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5 sneaky beauty tricks that take a decade off your look

<p>What if we told you there were five super simple turn-back-the-clock tricks that could brighten the face, open up the eyes, improve plumpness and give you enviably shiny hair? Well, that’s exactly what we’re telling you. And these tips don’t require and expensive trip to a beauty salon and can be done in your very own bathroom. </p> <p>When it comes to your skin, just one super-charged anti-ager will instantly boost your beauty routine—and deliver the kind of results we’d all be happy to see in the mirror. Here are five tricks you should definitely try today.</p> <p><strong>Try a Sleeping Beauty elixir</strong><br />They don’t call it beauty sleep for no good reason. While you’re head is on the pillow, it’s the perfect time to slather on an overnight face and neck cream that uses skin brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, algae extract and anti-oxidants. You will wake up more supple, radiant and bright – and in some cases, with firmer skin.</p> <p><strong>Go for bold lip</strong><br />A bold yet fresh lip will instantly brighten and lift the face. The trick is to go one or two shades brighter than you usually do – without option for a blast of neon. Diffuse bright edges with a cotton bud to stop hard lines.</p> <p><strong>Shake the magic wand</strong><br />Eyelashes have the ability to really open up your eyes and thus give you a more youthful look instantly. So everyone, get acquainted with the eyelash curler. A must for opening up tired, droopy eyelids before applying mascara – it works every time. </p> <p><strong>Attempt a gravity-defying mini massage</strong><br />As massages stimulate circulation, cells and collagen, everyone should be giving themself a daily morning face massage using small circular motions. Focus on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and gently pat under eyes to help with firmness and reduce bloating.</p> <p><strong>Let your hair shine on</strong><br />Shiny, healthy hair makes everyone look better – and it one of the easiest beauty tricks to master. Try mashed-up avocado mixed with olive oil as a hair mask – it’s cheap, natural and really effective.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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"Fly high, Bette!": World's longest-serving flight attendant dies aged 88

<p>Bette Nash, the world's longest-serving flight attendant has passed away aged 88, after a short battle with breast cancer. </p> <p>American Airlines, where Nash devoted almost seven decades of her life, announced her death on social media on Saturday. </p> <p>"We mourn the passing of Bette Nash, who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air," they began their post. </p> <p>“Bette was a legend at American and throughout the industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants. </p> <p>“Fly high, Bette. We’ll miss you.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for the airlines confirmed that she was still an active employee at the time of her death. </p> <p>Nash, who was born on December 31, 1935,  began her flight-attendant career with Eastern Airlines in 1957, at just 21-years-old. </p> <p>In January 2022, she was officially recognised as the world’s longest-serving flight attendant by Guinness World Records, after surpassing the previous record a year earlier. She continued to hold the title until her passing. </p> <p>Tributes have poured in from people all over the world on social media, with many praising her for her unwavering dedication and kindness. </p> <p>"Fly high Bette! It was a pleasure being your passenger," wrote one person on X, alongside a selfie he took with her. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Fly high Bette! It was a pleasure being your passenger. <a href="https://t.co/9N63YPB5Ia">pic.twitter.com/9N63YPB5Ia</a></p> <p>— Jon Kruse (@JonKruseYacht) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonKruseYacht/status/1794459429997273423?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 25, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"She was flying as a passenger when she sat next to me, pinned her jacket to the bulkhead, gave me a three minute story of her life then said 'So what's your story?'. She was a dynamo. Rest easy," another added.  </p> <p>"She was an absolute delight in my earliest airline life working the USAir shuttle at LGA. Godspeed and eternal silvered wings Bette!" a third wrote. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">She was an absolute delight in my earliest airline life working the USAir shuttle at LGA. Godspeed and eternal silvered wings Bette!</p> <p>— Ryan Spellman (@JustJettingThru) <a href="https://twitter.com/JustJettingThru/status/1794480142766531034?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 25, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"Rest in Peace Bette Nash," wrote a fourth. </p> <p>"Bette was a class act. Truly a loss for the skies. She was truly an Angel," added another. </p> <p><em>Image: CBS/ X</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Radio legend dies aged 97

<p>Australia's longest serving DJ Bob Rogers has died aged 97. </p> <p>The veteran radio presenter, who had a broadcasting career spanning 78 years, passed away at his Mosman home, surrounded by his family on Wednesday morning. </p> <p>Friend and family spokesperson, Derryn Hinch, paid tribute to the radio legend in a social media post dedicated to "my dear friend, my ‘brother’". </p> <p>"His show business career spanned nearly 80 years. Bob started in radio at Melbourne’s 3XY when he was 15. He was still doing a radio program on Sydney’s 2CH in his nineties," he wrote. </p> <p>"The words legend and icon are thrown around too easily these days but Bob Rogers was both.</p> <p>"As a kid I used to listen to him on my crystal set from across the ditch in New Zealand," he added. </p> <p>He then went on to describe one of Rogers' career highlights, when he represented 2SM and accompanied the Beatles on their 1964 tour through Europe, Asia and Australia - the only time the band toured the country.</p> <p>He<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> was nicknamed 'the fifth beatle' as a result. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fderryn.hinch.18%2Fposts%2Fpfbid0Uw4TWmLWFcJLzb1dN43qPuNGenhJuaoUFwKwScwbGaLQi8Gjw9Qc98LVHnmKur6kl&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500&amp;is_preview=true" width="500" height="550" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></span></p> <p>Rogers worked for multiple radio stations across the country as a presenter, disc jockey and announcer, and was even awarded an OAM in 2010 for his contribution to broadcasting. </p> <p>Current 2GB broadcaster Clinton Maynard paid tribute to the radio legend, saying it was an honour to host the same show as him. </p> <p>"An honour to be broadcasting this morning from the same floor where Bob Rogers spent 18 years on 2CH and where he presented his last programs from at age 93. This was his studio. Rip legend," he shared on X.</p> <p>In addition to his radio career, he also hosted his late night TV variety show called The Bob Rogers Show on Channel Seven, which lasted for five years. </p> <p>His broadcasting career came to an end in 2020 after over seven decades on air. </p> <p>Rogers is survived by his wife Jerry, their four daughters and Rogers' son. </p> <p><em>Image: ABC News/ Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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Today show star and veteran doctor dies at age 69

<p>A veteran doctor and regular guest on the <em>Today</em> show Dr Ric Gordon has passed away at the age of 69 from pancreatic cancer. </p> <p>Known for sharing his expertise as an obstetrician and fertility specialist, Dr Gordon became a household name after he delivered the first baby on Australian television. </p> <p>Upon hearing of his death, veteran radio host and beloved Australian author Wendy Harmer revealed Dr Gordon delivered both her babies even after she and her partner dropped out of IVF.</p> <p>In a post on X, she wrote, “He was a pioneer in IVF in Australia and gave hope to so many... and was kind and caring professional. Vale.”</p> <p>Nine News confirmed the “sad news” of Dr Gordon’s passing from pancreatic cancer on Saturday, as presenter Georgie Gardner said “he will be deeply missed”.</p> <p>Professionally known as Dr Ric Porter, he had previously hosted Nine’s long-running lifestyle hit <em>Good Medicine</em>, which ran for nine years in the 1990s. </p> <p>Dr Gordon was a part of the team of doctors who delivered the first IVF birth in NSW in 1983, and during his career, he delivered more than 5000 babies, including in 2003 when he safely delivered a baby live on the <em>Today</em> show.</p> <p>Reflecting on the moment in 2022, Dr Gordon told <em>Today</em> viewers it was an extraordinary moment in television.</p> <p>“It went so well, it was a great morning and a good outcome,” he said. “The baby cried when it was meant to cry, mum and dad were happy."</p> <p>The well-known doctor also drew some controversy over his career, including an offensive analogy where he used the Holocaust to explain weight loss on the same breakfast TV program in 2015. </p> <p>Despite apologising for saying “there were no overweight people in the concentration camps”, his apology was dismissed by many for being “insufficient” and “unsatisfactory”.</p> <p>Dr Gordon said at the time, “I’m very sorry it upset those people. It was never my intention.”</p> <p>He added that he had “done a lot of study” on the Holocaust and his comments were merely “used as a medical example”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

Caring

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Award-winning documentary filmmaker dies at age 53

