Retirement Life

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The vital issue that brought Q+A's host and guest to tears

<p><em>Q&amp;A</em><span> </span>host Hamish Macdonald and Liberal MP were brought to tears on the program after discussing Australia's failing aged care system.</p> <p>Allen ended the show in tears after speaking about her father's battle with dementia.</p> <p>"He couldn't speak for the last year of his life, he couldn't walk, his only words that were left were 'thank you'," Ms Allen said through tears.</p> <p>"It's a terrible disease, so I think people [need to be] able to have the choice, and the control, and the laws in Victoria have been, I think, I have to say well handled and I think that we need to have this sort of conversation, particularly for dementia."</p> <p>Macdonald broke down in tears much later after asking an audience member and his daughter questions about aged-care homes.</p> <p>Audience member Timothy Granger and his daughter Prudence-Rose spoke about Timothy's battle with early-onset Alzheimer's as he was diagnosed at the age of 51.</p> <p>Timothy spoke about his fears about what the future holds for him.</p> <p>"How are you doing?" Macdonald asked.</p> <p>"Going well," Mr Granger responded before adding: "Sorry, I have a little bit of problem with speech, sorry, what was your question?</p> <p>"I wanted to know how you're doing," Macdonald said.</p> <p>"You're living at home with your beautiful wife, your wonderful daughter. How do you feel about the prospect of one day going into an aged care facility?"</p> <p>"I think what makes it scary is he's so much younger," she said.</p> <p>"He's going to be potentially going in there in his 60s or sooner, which we really want to avoid but if that occurs, how can he live his best life in these facilities that aren't really set up for him at his age?</p> <p>"There are more people getting diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's."</p> <p>Macdonald asked Timothy how he felt about discussing that with his family.</p> <p>"That's going to be difficult and probably it's going to be hard for them as well," Mr Granger said.</p> <p>"I'm scared. I think it's not something you think is going to happen so soon," Ms Granger added</p> <p>"We would like to be able to support him for as long as we can, the reality is we probably can't.</p> <p>"We also have financial concerns. We'd like to be able to put him in a facility that will support him and his needs but I don't know if he could afford that or if we would get in.</p> <p>"And I'm just witnessing that, especially tonight, listening to everything that everybody is saying and it's really scary."</p> <p>It was here that Macdonald started to cry.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Tim is 56 years old and was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s five years ago. Tim wants to know how he will be supported to live “his best life” in aged care? And Trevor wants to know if there is any hope for the future for him and 472,000 of his “dementia mates”? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QandA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QandA</a> <a href="https://t.co/0MJhIY0Tj3">pic.twitter.com/0MJhIY0Tj3</a></p> — QandA (@QandA) <a href="https://twitter.com/QandA/status/1364884709319217157?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 25, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>"I've met Tim previously, so I was already somewhat familiar with the situation he is in," Macdonald told the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-26/dementia-patient-leaves-q+a-panel-on-aged-care-in-tears/13194334" target="_blank"><em>ABC</em></a>.</p> <p>"He has a beautiful warmth and a great sense of humour, I was really looking forward to catching up tonight.</p> <p>"In truth, we can spend hours talking about the statistics and the data and the sad history of aged care in Australia, but stories like Tim bring the realities home to us all.</p> <p>"When Tim speaks, you can imagine this was you, you can imagine this was your partner or your father. It is impossible not to be moved by Tim's story.</p> <p>"He's a father, a husband and a lovely human, faced with some extraordinarily difficult circumstances. I'm really pleased there's a space for Tim and people like him to have a voice in such an important national conversation around aged care."</p>

Retirement Life

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13 people who faked their own deaths

<p>Aimee Semple McPherson<br />On May 18, 1926, Canadian-born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while swimming at a Los Angeles beach. As rescue teams searched for her, one team member died, and a grief-struck follower of the charismatic religious leader drowned herself in despair. Five weeks passed, and McPherson turned up in Mexico, claiming to have gone off the grid in the course of fleeing would-be kidnappers. The kidnapping story seemed shady and was investigated as a possible fraud. However, it remained unresolved until McPherson’s actual death in 1944.</p> <p>Aleister Crowley<br />In September, 1930, Crowley, a self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the religion Thelema, jumped off a cliff near Lisbon, Portugal. Or so he made it seem. Three weeks later, he turned up alive and well in Berlin. Turns out, it was all an elaborate hoax that he’d planned with an acquaintance, the poet Fernando Pessoa. His motives remain unclear, but it’s possible he did it to get away from a woman with whom he’d been travelling and with whom he’d grown bored. Is it any wonder Crowley’s been called “the wickedest man in the world”?</p> <p>Juan Pujol Garcia<br />When World War II ended in Europe, British spy Juan Pujol Garcia, with the help of his MI5 handlers, faked his own death by malaria in order to keep a surreptitious eye on Germany. His wife never believed it and wasn’t surprised when he turned up four decades later, having been outed by an investigative reporter, Nigel West. Garcia was nicknamed “Agent Garbo” (because of his esteemed acting skills) and is one of Europe’s most celebrated spies.</p> <p>Reverend Philip St John Ross<br />When the Reverend Philip St John Wilson Ross, an English vicar, drowned during a seaside holiday in August 1955, his wife and congregation mourned his tragic death… until two years later, when he was spotted in Switzerland with another woman, Kathleen Ryall. He had faked his death and was living with Miss Ryall under the assumed names Mr and Mrs Davies.</p> <p>Lord Lucan<br />Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, was a relative by marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. Lord Lucan, as he was commonly known, disappeared in November 1974 following the murder of his children’s nanny and the assault of his wife, who immediately identified the attacker as Lucan. His abandoned car was eventually recovered with an empty bottle of prescription pills inside, making it seem as if Lucan had killed himself. But it’s been widely rumoured that Lucan faked his death, with the assistance of his wealthy and connected friends.</p> <p>John Stonehouse<br />British politician and member of Parliament, John Stonehouse, drowned in Florida in 1974 – conveniently, it seemed, since he was heavily in debt. Two months later, he was discovered in Australia where he was living under an assumed name. At first, it was suspected he was Lord Lucan because Lucan had disappeared earlier that year. In 1976, Stonehouse was convicted of fraud and related offenses and served three years before being released on parole.</p> <p>Takashi Mori<br />In 1995, Takashi Mori, a 47-year old Japanese man living in the Philippines, faked his death with the help of his 21-year-old son, so that his family could collect on his life insurance policy, which was worth at least five million US dollars. They then hurried off to Japan to live on their ill-gotten gains. Nine months after his ‘death,’ Mori was discovered to be living in Manila. He was arrested for insurance fraud, along with his son and wife who were deported from Japan.</p> <p>Patrick McDermott<br />Patrick McDermott was the boyfriend of actress and singer Olivia Newton-John. On a fishing trip to Mexico in June 2005, McDermott disappeared. Although he’s never been seen again, the circumstances of his disappearance have led to speculation that McDermott faked his death to avoid substantial debts, including child support payments to his ex-wife (not Newton-John).</p> <p>John Darwin<br />Pictured here with his wife, Anne, John Darwin apparently drowned while canoeing in the North Sea in 2002. In reality, the Darwins were looking for a life insurance pay-out. In 2007, Darwin turned up in a London police station, pretending to have amnesia. Unfortunately for him, someone found a photo of the couple in Panama, where they were looking to buy property. The Darwins were sentenced to six years in prison for fraud and related charges. Anne ended up divorcing John and wrote a book about her experiences called Out of My Depth.</p> <p>Samuel Israel<br />Former hedge fund manager Samuel Israel had been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and was to report to prison on June 9, 2008. Instead, Israel abandoned his car alongside the Bear Mountain Bridge in upstate New York, the words “suicide is painless” written in the dust on the hood. Given the circumstances, the authorities didn’t believe for a second that Israel had killed himself. He hadn’t. Instead, he was hiding out with his girlfriend in an RV parked off a nearby interstate. He turned himself in after a month; Israel is still very much alive and in prison.</p> <p>Aimee Semple McPherson<br />On May 18, 1926, Canadian-born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while swimming at a Los Angeles beach. As rescue teams searched for her, one team member died, and a grief-struck follower of the charismatic religious leader drowned herself in despair. Five weeks passed, and McPherson turned up in Mexico, claiming to have gone off the grid in the course of fleeing would-be kidnappers. The kidnapping story seemed shady and was investigated as a possible fraud. However, it remained unresolved until McPherson’s actual death in 1944.</p> <p>Aleister Crowley<br />In September, 1930, Crowley, a self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the religion Thelema, jumped off a cliff near Lisbon, Portugal. Or so he made it seem. Three weeks later, he turned up alive and well in Berlin. Turns out, it was all an elaborate hoax that he’d planned with an acquaintance, the poet Fernando Pessoa. His motives remain unclear, but it’s possible he did it to get away from a woman with whom he’d been travelling and with whom he’d grown bored. Is it any wonder Crowley’s been called “the wickedest man in the world”?</p> <p>Juan Pujol Garcia<br />When World War II ended in Europe, British spy Juan Pujol Garcia, with the help of his MI5 handlers, faked his own death by malaria in order to keep a surreptitious eye on Germany. His wife never believed it and wasn’t surprised when he turned up four decades later, having been outed by an investigative reporter, Nigel West. Garcia was nicknamed “Agent Garbo” (because of his esteemed acting skills) and is one of Europe’s most celebrated spies.</p> <p>Reverend Philip St John Ross<br />When the Reverend Philip St John Wilson Ross, an English vicar, drowned during a seaside holiday in August 1955, his wife and congregation mourned his tragic death… until two years later, when he was spotted in Switzerland with another woman, Kathleen Ryall. He had faked his death and was living with Miss Ryall under the assumed names Mr and Mrs Davies.</p> <p>Lord Lucan<br />Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, was a relative by marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. Lord Lucan, as he was commonly known, disappeared in November 1974 following the murder of his children’s nanny and the assault of his wife, who immediately identified the attacker as Lucan. His abandoned car was eventually recovered with an empty bottle of prescription pills inside, making it seem as if Lucan had killed himself. But it’s been widely rumoured that Lucan faked his death, with the assistance of his wealthy and connected friends.</p> <p>John Stonehouse<br />British politician and member of Parliament, John Stonehouse, drowned in Florida in 1974 – conveniently, it seemed, since he was heavily in debt. Two months later, he was discovered in Australia where he was living under an assumed name. At first, it was suspected he was Lord Lucan because Lucan had disappeared earlier that year. In 1976, Stonehouse was convicted of fraud and related offenses and served three years before being released on parole.</p> <p>Takashi Mori<br />In 1995, Takashi Mori, a 47-year old Japanese man living in the Philippines, faked his death with the help of his 21-year-old son, so that his family could collect on his life insurance policy, which was worth at least five million US dollars. They then hurried off to Japan to live on their ill-gotten gains. Nine months after his ‘death,’ Mori was discovered to be living in Manila. He was arrested for insurance fraud, along with his son and wife who were deported from Japan.</p> <p>Patrick McDermott<br />Patrick McDermott was the boyfriend of actress and singer Olivia Newton-John. On a fishing trip to Mexico in June 2005, McDermott disappeared. Although he’s never been seen again, the circumstances of his disappearance have led to speculation that McDermott faked his death to avoid substantial debts, including child support payments to his ex-wife (not Newton-John).</p> <p>John Darwin<br />Pictured here with his wife, Anne, John Darwin apparently drowned while canoeing in the North Sea in 2002. In reality, the Darwins were looking for a life insurance pay-out. In 2007, Darwin turned up in a London police station, pretending to have amnesia. Unfortunately for him, someone found a photo of the couple in Panama, where they were looking to buy property. The Darwins were sentenced to six years in prison for fraud and related charges. Anne ended up divorcing John and wrote a book about her experiences called Out of My Depth.</p> <p>Samuel Israel<br />Former hedge fund manager Samuel Israel had been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and was to report to prison on June 9, 2008. Instead, Israel abandoned his car alongside the Bear Mountain Bridge in upstate New York, the words “suicide is painless” written in the dust on the hood. Given the circumstances, the authorities didn’t believe for a second that Israel had killed himself. He hadn’t. Instead, he was hiding out with his girlfriend in an RV parked off a nearby interstate. He turned himself in after a month; Israel is still very much alive and in prison.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Lauren Cahn. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/13-people-who-faked-their-own-deaths?pages=1"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Why retirement living is the perfect way to upsize your lifestyle

