Population ageing is one of the most important challenges facing our society in the coming years is that of an ageing population.
In Australia the number of people aged 65 years and over is projected to exceed the number of children aged 0-14 years around the year 2030 (Source – Australian Bureau of Statistics). This highlights the importance of research into the optimum factors for healthy ageing.
Research in this area focuses on individual, social and health care factors that affect the health and well-being on men and women as they age, and ways in which communities and organisations respond to an ageing population.
Hunter Researchers are able to capitalise on significant data assets (including the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health and the NSW 45 and Up Study) to provide research for the development of health and social policy, and service delivery programs within Australia and other countries.
The Hunter Community Study is our local data asset, informing collection of data over time from older adults in the Hunter to determine health trends, risks, and opportunities for prevention.
Survey data on lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, nutrition, smoking and alcohol, as well as blood samples have been collected and clinical examinations carried out since 2004, enabling a wide variety of research projects to be conducted.
Another major project within the Public Health research group is the 'Australian Community of Practice in Research in Dementia' (ACcORD) study which aims to improve the health and quality of life for people with dementia and their carers.
The team is also revising the 2003 GP Guidelines for the identification and Management of Dementia in General Practice.