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Government urged to expand downsizing policy for seniors

National Seniors Australia said today the Federal Government needed to rethink its downsizing policy introduced in last year’s Budget to allow Australians aged 65 and over to sell their home and divert up to $300,000 per person into superannuation.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the policy, which will come into effect on 1 July this year, had not been well received by most older Australians.

Seniors urged to seek financial advice before joining Airbnb

National Seniors Australia has voiced its support for a partnership announced yesterday between the NSW Government and Airbnb to encourage more seniors to sign up to the home sharing platform.

But Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said involvement as hosts could have some serious impacts for retirees and pensioners, who should seek detailed advice before opening their homes to paying guests.

“On the surface, this looks like a great way to meet new people and earn some extra income,” Mr Henschke said.

Taking the temperature on women's health

All women are being urged to take part in an annual survey launched this week to assess their health needs, fears and concerns.

The anonymous survey is being conducted by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, a national not-for-profit organisation committed to improving the knowledge of women's health throughout their lives, and to providing a trusted world-class health service for women.

“The results of our annual women’s health survey are used in so many ways to help women and their health professionals,” says Jean Haile’s Janet Michelmore.

Economic issues are key to budget and election

Nearly one third of Australians believe the economy, or some kind of economic issue, is the most significant problem facing Australia, a new study shows.

Roy Morgan Research said 32 per cent of people surveyed in February said they were concerned about issues, including the cost of living, lack of wages growth, increasing utilities bills, economic instability,  financial insecurity and money problems.

A lack of jobs and employment opportunities and the gap between rich and poor were cited as other economic worries.

One in two have phone or internet problems

Around one in two Australians have suffered a problem with their phone or internet service, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Judi Jones said.

Almost 3,000 people from across Australia’s residential consumers and small businesses were surveyed, Ms Jones told an industry conference this week.

She said the survey found 20 per cent of residential consumers had more than one phone or internet issue over the past year, and one in four issues remained unresolved after four months.

Canada can teach us a lot about health and welfare

By Chief Advocate Ian Henschke

The Commonwealth Games kicked off again last week. I’m a big fan. I don’t care if some people say they’re the school sports for the royal family.

When I was growing up I wanted to run for Australia. So, anyone who wears green and gold on an athletics track in any international competition is already a champion in my mind.

The first Games I can remember were in Perth in 1962. I was seven. I saw them on TV and learned about them at school.

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Dance aids healthier ageing

Ballet dancing really is a great way to exercise without going to the gym - and it can also boost your social life, a new study shows.

Queensland Ballet and QUT (Queensland University of Technology) this week released the results of a joint project looking at the health and wellbeing benefits of ballet for older Australians.

The three-month project, incorporating 10 Ballet for Seniors classes, found participants had higher energy levels, greater flexibility, improved posture, and an enhanced sense of achievement.

Estate planning workshop for WA seniors

If you have a will but you are still unsure about your care when you are no longer able to make your own decisions, then National Seniors can help.

An estate planning workshop in Perth next month will assist you to plan for the time others may have to choose on your behalf, if you’re unable, and dictate how your wealth is distributed on your death.

The three-hour workshop will go beyond wills and help towards mapping out a comprehensive estate plan aimed at engaging with your family.

Seven lifestyle factors could lead to dementia

Half of all dementia cases in Australia could be attributed to seven modifiable lifestyle factors, new research has shown.

The factors were midlife hypertension, diabetes, low educational attainment, smoking, physical inactivity, mid-life obesity, and depression, according to Professor Kaarin Anstey, chief investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) and principal Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia.

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