News & Events
Stay up to date with the latest details about news and events at the Centre.
Keep in touch with our latest news.
- PhD Completed with Dean's Commendation
Congratulations Dr Beatriz Martins.
CRE researcher Dr Beatriz Martins has completed her PhD.
Beatriz completed her PhD and received a Dean’s commendation for her thesis titled:
Built Environment and Frailty: Understanding the influence of neighbourhood on older people’s health.
Dr Martins is a geriatrician originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2016 she was awarded the Beacon of Enlightenment PhD Scholarship, Nagoya University Joint Award (University of Adelaide) and was supervised by Professor Renuka Visvanathan and Dr Helen Ruth Barrie.
Dr Martins has moved to Melbourne for a medical placement at the Austin Hospital.
- PhD Completed
Congratulations Dr Mark Thompson and Dr Rachel Ambagtsheer.
CRE researchers Dr Rachel Ambagtsheer and Dr Mark Thompson have completed their PhDs
Dr Mark Thompson from the Gerontology theme was awarded his PhD in April this year and received a Dean’s commendation for his thesis entitled:
Frailty in Older Adults: Findings from Longitudinal Studies.
Dr Rachel Ambagthseer from the General Practice theme lead by Professor Beilby passed her PhD and her thesis entitled:
Assessing the Appropriateness of Frailty Screening in the Australian General Practice Context: Ethics, Accuracy, Feasibility and Acceptability.
Dr Ambagtsheer continues her excellent work as a post-doctoral fellow within the general practice arm.
- Rising Star Award
At the ANZSSFR 2019 Annual Meeting.
At the November Australian and New Zealand Sarcopenia & Frailty Research Annual Meeting, Dr Mark Thompson was awarded the Rising Star Best Publication Award for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research 2020 at the Annual Meeting in Sydney for his paper entitled:
Frailty is a dynamic condition where repeated measurement is important for mortality prediction: findings from the North West Adelaide Health Study MQ Thompson, O Theou, GR Tucker, RJ Adams, R Visvanathan.J Am Geriatrics Soc. 2019 Nov;67(11):2311-2317.
- International Women's Day 2020
We interview Professor Alison Kitson to celebrate.
Professor Alison Kitson a Chief Investigator with the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing and is the inaugural Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University South Australia. Prior to this appointment she was Dean and Head of School at Adelaide Nursing School at the University of Adelaide.
Alison’s honours include, Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science (2015); Honorary Doctorate from Malmo University (2013); Fellowship of the American Nurses Association (2011), The Florence Nightingale Leadership Award in 2004; Distinguished Graduate of the Year from the University of Ulster in 2002, a Florence Nightingale Travel Award in 1999 (The Edith Cavell Travel Fellowship) and a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in 1991.
In honour of International Women’s Day 2020 we asked Alison some questions about being a woman in research.
What drew you to research?
As a new graduate nurse working in Northern Ireland I found that I was continuously questioning why I was having to do certain things and follow rules that, quite frankly I thought were crazy. I realised that either I was going to have to leave nursing or I was going to have to learn how to generate evidence to prove how we needed to change nursing and the health system more generally.
I’m still trying to do this…
What has been your best experience you have had so far as a researcher?
It’s building teams and mentoring young, enthusiastic clinicians and academics who still want to change the world and make things better for people
What is one thing you would like to share with female researchers?
Don’t lose your voice and don’t tolerate any sort of prejudice and never feel guilty about being a mother and having a successful career
Which women in your life inspired/mentored you?
Florence Nightingale is my all time favourite followed by a former boss Beverley Malone.
And most recently I have been very inspired by our Caring Futures Institute Consumer Ambassador, Judith Leeson AM, who at 85 years of age is still actively campaigning for improving lives and communities here in South Australia.
And another wonderful young woman (who happens to be the sister of one of my mentees) should have the last word:
“To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within – please speak up. We need to hear your voices”
Go Hildur Gudnadottir for winning an Oscar for your music in the film the Joker and for making your acceptance speech count….. we all need to follow your example!!
- Tackling Frailty in Ageing
Prof Renuka Visvanathan features in a new video for Health & Medical Sciences
- Winners at TQEH Research Expo CRE students won at the TQEH Research Expo 10-11 Oct 2019
On October 10th and 11th the Basil Hetzel Institute hosted The Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2019 Research Expo. The event provides researchers in training the opportunity to gain valuable experience in delivering an oral or poster presentation before a broad audience. The plenary lecture was given by Professor John Rasko AO an Australian clinical hematologist, pathologist and scientist.