<p>Award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has passed away at the age of 53. </p> <p>Spurlock, who was known for his hit 2004 documentary <em>Super Size Me</em>, died from complications of cancer, according to a statement released by his family. </p> <p>“It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” Craig Spurlock, who worked with him on several projects, in the statement.</p> <p>“Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity. The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”</p> <p>Spurlock first made waves in Hollywood with <em>Super Size Me</em>: a documentary in which the filmmaker ate McDonald's everyday for a month to document the detrimental physical and psychological effects of fast food.</p> <p>He then returned in 2009 with a sequel documentary titled <em>Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!</em>, which offered a sobering look at an industry that processes 9 billion animals a year in America.</p> <p>Spurlock would go onto to direct numerous documentaries including <em>Where in the World is Osama bin Laden</em> about the US conflict in Afghanistan where he went searching for the now dead terrorist.</p> <p>He also directed a One Direction concert film titled <em>This is U</em>s and the 2011 documentary <em>POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.</em></p> <p>Outside of his film work, Spurlock battled alcoholism, and admitted to once being accused of rape and paying to settle a sexual harassment case.</p> <p>He married three times throughout his life and is survived by sons Laken and Kallen and his wife Sara Bernstein.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Andrew H Walker / Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

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Aussie music icon passes away aged 86

<p>Australian music legend Frank Ifield, best known for his beloved country music performances and unique yodelling style, passed away peacefully on Saturday night at the age of 86. His friend and renowned music journalist Glenn A Baker confirmed the news, describing Ifield as a "remarkable man" whose contributions to music left an indelible mark.</p> <p>"There is so much to be said about this remarkable man, who had four number ones in Britain, three of them before the Beatles (who he had briefly support him in concert)," wrote Baker on Facebook.</p> <p>Ifield's career was marked by major international success, particularly in the UK where he scored four number one hits. Among his most celebrated tracks was the classic single "I Remember You", which gained widespread fame from its performance in the movie <em>The Fleet’s In</em>. The song is often speculated to have been inspired by writer Johnny Mercer's affair with Judy Garland.</p> <p>Ifield's influence extended beyond his chart-topping hits. He was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown in 2003 and the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. In recognition of his substantial contributions to the arts, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009.</p> <p>Ifield's musical journey began at a young age. His parents gifted him a ukulele for his 11th birthday, and after performing in class, he realised music was his true calling. By the age of 19, Ifield had already released 44 records and was the top recording artist in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.</p> <p>In 1959, Ifield took his talents abroad, moving to London where he quickly established himself as a household name. His unique singing style, which blended yodelling with an enthralling falsetto, set him apart and made him a standout act. This was highlighted by his notable performance in the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest, where he finished second in that year’s heat.</p> <p>Ifield's talents were not confined to music alone. He found success in film and television as well. In 1965, he starred in the feature film <em>Up Jumped A Swagman</em>. He also led two television specials, <em>The Frank Ifield Show</em> (1964) and <em>Frank Ifield Sings</em> (1965), and made appearances on numerous popular programmes including In <em>Melbourne Tonight</em>, <em>Top Of The Pops</em>, <em>Celebrity Squares</em>, and <em>Spicks & Specks</em>.</p> <p>Ifield's influence on the music industry extended to helping launch the careers of other artists. Notably, he is credited with playing a part in The Beatles' rise to fame, as the iconic band once opened for him before becoming global superstars.</p> <p>Ifield's legacy is one of innovation and success, both in Australia and internationally. His remarkable career and unique contributions to music will be remembered and celebrated for years to come. As the world mourns the loss of this extraordinary artist, his music and legacy continue to inspire and resonate with fans old and new.</p> <p><em>Images: IMDB</em></p>

Music

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5 reasons art therapy is great for your mental health as you age

<p><span style="background: white;">We know how important it is to look after our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/healthy-and-active-ageing"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">physical health</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;"> as we age, but our mental health is equally important. </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://aifs.gov.au/resources/short-articles/normalising-mental-illness-older-adults-barrier-care"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Studies have shown</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">that besides the immediate impact on wellbeing, older people with untreated mental ill health are at risk of poorer overall health, increased hospital admissions, and an earlier transition into aged care.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Art therapy is an excellent way to boost our mental wellbeing. In a nutshell, this type of therapy is when visual art, such as drawing, sculpting, or collage, is used in a<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/10/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">therapeutic context</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;">. And don’t be put off if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since you were a kid. Art therapy is not about creating works of beauty but about the process. It’s a completely </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://cata.org.au/faqs-myth-busters/#:~:text=The%20focus%20of%20Creative%20Art,%2C%20growth%20and%20self%2Dawareness.&amp;text=Reality%3A%20Creative%20Art%20Therapy%20does,to%20affect%20change%20and%20growth."><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">judgement free zone</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;">!</span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Emotional release:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Growing up, many of us were never taught that it was okay to express how we’re feeling, especially emotions like anger and sadness. In that way, art therapy can be ideal us older folks who often feel stuck when it comes to expressing ourselves. Art therapy provides the opportunity to express our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://creativityintherapy.com/2017/06/expressing-emotions-creativity-6-step-art-process/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">inner experiences</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">in a visual way. Through the act of creation, we can release pent-up feelings, reduce stress, and experience emotional release.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Another challenging emotion that art therapy can help with is grief. As we age, we are more likely to experience the<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.nari.net.au/the-impact-of-prolonged-grief-in-older-people"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">loss of a loved one</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">and we don’t get ‘used to it’. The hole it leaves in our hearts is just as dark. Through<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.vivianpaans.com.au/blog/healing-through-art-how-art-therapy-can-help-with-grief-and-wellbeing"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">creating art</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">we can explore the feelings of grief and sadness in a safe, judgement-free space. It can also foster a sense of self-compassion and when we have more compassion for ourselves, it becomes easier to accept our emotions.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Stress relief:</span></strong></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.sane.org/information-and-resources/facts-and-guides/facts-mental-health-issues"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Anxiety, depression, and past traumas</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">can heavily impact on our daily lives. Risk factors over our lifespans may change but they don’t magically disappear once we hit a certain age. Illness, grief, financial stress, social isolation, and life transitions such as menopause can all be </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/older-people-and-mental-health"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">contributing factors</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">of poor mental health for older adults. Creating art can ease symptoms as we refocus on what we’re creating and move thoughts away from overthinking and worry.<strong> </strong>Creating art releases </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.rtor.org/2018/07/10/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">dopamine</span></strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">,</span></a><span style="background: white;"> the chemical responsible for allowing us to feel pleasure and satisfaction. This further reduces bothersome symptoms of anxiety and depression.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Also, participating in art therapy leads to a more creative brain. A creative brain is better equipped to create stress-relieving techniques for other areas of our lives. Through creating art, we draw the fears that are inside our minds. This takes them out of our heads and places them away from us, helping us feel more in control.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Recovering from<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.interrelate.org.au/news-media/blogs/november-2021/how-art-can-heal-trauma"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">trauma</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> c</span></strong><span style="background: white;">an be a lifelong process for many, and it’s important for someone dealing with it to find tools that will help this process. Art therapy can be one of those as it can give a sense of agency and self-understanding through the ability to express feelings symbolically. This can give </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://anzacata.org/About-CAT"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">new perspectives</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">of ourselves and our worldview which is essential in the recovery process. It can also help connect with deeply stored emotions and help process them.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Self-discovery:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">When we are younger we are often so busy working, socialising, and raising a family many of us never get a chance to take the time out for<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.visionpsychology.com/starting-the-process-of-self-discovery/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">self-discovery</span></strong></a><span style="background: white;">. Self-discovery is important in our lives as it gives us a clearer sense of purpose and direction in life. In turn, this leads to making better decisions that lead to our overall happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">Some of us see our kids leave home and suddenly we’re left wondering, who am I when I don’t have a family to care for? Creating art can help us acknowledge and recognise feelings that have been suppressed in our subconscious. Through learning to use different techniques of art our minds open up to thinking more freely. Self-discovery comes from both the finished product we create as well as the process of making it.</span></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">Self-esteem:</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">As we age, it’s easy to look in the mirror and struggle to recognise the person we see. Our bodies are changing, and it can often feel like society doesn’t value us as much as when we were young. It can be a major shift in the way we view ourselves and lead to poor self-esteem. Art therapy teaches us how to use a variety of media to create something new. We can develop talents and see strengths as we master new materials and see the completion of projects. This sense of accomplishment can be a big leg up to our<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://artbusinessnews.com/2022/01/benefits-of-art-therapy/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">self-esteem.</span></strong></a></p> <p><strong><span style="background: white;">A sense of community:</span></strong></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://likefamily.com.au/blog/what-is-loneliness-and-how-does-it-affect-someone/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Loneliness</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">is a big contributor to poor mental health.<strong> </strong></span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.psychiatrist.com/news/study-why-older-people-feel-so-lonely/"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">Studies</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;"> </span></strong><span style="background: white;">show two groups of people are most at risk: young adults and older people. With factors at our age such as children leaving home, not working as much or at all, living alone, and chronic illness, it’s easy to see how loneliness can creep into our lives. Group art therapy is a wonderful way to connect with others. We share a space with those who have similar interests, and it gives us a sense of belonging. For those who can't make a session in person due to distance or illness, some therapists offer </span><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.artandplaytherapytraining.com.au/art_therapy"><strong><span style="color: black; background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">online group art therapy</span></strong></a><strong><span style="background: white;">.</span></strong></p> <p><span style="background: white;">You don’t need to see an art therapist to get the mental health benefits of creating art. But the advantage of that is they have the skills to work out what best suits your needs. They’ll also work with you through any tough emotions that may arise from your art therapy.</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">So maybe it’s time to hide those new coloured pencils from the little ones, crack them open, and enjoy them yourself!</span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">If you’d like to find out more about art therapy sessions, the links below are helpful. They offer online, in person and group sessions.</span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.zevaarttherapy.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.zevaarttherapy.com/</span></a></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.alliedarttherapy.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.alliedarttherapy.com.au/</span></a></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.solacecreativetherapies.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.solacecreativetherapies.com.au/</span></a><span style="background: white;"> </span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://cata.org.au/programs-ndis/online-creative-art-therapy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://cata.org.au/programs-ndis/online-creative-art-therapy/</span></a><span style="background: white;"> </span></p> <p><span style="background: white;">And for some more ideas on dabbling in art therapy on your own (or with a friend), check out Shelley Klammer’s amazing resources. She is US-based but has some online workshops that are also amazing:</span></p> <p><a style="color: blue;" href="https://www.expressiveartworkshops.com/expressive-art-resources/100-art-therapy-exercises/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="background: white; text-decoration-line: none;">https://www.expressiveartworkshops.com/expressive-art-resources/100-art-therapy-exercises/</span></a></p> <p><em>Article written by Kylie Carberry</em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Mind

