvanathan.
Her PhD investigated various strategies to treat and prevent frailty in community-dwelling older people. She focused on medical education programs, exercise advice provided by general practitioners and the impact of exercise programs combined with nutritional approach.
Dr Jadczak is currently coordinating the EXPRESS Study (EXercise and PRotein Effectiveness Supplementation Study), a community based intervention study in cooperation with CSIRO. She is investigating the feasibility and the effects of exercise in combination with protein supplementation on physical function in frail older adults. The study is expected to finish mid this year.
Dr Jadczak also continues her research into exercise advice provided by general practitioners and the impact of medical education programs, and will focus on exercise prescription in clinical practice as a strategy to treat, prevent and delay frailty in our community in her new role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
- Congratulations to Dr Ivanka Hendrix.Dr Hendrix starts a new position at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
L-R: Jane Mussared, Dr Ivanka Hendrix and Prof Renuka Visvanathan at the 2017 Research Showcase
The CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing wishes hearty congratulations to Dr Ivanka Hendrix on her new position as Deputy Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Dr Hendrix had been working as a postdoctoral research fellow with the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing with a research focus on the quality use of medicine in older people.
“I have really enjoyed working with the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. It was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a number of experts in the area of deprescribing of medications in Older People but also to work closely with consumers and to be involved in consumer education” said Dr Hendrix.
During her time with the centre Dr Hendrix was also the convener of the 2017 Frailty and Healthy Ageing Research Showcase, a community event that allowed members of the public to hear the latest in frailty and healthy ageing research and to chat directly with researchers.
Dr Ivanka Hendrix has previously worked as a senior clinical pharmacist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Older Person's Mental Health unit and lecturer in applied pharmacology at the School of Nursing, the University of Adelaide. She was also clinical educator of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Pharmacy Department and involved in teaching of both medical and pharmacy students.
The CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing would like to thank Dr Hendrix for her work with the CRE and wish her all the best in her fantastic new role.
- Dr Beatriz Martins heads to Nagoya Japan. Recipient of the Beacon of Enlightenment PhD Scholarship, geriatrician and international PhD Student.
L-R Dr Beatriz Martins with colleagues Clare Mc Nally, Dr Agathe Jadczak and Dr Joanne Dollard
Dr Beatriz Martins, recipient of the Beacon of Enlightenment PhD Scholarship, is currently doing a Joint PhD Program between the University of Nagoya and the University of Adelaide. She began her studies in Adelaide during 2016 with supervisors and CRE investigators Professor Renuka Visvanathan (director A&ECS, GTRAC and lead investigator CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing, University of Adelaide) and Dr Helen Barrie (Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide). The aim of her research is investigating if the development of frailty is correlated with the environment of older adults. In Adelaide, she conducted a cross sectional study looking into correlations between the perceptions of the built environment and frailty status, physical activity levels and body composition.
With the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing, Beatriz had the opportunity to recruit study participants, and conduct with clinical assessments and body composition analysis with recently bought Bio-impedance Analyser. This analysis will enable to make comparisons between the Adelaide’s sample of participants and a Japanese cohort of older adults. During her time in Adelaide, Beatriz had the opportunity to engage with consumers through community talks, a radio interview and scientific presentations that truly helped improving the quality of her research and shape the project to meet with local interests.
In February this year she (along with her husband and 2 well-travelled cats Hiro and Aiko) will move from Adelaide to Nagoya, Japan. There, she will complete the final part of her study Physical Activity and Frailty: Exploring Cross- cultural and Neighbourhood Influences. She is most looking forward to experiencing the ancient Japanese culture, and learn from the older country in the world. She will definitely miss the friends and colleagues she has met in Adelaide.
- Dr Asangi Jayatilaka joins the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing. With A/Prof Mellick Chehade and Prof RenukaVisvanathan.
Dr Jayatilaka received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Adelaide in 2017. Her PhD used qualitative descriptive designs to explore the need for technology for promoting nutritional health in older people living with dementia in their homes. Her work looked at understanding perceptions of care workers recruited from the aged care industry as stakeholder views are crucial for technologies to be effective and accepted by users. She obtained reliable insights for designing such technologiesand identified eleven considerations for developing effective technologies for older people and care workers. Her thesis presents two technology development demonstrations as a stepping stone for future technology development.