Higher degree students of the CRE took part in the event. The winning presenters included third year PhD candidate Mr Mark Thompson (pictured above on right) who won Best Oral Presentation: Clinical Higher Degree Students for his presentation on Frailty is a Dynamic Condition Where Repeated Measurement is important for Mortality Prediction (Prize Sponsored by The University of Adelaide).
First Year PhD student Mr Unyime Jasper (pictured at far right) also won an award for Best Lay Description of his work on Knowledge Attitudes and Strategies for Reducing Sedentary Behaviour and Increasing Physical Activity on Hospitalized Older Patients (Prize sponsored by Chem Supply). The awards were presented by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing The Honourable Stephen Wade MLC.
Dr Beatriz Martins presented on Built Environment and Frailty. Dr Anupam Datta Gupta discussed Botulinum Toxin in Healing Treatment– resistant Hand Ulcers Caused by Focal Spasticity whilst Dr Bavand Bikdeli spoke about Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Venous Thromboembolic Events After Hellux Valgus Surgery. Ms Rachel Ambagtsheer presented her work on Diagnostic Accuracy of Several Common and Novel Frailty Screening Instuments Within a Primary Care Setting and Dr James Smyth presented his work Roles of Assessment Activities of Daily Living and Frailty Transfers of Nursing Home Residents to the Emergency Department.
- Medical Research Future Fund grant success Prof Renuka Visvanathan & Prof Jon Karnon grant bid.
Investigator for the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing are part of a successful grant bid being funded by the Medical Research Future Fund.
CRE Professor Renuka Visvanathan, director of Adelaide Geriatrics Training & Research with Aged Care Centre (University of Adelaide) and health economics Professor Jonathan Karnon (Flinders University) are part of the team led by Professor Guy Maddern, Professor of Surgery at The University of Adelaide with epidemiologist Associate Professor Maria Inacio (SAHMRI)
The grant from the NHMRC administered Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Program funded by the Medical Research Future Fund is for $1,970,000 over the next three years.
Study Synopsis: The true impact of transfers out of a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) for the frail is uncertain. Transfers are known to cause significant distress, especially those to emergency departments (ED) of hospitals. Over 70% of ED presentations result in diagnostic X-ray imaging and over half of all presentations result in residents returning to their RACF. Mobile X-ray imaging is available, but service cover is limited. Initial results have demonstrated that a mobile X-ray service reduces transfers to the ED, waiting times outside of the RACF, the number of overall hospitalisations and increases the access of RACF residents to X-ray services. Although these are positive outcomes, the true impact on health outcomes and the wellbeing of residents is unknown. To assess the benefits of mobile X-ray services a health services review is required. The proposed study will use a mixed method approach to evaluate mobile X-ray services.
The study will use the Registry of Older South Australians to determine the historical and prospective utilisation of radiology services and associated health service use. These data will be complemented by an understanding of the preferences and attitudes of residents, their families and aged care providers have towards access to X-ray imaging. Additionally, the research will assess whether a Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) item to cover the callout will facilitate service use and determine the cost-effectiveness of mobile radiology.
The study will consider both the health service and societal impact; benefiting residents in RACFs. Research outcomes will provide the necessary evidence for the Department of Health to the determine whether the call-out fee improves appropriate access and reduce ED presentations, and its decision-making on the management of this MBS funded service and viability of the mobile service.
- 15th European Geriatric Medicine Society Conference During September our researchers visited in Krakow, Poland
During September a number of our researchers attended the 15th European Geriatric Medicine Society Conference in Krakow, Poland.
Dr Solomon Yu attended the conference where two of his research projects were presented.
Dr Nigel Quadros presented a poster on ‘Sarcopenia in Polio Survivors’ and Dr Justin Chew gave an oral presentation on ‘The association of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)-derived phase angle with sarcopenia in non-frail community-dwelling older adults’.
Prof Ian Cameron presented a symposium on ‘Evidence in Geriatric Rehabilitation’. Associate investigator Prof Matteo Cesari presented a symposium on ‘Frailty and resilience – the convergence of two concepts’.
- Video Premiere: Healthy Ageing - Every Step You Take Matters A new video premiered at the Research Showcase Event
A new video animation developed at The Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing by Dr Mandy Archibald and an advisory panel had its first public viewing at the Research Showcase event.
The animation discusses what frailty is, and what can be done to reduce or prevent frailty. The animation was produced to provide accurate information on frailty and to dispel some misconceptions about frailty. We hope you enjoy the below video.
