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The touching reason a King's Guard burst into tears

<p>A member of the King's Guard has burst into tears after receiving the surprise of a lifetime while on duty. </p> <p>The King's Guard, who are usually unflappable and stoic figures stationed around Buckingham Palace, was moved to tears on what seemed like a normal day. </p> <p>While sitting atop her horse, the woman stood as tourists passed by and took photos with the iconic guard. </p> <p>The suddenly,  the previously composed guard smiles and can be seen looking teary, as she spots her parents in the crowd.</p> <p>“That’s her dad!” another person in the crowd calls out.</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: currentcolor !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: currentcolor !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7389049472568806663&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40australiancommunitymedia%2Fvideo%2F7389049472568806663%3Flang%3Den%26q%3Dkings%2520guard%2520parents%26t%3D1720402184833&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2Fo0gmiBD0EBBEO2ogfCAgIy8FMyLdCdb2aQeVUL%7Etplv-dmt-logom%3Atos-alisg-i-0068%2FoMCEIAuSEFAV4FAAIjsDoeFjmfNA1lNLkD3fEr.image%3Flk3s%3Db59d6b55%26nonce%3D3486%26refresh_token%3D9a02561608471c9dd769ed26581f721f%26x-expires%3D1720573200%26x-signature%3DG49fXegWzTHobCNmRxkZBWQS5r8%253D%26shp%3Db59d6b55%26shcp%3D-&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>The mother-father duo then approached their daughter and stroked the horse while chatting.</p> <p>The teary-eyed guard can then be seen with a smile as her parents turn to face her, and her mother also strokes her daughter’s leg.</p> <p>The guard nods when asked a question by her mother, before breaking down in tears, bending her head forward and using her white gloves to wipe her eyes.</p> <p>The heartwarming moment, which was captured on video and posted to social media, quickly racked up hundreds of comments by impressed tourists. </p> <p>One person wrote, "I'm amazed at the speed with which she pulls herself back together, blink & you miss her initial reaction. That's reason enough to be proud on its own!"</p> <p>Another added, "What a special moment. I hope they all got to spend a little time together after her watch. She is a great Guard and her parents should be proud of her and what she does."</p> <p>Another simply said, "How proud a parent to see your daughter standing post as a Kings Guard."</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube</em></p>

Family & Pets

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The surprising reason commercial planes are painted white

<p dir="ltr">Up until the middle of the last century, airplanes would fly through the sky unpainted as shiny silver tubes. </p> <p dir="ltr">But now, we are so used to seeing plane bodies being painted white, with the exception of the airline’s logo and a splash of colour on the plane’s tail. </p> <p dir="ltr">But this drastic look isn’t just about style and uniformity, as there is a simple reason why plane bodies are left plain. </p> <p dir="ltr">First of all, white paint jobs will show wear and tear a lot quicker on huge commercial planes and while this might not be ideal for a car or house, it's perfect for planes.</p> <p dir="ltr">From takeoff to landing, a plane goes through a lot. While the aircrafts are always deemed safe for flying, it'll likely suffer minor cosmetic damages as it hurtles through the sky at 900 kilometres per hour.</p> <p dir="ltr">Due to the frequent minor chips and scratches a plane has inflicted, using the white paint helps engineers and maintenance teams to spot any of these issues with ease. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another reason that white is uniform in the skies is because white paint is going to fade at a much slower rate than a darker shade. </p> <p dir="ltr">As planes fly above the clouds, they're exposed to a lot of UV rays which speeds up the process of the paint fading.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lastly, it's been found that birds can spot planes against the sky easier when they're painted all-white, as sometimes in rare occasions, birds can pose a safety risk.</p> <p dir="ltr">It wasn’t until 50 years ago that airlines started painting their planes, with Air France being credited for starting the movement in the 1970s. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Since Air France introduced the first 'Euro-white' livery in 1976, the all-white fuselage look has become increasingly standard for the world's airlines," aviation historian Shea Oakley told Travel + Leisure. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Tips

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The wild reason woman is suing her boyfriend

<p dir="ltr">A woman from New Zealand is suing her boyfriend after he failed to give her a lift to the airport, causing her to miss her flight. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman, who has remained anonymous, asked her partner to pick her up from home and drop her at the airport, but he failed to show up. </p> <p dir="ltr">As a result, she missed her flight and was forced to travel the following day, missing a concert she had tickets for. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman was so enraged that she took her partner of six years to the Disputes Tribunal to try and get him to cover some of the money she’d lost.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman also wanted to be compensated because her boyfriend had not stayed at her house while she was away to look after her dogs, which he had agreed to do.</p> <p dir="ltr">She claimed their agreement had constituted a legally binding agreement and was seeking to be paid travel costs and the cost of putting her dogs in kennels.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tribunal referee Krysia Cowi said in a statement, “partners, friends and colleagues make social arrangements, but it is unlikely they can be legally enforced unless the parties perform some act that demonstrates an intention that they will be bound by their promises”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When friends fail to keep their promises, the other person may suffer a financial consequence but it may be that they cannot be compensated for that loss,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cowie said the promises made within the relationship fell short of a contract and dismissed the woman’s case, with the couple breaking up as a result. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Legal

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The surprising reason why pilots don’t have beards

<p dir="ltr">When walking through an airport before you board a flight, it's very common to pass a pilot or two walking around the terminals. </p> <p dir="ltr">But there’s one thing you may not have noticed that unites the male pilots, and it's not just their clean cut uniforms. </p> <p dir="ltr">While trendy facial hair is very common amongst men, it seems that pilots are swapping the beards and moustaches for a more clean cut look. </p> <p dir="ltr">And there is one key reason for the sleek look: safety. </p> <p dir="ltr">It turns out sporting a beard could lead to issues with using oxygen masks, with the hair preventing a seal from forming. </p> <p dir="ltr">A study in 1987 titled <em><a href="https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentid/22765">The Influence of Beards on Oxygen Mask Efficiency</a></em> outlined how facial hair could impede the efficiency of masks, with pilots still adhering to the procedure. </p> <p dir="ltr">"A Department of Navy study reported an average inboard leakage of 16 to 67 percent for military-type crew oxygen masks when tested with subjects wearing beards to altitudes of 18,000 feet," the report noted.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The data resulting from these tests indicated that decrement in performance does occur when facial hair is present along the sealing surface of crew oxygen masks."</p> <p dir="ltr">The Civil Aviation Authority in New Zealand told Stuff Travel that there are no "explicit written rules specifically addressing pilot dress codes in its regulatory framework".</p> <p dir="ltr">"The focus of the CAA rules is primarily on operational, technical, and safety requirements for aviation activities​," said a spokesperson.</p> <p dir="ltr">"However, individual airlines may have their own internal policies and standards regarding pilot dress codes. These policies ensure a professional appearance and may be part of broader company procedures and safety protocols."</p> <p dir="ltr">Air New Zealand's head of flight operations, Captain Hugh Pearce, said the airline allows moustaches and goatees, "but not full beards".</p> <p dir="ltr">"This is a safety-driven policy to ensure the best fit and most effective use of an oxygen mask if deployed, and is also recommended practice from mask manufacturers.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and it is of utmost importance that our pilots are equipped to act in the unlikely event of an emergency."</p> <p dir="ltr">Jetstar goes one step further, with goatees also getting the snip: "For safety reasons our pilots don't have beards or goatees. This is to ensure the best possible seal on quick donning oxygen masks."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Tiny reason for huge commitment: Grandad to run from Perth to Sydney

