CBA abolishes reverse mortgage fee

National Seniors Australia has welcomed the Commonwealth Bank’s announcement earlier this week that it is removing monthly account fees for thousands of seniors who unlock the equity in their home after retirement.

Commonwealth Bank customers who have the Equity Unlock for Seniors (EQFS) loan will have their monthly account fee of $12 removed, effective immediately.

Women still do most of the housework

It will come as no surprise to most women that females in full-time employment are also more likely to do most of the housework at home.

Figures from the 2016 Census released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the traditional split has continued among men and women when it comes to domestic chores, Census Program Manager Bindi Kindermann said.

“The census counted that almost one-fifth of women working full-time were likely to undertake at least 15 hours of unpaid domestic work a week, compared to eight per cent of men,” Ms Kindermann said.

NSA member named Victoria's Senior of the Year

Victorian Senior of the Year and National Seniors branch vice-president Roy Francis is passionate about several causes.

A volunteer worker and cancer survivor, Roy is busier now than before he retired.

The 77-year-old former pharmaceutical sales and marketing executive, who has been named Victorian Senior of the Year for his tireless work and travel promoting cancer awareness, shows no signs of slowing down.

Staying awake may be the best way of getting to sleep

New research has found that willing yourself to stay awake at bedtime may put you to sleep more quickly.

A study conducted by the University of Glasgow asked volunteers to monitor their sleep for two weeks.

One group was asked to try to stay awake for as long as possible, while the other didn’t receive any special instructions. Those trying to stay awake felt less anxious at bedtime and fell asleep quicker.

University of Hertfordshire’s psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman said that trying to will yourself to sleep would only make matters worse.

Deaf can watch ABC News in Auslan

Deaf Australians can watch the primetime news in Auslan for the first time during the National Week of Deaf People (22-28 October).

Today, the ABC News channel's 6pm (AEDT) bulletin will be interpreted live in Auslan - Australian Sign Language - the national language of the Australian deaf community.

Brent Phillips, from Victorian deaf and hard of hearing advocacy group Vicdeaf, said the ABC broadcast of the news in Auslan would allow thousands of deaf Australians to understand the news in their first language.

Gap year for seniors

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has floated the idea of seniors taking a ‘gap year’ in the lead-up to retirement.

He told the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday that there were more than six million Australians aged between 50 and 75 and many may want to transition to retirement through the seniors’ equivalent of the teenagers’ rite of passage ‘gap year’.

“This may involve part-time employment, changing careers, volunteer work or a combination of both,” Mr Wyatt said.

He said he was yet to consult cabinet on the issue.

Aged care reforms 'a huge step forward'

National Seniors Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to make unannounced audits of the nation’s residential aged care facilities, describing the move as “a huge step forward” in protecting some of Australia’s most vulnerable older people.
National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the advocacy group had called for a much greater focus on unannounced visits to aged care facilities, and it was pleased Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt had acted so swiftly to implement the initiative.

New housing laws provide better protection for Qld seniors

New laws passed by the Queensland Government last night will deliver greater certainty and security for seniors signing up for retirement villages and other types of accommodation, according to National Seniors Australia.

National Seniors Research Director Professor John McCallum said today the new laws would strengthen protections for older Queenslanders, who were often confused and unclear about the contract terms and conditions associated with retirement villages and residential parks.

Older consumers need help with power prices

A preliminary report on electricity prices by consumer watchdog the ACCC has highlighted the serious failings of the national market and revealed consumers have little opportunity to reduce their bills.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the ACCC’s finding that the behaviour of retailers was “complex, confusing and potentially designed to circumvent legislation” would come as no surprise to older consumers.

Seniors welcome overdue health insurance reforms

National Seniors Australia has welcomed the federal government’s reforms to health insurance, including the Prostheses List for devices that it said had been priced too high for too long.

The government last week unveiled the changes aimed at bringing stability to a health insurance sector that is under pressure from falling membership.

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