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Kick up your heels – ballroom dancing offers benefits to the aging brain and could help stave off dementia

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/helena-blumen-1231899">Helena Blumen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</a></em></p> <h2>The big idea</h2> <p>Social ballroom dancing can improve cognitive functions and reduce brain atrophy in older adults who are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. That’s the key finding of my team’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2022-0176">recently published study</a> in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.</p> <p>In our study, we enrolled 25 adults over 65 years of age in either six months of twice-weekly ballroom dancing classes or six months of twice-weekly treadmill walking classes. None of them were engaged in formal dancing or other exercise programs.</p> <p>The overall goal was to see how each experience affected cognitive function and brain health.</p> <p>While none of the study volunteers had a dementia diagnosis, all performed a bit lower than expected on at least one of our dementia screening tests. We found that older adults that completed six months of social dancing and those that completed six months of treadmill walking improved their executive functioning – an umbrella term for planning, reasoning and processing tasks that require attention.</p> <p>Dancing, however, generated significantly greater improvements than treadmill walking on one measure of executive function and on processing speed, which is the time it takes to respond to or process information. Compared with walking, dancing was also associated with reduced brain atrophy in the hippocampus – a brain region that is key to memory functioning and is particularly affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also know that this part of our brain can undergo neurogenesis – or grow new neurons – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0611721104">in response to aerobic exercise</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/unmbhUvnGow?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Research shows those who regularly dance with a partner have a more positive outlook on life.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>While several previous studies suggest that dancing has beneficial effects <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa270">on cognitive function in older adults</a>, only a few studies have compared it directly with traditional exercises. Our study is the first to observe both better cognitive function and improved brain health following dancing than walking in older adults at risk for dementia. We think that social dancing may be more beneficial than walking because it is physically, socially and cognitively demanding – and therefore strengthens a wide network of brain regions.</p> <p>While dancing, you’re not only using brain regions that are important for physical movement. You’re also relying on brain regions that are important for interacting and adapting to the movements of your dancing partner, as well as those necessary for learning new dance steps or remembering those you’ve learned already.</p> <h2>Why it matters</h2> <p>Nearly 6 million older adults in the U.S. and 55 million worldwide <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2019.01.010">have Alzheimer’s disease</a> or a <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia">related dementia</a>, yet there is no cure. Sadly, the efficacy and ethics surrounding recently developed drug treatments <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/21507740.2022.2129858">are still under debate</a>.</p> <p>The good news is that older adults can potentially <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6">lower their risk for dementia</a> through lifestyle interventions, even later in life. These include reducing social isolation and physical inactivity.</p> <p>Social ballroom dancing targets both isolation and inactivity. In these later stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a better understanding of the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/23337214211005223">indirect effects of COVID-19</a> – particularly those that increase dementia risk, such as social isolation – is urgently needed. In my view, early intervention is critical to prevent dementia from becoming the next pandemic. Social dancing could be a particularly timely way to overcome the adverse cognitive and brain effects associated with isolation and fewer social interactions during the pandemic.</p> <h2>What still isn’t known</h2> <p>Traditional aerobic exercise interventions such as treadmill-walking or running have been shown to lead to modest but reliable improvements in cognition – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617707316">particularly in executive function</a>.</p> <p>My team’s study builds on that research and provides preliminary evidence that not all exercise is equal when it comes to brain health. Yet our sample size was quite small, and larger studies are needed to confirm these initial findings. Additional studies are also needed to determine the optimal length, frequency and intensity of dancing classes that may result in positive changes.</p> <p>Lifestyle interventions like social ballroom dancing are a promising, noninvasive and cost-effective path toward staving off dementia as we – eventually – leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/194969/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/helena-blumen-1231899">Helena Blumen</a>, Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/kick-up-your-heels-ballroom-dancing-offers-benefits-to-the-aging-brain-and-could-help-stave-off-dementia-194969">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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"She was magic": Grease actress dies at age 72

<p>Susan Buckner, known for her iconic role as Patty Simcox in <em>Grease</em>, has died at the age of 72. </p> <p>The news of her passing was announced by her family's publicists Melissa Berthier, who told <a href="https://people.com/grease-actress-susan-buckner-dead-72-8644640" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People</em></a> magazine in a statement, “Susan died peacefully on May 2 surrounded by loved ones.”</p> <p>No cause of death has yet been revealed. </p> <p>Buckner’s daughter, Samantha Mansfield, paid tribute to her mother, saying, “The light she brought into every room will be missed forever.” </p> <p>“She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend.”</p> <p>Susan shot to fame playing Patty Simcox, who was one of Sandy's (played by Olivia Newton-John) cheerleading friends at Rydell High in the 1978 cult film <em>Grease</em>.</p> <p>Buckner chose not return for the sequel, <em>Grease 2</em>, which was released in 1982 and starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield.</p> <p>Buckner's career in the spotlight began after she was crowned Miss Washington in 1971, and went on to join <em>The Dean Martin Show</em> as one of the Golddiggers, an all-female singing and dancing group.</p> <p>She went on to appear in the variety shows <em>The Mac Davis Show</em>, <em>Sonny and Cher</em> and <em>The Brady Bunch Variety Hour</em>.</p> <p>Susan also appeared in shows like <em>Starsky & Hutch</em> and <em>The Love Boat</em>, before appearing in her final acting role in the 1981 slasher film <em>Deadly Blessing</em>.</p> <p>In her later years, Buckner directed children’s theatre and taught dance at a gym in Florida.</p> <p>She is survived by daughter Samantha Mansfield, son Adam Josephs, grandchildren Oliver, Riley, Abigail and Ruby, as well as her sister Linda, daughter-in-law Noel Josephs, son-in-law Adam Mansfield and longtime partner Al.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Paramount</em></p>

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Sunrise reporter found dead at age 44

<p><em>Sunrise</em> reporter Nathan Templeton has tragically died at the age of 44. </p> <p>The father of two was found near Barwon Rover in Geelong on Monday evening after he suffered a medical episode while walking his dog. </p> <p>Templeton was a regular reporter on the Channel 7 morning show, making a name for himself as poolside reporter at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and again in Tokyo in 2020. </p> <p>In recent years, Templeton dialled back his on screen reporting and stepped away from the camera to deal with personal issues. </p> <p>Seven Network issued a statement early Wednesday expressing their sorrow at the sudden passing of the much-loved reporter.</p> <p>“The tragic news of Nathan’s passing has left us all at Seven profoundly saddened,” Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Network Head of Sport Lewis Martin said.</p> <p>“Nathan was a respected journalist whose passion for storytelling was evident in all his years reporting for <em>Sunrise</em>, 7News and multiple Olympic Games." </p> <p>“Our deepest condolences go out to his family, especially his two young sons, during this difficult time.”</p> <p>The <em>Sunrise</em> Instagram page posted a tribute to Templeton, writing, "The tragic news of Nathan’s passing has left us all at Sunrise and Seven profoundly saddened." </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-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5j-NKnvPBz/?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/C5j-NKnvPBz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sunrise (@sunriseon7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Nathan was a respected journalist whose passion for storytelling was evident in all his years reporting for <em>Sunrise</em>."</p> <p>"Love you Tempo ❤️" </p> <p><em>Sky News Australia</em> host Laura Jayes remembered Templeton as “one of the nicest people you could ever hope to work with.”</p> <p>Perth broadcaster Tim Gossage recalled the time he worked with Templeton, writing, “So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of former colleague Nathan Templeton. Hard working, humorous, respectful and much loved.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Sunrise </em></p>