<p>John Harb admits he’s never been much of a runner. But that’s about to change, when the 62-year-old grandad and yoga enthusiast runs from Perth to Sydney for his granddaughter Luna.</p> <p>Little Luna came into the world three months early at Sydney's Royal Hospital for Women, in February, and at just 500 grams, she was the same weight as a tub of butter. </p> <p>The experience left John in awe, not only of his baby granddaughter, but of the magic that happens in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital.</p> <p>“To watch Luna over the past three months, and witness her strength and her fighting spirit has been incredible,” said John. </p> <p>“Seeing my daughter Michelle and her husband Nick, and all the other parents and premature babies in the ward going through such a difficult time but being so well supported by the doctors and nurses made me want to do something to help,” he said.</p> <p>“When I discovered 80 percent of the equipment in the unit, including the equipment that kept Luna alive, was purchased through donations, I wanted to do something big.”</p> <p>Taking inspiration from Nedd Brockman, John has decided to run across the country with the goal of raising one-million-dollars to support the NICU.</p> <p>Currently training by running 15 kilometres a day, John has sourced advice from a range of experts including Brockman himself, who made a special visit to the NICU after hearing of John’s plans.</p> <p>He plans to commence his run at Cottesloe Beach on 1 October and arrive at The Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick in early December.</p> <p>Royal Hospital for Women Foundation General Manager Elise Jennings said John’s commitment will allow the hospital to purchase more lifesaving equipment on their wish list, like a new ultrasound machine for high risk pregnancies. </p> <p>“I have come to know John through the time he spent in the NICU supporting Michelle and Luna and I know how passionate he is about making a difference for those who come after Luna and we are incredibly grateful to John for his commitment. Running from Perth to Sydney is a huge undertaking, especially for a grandfather in his 60s with no previous long distance running experience, but if anyone can do it, he can.”</p> <p> “We are thrilled that John is announcing his run as part of our major annual fundraiser, Heart for Her, in recognition not only of the extraordinary care received by Michelle and Luna, but for all of the babies and families who come through our doors.”</p> <p>“For three decades now, The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation has funded the best medical equipment, innovative research, people and programs but we rely on the generosity of our donors to do this.” </p> <p>Donations can be made <a title="https://www.royalwomen.org.au/fundraisers/johnharb" href="https://www.royalwomen.org.au/fundraisers/johnharb" data-outlook-id="eed61181-8705-430d-a478-3f5f14e8b008">https://www.royalwomen.org.au/fundraisers/johnharb</a></p> <p><em>Image credits: Supplied</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Who really was Mona Lisa? More than 500 years on, there’s good reason to think we got it wrong

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/darius-von-guttner-sporzynski-112147">Darius von Guttner Sporzynski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>In the pantheon of Renaissance art, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa stands as an unrivalled icon. This half-length portrait is more than just an artistic masterpiece; it embodies the allure of an era marked by unparalleled cultural flourishing.</p> <p>Yet, beneath the surface of the Mona Lisa’s elusive smile lies a debate that touches the very essence of the Renaissance, its politics and the role of women in history.</p> <h2>A mystery woman</h2> <p>The intrigue of the Mona Lisa, also known as <a href="https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/artdok/4207/1/Zoellner_Leonardos_portrait_of_Mona_Lisa_1993.pdf">La Gioconda</a>, isn’t solely due to Leonardo’s revolutionary painting techniques. It’s also because the identity of the subject is unconfirmed to this day. More than half a millennium since it was first painted, the real identity of the Mona Lisa remains one of art’s greatest mysteries, intriguing scholars and enthusiasts alike.</p> <p>The painting has traditionally been associated with Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. But another compelling theory suggests a different sitter: Isabella of Aragon.</p> <p>Isabella of Aragon was born into the illustrious House of Aragon in Naples, in 1470. She was a princess who was deeply entwined in the political and cultural fabric of the Renaissance.</p> <p>Her 1490 marriage to Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, positioned Isabella at the heart of Italian politics. And this role was both complicated and elevated by the ambitions and machinations of Ludovico Sforza (also called Ludovico il Moro), her husband’s uncle and usurper of the Milanese dukedom.</p> <h2>Scholarly perspectives</h2> <p>The theory that Isabella is the real Mona Lisa is supported by a combination of stylistic analyses, historical connections and reinterpretations of Leonardo’s intent as an artist.</p> <p>In his <a href="https://www.bookstellyouwhy.com/pages/books/51791/robert-payne/leonardo-1st-edition-1st-printing">biography of Leonardo</a>, author Robert Payne points to <a href="https://emuseum.hydecollection.org/objects/94/study-of-the-mona-lisa?ctx=760b87fd-efbf-4468-b579-42f98e9712d2&amp;idx=0">preliminary studies</a> by the artist that bear a striking resemblances to Isabella around age 20. Payne suggests Leonardo captured Isabella <a href="https://emuseum.hydecollection.org/objects/94/study-of-the-mona-lisa?ctx=760b87fd-efbf-4468-b579-42f98e9712d2&amp;idx=0">across different life stages</a>, including during widowhood, as depicted in the Mona Lisa.</p> <p>US artist Lillian F. Schwartz’s <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0097849395000317">1988 study</a> used x-rays to reveal an initial sketch of a woman hidden beneath Leonardo’s painting. This sketch was then painted over with Leonardo’s own likeness.</p> <p>Schwartz believes the woman in the sketch is Isabella, because of its similarity with a cartoon Leonardo made of the princess. She proposes the work was made by integrating specific features of the initial model with Leonardo’s own features.</p> <p>This hypothesis is further supported by art historians Jerzy Kulski and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjJWxcnKrE">Maike Vogt-Luerssen</a>.</p> <p>According to Vogt-Luerssen’s <a href="https://www.kleio.org/de/buecher/wer-ist-mona-lisa/">detailed analysis</a> of the Mona Lisa, the symbols of the Sforza house and the depiction of mourning garb both align with Isabella’s known life circumstances. They suggest the Mona Lisa isn’t a commissioned portrait, but a nuanced representation of a woman’s journey through triumph and tragedy.</p> <p>Similarly, Kulski highlights the <a href="https://www.academia.edu/40147186/The_Mona_Lisa_Portrait_Leonardos_Personal_and_Political_Tribute_to_Isabella_Aragon_Sforza_the_Duchess_of_Milan">portrait’s heraldic designs</a>, which would be atypical for a silk merchant’s wife. He, too, suggests the painting shows Isabella mourning her late husband.</p> <p>The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic expression also captures Isabella’s self-described state post-1500 of being “<a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-0424.12683">alone in misfortune</a>”. Contrary to representing a wealthy, recently married woman, the portrait exudes the aura of a virtuous widow.</p> <p>Late professor of art history <a href="https://brill.com/display/book/edcoll/9789004304130/B9789004304130_014.xml?language=en">Joanna Woods-Marsden</a> suggested the Mona Lisa transcends traditional portraiture and embodies Leonardo’s ideal, rather than being a straightforward commission.</p> <p>This perspective frames the work as a deeply personal project for Leonardo, possibly signifying a special connection between him and Isabella. Leonardo’s reluctance to part with the work also indicates a deeper, personal investment in it.</p> <h2>Beyond the canvas</h2> <p>The theory that Isabella of Aragon could be the true Mona Lisa is a profound reevaluation of the painting’s context, opening up new avenues through which to appreciate the work.</p> <p>It elevates Isabella from a figure overshadowed by the men in her life, to a woman of courage and complexity who deserves recognition in her own right.</p> <p>Through her strategic marriage and political savvy, <a href="https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85147429412&amp;origin=resultslist">Isabella played a crucial role in the alliances and conflicts</a> that defined the Italian Renaissance. By possibly choosing her as his subject, Leonardo immortalised her and also made a profound statement on the complexity and agency of women in a male-dominated society.</p> <p>The ongoing debate over Mona Lisa’s identity underscores this work’s significance as a cultural and historical artefact. It also invites us to reflect on the roles of women in the Renaissance and challenge common narratives that minimise them.</p> <p>In this light, it becomes a legacy of the women who shaped the Renaissance.<!-- 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/220666/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/darius-von-guttner-sporzynski-112147">Darius von Guttner Sporzynski</a>, Historian, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </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-really-was-mona-lisa-more-than-500-years-on-theres-good-reason-to-think-we-got-it-wrong-220666">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Art

