Retirement Life

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How to empower older adults to become digital citizens in our tech-dependent world

<p>Living in a technology dependent world means we all want to stay connected, regardless of age. And the COVID-19 pandemic was a major catalyst <a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.ijinfomgt.2020.102171">for increasing our technological dependence</a>. </p> <p>It became normal to do weekly online grocery shops, attend doctors’ appointments or work via Zoom and FaceTime family and friends. The reality is however, that not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to the technological devices or skills to operate in our online world — some of the most impacted by this are older adults. </p> <p>This <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/s41256-020-00154-3">magnified the pandemic for them, especially in terms of isolation</a>. Older adults were left without the main resource that has been keeping many of us connected — technology.</p> <p>But that’s not all the pandemic has laid bare for older adults. A <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-aging-face-of-homelessness-in-north-american-cities-111702">large number of them are also either experiencing, or are vulnerable to homelessness</a>. Older adults have become one of the <a href="https://www.homelesshub.ca/resource/%E2%80%9Cno-home-no-place%E2%80%9D-addressing-complexity-homelessness-old-age-through-community-dialogue">groups most at-risk for housing insecurities during the pandemic</a>. And one of the <a href="https://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/education-training-employment/poverty">largest barriers to housing, is low socioeconomic status</a>. </p> <p>Our technological dependence has created new challenges for older adults, and helped solidify pre-existing ones, like navigating online platforms to secure housing. Older adults face housing barriers due to the lack of technological resources and education on how to use them; there is a clear need to empower them to be digital citizens.</p> <h2>Finding housing in an internet-dependent world</h2> <p>Overall, older adults are often excluded from using the internet because they <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa098">lack devices and connectivity, or are inexperienced in using it</a>. So when it comes to finding housing, they’re often left behind. </p> <p>A decade ago, it was possible to walk through the streets, sift through newspapers, notice boards and discover apartments for rent, but this is increasingly uncommon. The platforms themselves — like Kijiji, PadMapper and Facebook Marketplace — are not made with older adults in mind; meaning <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19869678">the ability to navigate and access these resources makes it even more difficult for them to find housing</a>. On top of having to search through unfamiliar platforms, they’re also faced with finding an apartment on a limited budget.</p> <p>Imagine you don’t know housing websites exist. Or know how to navigate online ads. Or have a device to access the internet. You’re put at a serious disadvantage when it comes to accessing housing.</p> <p>In North America “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19869678">large portions of the rental housing market have moved online … more renters in urbanized areas found their current homes through a site like Craigslist than through any other information channel</a>.” Meaning the majority of rental properties are accessible through online platforms. Older adults who are not part of this digital world have limited opportunities to find housing. </p> <p>We don’t want to suggest that finding an apartment is impossible but, if you are an older adult lacking technological resources and digital literacy, it may feel overwhelming.</p> <h2>Making technology more accessible</h2> <p>How can we move forward in this digital world, when so many are being left behind? We should at least make technology accessible, so the choice is up to the user. </p> <p>When it comes to older adults, having the liberty to choose their involvement with technology can provide independence and autonomy. When the decision is theirs to make, their <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.092">quality of life tends to increase, especially regarding social isolation</a>.</p> <p>While <a href="https://www.ncoa.org/article/top-10-financial-scams-targeting-seniors">older adults are more vulnerable to phishing and scams</a> and may have trouble recognizing fake housing advertisements, <a href="https://helpagecanada.ca/seniors-can-connect/">having support</a> and <a href="https://youthteachingadults.ca/resources/">educational resources</a> can <a href="https://www.connectedcanadians.ca/">promote the adoption of a conscious and cautious attitude</a> online, promote the use of trusted websites and avoid disclosing personal information such as SIN and credit card information. This can actively enable older adults to feel more comfortable and confident online.</p> <p>We are a part of the <a href="https://www.sfu.ca/airp/news-events/in-the-news/spike-in-homelessness-among-aged-prompts-research-for-solutions-.html">Aging in the Right Place (AIRP) Project</a> which looks at the causes of homelessness for older adults in order to evaluate <a href="https://www.seniorsservicessociety.ca/">current promising practices in place, such as temporary housing that support older adults who are at risk of experiencing homelessness</a>.</p> <p>An integral part of this project is to not only be in close contact with the people working towards supporting this population, but also with older people experiencing homelessness themselves. In our preliminary client interviews of those living in the temporary housing, we’re often told how invaluable technology is when searching for stable housing. </p> <h2>Technology can improve quality of life</h2> <p>As a society we assume older adults are not interested in various technologies, <a href="https://slate.com/technology/2020/07/seniors-technology-illiteracy-misconception-pandemic.html">not because they’re resisting but because technologies that currently exist were simply not created with them in mind</a>. Failing to include older adults as technology users further perpetuates the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39949-2_15">social, information and digital exclusion they experience</a>.</p> <p>This <a href="https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=425680">leaves very few opportunities for them to access education and awareness</a>. Opportunities that do exist to learn are often found in schools or at work — which are environments many older adults no longer frequent. </p> <p>Technology can improve the quality of life for older adults by providing ease, inclusion and comfort by making the essentials, like finding housing, more accessible. </p> <p>It’s time we <a href="https://helpagecanada.ca/seniors-can-connect/">draw on the resources</a> <a href="https://youthteachingadults.ca/resources/">and educational initiatives</a> <a href="https://www.connectedcanadians.ca/">in place and reach out to the ones who have been left behind</a>. Let’s empower older adults to be digital citizens. </p> <p>As digital citizens, they will have more opportunities to secure housing and tools to prevent homelessness. These supports will not only give them a sense of involvement in a technologically dependent world, but also provide a sense of belonging and inclusion in today’s society.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-empower-older-adults-to-become-digital-citizens-in-our-tech-dependent-world-167010" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Retirement Life

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Could ‘virtual nurses’ be the answer to aged care staffing woes?

