Let's get physical for healthy ageing

New Turnbull Government-funded research has highlighted the crucial role of structured physical exercise and building strength in improving the health, independence and quality of life of senior Australians.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said this week that the two-year, $1.4 million Muscling Up Against Disability study had yielded impressive results from progressive resistance plus balance training (PRBT).

“The benefits were often life-changing and for some participants, were seemingly miraculous,” Minister Wyatt said.

Aussie men are eating twice as much salt as they should

Australian men are consuming almost twice the recommended maximum daily intake of salt, with women not far behind, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Led by Professor Bruce Neal, senior director of the Food Policy Division of the George Institute for Global Health, the authors analysed 31 published studies and one unpublished dataset, including a total of 16,836 participants over 26 years (1989–2015). They found that measuring salt intake based on self-reporting substantially underestimated consumption.

Top scientist named Senior of the Year

Australian Capital Territory finalist Dr Graham Farquhar was named Senior Australian of the Year earlier this week.

Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, congratulated Dr Farquhar, who is one of the nation’s most eminent scientists and celebrated for his work to improve food security.

“Dr Farquhar is a proud Australian but the impact of his life’s work, particularly in the development of drought-tolerant wheat varieties, has been felt around the world,” Minister Wyatt said.


Lonely Planet calls on the travel industry to do more for solo travellers

World travel authority Lonely Planet has called on the industry to do more to cater for solo travellers.

This follows new research revealing that the growing number of solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with family or friends, including an average of nearly 20 per cent on travel insurance and over 50 per cent on accommodation.

Lonely Planet surveyed members of their dedicated global community of travellers, with more than one in three Australian respondents claiming to have felt disadvantaged when choosing to travel alone.

Nearly half over 65s are frail or at risk of frailty, study shows

Nearly half Australia’s over 65s living in their own homes are frail or at risk of becoming so, putting them at risk of disability and accidents such as falls, according to a new study.

Aged care provider Benetas said its government-funded study of 3,000 older Australians who still live in the community assessed them using an online FRAIL test with a short list of questions on fatigue, resistance, ambulation (walking), illnesses and loss of weight.

The research found six per cent were frail, 38 per cent were pre-frail and 56 per cent were robust.

Adult children caring for ageing parents suffer stress and burn-out

Researchers are seeking more participants for a study showing the growing impact of health issues on adult children and the ageing parents they care for.

Melbourne’s Deakin University Families in Later Life Study tracks sons and daughters caring for ageing parents in the community over a year, focussing on the quality of the relationship between the parent and child, which can have a big impact on health outcomes for both.

Research leader Associate Professor Gery Karantzas said with Australia’s ageing population, aged care had become a major issue for the country.

Victims scammed via Western Union may get refund

The ACCC’s Scamwatch is urging all Australians who lost money to a scammer through Western Union from 2004 to 2017 to lodge a claim by 12 February.

Western Union has agreed to pay a penalty of US$586 million to the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) after admitting to aiding and abetting wire fraud. The DOJ is using this penalty to provide refunds to eligible people worldwide who were tricked into paying scammers via Western Union.

Costs of dementia can be reduced

Flinders University this week released cost estimates to care for a person living with dementia in residential aged care at $88,000 annually.

With the release of the figures, Dementia Australia renewed its call for urgent, ongoing and systemic aged care reform.

Dementia Australia said the annual cost of $88,000 could be reduced by improving workforce training and applying dementia-friendly principles in the community, the aged care sector and hospitals.

Nearly one in two will review their health fund cover, survey shows

Almost half of all Australians with health insurance will review their cover before 1 April this year when premiums are set to rise again.

A survey by comparison website finder.com.au showed that 48 per cent of health fund members, the equivalent of 6.5 million members, were expected to review and make changes to their cover if their premium increases by four per cent.

The average expected premium increase is 3.95 per cent.

Featured Article