Social welfare

Singles on low incomes locked out of NSW

Many single people on pensions or benefits cannot find affordable rental accommodation in New South Wales, according to housing advocacy group Shelter NSW.

Its chief executive, Karen Walsh, said governments needed to address the shortfall of around 100,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the state.

“The RAI (Rental Affordability Index) clearly shows that our current housing system is not ‘fit for purpose’,” Ms Walsh said.

How well do you know your neighbours?

One in three people don’t want to get to know the people on their street.

That is the finding of a new survey by showing one in five Australians has had a dispute with someone living nearby and one in 10 spies on their neighbours.

The national survey of 1047 people showed single people who have never been married are the least friendly neighbours, and widowed women aged 55 and over are the friendliest.

Raising awareness of elder abuse

A new report has made 43 recommendations for legal reform to help safeguard older Australians from abuse and neglect.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) report Elder Abuse — A National Legal Response calls for a number of changes.

These include improved responses to elder abuse in residential aged care; better employment screening of care workers; and a requirement for banks and financial institutions to protect vulnerable customers from abuse.

4th Seniors Sentiment Index

The Seniors Sentiment Index is a summary measure of how older Australians (5o years and over) view different aspects of their lives.

The Index is calculated based on self-assessments of financial, health and social wellbeing and is complemented with Prospective Indices that consider how these facets are expected to be in five years time.

This report presents findings from the 4th Sentiment Index; it follows from the previous analyses of the Index in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Australians' happiness levels going up

A new survey has found that Australians are the happiest they have ever been, with those aged over 76 reportedly the happiest in the country.

The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index showed that average life satisfaction reached a score of 76.7 out of 100 in 2016, the highest level since records began in 2000.

The joint Australian Unity and Deakin University survey of people aged 18 and over breaks personal wellbeing into seven areas – safety, future security, community connection and standard of living.

Brides, grooms and divorcees have never been older

Men and women are getting married later but also staying married longer.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that since 1995, the age at which people have first married has increased by around three years.

"Age at first marriage stabilised between 2005 and 2009, but since then has steadily increased,” ABS spokesperson Kirsty Parkes said.

“As a result, grooms preparing for their first marriage are now on average 30.1 years of age, while brides are likely to be a shade younger at 28.5 years of age."

Cycling program to keep older Canberrans active

Seniors living in Canberra are being urged to stay active and to develop their social connections as part of the Cycling Without Age program.

Starting in Denmark in 2012 and now in 27 countries, the Cycling Without Age program is being managed by Pedal Power ACT.

“Most of us love to ride bikes, but as you get older getting around safely on two wheels can be challenging,” ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said.

Cycling Without Age helps overcome this by providing chauffer‐ridden trishaw bike trips to places such as parks or cafés.

Social connections good for men

Male bonding is good for men’s mental health but a lack of social connections can undermine it, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says.

Dr Paul Jelfs, ABS General Manager of Population and Social Statistics, said that 75 per cent of Australian men had weekly face-to-face contact with family or friends living outside their household in 2014, while nine in 10 also had weekly contact through other means such as phone calls, text messaging and email.

Share your thoughts on Aged Care visitors scheme

National Seniors would like to know your thoughts on the Community Visitors Scheme, under which volunteers make regular visits to older people in aged care homes or to recipients of home care packages.

The aim of the scheme is to enhance the lives of aged care consumers through the contact they have with community volunteers, with benefits such as increased self-esteem or general feeling of wellbeing, feeling cared for and/or connected to the community, and reduced feelings of loneliness or isolation.

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