<p>Former Health Department Chief Martin Bowles has <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/03/virtual-nurses-may-be-needed-to-meet-247-aged-care-staff-mandate-top-health-executive-says" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly proposed</a> “virtual nurses” could help address the shortage of nurses in aged care.</p> <p>This might involve remote, possibly artificial intelligence-assisted, virtual care, rather than physical nurse presence, to assist nursing homes to meet new legislative requirements to have a registered nurse present 24/7.</p> <p>There are clear opportunities for technological innovations to improve the care, health, and wellbeing of older people. However, substitution of face-to-face nursing and human interaction with remote care is not the answer.</p> <p>This seriously risks perpetuating the status quo where <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/03/australia-urgently-address-aged-care-abuse#:%7E:text=%E2%80%9CMultiple%20investigations%20and%20reports%20have,human%20rights%20of%20older%20people.%E2%80%9D" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many older people suffer</a> from isolation, neglect and lack of human engagement.</p> <p>Eroding requirements to properly staff nursing homes with registered nurses could make it even harder to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8685779/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">attract and keep</a> staff.</p> <h2>What are ‘virtual nurses’?</h2> <p>“<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00072-z" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Robot nurses</a>” already exist in some contexts, helping to move patients, take vital signs (such as blood pressure), carry medicines and laundry, and even engage with patients.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">How Paro the robot seal is being used to help people w/<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dementia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dementia</a> <a href="http://t.co/65GZPQdjb2">http://t.co/65GZPQdjb2</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/caregiving?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#caregiving</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Alzheimers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alzheimers</a> <a href="http://t.co/gXYztkNAJo">pic.twitter.com/gXYztkNAJo</a></p> <p>— Ian Kremer (@LEAD_Coalition) <a href="https://twitter.com/LEAD_Coalition/status/602223483687317504?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <p>However, “virtual nursing” likely refers to more familiar technology where a real nurse provides a limited range of care via <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1541461219303866?casa_token=4QuZ-seF5i4AAAAA:0QtENxksLvBDzKsrvWXuPNcgrPcKf6XhaVTbOVJfsnE8nL-XVQypjCq9XZGXp_KJ51ekYUQn" target="_blank" rel="noopener">telehealth</a> (by phone and/or video).</p> <p>While some might appreciate when robots can assist with <a href="https://www.nursingworld.org/~494055/globalassets/innovation/robotics-and-the-impact-on-nursing-practice_print_12-2-2020-pdf-1.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">certain tasks</a>, much of what nurses do cannot and should not be performed remotely (or by robots).</p> <p>Indeed, older people, their loved ones, and staff are <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/feb/05/yelling-out-for-help-the-atrocious-conditions-inside-australias-aged-care-homes" target="_blank" rel="noopener">calling out for</a> more physically present staff and more time to care and interact, not virtual interfaces and remote consultations.</p> <p>The benefits of technology in health care are unquestionable and many innovations have improved care for older people. Artificial intelligence shows promise in helping <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81115-9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">prevent and detect falls</a>, and socially assistive robots such as <a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-019-1244-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PARO</a> (a baby harp seal), have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and antipsychotic use in people with dementia.</p> <p>Technology should not, however, be introduced at the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1322769620301438?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expense of care quality</a> or supporting and sustaining a suitably sized and skilled aged care workforce. We still need to adequately staff nursing homes to provide <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020748921000869?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener">safe, dignified care</a>.</p> <h2>We need adequate staffing</h2> <p>The <a href="https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/final-report" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety</a> heard a vast quantity of evidence regarding insufficient staffing, particularly of nurses who have the education and skills to deliver high quality clinical and personal care.</p> <p>This expertise is why nurses cannot be replaced with remote care, and why the Commission recommended 24/7 registered nurse presence; this has now been <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6874" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legislated</a>.</p> <p>More than half of Australian aged care residents live in nursing homes with <a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/ahsri/1073/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">unacceptably low levels of staffing</a> and <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/2020-aged-care-workforce-census" target="_blank" rel="noopener">around 20%</a> do not have a registered nurse onsite overnight.</p> <p>Insufficient staffing results in workers <a href="https://www.anmfsa.org.au/Web/News/2022/The_grim_reality_of_what_happens_in_a_nursing_home_that_doesn_t_have_registered_nurses_24_7.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">not having time to interact</a> with residents meaningfully and compassionately and also contributes to avoidable hospitalisations, worse quality care and outcomes, and poor working conditions for staff.</p> <p>As social beings, human interaction is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundamental to health</a>, wellbeing, and best practice care. This is particularly true for <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jan.12173?casa_token=l5Y_-r6rvt8AAAAA%3Awpp7P9Q9CUncyK60XOUPgv5ORx_Pi0jyMJ-Yp_kvdL7b5sTYih66Htp7l05J_I0vafKubec91hRL4Q" target="_blank" rel="noopener">older people in nursing homes</a> who are less able to engage with others and is especially vital for those living with <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/psyg.12765" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mobility challenges</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28332405/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dementia</a>.</p> <p>Partly due to nurse low staffing levels, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-020-8251-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">loneliness, isolation</a> and <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/getattachment/86cf2c46-46f2-4177-a17b-700bb7cfa3ac/20030705lie.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mental ill health</a> are widespread in aged care and have become more common due to <a href="https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/nursing-home-residents" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pandemic related restrictions</a> on visitors and staff.</p> <p>Care experiences are shaped by <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6382052/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">human interaction and contact</a>; the touch of a hand, a smile, eye contact, and being able to take the time to genuinely listen.</p> <p>These actions are central to how nurses and other staff build effective and <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jan.12862" target="_blank" rel="noopener">meaningful relationships</a> with residents.</p> <p>Seeking to replace human contact with virtual interfaces seems both inconsistent with the Royal Commission’s findings and possibly cruel.</p> <p>Personal interactions also help staff, as the <a href="https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-03/final-report-volume-1_0.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Royal Commission</a> highlighted:</p> <blockquote> <p>Knowing those they care for helps care staff to understand how someone would like to be cared for and what is important to them. It helps staff to care – and to care in a way that reinforces that person’s sense of self and maintains their dignity. This type of person-centred care takes time.</p> </blockquote> <p>Rather than circumventing reforms to ensure more nurses provide face-to-face care in nursing homes, we need to address the range of challenges contributing to widespread and tenacious <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-8462.12427" target="_blank" rel="noopener">workforce shortages</a>.</p> <p>There are clear challenges for growing and retaining a sufficiently sized and skilled aged care workforce. However, government reforms, such as better pay, mandated care time, and greater accountability and transparency regarding the use of funds all work together to make aged care a feasible and attractive sector to work in.</p> <p>This is one where staff are supported to provide the high quality and safe aged care all Australians deserve and where older people receive best practice, human care.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared in <a href="https://theconversation.com/could-virtual-nurses-be-the-answer-to-aged-care-staffing-woes-dream-on-188215" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Why you should still set an alarm when you retire

<p>Retirement life means never having to set an alarm for work again, right? Well, while it’s true that you won’t have to get up super early to hotfoot it to the office anymore, there is still some benefit to setting that alarm each and every day.</p> <p>You’ve probably heard people talking about their body clock – usually this is in discussions about jet lag or living with newborn babies. But in fact your body clock will tend to be in much better shape if you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.</p> <p><strong>A better night’s sleep</strong></p> <p>What you can expect to happen is that you should start to become tired at about the same time each night. While we’re not suggesting you need to give yourself a strict bedtime, it’s important to listen to your body’s cues for rest and not miss ‘the wave’ of tiredness, which can lead to a restless sleep.</p> <p><strong>A more productive day</strong></p> <p>Having a steady circadian rhythm (another term for your body clock) will make you more alert through the day as you aren’t tired from not getting enough sleep. You will also make the most of your day as you won’t be feeling the need for an afternoon nap.</p> <p><strong>Less need for sleeping in</strong></p> <p>Having your body adjust to waking at the same time each day, and ideally heading off to bed around the same time each night, means that you won’t feel the need for the weekend lie-in. As you won’t need to ‘catch up’ on sleep, you will be able to get up as normal and make the most of your weekend.</p> <p><strong>The right amount of sleep</strong></p> <p>After a while, you will be able to work out if what you are doing is giving you enough hours of sleep to be your most productive and alert. You will be able to adjust things so that if you are feeling sluggish in the mornings you might need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier from now on.</p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href="/lifestyle/retirement-life/2016/04/5-new-hobbies-to-try-now/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>5 new hobbies to try now</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/lifestyle/retirement-life/2016/03/how-to-cope-with-redundancy-later-in-life/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Tips for coping with redundancy when you’re 60-plus</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/lifestyle/retirement-life/2016/03/retiring-from-work-not-life/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Tips to master retiring from work – not life</strong></em></span></a></p>

Retirement Life

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Young woman reveals what it’s like living in a retirement community

