Share your stories of how you found your feet in retirement

National Seniors members know only too well that you can discover joy from new hobbies by stepping out of your comfort zone.

Around the country, our branch members and others are proving that every day by joining walking groups, heading to the gym, travelling, taking up dance lessons, attending University of the Third Age classes, helping others through Volunteers Abroad and other charitable groups, and a raft of other activities.

Give the gift of life in 2018

Australians are being asked to begin the year by discussing their organ and tissue donation wishes with family and friends and joining the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Federal Minister responsible for organ and tissue donation, Ken Wyatt AM, said almost anyone could become a registered donor, including people aged in their 70s and 80s.

“I’m calling on all Australians to make this a priority for 2018,” Mr Wyatt, who is also Minister for Ageing, said.

Alzheimer's setback as promising drug shows no benefit in clinical trials

The quest to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease has experienced a new setback, with a promising medication failing to show benefits in the latest series of clinical trials in the UK.

The Guardian website has reported earlier trials had suggested that the drug idalopirdine, from the Danish international pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, might improve cognition in those with Alzheimer’s disease when taken alongside existing drugs – known as cholinesterase inhibitors – acting to improve symptoms rather than stopping the disease from developing.

Bupa calls for pensioners to pay more for care

A shock increase in aged care costs could be included in this year’s Federal Budget if Treasury heeds a call to force pensioners to pay more for nursing home services, according to a report this week on retirement website YourLifeChoices.

The proposal by insurance company Bupa recommends that the capped value of people’s homes be increased from the current $162,087.20, so those with valuable homes are asked to pay more for care.

More people misusing prescription or over-the-counter drugs

A new report shows Australians misuse more prescription or over-the-counter drugs than all illegal drugs, except cannabis.

Of particular concern was the number of people taking opioid painkillers when they were not needed for health reasons, according to the report Non–medical use of pharmaceuticals: trends, harms and treatment: 2006–07 to 2015–16 from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Australians intend to work longer

Australians are retiring later, in keeping with the continuing trend to stay in the workforce for longer, new data shows.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that on average in 2016-17, around 13 per cent of people aged 45 years and over were intending to continue in the workforce until they were 65, up from a decade ago when nine per cent of Australians said they would retire at 63.

“This is consistent with the continuing trend of people staying in the workforce for longer,” the ABS’s Bruce Hockman said.

Help shape the future of aged care

Aged care is a big topic at the moment and National Seniors is keen to have your input for our own research. Or you may want to take part in a government workshop and help shape the future of aged care. The details are on how to do either, or both, are below.

Tell us about your aged care experiences

National Seniors’ research team wants to hear your stories about your experiences with aged care services:

We would like you to indicate:

Gym workouts could help head off dementia

Early results from a new Australian study shows people in their 60s and early 70s could lower their risk of dementia if they went to the gym to retain muscle mass.

Australian National University’s Dr Marnie Shaw said about one in 10 Australians aged 65 years and older will get dementia.

“As our population ages, the number of people with dementia will increase, but an active lifestyle offers real opportunities for reducing dementia risk,” Dr Shaw said.

Is your dentist away?

Whether it’s a broken tooth or a nagging ache that won’t go away, dental problems often crop up when the local dentist is on leave.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) wants to reassure people if they have any dental emergencies over the Christmas-New Year period and their local dentist is not available, there will be other dentists ready to address any problems.

Services will be limited to relief of pain or trauma and the provision of antibiotics where required, the ADA said.

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