<p>Retirement is a new stage of life, with some even saying "life begins at retirement". But the decisions you make after you stop working aren't always easy.</p> <p>However, there are a few things you can do to ensure the anxiety is lessened, starting off by sorting out your living arrangements.</p> <p>Retirement living has come a long way, with modern advancements now allowing seniors to receive the support that they need, while remaining connected to those who matter most.</p> <p>With comfort, accessibility and dozens of amenities under one roof, <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting</a> ensures that retirees wish they had made the switch sooner.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839543/cafe-hacc-79.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/57182e0fa12542a2981f881105416dbe" /></p> <p>And with a new community right in the heart of Western Sydney, <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting</a> hopes to welcome all cultures and generations to their village in Westmead. Featuring a café, salon, chapel and gym just to name a few, Uniting proves that retirement living doesn't have to be drab.</p> <p><strong>So, why should you make the switch?</strong></p> <p>Retirement communities come with plenty of benefits, but what makes <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting Westmead</a> especially unique is the option for seniors to connect with those just starting out in life: children. With a childcare centre available on the premises, children can directly learn from those who have experienced everything life has to offer, and in turn, residents can form a special bond of love and friendship with the young ones.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839544/gf_20190605-1244-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b06e0bdee51f4496aee6dcbe686112c9" /></p> <p>It's commonly spoken about how children can learn so much from those who are older than them, but what isn't widely mentioned is just how much they can teach us, and the opportunity for all ages to connect at Uniting what makes the entire experience so special.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Which one is right for you?</strong></p> <p>Aging can be a beautiful thing if done right and the new development allows residents to gracefully grow older as they relax and surround themselves with the things that they enjoy most.</p> <p>With multiple options to suit your needs and lifestyle, there's bound to be a living arrangement that works for you.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839547/shot_6_residencetea-84.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8fc5fbea753d40fb9dad0016c933a212" /></p> <p>Residents have a choice between household living, retirement and independent living or assisted living.</p> <p>But the big question is which one is the right option for you?</p> <p><strong>Household living:</strong> If you or someone you know needs more assistance throughout their day-to-day life then <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting Westmead's</a> household living is the perfect place to call home. This type of residential care provides the freedom and flexibility to do what you love, while still having someone close by 24/7 to lend a helping hand. Not only are residents given a private room with an ensuite, the household is supported by a dedicated Uniting homemaker. The living room, which is shared with 19 other residents, allows for the opportunity to socialise, along with a BBQ area and plenty of space outdoors to hold family gatherings.</p> <p><strong>Retirement and independent living:</strong> <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting Westmead</a> has a number of beautifully designed apartments available for those who are seeking a lifestyle change. Located close to Parramatta Park, those who choose to live independently will be downsizing in space but upsizing in lifestyle.</p> <p>As we grow older, maintaining a home and garden can cause strain on our bodies, which is why <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting Westmead</a> takes care of the aesthetics, so you have more time to do what you love.</p> <p>Each unit comes complete with modern fixtures and wider doors for easy mobility. You can also bring your furry friend along as the apartments are pet-friendly.</p> <p>Whether you choose a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment, you can rest assured that you will be well taken care of while still maintaining control over your life.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Assisted living:</strong> Finally, the assisted living option is optimal for those who wish to remain living independently in the retirement village but would benefit from extra support or care. It's nice to have someone around to remind you when to take your medication or to clean your home for you, or even prepare a nice warm meal.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839545/gym-124.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9d663a394b224771b06ee2aceda7ab7d" /></p> <p>The new community comes complete with many benefits, so you're able to maintain the perfect balance between living life on your own terms while still experiencing a thriving social life.</p> <p>“This precinct will be especially important for couples whose care needs change over time as both will be able to receive the support that they need without having to move too far from partners and friends,” says Simon Furness, Uniting’s Director of Property and Housing.</p> <p>“It is especially exciting to see the first people make use of the facilities and imagine the community that will birth from this development.</p> <p>“Uniting believes that bringing different generations together fosters awareness, understanding and respect between generations whilst reducing social isolation.”</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/478579433;284977294;l"><em>Uniting Westmead</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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"Hooray, I've made it!": Australia’s oldest person turns 111

<p><span>Dexter Kruger, Australia’s oldest person, has celebrated his 111th birthday.</span><br /><br /><span>“I didn’t think that I could make it but I woke up this morning, about a quarter to 12, and I waited until the clock struck 12 and I said, ‘Hooray, I’ve made it,’” he said from his nursing home in Roma, Queensland, on Wednesday.</span><br /><br /><span>The supercentenarian donned a celebratory sequined red hat with “111” in black numbers and a blue “Birthday Boy” ribbon while brought in his 111th birthday.</span><br /><br /><span>To make the moment even more meaningful, Mr Kruger took time to thank those who helped him for “this very special occasion”.</span><br /><br /><span>“I am completely overwhelmed,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I tell you, it is lonely at the top, I would like to have some company.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839468/australias-oldest-man-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ad98f3ba7d484fb3bde852a5ed9a3233" /><br /><span>Mr Kruger also recited the hymn My Times Are In Thy Hand, Psalm 31:15 by William Freeman Lloyd.</span><br /><br /><span>The 111-year-old was born on January 13, 1910, and has lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Swinging Sixties, and the introduction of mobile phones and the internet.</span><br /><br /><span>He is a retired cattle farmer and became an author at the age of 86 after his wife died.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839469/australias-oldest-man.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/252077fe5965415080d2979577b34327" /><br /><br /><span>His go-to “ditty” when interviewed each year is: “Always eat when you are hungry, always drink when you are dry, always sleep when you are sleepy, don’t stop breathing or you’ll die.”</span><br /><br /><span>He revealed to the ABC “there’s no secret” to living a long and happy life.</span><br /><br /><span>“Keep breathing, have three meals a day, and the time goes on,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I sing and whistle, and I have half a dozen prawns every day.”</span></p>

Retirement Life

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War hero Teddy Sheean awarded Victoria Cross after 78 years

<p>Ordinary Seaman Edward “Teddy” Sheean would have plenty of thoughts if he was alive to see the events unfolding on the manicured lawns of Government House in Canberra.</p> <p>A gathering of the country’s most powerful and most respected assembled under a marquee, along with his family to honour his incredible sacrifice on this very day in 1942.</p> <p>While it should not have taken this long for Australia to recognise his extraordinary bravery, today’s ceremony has righted that wrong as he became the first Navy crew member to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Australia’s highest military honour.</p> <p>Governer-General David Hurley said the story of his dedication touches all those around him because it highlights the ANZAC spirit - mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice.</p> <p>Ordinary Seaman Sheean was just 18 years old, the youngest member of the crew of HMAS Armidale on patrol off the coast of East Timor, when the vessel came under heavy attack from 13 Japanese aircrafts.</p> <p>The Armidale was hit by two torpedoes and, as it began to rapidly sink, the order was given to abandon ship.</p> <p>But as survivors jumped into the sea, they were machine-gunned by the enemy aircraft.</p> <p>The young sailor helped launch a life raft, then disobeyed orders and returned to his gun, strapped himself in and began firing at the Japanese fighter planes.</p> <p>According to Navy records, he was wounded in the chest and back, but still managed to shoot down one bomber and keep other aircraft away from his comrades in the water.</p> <p>His final moments are remembered by those who saw him, saying he was still firing his gun as HMAS Armidale slipped below the waves.</p> <p>In total, 49 of the 149 men who’d been onboard survived.</p> <p>While Prime Minister Scott Morrison was unable to join today’s ceremony in person, as he is currently in quarantine after returning from Japan, he still issued a video message.</p> <p>He spoke for many when he asked what made this young man from Tasmania do what he did that day, "to forsake a possible rescue, climb a listing deck and strap himself in?"</p> <p>"Whatever it was that caused Teddy Sheean to act so decisively and determinedly on that afternoon with blue skies and calm seas, we find ourselves drawn to it," Mr Morrison said.</p> <p>Mr Morrison speculated that maybe Ordinary Seaman Sheean wanted to live up to the example of his five older brothers who joined the service before him.</p> <p>Whatever it was, his actions on that day are truly inspirational.</p> <p>"His story resonates because as Australians, we continue to see and hope to see part of Teddy in the world around us – selflessness, loyalty and honour," the Governor-General said.</p> <p>Now, 78 years later, his family was able to beam with pride and hold the bronze cross which will forever honour the extraordinary achievements of Ordinary Seaman Edward "Teddy" Sheean.</p>

Retirement Life

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Pauline Hanson will support super increase