<p dir="ltr">A US woman has taken to social media to share her experiences of living in a retirement community at just 31 years old.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lifestyle blogger Liz White was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the pandemic when her job became remote, meaning she could work wherever she wanted.</p> <p dir="ltr">After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, White went to stay with her parents in Florida in a retirement building, where nearly all of the residents are over the age of 55.</p> <p dir="ltr">When an apartment in the building came up for rent, she applied to live there, going through an interview process and agreeing to abide by the rules.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Basically, I am retired in my soul, but not in my bank account that requires me to have a full-time job,” she shared in her latest video on <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@lizwizdom/video/7127470393702714670?is_copy_url=1&amp;is_from_webapp=v1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Another unit became available for rent in the building, and the rest is history.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-958637ea-7fff-b6a6-5e13-48e9dbacc96d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">White explained that it helped that most of the residents already knew her when she went to apply for the unit, and that there isn’t an “enforced age minimum” for those who live there.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/08/liz-retiree-1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Liz White moved into the retirement building after staying with her parents there during the pandemic. Image: @LizWhizdom (Instagram)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Since moving in, White has posted numerous videos where she gives followers tours of the building and its amenities, including water views, a heated pool that is “still too cold for residents”, a communal herb garden, a gym, and a library room for book and puzzle swapping.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though her situation seems too good to be true, White pointed out that most of the machines in the gym are broken.</p> <p dir="ltr">She has also detailed the rules residents must follow, admitting that she has broken a few from time to time.</p> <p dir="ltr">“One rule is you cannot back into parking spots,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You have to park front forward. I love this rule because I personally believe backing into parking spots is a red-flag personality trait, but that's just me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">White explained that a select few spots that are in the shade which are given out by seniority, with some residents waiting for over a decade to nab one.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In order for someone to get a covered parking spot, someone else either has to move out or pass away,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-77df3c06-7fff-4258-1936-99946e7b3ce8"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“'There's also a rule that if you have an overnight guest, you're technically supposed to put their name up on this bulletin board,”she added. “No comment on if I've ever broken that rule.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/08/liz-tiktok.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Liz White has shared an insight into her life as a 31-year-old in a retirement community, including being a ‘seventh wheel’ on a triple date and being in a ‘feud’ with one of her neighbours. Images: TikTok</em></p> <p dir="ltr">She has also learned some unspoken social rules while living with her older neighbours.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Every unit has a regular door and a glass door,” she explained. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If you leave the regular door open, that means you are open to visitors. It's kind of like a college dorm. If you see the door shut, that means leave people alone. If it's open, go ahead and go on in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Though she is the youngest resident by a decades-long margin, White has become friends with many of her neighbours, having visited Austria with one elderly couple and being the “seventh wheel” on a dinner date with three other couples in her time living there.</p> <p dir="ltr">White is also in a “feud” with one of her 79-year-old neighbours, with the issue being the woman is too nice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She and her husband are so sweet. They invite me over for dinner parties, which are literally three-course home cooked meals with dessert,” she gushed. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They will invite me out to dinner with them. She's constantly giving me little treats and stuff — and I can't keep up.”</p> <p dir="ltr">White explained that her neighbour has done far more nice things for her than she has in return, and has even turned to her viewers for advice on thoughtful things she can do.</p> <p dir="ltr">After many suggested spending time with her neighbour was the best thing she could do, White said she would do that and something extra, opting to give her a nice towel as well.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, the ‘win’ didn’t last for long.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I failed,” she admitted in a follow-up video. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She sent me a sweet test thanking me. She likes it, she's keeping it, and then she knocks on my door ten minutes later and gives me this bracelet.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She says, ‘You can't just give me things in return for me doing nice things for you. That's not how it works.’ And yet, she gives me this,” she added, holding up the bracelet. </p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f5d46819-7fff-bd56-7afb-e16051d38129"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Pioneering a new way to retire

<p>For a new generation of Australians, being retired doesn’t mean what it used to. From rediscovering passions and hobbies left behind in the hustle and bustle of daily life to packing a bag and exploring the world, pursuing the lifestyle of your dreams is simply not restricted by age.</p> <p>Having a sense of security, whether it’s related to feeling at home where we live or trusting that we can access the care we need as our health changes, is another priority for this generation.</p> <p>Then when it comes to how and where we live, easy maintenance, independence and cost effectiveness are the <a href="https://www.seniors.com.au/news-insights/australian-seniors-series-quality-of-life-report" target="_blank" rel="noopener">three top considerations for Aussies</a> according to the latest Australian Seniors Quality of Life report.</p> <p>With all of these considerations in mind, it can feel daunting to figure out whether living at home or moving into a retirement village suits our wants and needs – which is where<a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Ryman Healthcare</a> comes in.</p> <p>Ryman has been pioneering retirement living for over three decades and challenging the status quo when it comes to how Aussies live in retirement.</p> <p>If you are trying to figure out this next exciting phase of life means for you, here are three ways Ryman Healthcare stands out from the crowd, ensuring you can live life the way you want to.</p> <p><strong>Ultimate freedom to lock and leave</strong></p> <p>If you’re anything like <a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/pioneers/cindy-and-del" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cycling duo and Ryman Pioneers Cindy and Del</a>, adventure is in your blood.</p> <p>When they moved into their apartment in a Ryman village several years ago, it served as an even greater opportunity for them to live out their motto: “Do it while you can!”</p> <p>While many of us might worry about leaving our belongings and home unattended for long stretches of time, Cindy and Del say the security and maintenance services provided by Ryman means they have the peace of mind to live life to the fullest – and that it’s as simple as shutting their front door.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/08/Ryman_Healthcare_Cindy_and_Del_01_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Endurance cyclists Cindy and Del say Ryman has given the security to embrace their motto of doing it while they can. </em></p> <p>“We did feel a little bit nervous about leaving the house, but not here – not at Ryman,” Cindy says. “We just come and go as we please, and we know that the place is safe and secure.”</p> <p>“A big thing about the apartment is, we just close the door and come back a couple months later and it’s just the same,” Del adds. “We don’t have to worry about security. We don’t have to worry about maintenance or gardens. It’s all done.”</p> <p>When they aren’t circumnavigating the country, Cindy and Del can be found planning their next adventure or getting involved in the activities available through Ryman – think everything from dance lessons to playing bowls, creating charcoal art and more.</p> <p>They’re not the only ones taking advantage of these opportunities either, or the sense of community created and put front and centre by Ryman.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>A community like no other</strong></p> <p>Engaging in activities with others and staying connected with the local community is beneficial not just for our mood, but also our mental and physical health, no matter whether we’re retired or working.</p> <p>Ryman retirement villages champion this by removing the stress that comes with maintaining a family home, allowing residents to pursue their passions, connect with fellow residents, and stay active mentally and physically through regular events, activities and trips.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/pioneers/lynette" target="_blank" rel="noopener">yoga lover Lynette</a>, living in the Ryman community has seen her continue her decade-long practice of mindful yoga and embrace her love of walking. With walking being one of the many social activities in the village, Lynette has made plenty of friends through Monday outings with her walking group.</p> <p>“A lot of people still believe that you’re going to a rest home,” she says. “They don’t know the concept of a retirement village. You go there, it’s beautiful. You’ve got facilities. You’ve got activities. And you don’t stop <em>living</em>.”</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/08/Ryman_Healthcare_Lynette_02_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Lynette, a former corporate high-flyer turned yoga lover, says Ryman’s sense of community has helped her when she needed it most. </em></p> <p>Having this strong social network also helped her adapt to life after her husband’s passing.</p> <p>“My husband passed away exactly a year ago, so walking was fantastic because it cheered me up to see the flowers and the gardens and meet people,” she says of the group she now considers to be as close as family.</p> <p>Lynette and her husband moved into the village with the knowledge that “one would go before the other”, but living there has helped her find inner peace and support when she needed it most.</p> <p>“I’m so pleased that we moved because I’ve had a chance to make a lot of friends,” she says.</p> <p>“I’ve had a chance to get to know pretty much everyone in the village team. And everyone has been so supportive, particularly over the last year, that it’s my family now.”</p> <p>Having that level of support also provides Lynette and other Ryman residents with peace of mind when it comes to their health.</p> <p><strong>Rest assured that your future is in good hands</strong></p> <p>With four in five Aussies prioritising good physical and mental health, Ryman’s comprehensive care options give residents the confidence to live life with the knowledge that there is care available as their needs change.</p> <p>With aged care built into the fabric of their villages, Ryman offers living options ranging from independent and assisted living to residential aged care and specialist dementia care.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/pioneers/brian" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Brian and Pauline</a>, who have been married for more than half a century, these options have ensured they can stay together and still access care for their differing needs.</p> <p>After Pauline received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s shortly after they moved in, Brian has stayed in their apartment while Pauline moved into the village’s specialist dementia care just a short walk away.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/08/Ryman_Healthcare_Brian_03_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Brian’s apartment and the care centre are mere steps away, making it easy for Brian and family members like his grandson Tom to visit every day.</em></p> <p>“Our apartment is just a few steps away, on the same floor, so it’s very easy to pop in and see my wife or nip around and get something for her,” Brian says. “It’s been very, very good.”</p> <p>Having the support of the village’s nursing team has also been invaluable, allowing Brian to enjoy the village’s sense of community while trusting that his wife is in good hands.</p> <p>“My wife’s cared for, and we can still be together,” he says. “It’s a great relief.”</p> <p>All of these Ryman residents – each one a pioneer of a new way of living – are enjoying their lives in retirement to the full. So if you’re still trying to decide your future, get ready to <a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/the-ryman-guide" target="_blank" rel="noopener">explore the possibilities</a>.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MqECwJ0symg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" data-mce-fragment="1"></iframe></p> <p><em>All images: Ryman Healthcare</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><a href="https://www.rymanhealthcare.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Ryman Healthcare</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Readers Respond: What is something from the past that you wish would be brought back?

