Past Events

3rd Annual International Symposium on Ageing and Old-Age in Asia-Pacific

The 3rd Annual International Symposium on Ageing and Old-Age in Asia-Pacific brought together leading experts in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to facilitate exchange of the latest knowledge on the health, social, cultural, political, and economic challenges associated with ageing and old-age. It was held in Melbourne, Australia, on 11-12 October 2017.

Public Forum; Developing age-friendly rural communities: sharing international and local learnings

Bio - Professor Mark Skinner

Professor Mark Skinner holds the Canada Research Chair in Rural Ageing, Health and Social Care and is founding director of the Trent Centre for Ageing & Society. His research examines how rural people and places are responding to the challenges and opportunities of population ageing, particularly the evolving role of the voluntary sector and volunteers in supporting older people and sustaining ageing communities. Mark is internationally recognized for his contributions to community-based research within Canada, and is involved in boards of community support agencies and age-friendly planning initiatives.

Keynote presenters:

Professor Mark Skinner

(Trent Centre For Ageing & Society, Trent University, Canada)

Age-friendly rural communities: inclusive approaches, sustainable futures?

Dr Rachel Winterton

(John Richards Initiative, La Trobe University, Wodonga)

Rural organizational capacity to develop age-friendly strategies for social participation: facilitators and barriers

Dr Rachel Whitsed

(Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury)

Better Parks for People: development of a spatial tool to better plan parks for older residents

2016 JRI Oration

There is a disconnect between medicine as a science (evidence base medicine) and medicine/care as an art. If our aim is to be delivering truly personalised healthcare – we need to go beyond collecting evidence for each of the separate tests and interventions which can be used in healthcare (under fairly artificial and isolated conditions: traditional evidence based medicine) to understand how these elements work as a whole and how value of each of these depends on the context, providing examples.

Diagnostic value of tests and methods is mostly evaluated ignoring that there is almost always already some information available on how likely or unlikely a certain test outcome is (so called prior probability of a test result).

Bio – Assistant Professor Rene Melis

Trained as physician and senior epidemiologist Dr Melis is currently working as assistant professor at the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the Radboud University Medical Centre located in the Netherlands. With the aim to have a substantial societal impact and using methods from epidemiology, health economics as well as qualitative research, he is active in multidisciplinary, cross-cutting research into better care for elderly.

Central theme of Dr. Melis’ research is heterogeneity in ageing (frailty, disability, multimorbidity). His focus is on understanding why some people accumulate many different (health ) problems when they age (pathological ageing), how this influences their lives as they age (prognosis) and what can be done to improve their outcome (intervention: self management, integrated care, e-health). Dementia is a disease model that is often used in his studies to study heterogeneity in aging.

His research projects focus specifically on two questions:

  • How do physical (frailty, multimorbidity and disability) and cognitive predictors interact to explain heterogeneity in outcomes of ageing?
  • How can we – with this knowledge – improve the care for frail older people with cognitive decline and other complex and interacting problems and thus improve their quality of life, and support their caregivers?

2016 JRI Rural Dementia FREE Public Forum

  1. Technology for remote specialist dementia support for rural primary care providers

    Associate Professor Megan E. O’Connell, is a clinical psychologist at the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic. Her research at the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan focusses primarily on rural dementia care as a member of the Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) team where she leads projects regarding the use of technology for remote service delivery. She will share her latest research on ‘Remote Specialist to Primary care support Enriched care through technology to reduce growing waiting list, facilitate communication of diagnosis and treatment plan.

  2. RemoDem: support for people with dementia in remote areas.

Professor Alison Bowes is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Her research focuses on the provision of services to older people, including people with dementia, and people from minority ethnic groups.


Videoconferencing for rural caregiver support

Discussion on videoconferencing for rural spouses of persons diagnosed with atypical young-onset dementias, including dementia due to frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTD) in Canada.

2015 JRI Seminar presented by Professor Len Gray

Small rural communities often lack access to a wide range of health services because of distance from regional or metropolitan centres. This lack of access results in a need for patients to travel, with attendant costs and inconvenience, or alternatively, they may lack access completely.

We have developed a range of telehealth solutions that support health service delivery to rural settings, including hospitals, aged care facilities and primary care facilities. In many instances, these solutions provide equally effective services at lower cost than conventional services. In the presentation, some service models will be presented, together with some insights into service feasibility, reliability, acceptance and cost.

Telehealth for Small Rural Communities

Bio - Professor Len Gray

Professor Len Gray is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland where his current academic appointments are as Director of the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine and the Centre for Online Health. He holds clinical appointments as Senior Consultant Geriatrician, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane and Visiting Physician (Geriatrician) Dalby Hospital.

He is a Board Member of the interRAI Research Collaborative, an international working group of researchers developing assessment protocols, data sets and quality tools for aged care and related fields.

His research interests focus on aged care policy, models of aged care service delivery, assessment and care planning systems, and e-Health and telemedicine strategies. He has secured over $6m in competitive research grants in the last 5 years and has led 6 NHMRC grants as principle investigator. Most recently, he led a successful application for a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) which encompasses an extensive 5 year program of research in Telehealth which commenced in 2013.