<p>One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has thrown her support behind increasing the compulsory superannuation guarantee from the middle of next year.</p> <p>Her stance presents a challenge to push within the coalition government to defer or abandon the legislated 0.5 per cent rise.</p> <p>Senator Hanson said the increase should be contingent on the superannuation system remaining fit for purpose.</p> <p>She asked Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to clarify the purpose of the retirement funding framework.</p> <p>"If the purpose of superannuation today is to increasingly fund caravan and land cruiser sales, it's succeeding," Senator Hanson said on Tuesday.</p> <p>"But if the purpose of superannuation is to give workers of today a better, self-funded lifestyle in their twilight years without taking a taxpayer-funded pension, it's failing."</p> <p>Hanson said an increasing amount of Australians had forgotten the purpose of superannuation and were squandering their retirement savings, defeating the purpose of the scheme.</p> <p>"While the money belongs to the employee, it wasn't designed to be cashed out as a lump sum and blown, only to leave a person on a government pension for the rest of their lives," she said.</p> <p>"If we don't re-clarify the purpose of superannuation now, we might as well just give these increases to people through their pay packets."</p> <p>The Morrison government is considering to backtrack on their election promise to lift the superannuation guarantee to 10 per cent next July.</p> <p>A few Liberal backbenchers want to cap the guarantee at the current rate of 9.5 per cent.</p> <p>Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers challenged the theory that increasing super contributions would come at the cost of wages growth.</p> <p>"They say it's about wages, but if they truly cared about wages they wouldn't have overseen what has been the most stagnant wages of any government ever over the last seven-plus years," he told Sky News.</p> <p>Labor and Greens support the super increase, so the government will need to rally support from the Senate crossbench in other to can its plans.</p> <p>One Nation controls two Senate votes, so if Senator Hanson supports the increase, the government must convince all three other crossbenchers.</p>

Retirement Life

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How one day off work led to a dream retirement

<p>Having lived in Camden, 60km and an hour’s drive to the closest beach, it was always a dream for Andrew and Roz Ernsteins to retire to the coast. Andrew, 66, is a big fan of water sports and loves to go boating, kayaking, fishing and surfing – so it was a no-brainer to move closer to the water when the time was right.</p> <p>During their online searches for a stand-alone house to buy on the South Coast of New South Wales, they came across an advertisement for an open day at Coastal Waters. Intrigued to see what an over 55s retirement village had to offer, they both took a day off work and spent the weekend at Jervis Bay.</p> <p>“We didn’t intend to do anything – we were just curious,” says 67-year-old Roz.</p> <p>Coastal Waters is situated just a few minutes’ walk to the water and a short drive to the spectacular white-sandy beaches around Jervis Bay, Hyams Beach and Booderee National Park.</p> <p>“We looked at a few villas, some pre-loved, some new, but we were drawn to this one villa. We came back to it four times that day,” says Roz. “The next day we put a holding deposit on it.”</p> <p><strong>Resort-style living</strong></p> <p>Having always holidayed on the South Coast, the Ernsteins loved the Jervis Bay area. And they just couldn’t go past what Coastal Waters had to offer – a village in a safe and supportive environment with natural settings, resort-style amenities and easy access to shops, services, attractions and activities.</p> <p>What the couple particularly liked about the Coastal Waters set-up was the social aspect. If they were to buy a house, as newcomers to the area they envisaged going weeks without seeing or talking to anyone. “So, if something happened to one of us, it could be a very lonely life,” says Andrew.</p> <p>But Coastal Waters has so many activities on offer, there is plenty for residents to do. Boasting an indoor swimming pool, a bowling green, croquet lawn, snooker room, indoor bowling alley and a club house, activities onsite include aqua aerobics, tai chi, yoga, painting, choir, yachting and joining a walking group. “It’s very social,” says Andrew.</p> <p>What Roz and Andrew also love about the activities is that you’re not locked in to one activity week after week. You can pick and choose what you want to do and change every week if you so desire.</p> <p>“I do craft two days a week while Andrew plays 500,” says Roz. “Everyone is so friendly and so lovely. And the staff are so willing to help.”</p> <p>So, earlier this year, with their townhouse sold, the Ernsteins resigned from work and moved to Coastal Waters.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838921/coastal-waters-basin-views_rd-768x499-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/de1b3ce4bebc416cad351dca203c0927" /></p> <p><strong>A home to be proud of</strong></p> <p>The Ernsteins bought a brand-new, two-bedroom villa with two bathrooms, plus a media room which is big enough to double as a bedroom when the family come to visit.</p> <p>The villa has an open plan lounge, dining and kitchen area with an alfresco area that overlooks the village’s gardens.</p> <p>Roz loves having a designated room for the TV. And they both love the fact that their villa backs onto trees and shrubs, which provides them with their much-desired privacy.</p> <p>And, of course, they adore the location of Coastal Waters – it’s not far from the sea, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of holidaymakers. But best of all, they feel like they wake up in paradise every day. “It’s just so peaceful and quiet here,” says Roz.</p> <p>With no more mowing lawns and having to maintain an old house, they really can live the life they’ve always wanted. They have their independence and a great social life. If they want to potter around in their own garden, they are free to do so. If not, the staff will look after it. And they can put their own stamp on their villa.</p> <p>“We’ve bought a few plants and are putting some pavers down and adding a water feature, so it’ll be a nice outdoor area,” says Roz.</p> <p>So, would they recommend Coastal Waters to other retirees? “If you like the water, just go for it,” says Andrew. “It’s absolutely marvellous. The lifestyle is so relaxed. We’ve never had any second thoughts. We highly recommend it.”</p> <p>“It really is the best move we’ve ever made,” adds Roz.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838920/coastalwatersinterior_rd-768x499-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/094eff697b9847609b48abc959e07c13" /></p> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div class="Maincontent"> <p><strong>Find out more</strong></p> <p>Coastal Waters is an independent retirement living village with resort-style facilities exclusively for over 55s. Two- and three-bedroom homes are available and ready to move into now. Book your private tour today and find out more about Lendlease’s coastal living designs and pricing options.</p> <p>Call 1800 550 550 or visit<span> </span><a href="http://www.retirementbylendlease.com.au/coastal-waters/">www.retirementbylendlease.com.au/coastal-waters/</a></p> <p><strong>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with<span> </span></strong><a href="http://www.retirementbylendlease.com.au/coastal-waters/"><strong>Coastal Waters</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p> </div> </div>

Retirement Life

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Downsize to the pretty coastal town named as having the world’s best climate

<p><em>The new Uniting Yamba retirement living dwellings will be on the doorstep of Yamba marina</em></p> <p><strong>Downsizers have the rare opportunity to move to a NSW coastal town which has been named as having the world’s best climate, thanks to the construction of 84 new retirement living apartments and villas.</strong></p> <p>Major not-for-profit retirement living provider Uniting is about to<span> </span><strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.uniting.org/services/retirement-and-independent-living/facility/uniting-yamba" target="_blank">commence construction of 34 villas and 50 apartments at the small regional town of Yamba, on the NSW North Coast</a></strong>.</p> <p><strong>About Yamba</strong></p> <p>Located around 3.5 hours’ drive south of Brisbane, and with a population of just over 6,000, Yamba is fast turning from a coastal hidden gem to a sea change magnet.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838906/the-yamba-area-is-known-for-its-glorious-beaches-and-stunning-climate-1.jpeg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d7c1f7484b2545dd84464b379d13a4eb" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Yamba area is known for its glorious beaches and stunning climate</em></p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <p style="text-align: left;">The town has summer temperatures ranging from 19 to 30 degrees and winter temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">This warm yet comfortable temperature range has resulted in Yamba being named as having the best climate in the world by the CSIRO and Stanford University.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">This enviable ‘world’s best’ title is only shared with two other places - San Diego in California and Bunbury in Western Australia.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The good news is that Yamba residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful coastal and inland areas where they can take advantage of these ideal temperatures.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">For instance, Yamba’s Main Beach is renowned for its picturesque ocean swimming pool and is also home to one of NSW’s oldest surf lifesaving clubs. A little to the south of Yamba, Angourie is the location of NSW’s first dedicated surf reserve.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838905/yambas-main-beach-is-a-great-place-for-a-dip.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/965133eb76364f32b5fd297c1e99696f" /></p> <em>Yamba's Main Beach is a great place for a dip</em> <p style="text-align: left;">Short road trips will also take you to nearby historic villages and great fishing spots.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>About Uniting Yamba</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The Uniting Yamba retirement village is located just a four minute walk from the town’s boat harbour and marina, where you’ll be able to hire boats, go fishing, enjoy some fish and chips or have a bite at the marina cafe.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838904/uniting-yamba-is-located-close-to-amazing-local-attractions-and-the-yamba-town-centre-1-__800x517.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b4ad0f9aa3704ed2a19cee5a5125eeb8" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Uniting Yamba is located close to amazing local attractions and the Yamba town centre</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Uniting is about to begin construction of a range of one, two and three-bedroom pet-friendly villas and apartments at its Yamba village. Most apartments will look out to the marina on Yamba Rd, while the villas will be located in a quiet area in the village proper on Freeburn Rd.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Importantly, these new dwellings will be specifically built to allow their occupants to live independently and be able to enjoy the best that Yamba has to offer.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">All of the homes will be light and airy, with floor-to-ceiling height windows to ensure that living areas are bathed in natural light.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838903/artists-impression-of-proposed-new-apartment-at-uniting-yamba.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f876aba40ea74c5dbd8daee0f6eebcf0" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Artist's impression of proposed new apartment at Uniting Yamba</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">At the same time, the homes will be orientated so that residents can benefit from Yamba’s famous cooling afternoon breezes.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The homes will include all the latest modern comforts and high-quality fittings and finishes, including stone kitchen benchtops and energy and water efficient appliances.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">They have also been designed to maximise safety and ageing-in-place, through level flooring, generous corridor widths, zero-threshold showers and the installation of bathroom towel racks which double as a strong grab rail.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Tropical resort-like feel</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Uniting’s overall design vision at Yamba is to create resort-type retirement living which is in harmony with its tropical location.  </p> <p style="text-align: left;">This will be achieved through the use of light-coloured building materials and paint, along with landscaping with warm weather plants such as palms, frangipanis and lemon-scented myrtles.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838902/artists-impression-of-proposed-new-villas-at-uniting-yamba.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/795d8c3902ee426f9d7e516b3d46175b" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Artist's impression of proposed new villas at Uniting Yamba</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The on-site amenities at Uniting Yamba include the clubroom with library and BBQ area, which host resident activities such as trivia nights.      </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Uniting Yamba is only a five-minute drive to the town centre where residents can access grocery shopping, pharmacies and GP services.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The village is just 2km from the local Bowling Sports and Leisure Centre and Yamba Golf and Country Club, while the Maclean District Hospital is only 20 minutes’ away.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Independent living benefits</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Importantly, the new dwellings will be designed as a springboard for good times and fun, for retirees who want to enjoy the best years of their lives.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">This is because the new dwellings at Uniting Yamba are specifically designed for independent living, which means that you can come and go from your home as you please and live your life exactly as you wish.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838908/artists-impressions-of-proposed-new-apartments-at-uniting-yamba-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/72db2cd9819c440d90f6df346f29af98" /></p> <em>Artist's impressions of proposed new apartments at Uniting Yamba</em> <p style="text-align: left;">Importantly, the Uniting team will take care of general maintenance of your home and the village grounds. You’ll also have the benefit of living among a supportive and friendly retirement community, which means you can choose to enjoy communal activities and trips.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">By the same token, if the need arises, occupants of the new homes at Uniting Yamba will be able to call on additional home and community care services, including personal care, transport and meal preparation in your own home.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In addition, the<span> </span><strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.uniting.org/services/aged-care-services/facility/uniting-caroona-yamba" target="_blank">Uniting Caroona Yamba</a></strong><span> </span>aged care facility is located beside the retirement village and offers around-the-clock care.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Uniting retirement living residents are eligible for a 10 per cent discount on the refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) when moving into a Uniting aged care home.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Find out more</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">At Uniting Yamba, you will be able to downsize your home and upsize your lifestyle in a charming coastal locale.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.uniting.org/services/retirement-and-independent-living/facility/uniting-yamba" target="_blank">Click here to find out more about the new homes at Uniting Yamba, including being able to download a brochure or make an enquiry.</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">You will pay a departure fee when you leave this village.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with <a href="https://www.uniting.org/services/retirement-and-independent-living/facility/uniting-yamba">Uniting Yamba</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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Radio station apologises for mistakenly declaring death of Queen Elizabeth