<p dir="ltr">We all do it. Sit there and reminisce about the good ol’ days. </p> <p dir="ltr">Life was good back then…it still is now but we can all admit there are some things we wish would have stayed the same.</p> <p dir="ltr">We asked our readers to share something from the past that they wish would be brought back and it appears that most of you agreed on a common answer: respect.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out some of your other responses below. </p> <p dir="ltr">Kathryn Potter - Manners, respect, common sense and dignity but also I would love the simpler times back too!</p> <p dir="ltr">Raelene Oliver - Respect, honesty and caring for each other.</p> <p dir="ltr">Suzanne Stovel - No welfare. People actually having to work, to have money. Qualified tradespeople. Less dependence on technology.</p> <p dir="ltr">Carol Edmonds - SPs made by Peters ice cream, strawberry and pineapple ice cream covered in chocolate. </p> <p dir="ltr">Dawn Dominick - The city of old...was always a treat to go to the city in the 60s.</p> <p dir="ltr">Valerie Keily - Decent radio stations and local TV stations have more local shows and also variety shows.</p> <p dir="ltr">Adrian Whiley - Everything. Life was so much simpler back then. Also manners and respect. Since social media people have forgotten how to talk to each other. It's all done by texting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lois Sullivan - Close all shops by 12 noon on Saturday, open 9am Monday. All workers need time out also. Worked very well for us as kids.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marion Bradley - Good old fashioned cooking. (Less processed) Parental control over your child. Respect, responsibility for your actions. Manners.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yvonne Dyer - Simple ways of living. Far too many choices with everything.</p> <p dir="ltr">Share something you wish would be brought back <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid0x2DBLg7vkcJG3gj5DnT3dJhfNcxvCg1PjJUdXAd3vbDvdPbWrFCuFv9HVAi4kAFBl" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Giving out flowers on TikTok: is this a ‘random act of kindness’ or just benevolent ageism?

<p>In June, 22-year-old Harrison Pawluk filmed himself staging a “random act of kindness”, giving a bunch of flowers to an older woman sitting alone in a Melbourne food court.</p> <p>His <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@lifeofharrison/video/7111321730773175553?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">video</a> went viral on TikTok, attracting 57 million views within a week.</p> <p>Comments on the post included, “when she started crying, I couldn’t hold it back” and “wow that was so beautiful I swear I would cry”.</p> <p>Acts of kindness can boost <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103117303451" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wellbeing</a> for the giver, the recipient, and even the viewers of selfless acts. Social media influencers have found ways to commodify this by presenting them as random and unexpected.</p> <div data-id="17"> </div> <p>But this gesture was interpreted by TikTok, the woman targeted for the video, as an artificially staged production that left her feeling “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-14/tiktok-video-maree-melbourne-flowers/101228418" target="_blank" rel="noopener">dehumanised</a>” and like “clickbait” for tabloid fodder.</p> <p>In the media, individuals aged over 60 are often depicted as a homogeneous group of elderly people who lack personality, social identity or individuality.</p> <p>It’s not just a “random act of kindness”. Pawluk’s actions – and some of the media coverage – unearths a much bigger problem of “benevolent ageism”.</p> <h2>What is benevolent ageism?</h2> <p>When we talk about ageism, people often think of overt acts such as older people being explicitly told they are dressed “<a href="https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/louise-di-francesco-ageism-at-work-200031282.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inappropriately</a>” for their age, or an employer refusing to hire someone for a job because of their age.</p> <p>But not all ageism is overt. “<a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2793359" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Everyday ageism</a>” is a more subtle yet pervasive component that informs our impressions of older people. This could be assumptions about what older people’s preferences are because of their age group, or that by a certain age most people should be “slowing down”.</p> <p>Benevolent ageism is where these every day biases manifest in the belief that older people need special “help” or “support”.</p> <p>Benevolent ageism manifests in the way people sometimes use pet names or <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/ageism#ageism-in-healthcare" target="_blank" rel="noopener">baby talk</a> to address older people; an emphasis on <a href="https://spssi.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00405.x" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pitying</a> people above a certain age; or the importance placed on “<a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.587911/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener">protecting</a>” older people during the COVID pandemic.</p> <p>Commenters on Pawluk’s video said “[the flowers] made her feel so good and it looks like she might have needed it”, “she is so cute” and “I miss my grandma!”.</p> <p>Benevolent ageism leads to false assumptions or inaccurate and limiting stereotypes about older people being “warm but not competent” and lacking individuality.</p> <p>In Pawluk’s video, Maree is framed as being sad and alone. Speaking to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-14/tiktok-video-maree-melbourne-flowers/101228418" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC Radio</a>, Maree expressed frustration at being presented as “the elderly woman who drank a takeaway cup of coffee”.</p> <p>“It’s the patronising assumption that women, especially older women, will be thrilled by some random stranger giving them flowers,” she told the ABC.</p> <h2>Our implicit biases</h2> <p>Benevolent ageism is hiding in plain sight.</p> <p>Our own ageist biases can show up in everyday judgements we make about people’s capacity to work, how they dress or whether they are in need of assistance or attention because of their age.</p> <p>Ageist characterisations are culturally reinforced by media portrayals, and have the effect of categorising “older people” – <a href="https://spssi.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/josi.12162" target="_blank" rel="noopener">particularly women</a> – as being lonely and in need of pity.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/18-03-2021-ageism-is-a-global-challenge-un" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent report</a> from the World Health Organization shows one in every two people shows moderate to high levels of ageist attitudes, with their definition of ageism encompassing stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.</p> <p>The Australian Human Rights Commission found that <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/new-research-finds-ageism-most-accepted-form-prejudice-australia-0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">90% of Australians</a> agree that ageism exists in Australia.</p> <p>Age discrimination commissioner Kay Patterson calls ageism “the least understood form of discriminatory prejudice” and “more pervasive and socially accepted than sexism and racism”.</p> <p>Internalised ageism, in which we unconsciously hold these own ageist attitudes against ourselves, negatively impacts our functional health as we age and can even <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009174350400115X" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shorten our own lifespan</a>.</p> <h2>Stereotypes facing older women</h2> <p>These TikTok random acts of kindness can have the unfortunate overtone of the <a href="https://www.britishgerontology.org/content/22875/Live/pdf/Generations_Review%2025%202%20July%202015.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">twin prejudices</a> of ageism and sexism. Older women targeted in this way can be left feeling like their identity is reduced to being just an older lady in need of pity.</p> <p>When interviewed by The Project, Pawluk <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/aussie-tiktok-star-sorry-but-wont-stop-controversial-acts-of-kindness/news-story/347c18457d80a961e27c6b31f42b2507" target="_blank" rel="noopener">apologised</a> to Maree. He claims he does not target people based on their age.</p> <p>But the assumptions made about Maree – and other women to whom he has offered flowers – are embedded in age-old stereotypes about older women: that they are sad or lonely, and in need of support.</p> <p>There is nothing wrong with greeting another person regardless of their age. But the framing of this TikTok video is a clear example of ageist stereotypes manifesting as a show of concern.</p> <p>Much of the news reporting and comments surrounding the event were also examples of everyday ageism. The Daily Mail <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10967869/Melbourne-TikToker-Harrison-Pawluk-gives-woman-bunch-flowers.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">described the video</a> as a “heartwarming moment [where] a total stranger gives an elderly woman a bunch of flowers before she bursts into tears”.</p> <p>Although likely not the initial intention of the gesture, this social media craze of capturing supposed “random acts of kindness” can have the undesired effect of diminishing the perceived social value of the target to whom the protagonist is trying to show kindness.</p> <p>We should take this as a moment to pause and address our own unconscious biases and our subtle forms of everyday ageism of the benevolent kind.</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on The Conversation.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p>