Every Step You Take Matters:
- Upcoming Event: Healthy Ageing - Every Step Matters Research Showcase Event- 10:00am to 4:00pm Thursday 12th September 2019
This event will showcase the latest healthy ageing research being undertaken in Adelaide by leading researchers and students. Guests will have the opportunity to engage and ask questions to find out more directly from the researchers.
We are delighted to announce this year’s keynote speaker The Hon Jennifer Cashmore AM. Jennifer Cashmore was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1977 and was appointed Minister of Health and Minister of Tourism from 1979 - 1982. Following retirement from Parliament she served on boards and committees including the Environment Protection Authority and the Ministerial Advisory Board on Ageing. She was Chair of the Palliative Care Council and Patron of the Alzheimer’s Association. In 1998 she was appointed Member in the Order of Australia for services to the community in palliative care, women’s issues and economic development, and for services to Parliament.
We hope you can join us for a day of discovery and learning about healthy ageing.
To register for your free ticket visit Eventbrite.
This event is supported by The Australian Association of Gerontology and The Office for Ageing Well, SA Government.
- Welcome Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza Dr Pinero de Plaza joins the Knowledge Translation team.
Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza has joined Prof Alison Kitson as a Post Doctoral Reseaech Fellow in the Knowledge Translation arm of the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty & Healthy Ageing. Alejandra obtained her PhD from Deakin University and her research specialty is health promotion (behaviour and health). She has investigated consumers’ semiautomatic decision-making in relation to environmental cues as triggers of unhealthy food selection and consumption. Previously, she completed studies in Mass Communication/Journalism and several postgraduate subjects in Anthropology.
Alejandra has recently been involved in research projects in the areas of Marketing Science and Consumer Behaviour, as well as scientific journalism. In addition to her work with the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty & Healthy Alejandra collaborates with the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies (APPRISE CRE), the Adelaide BioMed City Partners, Health Consumers Alliance, South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and other entities in relation to consumer's engagement with health research.
- Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak gives the Robert Penhall Research Award Address Friday Fri 21st June 2019
Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak received the 2018 Robert Penhall Early Career Research Award. The award is given by the South Australian Division of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and recognises Dr Jadczak’s research leadership and innovative work.
Dr Jadczak received her award at the 2019 AAG SA Gerontology conference held on Fri 21st June 2019 from Prof Robert Penhall and then presented her work to the conference attendees.
Dr Jadczak started a postdoctoral position within the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing research group in early 2018 lead by Prof Renuka Visvanathan after completing her PhD with the Adelaide G-TRAC Centre, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.
- Dr John Beard visits the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing Former director of the WHO Department of Ageing and Life Course visited during April 2019
On Monday 1st April the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing researchers and clinicians spent time with Dr John Beard.
Dr Beard has been Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Department of Ageing and Life Course since January 2009. Ageing has been identified by the World Health Assembly as a priority area of work for WHO and Dr Beard leads a “whole of Organization” response that has drawn on the extensive capacity of the Organization’s many Departments, Regions and Country Offices. He was a lead writer and editor of the first World report on ageing and health (2015), and oversaw the development of the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health, adopted by WHO Member States in May 2016. In 2010, he launched the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.
Dr Beard gave a presentation to Professor Renuka Visvanathan and her research and clinical teams on “Current WHO Strategy for Ageing Moving Forward”. He then took a tour of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Geriatric Evaluation and Management unit with A/Prof Solomon Yu.
In the afternoon he spent time discussing the various research projects under way in a round table research discussion session with the students and early career researchers of the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing. He then met with our collaborating partners, the Registry of Older South Australians led by Dr Maria Inacio. Dr Beard’s insights and understanding about the current picture of ageing and the future of ageing worldwide were invaluable for the clinicians and researchers of the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.
Below are the CRE & Healthy Ageing Newsletters.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing- Knowledge Translation Special EditionSeptember 2020 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing NewsletterApril 2020 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing Gerontology Special EditionJune 2019 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing NewsletterNovember 2018 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing NewsletterJune 2018 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing Pharmacy Special EditionDecember 2017 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing NewsletterDecember 2017 edition.
- The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing NewsletterMarch 2017 edition.
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.
- Healthy Ageing - Every Step You Take Matters A new frailty information video developed in 2019
A new video animation developed at The Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing by Dr Mandy Archibald and an advisory panel. The animation discusses what frailty is, and what can be done to reduce or prevent frailty. The animation was produced to provide accurate information on frailty and to dispel some misconceptions about frailty. We hope you enjoy the below video.
Every Step You Take Matters:
- 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.