Asangi is excited about research related to human factors in computing, especially in the direction of health-related technology development. She is also interested in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, data mining and machine learning. Apart from her research, she has also experience in teaching at Australian and overseas universities and has experience working as a business analyst in an international software engineering company.
We are looking forward to seeing what interesting insights Dr Jayatilaka will bring to frailty and healthy ageing research in the future.
- The Frailty & Healthy Ageing Research Showcase. Community event to showcase the research taking place in the field.
On Friday 8th of September The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing, TQEH Aged and Extended Care Services and the Adelaide Geriatrics Training & Research with Aged Care Centre hosted a community event to showcase the wide range of research taking place in the field of frailty and healthy ageing. The event was held at the beautiful Adelaide Pavilion in Veale Gardens and was hosted by Jane Mussared, the chief executive of Council on the Ageing SA (COTA SA).
The keynote speaker, Prof Mary Luszcz is a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Gerontology at the Flinders University School of Psychology and the Director of the Flinders Centre for Ageing Studies. Her vast body of research aimed to identify personal, psychological and social/environmental resources that promote ageing well. Professor Luszcz’s presentation ‘How I survived 40 years of research on Ageing’ was a fascinating and entertaining discussion covering highlights from her broad career in research in the field of ageing.
In the morning session was a series of 8 short seminars across a diverse range of topics in ageing from oral health, environment and neighbourhoods, frailty screening, lung function and muscle loss and even to frailty screening work being undertaken in neighbouring Malaysia. The speakers included higher degree students as well as early and mid-career research fellows.
After lunch there was a table top session where a researcher was assigned to each table to discuss their research work in a more informal setting. This allowed guests to ask questions and have important conversations about the research and give feedback to the
researchers. After 10 minutes the researchers would rotate to a new table and discuss their work. The session was great fun and both guests and speakers got thoroughly absorbed in the activities with lots of discussion and in depth questions being asked.
The event was made possible by generous funding from Resthaven Inc and we would like to thank them for allowing us the opportunity to share our research.
- Farewell from Dr Maarit Korhonen. Epidemiologist, pharmacist and pharmacoepidemiology research fellow with the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing returns to Finland.
Dr. Maarit Korhonen is Finnish epidemiologist, pharmacist and pharmacoepidemiology research fellow with the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing who has been working with Professor Simon Bell on a number of pharmacy research projects for the past 18 months. Dr Korhonen will be returning to Finland shortly.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank associate professor Simon Bell and professor Renuka Visvanathan from the CRE for providing me the opportunity to gain insight to the complexity of the clinical situations faced in aged care. After returning to Finland, I have initiated a research project on usage patterns of and outcomes associated with direct anticoagulants funded by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The project is based on administrative healthcare data and the study population comprises older people with atrial fibrillation; thus, the insight gained will be most valuable when designing the outcomes part and assessing the validity of its results.
We wish Dr Korhonen all the best in her fascinating new research.
- Dr Sarah Hosking joins the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing. With Associate Professor Simon Bell .
Dr Sarah Hosking, Research Fellow , Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University
I have recently started work with Associate Professor Simon Bell as a Research Fellow within the Centre for Medication Use and Safety (CMUS) at Monash University and the Centre for Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
I became interested in ageing and health as a PhD student at the Epi-Centre for Healthy Ageing at Deakin University. My recently submitted PhD thesis investigated associations between health literacy (the abilities and supports which enable an individual to manage their health) and uptake of lifestyle related osteoporosis prevention behaviours.
Older adults, who are more likely to be managing comorbidities with often complex treatment plans, are also more likely to have poorer health literacy than their younger counterparts. It’s clear that there are many opportunities to ensure we are health literacy responsive in the way we provide health information and healthcare for this age group. My passion for highlighting the importance of health literacy in health communication and healthcare has lead me to present workshops and lectures on health literacy for clinicians and consumers as well as become an active member of Barwon Health’s Health Literacy Strategic Reference Group.
I have also had the privilege of presenting my research at conferences, both local and international, resulting in a number of awards including a Young Investigator Award at the International Osteoporosis Foundation Asia Pacific Regional conference in 2016 and an IOF-ESCEO UCB Fellowships presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis in 2017.
In my role as Research Fellow at CMUS and the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing I have recently started work on projects related to preventable hospitalisations from residential aged care and am looking forward to working on frailty related projects in the near future.