Retirement Life

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How the pandemic has impacted retirees

<p dir="ltr">Two years of lockdowns, mask-wearing and rapidly expanding our medical knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in a variety of ways - and retirees are no exception.</p> <p dir="ltr">New research has found that Australia’s over 50s have shifted their priorities since the pandemic, with 44 percent of seniors wanting to live closer to their families and nearly 70 percent feeling their appreciation of the little things in life has changed.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <a href="https://www.seniors.com.au/news-insights/australian-seniors-series-quality-of-life-report" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Seniors Quality of Life Report</a>, which surveyed over 5,000 Australians over 50, one in three Aussies have changed their priorities in retirement because of Covid, and approximately half find that good physical and mental health is their highest priority during retirement.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though Covid has had the biggest impact on retirees' travel plans - according to 55 percent of respondents - spending time with family (42 percent), and socialising and being in the community (36 percent) have been listed as a close second and third.</p> <p dir="ltr">Seniors’ expectations for their quality of life during retirement have also changed following the pandemic.</p> <p dir="ltr">A majority (62 percent) expect they might not be able to travel in the ways they want to, while just over 50 percent expect they may have to deal with greater health risks - with people over 60 more at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid, it’s unsurprising that this is a big issue for retirees.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even with all of the changes the pandemic has brought to our lives, nearly all seniors agree that living independently is the most important part of retirement and it ranks in the top five of key goals Aussies have.</p> <p dir="ltr">It comes as the preference for living at home and receiving residential care outstrips aged care, with the <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/report-on-government-services" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services</a> finding that the number of home-care packages reached 236,554 in the last financial year, while the number of aged care packages stayed stable.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If you asked 100 people where you would rather be, 100 percent say ‘I want to stay home’,” Darren Nelson, an adjustable bed expert at Solace Sleep, told <em>OverSixty</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are seeing a huge increase in people reaching out, desperate to avoid having to go into an aged care facility.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As a result of this spike in demand, Solace Sleep – a company providing in-home care supplies – has seen the sale of mechanical beds go from less than 10 beds a year to over 300.</p> <p dir="ltr">Not only that, but living at home means that it’s easier to stay connected to friends and family - another key retirement goal.</p> <p dir="ltr">All in all, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen many of us question our priorities in life, and shift our focus to spending time with the people that matter most - and it might be that it’s an antidote to the isolation we’ve faced over the past few years and the key ingredient for a fulfilling life.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-0c1cea52-7fff-656c-e912-dec2fa2f4a1c"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Retirement Life

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New panel places the voice of aged care consumers at the centre

<p dir="ltr">The voice of aged care consumers and their families is vitally important for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to hear and understand.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is the message from Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, as the Commission establishes its first ever Consumers and Families Panel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People receiving aged care, and their experience of that care, are central to the Commission’s purpose - ensuring their wellbeing underpins all of our efforts,” Ms Anderson said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They must be front and centre of everything aged care providers do, and also in the work of the Commission, placing the needs of those receiving care at the forefront at all times.”</p> <p dir="ltr">To better understand what’s important to people who use aged care services, the Commission is establishing a Consumers and Families Panel made up of people receiving Australian Government funded aged care services, their family members and representatives.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Commission wants the panel to reflect the diversity of people who access aged care across Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is very important that the panel is as diverse as the people who use Australian Government funded aged care,” Ms Anderson said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are inviting anyone living in residential aged care or receiving home care or using Commonwealth- funded aged care services in the community to share their ideas and opinions with us. We’re also interested in hearing from family members and carers of aged care recipients, and people who are considering using aged care services within the next 12 months.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The Consumers and Families Panel will help the Commission, as the national aged care regulator, in its work overseeing the quality of aged care services and resolving complaints about these services.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It will improve the way we regulate aged care services and resolve complaints and help make sure that the information we produce is fit for purpose and easy to understand for everyone,” Ms Anderson said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Commission will invite panel members to share their ideas and opinions about things such as:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">issues that are of most concern to people receiving care that the Commission should know about</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">how the Commission can reach people better</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">how people can be better supported to interact with the Commission</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">videos or other resources prepared by the Commission.</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Panel members will be able to provide input and engage in different ways, including by email or telephone, or by taking part in online or in-person meetings.</p> <p>The CEO of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), Craig Gear OAM, welcomes the Commission’s new Consumers and Families Panel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Older people must be consulted at every step of the aged care journey to ensure their rights, needs and preferences are being met,” Mr Gear said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Consumers and Families Panel will enable older people and their families to better engage with, and inform, the aged care regulator. Their lived experience is critical to ensuring all older people receive the care and services they deserve.”</p> <p dir="ltr">People wishing to be part of the Commission’s Consumers and Families Panel can register their interest via the Commission’s website at: <a href="http://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/consumer-panel" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.agedcarequality.gov.au/consumer-panel</a> or call the Commission on 1800 951 822.</p> <p dir="ltr">For more information about the Commission and its work, please visit the Commission’s website at: <a href="http://www.agedcarequality.gov.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.agedcarequality.gov.au</a>.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-af2d2a81-7fff-e401-f0fd-7e4f22a77acc"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Ash Barty weighs in on golfing rumour