- 2019 International Women’s Day: Dr Danielle Taylor Friday Mar 8th 2019
Dr Danielle Taylor is a health geographer at the University of Adelaide, applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to health research. Her research interests include the application of spatial technology to: health inequalities; spatial epidemiology; accessibility analysis and improving strategic service planning and resource allocation. She is the recipient of the 2017 Hospital Research Foundation Mid-Career Fellowship, based at the Basil Hetzel Institute. Her fellowship research examines the influence of social and environmental factors, as enablers or barriers to healthy ageing and indicators of frailty risk. This International Women's Day we asked Dr Taylor to answer a few questions about her experience in research.
What drew you to research?
When I was studying at university I started working part time on the National Wilderness Inventory, a research project being conducted in the geography department. Even though the digitizing work I was initially doing to create the database was pretty mundane, understanding how it fitted into the broader research project and seeing how innovative the project was and the impact it was having on government legislation, policy and wilderness protection had me hooked. I transitioned to being full-time on the project and eventually became the project manager. I found it truly satisfying and knew research was something I wanted to continue to pursue.
What has been your best experience you have had so far as a researcher?
It is great to know that you are making a difference. The Accessibility/ Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) which I helped develop has been use by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)for 4 Census periods and underpins the ABS Remoteness Areas Classification. The index has helped to identify inequalities in service provision and health outcomes associated with remoteness and has contributed to programs that aim to address these inequalities. I hope that the frailty and healthy ageing work I am doing now will also contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of Australia’s ageing population.
What is one thing you would like to share with female researchers?
I would like to be able to say that gender does not matter, but unfortunately we are not quite there yet. We all have a role to play to make gender equity a reality.
In my career working at the university I have had terrific mentors and colleagues, both women and men, although I must lament the fact that the University of Adelaide does not yet have equal representation of women in their academic staff particularly at senior levels. This is a critical issue that needs to be addressed if universities want to be respected as the thought leaders of the nation.
Which women in your life inspired/mentored you?
There have been many incredible women that have been important in my life. My mother and grandmothers were very caring people, but also strongly independent and resilient. They all played a role in developing my personal character and always encouraged me to do my best and to aim high. My first year geography lecturer was Fay Gale, she is probably part of the reason that ended up being a geographer. She opened my eyes to the role of geographers in casting a light on inequity and making it visible, so that inequalities can be addressed. I didn’t recognise it at the time, but that idea has stayed with me and has been an inspiration.
- Minister for Health and Wellbeing visits with the CRE Frailty The Hon Stephen Wade MLC - Minister for Health and Wellbeing visited the CRE Frailty & Health Ageing
Prof Justin Beilby, Hon Stephen Wade MLC, Emeritus Professor Derek Frewin AO, Prof Renuka Visvanathan, Mr Matthew McInnes & A/Prof Solomon Yu
The Minister met with lead investigators of the centre Prof Renuka Visvanathan, Prof Justin Beilby and Emeritus Professor Derek Frewin OA as well as Mr Matthew McInnes, the Executive Director Allied Health and Intermediate Care.
The Minister heard research presentations from across the CRE including an introduction to the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing by Professor Visvanathan followed by the official launch of the new Web Mapping Application: Frail and Pre-Frail Estimates for Australia developed by Dr Danielle Taylor. Dr Mandy Archibald presented a sneak preview of the Untangling Frailty video discussing consumer perspectives on ageing which is due to be released soon. A/Prof Maria Inacio from SAHMRI also presented work from the Registry of Older South Australians which is a multi-institutional collaboration that the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing are a part of. Professor Beilby discussed Frailty Screening in General practice.
The Minister was also treated to a demonstration of the Ambient Intelligent Geriatric Management system (AmbIGeM) by Nurse Unit Manager Stephen Hoskins at TQEH geriatric evaluation and management unit. This trial is testing a novel technology to detect unassisted movement in older patients who nurses assess as needing supervision when moving. The trial is coordinated by Dr Joanne Dollard with chief investigators Prof Visvanathan and A/Prof Damith Ranasinghe (University of Adelaide).
- Web Map Launch: Frailty Prevalence in Australia 2011, 2016 and 2027 A freely accessibly population mapping resource to inform service planning
It is estimated that in 2016 approximately 415,769 people living in Australia aged 65 years or more were frail and almost 1.7 million people were pre-frail. In future years, as the population ages, these figures will increase rapidly, reaching 609,306 frail and 2,248,977 pre-frail by 2027, if prevalence continues at current levels.
