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What does the research inform us to do differently in our ‘every day practice’ with frail elders?


Join us for our third Ageing and Spirituality webinar
Webinar recording available to purchase below

The Selwyn Foundation's third Ageing and Spirituality Webinar.

The Selwyn Foundation’s Ageing & Spirituality Webinar (third in a series) for Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health and Social Services Professionals, and Clergy was broadcast live on Wednesday, 10 March 2021. The webinar recording is available for purchase below.

Professor Martin Connolly, a practicing Geriatrician at Waitemata District Health Board and his colleague Nurse Practitioner Dr Michal Boyd will present key findings, and summarise the practice implications for Clinicians resulting from their internationally peer reviewed studies about statistically predictable outcomes on admission to age residential care; and the theoretical trajectories of functional decline prior to death. They will present this against a background of the prevalence of frailty and its consequences, and a discussion of preventative factors. 

In discussion with Caroline Leys, The Selwyn Foundation’s Director, Spiritual Care , Martin and Michal will discuss what and how to best share these research findings with the frail older person and their family/whanau, given it is statistical information and thus not case specific (i.e. it may not correlate to even semi-accurate predictions per individual elder).  The discussion will traverse the realities for health and social service professionals - of the question asked, or hanging in deafening silence when an elder displays signs and symptoms of frailty – ‘how long have I (or Mum / Dad, etc) got to live?  The discussion will also cover what can clinicians of all disciplines do differently when caring for frail elders in general practice, in the community, in hospital services, and in aged residential care.  

Photo by Micheile Henders, Unsplash


Professor Martin Connolly.


Martin Connolly trained in the UK, qualifying from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1980, and worked as a Consultant Geriatrician in Manchester from 1991 until coming to New Zealand when appointed as Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Auckland. He has published extensively in many areas including COPD, depression, chronic conditions management, frailty, residential aged care, retirement villages, and healthy ageing. He directs a multidisciplinary research group composed of members with medical, nursing, epidemiological and statistical expertise.


Dr Michal Lynn Boyd.

1996 MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner, University of Colorado (USA) • 1994 ND Nursing Doctorate, University of Colorado (USA) • 1992 MS Biology/mammalian physiology. Northern Arizona University (USA) • 1986 BS Biology/secondary ed. Brigham Young University (USA)

Michal Boyd trained in the USA, has worked as a Nurse Practitioner in New Zealand since 2003. Since 2008 she has been Associate Professor with School of Nursing and Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Auckland. She currently practices privately in aged residential care through Equinox Health. She has published extensively, her main interests being in care of older adults in the community and residential aged care, and advanced nursing practice. She recently completed the ELDER study (End of Life with Dementia Research) exploring the end of life experience of people dying in aged residential care. As Clinical Lead for New Zealand Health Quality & Safety Commission Michal led the process to develop and publish the “Frailty Care Guides/Ngā aratohu maimoa hauwarea (2019)”. As Clinical Leader for Waitemata DHB Community Services for Older Adults she implemented the “Residential Aged Care Integration Programme.

Caroline Leys

Caroline is an Anglican Priest and is a graduate of the General Seminary, New York with an S.T.M. (Masters) of Ascetical Studies. Since ordination as priest in 1990 she has worked in private practice as a therapist, facilitator, trainer and more recently in ministry and business development. Caroline is a certified Sageing Leader for Sage-ing International.

Previously Caroline gained her Registered Nurse (Comprehensive) qualification from AIT. She is a mother and grandmother and has been married to Stephen for over 40 years.

As Director, Spiritual Care for the Selwyn Foundation, Caroline leads strategic development of the spiritual wellbeing dimension of The Selwyn Way — which is our approach to the care and wellbeing of all who connect with us. The intention is that spirituality is embedded and accessible across everything the Foundation does as a charity, in our villages, through our community services, and through education and knowledge exchange for staff, older people and their families.