<p>A French radio station has deeply apologised for posting an obituary stating that Queen Elizabeth II had died.</p> <p>RFI stressed out royal fans with the news, stating that she had passed away at 94.</p> <p>The obituary had been prepared in draft form so it's ready in the event of the Queen's death, which is a common practice in the media.</p> <p>Other stars who had passed away included Clint Eastwood, 90, Sophia Loren, 86 and Brigitte Bardot, 86.</p> <p>The obituaries were quickly pulled down.</p> <p>It read: "A technical problem has resulted in the publication of numerous obituaries on our French site.</p> <p>"We are working to rectify this serious bug, and we apologise to all concerned as well as those who follow us and put their trust in us."</p> <p>Jessica Phelan, a journalist for Italian news site <em>The Local Italy</em> took a screenshot of the fake obituaries before they were taken down.</p> <p>She shared a photo of the obituaries on Twitter along with the caption: "Solidarity with former colleagues @RFI, which just accidentally published stacks of draft obits for people who are very much not dead—inc Queen Elizabeth, Raul Castro, Brigitte Bardot &amp; more—complete with dates they were last updated &amp; alternative leads if they die of Covid-19."</p> <p>Luckily for royal fans, the Queen is alive and well whilst navigating the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>She's currently in lockdown with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with essential staff after the UK goes into lockdown for a second time.</p>

Retirement Life

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Hello Hamptons! Australia’s newest waterside villas for over-55s

<div class="postIntro">Inspired by a New York Destination of luxury and leisurely living, this brand-new masterplan community is focused on lifestyle in an idyllic sea change location on the Mid-North Coast.</div> <div class="postIntro"> <p>At some point, you’ve probably heard of the Hamptons, or at least seen the area in a movie: those affluent, exclusive waterside communities that stretch north-east from New York up through Long Island. Private estates, villas and bungalows, plotted in single file up and down long, narrow strips of pristine beachfront.</p> <p>To get to them, you drive down long, cobbled driveways lined with tall boxwood hedges. Inside the opulent stone-faced villas, the expansive living areas have high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass on all sides, white curtains, an outdoor area with a glittering turquoise pool. And everywhere the smell of the nearby saltwater, views of waterways and ocean, the waves rolling onto the shore. Like stepping into a postcard.</p> <p>Yet this is the inspiration of a brand new estate on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, which, unlike the ‘real’ Hamptons, isn’t priced solely for the well-to-do.</p> <p>Located within Roche Group’s established Harrington Waters community, just 20 minutes from Taree and 40 minutes from Port Macquarie and Forster, the brand-new development — which has simply been named<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://harringtonwaters.com.au/hamptons/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=harrington-hamptons-launch&amp;utm_content=hello-hamptons-edm" target="_blank"><em>Hamptons</em></a><em><span> </span>—<span> </span></em>lies on the shores of the Manning River. This is a luxury villa-style community designed exclusively for over 55s, aimed to provide a blend of relaxation and an active social lifestyle, just a stone’s throw from the beach.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838790/hamptons_rea_article_images-6.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3dfdd0cf20c34b1db4bba9eb68feeabc" /></p> <div id="attachment_36452" class="wp-caption alignnone"> <p style="text-align: center;" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Lifestyle Shot | Future Residents’ Leisure Club</em></p> <p>A collection of 34 villas in stage one offer private, luxury homes within easy reach of unforgettable scenery, and are surrounded by convenient amenities and endless waterside activities.</p> <p>Chatting with locals that are already members of the Harrington Waters community, I was able to get a sense of a close-knit group of like-minded people, who were once neighbours and are now close friends.</p> <p>Resident Mario Schembri, for instance, was quick to point out the social aspects of the neighbourhood. ‘We’ve met people on the road that are from the area, and now they’re nearly our best friends,’ he says, smiling.</p> <p>‘Harrington Waters is what you make it. It can be a quiet place. But there’s also social clubs, and the golf club here, there’s a pub, even bowling. There’s even a little nightlife if you want to go out. For people in their late 50s and up, it’s ideal.’</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838789/o60_dsc6808.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/603442deca2c40cab2037a24294a4a24" /></p> <div id="attachment_36542" class="wp-caption alignnone"> <p style="text-align: center;" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Harrington Golf Club</em></p> <p>Margaret Spours, another friendly resident I spoke to, described the up-and-coming area as perfect for ‘getting away from the TV, and getting out and about.’</p> <p>‘Living in Harrington Waters,’ she says, ‘…you can basically walk to everything, which is what really attracted us. My husband’s a golfer, so he’s a member of the Golf Club. I love walking along the Riverwalk and to the other parts of Harrington — it’s nice flat walks.’</p> <p>Mario also describes the Riverwalk as one of the area’s greatest features.</p> <p>‘Amazing sightseeing. Pelicans, turtles. We’re lucky we’ve got this break-wall called the Riverwalk, which runs for about three kilometres, and it’s all concrete paths. That’s the good thing about living up here there is so much to explore.’</p> <p>One of the biggest draw cards for people that are already enquiring about the upcoming Hamptons release seems to be the Hamptons Residents’ Leisure Club, a luxurious private facility for residents that includes a residents’ lounge, fully-equipped games room, waterside café, swimming pool, gym and tennis courts. When complete, the Residents’ Leisure Club will serve as a dynamic centrepiece of the Hamptons community: friends meeting for mid-week catch-ups, morning workouts, swimming in the lap pool, game nights for couples and friends.</p> <p>According to the developers of Harrington Waters, these luxury homes are not going to be your average over 55s residences.</p> <p>Inspired by the premium residences and condos of The Hamptons, these exclusive oversized villas will offer light and air-filled, adaptable living spaces. The design of the facades exude coastal charm, inspired by the tranquillity of Harrington Waters, while inside intelligently designed layouts have been considered to offer various zoned spaces for relaxation and entertaining, both indoors and outdoors.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838788/hamptons_rea_article_images-19.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e0d96a270cfc48debc62730f4d56f9ad" /></p> <div id="attachment_36541" class="wp-caption alignnone"> <p style="text-align: center;" class="wp-caption-text"><em>Aerial | Harrington &amp; Manning River</em></p> <p>Opulent yet attainable, quiet yet vibrant, peaceful yet social — Hamptons certainly seems from the outside to live up to its name, and may be a breath of fresh air on the housing market for over 55s, who too often are presented with the typical, white-walled, bricked developments so prevalent in the housing market in recent years.</p> <p>While it may not be surrounded by tall boxwood hedges and long cobbled driveways, and while your neighbours may not be celebrities, Hamptons may just be as close as us Australians can get to the real deal.</p> <p>Located within the larger Harrington Waters community you can have that idyllic Hamptons lifestyle of leisure with easy access to a central Shopping Village, the award-winning 9-hole golf course, Harrigan’s Irish Pub, fishing and boating locations (which Mario describes as fantastic for catching flathead), a community centre, library, national parks, Crowdy Head Beach, and more.</p> <p>This is a development to look out for: a daringly innovative addition to the New South Wales Mid-North Coast. It’s already causing quite a stir, and it has not even been released to market. But it’s coming — very, very soon.</p> <p><strong>Interested parties can pre-register for an exclusive preview of Hamptons’ First Release, by visiting<span> </span></strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://harringtonwaters.com.au/hamptons/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=harrington-hamptons-launch&amp;utm_content=hello-hamptons-edm" target="_blank"><strong>harringtonwaters.com.au/hamptons</strong></a><strong><span> </span>or calling 1800 290 616.</strong></p> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div class="Maincontent"> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with<span> </span></em><a rel="noopener" href="https://harringtonwaters.com.au/hamptons/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=harrington-hamptons-launch&amp;utm_content=hello-hamptons-edm" target="_blank"><em>Harrington Waters</em></a><em>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Retirement Life

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New podcast features inspiring stories and struggles of WWII

<p class="p1">75 years on, unsung heroes of World War II have revealed new stories and struggles.</p> <p class="p1">Rare insights and reflections will be revealed in a new Podcast series, <em>My Life at War</em>.</p> <p class="p1"><em>My Life at War</em> is a podcast series about the experiences of Australians in WWII, told through the eyes of veterans receiving aged care from Uniting NSW. ACT.</p> <p class="p1">Stories include the signal operator who first heard Japanese midget submarines off Sydney, the 15-year-old who falsified his age to get into the Air Force, Australia’s first Indigenous Air Force pilot and the female veterans who faced discrimination on Anzac Day immediately after the war.</p> <p class="p1">Uniting NSW. ACT Executive Director, Tracey Burton said the podcast is a timely reminder of the important contribution older Australians have made, and continue to make.</p> <p class="p1">“In a year when our elders are enduring a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to remember how incredibly valuable they are to our community,” she said.</p> <p class="p1">“We need to listen to these stories and remind ourselves about the sacrifices they have made and how they helped build and enrich our country.”</p> <p class="p1">The veterans recall how their initial training was often short and inadequate and then how they dealt with constant danger and death in combat operations.</p> <p class="p1">They also reveal surprising details, such as the initial consternation caused by Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ famous 1939 speech where he declared that Australia was now involved in a war on the other side of the globe.</p> <p class="p1"><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838737/my-life-at-war-cover-art.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/840368f6971740d3a1c7cbfb9d608855" /></p> <p class="p1">Also, our veterans speak of their enduring memories of when they first wore their military uniforms. “What also stuck out in the memories of men who served in the Air Force, for instance, was that they believed the blue uniform made them especially attractive to women,” said military historian David Wilson.</p> <p class="p1">“The other thing to emphasise here is the role of women. As the war progressed, more and more women stepped up to take the places of men serving overseas. They served in all branches of the military, in civilian organisations, industry and agriculture, such as in the Women’s Land Army. Women kept the nation ticking over during these years,” he added.</p> <p class="p1">The series follows the veterans from the time the war was declared, through conflicts abroad and on our shores and life after the guns fell silent.</p> <p class="p1">The podcast can be found via <a href="http://Uniting.org/veterans"><span class="s1">Uniting.org/veterans</span></a> or all major podcasting apps.</p>