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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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Sad reason why Sydney dad went overboard

<p>A father-of-three who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/sad-end-in-search-for-overboard-cruise-passenger" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fell overboard</a> a P&O cruise ship last week has been identified, and his brother claimed that he had racked up a $4,000 casino debt onboard after being lured to spend big by the company's incentives. </p> <p>Shane Dixon, 50, died after falling overboard the cruise ship two hours before was due to dock in Sydney Harbour at 6am on Monday, May 6. </p> <p>Shane was reportedly on the three-day Elvis-themed cruise to Queensland's Moreton Island with his mother Sue Dixon, 66, who had saved up for the trip. </p> <p>"Our mother is devastated. Broken," Shane's brother Scott Dixon told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13410955/Dad-three-plunges-death-luxury-cruise-liner-running-eye-watering-debt-ships-casino-tables-insider-reveals-high-rollers-lured-gamble-Australias-shores.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>. </p> <p>“She has already buried one son and now she has to bury another one,” he said. </p> <p>Scott said that his brother was going through a rough time, as he struggled financially due to a series of tragedies including the breakdown of his marriage, and the deaths of their brother and father. </p> <p>Shane had spent $5000 at the cruise’s casino on the Friday, and Scott claimed that his brother received free drinks,  a $750 play voucher and a ticket for a future cruise. </p> <p>In Australia, strict laws govern how gaming providers can advertise gambling, with promotions like the above, which may encourage someone to spend more than they intend banned. </p> <p>However, cruise ships that operate casinos in international waters can bypass these laws, reported the <em>Daily Mail.</em> </p> <p>After borrowing money from his family to repay the debt, Shane ended up spending another $4000 the following night, according to Scott. </p> <p>"His brain was probably going 100 miles an hour. He probably thought, ‘s***, I’ve done it again. I can’t afford it and I can’t ask mum for more money," Scott said. </p> <p>He added that P&O staff have been amazing and compassionate towards his mother. </p> <p>A P&O Australia spokesperson said they won’t be commenting on the claims due to the coroner’s investigation that is underway.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News/ news.com.au</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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"A step too far": Grandparents barred from school event for bizarre reason

<p>A Melbourne school has come under fire for refusing to let a group of grandparents into the classroom for a special event because they did not have a Working With Children Check (WWCC). </p> <p>Furious grandparents have slammed St Joseph’s Primary School in Yarra Junction for taking it "a step too far" when they asked them to provide the WWCC after being invited to attend the “Inquiry Afternoon”. </p> <p>The event was held for year one and two students to speak about “technology and the world has changed over time”, according to <em>The Herald Sun.</em></p> <p>Grandparents were asked to provide a WWCC on the back of the invitation, which some of them missed. </p> <p>“The Working With Children Check isn’t set up for the one-off visit — it is a step too far,” founder of the National Grandparent Movement Ian Barnett told <em>Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>“I understand we’re living in a time when we want more checks and balances, but it is unrealistic to think that grandparents attending such a day would actually need to go and provide a Working With Children Check."</p> <p>The grandparents without a WWCC were forced to sit in the principal's office and do their show-and-tell via a video call. </p> <p>“I’m sure they had very good intentions — no one set out for this to happen,” <em>Herald Sun</em> education editor Susie O’Brien said. </p> <p>“But imagine turning up, arranging your entire week, your day to come to your grandchild’s event … and the child’s school refuses entry.”</p> <p>She added that although schools did have some discretion over such requirements, when a group of people are invited for a specific event, it is usually not required. </p> <p>Barnett also said that "for such visits you don’t need a Working With Children Check,” in most states. </p> <p>“I haven’t heard of this in NSW. I have to admit, I’m from NSW. So it is really going a bit extreme. Schools do have the right to decide who comes onsite. But it just seems it’s not required.</p> <p>“To actually drag the child out from the classroom to sit with nana or grandad, it’s a step too far and embarrassing, I think, for the school as well.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for the primary school acknowledged that although there was some confusion, the school had to comply with the child safe standards. </p> <p>“There was advance notice to all St Joseph’s families on this requirement, with 29 grandparents signing in on Friday with a working with children clearance," they told the Herald Sun. </p> <p>“We acknowledge the disappointing experience of the four grandparents who couldn’t attend the grandparents’ day and are attempting to call these families this morning.”</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise/ The Herald Sun</em></p>

Legal

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Morbid reason why cruise ships throw "free ice cream parties" on board

<p>Dara Starr Tucker, a former cruise ship employee has shared the morbid reason why they throw “free ice cream parties” on board.</p> <p>Tucker, a singer who spent six months living on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean 10 years ago, shared what life was like at sea. </p> <p>In one of her latest videos, she answered one of her follower's question asking whether it was true that if cruise staff started giving away ice cream, it meant that they needed more freezer space for a body.</p> <p>“This is unfortunately often true,” she said.</p> <p>“If the crew suddenly makes a bunch of ice cream available to passengers, ‘Free ice cream party’, it is often because more people have died on the ship than they have room for in the morgue.”</p> <p>She said that most large ships are legally required to maintain a morgue and carry body bags in the event a passenger dies mid-journey and added that she “thankfully” didn't have to deal with the "morbid stuff". </p> <p>“But we were friends with some crew members who did deal with it and they said maybe four to 10 people die every cruise,” she claimed.</p> <p>“There are a lot of older people on ships, and often (out of) a ship that carried maybe 2500 to 3000 passengers on a typical cruise, four to 10 people would die.</p> <p>“So the morgue, I believe they said held about seven people, and if more than seven people died on that particular ship, they would have to start moving bodies to the freezer.”</p> <p>She claimed that if employees would have to "make room for the extra bodies" in the freezer, they would have to take out everything including ice cream. </p> <p>Her video has been viewed over 2.3 million times, with many other cruise ship employees confirming her claims. </p> <p>“Cruise ship medic here. Can confirm the morgue and ice cream correlation,” one said.</p> <p>“Former sailor here — yes, it is accurate. Sometimes space needs to be made in the freezer," another added. </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Shocking reason why woman was dumped as her best friend’s bridesmaid