Frailty is a preventable and treatable condition that reduces the quality of life for many older people. It is associated with poor health outcomes and increased health care usage and costs. Understanding the distribution and growth of frailty is important for planning and budgeting service provision and health interventions aimed to support the needs of Australia’s growing ageing population.
The newly developed interactive web mapping application: Frail and Pre-Frail Estimates for Australia provides insight into the size, distribution and growth of Australia’s frail and pre-frail population. The interactive maps allow users to zoom to an area of interest and see the distribution of frailty or pre-frailty and the associated population estimates.
If you would like to view the interactive frailty web mapping application please visit:
For more information please contact: Dr Danielle Taylor
- The International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research February 20-22, 2019 Miami Beach, USA.
Recently researchers of the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing attended the International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research (ICFSR) - February 20-22, 2019 Miami Beach, USA. CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing Research Fellow in Exercise Physiology & Frailty, Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak, gave an oral communication titled A Randomized Controlled Pilot and Feasibility Exercise and Protein Effectiveness Supplementation Study Supporting Autonomy in Community Dwelling Older Frail Adults and A/Prof Solomon Yu also attended the event to learn about the newest research in the field and network with leading researchers.
The event also hosted 5 internationally renowned keynote speakers including our collaborating investigators Prof Matteo Cesari (Granda-Università di Milano, Italy) who gave a wonderful presentation on Intrinsic Capacities. Professor Cesari underlined that intrinsic capacity is a novel concept addressing the inadequacy of current systems, which are traditionally focused on the disease construct. Another of our collaborating investigators, Prof John Morley (Saint Louis University, USA), led a panel discussion on International Clinical Practice Guidelines for Sarcopenia: Screening, Diagnosis and Management.
- The 51st Australian Association of Gerontology Conference 21-23 Nov CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing researchers and students took part in the conference in Melbourne, Australia
During November CRE Researchers and students took part in the 51st Australian Association of Gerontology conference in Melbourne. The special theme of this years conference was 'Advancing Not Retiring: Active Players, A Fair Future'.
The plenary speaker for the event was Professor Sir Michael Marmot- Director of the International Institute for Society
and Health, MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College, London. Prof Marmot discussed “Social determinants of health, the life course, and healthy ageing”.
On Wednesday CRE Frailty Research Fellow and PhD candidate Rachel Ambagtsheer presented “An electronic Frailty Index for Australian general practice” during the Innovation and Technology oral presentations. Dr Helen Barrie, CRE Frailty demographer and gerontologist, gave a presentation on ‘Using citizen science to explore neighbourhood influences on ageing well’ during the Ageing Well program on Thursday.
On Friday CRE Frailty researcher Dr Danielle Taylor presented her work on “Developing a spatial socio-environment healthy ageing index” whilst Dr Agathe Daria Jadczak discussed “Interns’ perceived competence in counselling older adults about exercise: findings from a 3-year South Australian study” during the Falls and Exercise program.
Despite the cold and rainy weather the three day event was a great success bringing experts together from around Australia and the world to share research and learn from a network of researchers, advocates, clinicans and students.
- Ageing and Society Conference, Tokyo, Japan. CRE Research Fellow and PhD student Rachel Ambagtsheer presents hat the Aging & Society: Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference.
CRE Research Fellow and PhD student Rachel Ambagtsheer recently presented her work in progress at the Aging & Society: Eighth Interdisciplinary Conference at Tokyo University, Tokyo, Japan, 18-19 September 2018.
The special theme of the conference for this year was “Aging, Health, Well-being and Care in a Time of Extreme Demographic Change”.
Rachel’s presentation, delivered within the Medical Perspectives on Aging, Health, and Wellness stream, focused on preliminary findings from the joint CRE project on GP Attitudes, Perceptions and Experiences of Frailty and Frailty Screening based on work conducted with colleagues Dr Mandy Archibald, Dr Michael Lawless, A/Prof P. David Mills, A/Prof Solomon Yu and Prof Justin Beilby.
Despite nearly having her travel plans cancelled due to Typhoon Mangkhut, and the very wet weather in Tokyo over the days of the conference, Rachel enjoyed the opportunity to receive feedback on her research, meet many interesting people in the field of ageing and accidentally stumble across a sumo wrestling morning training session on a quiet suburban side street.
- 'Untangling Frailty' Wins at South Australia Perform Your Science Event. CRE Research Fellow, Dr Mandy Archibald, led a team of artists to win first place in the competition..