- The Hospital Research Foundation: Helping in Frailty and Healthy Ageing Research. Equipment Grant provides the CRE Frailty Research team with a bioelectrical impedance analyser.
Dr Beatriz Martins from the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing was the first researcher within the Basil Hetzel Institute to use the new InBody 570 analyser purchased with an equipment grant from The Hospital Research Foundation.
A person’s weight consists not only of fat but also of water, bone and muscle. All these tissues contribute to a person’s health and well-being. The InBody 570 provides a fast and accurate method of multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis of over 40 parameters relevant to a person’s body composition.
Dr Martins is using the analyser for her study on the influence of the neighbourhood’s environment on healthy ageing. She will look at the body composition of older South Australians, as well as other physiological parameters, to determine its’ relationship with local environment and the development of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) and frailty. As we age the proportion of fat mass against muscle mass changes, and this may contribute for loss of independence, increase risk of falls, reduced quality of life and increased likelihood of death. Finding the connection between how body composition changes occur in the elderly population with the environment may help us understand how sarcopenia and frailty develops in our communities.
This new analyser makes this type of research possible and will be essential to many researchers using biometric measures of research within the BHI.
- Agathe Jadczak Receives Travel Award from International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics . 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, San Francisco.
Agathe Jadczak received a Travel Award from the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) to support her attending the 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics held in San Francisco 23-27th July 2017. The IAGG Council of Student Organisations awards these grants to students or trainees who show outstanding potential to make significant contributions in gerontology and geriatrics and demonstrate specifically how travel assistance for the World Congress will further develop their potential. Congratulations Agathe.
- The CRE Frailty at the 21st World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics.The research team attended the conference in San Francisco.
The researchers of the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing went to attend and present at the 21st World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics hosted by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics. This years theme was “Global Aging and Health: Bridging Science, Policy, and Practice” and the conference was held in San Francisco.
Our team led a number of conference events including poster presentations on frailty and falls research; papers on chronic conditions in older adults and health promotion and prevention in ageing and presentations on recruiting older people at nutritional risk for clinical trials. The highlight for the team was hosting a symposium session on Trans-Disciplinary Research in Frailty to Achieve Healthy Ageing and chaired by CRE researchers Professor Renuka Visvanathan and Dr Olga Theou.
The conference has given the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing team the opportunity to hear from experts from around the globe and to meet with leaders in ageing such as Dr John Beard, the Director Ageing and Life Course at the WHO (pictured in the centre of image at right).
Below are the CRE & Healthy Ageing Newsletters.
This section contains external media articles regarding the centre .
- 'Up-skilling our future doctors in prescribing exercise to older people' - from Informage Dec 2015An article featuring PhD candidate Agathe Jadczak.
Agathe Jadczak was interviewed about her research by Informage magazine (associated with Southern Cross Care). View full article.
See our video content.
- Official Launch of the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing 2016 On The 30th September, 2016 researchers, collaborators, partners and friends of the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing attended the official launch of the Centre.
- Professor Jean Woo - 'Frailty and successful ageing - Two sides of the same coin'. Internationally renowned gerontologist Prof Jean Woo presented at the official launch for the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
See archived news from the Centre.
- Introducing Dr James Smyth.Dr James Smyth, a senior consultant in emergency medicine is undertaking research with the centre.
Dr James Smyth is an senior consultant in emergency medicine who is undertaking a PhD with the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing. He is researching the potential roles of frailty assessment for nursing home residents transferred to the emergency department in the context of the growing aged population, associated emergencies in residential care facilities and multi-disciplinary care. His PhD supervisor is Professor Renuka Visvanathan.
- Artist John Blines joins the Team.John has joined the Centre as resident artist in the School of Nursing under the supervision of Professor Alison Kitson and Dr Mandy Archibald.
John is an artist who will be working closely with the CRE & Healthy Ageing in the Knowledge Translation team led by Prof Alison Kitson. John will explore, as part of a transdisciplinary team, the divide between research and society’s understanding of frailty. John is experienced in the neural research area and very skilled in the communication of health and medical research through the process of creation. In the past he has worked alongside researchers in health, biology and psychology and with patients in The Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. He was able to engage people throughout the process and create meaningful works of art. John will be working with the research team to develop artworks that communicate and express the research being undertaken within the Centre to be shared with a wider audience. We are very excited to welcome John to the team.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing welcomes Michael LawlessMichael has joined the Centre as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Nursing under the supervision of Professor Alison Kitson and Dr Mandy Archibald.