<p dir="ltr">A friendship has broken down live on radio, after a woman was dumped from being a bridesmaid after trying to attend a Taylor Swift concert the same night as her best friend’s wedding. </p> <p dir="ltr">Liv was one of thousands of Aussies who secured tickets to see Taylor Swift when her Eras Tour heads Down Under in February. Unfortunately for the young woman, the only night she could get tickets for was the same night as her best friend Jess’ wedding, where she was set to be a bridesmaid. </p> <p dir="ltr">Knowing about the concert while the wedding planning was taking place, Liv said she was nervous to tell Jess about the show, and decided to keep it secret while they were shopping for wedding outfits. </p> <p dir="ltr">Calling into the <em>Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick</em> radio show, Liv wanted advice on how to tell her friend that she planned to attend Jess’ wedding ceremony, and then leave the reception to attend the concert. </p> <p dir="ltr">The radio hosts decided to let the two women hash it out live on air, with Liv saying to her friend at the start of the phone call, “Obviously the whole Taylor thing, we've been talking about it and you've been saying how annoying it is that people have been backing out.”</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/reel/C2cLqsqvcIw/?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/reel/C2cLqsqvcIw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick (@fififevnick)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“But I haven't told you I got tickets for the Saturday and this was done before Christmas. However, I was thinking of trying to compromise here and make it work.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Liv shared her plan to “scoot off” in the middle of the big day, to which Jess was convinced she was being “pranked”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel really bad, I do but I have loved Taylor for so long, you are aware of this and you knew how hard it was to get tickets,” Liv replied. </p> <p dir="ltr">But Jess flew off the handle at her friend, slamming her for withholding the news and poking holes in her compromise. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You've known this before December and it's three weeks until my wedding and you're telling me now?” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You want to miss a part of my wedding to go to a Taylor Swift concert? You know how much this has been annoying me that people have been dropping out to go to her and you've known all along that you're going to go to her concert.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Liv said she feels like a “bad friend” before breaking down in tears, although Jess wasn’t having it. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I don't even understand though you've gone and bought tickets on my wedding date. I'm not trying to be mean right now, I think I'm just angry before I'm even upset because I'm so stressed, it's three weeks out,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Host Fifi Box suggested Liv skip the concert, but she was hesitant calling the show a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pair eventually hung up, with Jess ringing into the radio show in the weeks after to share an update. </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/reel/C29c8ERPrdT/?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/reel/C29c8ERPrdT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Fifi, Fev &amp; Nick (@fififevnick)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“I was caught off guard, pretty mortified that she chose to do it live on air, and also pretty angry,” Jess told the Melbourne radio show hosts. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Liv and I did speak after the show, and I told her she’s shown her true colours and if she wants to go to the concert, she can go to the concert.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was a really good friend, and if she saw that a Taylor Swift concert was more important (than my wedding), that’s her choice but I don’t want her to be a part of my day.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When Fifi asked exactly what happened after the first call on air, Jess admitted that “there was a bit of fighting.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“She still wanted to take the route that maybe she could come for some of the wedding and then leave,” Jess explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But realistically that wasn’t feasible and to choose someone to be your bridesmaid — in my eyes — is a pretty big deal.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Jess went on to say that Liv “reached out to some of the other bridesmaids and offered to help with the hen’s night, to which she “told them to block her because I don’t want her involved with it at all”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bride-to-be admitted that it had been a “rough couple of weeks” and that some of her friends are “cult Taylor Swift fans and have taken Liv’s side.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It definitely hasn’t been the lead up to the wedding that I wanted, I didn’t expect to lose friends over such an exciting part of my life. It’s really emotional, it’s meant to be an exciting time for me,” she explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just really sucks that someone who I loved so much has done this.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram / Getty Images </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-b1fd920e-7fff-fda1-0a24-05d2c9a0abb2"></span></p>

Relationships

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Pickle, anyone? 3 possible reasons women get cravings during pregnancy

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katelyn-barnes-1238606">Katelyn Barnes</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>From pickles and french fries to oranges and ice cream, women and other people who are pregnant report craving a range of foods while they’re expecting.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00021/full">food craving</a> is a strong urge to eat a specific food. The intense desire to eat is not necessarily related to hunger and can be difficult to ignore or resist. Think: “I must have this now!”.</p> <p>Food cravings during pregnancy are common, with studies reporting anywhere between <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/">50% and 90%</a> of pregnant women experience a food craving at least once during their pregnancy. Most women who experience food cravings will do so in their second trimester (from week 13 to 27), and the cravings may also be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/">most intense</a> at this time.</p> <p>Let’s delve into the science of food cravings and what it means for the health of mum and bub.</p> <h2>What are some typical cravings, and why do they happen?</h2> <p>There’s an old wives’ tale which implies food cravings can predict the sex of the baby, with sweet foods being associated with a girl, and savoury foods indicating a boy.</p> <p>This isn’t backed by science. In reality, food cravings during pregnancy are highly individual, though they <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/">typically include</a> carbohydrate-dense and protein-dense foods. Commonly reported cravings include biscuits, bananas, nuts, pickles, ice cream and potatoes.</p> <p>We don’t know exactly why pregnant women experience food cravings, but there are a few possible reasons.</p> <p><strong>1. Changes in nutritional needs</strong></p> <p>Growing a baby takes a lot of work, and unsurprisingly, increases womens’ requirements for energy and specific nutrients such as iron, folic acid, magnesium and calcium. In addition, a woman’s blood volume <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928162/#:%7E:text=Maternal%20blood%20volume%20increases%20by,falls%20by%2010%20mosmol%2Fkg.">increases significantly during pregnancy</a>, meaning a greater demand for water and electrolytes (in particular sodium and potassium).</p> <p>Some studies suggest women experiencing nutrient deficiencies are <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0276079">more likely</a> to have food cravings. This might mean women crave foods high in energy and specific nutrients based on their needs.</p> <p>However, this link is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5054961/">not consistently seen</a>, and many women experience food cravings without being deficient in any nutrients.</p> <p><strong>2. Changes in hunger and taste</strong></p> <p>Hormonal changes that occur throughout pregnancy may change how hungry women feel. A specific hormone called neuropeptide Y has been <a href="https://doi.org/10.1006/appe.1996.0060">shown</a> to increase during pregnancy and is associated with increased hunger.</p> <p>Also, many women report foods and drinks taste different during pregnancy. Most commonly, women <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/">report</a> an increased taste of bitter flavours such as those in vegetables or coffee, and a heightened sense of sweetness from fruits.</p> <p>Changes in how foods taste combined with increased feelings of hunger may create food cravings, particularly for sweet foods such as fruits. However, studies have not been able to consistently link hormone levels in blood with reported taste changes, suggesting hormones may not be solely responsible for food cravings.</p> <p><strong>3. Social and cultural influences</strong></p> <p>Pregnant women in different parts of the world report different food cravings. For example, the most commonly reported food cravings among pregnant women in Nigeria is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/#B113">fruits and vegetables</a>. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/#B83">Rice</a> is the most common craving among all women in Japan, while in the United States, women seem to crave <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16831486/">chocolate</a> the most. These differences may be due to what foods are available, and what foods are familiar.</p> <p>Popular commentary around pregnancy food cravings, and even the notion of “eating for two”, imply a biological need for pregnant women to indulge their food cravings. These sentiments make eating different, strange, or large amounts of food more socially acceptable.</p> <p>Also, food cravings may normalise eating foods which may be less healthy, such as chocolates or cake. Normalising a food choice that may usually be considered a special treat can then <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/#B76">lead to increased urges</a> for and consumption of those foods during pregnancy.</p> <p>Some women can struggle with food cravings they know are not healthy, but cannot resist. This can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/">lead to</a> shame and negative relationships with food during pregnancy.</p> <h2>Cravings aren’t a big cause for concern</h2> <p>People may think food cravings lead to excess weight gain in pregnancy, which can be related to poor health outcomes for mothers. But studies to date have shown that while women who experience food cravings in pregnancy have a slightly higher energy intake than those who don’t, there’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/#B167">no consistent link</a> between food cravings and diet quality, changes in body weight or size, or development of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5054961/">pregnancy complications</a> such as gestational diabetes.</p> <p>Some people have also suspected food cravings in pregnancy might influence the baby while it’s growing. However, studies haven’t found <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658361218301070">a link</a> between the mother’s food cravings during pregnancy, the size of baby at birth, the baby’s taste preferences, or behaviours of developing children.</p> <p>Overall, it seems food cravings have little to modest impact on the health of mothers or their babies.</p> <h2>When to seek help</h2> <p>While all women should feel comfortable to eat foods they desire, moderation is still key. Resolving sweet food cravings with nutritious options such as fruits, dairy and wholegrains may be beneficial, as well as limiting less healthy cravings such as chocolates, lollies and chips.</p> <p>Particular cravings, such soil or ice, can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635104/">indicate</a> underlying health conditions that warrant treatment.</p> <p>If you or a loved one is concerned about food cravings or any aspect of food intake during pregnancy, make an appointment with an <a href="https://member.dietitiansaustralia.org.au/Portal/Portal/Search-Directories/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx">accredited dietitian</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/221755/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/lauren-ball-14718"><em>Lauren Ball</em></a><em>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katelyn-barnes-1238606">Katelyn Barnes</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</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/pickle-anyone-3-possible-reasons-women-get-cravings-during-pregnancy-221755">original article</a>.</em></p>