Retirement Life

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Alan Jones blasts aged care system: “betrayal of our elderly”

<p>Alan Jones has blasted the Australian aged care system as “simple and straightforward abandonment of the elderly”.</p> <p>The former radio broadcaster has taken aim at the Federal Government over its handling of the COVID outbreaks in aged care, warning that the Morrison Government could see voter backlash if more funding isn’t directed towards the sector in yesterday’s budget.</p> <p>The outspoken host said the Government planned to “protect the most vulnerable” during the pandemic, but “that hasn’t happened”.</p> <p>“Which political leader, yesterday or tomorrow, will put their hand up and utter the certain truth that the elderly and their families have been let down?” he said.</p> <p>Jones also criticised the Royal Commission’s special COVID report finding that neither the Department of Health or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) had a national plan for the aged care.</p> <p>“This is staggering in its incompetence and betrayal of our elderly,” he said.</p> <p>Taking into consideration the staggering amount of money families spend on residential acre, the host bluntly stated: “What have they bought? Death.”</p> <p>Jones continued saying the Government’s own witnesses to the Royal Commission had warned the Government aged care homes need a minimum of an additional $3.5 billion a year to provide better care.</p> <p>“It is a scandal,” Jones concluded.</p> <p>“The decency of our society can be measured by our treatment of those who most need our help. In relation to the aged, we have to stop running away from the fact that we have failed abominably.”</p> <p>“And if Government fails, and it gets its chance tomorrow, such failure won’t be tolerated by the electorate.”</p>

Retirement Life

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Queen expected to step down and pass on duties to Prince Charles

<p>The Queen is expected to step down and pass on all her duties to Prince Charles in 2021, a royal expert has extraordinarily claimed.</p> <p>Robert Jobson spoke on True Royalty TV‘s<span> </span><em>The Royal Beat<span> </span></em>where she expressed she believes the Queen will retire from royal life in 2021.</p> <p>The biographer said: “I still firmly believe when the Queen becomes 95, that she will step down”</p> <p><em>Newsweek‘s</em> royal reporter Jack Royston disagreed however, saying: “I think she won’t want to.</p> <p>“But realistically she will get to a point where she has handed over everything to Charles and then how do you look your son in the eye and tell him he is not going to be King?”</p> <p>Mr Jobson has previously told the Daily Mail: “I understand the Queen has given the matter considerable thought and believes that, if she is still alive at 95, she will seriously consider passing the reign to Charles.</p> <p>“Her Majesty is mindful of her age and wants to make sure when the time comes, the transition of the Crown is seamless.”</p> <p>Mr Jobson made another grand claim about Princess Diana, saying Princess Diana was “more powerful than the Queen” before her 1995 <em>Panorama</em> interview.</p> <p>He said: “That period between (Charles and Diana‘s) separation announcement, (Diana) actually was on the ascendancy of getting everything she wanted.</p> <p>“But she did this (Panorama) and I think she thought she was more powerful than the Queen. The Queen thought enough was enough and the shutters came down.”</p>

Retirement Life

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The only way is up!

<p>Transitioning into the next phase of retirement, there’s a crucial decision that must come first: to stay in your beloved home or start looking for other options.</p> <p>Thankfully RESiLIFT has given people a good reason to stay after creating the perfect solution to steep stairs and ageing joints. Whether it be carrying the laundry, suitcases or awkward objects, moving safely between floors is now possible.</p> <p>Architect, Jegi Jager, from CPS Project Management says “it just makes sense to incorporate a RESiLIFT into your house, whether you are renovating or designing a new home”.</p> <p>“Australians have to move away from this idea of single-level dwellings” he explains. “Some people associate lifts with ageing, but in 2020 that is not the case. There are many reasons you might need to use a lift, irrespective of your age. All two-level homes in the future need to provide a safe and convenient way to travel between floors.”</p> <p>“Land is expensive, but we need green space around our homes. It is important for our wellbeing to be able to get outside and enjoy some light and green, so the only solution is to go up.”</p> <p>“This is the future. I would never build or plan a two-storey home without a lift,” he adds.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838504/resilift-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ffa89a55f16749a78850b0a5429a363f" /></p> <p>RESiLIFT, manufactured by the proudly Australian-owned Residential Lift Company, is a specially designed residential lift that can be retrofitted into your existing homes or installed into new builds for an affordable price.</p> <p>The company was founded by Peter and Rosemary van Emmerik in Tasmania and their product – a “through-floor” residential elevator – was invented by Peter in just 2003.</p> <p>Jegi Jager adds that it is difficult to find genuinely Australian made and manufactured products, however RESiLIFT, from its inception, has been a labour of love for Peter and Rosemary.</p> <p>“There are lots of lifts coming in from overseas, but their parts are really out of China,” says Jager. “It is good to use a genuine Australian product.”  More than ever people are realising the benefit of buying Australian made.</p> <p>Mr Van Emmerik was in his second year of retirement, after more than 40 years as an Engineer, when he thought of a way for people to be able to stay in their home as they age.</p> <p>Through Peter’s bold vision and innovative design, he was able to create a lift that was not only highly sought after, but incredibly affordable.</p> <p>The inventor has been able to fit over 1,500 lifts into homes across Australia since 2004. And, since its inception, the lift’s design has evolved into what we know now as the most stylish and reliable residential lift on the market.</p> <p>Together Peter and Rosemary are still actively involved in the business and have even gone on to involve their family members and have grown to 11 distributors nationally.</p> <p>With three different lift sizes available – from the Mirage lift that has a smaller footprint than a standard shower, to the Miracle Max lift that comfortably fits a wheelchair – you’ll be amazed at how well the streamlined RESiLIFT blends into your home décor.  </p> <p>Contact your local distributor to find out more about RESiLIFT and to see which option would best suit your lifestyle, visit <a href="http://www.resilift.com.au/">www.resilift.com.au</a></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><a href="http://www.resilift.com.au/"><em>RESiLIFT</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Retirement Life

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Could a test really detect if someone is a COVID-19 ‘superspreader’?

<p>Last week <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/coronavirus-australian-company-produces-worlds-first-test-to-determine-how-infectious-a-person-is-with-covid19/news-story/106dfa0bbe3cba0294f717b086048b3f">we heard</a> Queensland-based biotech company <a href="https://microbio.com.au/">Microbio</a> had developed a test that could, according to media reports, tell whether someone <a href="https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/health/worldfirst-coronavirus-test-can-detect-superspreaders-infectious-rate/news-story/297a3b4b233fd482523726028946efba">is a COVID-19 superspreader</a>.</p> <p>While this may sound like an exciting prospect, there are a few questions to answer before we know what role this test might have in managing the spread of COVID-19.</p> <p><strong>First, what is a superspreader?</strong></p> <p>It’s important to understand there’s no scientific definition of a “superspreader”.</p> <p>In the context of COVID-19, the term “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-07-21/health-superspreaders-coronavirus-covid/12472032">superspreader</a>” has been used to describe someone who can spread the virus and cause infection in many people with minimal contact.</p> <p>There are many factors thought to contribute to what makes someone <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7229875/?report=reader">a superspreader</a>. The most talked about is infectious viral load. Put simply, this is the amount of live infectious virus a person carries.</p> <p>Current thinking is that people with a higher infectious viral load are more likely to infect others, but it may not be that simple.</p> <p>When a person has a COVID-19 test, the health-care worker uses a swab to collect samples from the back of the person’s nose and throat. These are the areas where the virus likes to live. The swab is then sent to a pathology lab which tests for the presence of viral genomic material.</p> <p>The test returns as a positive (that is, the virus has been detected) or negative (virus not detected). There’s no indication of how much virus is present, or whether it’s replicating.</p> <p><strong>So, back to the new test</strong></p> <p><a href="https://microbio.com.au/news-and-events/">Microbio</a> says the newly developed InfectID-COVID-19-R test can detect “replication-competent virus”. This essentially means the test would detect the amount of active live virus a person is carrying. Researchers believe the patient is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163445320306514">most likely</a> to be infectious when the virus <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3862">is replicating</a>.</p> <p>Like current COVID-19 tests, the test requires a sample of viral genetic material from a patient swab. The genetic material is “extracted” from the swab (termed RNA extraction). The resulting sample is put through a machine to detect an important part of the virus genome which indicates whether the virus is alive and replicating.</p> <p>InfectID-COVID-19-R claims to accurately detect a virus concentration as low as 1,500 TCID50 per millilitre with 99% specificity. (TCID50 stands for tissue culture infectious dose 50% — it’s currently the accepted standard to quantify the amount of infectious SARS-CoV-2.)</p> <p>This equation may be tricky to grasp, but the important part to understand is that below this threshold, the person has a lower amount of replicating virus than the test can guarantee to detect. They can’t say for certain the person has <em>no</em> replicating virus.</p> <p>If a person records a result above the threshold, that tells scientists the virus is alive and replicating.</p> <p>The suggestion is the test will be able to quantify the amount of replicating virus present in the swab. But exactly what that means — and how the test will achieve this — is uncertain.</p> <p>Microbio’s media release is tight-lipped on a few key aspects of this test. We still don’t have answers to some questions, including:</p> <ul> <li>what part of the virus genome it is detecting, and how is this different to our current diagnostic tests?</li> <li>how does detecting this part of the virus ensure detection of replicating or “live” virus?</li> <li>how will the test results be presented? For example, will the test provide a reference range and guide on how to interpret the result?</li> <li>how can they prove that if a test comes back below the limit of detection for replicating virus that the person is not infectious?</li> </ul> <p>In response to queries from The Conversation, Microbio’s chief scientific officer Flavia Huygens said the new test “targets the part of the virus’ genome that is present while it is replicating inside the human cell”, and that this target is different to existing COVID-19 tests. She added: “Our test detects the portion of the virus genome that is only present whilst the virus is replicating and hence is indicative that the virus is "live.”</p> <p>Huygens also said the test has built-in references and guides for clinical laboratories to interpret the results.</p> <p><strong>It’s early days yet</strong></p> <p>Without more detail, it’s too early to tell just how useful this test will be.</p> <p>Certainly, we need to know whether a low replicating viral load means a person is not infectious before using this test <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/coronavirus-australian-company-produces-worlds-first-test-to-determine-how-infectious-a-person-is-with-covid19/news-story/106dfa0bbe3cba0294f717b086048b3f">to make any decisions around quarantine</a>. Research is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163445320306514">still</a> <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/criteria-for-releasing-covid-19-patients-from-isolation">ongoing</a> in this area.</p> <p>The test hasn’t yet been approved for use. It has been independently validated by <a href="https://www.360biolabs.com/">360 biolabs</a>, a clinical trial laboratory accredited by the Australian National Association of Testing Authorities. Huygens told The Conversation that Microbio is planning further validation of its test using patient samples.</p> <p><strong>More than a question of viral load</strong></p> <p>Currently we have no way to know who may be a superspreader. While this test might give us a measure of a person’s replicating viral load, this is only one piece of the puzzle.</p> <p>As is the case for any virus, spreading SARS-CoV-2 requires more than just high viral load. It requires the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3862">right environmental conditions</a> (for example, indoors and <a href="https://theconversation.com/research-shows-coronavirus-thrives-in-dry-air-and-august-is-coastal-australias-least-humid-month-144508">lower humidity</a>), proximity to an infected person, and time (more time exposed means more chance of infection).</p> <p>Therefore it’s more accurate to refer to “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258476/">superspreading events</a>” rather than to particular people as “superspreaders” more generally. Superspreading events are situations in which one person, aided by the ideal conditions, infects a large number of others.</p> <p>With this in mind, limiting the time you spend in confined spaces (and wearing a mask if you can’t avoid a closed space), washing your hands and keeping your distance will be your best protection against COVID-19.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lara-herrero-1166059">Lara Herrero</a>, Griffith University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-a-test-really-detect-if-someone-is-a-covid-19-superspreader-148627">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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What would a Biden presidency mean for Australia?