Michael is in the very final stages of his PhD at the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide and he has research interests in the areas of dementia risk-prevention, cognitive ageing, critical and qualitative approaches to health and psychological research, and discourse analysis. Michael will be working with the centre for the next year contributing to the ongoing research activities.
- Dr Kareeann Khow receives a Postgraduate Scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research CouncilOn 4th February, 2017 the NHMRC announced funding for a number of Australia’s world-leading medical researchers and scientists to support their work in making the next major medical breakthrough .
Dr Kareeann Khow received a Postgraduate scholarship to support her project 'Fragility fractures and outcomes in older people'. Falls and broken bones are costly health problems among the elderly, even more so when there is a growing older population aged over 65 years. In Australia, about one million older people have at least one fall each year and about 40–60 per cent will sustain major injuries including broken bones. Dr Khow’s research will identify effective ways to reduce falls and improve outcomes of those who break a bone, especially of the hip.
Dr Khow is a geriatrician undertaking a PhD with the CRE & Healthy Ageing under the supervision of Professor Renuka Visvanathan, Dr Solomon Yu and Dr Pazhvoor Shibu.
- Australian Association of Gerontology conference 20162nd - 4th November researchers from the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing attended the conference in Canberra.
Researchers of the CRE- Frailty and Healthy Ageing attended and presented at the 49th AAG Conference in Canberra, 2nd-4th November. The three day conference program included emerging and experienced researchers, clinicians, leaders and policy makers in a forum to reflect on and re-imagine the incredible potential of the ageing society, now and into the future.
The AAG President is CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing lead investigator Dr Helen Barrie (Feist) and conference scientific committee this year included CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing lead investigator Professor Renuka Visvanathan.
On Wed 2nd Nov international collaborator, gero-kinesiologist and CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing Associate Investigator Dr Olga Theou discussed “Grading frailty in Australian residential aged care facilities” at a table top session. [Pictured right Dr Kandiah Parasivam, Dr Olga Theou and Professor Renuka Visvanathan]
During Thursdays session on Re-imagining service provision: Health policy and Planning session CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing Masters candidate Mark Thompson (pictured below left) gave a great presentation on ‘Frailty Prevalence in North West Adelaide’.
On Friday Nurse Practitioner with the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing Donna Preston attended the conference session on Re-imagining health and disease management: Falls. Donna gave a wonderful presentation about her work on ‘Dancing to avoid falls and increase happiness in residential care’.
Independent chair of the CRE-Frailty and Healthy Ageing advisory board, the Hon Mark Butler MP, also gave a presentation at the event. He gave a speech at the plenary session on ‘Re-imagining Ageing’.
The event was a really great opportunity for our team of researchers and collaborators to meet with other world class investigators to discuss ground-breaking research that will harness the great value of our diverse and ageing population for the benefit of all. We look forward to heading to the AAG Conference again in 2017.
- Dr Mandy Archibald honoured as one of Edmonton's Top 40 Under 40During November Avenue Edmonton magazine released its list of the best and brightest to watch.
CRE Post-doctoral researcher and artist, Dr Mandy Archibald has been honoured by Avenue Edmonton magazine as one of Edmonton's Top 40 Under 40. The list honours the best and brightest young people in the city of Edmonton, Canada, who have all accomplished great things before they’ve hit their 40th birthdays.
As the new knowledge translation focused postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre of Research Excellence on Frailty and Healthy Ageing, we are very excited to see what she will do in the future.
- Channel 9 Story on CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing ResearchDuring October reporter Rebecca Stanley interviewed members of the centre about their vital research.
Prof Renuka Visvanathan and third year PhD candidate Agathe Jadczak were interviewed by Rebecca about research being undertaken by the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
PhD candidate Agathe, a sports scientist originally from Germany, was asked about her work on the EXercise and PRotein Effectiveness Supplementation Study (The EXPRESS Study). This study looks at exercise in combination with an increased protein intake to improve physical function in older people. Her study participants John and Judy were interviewed about taking part in the study program of diet and exercise.
