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NEWS AND MEDIA

New trial aims to reduce frailty and improve mental health by connecting older Australians and preschoolers

In an Australian first, scientists will today begin a pilot trial bringing together older adults and preschoolers to assess the mutual health benefits of intergenerational activity, such as reducing frailty and depression. Inspired by the award-winning ABC series, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, the Intergenerational Integration Initiative will see older adults and young children engage in a structured series of investigative, artistic and educational activities together. Evidence suggests these planned intergenerational activities might reduce frailty and improve mood and thinking skills in the older adults, and also improve empathy and language development and reduce age stereotypes in the…

StandingTall: A new e-Health exercise program helps prevent falls in older people by up to 20 per cent

Coinciding with Falls Awareness Month, a new study into the balance exercise program, StandingTall, has shown promising results in significantly reducing the rate of falls over two years by up to 20 per cent. Falls in older people are common, can have serious consequences (hip fractures, placement in care facilities), are costly to the individual, society and health system, and are preventable. Published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this week, the two year trial of 503 Australians aged 70 years and older found the home based e-health balance exercise program, StandingTall, can provide an effective, self-managed fall prevention program…

NeuRA and Kidsafe Australia release updated National Child Restraint Guidelines

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Kidsafe Australia today launched the Best Practice Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles, which aims to keep children up to 16 as safe as possible when travelling in vehicles. Child restraints are used to protect young passengers travelling in motor vehicles, and include rearward and forward-facing car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Despite high levels of child car restraint use in Australia (92-99%) and one of the most stringent child restraint design standards in the world, approximately 40-70 children are killed on Australian roads each year, and thousands more…

Professor Peter Schofield’s Response to Proposed ANU Neuroscience Closure

Australia has a proud history of neuroscience, with the Australian National University (ANU) as one of our most esteemed leaders. Now we are facing the proposed closure of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, the legacy of Sir John Eccles who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the most basic neuroscience, by defining how neurons communicate through both chemical and electrical signalling within the brain.

Royal Commission Into Aged Care Highlights Need For Better Fall Prevention Strategies

NeuRA research shows targeted interventions can reduce fall rates by up to 50% The risk of falls and fractures for older Australians remains too high, as highlighted by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Report. The Report recommends implementing a higher standard of care to meet the individual needs of residents, including assessing their falls risk. Research by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) shows that targeted interventions can reduce fall rates by 20 to 50 per cent in adults over the age of 65 years. Professor Stephen Lord, Director of the Centre, said there is a clear need to implement evidence-based…

Jeanne Little’s Legacy Lives On: The Jeanne Little Alzheimer’s Research Fund

ABC’S AUSTRALIAN STORY FEATURING JEANNE LITTLE AIRING ON 1 MARCH 2021 Jeanne Little, one of Australia’s biggest stars of the 1970’s, will feature on Australian Story on Monday evening (1 March, 8pm), shining a light on the woman who touched the hearts of Australia with her unstoppable energy and creativity. But many people will be shocked to know that towards the end of her life, Jeanne struggled with Alzheimer’s for 13 years, leaving this once extremely independent and strong woman unable to care for herself. Sadly, when she passed in November 2020, Jeanne didn’t recognise her family and she couldn’t…