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Researchers at BRNZ are working hard to develop novel apps and tools to support New Zealanders in reducing their risk of neurological disease. Apps available for download to smart devices are universally accessible and are proving a powerful way to motivate people to reduce their risk.

We are also developing an interactive website that that will support people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment, which we will launch in early 2020. Work is also underway to create online resources that will increase the awareness of dementia and dementia care in NZ, including Māori-specific resources, and standardise dementia resources across our public health and NGO sectors. Another project currently underway is the development of an app for dementia awareness and risk reduction for Māori.

Tools and Apps

Stroke Riskometer App
Developed by BRNZ investigator Valery Feigin in collaboration with international leaders in stroke prevention, the Stroke Riskometer™ app is an award winning and easy-to-use tool for measuring your individual risk of a stroke in the next five to ten years. The Stroke Riskometer can calculate your stroke risk by evaluating a series of risk factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, lifestyle and other health factors that directly influence your likelihood of a stroke.

Stroke Riskometer is available on AppStore and GooglePlay.
Click here to find out how to download the Stroke Riskometer App in your preferred language.

The Stroke Riskometer app is suitable for ages 20 to 90+ years old and has been endorsed by:

  • The World Stroke Organization
  • European Stroke Organization
  • World Federation of Neurology
  • International Association of Neurology and Epidemiology
Another tool developed by Prof Feigin and his collaborators at AUT is, a website focused on self-managed rehabilitation. It features a series of videos on stroke care and rehabilitation available for a minimal cost. The videos demonstrate rehabilitation procedures – from muscle strengthening and fatigue management to bathing and walking – and show how to manage everyday life when recovering from a stroke. The practical demonstrations are accompanied by easy-to-understand explanations from health professionals.

The videos have already been tested by Dr Kelly Jones and her team at the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience at AUT in a controlled trial in six countries, and have proved highly acceptable.

Click here to access the website and find out more.

GREY MATTERS is a resource for people who are experiencing changes to their memory and thinking. The website helps allows people to learn about the ageing brain and how to keep your brain healthy, to explore the different strategies people use to help them through the day, and for people to share their own tips, tricks and experiences with others. The website was co-designed by people experiencing changes to their memory and thinking as well as their families, to ensure the final resource would meet the needs of its users. GREY MATTERS was developed by Prof Nicola Kayes (Centre for Person Centred Research) and colleagues, in collaboration with Good Health Design, and funded by Brain Research New Zealand. Read more.

Dementia Care for Māori
This short course, released by the Goodfellow Unit, is aimed at health professionals who engage with Māori who live with dementia and their whānau. It provides information and tools around communicating with Māori patients and whānau, and information around diagnosing dementia and the long term care of dementia patients. The resource was developed by Eleanor Moloney and reviewed by BRNZ Principal Investigators Prof Ngaire Kerse and Prof Leigh Hale, Shereen Moloney (The New Zealand Dementia Cooperative), Dr Chris Perkins and Catherine Hall (Alzheimers New Zealand). Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Professional Development. You can access the resource here.

Health and wellbeing for Māori: Interview series
As part of the development of the “Dementia Care for Māori” resource,  a series of interviews with kaumatua Tāmati Kruger were recorded. They give broad cultural insights and are aimed at healthcare practitioners who want to create greater satisfaction for both patients and practitioners and to achieve better health outcomes for Māori within their practice. The interviews touch on topics such as social connection,  components of self, mana, mauri and tapu, whakapapa, mauri ora, and more. Watch the videos here.

Dementia in Māori – optimising care
In this Goodfellow podcast, Dr Makarena Dudley talks about dementia diagnosis and care in Māori. She discusses her research into constructs of mate wareware (dementia) from a Māori understanding of dementia. The topics discussed include: why are Māori significantly younger when a dementia diagnosis is made, the definition of mate wareware, why language and labelling should always be a consideration, the four pillars of Māori health, and keeping kaumātua active in their cultural roles. Listen to the podcast here.

Living well with dementia
In this podcast, Prof Ngaire Kerse discusses topics on living well with dementia, including: the diagnosis of dementia, adjusting to change, considering the future, cognitive testing, family respite and support, driving and dementia, and whakawhanaungatanga when dealing with Māori patients and whānau.Listen to the podcast here.

Dementia – Prof Ngaire Kerse
In this podcast, Prof Ngaire Kerse discusses the following topics: dementia care and early diagnosis, assessing cognitive impairment and expected age related decline, depression, delirium and dementia, reliable tools to test cognitive function, recommended investigations, breaking news to families, topics to discuss with patients, supportive role of the GP, lifestyle advice, frequency of review, when to refer, take home messages. Listen to the podcast here.

Driving assessment for patients with dementia: a how-to guide
This resource is a medical case scenario that discusses driving assessment for a patient with dementia. It uses a clinical guideline on dementia and driving safety, and the Hui Process, a four-step approach to building relationships with Māori patients and whānau. This resource was created by Dr Vicki Mount and reviewed by Dr Philip Wood. Access this resource here.

Maximising health of older people
In this Goodfellow Unit MedTech, Prof Ngaire Kerse discusses topics such as: what are the new things that are becoming important for ageing well, tips for getting conversations about ageing well into consultations, factors that may affect health outcomes as people age, and approaching the rationalisation of prescription medicines for older patients. Watch the interview here.

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