HOPE Foundation Newsletter November 2017

Posted by on 11 December 2017

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.

Dr Maree Todd,
Clinical Director,
Older People’s Health,
Auckland District Health Board.
Chair of the Foundation

maree todd

Their abstracts will be on the website in due course, but we had topics as varied as the benefits of art therapy, the nutritional status of Octogenarians and the difficulties of renting on Waiheke for older people – some moving 17 times! Very elegant brain research studies were presented, which highlighted work which is at the frontier of new discoveries in how our brain ages. It was a pleasure to see so many young enthusiastic researchers doing such amazing research.

We have also awarded 10 academic PhD scholarships for the 2018 year. The applications were all strong and we could have awarded more.

The Friends committee have worked tirelessly to put on three functions in recent months – one in combination with Joan- Mary Longcroft to celebrate her 90th birthday. Her generosity has allowed us to name one of our 2018 research scholarships in her honour.

The French wine tasting and the High Tea were successes both socially and for our research coffers. For those of you interested in music, Leonie Lawson is a remarkable talent on the piano and always is finding young performers with outstanding abilities to entertain us. Reason enough to attend to hear rising stars!

Jill Waters, our new Executive officer, has moved into the role with ease.Thank you Jill for all your hard work.

We need your help . . .

2018 is looking like another active year for the HOPE Foundation but thinking out loud my wish list for the HOPE Foundation Christmas would include:

  • A Wizard with website skills.
  • A  Wordsmith Journalist /Writer to help with translating some of the research into “tweets“ and small articles.
  • Men (careful how I word this) to set up an active group within the Friends!
  • Volunteers to help at functions – waiters/waitresses, help with cleaning up.
  • Any potential Santa please feel free to contact me or Jill to discuss!

If you have family members with special birthdays or need honouring in some way, consider holding a fundraiser with the HOPE Foundation in mind.

Most of us have too much “stuff“ and this might be a more meaningful and greener way to celebrate!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.

Friends of the Hope Foundation

What do you do when you reach 90 years of age?

Celebrate, of course and in style!

That is exactly what Joan-Mary Longcroft did on achieving her 90th. She is not only a present member of the Friends Committee of The HOPE Foundation but also set up the first committee, back in 2005.

When Joan-Mary asked the committee to organise her birthday, they accepted the challenge with pleasure, and Joan-Mary achieved her wish to make the celebration a fund raising event for The HOPE Foundation.

Karen Andersen Yates,
Friends of the Foundation,

karen andersen yates

Family and friends were personally invited at the cost of $90 per person, the contributions going to The HOPE Foundation. It was a stylish party, held at Rannoch, the home of Sir James Wallace.

Not only did Dr Maree Todd speak on behalf of The HOPE Foundation, wishing Joan-Mary another successful year of free travel in space, around the sun, but Professor David Richmond, the founder of the HOPE Foundation, presented the toast.

The evening was completed with a musical performance and good food.

What better way to celebrate life in senior years, thinking of others and spreading love and goodness about. It was Joan- Mary’s desire that enough money be raised for one scholarship for one year. That goal was more than achieved. Well done Joan- Mary Longcroft!

Well-deserved honour for Professor David Richmond

Professor David Richmond was honoured this year with being made a Companion of the Selwyn Foundation. This was in recognition of his work for older people in his role as the inaugural Chair of the HOPE Foundation and his close association with the Selwyn Foundation in a wide variety of ways, over many years.

The Companion honour was created in 2014 by the Selwyn Foundation Board to recognise people who have been generous to the Foundation in their spiritual guidance, leadership or in the gift of time, expertise or for their significant donation.

The ceremony was held at a thanksgiving service in the Chapel of Christ the King at Selwyn Village on Founders’ Day, the 22nd May. This is the day Selwyn first opened its doors back in 1954 and honours the visionaries who made it happen, aswell as those that have contributed to its achievements since. Each Companion receives a commemoration bronze medal depicting the images of Bishop and Sarah Selwyn, with the inscription “For the service of Heart, Hand, and Mind.”

We congratulate David on this well-deserved award.

The HOPE-Selwyn Knowledge Exchange Day

This was held at the Tamaki Campus of the University of Auckland on Friday 17th November. We were treated to a diverse and stimulating programme, with 21 great presentations on ageing research. Catering for the day was generously funded by the Selwyn Foundation. 

The day opened with a session on understanding the needs of older people and their perceptions of wellbeing, social isolation, and frailty. This included doctural research on improving the health of Kaumatua/Maori
elders, through tuakana-teina/peer- support and more culturally appropriate health education.

The complex science of GABA A neurotransmission in the ageing brain was very eloquently explained and what role hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone may play in advanced age, provoked much discussion. Three studies were presented on the adequacy of nutrition in older people and how even community living, older adults can be at risk. Several projects were on assessing social/accommodation issues such as older people struggling with renting on Waiheke Island, monitoring residents with Dementia as they transition to a new facility and whether communual houses actually work for older people.