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The funny reason Robert Irwin wants to hand over his citizenship

<p dir="ltr">Robert irwin has joined in the global outrage of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced">snubbed</a> from the Oscar nominations. </p> <p dir="ltr">The wildlife warrior joined the panel of <em>The Project</em> on Wednesday night as a co-host of the show, where the conversation turned to the Aussie actress being snubbed by the Academy Awards. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday morning, it was revealed that Margot Robbie didn’t receive a Best Actress nomination for her role in <em>Barbie</em>, and nor did Greta Gerwig for Best Director, despite the movie breaking records when it was released in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">Around the world, <em>Barbie</em> fans shared their disgust in the snub, with Robert Irwin echoing their statements. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That's ridiculous. Come on,” he began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[Director] Greta [Gerwig] and Margot made that movie. That's the reason why we have the Barbie movie, it's ridiculous.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Co-host Waleed Aly then asked if Robert would be renouncing his American citizenship over the injustice and was shocked by his response.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think it only makes sense,” Robert said. </p> <p dir="ltr">News of the snub went viral on Wednesday, with fans flocking to social media to share their thoughts. </p> <p dir="ltr">One particular tweet went viral, with over 109 thousand likes. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World," the tweet read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ryan Gosling, who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ken in the film, also shared a statement about the lack of recognition for the women he shared the screen with. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a lengthy statement, he said, “I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m also incredibly honoured and proud that [the award] is for portraying a plastic doll named Ken.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no <em>Barbie</em> movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film. No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-12395ffc-7fff-c7ac-e4b2-d185f404a16d"></span><em>Image credits: The Project</em></p>

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The surprising reason you shouldn’t bring camouflage clothing on a cruise

<p><strong>Dress codes</strong></p> <p>If you’ve been on a cruise before, then you’re probably aware that dress codes are still a thing. In fact, clothing recommendations are quite common, as some of the best cruise lines have formal nights, dress-to-impress evenings and planned costume or themed cruise events. So rules about what you can and cannot wear aren’t abnormal.</p> <p>As such, packing for a cruise is no easy feat: You’ll need formalwear for nights, pool wear for the day, outfits for excursions and layers for inclement weather. I’m an avid cruise-goer, and there are a number of items I never board a cruise ship without, but there’s also one thing I absolutely never pack for a cruise headed for the Philippines or the Caribbean: camouflage clothing.</p> <p><strong>Why is camouflage clothing inadvisable?</strong></p> <p>It actually has nothing to do with the formality of your wardrobe. Camouflage clothing happens to be illegal to wear in many countries that are popular cruise destinations. According to cruise liner Royal Caribbean, the Philippines, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago are among those that prohibit camouflage.</p> <p>And while camouflage print clothing and accessories, as well as military-style clothing, aren’t technically banned onboard cruises, most cruise companies will simply ask you not to pack them to curb any potential issues at ports.</p> <p><strong>Why is camouflage clothing banned in these countries?</strong></p> <p>In most countries that prohibit camouflage, it’s because the disguising clothing is reserved for military personnel only. And it’s important to be respectful of this camouflage-free rule, which I learned while travelling to Nevis about seven years ago. My friend was stopped by hotel staff who advised her to change out of her camouflaged pants if she planned to leave the property. Not understanding the seemingly odd request without any context or explanation, we asked what would happen if she didn’t comply. Their response? She could get fined or arrested. As you can imagine, those cute camo pants were then stuffed into her suitcase for the remainder of our stay.</p> <p>“It is a concern because of the affiliation with criminal gangs as well as armed forces,” says Lauren Doyle, a travel advisor and president of boutique travel agency The Travel Mechanic. She says that to avoid any confusion and help curb any potential issues in the future, cruise lines simply advise against bringing it onboard.</p> <p>Doyle, who has booked many cruises for customers, says this information is usually found on a cruise line’s website (which is why it’s important to brush up on cruise tips prior to setting sail), and that many cruise lines will include it in their daily newsletter or app if you’re going to any country that prohibits it.</p> <p><strong>What to do if you accidentally pack camouflage clothing</strong></p> <p>If you’ve packed a camo hat, bathing suit, cargo pants or the camouflage backpack you carry, just leave it on the ship, even if you’re unsure of restrictions on what to wear in certain ports of call.</p> <p>Generally, you can wear camo clothing while you’re onboard, just not during excursions or on land. So if you’ve packed it, go ahead and rock your camo print at the breakfast buffet or on the pool deck (as you ponder those big white balls on the cruise deck). And while you could probably technically wear your camo while chilling on your stateroom balcony, if it’s viewable to the country you’re visiting, it may still be considered disrespectful, so we don’t recommend it.</p> <p><strong>What else is prohibited on a cruise ship?</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of things you can’t do on a cruise, but what about things you shouldn’t bring to begin with? There are a few more surprising items Doyle recommends leaving at home. “Small appliances – like hot plates, steamers or irons – are also prohibited, along with electric blankets,” Doyle says. “Also, medical marijuana is not allowed on cruise ships. Drones are not allowed either.”</p> <p>Each cruise line lists prohibited items on their website, along with some exceptions, so be sure to consult their information before you start packing.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/cruising/the-surprising-reason-you-shouldnt-bring-camouflage-clothing-on-a-cruise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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8 reasons everyone should know their blood type

