The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at UNSW and Tapestry Pty Ltd have announced they have joined forces to tackle the issues of an ageing population and promote positive ageing.
Research indicates that various forms of social engagement play an important role in keeping the brain healthy. As such, the union of CHeBA and Tapestry will help promote the significance of social connectedness in relation to brain health. Together they will advocate positive ageing to the wider community: the ability to age without cognitive decline.
CHeBA, a world leader in centenarian studies and research into the ageing brain, and Tapestry, an Australian company that has designed social media specifically with seniors in mind, is an encouraging alliance for the future of ageing.
With centenarians (those that reach 100 years) being the fastest growing demographic in developed nations and with an estimate that the population over 80 in Australia will have quadrupled in size over the next 50 years, measures need to be put in place now to support our ageing population.
This collaboration brings together two leaders in their respective fields focused on bettering an ageing population – one through scientific research and translation of research outcomes into practical realms and the other through advancement in communication technology and the development of simple apps for seniors to allow them to stay connected with their families. Together they plan to redefine the meaning of ageing and create a better platform for all of us in terms of brain health and social connectedness, now and in the future.
The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing was officially launched in October last year fronted by Professor Perminder Sachdev and Professor Henry Brodaty; both internationally acclaimed for their research into age-related cognitive disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s and other dementias. With the last decade showing significant developments in neuroscience, there is considerable hope given to the possibility that we may be in a position to prevent and treat age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
“The strength of CHeBA is in its multi-disciplinary approach, as it addresses ageing-related brain diseases through the latest work in epidemiology, clinical research, neuroimaging, genetics, proteomics and other innovative approaches. It also regards research as an international endeavour and is building consortia to bring the power of collaborative research to bear upon these challenging problems facing our society”, says Professor Sachdev.
Tapestry was founded by entrepreneur Andrew Dowling who has been a pioneer of Australia’s technology industry for the past two decades. His vision is to ensure families and carers stay connected to the seniors in their lives by using safe, secure and simple tablet apps. Tapestry’s tablet- and web-based applications allow families to share photos via email and Facebook, as well as performing other functions to keep families connected; Tapestry is currently available on Android and will be launching shortly for iPad and iPhone. With a background in social entrepreneurship, Dowling decided to start Tapestry when he first learned the startling statistics on social isolation statistics in the aged population.
Professor Henry Brodaty, co-author of Managing Depression, Growing Older says that feelings of isolation can lead to depression, which in turn leads to a faster rate of cognitive decline.
“As such, it is essential that we stay socially engaged and connected as we age”, Professor Brodaty says.
“We welcome Tapestry as one of our strategic partners. The significance of social connectedness in relation to brain health is largely underestimated and the synergy with CHeBA will accelerate support of seniors and an ageing population,” says Professor Sachdev.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with CHeBA,” says Dowling. “It’s a complementary relationship that we hope lasts well into the future – perhaps even until we’re all centenarians.”
Heidi Mitchell: Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, +61 2 9382 3398 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Willis: Tapestry, +61 2 8011 3842 | email@example.com