We heard about an inspiring initiative by the Mairangi Arts Centre, funded by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, which enabled an art programme to be trialed at the Aria Bay retirement Village. This led to an exhibition of their artwork entitled “The Colour of Monday”, which proved to be a positive way to engage and entertain all the residents.

Feedback from the day was very positive particularly the opportunity to network, share ideas and learn about the wide variety of ageing research being done and hopefully, inspire new directions.

Summer Students 2017-18

These $6000 scholarships are awarded to support high achieving students at Auckland University with an ageing focused research project, over the 10 week summer break. The aim is not only to achieve high quality worthwhile research but also to enable these students to gain valuable skills by working with experienced researchers, who supervise these projects. Since 1995, the HOPE-Selwyn Foundation has funded 37 of these scholarships. This is in addition to the 73 post graduate National research scholarships. Lauren Spence and Marcus Lau are the two very worthy recipients of the HOPE-Selwyn Summer Scholarships for 2017/18

Lauren Spence, Auckland University

Older people’s experiences of social isolation and loneliness in aged residential care

laurenspenceKia ora, my name is Lauren Spence and I am a third year medical student  at The University of Auckland. My proposed research is on older people’s experiences of social isolation and loneliness in aged residential care facilities. This project will involve conducting an integrative literature review using systematic methods in order to identify what is internationally known about the experiences and determinants of loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in aged residential care facilities. The findings will inform the development of a new grant application to address this important, yet under researched issue.

Recent research has indicated that approximately half of older New Zealanders experience some level of loneliness at any point in time, with eight to nine per cent experiencing loneliness most of the time. This is significant, as loneliness is a major contributor of poor self-reported health and a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality.

A current National Science Challenge funded project led by Professor Merryn Gott is adding new information to the international evidence base by exploring how older people understand and experience social isolation and loneliness across different cultural groups and identifying the role of befriending services in addressing these issues. Early analyses have identified a key gap in current knowledge and understanding, namely the experience of social isolation and loneliness amongst older people living in retirement villages and residential aged care settings. Thank you to the HOPE- Selwyn Foundation for sponsoring this research.

Marcus Lau, Auckland University

What happens to octogenarians presenting to hospital with a fall?

marcuslauOne in every two community dwelling people over the age of 80 will fall within one year. Falls are not only a significant cause of injury in older adults but also a significant contributor to hospital admissions, decline in functional activities, institutionalisation and post-fall anxiety. Most importantly, it is critical to understand that falls can also be a strong indicator of potential frailty, morbidity and mortality in this age group. We wish to delve into cases to ascertain whether assessment at the ‘front door’ of secondary care, leads to a potential management gap. While WDHB collects ongoing data regarding in-patient falls, we are not aware of any information regarding input or outcomes of patients presenting to hospital with a fall.

My research project aims to answer just that, with several underlying questions including: What proportion of patients presenting with a fall represent so-called ‘hot falls’, that is a fall that is associated with an underlying acute medical event. Are falls risk factors identified and addressed? Are frail older adults referred for geriatric assessment (inpatient or outpatient)?  Are prevention strategies addressed, for example are patients referred for community physiotherapy or advised on appropriate exercise strategies? Are patients with fractures started on appropriate secondary prevention? What information is communicated back to primary care physicians regarding the hospital presentations in discharge summaries? Results from this study will hopefully be used to improve care for frail older adults presenting to hospital.

Thanks to Our Sponsors . . .


The Selwyn Foundation is our cornerstone sponsor and currently funds 80% of our activities.

Other sponsors include:

  • The June Gray Charitable Trust
  • The Maclean Trust
  • The Monty Fairbrother Charitable Trust
  • St Joans Trust
  • TM Hoskings Charitable Trust
  • The BW and SW Picot Trust
  • Glenice & John Gallagher Foundation
  • W Crighton Charitable Company Ltd
  • JM Butland Charitable Trust
  • The Friends of the HOPE Foundation
  • John & Wendy Norwood Trust
  • Walker & Hall Trust
  • The Agnes Hope Day Trust
  • Alexander Harold Watson Trust
  • Joan Fernie Trust
  • Lois McFarlane Charitable Trust
  • Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust
  • St Andrews Village
  • James Russell Lewis Trust
  • Lawrance & Stephanie Russell Charitable Trust
  • KSC Wellington Charitable Trust
  • JOGIA Charitable Trust

You can also help by

  • Spreading the word about what we do / share this newsletter
  • Donating your time to the Friends Supporters to help with fundraising and committee work
  • Encouraging your children and grandchildren to invest in their futures by donating time and money (a baby girl born today has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100 , a boy 1 in 4 and is likely to be fitter and healthier–think about the implications of that)
  • Consider a bequest