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Peter Brock's long-time partner passes away aged 77

<p>The motorsport community is mourning the loss of Bev Brock, a formidable figure whose unwavering support and dedication were instrumental in the legendary career of her former long-time partner, Peter Brock.</p> <p>Bev, aged 77, passed away at her Melbourne home on Sunday morning after bravely battling stage 4 cancer for two years.</p> <p>For almost three decades, Bev stood as a steadfast presence by Peter's side, both on and off the racetrack. While they were never married, their bond was undeniable, marking a partnership that transcended mere labels. From 1977 until their separation in 2005, Bev played an integral role in shaping Peter's remarkable motorsport journey, becoming synonymous with his successes and enduring legacy.</p> <p>Born on January 15, 1947, just outside Perth, Bev's early years hinted at the strength of character and resilience that would define her life. Among seven siblings, she cultivated a spirit of determination and compassion that would later leave an indelible mark on those around her. Following her passion for education, Bev pursued a career in teaching, imparting knowledge in science and home economics to countless students.</p> <p>Bev's life took a new trajectory when she met Peter Brock. Together, they navigated the highs and lows of motorsport, sharing a journey that was as exhilarating as it was demanding. Despite the challenges, Bev remained a pillar of support, balancing multiple roles with grace, intelligence and purpose. Her commitment to Peter's racing career was unwavering, whether she was managing logistics, offering counsel, or simply cheering from the sidelines.</p> <p>Beyond her contributions to motorsport, Bev's philanthropic endeavours reflected her generous spirit and compassionate nature – and her involvement with various charities culminated in the prestigious Order of Australia in 2016. From supporting The Skyline Foundation to her active engagement with Melbourne Rotary, Bev's impact extended far beyond the confines of the racetrack.</p> <p>In a heartfelt tribute, Bev's son, James Brock, honoured his mother's legacy:</p> <p>“Bev was a dedicated parent, always making time to make a costume for a play or help out on a school camp,” he wrote. “She dedicated her life to helping Peter’s racing career taking on multiple roles, all met with skill, smarts and purpose.</p> <p>“Bev was also involved with multiple charities earning her an Order of Australia in 2016.</p> <p>“Over the last few years she focused her time and passion on The Skyline Foundation, Melbourne Rotary, public speaking and her ever expanding family.</p> <p>“She leaves behind her three children, seven cherished grandchildren and a host of loved ones she wrapped into her life as though they were her own.</p> <p>“Her loss will be immense as her presence, wisdom and support can never be matched.”</p> <p>Universally known as "Bevo," she was not only the driving force behind Peter's success but also a cherished friend who selflessly cared for others. Despite her own battle with cancer, Bev remained a source of strength and inspiration, offering support and guidance to countless friends and acquaintances.</p> <p>As the motorsport community comes together to mourn Bev's passing, we reflect on a life lived with purpose, passion and unwavering dedication.</p> <p>Bev Brock may have left this world, but her spirit will forever race on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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"Completely in shock": Beloved actor dies suddenly at age 60

<p>Adrian Schiller has passed away suddenly at the age of 60, with his family and friends sharing their devastation over the unexpected loss. </p> <p>The British actor's agency Scott Marshall Partners confirmed he had died unexpectedly earlier this week in a statement to multiple outlets.</p> <div> <div id="adspot-mobile-mobile-3-above"></div> </div> <p>"It is with the heaviest and saddest hearts that we announce the death of our beloved client, Adrian Schiller, on Wednesday 3rd April," the representatives told <em><a title="People" href="https://people.com/adrian-schiller-dead-60-8624756" target="" rel="">People</a></em>.</p> <p>"He has died far too soon, and we, his family and close friends are devastated by the loss," the statement continued.</p> <p>"His death was sudden and unexpected and no further details around its cause are yet available," they concluded."</p> <p>Schiller's career spanned four decades and saw him make waves in TV, film and theatre roles around the world.</p> <p>The actor made his screen debut in the 1992 film <em>Prime Suspect</em>, and later became known for his role as Aethelhelm in the historical drama series <em>The Last Kingdom</em>.</p> <p>The statement provided by Schiller's agency also shared that he had been in Australia just before his death, reprising his role in <em>The Lehman Trilogy</em> play. </p> <p>"A prodigiously talented actor, he had just returned from Sydney, where he had been appearing in The Lehman Trilogy and was looking forward to continuing the international tour in San Francisco," the statement confirmed.</p> <p>Across his career, Schiller also appeared in <em>Victoria</em>, <em>Death In Paradise</em>, a 2014 film adaption of <em>The Crucible</em>, <em>Beauty and the Beast,</em> <em>Doctor Who</em> and <em>The Danish Girl</em>.</p> <p>Schiller's <em>Victoria</em> co-star Tilly Steele remembered the late actor as being "remarkable."</p> <p>"I cannot believe that Adrian Schiller has died. He was a remarkable actor and person. I'm completely in shock and I'm thinking of everyone who knew him and was close to him," she wrote on social media. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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William Shatner shocks hosts simply by revealing his age

<p>In a world where time ticks mercilessly onward, one man has defied the very essence of ageing: the legendary William Shatner, the man who boldly went where no nonagenarian has gone before.</p> <p>As Shatner prepares to celebrate his 93rd trip around the sun, fans worldwide are scratching their heads in disbelief. The reason? Well, it seems that Captain Kirk himself has stumbled upon the fountain of youth and decided to keep it all to himself. </p> <p>The commotion started when Shatner made a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@todayshow/video/7347749279865490734?_r=1&_t=8koli3bKC49" target="_blank" rel="noopener">guest appearance</a> on the <em>US Today Show</em>, looking fresher than a daisy in springtime. Fans took to social media to express their shock, with one incredulous viewer commenting, "Damn, he's still sharp and has his hair. I would never have guessed 93." And another chimed in with, "I would've guessed 67 or 68."</p> <p>Forget "live long and prosper"; it seems the new motto is "live long and confound the heck out of everyone".</p> <p>Even the hosts of the<em> Today Show</em> were left flabbergasted by Shatner's youthful glow. They couldn't resist asking the man himself for his secret to longevity. And what pearls of wisdom did he impart? "Don't tell anybody [your age]." Ah, sage advice indeed. It seems the real secret to ageing gracefully is to maintain an air of mystery.</p> <p>But let's rewind to 2021 when Shatner was grilled by a journalist about whether he'd had any "serious work" done. His response? A witty comeback, of course. "No, have you?" Touché, Shatner, touché. And when pressed further, he simply attributed his youthful appearance to good genes, lots of horseback riding and a healthy dose of bewilderment about the world. </p> <p>Despite his apparent disdain for the number 90 ("It's disgusting," he once declared in an interview), Shatner finds himself hurtling towards the ripe old age of 93 with all the grace and poise of a starship navigating through a meteor shower. And if his recent TV appearance is anything to go by, he's showing no signs of slowing down.</p> <p>So let's all take a leaf out of Shatner's playbook, shall we? If anyone asks for the secret to your eternal youth, just give them that trademark Shatner smirk and say: "It's classified."</p> <p><em>Images: NBC | Wikimedia | Tik Tok</em></p>

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Who will look after us in our final years? A pay rise alone won’t solve aged-care workforce shortages

