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Member messages - Spring 2020

  • Spring 2020
  • Member Messages

Letter of the month

I read with interest Margaret D’s letter in your advice column (Our Generation, Winter 2020) regarding a child from a previous relationship who had been adopted out and later traced her father, now Margaret D’s husband.

Margaret said that her [and her husband’s] adult children and grandchildren know nothing of the child’s existence and is concerned that this may cause upset in her family. Over 50 years ago, as a teenager, I was forced to give up my daughter to adoption, and for 50 years this haunted me. My parents were the only people who knew of my pregnancy as I was sent away until after her birth.

Two years ago, I made the decision to trace her to make sure she had a good life and was healthy. I was lucky that I was able to find her but dreaded having to tell my husband, my sister, two brothers and especially my son. I was fortunate that everyone was so accepting of the difficult times I had been through all those years ago and empathised with me for having to carry this secret for so long. We have now all met several times, and we regularly stay in touch by phone as she lives interstate with her husband, children and grandchildren.

I am so glad to know that she is safe, happy and healthy and that her adoptive parents gave her a good life for which I am eternally grateful. In this more liberal day and age where almost ‘anything goes’, I am sure your family would be understanding of the situation and accept that things in life don’t always go as planned. I hope they will show the same sort of compassion and acceptance as I have had.

– Dee

Working hard for the money

I have been very grateful to have JobKeeper, however, I am wondering how the government came to the idea that those of us who are unfortunate enough to be on less than 20 hours per week deserve to have the JobKeeper slashed.

After all, costs are rising, and it will still cost the same to switch on a light, use the stove or heat the oven. My work hours were reduced at the beginning of the year—not my choice. I would love to work more, but that’s not going to happen. I am getting fed up hearing the government say there are jobs—not in my sector! There must be many people who, like me, are now worrying how we will cope on $750 per fortnight before tax!

– Christine Bell

Not an enquiry but a good news story. Now in my upper 70s, I was able to find employment—only for a couple of days a week but that’s all I was seeking. I’d left a card in an office that specialised in helping small businesses and that was my background. Even though the shutdown came, the job is definite and when the time is ripe, I’ll be contacted. I have to say that whether it goes ahead or not, just being considered and employed is a wonderful boost to my confidence.

– Lorne Henry

More than words

Age Pensioners have been, and continue to be, shafted by every federal government regardless of the government’s ‘colour’. National Seniors needs to be far more aggressive in its approach to improving Age Pensioners’ welfare. It would do well by forming a political party to represent seniors in Parliament and force improvements through for their benefit. Making submissions and lobbying are all good and well, but Age Pensioners need more than words.

– Nicholas Grocott

Thumbs up for mycar

I see that National Seniors members have a discount offer with car repair service mycar. About four months ago while driving home, my chain broke on my Ford Ranger, resulting in $4,200 in damages to fix. After fixing the car through mycar and paying $4,200, I wondered when the timing chain was to be replaced. The book said 110,000km.

I bought this up with mycar and I was told yes, they should have replaced it on the 110,000 service. The manager of the shop advised he would take this up with corporate headquarters and recommend that they refund the $4,200. Well they did—I received a cheque for the said amount two weeks later. Do I recommend mycar? You bet!

– Alfred Ganter

Request for feedback

I’d like some feedback from other members regarding applying for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. The application form was very difficult and many financial questions required an accountant. I gave up. How did other members fare?

– Caroline McFadzen

Members like Caroline tell us how complicated and frustrating the application process can be. A typical experience involves hundreds of complicated questions, multiple visits to a Centrelink office and long queues and wait times. Many people find it so complicated they give up or else delay going through the process of applying. Retirement Essentials is a paid service that makes applying for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and the Age Pension easier.

They use a simple online process to complete your application form, and you have access to telephone or online support from specialists to answer questions about the application process. Retirement Essentials is a partner of National Seniors Australia and is not affiliated with any federal government department or agency. Their eligibility calculator is free. If you decide to use their streamlined application support service, fees do apply. Find out more at retirementessentials.com.au/national-seniors-australia or phone 1300 527 727 and mention National Seniors Australia.

A shock diagnosis

I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in March when COVID-19 took hold here in Australia. It was hard to believe, but it was what it was and I needed to get medical attention urgently. After much discussions, I had a mastectomy early June, and am now recovering. Throughout this time, it’s been really hard not to get sick or catch anything, but I’m hopeful that I am on the road to recovery. Sometimes you just don’t know where the road takes you! You need to be strong and keep going no matter what.

– Rina Thomson

We’re so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Rina, and glad you’re recovering. Yes, life throws curveballs and never more so than in 2020. The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information, support and connection to older Australians, their relatives, carers, friends and supporters on 1800 171 866. If ever you need us, we’re just a phone call away!

Highlighting women's health

I would like to see an article in the magazine about an unspoken health issue for senior women. I am 62 and hit menopause at age 48. My last two pap smears were very painful, and I am not planning to do it again any time soon. I wonder how many women are avoiding this simple health check because of the pain involved?

– Lea-Anne Martin

Our Generation makes Top 25 best mags list

Exciting news!

Our Generation magazine has been ranked in the Top 25 Best Single Issues in the prestigious 2020 Tabbie Awards—an international awards held annually for publishers of business and custom magazines. Entered on behalf of National Seniors Australia by its publisher, Our Generation placed 22nd in what is the most hotly contested category in the awards.

“Our Generation is a celebration of everything life brings,” National Seniors Australia general manager Chris Grice said. “While digital is an effective communication tool, magazines like Our Generation allow our audience to graze on the content, to feel the document in hand and most importantly, to take in the shared experiences from other older Australians.”

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