Mental health

The importance of pets

By Ian Henschke

As chief advocate of National Seniors, I’m often asked to talk on a range of topics. Last weekend I was asked during an interview with ABC Radio about the keeping of pets in aged care homes. 

I prefer to call them aged care homes rather than facilities. That’s because I think they should be as close as possible to a real home. 

Ten years ago, my eldest brother Richard needed to go into aged care and we looked around for a place that was as near as possible to the home he lived in, rather than an institution.

New after-hours mental health support service

South Australians with mental health issues – as well as their carers, family and friends – will soon be able to access a unique after-hours telephone help line.

Adelaide’s first Lived Experience Telephone Support Service (LETSS) will be staffed by people who have faced and recovered from challenges to their mental health.

The after-hours service, which is now recruiting, will operate from 5pm to 11.30pm, 365 days a year.

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.

Growing older, feeling younger

Subjective age studies have consistently shown that self-perception of age or ‘felt age’ is a powerful predictor of a person’s well-being. The current study gathered data from the members of National Seniors Australia on their felt age, how old they feel as opposed to their chronological age, with 75 per cent indicating they feel younger than they are. By world standards, Australia is a ‘longevity’ society, ranked 8th in the world for life expectancy. It seems that we are growing older, yet feeling younger.

A conversation could save a life

People involved with suicide prevention charity R U OK? are holding events around Australia next Thursday, 14 September, to raise awareness of the importance of having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones.

From morning teas and sausage sizzles to trekking the Kokoda Track over Anzac Day 2018, there are opportunities to be involved and find out how four questions could help save someone’s life.

To find out more, visit the website.

R U OK? Founder Gavin Larkin died of cancer at the age of 42 in 2011.

Tips to jog your memory

Lost your umbrella or keys lately?

Researchers have found a couple of simple tricks that may stop you losing them again.

The idea is to imagine an action between the two objects, such as the point of the umbrella being stuck in the lock of the front door, preventing you from opening it, or the keys badly scratching the kitchen table you left them on.

But you must think of a potential consequence as the result of not having the item or items – before you need them again.

Featured Article