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Aged-care workers will receive a significant pay increase after the Fair Work Commission <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">ruled</a> they deserved substantial wage rises of up to 28%. The federal government <a href="https://ministers.dewr.gov.au/burke/fair-work-decision-aged-care">has committed to</a> the increases, but is yet to announce when they will start.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Tens of thousands of aged care workers will receive a major pay rise after the Fair Work Commission recommended the increase. <a href="https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9">https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9</a></p> <p>— SBS News (@SBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1768557710537068889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>But while wage rises for aged-care workers are welcome, this measure alone will not fix all workforce problems in the sector. The number of people over 80 is expected to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-08/p2023-435150.pdf">triple over the next 40 years</a>, driving an increase in the number of aged care workers needed.</p> <h2>How did we get here?</h2> <p>The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which delivered its <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/aged-care/final-report">final report</a> in March 2021, identified a litany of tragic failures in the regulation and delivery of aged care.</p> <p>The former Liberal government was dragged reluctantly to accept that a total revamp of the aged-care system was needed. But its <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/respect-care-and-dignity-aged-care-royal-commission-452-million-immediate-response-as-government-commits-to-historic-reform-to-deliver-respect-and-care-for-senior-australians#:%7E:text=Minister%20for%20Senior%20Australians%20and,%2C%20dementia%2C%20food%20and%20nutrition.">weak response</a> left the heavy lifting to the incoming Labor government.</p> <p>The current government’s response started well, with a <a href="https://theconversation.com/anthony-albanese-offers-2-5-billion-plan-to-fix-crisis-in-aged-care-180419">significant injection of funding</a> and a promising regulatory response. But it too has failed to pursue a visionary response to the problems identified by the Royal Commission.</p> <p>Action was needed on four fronts:</p> <ul> <li>ensuring enough staff to provide care</li> <li>building a functioning regulatory system to encourage good care and weed out bad providers</li> <li>designing and introducing a fair payment system to distribute funds to providers and</li> <li>implementing a financing system to pay for it all and achieve intergenerational equity.</li> </ul> <p>A government taskforce which proposed a <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">timid response to the fourth challenge</a> – an equitable financing system – was released at the start of last week.</p> <p>Consultation closed on a <a href="https://media.opan.org.au/uploads/2024/03/240308_Aged-Care-Act-Exposure-Draft-Joint-Submission_FINAL.pdf">very poorly designed new regulatory regime</a> the week before.</p> <p>But the big news came at end of the week when the Fair Work Commission handed down a further <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">determination</a> on what aged-care workers should be paid, confirming and going beyond a previous <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/work-value-aged-care/decisions-statements/2022fwcfb200.pdf">interim determination</a>.</p> <h2>What did the Fair Work Commission find?</h2> <p>Essentially, the commission determined that work in industries with a high proportion of women workers has been traditionally undervalued in wage-setting. This had consequences for both care workers in the aged-care industry (nurses and <a href="https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CHC33021">Certificate III-qualified</a> personal-care workers) and indirect care workers (cleaners, food services assistants).</p> <p>Aged-care staff will now get significant pay increases – 18–28% increase for personal care workers employed under the Aged Care Award, inclusive of the increase awarded in the interim decision.</p> <figure class="align-center "><figcaption></figcaption>Indirect care workers were awarded a general increase of 3%. Laundry hands, cleaners and food services assistants will receive a further 3.96% <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decision-summaries/2024fwcfb150-summary.pdf">on the grounds</a> they “interact with residents significantly more regularly than other indirect care employees”.</figure> <p>The final increases for registered and enrolled nurses will be determined in the next few months.</p> <h2>How has the sector responded?</h2> <p>There has been no push-back from employer groups or conservative politicians. This suggests the uplift is accepted as fair by all concerned.</p> <p>The interim increases of up to 15% probably facilitated this acceptance, with the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-budget-mean-for-medicare-medicines-aged-care-and-first-nations-health-192842">recognition of the community</a> that care workers should be paid more than fast food workers.</p> <p>There was <a href="https://www.accpa.asn.au/media-releases/accpa-welcomes-further-aged-care-wage-rises">no criticism from aged-care providers</a> either. This is probably because they are facing difficulty in recruiting staff at current wage rates. And because government payments to providers reflect the <a href="https://www.ihacpa.gov.au/">actual cost of aged care</a>, increased payments will automatically flow to providers.</p> <p>When the increases will flow has yet to be determined. The government is due to give its recommendations for staging implementation by mid-April.</p> <h2>Is the workforce problem fixed?</h2> <p>An increase in wages is necessary, but alone is not sufficient to solve workforce shortages.</p> <p>The health- and social-care workforce is <a href="https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/data/employment-projections">predicted</a> to grow faster than any other sector over the next decade. The “care economy” will <a href="https://theconversation.com/care-economy-to-balloon-in-an-australia-of-40-5-million-intergenerational-report-211876">grow</a> from around 8% to around 15% of GDP over the next 40 years.</p> <p>This means a greater proportion of school-leavers will need to be attracted to the aged-care sector. Aged care will also need to attract and retrain workers displaced from industries in decline and attract suitably skilled migrants and refugees with appropriate language skills.</p> <p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/demand-driven-funding-for-universities-is-frozen-what-does-this-mean-and-should-the-policy-be-restored-116060">caps on university and college enrolments</a> imposed by the previous government, coupled with weak student demand for places in key professions (such as nursing), has meant workforce shortages will continue for a few more years, despite the allure of increased wages.</p> <p>A significant increase in intakes into university and vocational education college courses preparing students for health and social care is still required. Better pay will help to increase student demand, but funding to expand place numbers will ensure there are enough qualified staff for the aged-care system of the future. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225898/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice and Primary Care, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/who-will-look-after-us-in-our-final-years-a-pay-rise-alone-wont-solve-aged-care-workforce-shortages-225898">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Income

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What will aged care look like for the next generation?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p>Aged care financing is a vexed problem for the Australian government. It is already underfunded for the quality the community expects, and costs will increase dramatically. There are also significant concerns about the complexity of the system.</p> <p>In 2021–22 the federal government spent <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">A$25 billion</a> on aged services for around 1.2 million people aged 65 and over. Around 60% went to residential care (<a href="https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/topics/people-using-aged-care#:%7E:text=On%2030%20June%202022%2C%20approximately,and%203%2C500%20using%20transition%20care.">190,000 people</a>) and one-third to home care (<a href="https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/topics/people-using-aged-care#:%7E:text=On%2030%20June%202022%2C%20approximately,and%203%2C500%20using%20transition%20care.">one million people</a>).</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">final report from the government’s Aged Care Taskforce</a>, which has been reviewing funding options, estimates the number of people who will need services is likely to grow to more than two million over the next 20 years. Costs are therefore likely to more than double.</p> <p>The taskforce has considered what aged care services are reasonable and necessary and made recommendations to the government about how they can be paid for. This includes getting aged care users to pay for more of their care.</p> <p>But rather than recommending an alternative financing arrangement that will safeguard Australians’ aged care services into the future, the taskforce largely recommends tidying up existing arrangements and keeping the status quo.</p> <h2>No Medicare-style levy</h2> <p>The taskforce <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">rejected</a> the aged care royal commission’s recommendation to introduce a levy to meet aged care cost increases. A 1% levy, similar to the Medicare levy, could have raised around <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2021/03/03/cost-of-aged-care-levy#:%7E:text=Overall%2C%20a%201%20per%20cent%20levy%20would%20raise,necessary%20to%20provide%20decent%20aged%20care%20for%20all.">$8 billion a year</a>.</p> <p>The taskforce failed to consider the mix of taxation, personal contributions and social insurance which are commonly used to fund aged care systems internationally. The <a href="https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Japan-OECD-EC-Good-Time-in-Old-Age.pdf">Japanese system</a>, for example, is financed by long-term insurance paid by those aged 40 and over, plus general taxation and a small copayment.</p> <p>Instead, the taskforce puts forward a simple, pragmatic argument that older people are becoming wealthier through superannuation, there is a cost of living crisis for younger people and therefore older people should be required to pay more of their aged care costs.</p> <h2>Separating care from other services</h2> <p>In deciding what older people should pay more for, the taskforce divided services into care, everyday living and accommodation.</p> <p>The taskforce thought the most important services were clinical services (including nursing and allied health) and these should be the main responsibility of government funding. Personal care, including showering and dressing were seen as a middle tier that is likely to attract some co-payment, despite these services often being necessary to maintain independence.</p> <p>The task force recommended the costs for everyday living (such as food and utilities) and accommodation expenses (such as rent) should increasingly be a personal responsibility.</p> <h2>Making the system fairer</h2> <p>The taskforce thought it was unfair people in residential care were making substantial contributions for their everyday living expenses (about 25%) and those receiving home care weren’t (about 5%). This is, in part, because home care has always had a muddled set of rules about user co-payments.</p> <p>But the taskforce provided no analysis of accommodation costs (such as utilities and maintenance) people meet at home compared with residential care.</p> <p>To address the inefficiencies of upfront daily fees for packages, the taskforce recommends means testing co-payments for home care packages and basing them on the actual level of service users receive for everyday support (for food, cleaning, and so on) and to a lesser extent for support to maintain independence.</p> <p>It is unclear whether clinical and personal care costs and user contributions will be treated the same for residential and home care.</p> <h2>Making residential aged care sustainable</h2> <p>The taskforce was <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">concerned</a> residential care operators were losing $4 per resident day on “hotel” (accommodation services) and everyday living costs.</p> <p>The taskforce recommends means tested user contributions for room services and everyday living costs be increased.</p> <p>It also recommends that wealthier older people be given more choice by allowing them to pay more (per resident day) for better amenities. This would allow providers to fully meet the cost of these services.</p> <p>Effectively, this means daily living charges for residents are too low and inflexible and that fees would go up, although the taskforce was clear that low-income residents should be protected.</p> <h2>Moving from buying to renting rooms</h2> <p>Currently older people who need residential care have a choice of making a refundable up-front payment for their room or to pay rent to offset the loans providers take out to build facilities. Providers raise capital to build aged care facilities through equity or loan financing.</p> <p>However, the taskforce did not consider the overall efficiency of the private capital market for financing aged care or alternative solutions.</p> <p>Instead, it recommended capital contributions be streamlined and simplified by phasing out up-front payments and focusing on rental contributions. This echoes the royal commission, which found rent to be a more efficient and less risky method of financing capital for aged care in private capital markets.</p> <p>It’s likely that in a decade or so, once the new home care arrangements are in place, there will be proportionally fewer older people in residential aged care. Those who do go are likely to be more disabled and have greater care needs. And those with more money will pay more for their accommodation and everyday living arrangements. But they may have more choice too.</p> <p>Although the federal government has <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-03-11/aged-care-task-force-hands-down-recommendations/103573554">ruled out an aged care levy</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-15/no-plan-to-touch-aged-care-asset-test/103470442">changes to assets test on the family home</a>, it has yet to respond to the majority of the recommendations. But given the aged care minister chaired the taskforce, it’s likely to provide a good indication of current thinking.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225551/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, Emeritus Professor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">original article</a>.</em></p>

