“Outrageous” limit on mobility scooters at Commonwealth Games

Plans to limit the number of mobility scooters allowed into Commonwealth Games venues in 2018 are outrageous and discriminatory, National Seniors said.

Media reports today said the Queensland Government was concerned about overcrowding at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and considering new laws allowing venue management to place a cap on the number of mobility scooters at sporting venues.

Don’t argue and live longer

A 20-year US study of married life has found that couples who do not argue are more likely to stay healthy and live longer than those who regularly have rows.

Researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah followed nearly 1,700 married adults, measuring their physical health and responses to regular surveys on arguments, happiness and quality of life.

Money and the in-laws were subjects most likely to cause arguments.

Extension concessions for WA

More than 25,000 seniors living in Western Australia caravan parks and retirement villages are now eligible for a $200 payment under the state’s Energy Concession Extension Scheme.

Previously, the residents of caravan parks and shared living situations had been ineligible for the Cost of Living Assistance (COLA) payment because they were not direct customers of electricity retailers.

Videos may help understand financial jargon

Seniors struggling to comprehend the jargon of Centrelink letters and other government information may want to look to a new range of videos on Youtube.

The Department of Human Services have released financial information services videos which are now available on their Youtube channel with videos from various agencies including Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services.

DisabilityCare Australia launches but over 65s miss out

DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, was launched this week to help give greater support to Australians with significant and permanent disability.

The scheme was launched in four launch sites, including the Hunter area in New South Wales, Geelong and the Barwon area in Victoria, for children in South Australia and in Tasmania for young people.

‘Bedroom’ charge introduced in NSW

The NSW Government has introduced a new charge on public housing tenants who have empty rooms in their home.

In an effort to free up public housing, the state government has announced it will impose a ‘vacant bedroom charge’ on public housing tenants if they choose to continue to live in a residence with a number of vacant bedrooms.

A charge of $20 per week for singles and $30 per week for couples will be placed on tenants who refuse offers to relocate to alternative accommodation.

New aged care website launched

The new ‘My Aged Care’ website went live on Monday, helping people to access a wide range of information on aged care.

The call centre and website is the first of the aged care reform initiatives under Living Longer Living Better.

Sections on the website include ‘what help can I get’, ‘find a service’, ‘frequently asked questions’, ‘help at home’ and more.

The website is reported to be more client-centred and much easier to use than previous websites devoted to aged care.

Changes to super take effect from 1 July

New legislation on superannuation passed the Senate this week, allowing people to put $10,000 extra into their super without incurring higher tax penalties.

From 1 July, the concessional contributions cap rises to $35,000 from $25,000 for people aged 60 and over.

In 2014/15, the cap will increase to $35,000 for those aged 50 and over.

“We would have preferred a $50,000 cap as originally promised by the government and which average earners had counted on,” Michael O’Neill said.

Communities contribute to seniors’ wellbeing

A study by National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre has looked at how local communities play an important role in the wellbeing of seniors.

The study Understanding Senior Australians and their Communities confirms findings of a similar study conducted in the ACT in July last year.

The report found a large number of seniors are engaged in their community either through participating in community events or belonging to a group or organisation.

Researchers push towards arthritis treatment

Scientists have moved one step closer to finding a cure for a debilitating form of arthritis after conducting breakthrough genetic research.

Professor Matt Brown at the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute said ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a condition which causes pain, stiffness and disability and is almost entirely genetic, affecting about 80,000 Australians, or 0.5% of the population.

But a study of genetic material from 10,000 arthritis patients showed there were genetic links between AS, inflammatory bowel disease and the skin condition psoriasis.

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