Professor Hidenori Arai
President of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG), Japan
Hidenori Arai (MD., PhD) is the President of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG), Japan since 2019. He is also the President of the Japan Gerontological Society, the Vice President of the Japan Geriatrics Society, the President of the Japanese Association on Sarcopenia and Frailty and the Vice President of the Japan Atherosclerosis Society. Additionally, he is the President of Asian Academy of Medicine for Ageing, and the Vice President of Asian Association of Frailty and Sarcopenia. He is a member of the Science Council of Japan since Oct. 2020.
After graduation from Kyoto University School of Medicine in 1984 and from Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in 1991, Dr. Arai spent most of his career in the Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kyoto University. Then he became Professor of the Department of Human Health Science, Kyoto University School of Medicine in 2009 and since then he has been working on frailty and sarcopenia. After the work in the Department of Human Health Science, Kyoto University School of Medicine, he moved to NCGG as the Deputy Director in 2015. He then became the Director of NCGG in 2018 and the President of NCGG in 2019. He is the co-chair of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia and his primary research focus is frailty and sarcopenia.
Evidence-based Action For Age-friendly Cities And Communities
Dr. Liang-Kung Chen
Superintendent, Taipei Municipal Gan-Dau Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Professor & Director, Aging and Health Research Center, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan
Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Dr. Chen attended the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine from 1989 to 1996, gaining his MD, and becoming the PhD of the Institute of Health Policy and Welfare, National Yang-Ming University to extend his research from biomedical domain to aging and public policy. He started his residency in orthopedic surgery in 1996, and from 1998 to 2003, his residency in family medicine at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and became an attending physician of the Department of Family Medicine in 2003. In 2003 Dr. Chen became of Director in Community Medicine and Geriatric Medicine of Taipei Municipal Yang-Ming Hospital. In 2005, he was invited to the University of Oxford as a Visiting Scholar in Department of Clinical Geratology. Dr. Chen became the Director of Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital in 2006 and the Director of Aging and Health Research Center of National Yang Ming University in 2014. In 2021, he was appointed to be the superintendent of Taipei Municipal Gan-Dau Hospital.
In 2002, Dr. Chen became the lecturer in Family Medicine at the National Yang-Ming University, obtained his associate professorship in 2010, and became full professorship in 2014 in Geriatrics. Dr. Chen is the key opinion leader in age-friendly healthcare services, including integrated outpatient services, post-acute care and long-term care. He is currently the chairman of the Department of Geriatric Medicine, National Yang Ming University.
Dr. Chen is the editorial board members of several local and international journals, also the editor-in-chief and associate editor of several SCI-indexed journals. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology, including a series of articles in leading journals in the world. Dr. Chen’s research work is focused in several domains: (1) frailty and sarcopenia, (2) insulin resistance and metabolic resistance of the older people, (3) age-friendly healthcare systems, including long-term care and dementia care, and (4) smart health care and artificial intelligence.
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Professor Debra Waters
Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Professor Debra Waters is the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is the Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology, the Editor in Chief of the Australasian Journal on Ageing and an executive member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Sarcopenia and Frailty Research, and task force member of the International Conference for Frailty and Sarcopenia (ICFSR). Her research career has been focused on community-based interventions for preventing falls and sarcopenia in older adults.
Associate Professor Reshma Merchant
Head of Division Geriatric Medicine and Senior Consultant
Department of Medicine
NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University Health System, Singapore
A/Prof Reshma Merchant graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 1995, and have since worked in the United Kingdom and Singapore. In addition to being a full time practicing clinician and head of division since 2009, she is also a passionate educator, and has won multiple teaching awards. She holds many leadership positions in national and international professional organizations and advisory boards including the National Kidney Foundation. She is recognized as a thought leader in policy, research and practice in fields associated with population health. She is also a member of WHO Global Network on Long-term care (GNLTC). Her main areas of research interest are in sarcopenia, falls and frailty prevention, and healthy ageing. She is the lead for many ongoing healthy ageing projects in the community.
Hidenori Arai, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Japan
Liang-Kung Chen, Superintendent, Taipei Municipal Gan-Dau Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan Professor & Director, Aging and Health Research Center, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Debra Water, Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand
Reshma A Merchant, Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, Head of Division Geriatric Medicine and Senior Consultant, Department of Medicine, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore
Number of older adults aged 65 years and over is projected to double to 1.5 billion by 2050 as a result of advancement in medical, public health, social and economic development leading to improvement in survival. The top three countries in Asia with the largest percentage point increase will be Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. While lifespan continues to increase, health span has been slow to improve, and a person is known to spend the last decade of his or her life in poor health. The World Report on Ageing and Health by World Health Organisation (WHO) defines healthy ageing as the process of developing and maintaining functional ability that enables wellbeing. The interaction between individual and environment is crucial to achieve the optimum trajectory which can be modified to maintain a person’s functional ability and intrinsic capacity throughout the life course.