Caring

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Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p>Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air travel. It’s no wonder that many travelers have become nostalgic for the so-called “golden age” of air travel in the United States.</p> <p>During the 1950s, airlines promoted commercial air travel as glamorous: stewardesses served full meals on real china, airline seats were large (and frequently empty) with ample leg-room, and passengers always dressed well.</p> <p>After jets were introduced in the late 1950s, passengers could travel to even the most distant locations at speeds unimaginable a mere decade before. An airline trip from New York to London that could take up to 15 hours in the early 1950s could be made in less than seven hours by the early 1960s.</p> <p>But airline nostalgia can be tricky, and “golden ages” are seldom as idyllic as they seem.</p> <p>Until the introduction of jets in 1958, most of the nation’s commercial planes were propeller-driven aircraft, like the DC-4. Most of these planes were unpressurized, and with a maximum cruising altitude of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, they were unable to fly over bad weather. Delays were frequent, turbulence common, and air sickness bags often needed.</p> <p>Some planes were spacious and pressurized: the <a href="http://everythingnice.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/PanAm-cutawayS.jpg">Boeing Stratocruiser</a>, for example, could seat 50 first class passengers or 81 coach passengers compared to the DC-3’s 21 passengers. It could cruise at 32,000 feet, which allowed Stratocruiser to fly above most bad weather it encountered. But only 56 of these planes were ever in service.</p> <p>While the later DC-6 and DC-7 were pressurized, they still flew much lower than the soon-to-appear jets – 20,000 feet compared to 30,000 feet – and often encountered turbulence. The piston engines were bulky, complex and difficult to maintain, which contributed to frequent delays.</p> <p>For much of this period, the old saying “Time to spare, go by air” still rang true.</p> <p>Through the 1930s and into the 1940s, almost everyone flew first class. Airlines did encourage more people to fly in the 1950s and 1960s by introducing coach or tourist fares, but the savings were relative: less expensive than first class, but still pricey. In 1955, for example, so-called “bargain fares” from New York to Paris were the equivalent of just over $2,600 in 2014 dollars. Although the advent of jets did result in lower fares, the cost was still out of reach of most Americans. The most likely frequent flier was a white, male businessman traveling on his company’s expense account, and in the 1960s, airlines – with young attractive stewardesses in short skirts – clearly catered to their most frequent flyers.</p> <p>The demographics of travelers did begin to shift during this period. More women, more young people, and retirees began to fly; still, airline travel remained financially out-of-reach for most.</p> <p>If it was a golden age, it only was for the very few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bKqQgNZylLw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Jet planes were introduced in the late 1950s, resulting in shorter flight times. But their ticket prices out of reach for the average traveler.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>People also forget that well into the 1960s, air travel was far more dangerous than it is today. In the 1950s and 1960s US airlines experienced at least a half dozen crashes per year – most leading to fatalities of all on board. People today may bemoan the crowded airplanes and lack of on-board amenities, but the number of fatalities per million miles flown has dropped dramatically since since the late 1970s, especially compared to the 1960s. Through at least the 1970s, airports even prominently featured kiosks selling flight insurance.</p> <p>And we can’t forget hijackings. By the mid-1960s so many airplanes had been hijacked that <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/hijackers/flying-high.htm">“Take me to Cuba”</a> became a punch line for stand-up comics. In 1971 <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/39593/index2.html">D.B. Cooper</a> – a hijacker who parachuted from a Boeing 727 after extorting $200,000 – might have been able to achieve folk hero status. But one reason US airline passengers today (generally) tolerate security checkpoints is that they want some kind of assurance that their aircraft will remain safe.</p> <p>And if the previous examples don’t dull the sheen of air travel’s “golden age,” remember: in-flight smoking was both permitted and encouraged.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/34177/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872"><em>Janet Bednarek</em></a><em>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/longing-for-the-golden-age-of-air-travel-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-34177">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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World's oldest woman turns 117

<p>One of the world's oldest living person has turned 117. </p> <p>Maria Branyas Morera born on March 4, 1907 in San Francisco, lived through the 1918 pandemic, the two World Wars, Spain’s civil war and fully recovered after contracting Covid just days before her 113th birthday. </p> <p>She was one of the world's oldest Covid survivor's in 2020 and is now the 12th oldest verified person in history. </p> <p>Maria, who moved to Catalonia, Spain when she was eight, proudly announced her age on X, formerly known as Twitter in a post that read:  “Good morning, world. Today I turn 117 years old. I’ve come this far.”</p> <p>Maria, who has lived in a nursing home for the past 23 years, is healthier than ever aside from hearing difficulties and mobility issues, and scientists are studying her to find out the secrets to a long life. </p> <p>“She remembers with impressive clarity events from when she was only four years old, and she does not present any cardiovascular disease, common in elderly people," Scientist Manel Esteller told Spanish outlet <em>ABC</em>.</p> <p>“It is clear that there is a genetic component because there are several members of her family who are over 90 years old.”</p> <p>Scientists and Maria are working together to gain further insights into living longer, and researchers hope that studying Maria’s genes will help with the development of drugs which could combat diseases associated with ageing.</p> <p>Maria had three children with her husband  a Catalan doctor named Joan Moret.</p> <p>Her husband passed away 1976, and Maria also outlived her only son, August who tragically passed away in a tractor accident when he was 86. </p> <p>Maria now has two daughters, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.</p> <p>The oldest person ever established was a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days.</p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au/ Guiness Book of Records</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Why our voices change as we get older