As part of National Science week 2018, Dr Mandy Archibald, a CRE research fellow, led a team of artists to create a research-based interdisciplinary performance supported by an Inspiring South Australia Perform your Science grant. The work, entitled “Untangling Frailty” was awarded first place in the competition. Funds awarded through this prize will be used to continue developing engaging public works to raise awareness and challenge misconceptions about frailty and healthy ageing.
“Untangling Frailty” is based upon Dr Archibald and the Knowledge Translation team’s research of older persons understandings and perceptions of frailty, and is also informed by additional CRE research projects. The story of the research is told by chronicling a young man’s journey through day-to-day life in an increasingly productivity and consumer-driven society. “Untangling frailty” explores how the complex meanings, fears, and misconceptions about frailty and ageing are intertwined with our experiences of the world, and reminds us that our environment and how we see ourselves are critical parts of how we age.
Following this success, Dr Archibald was recently awarded an Inspiring SA Regional Science-Arts Collaboration Grant to continue her work in this area.
Dr Archibald acknowledges the support of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a G-TRAC Resthaven research grant in making this work possible.
- United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP): Dr Kandiah Umapathysivam. Celebrating the great contributions of older people to research.
October 1st 2018 is United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP) so to celebrate we interviewed Dr Kandiah Umapathysivam, a researcher of the CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing and lecturer with the Adelaide Medical School at the University of Adelaide.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Malaysia, the youngest in a family of 5 (two older brother and two older sisters). I migrated to Australia alone in 1965 to pursue my education. The Adelaide that I came to was very different from home and very different to how it is now. Several challenges that faced me when I arrived – I am vegetarian (there were no Asian vegetables available at that time), I am Hindu (there was no temple here), my English was average (my family spoke Tamil) and there were very few Asians living or studying in Adelaide. My early memories however, were of tremendous kindness. Adelaide became my new home and I have lived here for over 50 years.
I hold degree from all three Universities in Adelaide. I have always had a passion for learning and science. I am married with three wonderful children.
What is your current research on?
My current research interests are sarcopenia and healthy ageing of older people and people with late effects of polio. I continue to lecture, under take research and mentor several higher degree students; helping them to achieve their research goals.
What have been some of the best things for you about getting older?
Meeting and interacting with a range of diverse people.
Learning new things, listening to different perspectives
Having a happy family environment that gives me the freedom and support that enables me to achieve my goals and to continue to contribute to medical research and other intellectual pursuits
Being part of Global change
Being excited about the opportunities the future holds.
Being part of the growth and development of my own children and watching them grow into successful adults.
Opportunities to work and interact with young bright students in my role as a teacher and researcher.
What motivates you to continue to work in research whilst many of your peers have retired?
My desire to continue to contribute to medical research, to learn new things and to help others learn and develop.
Positive aspects of intellectual activities
Opportunities to mentor collaborate and supervise up and coming young students/colleagues
My involvement with younger scientists and students maintains a younger outlook to life
What has been the most surprising or unexpected thing for you in getting older?
Society’s attitude to older people
Keeping up with advances in technology
Awareness of my own ability to undertake a range of physical activities
What do you think is the secret of healthy ageing?
Positive attitude to life
Being blessed with good health and good genes
Do not stress over trivial things in life
Take life as it comes
Regular relaxation and exercise as part of a daily routine
Listening to music, particularly to the ABC (Aunty)
Maintaining a daily routine.
What things inspires you to get out of bed each day
An interest and curiosity in my research and other work
Opportunity to meet with and listen to the view of other people
A sense of contribution
The opportunity to meet with interesting people who share my interests but think differently about the problems and solutions I am seeking.
Interesting discussions over coffee.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t sweat over the small stuff, look at the bigger picture. Expect success and it will find you. Don’t dwell on set-backs or failures, keep your eye on the prize. Have balance in your life. Listen to the things that your body tells you. Be true to the things that you think are important. Don’t waste energy on things beyond your control but focus on the things you can influence. Family is everything, make time to enjoy and maintain these important relationships. Find ways to meet inspiring people and read widely.
What advice would you give to other older people?
Don’t focus on getting older, focus on squeezing every opportunity out of life. Listen to your younger colleagues, share experiences and wisdom, be generous with your time. At all costs engage with the community around you. Exercise regularly and find ways to enjoy and contribute to the changes that surround you. Finally, feel valuable.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to contribute and benefit from an active intellectual and family life and continue to be a part of the community, to actively manage my good health and to take time to reflect on the achievements of a life well led.
To support my children as they make their journey through life – professionally and personally.
To set a good example of living life to its fullest.