<p dir="ltr">Retired tennis star Ash Barty has dispelled rumours she is switching to a career in professional golf, revealing she “will never play another professional sport”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to <em>Today</em>’s Ally Langdon about life after hanging up her tennis racket earlier in the year, Barty addressed the speculation that she was swapping her racket for a golf club in the wake of her retirement announcement.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I love golf, but much to everyone’s disappointment, I will never be playing professionally,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I will never be playing another professional sport. I’ve got other things that I would love to do.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I love it as a hobby, but it’s not for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When asked about her final two wins, first at Wimbledon then the Australian Open, Barty said she may “break some Aussies’ hearts” when it came to her favourite success.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel like I’m going to break some Aussies’ hearts but Wimbledon was the one, Wimbledon was the one that I’ve always wanted the most,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s the feelings and the memories that you keep forever - the trophies and accolades mean nothing, it is the moments, the memories, the emotions that you create through that opportunity (that) is the most exciting.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The 26-year-old revealed that things haven’t slowed down since her retirement.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m not going anywhere, it’s just that I’m no longer travelling around, hitting a little yellow fluffy ball,” Barty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">She added that settling into a routine with her partner, Garry, and her dogs has also been nice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just actually being in my kitchen, being in my house - cleaning - I find it really therapeutic,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I love cooking, I love just being home.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-f518562d-7fff-eb12-2cb3-72085f3ebea7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Alongside enjoying life’s simplicities, Barty has been working on a special new project, a children’s book series called <em>Little Ash</em> that is based on her upbringing and the values she was raised with.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfpi8q2BkCy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfpi8q2BkCy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“It’s been such a fun process to go through and really relive some of my favourite childhood memories and bring them to life,” Barty said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I always wanted to contribute to kids' books in my way.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The first four books in the six-part series <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/books/ash-barty-s-books-released" target="_blank" rel="noopener">have been released</a>, with the remaining two due hit shelves in early November.</p> <p dir="ltr">To watch Barty’s full interview, head <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/ash-barty-new-childrens-book-series-little-ash/47ffe98e-389f-40fe-931c-98e80d3898f5" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a0657f3e-7fff-0eca-20f0-bbccbc05c57f"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Today</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Retirees face exorbitant fees for retirement village upkeep

<p>A group of NSW retirees are facing exorbitant fees for basic upkeep of their retirement village, as they question where their strata money has gone. </p> <p>At Lakes of Cherrybrook in Sydney's north west, mould coats the ceilings and walls and bright orange plastic has been stapled to every roof in the village since April to prevent water coming in.</p> <p>Fifty units, or 75 per cent of the entire complex, are now owned by RSL LifeCare, one is common property and there are 13 units owned by resident strata owners.</p> <p>Last year the residents were informed new roofs were going to be installed, which the strata owners were advised there would be a special levy for. </p> <p>One of the residents, Lesley, said its "unfair" to ask the retirees to front the costs of the repairs. </p> <p>She told <em><a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/nsw-retirees-face-exorbitant-fees-for-retirement-village/dc08ddfe-21aa-463a-b461-780f5a1f043a" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Current Affair</a>,</em> "They have the duty of care to look after the place and the people in it."</p> <p>"We didn't come here to do maintenance work, we didn't come here to go to meetings month after month … It's put an awful lot of stress on people."</p> <p>On June 1st, the residents said they were told works would cost more than $7 million, but it looks like that could blowout, as many works are yet to be priced.</p> <p>According to this quote, the residents could be expected to pay up to $200,000 each, when they already pay up to $13,000 on strata fees. </p> <p>According to RSL Lifecare's 2021 financial results, the company has $170 million in the bank, which has left residents questioning why they're the ones who have to pay up.</p> <p>Another resident, Judy, said, "People are deaf, they can't hear what's going on, they don't understand; they get frustrated. It's sad, it's wrong."</p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair</em></p>

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Readers Respond: What was the happiest moment of your childhood?

<p dir="ltr">As a child you’d always hear your parents say “they grow up so fast”.</p> <p dir="ltr">And they’re not wrong because soon enough you were saying that to your children who are now saying it to your grandchildren. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s insane how time flies and we decided to ask our readers to think back to their happiest childhood moment. </p> <p dir="ltr">Check out some of your responses below. </p> <p dir="ltr">Cate Titulaer - Being in the warmth of my grandparents' love.</p> <p dir="ltr">Pat White - Mum died in January when I was 11 and my aunt made me a wonderful birthday cake in June. It was Cinderella's coach with six white horses and even footmen, a magic time for me, such a caring auntie.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tracey Baker - Going to work with my dad on the freight trains or spending time with dad anywhere.</p> <p dir="ltr">Pam Ballard - Time with my grandparents. I realised now how lucky I was to spend nearly every weekend with them.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gay Sharran Gold - When my father came home and told me we were going to see The Beatles perform at Sydney Hordern Pavilion! Omg I was a total fanatic!</p> <p dir="ltr">Margaret Inglis - Didn't have a 'happiest' moment. All my childhood was happy.</p> <p dir="ltr">Trisha Springbett - Not that I was aware of it at the time, but being adopted by my wonderful parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Keralie Stack - Christmas Day was always an open house with family, friends and some who didn't have families. Lots of laughter, games for the kids and enough food for everyone. Great memories.</p> <p dir="ltr">Evelyn Hayward - Gosh, I don’t think I could pick just one. We were not ‘well off’ but neither was anyone else we knew but had a simple childhood with so much freedom and playing outside, food on the table and warm, loving home. Always someone to play with.</p> <p dir="ltr">Janine Jan Fran Kells - Living with my sister Valda and her family when l was about 7. She made me feel very special and have always loved her for it. </p> <p dir="ltr">Share your happiest childhood moments <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid026HdnavFdLvaxm2wkLyzdUFnvxQf5RAKu55ZDSviD2B5PLE1LP4QKQVxdnobme85Tl" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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The W word is tough to talk about, but we need to be better prepared

