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ALP dividend changes need more consideration

National Seniors Australia has warned proposed ALP changes that would end cash refunds to retirees claimed through share dividend imputation could backfire.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said this week that the plan, designed to claw back $59 billion over 10 years from wealthy retirees, could hurt many full and part age pensioners who had been encouraged to diversify by including shares in their retirement portfolios.

GFC recession stress sent blood pressure up

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 10 years ago took a toll on the retirement incomes of many older Australians but in other countries, the economic downturn was a recession that has been blamed for a negative impact on people’s health.

A new study by Professor Teresa Seeman of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined how the recession of 2007-2009 raised blood pressure and blood sugar.

New online test for melanoma risk

Researchers have developed an online test for people aged 40 and over to predict their risk of developing melanoma over the next three and a half years.

Using data from nearly 42,000 people aged from 40 to 80, Professor David Whiteman and Dr Catherine Olsen from Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute developed the risk predictor that calculates results based on seven risk factors for melanoma.

These are age, sex, ability to tan, number of moles at age 21, number of skin lesions treated, hair colour and sunscreen use.

Aged care industry urged to back education and training

The aged care industry and consumers are being urged to support a newly-established Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and nominate for membership to help ensure the future high quality of aged care.

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) chair Professor John Pollaers said the Aged Care IRC should be an industry-driven group, with membership reflecting the diversity of the sector, particularly in the areas of palliative care, dementia, nursing, mental health, functional health and pharmacy, as well as including employee representatives and providers.

Aged care accommodation approvals process streamlined

The Federal Government says it is streamlining aged care accommodation approvals, so that providers can continue to focus on their core business of caring and supporting senior Australians.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the new accommodation price renewal system would simplify the process for providers not seeking to increase their charges when their approvals lapsed.

“We have listened to the sector and are committed to red tape reduction across aged care,” Mr Wyatt said.

Dementia films and mobile app to support communities in need

A series of 15 new films in online and app format is aimed at cutting the devastating impact of dementia in Australia’s Chinese, Indian and Arab communities.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the $563,000 Moving Pictures project was seeking to raise awareness and prompt early diagnosis of dementia among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups.

“This is about supporting these growing communities to cut through communication and cultural challenges to help vulnerable people,” Mr Wyatt said.

Red Cross needs volunteers

The Red Cross is seeking emergency service volunteers in the Gippsland and Melbourne metropolitan areas.

The recruitment campaign for skilled and motivated people to be trained as volunteers will run for this month and next.

Spokesperson Graeme Lowe said that communities needed to be aware of the emergencies, other than floods and fires, that could be encountered.

Aussies should shun salty snags

A sausage in bread could be considered Australia’s national dish – particularly on a Saturday morning outside the hardware shop.

But new research from the George Institute for Global Health, VicHealth and the Heart Foundation shows Australians wolfing down 1.1 billion snags a year, containing 1500 tonnes of salt, and putting their health at risk.

The research showed the humble snag in white bread with tomato sauce contained 2.35 grams of salt – nearly half of the recommended daily intake. 

Uninsured patients choose to pay for private hospital treatment

Patients without private health insurance are choosing to pay hefty private hospital fees rather than wait it out in the public system.

New research from comparison website shows almost one in five Australians (19 per cent) have paid for a visit to a private hospital rather than be seen at a public hospital. Nearly half of these had self-funded surgery in a private hospital.

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data shows waiting times for elective surgery increased to 38 days nationally in 2016-17.

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