Study participants aged 80+ needed

smiling older man

The CSIRO are seeking healthy individuals aged 80 and over, who live in Adelaide, to participate in a study to determine whether specific molecular changes in saliva, cheek cells and blood samples could be used for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 200 people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in Australia every day. Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the quality of life, health and wellbeing of those affected but also leads to a significant financial burden at an individual level as well as for our wider community. However, to date, there is no conclusive diagnostic test available. It is important, therefore, to try and identify potential early biomarkers that may help us to design preventative measures.

To accurately assess changes in people with neurodegenerative disease, a group of healthy, age and gender-matched volunteers (‘control volunteers’) are needed to compare results. As a control volunteer you would be required to attend the CSIRO Clinic at SAHMRI on North Terrace, Adelaide for a single 45 minute visit.

The clinic visit will involve:
• a non-fasted blood sample will be collected by trained and experienced staff
• a cheek cell sample will be collected using a small toothbrush that will be rotated against the inside of the cheeks
• a saliva sample will be collected
• completion of a questionnaire plus a ‘mini mental state examination’ (MMSE)
• on completion of the study, participants will receive a Coles/Myer gift card valued at $50 to acknowledge their valuable contribution to scientific research.
Study criteria
You will need to meet the following criteria to participate in this study:
• are healthy and aged 80 years and above
• not clinically diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
• no family history of Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
• not undergoing chemotherapy/radiation treatment for cancer
• not supplementing your diet with Vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D

If you would like to participate, please email: [email protected]

This study has been approved by the CSIRO Health and Medical Research Human Research Ethics Committee.

Tell us what you want to do this year!

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ACH Group initiative The Exchange is finalising plans for 2019 and we want to hear from you. What do you want to learn this year? What new skills would you like to have by the time the year ends? What new things would you like to experience? What would you like to see changed in the world around you, and how would you like to influence it and have your say?

Let us know by filling out the form below and we’ll take your aspirations on board as we shape our program for the year ahead.

To book your free visit, complete the form below.

Swimming for People Living with Dementia – We want to hear about your experiences

older person swimming

Are you or someone in your family living with Dementia? Or do you work with people living with Dementia? ACH Group has been awarded funding from Dementia Australia to develop dementia friendly swimming experiences and environments.

The project will include the development of fact sheets for swimming pool venues, swimming coaches, people living with dementia and their families.

We are currently seeking the input of people with dementia and their families, as well as people who work with people with dementia in a paid or volunteer role, and people who work at swimming pool venues. We want to hear all about your experiences of swimming and dementia. You can contribute to the project by taking the online survey or contact the project coordinator to arrange a face to face interview.


*The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Project Coordinator Fiona Telford-Sharp – Ph (08) 8159 3425 or email [email protected]


ACH Group is a leading provider of dementia services including the innovative Tailor Made Project for people living with dementia under the age of 65. Its Dementia Specialist Advisory Service is led by a team of highly skilled professionals who are equipped to support you, your family member or friend with a range of support services, practical ideas and solutions to everyday challenges, keeping connected to the community and planning for the future.

Find out more about how we can support you to live well with dementia here.


Images of ageing: where do we stand?

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“I wouldn’t say I’m old. I wouldn’t say that I’m not old. I just am.”

ACH Group General Manager Strategy and Partnerships Jeff Fiebig shared his views on ageing as part of a panel that explored ‘Images of Ageing’ at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas on Sunday.

Mr Fiebig joined South Australian Film Corporation’s Courtney Gibson, Little Lion PR’s Gabrielle Leonello and Adelaide advertising guru James Rickard to share their insights in a discussion hosted by ACH Group’s Jani Baker.

The panel looked at the way older people are represented in advertising, fashion and cinema. They looked at where things have improved and what needs to change.

Mr Fiebig, who has worked in the aged care sector for several decades, shared his personal experience of living as an ‘older’ South Australian. “One of the things that has struck me is that it is young people who get to make policy, who get to decide what the issues are, but they don’t actually understand the lived experience.”

One of those recent experiences – a stint at hospital – gave him an insight into the way older people are treated within the health system.

“I must have had half a dozen people come in and go through an assessment process with me – what’s your name, what’s your date of birth, what’s wrong with you, what’s your diet like, how many friends do you have? … A series of pejorative questions that in a sense framed for them who I was, but did not frame for me who I was. The whole notion of other people deciding who you are is one of the major themes that really affects you as you become older.”

He said the challenge for advertising agencies, manufacturers and designers was to reflect the needs of the older population as well as the middle and younger generations.

Ms Leonello, who works with a number of high end fashion brands, said she believed things were improving when it came to representing older people in the fashion industry.

“I think that fashion, like other industries, is more fragmented these days, which is allowing specialisation into what was once more marginalised groups – not just older people but plus size and different ethnic groups,” she said.

She said the latest Dolce and Gabbana haute couture fashion runway show in Como, Italy, featured a model in her 70s and another in her 40s.

Closer to home, the Australian Fashion Week and Melbourne Fashion Week both featured mature age models in their runway shows this year.

“Fashion has always been aspirational: the basic premise is that you want to try and achieve the unattainable. What they’ve done over the last few decades is put forward 14-year-old models for skin care, and it just doesn’t relate any more. I think as a consumer base we’re more aware, but we also have an ageing community.”

When it comes to the big screen, stereotypes around ageing abound, according to Ms Gibson.

“It’s not just older characters that are stereotyped – teens are either wayward or bookish, in the same way the older person is either doddering or cantankerous.”

She said the rise of the series, or long-form cinema, was helping make space for more complex characters, but there was a long way to go.

“Not much has changed: older women on Australian TV are rare; there’s Margaret Pomeranz, Lee Lin Chin, our own Maggie Beer; there’s Jennifer Byrne and Lisa Wilkinson who are our emerging middle aged to getting older women, and the pressure on them to look 40 rather than 60 is considerable. I don’t think men get off much more lightly- the tyranny of the hair transplant among news and current affairs presenters in particular is still a thing.”

Mr Rickard said advertising was a youth-obsessed industry, but that needed to change.

“Baby Boomers are diverse – you’re talking about a span of 20 years,” he said. “My industry fails miserably in terms of delivering to this audience. People have a perception that Baby Boomers listen to Doris Day, but it’s more likely to be the Rolling Stones.”

You can listen to the recording of the ‘Images of Ageing’ here.