<p>American presidential elections do not, as a rule, change the calculus much for Australian foreign policy. Elections come and go, American presidents complete their terms and business continues more or less as normal.</p> <p>Even Richard Nixon’s <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/080974-3.htm">resignation in 1974</a> due to Watergate caused not much more than a ripple in what had been a difficult relationship between Washington and Canberra during the Whitlam era.</p> <p>Gough Whitlam and his ministers had criticised US <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/gough-whitlams-incendiary-letter-to-richard-nixon-on-vietnam/news-story/b59ad3a4e87d8c758c7cd708ca4656f3">bombing campaigns</a> in Hanoi and the North Vietnamese port city of Haiphong.</p> <p>Importantly from Australia’s perspective, Gerald Ford continued Nixon’s engagement with China. This led to the <a href="https://www.cartercenter.org/news/features/p/china/president-carter-on-normalizing-relations-with-china.html">normalisation of relations</a> under Jimmy Carter in 1978.</p> <p>While it would be foolish to predict the outcome of presidential elections whose results have <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/why-2016-election-polls-missed-their-mark/">confounded pollsters in the recent past</a>, odds favour a change of an administration.</p> <p>President Donald Trump’s blunders in the management of a pandemic are <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/">weighing heavily</a> on both his electoral prospects and those of the Republican Party.</p> <p>So, with all the caveats attached, it is reasonable to speculate about implications for Australia of a change of administration.</p> <p>An end to Trump’s “<a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-foreign-policy-puts-america-first/">America First</a>” era and its replacement by a traditionalist American foreign policy under Joe Biden, which emphasises friendships and alliances, will create new opportunities.</p> <p>Importantly, a less abrasive international environment, in which America seeks to rebuild confidence in its global leadership, should be to Australia’s advantage.</p> <p>Not least of the benefits would be an opportunity for Canberra to <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/beijing-changes-tactics-on-australia-looks-to-reset-diplomacy-20201005-p5624f.html">reset its relations with Beijing</a>. This is a long-overdue project whose fulfilment has been complicated by Australia’s identification with Washington’s erratic policies coupled with Sinophobic attitudes in Canberra.</p> <p>None of this is to suggest Australia should drop its legitimate criticisms of China: its human rights abuses; its <a href="https://theconversation.com/morrisons-1-3-billion-for-more-cyber-spies-is-an-incremental-response-to-a-radical-problem-141692">cyber intrusions</a>; its <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-26/china-is-after-intellectual-property-not-always-illegally/10302424">intellectual property theft</a>; its <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-17/australia-needs-foreign-interference-commissioner-china-tensions/12670516">attempts to interfere</a> in Australian domestic politics; its flagrant disregard for <a href="https://theconversation.com/naval-exercises-in-south-china-sea-add-to-growing-fractiousness-between-us-and-china-142168">criticisms of its activities</a> in the South China Sea; its unprincipled reneging on its “<a href="https://theconversation.com/china-is-taking-a-risk-by-getting-tough-on-hong-kong-now-the-us-must-decide-how-to-respond-139294">one country two systems</a>” agreements on Hong Kong, and a host of other issues.</p> <p>Indeed, you could argue Canberra needs to be more forthright in its dealings with China in pursuit of a more distinctive foreign policy.</p> <p>Early in his tenure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed glimmers of promise in this regard. But this proved short-lived.</p> <p>In an <a href="https://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/stories/australia-and-the-indo-pacific-an-address-by-prime-minister-scott-morrison">Asialink speech</a> in the lead-up to the 2019 Osaka G20 summit, Morrison sketched out a role for Australia in seeking to defuse tensions in the region and provide some space for itself in its foreign policy. He said:</p> <p><em>We should not just sit back and passively await our fate in the wake of a major power contest.</em></p> <p>The speech was regarded at the time as promising a nuanced Morrison foreign policy. But since then the Australia has not ventured far from America’s coattails.</p> <p>Indeed, it might be said to have cleaved even more closely to the US alliance as China’s rise has unsettled the region.</p> <p>This returns us to implications of a potential <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/politics/joe-biden-foreign-policy.html">Biden administration</a> for Australia.</p> <p>It would be naive to assume tensions between Washington and Beijing will dissipate under a Biden presidency. Such is the range of issues bedevilling Sino-US relations that some rancour will persist.</p> <p>Much has changed in the four years since Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama. China is richer, bigger, stronger, more assertive and seemingly more ideological. It is certainly more nationalistic.</p> <p>In Xi Jinping, it has a leader who is more conspicuously and ruthlessly committed to restoring China’s greatness than his predecessors.</p> <p>Gone are the days when discussion about China revolved around hopes it would become a <a href="https://www.ncuscr.org/content/robert-zoellicks-responsible-stakeholder-speech">responsible international stakeholder</a> willing to accommodate itself to an America-dominated global order. Now the issue is whether China’s assertiveness can be hedged to avoid open conflict.</p> <p>If elected, Biden will need to settle on a new formula for dealing with China that provides certainty for an anxious global community. Whether this proves possible remains to be seen.</p> <p>It should also be noted that Biden’s <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/feature/just-how-good-joe-biden%E2%80%99s-foreign-policy-team-170216">foreign policy advisory team</a> includes hawkish elements that will resist yielding ground to China. Biden himself has referred to China’s leader Xi as a “<a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/23/debate-transcript-trump-biden-final-presidential-debate-nashville/3740152001/">thug</a>”, along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.</p> <p>On the other hand, Biden’s foreign policy realists are not burdened by an “America First” mindset. His team can be expected to take an expansive view of American foreign policy on issues like climate change, arms control and rebuilding a global trading system battered by years of neglect.</p> <p>A Democrat administration would <a href="https://theconversation.com/president-trump-could-kill-the-paris-agreement-but-climate-action-will-survive-68596">re-enter the Paris Agreement</a> on climate change. It could also be expected to review Trump’s <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-24/trump-withdraws-from-tpp/8206356">decision to disengage</a> from the Trans Pacific Partnership trading bloc and it might seek to renegotiate a <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-another-october-surprise-may-yet-take-place-this-time-in-the-persian-gulf-147354">nuclear deal with Iran</a>.</p> <p>These would be positive developments from an Australian standpoint.</p> <p>Unquestionably, re-ordering China policy will be at the top of Biden’s <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/politics/joe-biden-foreign-policy.html">foreign policy priorities</a>, and separate from the absolute domestic imperative of bringing a COVID-19 pandemic under control.</p> <p>Australia should take advantage of the opportunity to explore possibilities of a less counterproductive relationship with its principal trading partner.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tony-walker-313396">Tony Walker</a>, La Trobe University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-would-a-biden-presidency-mean-for-australia-148516">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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The benefits of living independently in the comfort of a secure community

