Quality of life

Calls flood in for advance care planning advice

An increasing number of people are seeking advice about preparing for a time when they can no longer make decisions about their own health care.

Government-funded advisory service Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) said its call volumes in May 2018 soared by 462 per cent, compared to those in October last year.

“It’s great to see more interest in advance care planning, which previously has not been well understood in Australia,” ACPA’s Dr Karen Detering said.

Caring for regional dementia carers

People living in rural and remote areas who care for those with dementia are being urged to join a new research project using technology to improve their lives and continue caring.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said by joining the Caring for Carers of People with Dementia research trials, carers could help to map a new support network for dementia care nation-wide.

“With approximately 425,000 Australians already living with dementia and the number projected to grow to more one million by 2050, the work of carers is critical,” Mr Wyatt said this week.

Dementia an extra challenge in natural disasters

A new online guide aims to help the carers of people living with dementia cope with natural disasters.

The Carer Ready Guide, from the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Carers and Consumers, was created by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in  partnership with the Red Cross.

“More than 425,000 Australians live with dementia and we are a country that has its fair share of natural disasters. Many of us will be impacted by one at some stage,” said lead researcher, QUT’s Dr Linda Schnitker.

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.

Chief Advocate addresses importance of advance care directives

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke will be the keynote speaker at an event in Adelaide on Wednesday 18 April to highlight the importance of advance care directives.

The event is part of the National Advance Care Planning Week from 16-22 April, and Ian will speak on the topic Advance Care Directives: A matter of love, rights and self-determination.

It has been organised by Health Consumers Alliance SA.

Mr Henschke, a former award-winning ABC broadcaster, is a National Advance Care Planning Week ambassador.

Call for more dementia-specific respite care

A new report has called for better access to dementia-specific respite care across Australia.

Carers Australia has urged the government to increase subsidies for respite care in residential aged care facilities so that family and friend carers can take a break when required.

Other types of respite also need to be made more readily available, including cottage-style accommodation for overnight and weekend breaks, said Carers Australia’s Ara Cresswell.

When enough is enough, you can vote with your feet...I did!

By Paul Geisel, Aged Care Specialist, Aged Care Matters

I guess the old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is true with many providers in most industries in the modern world, and aged care is no different.

I think we believe that most providers have the best intentions and will generally strive to deliver on their promises and value offerings to the best of their ability. The care industry simply by its name would suggest that ‘care’ is of the utmost importance. Or is it?

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.

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.

Downsizing: Movers, planners, stayers

Downsizing is a major consideration for Australian homeowners when they enter retirement. The current study gathered data from the members of National Seniors Australia on their reasons for downsizing, and asked about some policy measures that may encourage them to downsize if they haven’t yet done so. Many homeowners wish to keep living in the family home in retirement. We asked this group of people what discourages them from considering downsizing.

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