Putting NARI on the Australian research stage

NARI’s research was showcased at the recent Australian Association of Gerontology annual conference.

NARI Director Associate Professor Briony Dow was one of the elder abuse plenary speakers alongside Professor Rosalind Croucher AM (President of Australian Human Rights Commission) who gave the David Wallace Address, the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO (Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner), and Gerard Mansour (Commissioner for Seniors Victoria). Associate Professor Dow presented a research perspective in the plenary, focusing on what we know and don't know.

Other NARI researchers presented on a range of projects, highlighting both the breadth and depth of the Institute’s research portfolio, and the different approaches taken to drive research findings.

Using video interviews with recently bereaved older people to understand how family dynamics influence advance care planning within families was one of the projects to be put in the spotlight at the conference.

The project is part of a larger End of Life Care Project by the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration a collaboration between the National Ageing Research Institute and partners in the field: Northern Health, Western Health, Mercy Health, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network and the North West Metropolitan Palliative Care Consortium.

The overall aim of the project was to evaluate the degree of integration and communication of services provided to people in the last year of life.

The presentation, delivered by Christel Lemmon, revealed that one of the main results coming out of the interviews was that most people don’t prepare for death and crisis is often the point of intervention.

“The overwhelming finding is that families who have discussed end of life care and were clear about what was needed were able to deal far better with their grief. End of life discussions are not easy and they become far harder when family dynamics, such as conflict, have not been addressed. These complicate communication between families, patients and health providers,” Ms Lemmon said.

“What our research underscores is the importance of improving communication within families around the end-of-life care,” she said.


Other NARI researchers presenting at AAG include:

Sue Williams Documentation patterns of care preferences at the end of life

Marcia Fearn: Implementation of advance care planning in aged care

Ellen Gaffy: What is codesign?

Debra O’Connor: Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration a collaborative approach to research translation

Anita Goh and Anne Fairhall: Promoting Independence through quality dementia care at home (PITCH): a codesigned project

Scott Fraser: Exploring how art centres support older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – a national survey

Bianca Brijnath: Ingredients for success: what works when screening for elder abuse

Anita Panayiotou: STrAtegies for RelaTives (START) On-Line

Paulene T. Mackell and Ros Malay: Realising the potential of art centres in remote Aboriginal communities

Pazit Levinger: Outdoor exercise equipment for seniors to promote physical activity

Kathryn Squires: HEAT: The Hospital Environment Audit Tool and reshaping care

Anita Panayiotou: Using translation technology with older people from CALD backgrounds

Bianca Brijnath and Josefine Antoniades: Behind the scenes: roll-out of a multimedia project in CALD communities

Steven Savvas: Mapping the resident’s journey in aged care

Santini Subramaniam and Kerry Hwang: Improving service knowledge and access among CALD people with dementia

Stephanie Garratt: Medication omissions and New Zealand care homes: a descriptive analysis

Isabelle Wallach: The sexual experiences of older Canadian heterosexual and gay men

Sue Malta: End of life planning: safeguarding the end of the rainbow and  “Don’t you think that’s too sexy for someone your age?”

Isabelle Wallach: Sexuality and ageing in palliative care environments? Breaking the taboo.


NARI researchers also presented symposia:

Betty Haralambous: Technology as an innovative solution to language and communication barriers

Frances Batchelor: Unpacking codesign, collaboration and consumer engagement


NARI researchers also presented at workshops:

Luke Gahan: A fair future for older women who experienced sexual abuse and Disrepecting LGBTI identify, a unique form of elder abuse.

Meg Polacsek: “A Good homecare work is gold”: dementia care workforce training

Dina LoGiudice:  Optimising dementia detection in indigenous communities.’


NARI researchers also presented posters:

Dina LoGiudice: The incidence of urinary incontinence in remote living Aboriginal Australians.

Maho Omori: Transition Maps: a tool for effective communication in aged-care facilities.