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950">Adam Taylor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>Sir Elton John set a record at this year’s Glastonbury, becoming the <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/elton-john-glastonbury-viewing-record-b2364260.html">most-watched headliner</a> in the festival’s history, with more than 7 million people tuning in live to the BBC to watch his last ever UK performance.</p> <p>The 76-year-old singer certainly delivered all his characteristic showmanship. But many who have followed his music over the decades will have noticed how much his voice has changed during his career – and not only because of the <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/a-qa-with-elton-john-65620/">surgery he had</a> in the 1980s to <a href="https://ultimateclassicrock.com/elton-john-throat-surgery/">remove polyps</a> from his vocal cords.</p> <p>Equally, it’s not all down to the process of ageing. While it’s no mystery that this affects every part of our body, it isn’t the only reason that a person’s voice – even a professional singer like Sir Elton – can sound quite different over the years.</p> <h2>The sound of your voice</h2> <p>The vocal cords are what produce the sound of your voice. They are located in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538202/">larynx</a>, a part of the respiratory system that allows air to pass from your throat to your lungs. When air passes out of the lungs and through the larynx, it causes the vocal cords to vibrate – <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412481/">producing sound</a>.</p> <p>The vocal cords are composed of <a href="https://www.kenhub.com/en/library/anatomy/vocal-cords">three main parts</a>: the vocalis muscle, vocal ligament, and a mucous membrane (containing glands) to cover them. This keeps the surface moist and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810851/">protects them from damage</a>.</p> <p>There are also approximately <a href="https://radiopaedia.org/articles/intrinsic-muscles-of-the-larynx?lang=gb">17 other muscles</a> in the larynx that can alter vocal cord position and tension – thus changing the sound produced.</p> <p>Pre-puberty, there’s very little difference in the sound the vocal cords produce. But during puberty, hormones begin exerting their effects. This changes the structure of the larynx – making the “Adam’s apple” more prominent in men – and the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0018506X16301271?via%3Dihub">length of the vocal cords</a>. After puberty, they’re around 16mm in length in men, and 10mm in women.</p> <p>Women’s vocal cords are also <a href="https://pubs.aip.org/asa/jasa/article/82/S1/S90/719336/Physiology-of-the-female-larynx">20-30%</a> thinner after puberty. These shorter, thinner vocal cords are the reason why women typically have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306615">higher voices</a> than men.</p> <p>Even after puberty, hormones can affect the voice. For instance, a woman’s voice may sound different depending on the stage of her menstrual cycle – with the <a href="https://www.jvoice.org/article/S0892-1997(08)00169-0/fulltext">best voice quality</a> being in the ovulatory phase. This is because the glands produce most mucous during this phase, giving the vocal cords their best functional ability.</p> <p>Research also shows that women taking the contraceptive pill show <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0892199717304940">less variation in voice quality</a> because the pill halts ovulation.</p> <p>On the other hand, hormonal changes during the premenstrual phase impede the vocal cords, making them stiffer. This may explain why opera singers would be offered “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0892199717301133">grace days</a>” in the 1960s to ensure they didn’t damage their vocal cords. And, because <a href="https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/clinical-topics/voice-disorders/#collapse_1">women’s vocal cords</a> are thinner, they may also be more likely to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15157130/">suffer damage</a> from overuse.</p> <h2>Everything ages</h2> <p>As with almost every other part of the body, vocal cords age. But these changes might not be as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892199721000011">noticeable for everyone</a>.</p> <p>As we get older, the larynx begins increasing its <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1752928X21001840">mineral content</a>, making it stiffer and more like bone than cartilage. This change can begin happening as early as <a href="https://meridian.allenpress.com/angle-orthodontist/article/75/2/196/57743/Ossification-of-Laryngeal-Cartilages-on-Lateral">your thirties</a> – especially in men. This makes the vocal cords less flexible.</p> <p>The muscles that allow the vocal cords to move also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6166195/">begin wasting</a> (as do our other muscles) as we age. The ligaments and tissues that support the vocal cords also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11800365/">lose elasticity</a>, becoming <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25645525/">less flexible</a>.</p> <p>There’s also a decrease in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695176/">pulmonary muscle function</a>, reducing the power of the air expelled from the lungs to create the sound. The number of glands that produce the protective mucus also decrease, alongside a reduction in the ability to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10156980/">control the larynx</a>.</p> <h2>Lifestyle is a factor</h2> <p>While vocal cords age at largely the same rate in most people, many lifestyle factors can increase the risk of damage to them – and so can change the way your voice sounds.</p> <p>Smoking, for example, causes <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3918293/">localised inflammation</a>, increased <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4824943/">mucous production</a>, but can also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557797/">dry out</a> the mucosal surfaces. Alcohol has a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6166195/">similar effect</a>. Over time, these factors can damage the vocal cords and alter the voice’s sound.</p> <p>Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also alter the voice – such as <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/482932">steroid inhalers used for laryngitis</a>. Blood thinners may also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10875579/">damage the vocal cords</a> and can cause polyps to form, making the voice sound raspy or hoarse. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7395839/">Muscle relaxants</a>, too, can lead to irritation and vocal cord damage due to the drug allowing stomach acid to wash back into the larynx. Thankfully, the irritation and changes caused by these medications typically disappears after stopping use.</p> <p>One other lifestyle factor can be overuse, which is typically seen in singers and other people who use their voice a lot <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15157130/">during work</a>, such as teachers and fitness instructors. This can lead to an uncommon condition called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9392404/">Reinke’s oedema</a>, which can also be caused by smoking. Reinke’s oedema causes fluid to swell in the vocal cords, changing the pitch of the voice – often <a href="https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/patient-information/reinkes-oedema/">making it deeper</a>.</p> <p>In extreme cases of Reinke’s oedema, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00405-022-07377-9">surgery is needed</a> to drain the fluid. But in most cases, rest and avoiding irritants (smoking and alcohol) is beneficial, while speech and language therapy can also address the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1460-6984.1995.tb01660.x">change in sound</a>.</p> <h2>Maintaining our vocal quality</h2> <p>While we can’t help some of the age-related changes that happen to our vocal cords, we can maintain some of our vocal quality and ability through continued use. This may explain why, in many cases, singers show <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27049451/">significantly less vocal change</a> with age than their non-singing counterparts.</p> <p>Singing or <a href="https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/improve-aging-voice.html">reading out</a> loud daily can give the vocal cords sufficient exercise to slow their decline.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/taking-care-your-voice">Looking after</a> your vocal cords is also important. Staying hydrated and limiting intake of <a href="https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/patient-information/presbyphonia/">alcohol</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069957/">tobacco</a> can help prevent high rates of decline and damage.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208640/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-taylor-283950"><em>Adam Taylor</em></a><em>, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-our-voices-change-as-we-get-older-208640">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Fear of ageing is really a fear of the unknown – and modern society is making things worse