Disregarding age as just a number. Not being defined by other people’s view of what is an age appropriate activity for me, but instead doing the things that I enjoy for as long as my health permits.
The CRE in Frailty and Healthy Ageing would like to thank Dr Umapathysivam for sharing his story with us and for inspiring the younger generation researcher leaders to strive to age well and continue to contribute passionately to research.
- 'The Science of Healthy Ageing' 2018 Frailty and Healthy Ageing Research Showcase, Adelaide . The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Frailty and Healthy Ageing and the Adelaide Geriatrics Training & Research with Aged Care (GTRAC) Centre, University of Adelaide held a public event to showcase their research.
The event engaged 89 consumers, and health care providers and researchers in a day dedicated to showcasing the latest healthy ageing research being undertaken in Adelaide and across Australia by leading researchers and higher degree students of the CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing, GTRAC and their collaborating partners. Rosa Colanero, the Chief Executive of Multicultural Aged Care South Australia (MACSA), and CRE advisory board member, was the host for the event and her enthusiasm and passion made the event thoroughly engaging.
The morning session included seminars from researchers on a wide range of topics. Dr Mandy Archibald discussed her work using consumer perspectives on frailty and ageing to shape future research and knowledge translation. Dr Joanne Dollard presented information on the early stages of a clinical trial she is undertaking using technology to prevent falls in hospitalised older people. Dr Kareeann Khow discussed haemoglobin levels and health outcomes following hip fracture surgery. Dr Anupam Datta Gupta explained the benifits of exercise on the brain and healthy ageing. Dr Agathe Jadczak discussed the importance of educating medical students how to prescribe exercise to older patients.
Professor John Morley, a renowned geriatrician from St Louis University (SLU), Missouri USA and lead of the International Consensus Committee on Frailty was the keynote speaker for the event. Professor Morley gave an interactive, informative and entertaining discussion on ‘The Science of Staying Young’. Professor Morley also took part in the afternoon’s panel discussion with Dr Helen Barrie and Mr Mark Thompson on ‘Lifestyle Choices for Healthy Ageing’. Dr Barrie, Deputy Director of the Hugo Centre of Migration and Population Research and Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide is a geographer whose research examines the changing demography of Australia’s population with particular attention to our ageing population and population diversity and the implications of these changes for society and local communities. Mr Thompson is a PhD Candidate with the CRE and an occupational therapist with extensive experience in ageing rehabilitation and a research focus on the epidemiology of frailty. The expert panel answered many diverse and thought provoking questions from the audience.
In the afternoon there were table top discussions between researchers and guests on a variety of topics ranging from simplifying medication use, improving models of care to frailty screening and prevalence mapping. These sessions also gave the researchers valuable feedback on areas and topics that consumers see as research priorities.
This was the second CRE Research Showcase event and the larger, capacity attendance at this year’s event demonstrates the increasing public interest in research to improve the health, wellbeing and independence of our ageing population.
- Welcome PhD Student Dr Lalit Yadav.With Prof Mellick Chehade.
Dr Lalit Yadav has joined the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing as a PhD scholar. Previously, he led the research looking at the care seeking behaviour and pathways of care for hip fractures within hospital settings in India, funded through the University of Oxford, UK. Most recently as a research fellow at the George Institute for Global Health, he was involved in a multicentric study looking at the orthopaedic injuries funded through the NHMRC, Australia and part of Australia-India Trauma Systems Collaboration program. In addition, he worked with Public Health Foundation of India in implementing a comprehensive tobacco control program and has been part of the research team for Australia-India taskforce on plain packaging of tobacco products. While in the UK, he worked with both commissioning and provider arms of the NHS, city councils and voluntary sector organisations, particularly looking at integrating health and social care in order to improve quality of life and outcomes among older people.
- 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.
- Prof Renuka Visvanathan Visits Hong Kong.Conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In early Dec 2017 Prof Renuka Visvanathan was invited to attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Jockey Club Institute of Ageing conference on "Promoting Intrinsic Capacity in Ageing" by event convener Prof Jean Wong Woo.
Established in 2014, CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing is directed by Prof Woo with the aim to actively pursue research which will contribute to overcoming the challenges brought by the ageing population in Hong Kong.
Prof Visvanathan presented a seminar on “Hospitals as Healing Environment for Older People”.
- SPRINTT Team Visits Adelaide.On 27 Nov the CRE Team met with researchers from Milan, Italy.