The United Nations General Assembly has just declared 2021-2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing where all stakeholders including government, private sectors, community and academia will need to come together to add life to years, with one of the areas of action include “ensure that communities foster the abilities of older people” through designing national / subnational programmes on age-friendly cities and communities. Every country has different demographic challenges and identifying the mechanisms to activate the community to participate in the intervention programs, driver of behaviour change and sustenance is crucial to adapt to other programs. Older adults define successful ageing as being able to maintain physical and cognitive ability in community surveys. Social isolation, frailty, dementia, falls, and fractures are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and it should be every country’s priority to have community-based integrated care system to promote healthy and active ageing.
Presenter #1: Prof. Hidenori Arai
In Japan, the prevalence of older people is over 28%, which is highest on earth. In order to develop a healthy longevity society, establishing the community-based integrated care system along with frailty and dementia prevention initiatives should be a key to promote healthy aging where we can provide medical and long-term care with interprofessional collaboration for the people who long for aging in place. In order to provide medical care that is appropriate for older people, it is necessary to perform medical practice collaborating with multiple professions in various medical settings such as acute, subacute, chronic, and home care. Physicians play a central role in the community-based integrated care, not only in the treatment of older people in the community, but also in measures against frailty, dementia, preventive medicine, and regional medical coordination by collaborating with integrated community support centers. For the better community-based integrated care system more efforts should be conducted to raise awareness of the importance of geriatrics in a healthy longevity society, where we can enjoy life until 100 years old. Japan has been conducting several unique measures for frailty and dementia prevention along with the establishment of the community-based integrated care system, which will be addressed in the symposium.
Presenter #2: Prof. Liang-Kung Chen
Population aging is a global issue, and Asia is facing unique challenges due to the rapid aging speed, demographic characteristics, socio-economic gap, and the low fertility rate. The development and implementation of age-friendly health services, as well as age-friendly communities and cities are needed for the social security networks. Despite the strong unmet needs, evidence-based approaches are critical to ensure the optimal outcomes. High-level research evidence may support the clinical efficacy of intervention programs, however, at the societal levels, we need the spill-over benefits of these programs that changes lifestyles of all inhabitants in the communities. Promoting concepts and actions of healthy aging needs strategic plans that enable every individual to the whole community or society to march towards a society of healthy longevity. Taiwan started to develop and implement age-friendly health hospital and health services more than 10 years that successfully integrate elements of age-friendly health services in the national healthcare organization accreditation framework and payment. Despite the development and implementation of various community-based programs, the disability-adjusted life years are not shortened as expected. Applying evidence-based approach with scientific strategies of implementation to all age-friendly services is critical for Taiwan on the road to the super-aged country.
Presenter #3: Prof. Debra Waters
Mobility and social connection are critical features for age-friendly communities. In New Zealand, Age Concern Otago supports peer-led community-based strength and balance classes called Steady as You Go (SAYGO). The SAYGO program has been running continuously since 2003 and has more than 2500 participants and > 150 peer leaders in Otago and Southland of the South Island alone. These weekly classes have been shown to significantly improved strength and balance after 10 weeks and decrease 12 month falls incidence by 27%. People who participated longer term (>3 years) maintain higher levels of strength and balance and had significantly lower falls incidence compared to shorter duration participation. Class members reported that improved strength and balance, social connection and cohesion were important factors in the long-term sustainability of the classes. This peer-led model improves and maintains mobility, social connection and creates an age-friendly environment that is empowering for older people. Age Concern New Zealand is currently coordinating a national-wide roll out of SAYGO so that more older New Zealanders can benefit from this program
Presenter #4: A/Prof Reshma A Merchant
A healthy planet depends on healthy and empowered community. Frailty and dementia, both linked with ageing and chronic diseases are a major cause of disability and associated with poor quality of life both for the older adult and caregiver. Maintaining functional and cognitive ability, and ageing in place must be every country’s priority. The Healthy Ageing Promotion Program for You (HAPPY) program was started in Singapore in 2017 to engage older adults with prefrailty, frailty and/or cognitive impairment in dual-task exercise in the community setting led by health coaches or trained volunteers with the aim of improving function, cognition and reducing social isolation amongst community dwelling older people in Singapore. The HAPPY program is a form of system-based approach to enable successful ageing which was successfully implemented through multi-collaborative approach to co-create sustainable and scalable interventions to achieve high level of physical and mental functioning, stronger social network, and better quality of life. After 3 months of participation, there was significant improvement in functional ability including cognition, frailty status and physical function especially in the total SPPB scores, balance, and chair-stand domain. This correlated with reduction in falls by two thirds and improvement in quality of life.