Applications open for aged care funding round

Aged care homes in rural, regional and remote areas will be the focus of the federal government’s latest funding round.

Announcing the opening the 2018-19 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) on Sunday, 1 July, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the offering of 14,200 new aged care places was 35 per cent  more than the previous round.

Mr Wyatt said improved access to residential aged care in regional, rural and remote areas was aimed at encouraging older people to continue to live in the communities they knew and loved.

Australians distrust social media

A new survey shows Australians distrust social media more than any other media category.

Conducted in May by Roy Morgan, the Media Net Trust Score Survey (NTS) revealed social media is deeply distrusted in Australia, with Facebook by far the most distrusted media brand.

Nearly half of all Australians (47 per cent) distrust social media, compared to only four per cent who distrust, for example, magazines.

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Women still lagging in super

New research shows the average superannuation balances of intending retirees over the past decade for both men and women have more than doubled, but females remain well behind the male average.

The latest results from Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source Survey show the average superannuation held by women intending to retire in the next 12 months is $177,000, or equal to only 57.3 per cent of the male average ($309,000). An estimated 392,000 people intend to retire in the next 12 months.

$18m registry to fast-track dementia research

Dementia Australia has welcomed the announcement of the Australian Dementia Network (ADNet), a registry and research program to accelerate dementia research in Australia.

Dementia Australia’s Maree McCabe said Australian researchers, Dementia Australia and people impacted by dementia have long held a vision for an integrated registry of researchers, studies, information, data and clinicians to ensure more targeted, effective research.

“The Federal Government’s commitment of $18 million will make this vision a reality,” Ms McCabe said.

Online purchases from overseas now dearer

Online shopping from overseas stores is likely to become more expensive for Australian consumers after the introduction of 10 per cent GST on goods worth less than $1000 from 1 July.

New research by online comparison website finder.com.au research shows 73 per cent of Australians – equivalent to 14 million people – shop from overseas retailers, having made a purchase under $1,000 from an international store in the past two years.

Debilitating disease recognised with a national day

Australian researchers have joined forces to raise awareness of a disease putting older people at risk of crippling injuries.

The Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR) designated Wednesday, 4 July as Sarcopenia Australia Day.

Sarcopenia is a combination of low muscle mass and weakness in older adults, causing functional problems and putting them at high risk of falls, fractures, disability, hospitalisation and even death.

Is Tony Abbott out to damage the Federal Government?

Tony Abbott this week called for Australia to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

He said on Tuesday the ‘best thing’ Australia could do now was pull out of the agreement he signed up to as prime minister three years ago.

In June, US President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"If we had known then what we know now about America’s withdrawal about the economic damage that renewable energy would do to our power system and to our industries, we would never have signed up," Mr Abbott told Sky News.

"And now that we do know, we should get out, simple as that."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said Australia should stick to the agreements it signs.

Mr Abbott has denied his comments were an attempt to damage Malcolm Turnbull's Government but many in politics and the public remain unconvinced, particularly with the ‘Super Saturday’ byelections looming on 28 July.

Is Tony Abbott still trying to damage the Turnbull government?

Calls flood in for advance care planning advice

An increasing number of people are seeking advice about preparing for a time when they can no longer make decisions about their own health care.

Government-funded advisory service Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) said its call volumes in May 2018 soared by 462 per cent, compared to those in October last year.

“It’s great to see more interest in advance care planning, which previously has not been well understood in Australia,” ACPA’s Dr Karen Detering said.

NSW to adopt retirement village reforms

The NSW Government said this week it would implement the majority of reforms recommended in a report on the state’s retirement villages.

Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said the reforms would be based on the outcomes of the recent state-wide inquiry into the sector, led by Kathryn Greiner.

“We strongly support the inquiry’s findings, and believe that our response will go a long way to putting the power back in the hands of retirees and their families,” Mr Kean said.

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