The Italian research team are working on a large project titled: Sarcopenia and Physical Frailty In Older People: Multi-Component Treatment Strategies (SPRINTT). Prof Matteo Cesari, Prof Matteo Tosato, Dr Riccardo Calvani and project manager Mr Luca Mariotti presented a fascinating seminar about their work. The project is the result of a rich multiple collaboration between sixteen major research institutions in the geriatric field across Europe.
This project aims to validate an interventional paradigm for identifying at-risk individuals living in the community and evaluate innovative therapeutic interventions against physical frailty and mobility disability.
- WHO Clinical Consortium on Healthy Ageing.Prof Renuka Visvanathan and Prof Matteo Cesari in Geneva.
On Nov 21-22nd Prof Renuka Visvanathan and Prof Matteo Cesari of the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing participated in the annual meeting of the WHO Clinical Consortium on Healthy Ageing (CCHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. The consortium brings together experts from around the world to focus on development of comprehensive assessments and care plans for older people. The comprehensive assessment would form the backbone of a WHO framework for addressing the health and long-term care needs of older people, with a focus on intrinsic capacity and functional ability.
Image provided by Markus MacGill - Green Ink
- Observer A/Prof Wee Shiong Lim Wins ANZSSFR Award.In November the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing hosted observer A/Prof Wee Shiong Lim
from Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore.
A/Prof Lim spent time with the researchers and clinicians, participating in research, teaching
and training program activities at the centre. A/Prof Lim received an Outstanding Abstract
award for his presentation “Construct and predictive validity of SARC-F as a risk assessment community screening tool for sarcopenia” at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Sarcopenia and Frailty Research Conference.
- The 2nd ANZSSFR Annual Meeting in Adelaide.The CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing team hosted the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR) annual meeting in Adelaide on 24-25th Nov 2017.
The event was opened by the conference convener Prof Renuka Visvanathan and an address from Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. Researchers from across Australia and around the world came together to share current research into sarcopenia and frailty.
World renowned geriatrics researcher and associate investigator with CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing, Prof Matteo Cesari joined the second day of the conference directly from a meeting with the WHO. Prof Cesari of the Fondazione Ca' Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and the University of Milan (Italy) took part in the ‘Meet The Professor’ session for researchers to discuss the topic “Clinically, is it Useful to Measure Sarcopenia?”. Prof Cesari also gave the plenary lecture titled “Frailty: One Word For Multiple Applications”.
Prof Cyrus Cooper OBE, Director of the MRC Lifecourse and Epidemiology Unit at University of Southampton and Prof of Epidemiology at Oxford University travelled from the UK to present a seminar on “Sarcopenia and Physical Frailty: Conceptual Frameworks and Descriptive Epidemiology”. A/Prof Dina Lo Giudice, a geriatrician from Melbourne University, Victoria presented on “Understanding Frailty in Older (and not so old) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”. Prof Manuel Montero Odasso, Director of the Gait and Brain Laboratory at the Parkwood Institute London in Ontario, Canada also attended to discuss “Frailty and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: Fellow Travelers or Partners in Crime?”. Dr Olga Theou, gerokinesiologist and investigator with the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing, travelled from Dalhousie University, Canada to present her research seminar titled “Are sedentary behaviours harmful for older people?”.
The conference dinner at the Adelaide Wine Centre was generously sponsored by The Hospital Research Foundation. The two day event offered opportunities for mid - early career researchers and higher degree students to present posters, abstracts and seminars of their research in various forums at the new Adelaide Health and Medical School (University of Adelaide). The conference was the largest and most well attended to date for the ANZSSFR.
The next conference will be held in Dunedin, New Zealand in Nov 2018.
- CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing Team Heads to Perth.On Nov 8-10 members of the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing attended The 50th Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) conference in Perth, WA.
On Nov 8-10 members of the CRE in Frailty & Healthy Ageing attended The 50th Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) conference in Perth, WA. The theme for the conference this year was “Ageing: the Golden Opportunity”. CRE Frailty & Healthy Ageing chief investigator Dr Helen Barrie was the presiding president of the AAG and led a symposium on “Ageing Well and the Built Environment” including her presentation “What it Means to Age Well in a Retirement Village”.
Research fellow Dr Joanne Dollard presented her research on “Technological Falls Prevention in Hospitalised Older People”. PhD scholar Dr Beatriz Martins presented her research on “Planning and Design of Public Spaces to Support Ageing Well” whilst fellow PhD scholar Rachel Ambagtsheer presented on “Re-inventing Photovoice: exploring healthy ageing concepts among retirement village residents”.
The conference provided a forum to reflect on and re-imagine the incredible potential of our ageing society.
- 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).
- 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.