Social inclusion

Polio survivor on a mission to raise awareness of late effects

When Queenslander Eric Rushton started experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing, he chalked it up to part of the ageing process.

Despite his doctor reaching the same conclusion, Mr Rushton decided to investigate further as his condition continued to worsen.

After a visit to a rehabilitation specialist, he discovered he was experiencing returning symptoms of polio, a disease he was diagnosed with when he was just two years old.

Poor hearing health can lead to social isolation

Australians are being urged to stop ‘putting it off’ and have their hearing checked.

Marking Hearing Awareness Week (25 February to 3 March), the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) said one in six Australians had some form of hearing loss.

RIDBC’s Chris Rehn saidan estimated116,000 Australians aged 45 and over were at risk of severe to profound hearing loss but only three per cent would receive treatment.

This year, Hearing Awareness Week coincided with International Cochlear Implant Day last Sunday and World Hearing Day on Saturday 3 March.

250 people develop dementia daily

New figures show more than 425,000 Australians are living with dementia, with an estimated 250 people developing the disease each day.

Dementia Australia’s Maree McCabe said while there was no cure for dementia, the right support, information and help could make a life-changing difference to people living with the condition.

“There is a perception in the community that nothing can be done following a diagnosis of dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

Christmas doesn't have to be the season to feel lonely

A new survey has found that a quarter of Australians are lonely some or most of the time, with men over the age of 55 one of the groups most likely to feel the impact of loneliness.

The Australian Red Cross survey also showed that the main reason for older men feeling lonely was divorce or separation.

Women aged over 55 were much more likely to chat to a friend or family member to help counteract loneliness.

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.

Have a chat with seniors' commissioner

Older Victorians are being invited to attend a series of ‘conversations’ with the Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour.

The free events will be held in Sunshine, Hamilton, Bendigo, Moonee Ponds, Wangaratta and Dandenong during October and November.

Topics to be discussed include Planning for your future, Staying connected – social and community participation, and Your voice – what’s on your mind?

Mr Mansour is a highly respected and passionate advocate for the needs of older people.

Staying active and engaged the keys to healthy ageing

Sunday, 1 October, is the International Day of Older Persons, which seeks to strengthen their participation in social, cultural, economic, civic and political life.

This year’s theme is: Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.

It is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies in events and activities throughout Australia.

Dementia brings embarrassment, survey shows

Today (21 September) is World Alzheimer’s Day, when Alzheimer’s organisations concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about the disease and other forms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.

And a new survey has found people living with dementia and their carers suffer embarrassment, feel less competent and sometimes feel useless.

Gay marriage survey forms in the mail

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has begun its mail-out of a voluntary survey on same-sex marriage to people registered on the Commonwealth electoral role.

The survey asks: Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

The ABS said the forms were being posted in a staggered delivery schedule over a two-week period from 12 September and should be received by 25 September.

People who receive a survey form are asked to:

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