New Zealand is the first country in the world that is proactively taking a ‘whole of system’ approach in falls prevention.
It has been known for some time that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for cardiovascular health and there is now growing evidence that it is also helpful in preventing and treating frailty. Think of food rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, with moderate fish consumption, olive oil as the predominant source of fat and moderate wine intake with meals. Red and processed meats and dairy products are eaten less frequently.
Periodically the media focus on the care of older people in residential care.
While poor care is never acceptable, the media, NZ society and decision makers need to reflect on the wider context in which residential care is provided in New Zealand before laying the blame on individuals or “greedy providers.”
The HOPE Foundation has had a feast of activity recently which has made me feel very proud of you all for the contributions you have made. Thank you all so much!
The Research community is growing in numbers and strength. We had a very successful Knowledge Exchange meeting on the 17th November, where 20 researchers shared their work to over 50 participants.
Reviewing the applications for our Masters and PhD Students Scholarships is the most exciting and rewarding aspect of my role as Chair of the Hope Foundation.
I do this with the help of Dr Geoff Green, a Geriatrician and Dr Jo Broad a very experienced researcher and statistician.
At last there are signs of the sun and at the time of writing a watery spring has arrived. It is time for Spring cleaning and replanting of the garden.
You will now be enjoying the new growth and flowers. I thank everyone who came to our recent fundraising play. We value your support. It was an enjoyable event showing it is never too late for love. My thanks to the Friends Committee for making this happen.
It is not often we get good news about dementia. Several positive items have been reported this year.
Results from the Framingham a study1 – a long running population based research project, show a 20% decrease in the incidence of dementia per decade over the last 40 years. In real terms this means there has been a reduction from 3.6 to 2.0 people per 100 over the age of 60 who develop dementia. Several other studies have shown similar trends but it has been hard to get good supportive evidence because of the difficulty of doing these projects over decades.
In September I was proud to launch the second HOPE-Selwyn Knowledge Exchange. Once again this was a very successful event with over 60 attendees from throughout New Zealand.
Sessions were chaired by myself, Professor Ngaire Kerse, Professor David Richmond and Associate Professor Valerie Wright-St Clair. Professor Valerie Wright-St Clair is the newest member of the HOPE Foundation for Research on Ageing Board being the nominee of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.
To be a researcher one needs to have numerous qualities. These are much the same for those who support research.
One needs opportunity and encouragement. Nurturing an enquiring mind and giving a young student an early taste of research may start them on their research journey. Our summer studentships do this and we have just heard the presentations from two enthusiastic young people at our combined presentation session with the New Zealand Association of Gerontology.
Establishing the Hope Foundation, setting the aims, sourcing funding and keeping going has often seemed an impossible task.
The vision, leadership and perseverance shown by Professor David Richmond have led to the Foundation being in an optimistic and sound state to grow and further our aims. Thank you David for all your work and leadership. It is my pleasure to be taking over the Chair of the Hope Foundation and hope to build on this work with the support of the Board and Friends.