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Sizzling summer spending statistics

With Christmas fast approaching and retailers’ advertising hype in full swing, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has crunched the numbers on where Australians actually spend their money.

ABS spokeswoman Michelle Marquardt said Australian households spend nearly $130 a year on fresh fish and seafood and $30 on Christmas decorations. Almost $150 is spent on icecream, $600 on beer and $491 on wine.

“Approaching Christmas sees many people indulge in food, drink and festivities,” Ms Marquardt said.

Shy cats looking for homes with seniors

Cat-loving seniors can find new companions and help rescue shy felines following the launch of a new pet adoption program.

The Shy Cats and Senior Citizens campaign by national animal welfare charity PetRescue is offering older Australians the opportunity to adopt a new furry friend for only $25, which includes desexing, vaccinations and microchipping.

PetRescue’s John Bishop said philanthropic and corporate donations subsidised the cost of the cats’ care while they were waiting for adoption in an animal shelter or in foster care.

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'Renovesting' the trend in 2018

Australia’s property market is set for single-digit growth, apartment oversupply and ‘renovesting’ in 2018, according to some property and economic commentators.

Graham Cooke of comparison website finder.com.au said interest rates were expected to change little until the second half of 2018, after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) this Tuesday left the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent at its final meeting of the year.

Downsizing off agenda for 40 percent of seniors

Home is where the heart is, and for more than 40 per cent of older Australians, it determines where they live in retirement.

National Seniors’ new research report reveals that while many Australians consider downsizing to a smaller house when they retire, a substantial proportion of older homeowners rule it out because they don’t want to leave their house, neighbourhood and community.

Retirement villages approaching capacity

A new report shows Australia’s retirement villages are almost full, highlighting a need for more age-appropriate housing for seniors in their local communities.

The results of the annual PwC/Property Council Retirement Census show increasing numbers of older Australians are living in retirement villages, taking advantage of hotel-style services, visiting health professionals and cash left over from the sale of their family home.

Seniors less optimistic about 2018

Fewer Australians – older people in particular -  believe 2018 will be an improvement on 2017, with the results of a survey showing the lowest positive rating since 1990.

The Roy Morgan Research SMS Survey conducted in mid-November shows only 31 percent of Australians thought 2018 would be better than 2017, while 39 percent said 2018 would be the same and 30 percent said 2018 wwould be worse.

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Help your pets survive summer

Summer starts tomorrow (1 December) and that means not only preparing yourself for more time outside and coping with the hot weather but also preparing your pets to do the same.

Vet Dr Russell Harrison of Melbourne animal hospital, Lort Smith, said that just like people, animals needed plenty of hydration.

“Make sure your pets have access to multiple bowls of water. You can also set up a paddling pool for larger dogs to cool off in,” Dr Harrison said.

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Mobile phones needed for homeless seniors

If you have a mobile phone you no longer use, consider donating it to an older person in need.

The IRT Foundation, the charitable arm of aged care provider IRT Group, is hoping to collect 100 unused mobile phones and chargers by 15 December for seniors in need this Christmas.

IRT Foundation’s manager Toby Dawson said they were looking for  mobile phones and chargers in good working order.

Unleash your latent Lego builder

If you are a closet Lego® fan or have grandchildren who love the plastic building blocks, then a trip to an upcoming exhibition is a 'must see'.

Brickman Awesome starts its national tour on Boxing Day at the ICC Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and runs until 4 February 2018, before continuing around Australia, stopping in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

The exhibition will be Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught’s third and will showcase the tallest Legomodel in the Southern Hemisphere – a NASA rocket standing at 7.5m tall and built from more than 450,000 bricks.

Nationwide network aims to combat elder abuse

Older Australians now have a free, nationwide support network to help them stand up for their aged care rights.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) would help empower older Australians, ensuring they had a voice to speak up for them when they needed it most.

“Through OPAN’s network of nine service delivery organisations – one in each state and the ACT and two in the Northern Territory, in Darwin and Alice Springs – we are now providing a nationally consistent model of independent advocacy,” Mr Wyatt said.

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