<p dir="ltr">Widowhood isn’t a topic that is widely discussed. Yet with some women left financially ruined after the unexpected death of their spouse or partner – especially if they suddenly find themselves single parents. It is a discussion we should be having, both to support newly widowed women and to lessen the financial burden on those who may follow.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>‘My partner is gone and I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet.’ </em>This is a situation that no one wants to face, yet many women sadly do. And it isn’t just elderly women or those in retirement.</p> <p dir="ltr">Between 2018 and 2020, suicide and accidental poisonings were the two <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/leading-causes-of-death" target="_blank" rel="noopener">leading causes of death among 25-44 year-olds</a> – both of which can occur without warning. For the partners left behind, their grief is compounded by another painful loss – the loss of financial stability.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>‘It won’t happen to me’</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Too many women overestimate their financial resources and protections, while believing their partner will always be there to cover their back. Can you afford to pay the bills after the sudden loss of income – which may have been the bulk of your household earnings? Do you have the full picture of your, and your partner’s, assets, and debts? How will you juggle your job with the new-found constraints of being single, and potentially a single parent? If your partner was self-employed, is the business still profitable or even viable if they’re gone? Has its value suddenly diminished?</p> <p dir="ltr">These are just several of many issues widows face, at an already stressful time.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Preventing the worst</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While we can’t control death, I think there are two equally important preventative actions women can – and must – take to avoid becoming cash-strapped widows. Firstly, ensure your partner looks after themselves. Men especially often ignore their own health, until it’s too late. Be a source of encouragement and support, and hopefully keep them earthside much longer, with a good diet, regular exercise, stress-relieving activities, and regular medical check-ups for physical and mental health.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, healthy lifestyles don’t guarantee a long life. Which is why contingency plans are crucial. Protecting yourself and your/your partner’s dependents should they die includes having:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Emergency cash fund</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Household savings and investment plan</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Life insurance</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Funeral cover</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Current will</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Nominated superannuation/trust beneficiaries (which are separate from a will)</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Succession/exit plan for any business owned</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Self-employed people paying their worker’s compensation and superannuation</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Qualified tax and financial advice</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Good debt management</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Coping with loss</strong></p> <p>To every widow, let me first say I am so sorry for your loss. You may feel overwhelmed by your new reality. Money worries will only add to this. Some immediate options to ease this pressure and let you focus on processing your grief with loved ones include:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Time off: Work may seem like a good distraction, but you risk making poor decisions under clouded judgement. Take bereavement/annual leave to keep money coming in. For the self- employed, have a business partner/senior employee cover for you.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Notify your partner’s employer: To pay out remaining wages and entitlements.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Life insurance, funeral cover: Check your partner’s policies, including through their superfund. Lodge a claim as soon as you can – it takes time to be processed and paid out.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Get support: You may be eligible for <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/what-help-there-when-adult-dies?context=60101" target="_blank" rel="noopener">government support measures</a>, including deferred obligations and bereavement payments.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">If your partner died at work: Worker’s compensation or other payouts could be owed to you.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Counselling: Free services include <a href="https://griefline.org.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Griefline</a> or your/your partner’s Employee Assistance Program.</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Life as a single woman</strong></p> <p>It’s now entirely up to you to manage money and save for retirement. I recommend getting good professional advice to work through:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Transferring assets to be under your name</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Maintaining a roof over your head – which may mean downsizing to a more affordable home</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Adjusting to life on one income</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Maximising earnings; minimising tax</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Investing larger payouts – your late partner’s superannuation, insurances, compensation</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Business strategy – how and whether to sell or continue trading</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Updating your will; providing for dependent children/elderly parents</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Meeting debt obligations</p> </li> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">Should you enter another relationship down the track, whether a binding financial<br />agreement is needed</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">The death of a partner is emotionally devastating. Yet it needn’t devastate you financially too. No matter your situation or life stage, I implore you: take an active role in managing your money. The death of a partner will necessitate it, but you’ll make a difficult situation that bit easier by having financial strategies already in place to fall back on.</p> <p><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of the new book, On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women (Ventura Press, $32.99). Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a>  </strong></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-b1756543-7fff-b2bd-5ecc-d2a34edf3b13"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Readers Respond: What was life like for you in the ‘80s?

<p dir="ltr">We always sit and reminisce about the good ol’ days. </p> <p dir="ltr">And according to some of your responses, the ‘80s was a great time to be alive. </p> <p dir="ltr">None of us in the office would know, but this helps us get a glimpse of what life was like back then no matter if it was sad or happy.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out some of your responses below. </p> <p dir="ltr">Jenny Jones - I had my kids. My health. A husband. A car. Huge house. Everything was great.</p> <p dir="ltr">Michael Woodhouse - A damn better sight than it is now.</p> <p dir="ltr">Vicki Johnson - A great time for me. All my children were born in the 80s. I had a lovely life as a stay at home mum. So very different to today's world.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kathryn Potter - Much, much better than now. Was in my 30s, had a great job, more money, a beautiful little car and enjoyed life to the fullest. Did not have a care in the world. Life was good. I just wish we could go back to those days, but sadly all gone!</p> <p dir="ltr">Gillian Boyd - Busy was my first thought. The ‘80s passed me by in a whirl of pregnancy, babies, toddlers and endless washing of nappies.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yvonne Doney - Was too busy being a wife/parent to notice.</p> <p dir="ltr">Harriott Smedley - Yes, the best time of my life. I had met John, we married in 1983 and had a wonderful life together - 40 years all up. I miss him everyday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Michele Garfield - Working hard and a bad break up with the man I lived with.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sharron Millsteed Barker - Married the best man in the world in the ‘80s and had the most gorgeous son.</p> <p dir="ltr">Diane Beatty - Working part time and coping with teenagers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Share some of your memories <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid02cHg9tugrVxTSzM3RFjmsVtYAHe2ovhdufEdfzSXZuc21yGDPzRMXugjn8Zy94Txyl" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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What happens when a petting zoo visits an aged care home

<p dir="ltr">In June 2022, residents, families and team members at Arcare North Lakes had an a-moo-sing time with the beloved animals from mobile petting zoo, Amazing Animals. </p> <p dir="ltr">Residents had the opportunity to feed and pat the farm animals which included ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep and baby animals such as piglets, a one-month-old calf and a three-week-old goat.</p> <p dir="ltr">While holding onto the baby goat, resident Joyce Crawford said, “I love you! I would take you home in a flash; I just need a bag big enough to steal him,”</p> <p dir="ltr">Joyce’s husband John, who is also a resident at Arcare North Lakes and is visually impaired, spent quality time with the animals as the Lifestyle team made sure to bring them close to him. He fed and cuddled them and enjoyed the sensory experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had a great time with the animals and I’m glad we could spend time with them today,” John said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The residents enjoyed their visit so much that they have already booked them in for another visit.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Animal therapy is a wonderful way to support aged care residents as it promotes confidence, supports sensory and tactile stimulation and enables them to relive memories as many of the residents grew up on farms. One question was asked time and time again "can we keep them!" it was such a special moment for them to enjoy.” - Lifestyle Coordinator Maree said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There were smiles, laughs and enthusiasm as resident’s shared stories and fond memories of their own experiences working on their farms,” lifestyle Coordinator Maree said.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fab907f1-7fff-bd8d-2734-04ce2488949d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the adorable gallery below.</p>

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Readers Respond: What was your career and what do you wish you did?

<p dir="ltr">Now more than ever, people are changing their careers or jobs when they’re not happy. </p> <p dir="ltr">Writing for an audience of 60+ was never in my book but it’s quite interesting to see what interests you have and what keeps you going.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is why we have our Readers Respond questions to occasionally get a glimpse into your life.</p> <p dir="ltr">We decided to ask you, what was your career and what do you wish you did? </p> <p dir="ltr">Check out your responses below.</p> <p dir="ltr">Veronica Prendergast - Office worker, mainly accounts. I wanted to do commercial art but my parents couldn’t afford college fees at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Roy Hurst - Large articulated freight relocator eg truck driver but wish l had become a brain surgeon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lizzie Bartlett - Nursing. Preferred? Gardener.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dawn Parker - Many different jobs in healthcare (favorite being medical assistant in a pediatric office) but I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kathy Ford - A nurse. I was lucky enough to go out in the Flying Doctor plane quite a few times. Trained at Port Augusta in the 60's.</p> <p dir="ltr">Julie Ann Lewis - I was a nurse and wanted to be a hairdresser.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dorothy Estelle Winks - Office work, secretary. Would have liked to have been a vet or had a life similar to David Attenborough.</p> <p dir="ltr">Roslyn Crane - I worked as a typist, switchboard operator, and receptionist. I wanted to walk in my mum's shoes as a nurse but I wasn't academic enough. I then joined the Citizen Military Forces, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corp which is the Reserves today.</p> <p dir="ltr">Raymond Richards - Office worker. I wish I had worked in the travel industry as it would have saved me a fortune over the years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Steve Smith - IT Operations when it took skill to run computer systems until networking took over the planet. I wish I did architecture. </p> <p dir="ltr">Share your career wishes <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid0QjzqPxiQ8dpiiYhe453cw17euoqeSSLTPWwyiQ7v6aBboBEHJUzGLnFimXrZm13Al" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Readers Respond: What was considered ‘cool’ for a child to have when you were younger?