Lead investigator of the centre, Professor Renuka Visvanathan, discussed the importance of recognising frailty as a public health issue and that a key priority of the centre is to prevent and reverse frailty so that people can achieve healthy ageing.
- Visiting International Researcher Prof Masafumi KuzuyaOn October 17th international researcher Prof Masafumi Kuzuya visited the CRE for Frailty and Healthy Ageing in Adelaide.
Prof Kuzuya is head of the Community Healthcare and Geriatrics branch in the Medicine in Growth and Ageing Laboratory department at Nagoya University (Nagoya, Japan). His department conducts research encompassing a wide spectrum of Older Adult medical care. He and Prof Renuka Visvanathan co-supervise the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing PhD Student and Beacon Scholarship recipient, Dr Beatriz Martins.
During his visit Prof Kuzuya, Prof Visvanathan and Dr Martins attended the Freiburg/Adelaide/Nagoya Annual Symposium hosted by The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide. Prof Kuzuya presented his work on ‘Frailty Cohort Study：Nagoya-longitudinal Study for Healthy Elderly (NLS-HE)’ and Professor Renuka Visvanathan presented her research on ‘Multi-disciplinary Frailty Research’.
- Official Launch of the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy AgeingOn Friday 30th September the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing held its official launch at Sanctuary in the Adelaide Zoo.
The Hon Mark Butler MP (independent chair of the CRE advisory committee), emeritus Professor Derek Frewin AO (independent chair of the CRE management committee) and Chief Investigator of the CRE Professor Renuka Visvanathan hosted principal frailty researchers, prominent South Australian leaders, community advocates for healthy ageing, researchers, clinicians and consumers at a fun and informative afternoon.
The event proceedings were hosted by Anne ‘Willsy’ Wills and included video well wishes from Prof John Beard Director of the World Health Organisation's Department of Ageing and Life Course- which has carriage of the WHO Age-friendly Environments Program and WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.
The keynote presentation was delivered by international frailty expert Professor Jean Woo. Prof Woo is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Henry G Leong Research Professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics and Director- Jockey Club Institute of Ageing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong- Hong Kong. The centre was officially launched by the Chancellor of The University of Adelaide, Rear Admiral Kevin John Scarce AC, CSC, RANR.
The Centre of Research in Frailty and Healthy Ageing would like to thank The Hospital Research Foundation and Nestle Health Science for their support for this event. We would also like to thank all those who attended and made it such a wonderful day.
- International Expert Prof Jean Woo visits AdelaideDuring September and October Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Henry G Leong Research Professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics; Director, Jockey Club Institute of Ageing , The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong visited with the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
Since 1985, Prof. Woo has built up parallel streams of research in Geriatrics and Gerontology and nutrition in the Chinese University of Hong Kong with an emphasis on age related chronic diseases and syndromes. Currently she is Director of the Jockey Club Institute of Ageing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Director of the Centre for Nutritional Studies, School of Public Health and Primary Care, and Honorary Consultant of the Prince of Wales and Shatin Hospitals, Hospital Authority.
The centre was lucky enough to host Prof Woo in Adelaide for a number of events including the guest speaker at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital medical grand rounds where she discussed 'Descent into frailty' with researchers and clinical staff. In addition she gave the keynote address at the official launch of the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing at Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo. She also gave a presentation at the Nestlé Health Science dinner in Sydney discussing 'Fighting Frailty in Aged Care - The Role of Nutrition'.
Prof Woo discussed research and potential collaborations with our leading researchers but also kindly took the time to give valuable mentoring advice to students, early career researchers, post doctoral research fellows and clinical staff of the centre.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof Woo for her time during her stay. We also wish to thank Nestle Health Science for supporting her visit.
- Dr Beatriz Martins joins the CentreDr Beatriz Martins is a geriatrician from Brazil who has joined Prof Renuka Visvanathan and Dr Helen Barrie as a PhD student.
I am Dr Beatriz Martins and I am a geriatrician from Brazil. I was awarded a Beacon Scholarship from the University of Adelaide (UoA) to pursue a joint PhD research program with both the UoA and Nagoya University.
My PhD supervisors from UoA are Professor Renuka Visvanathan (geriatrician) and Dr Helen Barrie. My PhD supervisor at Nagoya University is Professor Masafumi Kuzuya (geriatrician).