<p><strong>Why you should know your blood type</strong></p> <p>What’s in a blood type? Potentially a lot, according to research, including a review of studies published in the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine, that connects different blood groups to everything from risk of heart disease and dementia to urinary tract infections and the norovirus.</p> <p>While none of the studies are conclusive about cause and effect (they can’t say X blood type causes Y disease) and any increased risks are still pretty small, the research does highlight the importance of knowing your type – A, B, AB, or O – and how it could affect your wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>Blood clots: Type AB, A, and B increases risk</strong></p> <p>Danish researchers studied how blood type interacts with a genetic predisposition for deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in the lower legs that can travel to the lungs and become life-threatening. After analysing data on about 66,000 people over more than 30 years, they found that those with type AB, A, or B had a 40 per cent higher risk of DVT than people with type O, the most common type.</p> <p>When the scientists did further analysis to see which factors have the biggest impact on DVT risk on a population level, they found that an AB blood type contributed to about 20 per cent of blood clots; genetic mutations accounted for 11 per cent, being overweight accounted for 16 per cent, and smoking accounted for six per cent.</p> <p><strong>Heart disease: Type AB, B, and A all increase risk </strong></p> <p>People whose blood type is A, B, or AB have an increased risk of heart disease and shorter life spans than people who have type O blood, according to a large study published in BMC Medicine. After following more than 50,000 middle-age and elderly people for seven years, on average, researchers found that as many as nine per cent of cardiovascular deaths were attributed to having non-O blood types.</p> <p>However, as any doctor will tell you, lifestyle factors like weight, smoking and diet, which, unlike blood type, are modifiable, have a much greater impact on heart disease.</p> <p><strong>Stomach cancer: Types A and AB increases risk </strong></p> <p>Researchers have known for a while that people with blood type A are at risk for stomach cancer. But research published in BMC Cancer shows that people with blood type AB are also at risk. Using genetic data from a large number of cases and controls, researchers found a link between both blood types and gastric cancer in Chinese populations. A review of 39 previous studies confirmed their findings.</p> <p><strong>Fertility: Type O reduces it </strong></p> <p>Women with this blood type were twice as likely to have blood levels of the hormone FSH high enough to indicate low ovarian reserve, a measure of fertility, according to a study published in Human Reproduction. Researchers couldn’t say for sure why, though. Given that type O blood is the most prevalent, it doesn’t pay to worry too much about it. Age is a far more important risk factor for fertility problems.</p> <p><strong>Pregnancy risks </strong></p> <p>This has nothing to do with your “letter” blood type or the type determined by the ABO grouping system. This has to do with what’s known as the Rhesus (Rh) factor, which determines whether your blood type is positive or negative. This could cause complications in pregnant women if the baby’s Rh blood type is different from the mother’s.</p> <p>For instance, if the mother has a negative blood type and the baby has a positive one, the mother’s body can actually build up antibodies against the baby’s blood type. Luckily, this doesn’t affect the baby, but it could have a negative effect on future pregnancies. Fortunately, doctors can give pregnant women a shot early in their pregnancy that can prevent Rh-incompatibility problems.</p> <p><strong>Dementia and memory loss: Type AB increases risk </strong></p> <p>People with type AB blood have an 82 per cent greater risk for cognitive decline later in life, according to a study published in Neurology. That’s likely because they have larger amounts of what’s known as the Factor VIII protein, which helps with blood clotting.</p> <p>Study participants with higher levels of this protein were 24 per cent more likely to develop memory problems – regardless of their blood type – than people with lower levels. Blood type, however, is far from the only, or even most important, factor that affects your risk for cognitive decline.</p> <p><strong>Stroke: Type O has the lowest risk</strong></p> <p>People with a blood type other than O (the most common) have a higher risk of cardiovascular issues such as stroke, according to a study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Biologists are still investigating why this might be; one possible explanation is that non-O blood types contain more of the Von Willebrand factor, a protein that has been connected to blood clotting and stroke in the past.</p> <p><strong>Mosquitos like Type O blood </strong></p> <p>If you find yourself scratching bug bites all summer long, your blood type might be to blame. In a one small study, researchers found that type Os are up to twice as attractive to mosquitoes as type As, with type Bs falling somewhere in the middle. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 20px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 26px;"><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/8-reasons-everyone-should-know-their-blood-type" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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"I'm not myself": The real reason why Kyle Sandilands stormed off the show

<p>Jackie O Henderson has revealed the real reason why her co-host, Kyle Sandilands, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/kyle-sandilands-storms-out-of-studio-after-argument-with-jackie-o" target="_blank" rel="noopener">walked out</a> just 11 minutes into their hit breakfast show on Tuesday morning. </p> <p>The shock jock was nowhere to be seen on Wednesday, so Jackie O had to explain his absence. </p> <p>One of their producers revealed that Sandilands had been "struggling with his shoulder." </p> <p>"He sent me a message saying, 'Honey, I'm so sorry. I'm on medication and I'm not myself. I'm in so much pain," Henderson said. </p> <p>"I actually feel so bad for him," admitted the radio star.</p> <p>Sandilands had recently injured his rotator cuff and was prescribed Oxycodone to manage the pain. </p> <p>A few of the side effects of using the painkiller can include light-headedness, confusion and unusual tiredness or weakness.  </p> <p>Henderson also admitted that she may have pushed him off the edge during their discussion about Covid-19 yesterday, as she had reportedly cussed him out. </p> <p>"Calling him a c**ksucker was the turning point," she said. </p> <p>Their argument had escalated into name-calling before Sandilands stormed out. </p> <p>Sandilands had previously used the derogatory term to attack newsreader Brooklyn Ross, and he couldn't when his co-host used the same insult back at him. </p> <p>This incident comes almost a week into the radio duo signing a record-breaking $200 million 10-year deal on air. </p> <p><em>Image: Kyle and Jackie O Show/ Instagram</em></p>

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5 reasons why climate change may see more of us turn to alcohol and other drugs

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/helen-louise-berry-8608">Helen Louise Berry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/francis-vergunst-230743">Francis Vergunst</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-oslo-934">University of Oslo</a></em></p> <p>Climate change will affect every aspect of our <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)01859-7/fulltext">health and wellbeing</a>. But its potential harms go beyond the body’s ability to handle extreme heat, important as this is.</p> <p>Extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, storms and wildfires, are becoming more frequent and severe. These affect our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36165756/">mental health</a> in a multitude of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0102-4">ways</a>.</p> <p>Coping with climate change can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the best someone can do is to seek refuge in alcohol, tobacco, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, or other psychoactive substances. This is understandable, but dangerous, and can have serious consequences.</p> <p>We outline <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/17456916221132739">five ways</a> climate change could increase the risk of harmful substance use.</p> <h2>1. Mental health is harmed</h2> <p>Perhaps the most obvious way climate change can be linked to harmful substance use is by damaging mental health. This <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dar.12448">increases the risk</a> of new or worsened substance use.</p> <p>People with a mental disorder are <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/psychiatry/2018/5697103/">at high risk</a> of also having a <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-11-25#:%7E:text=Prevalence%20of%20comorbidity%20in%20epidemiological%20studies&amp;text=Among%20subjects%20with%20an%20alcohol,a%20comorbid%20SUD%20%5B39%5D.">substance-use disorder</a>. This often precedes their mental health problems. Climate change-related increases in the number and nature of extreme events, in turn, are escalating risks to mental health.</p> <p>For example, extreme heat is linked to increased <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27727320/">distress</a> across the whole population. In extreme heat, more people go to the <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2789481">emergency department</a> for psychiatric problems, including for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969720338249">alcohol</a> and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43856-023-00346-1">substance use</a> generally. This is even true for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720325572">a single very hot day</a>.</p> <p>Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/mja13.10307">other mental health</a> problems are <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00367/full">common</a> at the time of extreme weather events and can persist for months, even years afterwards, especially if people are exposed to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9116266/">multiple events</a>. This can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6101235/">increase</a> the likelihood of using substances as a way to cope.</p> <h2>2. Worry increases</h2> <p>With <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/climate-change-in-the-american-mind-beliefs-attitudes-december-2022/">increasing public awareness</a> of how climate change is endangering wellbeing, people are <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/worriesaboutclimatechangegreatbritain/septembertooctober2022#:%7E:text=The%20level%20of%20worry%20about,lives%20right%20now%20(29%25).">increasingly worried</a> about what will happen if it remains unchecked.</p> <p>Worrying isn’t the same as meeting the criteria for a mental disorder. But <a href="https://www.undp.org/publications/peoples-climate-vote">surveys</a> show climate change generates complex emotional responses, <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(21)00278-3/fulltext">especially in children</a>. As well as feelings of worry, there is anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, grief and helplessness.</p> <p>Some <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904966/">emotional states</a>, such as <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1909888116">sadness</a>, are linked with long-term tobacco use and also make substance use <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16011392/">relapse</a> more likely.</p> <h2>3. Physical injuries hurt us in many ways</h2> <p>Physical injuries caused by extreme weather events – such as smoke inhalation, burns and flood-related cuts and infections – increase the risk of harmful substance use. That’s partly because they <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20033251/">increase</a> the risk of psychological distress. If injuries cause long-term illness or disability, consequent feelings of hopelessness and depression can dispose some people to self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs.</p> <p>Substance use itself can also generate long-term physiological harm, disabilities or other chronic health problems. These are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00952999609001655">linked with</a> higher rates of harmful substance use.</p> <h2>4. Our day-to-day lives change</h2> <p>A single catastrophic event, such as a storm or flood, can devastate lives overnight and change the way we live. So, too, can the more subtle changes in climate and day-to-day weather. Both can disrupt behaviour and routines in ways that risk new or worsened substance use, for example, using stimulants to cope with fatigue.</p> <p>Take, for example, hotter temperatures, which disrupt <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(22)00209-3?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2590332222002093%3Fshowall%3Dtrue">sleep</a>, undermine <a href="https://jhr.uwpress.org/content/57/2/400">academic performance</a>, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0097">reduce physical activity</a>, and promote <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(22)00173-5/fulltext">hostile language</a> and <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/elements/abs/climate-change-and-human-behavior/F64471FA47B8A6F5524E7DDDDE571D57">violent behaviour</a>.</p> <h2>5. It destabilises communities</h2> <p>Finally, climate change is destabilising the socioeconomic, natural, built and geopolitical <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0102-4">systems</a> on which human wellbeing – <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-and-health-ipcc-reports-emerging-risks-emerging-consensus-24213">indeed survival</a> – depends.</p> <p>Damaged infrastructure, agricultural losses, school closures, homelessness and displacement are significant <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0102-4">sources of psychosocial distress</a> that prompt acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) stress responses.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1441.030">Stress</a>, in turn, can <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s002130100917">increase</a> the risk of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002130100917">harmful substance use</a> and make people more likely to relapse.</p> <h2>Why are we so concerned?</h2> <p>Substance-use disorders are economically and socially <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30337-7/fulltext">very costly</a>. Risky substance use that doesn’t meet the criteria for a formal diagnosis <a href="https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/srhreports/health/health/32/">can also harm</a>.</p> <p>Aside from its direct physical harm, harmful substance use disrupts <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3843305/">education</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234116/">employment</a>. It increases the risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6676144/">accidents</a> and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09595230600944479">crime</a>, and it undermines social relationships, intimate <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795906/#:%7E:text=Results%20indicated%20that%20alcohol%20use,drinkers%20with%20low%20relationship%20satisfaction.">partnerships</a> and <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/development-and-psychopathology/article/abs/longitudinal-relations-between-parental-drinking-problems-family-functioning-and-child-adjustment/CE508589A9E799FD6DC9E23DF364FB8F">family functioning</a>.</p> <h2>Politicians take note</h2> <p>As we head towards the <a href="https://www.cop28.com">COP28 global climate talks</a> in Dubai, climate change is set to hit the headlines once more. Politicians know climate change is undermining human health and wellbeing. It’s well past time to insist they act.</p> <p>As we have seen for populations as a whole, there are multiple possible ways for climate change to cause a rise in harmful substance use. This means multidimensional <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0102-4">prevention strategies</a> are needed. As well as addressing climate change more broadly, we need strategies including:</p> <ul> <li> <p>supporting vulnerable individuals, especially <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/21677026211040787">young people</a>, and marginalised commmunities, who are <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0102-4">hit hardest</a> by extreme weather-related events</p> </li> <li> <p>focusing health-related policies more on broadscale health promotion, for example, healthier eating, active transport and community-led mental health support</p> </li> <li> <p>investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, such as heat-proofing buildings and greening cities, to prevent more of the destabilising effects and stress we know contributes to mental health problems and harmful substance use.</p> </li> </ul> <p>There is now <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/10/1129912">no credible pathway</a> to avoiding dangerous climate change. However, if <a href="https://carnegieendowment.org/2023/01/12/climate-protests-tracking-growing-unrest-pub-88778#:%7E:text=These%20are%20just%20a%20few,even%20more%20numerous%20and%20influential.">increasing rates</a> of climate protests are anything to go by, the world may finally be ready for radical change – and perhaps for reduced harmful substance use.<!-- 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/217894/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/helen-louise-berry-8608">Helen Louise Berry</a>, Honorary Professor, Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/francis-vergunst-230743">Francis Vergunst</a>, Associate Professor, Psychosocial Difficulties, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-oslo-934">University of Oslo</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/5-reasons-why-climate-change-may-see-more-of-us-turn-to-alcohol-and-other-drugs-217894">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Downsizing cost trap awaits retirees – five reasons to be wary

