ANZSGM ASM 2017 Older peoples care through Community, Collaboration and Communication 10-12 May 2017 Rotorua New Zealand

A/Prof Debra Waters 

A/Prof Waters is the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago, which is a joint appointment between the Department of Medicine and School of Physiotherapy.  She is also the Director of the University of Otago research theme called Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence (CARE) and the Deputy-Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. She works closely with Age Concern Otago and is part of the Southern Alliance Falls Fractures Governance Group. She also holds a research appointment at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in the US, and has collaborators in France and The Netherlands.  Her areas of research focus are: age-related body composition changes, how this impacts on physical function and frailty, and effective interventions; and falls prevention using community-based and peer-led models


In New Zealand, as in other developed countries, frailty and obesity in older adults is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem. The idea of an obese patient who is also frail is an enigma for many clinicians, who picture frail patients as those who are thin and weak. Recently the New Zealand Ministry of Health stated that obesity has overtaken tobacco as a greater risk to the loss of health. Part of the loss in health, is the loss of physical functioning, which is often not measured in clinical setting. In reality, obese older adults may have low skeletal muscle mass, with poor physical function and thus an increased risk of frailty. This combination of low skeletal muscle mass and function, with high fat is called sarcopenic-obesity. The challenge can be in identifying these patients in a clinical setting. Typical measures of weight and BMI are not sensitive to age-related changes in skeletal muscle, bone and fat that occur during aging. Thus, weight and BMI may be “normal” when body composition and function is not. Compounding this challenge is the ongoing research on safe and effective interventions to reduce obesity, while not accelerating the age-related loss of skeletal muscle and bone.  This presentation will cover some of the current thinking around classification, identification and effective interventions for this specific group of patients who, other than their obesity, are not often identified as “at risk” for frailty and may be given advise to diet to reduce body weight and lower other metabolic risks.  The research presented will show that this can have damaging consequences for bone and skeletal muscle if not managed carefully with appropriate exercise and dietary supplements.

Important Dates

Call for Abstracts open: 25th October 2016

Registration Opens: 18th November 2016

Call for Abstracts Closes: 24th February 2017

Notification of Abstracts: 20th March 2017

Close of Early Registration: 31st March 2017

Conference: 10th May 2017


Host Organisation



Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM)

145 Macquarie Street

Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Tel: +61 2 9256 5460

Fax: +61 2 9241 3458



Twitter Conference Secretariat
Workz4U Conference Management

PO Box 90641, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 917 3653 
Mob: +64 21 779 233

© 2017 ANZSGM