The process of ageing in our world is a remarkable phenomenon. We have witnessed an incredible increase in life expectancy, and are about to have a higher proportion of older people than children in our population. Being a geriatrician in Brazil has shown me the challenges of ageing well, in a society that is rapidly urbanising but yet, not having the time to prepare for an increasing number of older people. This is very different to developed countries that have had much longer to adapt and develop appropriate care and service models.
Do all people age the same? Why do some have successful stories of ageing, being independent and productive through their whole life, while others are vulnerable to life’s stressors? Do all cultures have the same barriers and promoters to healthy ageing? How can we intervene with frailty? These were the questions that piqued my interest in the subject of healthy ageing when I visited University of Adelaide and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as part of my geriatric medicine specialist training. Following my visit to Adelaide, I have become motivated to focus my research on frailty which is a state of vulnerability to stressors that can result in dramatic changes to a person’s independence, including leading to premature death.
Australia is a multicultural country, with 15% of its population over 65 years old, of which 37% where born overseas. Japan, although considerably smaller in size, has five times the Australian population and the highest proportion of elderly people in the world (26%). My research will help us better understand the interactions between frailty, the built environment and physical activity. I am very excited by the cross-cultural and cross-discipline aspects of this proposed research program.
- Dr Mandy Archibald joins the CentreDr Archibald is an artist and nurse-clinician scientist from Canada who has joined Prof Alison Kitson and the Knowledge Translation team as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
As a child, I spent countless hours drawing and creating, living the truth that all children are artists. As a teenager, I admired those people who marched forward with a seemingly clairvoyant vision of their future. As an adult, I recognized that I needn’t abandon my passion for the arts in exchange for my dedication to health research, and that contrary to the popular tendency to dichotomize, divide, and polarize, that art and science can (and dare I say should) work together. As a result, I have come to know that there are few things more rewarding in life than realizing your vision.
My vision involves bridging the arts and sciences to co-create and communicate research that is engaging and meaningful to diverse stakeholder groups, such as healthcare professionals and the public. This means merging my experiences as an exhibiting visual artist and nurse academic to approach health research and knowledge translation in new ways. In my PhD (University of Alberta, 2015) this involved using storytelling and visual art to communicate complex research evidence to parents in a manner that reflected their needs, priorities, and experiences. This merger, along with additional training as a clinician-scientist with mixed methods and arts-based research training, helped inform the patient-driven and creative approach to knowledge translation research that I am helping to pioneer.
In my role as co-lead for the knowledge translation component of the CRE, I will build on these approaches, emphasizing co-design and early stakeholder involvement to ensure projects reflect the frail individuals perspective and are linked together in mutually informative ways. As such, a guiding question for my work with the CRE is “How can we think creatively about health and research to improve wellbeing and support healthy ageing?” In part, the answer resides in creating meaningful partnerships, and the trans-disciplinary nature of the CRE exemplifies this sentiment. As such, an important aspect of my role is creating linkages between the numerous projects within the CRE, and helping diverse researchers, healthcare practitioners, and the pubic work together to maximize the meaning and impact of the results.
I believe that impact hinges on public engagement with research and that creative approaches are needed to incite awareness and provoke questioning of the many taken for granted assumptions held about health, illness, and everything in between. As such, I am passionate about bringing health research out of the spaces where it is traditionally shared, such as universities and hospitals, and into the public realm. Accomplishing these aims requires unique collaborations with community artists, frail and well individuals and their families, as well as health care professionals, to ensure that each view is considered in our research.
A path is anything that connects where we have been to where we are going. Coming from an original passion and practice in the arts and health, I look forward to embarking on this meaningful journey of discovery and translation in frailty research.
- International Observer Dr Pradeep Pithadia visits the CREDr Pithadia is a Research Observer with centre under the supervision of Professor Renuka Visvanathan.
Dr Pithadia has a medical degree in Community Medicine from Saurashtra University, India and is an Assistant Professor in Community Medicine. He is interested in geriatric health care and communicable diseases and is currently undertaking short term observership in geriatric health research with Professor Renuka Visvanathan.
Dr Pithadia’s current research project in India relates to the prevalence and reasons of initial defaulters among newly diagnosed sputum smear positive tuberculosis patients in Jamnagar district, Gujarat, India.