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erika-altmann-361218">Erika Altmann</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>It’s time to debunk the myth of zero housing costs in retirement if we want to understand why retirees resist downsizing. Retirees have at least five reasons to be wary of the costs of downsizing.</p> <p>Retirees living in middle-ring suburbs face frequent calls to downsize into apartments to free up larger allotments in these suburbs for redevelopment. Retirees who fail to downsize into smaller units and apartments are viewed as being a greedy, baby-boomer elite, stealing financial security from younger generations.</p> <p>It also makes sense to policymakers for retirees to move into less spacious accommodation and make way for high-density housing. Housing think-tank AHURI <a href="http://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/14079/AHURI_Final_Report_No_286_Australian-demographic-trends-and-implications-for-housing-assistance-programs.pdf">fosters this view</a>. Yet seniors remain resistant to moving, in part because of the ongoing costs they would face.</p> <p>The concept of zero housing costs in retirement is based on a 1940s view of a well-maintained, single dwelling on a single allotment of land where the mortgage has been paid off. This concept is incompatible with medium- and high-density housing and refusing to acknowledge ongoing housing costs may cause significant poverty for retirees.</p> <h2>Reason 1 – upfront moving costs are high</h2> <p>When a house is sold the owner receives the sale funds minus the real estate and legal fees. When the same person then buys a different property to live in, they pay legal fees plus stamp duty.</p> <p>For cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, these costs are likely to exceed A$70,000.</p> <p>These high transfer costs may mean it is not cost-effective <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-older-australians-dont-downsize-and-the-limits-to-what-the-government-can-do-about-it-76931">for the person to move</a>.</p> <h2>Reason 2 – levies are high</h2> <p>Because apartment owners pay body corporate levies, people often assume this is just the same as periodic payment of rates, water, insurance and other costs. It is not.</p> <p>Fees remissions for low-income retirees for rates, power, insurance and water are difficult to apply within a body corporate environment. As a consequence, these are usually not applied to owners of apartments.</p> <p>The costs of maintaining essential services, such as mandatory fire-alarm testing, yearly engineering certification, lift and air-conditioning inspections, significantly increase ownership costs.</p> <p>When additional services are supplied, such as swimming pools, gyms and rooftop gardens, these also require periodic inspections. Garbage collection, cleaning, gardening, concierge and strata management services also <a href="https://eprints.utas.edu.au/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint%3A%3AView&amp;eprintid=23322">must be paid</a>.</p> <p>Owners of standard suburban homes choose whether they want these services, with those on fixed incomes going without them.</p> <p>Annual levies for apartment buildings vary, but expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000. They <a href="https://www.strata.community/understandingstrata/faqs">may be more than this</a>.</p> <h2>Reason 3 – costs of maintenance</h2> <figure class="align-right "><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>Apartments are often sold as a maintenance-free solution for older people. The maintenance is not free. It needs to be paid for.</p> <p>Maintenance costs are higher in an apartment than a standard suburban home because there are more items and services to be maintained and fixed. Lifts and air conditioning need periodic servicing and fixing. This is in addition to the mandatory inspections listed above.</p> <h2>Reason 4 – loss of financial security</h2> <p>It is a mistaken belief that the maintenance costs that form part of the body corporate fee include periodic property upgrades. This relates to items that are owned collectively with other apartment owners.</p> <p>Major servicing at the ten-year mark and usually each five-to-seven years after that include painting, floor-covering replacement, and lift and air-conditioning repair or replacement.</p> <p>Major upgrades may also include garden redesign or other external building enhancement including <a href="https://eprints.utas.edu.au/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint%3A%3AView&amp;eprintid=23315">environmental upgrades</a>. All owners share these upgrade costs.</p> <p>Costs of upgrading the inside of an apartment (a bathroom disability upgrade, for example) are additional again.</p> <p>Once the body corporate committee members pledge funds towards an upgrade, all owners are required to raise their share of the funds, whether they can afford it or not. Communal choice outweighs an individual owner’s need to delay upgrade costs.</p> <p>Owners who buy apartments that are part of a body corporate effectively lose control of their future financial decisions.</p> <h2>Reason 5 – loss of security of tenure</h2> <p>Loss of security of tenure is usually associated with renters. However, the recent introduction of <a href="http://www.lpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/25965/Termination_of_a_strata_scheme_by_RG.pdf">termination legislation</a> in New South Wales gives other owners the right to vote to terminate a strata title scheme. When this occurs, all owners, including reluctant owners of apartments within that scheme, are compelled to sell.</p> <p>There are valid reasons why termination legislation is desirable, as many older apartment complexes are reaching the end of their useful life.</p> <p>Even so, as termination legislation is rolled out across the states, owner- occupiers effectively lose control of how long they will own a property for. They no longer have security of tenure, which means retirees may face an uncertain housing future in their old age.</p> <h2>Downsizing raises poverty risks</h2> <p>Because current data sets do not adequately take account of ongoing costs associated with apartment living, the effect of downsizing on individual households is masked.</p> <p>Downsizing retirees into the apartment sector creates ongoing financial stress for older people. Creating <a href="https://theconversation.com/it-will-take-more-than-piecemeal-reforms-to-convince-older-australians-to-downsize-51043">tax incentives to move</a> does not tackle these ongoing costs.</p> <p>Centrelink payments for of <a href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/age-pension">$404 per week</a> are well below <a href="http://acoss.wpengine.com/poverty-2/">the poverty line</a>. Yet we expect retirees to willingly downsize and to be able to cede most of their Centrelink payments to cover high body corporate costs.</p> <p>Requiring retirees to downsize for the greater urban good will shift poverty onto retirees who could barely manage in their previously owned standard suburban home.</p> <p>Failing to understand the effect of high ongoing costs associated with apartment living and reinforcing the myth of zero housing costs in retirement will continue to lead to poor policy outcomes.<!-- 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/80895/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/erika-altmann-361218"><em>Erika Altmann</em></a><em>, Property and Housing Management Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</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/downsizing-cost-trap-awaits-retirees-five-reasons-to-be-wary-80895">original article</a>.</em></p>

