elderly people socialising

Facts & figures

Research spotlight

  • $2.6 million in research funding and grants since 2018
  • 26+ peer reviewed papers published since 2018

Ageing and Health Research Group

Enabling older people to participate in life
We develop better ways to enhance health, independence, wellbeing and community participation of older Australians and implement these into practice.

About us

The Ageing & Health Research Group is a multidisciplinary team with backgrounds in sociology, psychology, neuropsychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, biostatistics and policy.

We work closely with a variety of stakeholders including consumers, advocacy groups, health care, disability care and aged care providers and government. We apply our expertise to solving challenges and maximising opportunities that arise through population ageing.

Our research

We work to translate this knowledge into effective practice and policy for service agencies, consumer groups, government and older people. Our research priorities are:

Policy and aged care
We have been conducting research on older workers to which has informed national and global socioeconomic policies. We also undertake policy-relevant aged care and health services research.

Safety and community participation
Participation and meaningful engagement in everyday life is strongly associated with wellbeing.  Our work also makes sure the environment more optimally supports the person participation and safety. We conduct evaluation research, validate assessments and develop interventions to enable prevention with a strong focus on fall prevention.

Our research helps us understand the experiences of people with dementia and their families and the health and aged care professionals who look after them. We also develop, test, and implement non-pharmacological programs to improve the quality of life and other outcomes for people with dementia.

Technology in everyday life
We are exploring the older adult’s use of technology to help in everyday life so that they can continue to live at home.

Impact of environmental stressors on ageing
Older people less able to cope with environmental stressors such as extreme weather and natural disasters because of physiological changes, cognitive impairment, less mobility and social isolation. We are developing interventions that adapt and ameliorate the impact of environmental stressors on older people.

