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  • 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.

    Image on rightAgathe 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.

    Image on leftThe 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.

    Image on rightThe 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).

    PhD students Mark Thompson and Dr Beatriz Martins kindly posted live updates of event highlights and a great collection of photos to the CRE Frailty Facebook page and Twitter feed.

  • Introducing Dr James Smyth.Dr James Smyth, a senior consultant in emergency medicine is undertaking research with the centre.

    Image on rightDr 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.

  • The EXPRESS Study Seeks Volunteers.The study seeks people over the age of 65 to examine the effects of exercise in combination with protein supplements.

    Image on rightThe study is led by Ms Agathe Jadczak PhD Candidate, Dr Natalie Luscombe-Marsh, Professor Renuka Visvanathan.

    Exercise has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of frailty and has a positive effect on physical function and quality of life. It is suggested that exercise in combination with an increased protein intake may be even more effective than exercise alone for improving physical function in older people.

    The study aims to examine the feasibility of recruiting community-dwelling frail older people to a six months program including nutrition and exercise and to determine the effects of exercise in combination with protein supplements on walking speed, grip strength and physical performance. For full details please download the recruitment document.

  • 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.

    Image on rightJohn 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.

    Image on rightMichael 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 .

    Image on rightDr 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.


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News Archive

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  • Australian Association of Gerontology conference 20162nd - 4th November researchers from the CRE Frailty and Healthy Ageing attended the conference in Canberra.

    Dr Kandiah Parasivam, Dr Olga Theou and Professor Renuka VisvanathanResearchers 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’.

    Mark Thompson at podium 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.

    Dr Mandy ArchibaldCRE 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.

    Top 40 Under 40 article.

  • 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 Masafumi Kuzuya, Dr Beatriz Martens and Prof Renuka VisvanathanProf 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.

    Chancellor of The University of Adelaide, Rear Admiral Kevin John Scarce AC, CSC, RANRThe 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.

    Professor Renuka Visvanathan and guest Ms. Joan HageAboriginal Elder Katrina Karlapina Powers and Anne "Willsy" WillsProf Derek Frewin, the Chancellor of The University of Adelaide, Rear Admiral Kevin John Scarce AC, CSC, RANR and Prof Jean Woo. Jane Mussared, Jeanette Walters and Anne Burgess Hon Mark Butler MP Presenting at the eventAnne Willsy Wills with guests

  • 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.

    Prof Jean WooSince 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.

    Dr Beatrix MartensI 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.
    Dr Mandy Archibald

    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 Pradeep PithadiaDr 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.

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