<p dir="ltr">We all do it… sit there and reminisce about the good ol’ days. What we used to do for fun, how times were simpler back then and what was SO COOL to have as a child.</p> <p dir="ltr">We asked the OverSixty team what they considered COOL for a child while growing up and one said owning a Discman portable CD player, another said Heely shoes (the ones with a wheel) and another said scoobies (I am not explaining this). </p> <p dir="ltr">Now it’s your turn to tell us what you considered to be COOL for a child back when you were younger. </p> <p dir="ltr">Check out your responses below. </p> <p dir="ltr">Anne Smyth - A white ‘proper’ suitcase. God knows why because I didn’t go anywhere except my cousins in Frankston. I thought it was the bees knees!</p> <p dir="ltr">Deb Van Daal - A pump up scooter. Didn’t have one. Bless I got a hard tyred scooter from the tip done up instead. Oh dear, never let my mum and dad forget it. I survived by the way.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rae Scott - A sled to ride down the hill near our house. We made them ourselves out of timber we scrounged. Also I would have loved a pair of rubber thongs but our mother couldn’t afford six pairs.</p> <p dir="ltr">Julia Santos - I am the 9th of 11 children so having new clothes was waaaaaay cool. Also, having an outfit for every day of the week was cool. And shoes that actually fit. We were very poor. But very rich in love and family togetherness.</p> <p dir="ltr">Corinne Ridley - Roller skates was my dream, which I did eventually get, but in those days, anything you got was greatly appreciated!</p> <p dir="ltr">Jenny Robertson - My brother and I loved our scooters which we thought were really cool.</p> <p dir="ltr">Vicki Patterson - Slinkies, happy pants, hypercolour t-shirts, Super Mario, skateboards, and your own bike. I didn't have most of these though.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jo Dippel - A doll and doll’s pram, pedal car, scouter, bike, cowboy and girl outfits and a Davy Crockett hat</p> <p dir="ltr">Noelene O'Donnell - No matter what it was my mum couldn’t afford it but I never felt deprived and my best friend had everything so I still got to play with it all.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lynda Richardson - Mum and dad bought me a 3 wheeler for my 5th or 6th birthday, I still have it as is good condition, my younger sister used it all my nieces and nephews as well, and my children. </p> <p dir="ltr">Share your cool stories <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/3300929490137314" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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National plans to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's death revealed

<p>Australians could be seeing a new public holiday commemorating Queen Elizabeth II as part of a national plan to observe the monarch’s death.</p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been handed a new brief in preparation for the ominous event.</p> <p>The plan states that Albanese will be informed of the Queen’s death roughly an hour prior to a Buckingham Palace public statement being sent out, and immediately after being informed of the news, our Prime Minister will also put on a special black tie to mark the Queen’s passing.</p> <p>It has been revealed that 10-12 notable Australians will be invited to the Queen’s funeral before the Governor General will publicly declare Prince Charles to be Australia's king.</p> <p>A National Day of Commemoration is more than likely to become a new public holiday for Australia.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in other commonwealth countries, during the period in between the Queen’s death and funeral, 10 days of mourning and remembrance will be observed.</p> <p>Flags will be flown at half-mast for the 10 days, except on the day of Prince Charles’ ascension to the throne, and bells will ring at churches across Australia. A state funeral will be held, as well as a special service at an Anglican cathedral.</p> <p>It comes after Queen Elizabeth says she had been “humbled and deeply touched” by the number of people coming out to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee at the conclusion of four days of festivities to mark her 70 years on the British throne.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Readers Respond: What is something you liked to do as a teenager that's irrelevant today?

<p dir="ltr">Life really comes at you quickly. One day you’re out laughing with a few mates after work then BAM, you’re retired and have all the time for whatever you want.</p> <p dir="ltr">It got us thinking here in the office, we’re quite a young team and it wasn’t that long ago that we were teenagers. </p> <p dir="ltr">But something that we really liked doing that is irrelevant today is having dial-up internet. Another said she misses playing Snake on a brick Nokia phone. </p> <p dir="ltr">So we decided to get a glimpse into the life of our audience and see what is something you liked to do as a teenager that’s irrelevant today. </p> <p dir="ltr">Check them out below. </p> <p dir="ltr">Deborah Buchanan - Put iridescent posters on my bedroom walls, turn the black UV light on and listen to Iron Butterfly.</p> <p dir="ltr">Shirleyand Trevor Wilson - We would go to a dance in a country hall starting at 8 and finishing at midnight. If anyone wanted to drink alcohol they had to be a certain distance away, not sure how far. The girls would sit around the hall and the boy's stood together at the back of the hall and when the music for dance started they would choose which girl to ask. They would have a ladies choice a couple of times and the girl could go and pick out who she would like to dance with.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jeanette Doherty - Listen to the short wave radio that my brother made whilst I was lying in bed. Got the best reception at night!</p> <p dir="ltr">Margaret Inglis - Go out to clubs and get home at 4am. Now I'm waking at 4am and going to sleep when I get home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gwen Gibbs - Drive in movies and local dances Friday and Saturday nights, some even had supper.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chris Thomas - Listen to the radio and call in requests that were then put to air.</p> <p dir="ltr">Teresa Hamilton Gross - Write letters to my cousin in Indiana. It was long distance to call on the telephone and very expensive.</p> <p dir="ltr">Pamela Kinloch - Have friends over just to sit around and listen to records.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dianne Parlor - Going to the local milk bar and dancing to the music from the jukebox.</p> <p dir="ltr">Elizabeth Lussetich – Anticipation of everything. No technology so you would bike it in order to talk to a friend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Janette Nelson - Had five pen pals in different countries, loved writing to them and getting letters from them.</p> <p dir="ltr">Share some of your memories over <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid02mYDbDcptJhyUFCHWyFmzHkyWFa1gxyHx7XTbNJKuLCwzUfiDwqtxFv4o1zyWJuR7l" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Is this Australia’s oldest lawn mower?

<p dir="ltr">Geoff has tried to retire five times but just can’t seem to adhere to a lifestyle without work. </p> <p dir="ltr">A bit shy of 80, Geoff and his wife Gayl, 69, have together purchased a Jim’s Mowing Franchise and is now mowing lawns in Mackay and Ayr.</p> <p dir="ltr">The even more exciting bit is that Geoff is basically booked out - working from sunrise to sunset. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I'm up at 5.30 every morning and in bed by 8. I work from sun up to sun down," Geoff said. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I've got so much work I am now going to employ my own kids and my grandkids. They have to help me out because I've got so much work on I can't keep up with it all.</p> <p dir="ltr"> "People can't believe I'm turning 80 and I'm mowing five lawns a day."</p> <p dir="ltr">Geoff and Gayl are part of a group of retirees who refuse to stop working. </p> <p dir="ltr">A study of 4,000 elderly people, conducted by National Seniors Australia shows 20 per cent of pensioners would consider returning to the workforce after retirement if Age Pension requirements. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sixty per cent of respondents said the main reason to re-enter the workforce was to earn more money, while 15 per cent wanted to keep active, and 12 per cent wanted to contribute to society. </p> <p dir="ltr">Professor John McCallum, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Research at National Seniors said that elderly Australians re-entering the workforce will become more common. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We have got something we are looking backwards at and not looking forwards for the next 20 years of an ageing society, which continues to 2040, and not setting up the systems to really make it work and to benefit the economy, frankly,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Supplied</em></p>

Retirement Life

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