Re-imagining Ageing is a 7 part podcast series sharing real life stories, discussing the latest research and promoting healthy and active ageing into late life.

Join Dr Christina Hagger (Podcast works Radio Adelaide) and her expert guests as they explore many topics including living well with dementia, rehabilitation and self-efficacy after stroke, nutrition for brain health, exercise and activity, complementary medicines and social engagement.

Listen to the podcast

  • Episode 1. Walking with dementia with Nancy Russo minus-thick plus-thick

    'The most important thing is the person and the value of the person.'

    1
    MAY 21

    Mrs Nancy Russo is the wife of the late Michael Cumming, mother to their son Nelson, and a History, Geography and Society and Culture teacher at Magdalene College, Narellan. In her role as a care partner she became a vocal advocate for her husband as they tried to navigate the health care system post dementia diagnosis. Her mantra is the importance of relationships. Nancy considers it essential for carers to set the care bar high and ensure the dignity of loved ones.

    Listen to the poignant journey of Nancy who realised the need for a multi-faceted approach to improve outcomes for people and families walking with dementia.

  • Episode 2. Keeping our independence with Professor Susan Hillier minus-thick plus-thick

    'The desire to move is a desire for independence.'

    5
    MAY 21

    Susan Hillier is Dean of Research in the University of South Australia’s Allied Health & Human Performance Unit. She has teaching and research interests in the fields of neuroscience and rehabilitation. One of her main research areas is the effectiveness of rehabilitation approaches after stroke as well as models of rehabilitation and access to rehabilitation. The influence of rehabilitation on neuroplasticity is also a focus.

    In this podcast Susan examines how we get the brain into a learning frame of mind.

    • When things go wrong in the brain, how does it find a different way of doing something?
    • What motivates and engages the individual to promote learning? How do we maximise self-efficacy?
    • Mitigating risk factors for stroke and chronic illness.
    • ‘The whole human approach to recovery’.
  • Episode 3. Eating to reduce the risk of Dementia with Dr Alexandra Wade & Professor Frini Karayanidis minus-thick plus-thick

    'The most important thing is the person and the value of the person.'

    5
    MAY 21

    Alex Wade is a Research Associate in the University of South Australia’s Allied Health & Human Performance Unit. Her work bridges the fields of nutrition and psychology and explores how we can reduce our risk of dementia by changing our diets. Her doctoral research focused on the Mediterranean diet, and whether it can be modified to improve cardiovascular and cognitive health for older Australians.

    Frini Karayanidis is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Her research in cognitive neuroscience focusses on the interplay between brain, behaviour and environment to craft a clearer picture of how we efficiently and adaptively apply cognitive control processes across the lifespan.

    In this podcast Alex and Frini discuss:

    • How we can optimise diet and physical activity compositions to prevent dementia?
    • What do the good oils and fats actually do in our bodies to promote health?
    • How does diet effect our brain and risk of dementia and capacity for brain processing speed?

    What is the Mediterranean diet? How does the Mediterranean diet improve our brain health by improving our heart health?

  • Episode 4. Retaining the muscle power! with Deb & Sandra Hunter minus-thick plus-thick

    'Exercise is not just a privilege for the young. The older person has the ability to adapt their muscle and their body just as much as that of young people. If you haven’t got the muscle power to get out of a chair then you lose your independence and that’s a critical threshold that we don’t want to cross.’

    13
    MAY 21

    Sandra Hunter is a Professor of exercise physiology and Director of the Neuromuscular Physiology of Movement laboratory at Marquette University, Wisconsin. Deborah Hunter is the CEO and principal physiotherapist of her award-winning physiotherapy practice in Australia. Deborah and Sandra are the founders of My AgeFit, an app that provides expert advice on how to improve and optimize health, well-being, cognition, and ultimately, independence, at all stages of life. 

    As people age, physical function deteriorates, almost always leading to a decreased quality of life, a reduced ability to perform our daily physical tasks, and even a significant loss of independence. Deb and Sandra don’t accept age as a barrier to exercise. They offer advice and expertise on how exercise can optimize your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. 