<p><span>For many, downsizing and moving into a retirement home is not an easy decision. After all, you’re leaving the home you’ve known and loved for many years of your life.</span></p> <p><span>However, not having to worry about the daily upkeep of your home and garden could be considered a blessing – especially if your knees aren’t quite what they used to be!</span></p> <p><span>With retirement living communities being designed with comfort, convenience and your ideal lifestyle in mind, countless retirees are finding it easier to make the switch – in fact, many of Uniting’s residents who are currently enjoying all the benefits of a retirement living community say they wish they’d done it sooner.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What’s the difference between independent and assisted living?</span></strong></p> <p><span>It’s important to know that there is a difference between independent and assisted living.</span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead/retirement-independent-living">Independent living</a> means that you’re able to live your life exactly as you’re used to, but with more friends around as many retirement communities are a “village within a village”. This means that you’re surrounded by a supportive community but are still able to relax in the privacy of your own home.</span></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead/assisted-living">Assisted living</a> means you’re able to get support if you need it, perhaps if you’re finding the chores more difficult than they used to be. It can also be helpful if you just want more free time for yourself.</span></p> <p><span>Some retirement communities, such as <a href="https://www.uniting.org/uniting-westmead">Uniting Westmead</a>, offer a range of services that can suit your needs.</span></p> <p><span>Warwick and Barbara are new Uniting Westmead residents, and they couldn’t be more thrilled about the change.</span></p> <p><span>“The house was a bit too much for us now,” explains Barbara.</span></p> <p><span>“We don’t have to worry about changing lightbulbs or tap washers now, and we have a community of people we can now mix with,” laughs Warwick.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VzvLbe4ft2U"></iframe></div> <p><strong><span>How do I know which one is for me?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Independent living is ideal if you’re looking to hand over the upkeep of your home and garden and enjoy your time in a retirement village. With so many amenities on offer at Uniting Westmead, such as a seniors’ gym, hair and beauty salon, a community café and a vegetable garden, you’ll have more than enough on your plate to keep your schedule jam-packed.</span></p> <p><span>However, if you find that you’re struggling to keep on top of the housework or are having a bit more trouble physically with things than you used to, assisted living is for you. The right level of support can be tailored to each person’s requirements and you are able to add extra services to your plan if you need them.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What do the apartments look like? </span></strong></p> <p><span>The apartments have been designed with you in mind, with features that are bound to make your life easier. These include generous doorways, windows and corridors as well as level flooring. </span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838279/body-uniting.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6cdaf209f8bb4a88bc0988e6447c1a39" /></p> <p><span>If you’re worried about what might happen if you’re injured in your home, you needn’t be. This is due to the 24-hour emergency call system that’s in place in every apartment.</span></p> <p><span>You can relax and enjoy open plan living spaces, a private balcony or courtyard as well as stainless steel appliances included in the apartment.</span></p> <p><span>In the hotter summer months, it’s easy to keep cool with air conditioning as well as window furnishing, which are included.</span></p> <p><span>Uniting Westmead is also right in the heart of Sydney, which is a key concern for Barbara and Warwick.</span></p> <p><span>“The location is perfect, it’s across the road from Parramatta Park, which is ideal for the grandchildren,” says Barbara.</span></p> <p><span>Warwick is also impressed with the location of the units.</span></p> <p><span>“We didn’t want to be too far away from hospitals, but still wanted to be close to the family,” he explains. “We did our research, and as far as we’re concerned, Uniting ticked all the boxes.”</span></p> <p><span>See what you may be missing out on, as you can chat to someone today who has made the move into Uniting Westmead.</span></p> <p><strong><em><span>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </span></em></strong><span><a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/478579433;284977294;l"><strong><em>Uniting Westmead</em></strong></a><strong><em>.</em></strong></span></p>

Retirement Life

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Body fat deep below the surface is a toxic risk especially for your heart

<p>Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to forget one of the largest health challenges we face remains the global obesity epidemic. <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight">World Health Organisation data</a> shows obesity has nearly tripled in less than 50 years, with about <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight">40% of adults worldwide</a> now overweight or obese. High body fat increases the risk of chronic diseases, including heart problems, diabetes and cancer.</p> <p>However, it’s not simply the total amount of body fat that can increase the risk of disease. The type and location of fat is also important. We’ve known for some time that subcutaneous fat — the fat just below the skin — <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0171933513000459">increases inflammation</a> in the body. But in recent years, researchers have realised an even more serious risk is the unseen deep body fat that accumulates around vital organs.</p> <p><strong>Fat around organs can be ‘toxic’</strong></p> <p>Fat is not all bad — in fact, some fat does a lot of good. It helps protect vulnerable organs and tissues, and provides a convenient energy supply. If you’re out in the cold, it’s essential fuel for body warming through shivering.</p> <p>But excess fat can increase blood pressure and potentially lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke. Many clinicians use <a href="https://theconversation.com/body-mass-and-evolution-why-the-body-mass-index-is-a-limited-measure-of-public-health-79671">body mass index (BMI)</a> to measure a healthy weight range. It’s calculated as body weight divided by the square of height, and it factors in a healthy amount of fat.</p> <p>But BMI can’t provide information about the shape and size of potentially dangerous internal fat deposits, known as “visceral fat”. Over recent years it’s become apparent visceral fat can lead to disease, and good fat can turn into toxic fat when there is too much.</p> <p>Various organs seem to accumulate visceral fat. This can be a problem because it can create and release damaging molecules and hormones into the blood. These are transported in the bloodstream, potentially causing health complications in distant parts of the body.</p> <p>For example, toxic fat can release proteins that blunt the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Blood glucose levels then rise, potentially <a href="https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/visceral-fat.html">causing diabetes in the long term</a>. Visceral fat can also stimulate uncontrolled cell growth and replication, <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet">potentially triggering some forms of cancer</a>. A fatty liver is associated with metabolic diseases, and excess kidney fat interferes with the body’s fluid balance.</p> <p><strong>The heart is especially vulnerable</strong></p> <p>Visceral fat can also directly affect the organ around which it’s wrapped. Our <a href="https://www.onlinejacc.org/content/76/10/1197?download=true">new research</a>, published in September in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found visceral fat around the heart produces biochemical molecules that can make the heart beat erratically. These molecules potentially cause a serious heart condition called <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/conditions/atrial-fibrillation">atrial fibrillation</a>, by disrupting the heart’s electrical activity.</p> <p>Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common types of heart rhythm disturbance, and <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa612/5899003">one in three people</a> over 55 will develop the condition. It occurs when the regular signal to drive each heartbeat originating in the top portion of the heart, the atria, is disrupted. It can cause an irregular and chaotic heartbeat, disrupting the heart’s coordinated pumping action. This can mean not enough fresh blood is circulated to allow regular daily activity.</p> <p>For some people, living with episodes of atrial fibrillation is a daily challenge – coping with bouts of dizziness, the distressing awareness of a “racing heart”, and chest palpitations. Other people may be unaware they have the condition and the first sign could be tragic, such as a stroke due to a blood clot travelling to the brain. This can lead to <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/conditions/heart-failure">heart failure</a>.</p> <p>An advertisement from the Western Australian health department warning viewers about toxic fat. Only in recent years have researchers discovered the dangers of hidden fat around organs.</p> <p>We worked with clinical cardiologists at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and found fat around the heart secretes molecules which change how nearby cells “talk” to each other, slowing cell-to-cell communication. Because the transfer of electrical signals in the heart muscle are delayed, the heartbeat is potentially destabilised.</p> <p>Although a high BMI increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, it’s the fat burden on the heart, and not BMI itself, that’s most important in electrical and structural disruption.</p> <p>This suggests toxic substances released from the surrounding fat can directly harm the nearby organ, without travelling via the blood.</p> <p>For heart patients, these findings mean the surgical removal of cardiac fat could be an effective treatment to consider. Also, it potentially paves the way for the future development of drugs that can suppress the release of damaging molecules from hidden fat.</p> <p>Nevertheless, these findings underscore the danger of an “obese heart”, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Research is emerging that obesity is a major risk factor for <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html">serious complications while infected with the virus</a>, and the fat load on the heart may be implicated.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lea-m-d-delbridge-1155735">Lea M D Delbridge</a>, University of Melbourne and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-bell-1156890">James Bell</a>, La Trobe University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/body-fat-deep-below-the-surface-is-a-toxic-risk-especially-for-your-heart-146307">The Conversation</a>.</em></p> <p> </p>

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Dutton is turfing vulnerable refugees out onto the street mid-pandemic

<p>Dutton and Alan Tudge have come to the decision that the current pandemic and downturn in the economic climate is a good time to start evicting asylum seekers and refugees out of their long-term accommodation, and cutting off their financial support.</p> <p>As the <a href="https://twitter.com/homesafewithus">@HomeSafeWithUs</a> coalition <a href="https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2009/S00048/hundreds-more-refugees-being-abandoned-to-homelessness.htm">outlines</a> last week a number of refugees and asylum seekers were notified of this coming change in circumstance, which could ultimately affect up to 845 individuals, including 284 children.</p> <p>Brought into play in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/asylum-seekers-left-destitute-at-the-hands-of-dutton/">August 2017</a>, this policy involves notifying refugees and asylum seekers held in onshore community detention – with no right to work – that they will be turfed out of their housing in two weeks’ time, with their income support being cut off in three weeks.</p> <p>These refugees and asylum seekers were either brought to Australia from offshore immigration detention to undergo medical treatment prior to the commencement of Medevac in February 2019, or they’re part of the <a href="https://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/publication/legacy-caseload#:~:text=The%20'legacy%20caseload'%20refers%20to,2012%20and%201%20January%202014.">legacy caseload</a>, which are people who arrived by boat in either 2012 or 2013.</p> <p>Indeed, right now, many refugees and asylum seekers already in the community on temporary visas have lost their employment due to the COVID crisis, and they’re not eligible for pandemic income support.</p> <p>So, Dutton’s seen fit to throw these other community detainees into this current economic wasteland, with no real rental or employment record.</p> <p><strong>Final departure visas</strong></p> <p>“This is creating fear and insecurity. The hope is that some people will agree to go home,” explained @HomeSafeWithUs spokesperson Pamela Curr. “The trouble is that they can’t go home. Many people come from countries that wouldn’t accept them back.”</p> <p>“These people’s cases go back seven years and sometimes more,” she told <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/offences/drink-driving/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers</a>. “They’re required to go and find somewhere to live, when they’ve got no record of renting anything in Australia, no income and no rights to Centrelink.”</p> <p>As Curr tells it, community detention has been an ongoing legal limbo for these people, with the federal government not having decided what should happen to them. So, the state’s current solution is to push them out onto the street and see what happens.</p> <p>In a practical sense, this involves placing these “illegal maritime arrivals” on a <a href="https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/bridging-visa-e-050-051">bridging visa E (BVE)</a>, which grants working rights and can be valid for three to six months.</p> <p>Back in mid-2017, these visas were termed “final departure bridging E visas”, which clearly expressed government intentions.</p> <p>“Many of these refugees on bridging visas rely on community groups for housing and food to save them from total destitution,” Curr advised. And she added that the latest group transferred out of community detention “have little prospect of gaining employment in the COVID recession”.</p> <p><strong>The true con artist</strong></p> <p>Dutton announced the BVE policy on 28 August 2017, when he <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Fnews%2Fnsw%2Fasylum-seeker-scammers-exploiting-medical-welfare%2Fnews-story%2F4f6d49023d01b2a93de6034da85ac48b&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21suffix=97-B">told the Daily Telegraph</a> that an initial 70 asylum seekers would have their income cut off within a fortnight and they’d also lose their long-term accommodation after three weeks.</p> <p>The home affairs minister spruiked the heartless policy using <a href="https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/labors-asylum-seeker-scammers.3639627/">his usual technique</a>: demonise the victim.</p> <p>According to Dutton, offshore detainees were running a medical scam to make their way to the mainland to live in rent-free accommodation and obtaining a better deal than pensioners.</p> <p>These people were permitted to come to Australia to seek treatment but were then using “tricky legal moves” to prevent being sent back to indefinite detention, Dutton claimed. “This con has been going on for years,” he added.</p> <p>Initially, the government only saw fit to throw single refugees out onto the streets, however <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australian-government-is-causing-humanitarian-crisis/">by May the following year</a>, the department confirmed that a further 100 individuals were being served notices, which included families with children under 18 years of age.</p> <p><strong>Cruel policy</strong></p> <p>Ms Curr recalled that she’d been in contact with a couple of young single Somali women living in Brisbane, who were served with BVE documents. This gave them no choice but to sleep in a car that a friend was kind enough to park in the driveway of the house they were evicted from.</p> <p>The women were able to camp in the car for five nights, and when they needed to use a bathroom, a fellow asylum seeker still living in community detention allowed them to use hers. That was until the friend’s flatmate notified the authorities as to what was going on.</p> <p>“So, the immigration department told this woman that if she let her friends use the toilet or the shower, they would re-detain her,” the long-term refugee rights advocate continued. “That was the way it was being dealt with.”</p> <p>Release them into the community</p> <p>The @HomeSafeWithUs coalition is comprised of 20 refugee advocacy groups that have been organising accommodation to house another cohort of offshore detainees that were brought to Australia last year under the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/everyone-is-fearful-an-interview-with-mantra-refugee-detainee-ismail-hussein/">now revoked Medevac laws</a>.</p> <p>The 180-odd men are being detained in Melbourne’s Mantra Hotel and Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point Central Hotel. However, with the onset of the pandemic the government has simply left them in this accommodation, without any means to properly protect themselves or room to socially distance.</p> <p>These detainees have compromised health, making them extra vulnerable to COVID-19. Whilst they’ve been languishing in the hotels, a staff member at each location has tested positive for the virus. And the department carried out thorough security checks on all of them before they came out.</p> <p>“What we propose doing is to offer the government an option other than the continued detention of those people who’ve been brought over from Nauru and Manus under Medevac,” Ms Curr made clear.</p> <p>People have offered beds to accommodate the refugees held in hotels and also those in centres.</p> <p><strong>Prolonged and indefinite</strong></p> <p>While much of the public is aware that the government has been detaining certain refugees and asylum seekers for over seven years now, Ms Curr explains that advocates have located some people in the onshore detention system that have been there for over a decade.</p> <p>And then there are others who have been positively assessed as refugees but are still detained in immigration centres. Curr explains that the Migration Act now permits the minister to have the final word on anyone’s release, regardless of any ruling from the tribunal or the court.</p> <p>“We want a fair process, not this business of shoving applications in the bottom draw and not processing them,” Ms Curr concluded. “People arrived here in 2013 to seek asylum, they’ve lodged an application and they haven’t even had an interview from the department.”</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/dutton-is-turfing-vulnerable-refugees-out-onto-the-street-mid-pandemic/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