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About 1 in 6 older Australians experiences elder abuse. Here are the reasons they don’t get help

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/eileen-obrien-95332">Eileen O'Brien</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catriona-stevens-1455614">Catriona Stevens</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/loretta-virginia-baldassar-1485078">Loretta Virginia Baldassar</a></p> <p>Each year, many older Australians experience abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, usually at the hands of their adult children or other close relatives.</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://aifs.gov.au/research/research-reports/national-elder-abuse-prevalence-study-final-report">national prevalence study</a> revealed one in six older Australians living at home experiences elder abuse. This may encompass various forms of abuse, such as emotional, financial, social, physical and sexual abuse, or neglect.</p> <p>Despite elder abuse being such a common problem, older people often don’t get the help they need. With the right responses, we can make it easier for those working with older people, and the wider community, to support them.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2023-11/everyones_business_research_into_responses_to_the_abuse_of_older_in_wa_report.pdf">new research</a> reveals the key reasons older people experiencing harm do not receive the support they so desperately need.</p> <p>Our study included a survey of nearly 700 service providers throughout Western Australia. Respondents worked in diverse fields including healthcare, law, aged care, financial services and law enforcement. We found four key obstacles to people getting help with elder abuse.</p> <p><strong>1. Older people are too scared to report abuse.</strong></p> <p>Older people are often afraid to report abuse because they fear repercussions both for themselves and for the perpetrator, usually an adult child or other close relative.</p> <p>These concerns can mean an older person endures abuse for a long time. They may only seek help when the situation escalates to an extreme level or when someone else notices the ongoing mistreatment.</p> <p>Equally important, they may fear other negative outcomes of reporting abuse. They may fear having to leave their home and enter residential care. They may fear increased isolation and loneliness, or that the abuse will get worse.</p> <p>All these fears combined create a formidable barrier to older people promptly reporting abuse and getting the help they need.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ElderAbuse?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ElderAbuse</a> is more common than people realize. It can happen: </p> <p>In their own homes <br />In hospitals <br />In nursing homes or other kinds of long-term care facilities </p> <p>Learn more, including how to prevent elder abuse: <a href="https://t.co/CAkBHQO4gm">https://t.co/CAkBHQO4gm</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Alzheimers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alzheimers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dementia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#dementia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/aging?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#aging</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/geriatrics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#geriatrics</a> <a href="https://t.co/gO3Dc6Dy3Z">pic.twitter.com/gO3Dc6Dy3Z</a></p> <p>— Ian Kremer (@LEAD_Coalition) <a href="https://twitter.com/LEAD_Coalition/status/1720567529200918550?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 3, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p><strong>2. Older people don’t know where to turn for help</strong></p> <p>Elder abuse cases are often complex, involving long family histories and complicated relationships. Older people trying to improve their situation may need support from multiple service providers. The challenge of accessing the right services and acting on their advice can be daunting.</p> <p>Addressing complicated matters may require intensive support and advocacy for an extended time. In the words of one experienced advocate,</p> <blockquote> <p>People don’t need to know the next ten steps. They need to know one step, maybe two, and then see where they are at.</p> </blockquote> <p>Helping older people feel empowered to seek help requires simple, accessible channels of assistance, promoted through multiple formats and outreach efforts.</p> <p><strong>3. Government-funded responses to family violence are more focused on intimate partner violence and child protection, leaving elder abuse out of the picture</strong></p> <p>Most programs targeting family violence prioritise intimate partner violence and child protection, inadvertently sidelining elder abuse. Services such as shelters and perpetrator programs are not always compatible with the distinct characteristics of elder abuse.</p> <p>Additionally, the gendered nature of family violence responses fails to address the diverse demographics of elder abuse, which includes older men. As a result, older people, regardless of gender, may struggle to access supports suited to their needs.</p> <p>A refuge manager explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>When a bed becomes available we have this awful job of deciding who’s more high-risk and who gets the bed. If an older person needs the bed, as opposed to a single mum with a newborn, unfortunately we would go with the mum. That really presents a barrier where there isn’t refuge accommodation specifically for older people.</p> </blockquote> <p>There is a pressing need for a shift in focus to better recognise elder abuse as a significant issue and tailor responses to meet the specific needs of older people. This includes creating safe and accessible refuge options and providing specialised support services to address the multifaceted nature of elder abuse.</p> <p><strong>4. There’s low public awareness about what elder abuse looks like or how to respond</strong></p> <p>Awareness of elder abuse remains surprisingly low, hindering effective responses. Changing this requires clear public information campaigns and community-wide conversations about abuse. This includes greater awareness of the challenge for well-meaning adult children who might limit the choices of their older relatives, thinking they know best. This can result in unintended social isolation or even neglect.</p> <p>A society that speaks openly about elder abuse, without stigma, is better equipped to support victims and intervene. By building public knowledge and promoting a culture where such issues can be freely discussed, we lay the groundwork for reducing its incidence.</p> <p>We are living longer lives than ever before, meaning we can expect to spend more years in older age than previous generations. This is good news, but also means we need to do more work to support people to age well. Positive steps we can all take include tackling ageism when we see it and normalising conversations about abuse so older people can feel confident to seek help when it’s needed.<!-- 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/216827/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/eileen-obrien-95332">Eileen O'Brien</a>, Professor of Law, Discipline of Law, Justice and Society, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catriona-stevens-1455614">Catriona Stevens</a>, Forrest Prospect Fellow in Sociology and Anthropology, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/loretta-virginia-baldassar-1485078">Loretta Virginia Baldassar</a>, Vice Chancellor Professorial Research Fellow, School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University</p> <p>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/about-1-in-6-older-australians-experiences-elder-abuse-here-are-the-reasons-they-dont-get-help-216827">original article</a>.</p>

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