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chao-fang-1010933">Chao Fang</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-liverpool-1198">University of Liverpool</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alastair-comery-1501915">Alastair Comery</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bath-1325">University of Bath</a></em></p> <p>For the first time in human history, we have entered an era in which reaching old age is taken for granted. Unlike in ages past, when living to an older age was a luxury afforded mainly to the privileged, globally around <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TO65.FE.ZS?locations=1W">79% of women</a> and <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TO65.MA.ZS?locations=1W">70% of men</a> can expect to reach the age of 65 and beyond.</p> <p>Despite longer life expectancy, many people in the contemporary west see growing old as undesirable and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/science/2023/apr/02/ageing-and-the-mortality-alarm-i-started-panicking-about-future-me">even scary</a>. Research shows, however, that anxiety about ageing may in fact be <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0164027500225004">fear of the unknown</a>.</p> <p>Society’s <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/articles/199409/learning-love-growing-old">focus on youthfulness</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psychology-teacher-network/introductory-psychology/ableism-negative-reactions-disability">capability</a> can cause anxiety about becoming weak and unwanted. Adverts for anti-ageing products <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-20th-century-rejuvenation-techniques-gave-rise-to-the-modern-anti-ageing-industry-133569">are everywhere</a>, reinforcing the idea that growing older is inherently unattractive.</p> <p>Some people fear ageing so much that it becomes a pathological condition <a href="https://mind.help/topic/gerascophobia/">called gerascophobia</a>, leading to irrational thoughts and behaviour, for example, a fixation on health, illness and mortality and a preoccupation with hiding the signs of ageing.</p> <p>We frequently hear about attempts to reverse ageing, often by the super rich. For example, <a href="https://fortune.com/well/2023/01/26/bryan-johnson-extreme-anti-aging/">Bryan Johnson</a>, a 45-year-old American entrepreneur, is spending millions of dollars a year to obtain the physical age of 18.</p> <p>While the desire to reverse ageing is not a new phenomenon, advancements in biomedicine have brought it closer.</p> <p>Work published by genetics professor <a href="https://lifespanbook.com/">David Sinclair</a> at Harvard University in 2019 suggests that it may be possible to challenge the limits of cell reproduction to extend our lifespan, for example. His <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-023-00527-6">information theory of ageing</a> argues that <a href="https://epigeneticsandchromatin.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1756-8935-6-3">reprogramming DNA</a> can improve damaged and old tissues, and delay or even reverse ageing. However, these new possibilities can also heighten our fear of ageing.</p> <h2>From the unproductive to undervalued</h2> <p>People haven’t always dreaded growing older. In many societies, older people used to be widely regarded as wise and important – and in some they still are.</p> <p>In ancient China, there was a <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/605890">culture</a> of respecting and seeking advice from older family members. There is still an ethos of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363941/">filial piety</a> (showing reverence and care for elders and ancestors) today, even if it’s not as pronounced as it used to be. The same went for <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/abs/old-age-in-the-dark-ages-the-status-of-old-age-during-the-early-middle-ages/3699DC4100DE852BDA1E1B3BBF33DDBC">medieval Europe</a>, where older people’s experiences and wisdom were highly valued.</p> <p>However, the industrial revolution in the west from the 18th century led to a cultural shift where older people <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1014358415896">became excluded from society</a> and were considered unproductive. People who had surpassed the age to work, alongside those with incurable diseases, were regarded by society as <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13607860903228762">“evils”</a> in need of assistance.</p> <p>The treatment of older people has taken a different form since the early 20th century. The introduction of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/business/retirement/why-the-world-needs-to-rethink-retirement.html">universal pension systems</a> made ageing a central concern in welfare systems. But as the demands for social and health care have increased, journalists increasingly portray ageing as a <a href="https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/archive/older-people-feel-a-burden-to-society/">burden</a> on society.</p> <p>Consequently, growing older is often associated with managing the risk of ill health and alleviating the onus of care from younger relatives. This can result in the <a href="https://utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/utq.90.2.09">institutionalisation</a> of older people in residential facilities that keep them hidden, sequestered from the awareness of younger generations.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0164027500225004">Research</a> analysing the responses of 1,200 US adults from the American Association of Retired Persons’ Images of Ageing survey shows that much of the perceived fear of ageing is closely aligned with the fear of the unknown, rather than the ageing process itself. This fear is only exacerbated by the largely separate lives lived by older and younger generations.</p> <p>The prevalence of nuclear families and the decline of <a href="https://www.cpc.ac.uk/docs/BP45_UnAffordable_housing_and_the_residential_separation_of_age_groups.pdf">traditional mixed-generational communities</a> have deprived younger people of the opportunity to more fully understand the experiences of older people. Plus, the rapid increase in <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/why-its-more-difficult-for-young-people-to-buy-a-house-now-than-it-was-fifty-years-ago-12537254">house prices</a> means many young people cannot afford to live near their older relatives.</p> <p>The separation of older people from children and young people has sparked generational conflicts that seemingly continue to <a href="https://www.economist.com/britain/2017/05/04/britains-generational-divide-has-never-been-wider">grow wider than ever</a>. Older people are frequently portrayed in the media as conservative and privileged, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/12/old-young-gap-britain-generation-dysfunctional-family">making it difficult</a> for younger generations to comprehend why older people act and think the way they do.</p> <h2>Intergenerational interactions</h2> <p>Academics suggest that creating <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.996520/full">a system</a> for older and younger generations to interact in everyday settings is vital.</p> <p>A set of three <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031197/#bjso12146-bib-0004">UK-based studies</a> in 2016 analysed and compared the effects of direct contact, extended contact and interactions between younger (aged 17 to 30) and older people (65 and over). The findings indicated that good quality direct intergenerational contact can improve young people’s attitudes towards older adults (especially when sustained over time).</p> <p>Intergenerational programmes have been adopted globally, including mixed and <a href="https://www.cohousing.org/multigenerational-cohousing/">intergenerational housing</a>, <a href="https://www.nurseryinbelong.org.uk/intergenerational-choir-hits-high-note-at-belong-chester/">community choirs</a> and <a href="https://www.shareable.net/how-sharing-can-bring-japans-elderly-and-youth-together/">senior volunteers reading to young children in nurseries</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10433-018-00497-4">Studies show</a> that these activities can not only enhance the wellbeing of older people but also help younger people gain an appreciation of ageing as a valuable and fulfilling life stage.</p> <p>Getting worried about growing older is normal, just as we experience anxieties in other stages of life, such as adolescence and marriage. But here’s the thing – instead of seeing ageing as a looming figure, it is important to realise it is just a part of life.</p> <p>Once we understand ageing as a regular experience, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/changepower/202106/do-you-have-fogo-taming-the-fear-getting-old">we can let go</a> of these worries and approach the journey through different life stages with a positive attitude and a fortified will to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/220925/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chao-fang-1010933"><em>Chao Fang</em></a><em>, Lecturer in Sociology, Deputy Director of the Centre for Ageing and the Life Course, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-liverpool-1198">University of Liverpool</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alastair-comery-1501915">Alastair Comery</a>, PhD Candidate, Sociology, Centre for Death and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bath-1325">University of Bath</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/fear-of-ageing-is-really-a-fear-of-the-unknown-and-modern-society-is-making-things-worse-220925">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why do I need to get up during the night to wee? Is this normal?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-moro-121754">Christian Moro</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-phelps-1187658">Charlotte Phelps</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p>It can be normal to wake up once or even twice during the night to wee, especially as we get older.</p> <p>One in three adults over 30 makes <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30085529">at least two</a> trips to the bathroom every night.</p> <p>Waking up from sleep to urinate on a regular basis is called <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518987/">nocturia</a>. It’s one of the most commonly reported <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32249998/">bothersome urinary symptoms</a> (others include urgency and poor stream).</p> <p>So what causes nocturia, and how can it affect wellbeing?</p> <h2>A range of causes</h2> <p>Nocturia can be caused by a variety of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/nocturia-going-to-the-toilet-at-night_0.pdf">medical conditions</a>, such as heart or kidney problems, poorly controlled diabetes, bladder infections, an <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-44916-8">overactive bladder</a>, or gastrointestinal issues. Other causes include pregnancy, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/nau.24839">medications</a> and consumption of alcohol or caffeine before bed.</p> <p>While nocturia causes disrupted sleep, the reverse is true as well. Having broken sleep, or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055528/">insomnia</a>, can also cause nocturia.</p> <p>When we sleep, an antidiuretic hormone is released that slows down the rate at which our <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-urine-sterile-do-urine-therapies-work-experts-debunk-common-pee-myths-191862">kidneys produce urine</a>. If we lie awake at night, less of this hormone <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajprenal.00025.2023">is released</a>, meaning we continue to produce normal rates of urine. This can accelerate the rate at which we fill our bladder and need to get up during the night.</p> <p>Stress, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153377/">anxiety</a> and watching television <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518987">late into the night</a> are common causes of insomnia.</p> <h2>Effects of nocturia on daily functioning</h2> <p>The recommended amount of sleep for adults is between <a href="https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep/how-much-sleep">seven and nine hours</a> per night. The more times you have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom, the more this impacts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3602727/#:%7E:text=Nocturia%20is%2C%20however%2C%20an%20important,(QoL)%20and%20general%20health.">sleep quantity and quality</a>.</p> <p>Decreased sleep can result in increased <a href="https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-019-1251-5">tiredness</a> during the day, poor concentration, forgetfulness, changes in mood and impaired <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28425062/">work performance</a>.</p> <p>If you’re missing out on quality sleep due to nighttime trips to the bathroom, this can affect your quality of life.</p> <p>In more severe cases, nocturia has been compared to having a similar impact on <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/getattachment/b43c05ba-e29e-47c3-b816-ec47ceeafe97/Nocturia-a-guide-to-assessment-and-management.aspx">quality of life</a> as diabetes, high blood pressure, chest pain, and some forms of arthritis. Also, frequent disruptions to quality and quantity of sleep can have longer-term health impacts.</p> <p>Nocturia not only upsets sleep, but also increases the risk of <a href="https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/JU.0000000000000459">falls</a> from moving around in the dark to go to the bathroom.</p> <p>Further, it can affect sleep partners or others in the household who may be disturbed when you get out of bed.</p> <h2>Can you have a ‘small bladder’?</h2> <p>It’s a common misconception that your trips to the bathroom are correlated with the size of your bladder. It’s also unlikely your bladder is <a href="https://youtu.be/blVmyrBPves">smaller</a> relative to your other organs.</p> <p>If you find you are having to wee more than your friends, this could be due to body size. A smaller person drinking the same amount of fluids as someone larger will simply need to go the bathroom more often.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/blVmyrBPves?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Can you have a small bladder?</span></figcaption></figure> <p>If you find you are going to the bathroom quite a lot during the day and evening (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903463/">more than eight times</a> in 24 hours), this could be a symptom of an overactive bladder. This often presents as frequent and sudden urges to urinate.</p> <p>If you are concerned about any lower urinary tract symptoms, it’s worth having a chat with your family GP.</p> <p>There are some medications that can assist in the management of nocturia, and your doctor will also be able to help identify any underlying causes of needing to go to the toilet during the night.</p> <h2>A happy and healthy bladder</h2> <p>Here are some tips to maintain a happy and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206217/">healthy</a> bladder, and reduce the risk you’ll be up at night:</p> <ul> <li> <p>make your <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-position-should-i-sleep-in-and-is-there-a-right-way-to-sleep-189873">sleep environment comfortable</a>, with a suitable mattress and sheets to suit the temperature</p> </li> <li> <p>get to bed early, and limit <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518987/">screens</a>, or activites before bed</p> </li> <li> <p>limit foods and drinks that irritate the bladder, such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9811496/">coffee or alcohol</a>, especially before bedtime</p> </li> <li> <p>sit in a <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-it-matter-if-you-sit-or-stand-to-pee-and-what-about-peeing-in-the-shower-206869">relaxed position</a> when urinating, and allow time for the bladder to completely empty</p> </li> <li> <p>practice <a href="https://www.continence.org.au/about-continence/continence-health/pelvic-floor">pelvic floor muscle exercises</a></p> </li> <li> <p>drink an adequate amount of fluids during the day, and avoid becoming <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/nocturia-going-to-the-toilet-at-night_0.pdf">dehydrated</a></p> </li> <li> <p>maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00052.2023">nutritious foods</a> and do not do anything harmful to the body such as smoking or using illicit drugs</p> </li> <li> <p>review your medications, as the time you take some <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/nocturia-going-to-the-toilet-at-night_0.pdf">pharmaceuticals</a> may affect urine production or sleep</p> </li> <li> <p>if you have <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28675633/">swollen legs</a>, raise them a few hours before bedtime to let the <a href="https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/june/nocturia-a-guide-to-assessment-and-management">fluid drain</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224160/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> </li> </ul> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christian-moro-121754">Christian Moro</a>, Associate Professor of Science &amp; Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-phelps-1187658">Charlotte Phelps</a>, Senior Teaching Fellow, Medical Program, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-i-need-to-get-up-during-the-night-to-wee-is-this-normal-224160">original article</a>.</em></p>

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