2010 Scholars

Posted by on 2 January 2010

This year through the generosity of the Freemasons Roskill Foundation we are able to offer grants to scholars at Waikato and Massey Universities in addition to the established ones at Victoria, Auckland and Otago, The grants enable research to be undertaken in a wide range of disciplines related to ageing in New Zealand. 

The Foundation has much pleasure in announcing the 2010 Scholars:

Anne MacLennan, University of Otago, Wellington Clinical School

annmaclennanAnne’s doctoral study involves an exploration of the experience of patients dying in hospital from the perspective of the hospital staff. 

Most people dying in hospital are over 65. It is her hope that by gaining a deeper understanding of the issues involved, it will be possible to guide education policies and training of staff to improve the quality of life at the end of life. It may also help guide decisions about what is the most appropriate place in which to care for a dying person.

Anne is already an experienced researcher with eight publications to her name.

Michael Annear, The University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences

michaelannearMichael Annear is in the second year of his doctoral studies of environmental influences on active ageing.

Christchurch has the oldest population structure of New Zealand’s large cities. It is, therefore, necessary to understand and promote conditions that support activity and independence in later life to maximise the opportunities of population ageing. Our research explores the potential influence of social and physical environmental conditions on active ageing behaviours in diverse urban areas, including a consideration of the unanticipated impacts of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

The research is characterised by the use of a participatory and mixed method design undertaken with a volunteer sample of 355 older adult collaborators from 12 urban areas. Methods of investigation include environmental observations, a participant-designed questionnaire, a 14-day activity diary augmented with photographic procedures, and group discussions. We are now in the final year of this project and are beginning to synthesise and disseminate the results to community stakeholders. Emerging and notable findings include the identification of home and local environment as a nexus of activity participation and the central influence of accessibility, amenity, and social network characteristics as environmental influences on behaviour. Moreover, analysis of earthquake impacts suggests a dichotomy of vulnerability and resilience within the older adult cohort in Christchurch. It is hoped that the findings, recommendations, and theory emerging from this study will help to inform age-friendly urban development in Christchurch and earthquake recovery initiatives that are sensitive to the diverse needs of older adults.

Sarah Hood, The University of Auckland

sarah Hood photo Oct 10The Foundation made a one off Grant to Sarah Hood to update progress made by the District Health Boards on implementing the Government’s Health of Older People Strategy.

Sarah is doing this as a Masters project in the School of community and Environmental Health at the University of Auckland.

This work follows on an earlier study funded by the HOPE Foundation which monitored progress with the Government’s Strategy.

Rachael Sim, Massey University

rachelsimRachael Sim is a doctoral candidate in Massey University’s School of Psychology. She is investigating the prevalence and role of false memories as people age.

In her Master’s programme she investigated the prevalence of false memories in older as compared to younger subjects, finding no difference. ( A false memory is an erroneous memory in which a person recalls events that had not in fact been experienced.) She suspects this was due to an inadequately sensitive test. In her doctoral research, she plans to expand the testing regimen to include a battery of other tests, to use two different methods of inducing false memories and to investigate a wider spectrum of types of memory that may be affected as people age. 


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