Aboriginal ageing


Researching how Australian Aboriginal people age


What is it that helps one person to age successfully and cause another to develop age-related diseases like dementia? Scientifically, we know too little about normal ageing and what factors influence some people and not others to develop diseases that affect the brain.

Please note, these pages may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.

Only by studying healthy elderly people, as well as those with problems, can we know what normal ageing looks like. We can also learn what activities, lifestyles and other factors are important for staying healthy as we age.

Very little is currently known about how Australian Aboriginal people age. What we do know is that rates of dementia in Aboriginal Australians living in remote and rural areas are up to five times higher than the rest of the Australian population. Almost nothing is known about the prevalence of dementia in urban Aboriginal communities.

Through the Koori Growing Old Well Study we are exploring healthy ageing and cognition in urban Aboriginal communities in New South Wales, in particular looking at how life events affect healthy ageing.


The Koori Dementia Care Project

The Koori Dementia Care Project (KDCP) aims to inform, educate and build capacity in urban and regional NSW Aboriginal communities, and with associated service providers, about the effects of dementia on older Aboriginal people and their families.

Falls, ageing and dementia in Indigenous Australians

We aim to identify determinants for the high prevalence of dementia in Indigenous Australians, and will now extend these findings by exploring determinants for the high prevalence of falls.

Innovative approaches to prevent falls in older people

Physical exercise training has been the primary focus of single interventions trials to reduce falls and advance healthy ageing. However, high attrition rates suggest that current approaches are not sufficient to guarantee long-term adherence to exercise in the majority of older adults.

Neuropathology of frontotemporal dementia

Unlike other neurodegenerative conditions, people with FTD may have one of a number different underlying cellular brain changes. Patients followed longitudinally in life are enrolled into the brain bank so that we can gain insights into the pathological processes in FTD.

Ageing and dementia in Aboriginal Australians

The project examines how to implement evidence based healthy brain ageing (dementia prevention) programs in urban and regional Aboriginal communities.

What else is happening in Aboriginal ageing research at NeuRA?