    • As the age-related declines in muscle power occur, exercise can keep you above that critical threshold and therefore keep you independent.
    • Exercise is protective against disease and mortality and cognitive decline.
    • The earlier you can start exercise the better because exercise is protective.
    • Endemic culture of thinking we can’t exercise. Take baby steps. Keep it small, keep it fun, buddy up with a friend.
    • It is our responsibility to our bodies to make exercise a habit. Start small.
  • Episode 5. A holistic approach to health care with Assoc Prof Genevieve Steiner minus-thick plus-thick

    The holistic perspective approach to wellness.

    13
    MAY 21

    A/Prof Genevieve Steiner is a cognitive neuroscientist with research spanning the early detection, prevention, and treatment of memory and thinking problems in older people with the aim of reducing dementia risk and improving quality of life.

    In this episode Genevieve gives specific focus to the use of complementary medicine by older people for a wide range of health conditions and to improve quality of life. There are currently 8.1 million users of complementary medicine in Australia and 75% of older people use some form of complementary medicine to improve their quality of life.

    • What is complementary medicine?
    • How does complementary medicine give people with dementia a choice over their health and their options and agency over their own care?
    • Dietary approaches to wellness.
    • The shifting definition of treatment to include complex therapy approaches that are wholistic. The overarching approach to health and wellbeing.
  • Episode 6. Dementia lets see how far we can delay it with Dr Ashleigh Smith and Maddison Mellow minus-thick plus-thick

    How can we improve that ageing experience for everybody, so everybody can engage in the way that they wish to in society?

    13
    MAY 21

    Dr Ashleigh Smith is an emerging research leader whose research is positioned at the nexus of neuroscience, exercise physiology and cognitive ageing. She has held consecutive research fellowships since 2013 and is leading a national interdisciplinary team, which has recently been awarded a Boosting Dementia Research Grant worth $1,2 million. Dr Ashleigh Smith is a member of the Alliance for Research in Exercise Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), whose research vision is to develop targeted and sustainable physical interventions, to improve health, across the lifespan.

    Maddison Mellow is a Research Assistant in the Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA). My research is centred around understanding the acute effects of exercise on neurophysiology (brain connectivity, excitability and plasticity) using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.

    • Dementia. What is it? How does it occur? How do we prevent it?
    • What is the optimal use of time in a 24-hour day in older adults to increase their cognitive function and reduce their dementia risk?
    • Modifiable and nonmodifiable factors for dementia. 35% are modifiable. Physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking, not enough sleep, poor vascular health, diabetes. The role of physical activity. Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise enhances neuroplasticity. Reduces cognitive decline. Importance across the life span.
    • Getting people to enjoy exercise and how to fit it into the day. Benefit from 5 minutes a day. The importance of how we use our time across the 24-hour day. What is the best balance for the outcome that is most important for you.
    • Social engagement, movement, enjoyment. What happened in late life when people start to withdraw from society. How can we improve that ageing experience for everybody so everybody can engage in the way that they wish to you in society.
  • Episode 7. What does it actually mean to age well? With A/Prof Tim Windsor and Lui Di Venuto minus-thick plus-thick

    'Ageing is not all about loss.'

    13
    MAY 21

    Associate Professor Tim Windsor is from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University. His research interests are concerned with changes in activity engagement, social behaviour, emotion regulation, and cognition that occur during adulthood and ageing and beliefs and sense of purpose that contribute to effective self-regulation and development over the lifespan.

    • What does it mean to age well? Maximising gains and opportunities and minimising losses. Ageing is not all about loss.
    • What is strong in your life? How can we connect to likeminded strength people.
    • The potential for growth in later life while best addressing challenges that arise. Maintaining engagement with life. Activities that give us meaning and purpose.
    • Retirement period. It’s long and can be full of purpose.
    • Volunteering. Travel. Hobbies. Finding activities that provide social connection and purpose. Engagement that has meaning to the person. Meaningful social relationships are fundamental to leading a fulfilled life.
    • Setting goals and engaging with them.
    • The importance of diverse networks. You have to keep building networks that will help you achieve what you want to achieve.
    • Links between social engagement and cognition. Connection can lead us into positive health behaviours.

The Re-imagining Ageing Podcast was produced by Dr Ashleigh Smith and Dr Alexandra Wade in partnership with Radio Adelaide’s Podcast works (Host: Dr Christina Hagger, post-production Tiarne Cook and Lisa Burns, Radio Adelaide; music composed by Marty Haros). The Re-imagining Ageing Podcast was funded by a UniSA Researcher Connection Innovation Fund Grant, 2020