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Sydney butcher snags title for world's best sausage

A Sydney butcher has taken out top prize in the World Butchers’ Challenge in Ireland for the best sausages in the world.

Australian team captain Adam Stratton of Tender Gourmet Butchery was awarded the top prize for World's Best Pork Sausage and World's Best Gourmet Sausage.

Mr Stratton was also selected out of all 72 competitors to join the competition's team of six elite butchers for World's Best Butchers.

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Share your experience on aged care services

If you would like to share your experience of respite care services, National Seniors would like to hear from you.

Your feedback is needed as part of current consultations by the Federal Government’s Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA).

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the ACFA would complete the study and report on the increasing use of respite care and whether or not the current arrangements were fit for purpose for providers and consumers.

National Seniors wants to know your thoughts on the following aspects of the respite care system:

Seniors suffering because of rising costs

Many older Australians were struggling to maintain even a modest standard of living because of spiralling power, health and other costs, National Seniors Australia said today.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the impacts of rising costs were exacerbated by government rules preventing seniors from earning more than $6,500 a year without losing part of their Age Pension.

Australians planning to work for longer

It will come as no surprise to most that new research shows Australians plan to work longer, with 61.9 years the average age of those intending to retire in the next 12 months, up from 58.2 years from 2014.

Roy Morgan Research said the number of intending retirees continued to grow and stood at 415,000, an increase from 392,000 in 2014 and 326,000 in 2008.

The results, covering the period 2008 to 2017, were from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of more than 50,000 people, including 500 intending retirees.

No notice for aged care home inspections

All Australian aged care homes were now subject to unannounced quality and safety audits, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt announced this week.

The legislation, which came into force on Sunday, 17 March, meant the homes would no longer be given notice of the date of their re-accreditation audit.

“These changes will strengthen the oversight of aged care services to provide greater assurance that standards of care are consistently maintained, not just at re-accreditation times,” Mr Wyatt said.

Have your say on respite care services

National Seniors is seeking insights from members regarding experiences of respite care services as part of a current consultation undertaken by the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) on behalf of the Federal Government.

The ACFA has been tasked by Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt to undertake a study and report on the increasing use of respite care and the appropriateness of the current arrangements, including funding structures, for providers and consumers.

We are seeking your input on the following aspects of the respite care system:

Labor not budging on dividend imputation tax plan

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is refusing to back down on the dividend imputation policy despite a widespread backlash against Labor’s plans to abolish franking credit cash rebates for retiree investors.

The Labor leader last week rejected calls to water down the proposed policy, or exempt pensioners or those with modest self-managed superannuation funds.

Mr Shorten said Labor was braced for “a tough debate” and it was unfair that “a few people” could claim a tax refund when they had paid no tax.

Laughter the best medicine

Most of us are aware that nutrition, exercise and social activities all play their part in overall brain health as we age. But did you know a good laugh can also work wonders?

According to experts, a hearty chuckle releases the same feel-good chemicals as a workout – endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – and can alleviate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety and boost mental clarity.

Even “faking it until you make it” with a “ha ha, ho ho” brings about the same benefits as the real deal. 

Get ready for the NSW Seniors Festival

NSW Seniors are being urged to take part in activities and entertainment as part of the state’s 60th Seniors Festival, being held this year from 4 April to 15 April 2018.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies this week announced a final release tomorrow of 1,000 free concert tickets to the Premier’s Gala Concert series at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

“We value the wonderful contribution seniors make across the state and this is the NSW Government’s way of saying thank you,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Eating wild mushrooms is a risky business

People are being urged not to pick and eat wild mushrooms in southern and Western Australia this autumn – or they run the risk of ingesting the potentially lethal deathcap mushrooms.

“The poison in one deathcap mushroom is enough to kill a healthy adult,” said Australia’s Food Safety Information Council chair Rachelle Williams.

In 2012, two people died after eating the deadly mushrooms in Canberra, and in 2014 four people were seriously poisoned, she said.

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