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Why Australia needs a national ban on conversion therapy

<p>In recent weeks, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/queensland-has-become-the-first-australian-state-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy">Queensland</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/act-bans-gay-conversion-therapy-with-sexuality-gender-bill/12600956">the ACT</a> became the first Australian jurisdictions to ban conversion therapy.</p> <p>Both passed laws making the <a href="https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/PS02_2014.pdf">widely discredited</a> practice a criminal offence.</p> <p>While this is progress, it is not enough to adequately protect LGBTIQ Australians from the devastating impact of conversion therapy. A national approach is needed.</p> <p><strong>What is conversion therapy?</strong></p> <p>Conversion therapy involves practices aimed at changing the sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse people.</p> <p><strong>Get your politics analysis from academic experts, not vested interests.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>The goal is achieve an exclusively <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">heterosexual and cisgender identity</a> (in other words, where a person’s gender identity matches that assigned at birth).</p> <p>In Australia, <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">religious-based</a> conversion therapy is most common, and includes things like counselling for “sexual brokenness”, prayer, scripture reading, fasting, retreats and “spiritual healing” .</p> <p>According to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, so-called “<a href="https://irct.org/uploads/media/IRCT_research_on_conversion_therapy.pdf">therapeutic</a>” measures can also include forms of abuse like beatings, rape, electrocution, forced medication, confinement, forced nudity, verbal abuse and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-01/penis-lie-detector-helped-doctors-conduct-gay-aversion-therapy/10768044">aversion therapy</a>.</p> <p>Even more extreme measures <a href="https://theconversation.com/some-christian-groups-still-promote-gay-conversion-therapy-but-their-influence-is-waning-91523">throughout history</a> have included castration, lobotomy and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-fgm-in-victorian-london-38327">clitoridectomy</a>.</p> <p>Crucially, conversion therapy does not refer to interventions that help affirm a person’s lived gender identity, such as for transgender people.</p> <p><strong>How widespread is it?</strong></p> <p>There are no studies of the prevalence of conversion therapy in contemporary Australia, but a 2018 Human Rights Law Centre/La Trobe University <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">report</a> pointed to the United Kingdom as a reasonable comparison.</p> <p>The UK’s 2018 <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-lgbt-survey-summary-report">national LGBT survey</a> saw 2% of respondents report having undergone conversion therapy, with a further 5% reporting they had been offered it. People from multicultural and multi-faith backgrounds were up to three times as likely to report being offered it.</p> <p>As The Age <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/i-am-profoundly-unsettled-inside-the-hidden-world-of-gay-conversion-therapy-20180227-p4z1xn.html">reported in 2018</a>, conversion therapies are commonly encountered in religious settings.</p> <p><em>[They are] hidden in evangelical churches and ministries, taking the form of exorcisms, prayer groups or counselling disguised as pastoral care. They’re also present in some religious schools or practised in the private offices of health professionals.</em></p> <p><strong>Why does it need to be banned?</strong></p> <p>The practice <a href="https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/researchandreports/report-on-inquiry-into-conversion-therapy-executive-summary">causes real harm to survivors</a>, many of whom live with acute and long-lasting distress, psychological damage, feelings of guilt and <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">isolation</a> as a result. Conversion therapy encourages internalised homophobia, self-hatred, shame and confusion about sexuality and gender identity.</p> <p>In addition to direct harms, the practice also <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">violates human rights</a>.</p> <p>It is opposed by many professional medical and human rights bodies, including the <a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/news-and-media/Media-releases/2018/The-APS-does-not-support-gay-conversion-therapy">Australian Psychological Society</a>, <a href="https://ama.com.au/ausmed/no-place-conversion-therapy">Australian Medical Association</a> and the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/u-n-calls-global-end-conversion-therapy-says-it-may-n1230851">United Nations</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1752928X20300366?dgcid=author">Independent Forensic Expert Group</a> recently released a statement, stressing the “lack of medical and scientific validity of conversion therapy”.</p> <p>Conversion therapy has <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">already been banned</a> in a number of countries including Brazil, Malta, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/germany-5th-country-ban-conversion-therapy-minors-n1203166">Germany</a> and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-lgbt-politics/spains-health-minister-calls-for-end-to-gay-conversion-therapy-idUSKCN1RF2IR">parts of Spain</a>, and the United States.</p> <p>Canada is moving towards a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/canada-lgbtq-conversion-therapy-criminalize">national ban</a>, while the European Parliament has <a href="http://lgbti-ep.eu/2018/03/01/european-parliament-takes-a-stance-against-lgbti-conversion-therapies-for-the-first-time/">condemned the practice</a>. In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged a ban <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53477323">in the UK</a>.</p> <p><strong>Australia’s progress to date</strong></p> <p>In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/dangerous-and-discredited-labor-pledges-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy-20190422-p51g8x.html">federal Labor</a> promised a nationwide ban.</p> <p>But Prime Minister <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/24/coalition-takes-tougher-line-on-gay-conversion-therapy-after-labor-promises-ban">Scott Morrison</a> said while he didn’t support conversion therapy, it was “ultimately a matter for the states”.</p> <p>On top of Queensland and the ACT, <a href="https://engage.vic.gov.au/conversion-practices-ban">Victoria</a> also intends to ban the practice, and South Australia’s <a href="https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/south-australia/south-australian-ban-on-conversion-therapy-to-be-shaped-by-survivors/197249">Labor opposition</a> is calling for a ban.</p> <p><strong>A national approach is required</strong></p> <p>While Australia is making welcome progress, a much more comprehensive approach is needed. Conversion practices remain legal in most of Australia, despite their clear harms.</p> <p>Queensland’s ban <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/queensland-outlawed-gay-conversion-therapy-survivors-say-the-ban-doesn-t-go-far-enough">has been criticised</a> for not capturing the <a href="https://www.hrlc.org.au/reports/preventing-harm">less-formalised practices</a> in religious settings.</p> <p>It is important to note the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity <a href="https://undocs.org/A/HRC/44/53">recommends</a> banning conversion therapy beyond just healthcare to include religious, education, and community settings.</p> <p>Lawmakers so far have also focused on balancing the rights of LGBTIQ people with religious freedoms. For example, the ACT legislation <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/act-bans-gay-conversion-therapy-with-sexuality-gender-bill/12600956">was amended</a> after Christian schools <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-26/sexuality-gender-conversion-therapy-bill-in-legislative-assembly/12596372">raised concerns</a> the definition of “conversion” was “vague and imprecise” (the ACT Law Society <a href="https://www.actlawsociety.asn.au/article/criminal-offence-a-heavy-handed-approach-to-conversion-therapy">also criticised</a> the bill as “too broad”).</p> <p>The Morrison government’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-religious-discrimination-bill-enshrines-the-right-to-harm-others-in-the-name-of-faith-131206">controversial</a> religious discrimination legislation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-pandemic-kills-indigenous-referendum-delivers-likely-mortal-blow-to-religious-discrimination-legislation-140079">stalled due to COVID-19</a>, may also raise difficult questions for state lawmakers.</p> <p>Legal groups, such as the <a href="https://www.liv.asn.au/Staying-Informed/LIJ/LIJ/January-2020/Religious-freedom-bill-contravenes-healthcare-righ">Law Institute of Victoria</a>, have already criticised the proposed legislation for allowing health professionals to put their religious beliefs before the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.</p> <p>State-based bans could also be undermined by federal religious freedom exemptions.</p> <p><strong>A new system is needed</strong></p> <p>Australia needs to enact a ban that works in concert with federal human rights and anti-discrimination law, overseen by the Australian Human Rights Commission.</p> <p>This is essential to counter any ramifications of the proposed religious freedom legislation and address recommendations made by the UN.</p> <p>Ultimately, law reform also needs to go hand in hand with complaint mechanisms and other support for victims. This includes community awareness campaigns to tackle the deep discrimination and prejudice at the heart of conversion practices.</p> <p><em>Written by Larissa Sandy, Anastasia Powell and Rebecca Hiscock. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-australia-needs-a-national-ban-on-conversion-therapy-145410">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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