  • A randomised controlled double blind trial of vitamin C plus zinc (ZinVitC) therapy for poorly healing foot ulcers. Research and Education Network WSLHD. 2017-2019, Gunton J, Girgis C, Flood V, Begg L
  • A Social Care Approach to Ageing: Extending the WUN global initiative promoting meaningful engagement of persons with advanced dementia ageing in supported living environments from 2015 by Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Sustainability grant in 2018. Baldassar L, Du Toit SHJ, Wilding, R, and Etherton-Beer, C.
  • A tailored falls prevention program for older people with mental illness living in the community. Medical Research Future Fund Rapid Applied Research Translation Round 3 Grant: Project Partners: Sydney Health Partners (University of Sydney, Northern Sydney Local Health District & Sydney Local Health District). 2019 – 2020; Lovarini, M, Mackenzie, L, Meehan, M, Hancock, N & Scanlan, J.
  • CO-desiGning demeNtia dIagnoSis ANd post-diagnostic CarE (COGNISANCE). JPND call for proposals: “Multinational research projects on Health and Social Care for Neurodegenerative Diseases” 2019-2021. Brodaty H, Low LF, Vedel I, Verhey F, Rait G, Robinson L, Rymaszewska J.
  • Dementia in prisons – enabling better care practices for those ageing in place in correctional facilities. Initially funded by University of Sydney Ageing in Place Seeding Grant. 2017+ Du Toit SHJ, O’Loughlin K, Surr C, Butler T, Withall A, Snoyman P, Forsyth K.
  • Establishing pathways to implement and sustain evidence based fall prevention in primary care: The iSOLVE project. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project Grant. Project partners: University of Sydney, Australian Catholic University, University of NSW, Sydney North Primary Health Network and the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission.  2014 – 2019. Clemson L, Sherrington C, Roberts C, Peiris D, Willis K, Mackenzie L, Pit S, Poulos R, Lam M, Lovarini M;
  • Evidence-based programs to improve the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers: Implementing COPE in the Australian health context. NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre: Development and Review Research Project, 2016-2018. Clemson, L, Laver, K., Jeon, Y-H, Gitlin, L., Comans, T., Low, L-F, Crotty, M., Kurrle, S., Scanlon, J.
  • Factors impacting on the longevity in Centenarians in Sydney and Singapore. Office of Global Engagement Grant: Sydney and Duke-NUS Partnership 2019. Wilson L.
  • Implementation of Dementia Research into Clinical Practice and Care Promoting Independence Through quality dementia Care at Home (PITCH). NHMRC Implementation of Dementia Research into Clinical Practice and Care 2019-2021. Dow B, Doyle C, Ames D, Winbolt M, Sarvas S, Malta M, Clarke G, Panayioutu A, Cooper C, Livingston G. AIs: Lyketsos C, Batchelor F, Burton J, Low LF, Scherer S, Loi S.
  • Implementing the Tailored Activity Program for people with dementia and their family living at home: i-TAP (Australia). NHMRC Implementation of Dementia Research into Clinical Practice and Care 2019-2021. Bennett S, Clemson L, Gitlin L, Ganon B, Russell T, O’Reily M. AIs: Laver K, Beattie E, Burns G , O’Connor C, Liddle J, Pighills A, Low LF, Chapman H,  Khan A
  •  Improving Mental Health and Social Participation Outcomes in Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety. NHMRC 2017 Targeted call into depression, anxiety and suicide among elderly Australians. 2018-2020, Rapee R, Wulrich V, Draper B, Brodaty H, Cutler H, Low LF, Georgiou A, Johnco C, Jones M.
  • Integrating Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT)-an approach to bypass the impact of cognitive difficulties on daily functioning for individuals with schizophrenia-into routine practice in government and community-managed mental health service a knowledge translation pilot. Schizophrenia fellowship of NSW 2019-2020. Scanlan J, Hancock N, Clemson L, Low LF.
  • Investigating falls risks in the homes of older Vietnamese people living in the community. Sydney South East Asia Centre Mackenzie L, Cusick A, Vân LT  
  • Is a group-based as effective as an individual-based Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) programme? A multi-center, single-blinded, randomized, non-inferiority trial. Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) Funding initiative “Lifelong Health and Wellbeing”, 2017-2019 , Schwenk, M., Becker, C., Klenk, J.Konig, H Advisor/AI: Clemson, L.
  • Low inflammatory diet and liver disease: testing a new online interactive nutrition guide with consumers. Research and Education Network WSLHD, 2019-2020, Flood V, George J, Alhensteil G, Gunton J, Cheah M, Wales C, Keist-Jones L, Radd-Vagenas S.
  • Making the HOMEFAST accessible to older people in the community by creating a user-friendly online platform to evaluate their level of falls risk at home. NSW (FACS) Liveable Communities Grant. 2018-19. Mackenzie, L., DuToit, S., & McGrath, M.
  • Older adults’ use of technology to successfully age in place. University of Sydney Ageing in Place Compact Seeding Grant. Project partners: University of Sydney, Karolinska Institutet, University of Sheffield & Our Lady of Consolation Aged Care and Services Rooty Hill, Sydney. 2017 – 2018. Lovarini M, Patomella AH, du Toit S, O’Loughlin K, Yeandle S, Clemson, L.
  • Optimising functional independence of older persons with dementia: Implementation and Evaluation of the Interdisciplinary Home-bAsed Reablement Program (I-HARP). NHMRC Implementation of Dementia Research into Clinical Practice and Care 2017-2021. Jeon YH, Simpson J, Szanton S, Low LF, Woods R, Norman R, Mowzowski L.
  • PlaTFORM: PrevenTing Falls in a high risk, vision impaired population through specialist ORientation and Mobility services: a randomised trial. NHMRC Project grant. 2016-18.  Kaey Li, Clemson L, McCluskey P, Ramulu P, Ivers R, Tiedemann A
  • Strengthening social and emotional wellbeing services with Elders and older Aboriginal people Charles Perkins Centre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wingara Mura Leadership Academy EMRC Seeding Grant. 2018+ Gibson C, Gilroy J, Du Toit SHJ, Lincoln M, Brideson T, Dobrohotoff J.
  •  Tailored intervention for reducing falls after stroke trial (FAST). NHMRC Project grant, 2019-2022 Clemson, L. Dean, C., Ada, L., Scrivener, K.
  • The Dementia Lifestyle Coach: is it feasible to deliver a support and coaching program for people recently diagnosed with early dementia? Faculty of Health Sciences Ageing in Place Seeding Grant 2017-18. Low LF, Swaffer K, Brodaty H, Naismith S, Hancock N, McLoughlin J.
  • The development of a mobile App to assist older people remain healthy in extreme weather. Annual Industry and Community Engagement Seed Fund Grant. 2017 – 2018. Wilson L
  • The effects of active exercise combined with an enriched diet on swallowing, speech function and weight in patients with Motor Neurone Disease; a randomized trial. Motor Neuron Disease Research Institute of Australia. 2017-19. Flood V, Vucic V, Bogaardt H, Menon P, Niven K, Lau T, Hammond R.
  • UL CARE (The UL Centre for Ageing Research), Irish Research Cluster Capacity Building Awards, 2019-2021, Robinson, K., Richardson, I., O’Sullivan, K., Meskell, P., Moss, H., Clifford, A., Purtill, H., Hayes, S., Boland, P., McCreesh, K., Galvin, R., Fahy, T., O’Sullivan, P., Bray, B., Noble, H., Mackenzie, L., O’Connor, E., O’Neill, D., Devane, D., Nelson, J., Burt, J., O’Connor, M., O’Keefe, M., Cassarino, M., Leahy, S., Geraghty, A., Kenny, R., Power, V
  • Urban design and heath in future cities. WUN Grant: Partnership with CUHK, Auckland University, Taipei University and Stockholm University. 2019. Wilson L.
  • Urbanisation and heat health in 2 Australasian cities: Sydney and Hong Kong. Institute of Chinese Studies Grant: Sydney and CUHK Partnership. 2019. Wilson L.
  • The Care of Older Persons in their Environment (COPE) program is a structured occupational therapy and nursing intervention for people with dementia and their caregivers living at home that is designed to assist people with dementia and their carers to independently manage everyday activities. The COPE team has recently launched its website to share details on training opportunities and research papers.
  • Sanet Du Toit and Lee-Fay Low write about the Gold Soul Companionship program, an intergenerational program at Scalabrini Bexley where Faculty of Health Sciences students share an home with older adults.

Our people

Research leader

Headshot of Associate Professor Lee-Fay Low
Associate Professor Lee-Fay Low
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