Retirement Life

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Global emissions to hit 36.8 billion tonnes – beating last year’s record high

<p>Global emissions for 2019 are predicted to hit 36.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂), setting yet another all-time record. This disturbing result means emissions have grown by 62% since international climate negotiations began in 1990 to address the problem.</p> <p>The figures are contained in the Global Carbon Project, which today released its <a href="https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/">14th Global Carbon Budget</a>.</p> <p>Digging into the numbers, however, reveals a silver lining. While overall carbon emissions continue to rise, the rate of growth is about two-thirds lower than in the previous two years.</p> <p>Driving this slower growth is an extraordinary decline in coal emissions, particularly in the United States and Europe, and growth in renewable energy globally.</p> <p>A less positive component of this emissions slowdown, however, is that a lower global economic growth has contributed to it. Most concerning yet is the very robust and stable upward trends in emissions from oil and natural gas.</p> <p><strong>Coal is king, but losing steam</strong></p> <p>The burning of coal continues to dominate CO₂ emissions and was responsible for 40% of all fossil fuel emissions in 2018, followed by oil (34%) and natural gas (20%). However, coal emissions reached their highest levels in 2012 and have remained slightly lower since then. Emissions have been declining at an annual average of 0.5% over the past five years to 2018.</p> <p>In 2019, we project a further decline in global coal CO₂ emissions of around 0.9%. This decline is due to large falls of 10% in both the US and the European Union, and weak growth in China (0.8%) and India (2%).</p> <p>The US has announced the closure of more than 500 coal-fired power plants over the past decade, while the UK’s electricity sector has gone from 40% coal-based power in 2012 to 5% in 2018.</p> <p>Whether coal emissions reached a true peak in 2012 or will creep back up will depend largely on the trajectory of coal use in China and India. Despite this uncertainty, the strong upward trend from the past has been broken and is unlikely to return.</p> <p><strong>Oil and natural gas grow unabated</strong></p> <p>CO₂ emissions from oil and natural gas in particular have grown robustly for decades and show no signs of slowing down. In fact, while emissions growth from oil has been fairly steady over the past decade at 1.4% a year, emissions from natural gas have grown almost twice as fast at 2.4% a year, and are estimated to further accelerate to 2.6% in 2019. Natural gas is the single largest contributor to this year’s increase in global CO₂ emissions.</p> <p>This uptick in natural gas consumption is driven by a range of factors. New, “unconventional” methods of extracting natural gas in the US have increased production. This boom is in part replacing coal for electricity generation.</p> <p>In Japan, natural gas is filling the void left by nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. In most of the rest of the world, new natural gas capacity is primarily filling new energy demand.</p> <p>Oil emissions, on the other hand, are largely being driven by the rapidly growing transport sector. This is increasing across land, sea and air, but is dominated by road transport.</p> <p>Australia’s emissions have also seen significant reductions from coal sources over the past decade, while emissions from oil and natural gas have grown rapidly and are driving the country’s overall growth in fossil CO₂ emissions.</p> <p><strong>Emissions from deforestation</strong></p> <p>Preliminary estimates for 2019 show that global emissions from deforestation, fires and other land-use changes reached 6 billion tonnes of CO₂ – about 0.8 billion tonnes above 2018 levels. The additional emissions largely come from elevated fire and deforestation activity in the Amazon and Southeast Asia.</p> <p>The accelerated loss of forests in 2019 not only leads to higher emissions, but reduces the capacity of vegetation to act as a “sink” removing CO₂ from the atmosphere. This is deeply concerning, as the world’s oceans and plants absorb about half of all CO₂ emissions from human activities. They are one of our most effective buffers against even higher CO₂ concentrations in the atmosphere, and must be safeguarded. Not all sinks can be managed by people – the open ocean sink being an example – but land-based sinks can be actively protected by preventing deforestation and degradation, and further enhanced by ecosystem restoration and reforestation.</p> <p><em>Written by Pep Canadell, Corinne Le Quéré, Glen Peters, Pierre Friedlingstein, Robbie Andrew, Rob Jackson and Vanessa Haverd. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/global-emissions-to-hit-36-8-billion-tonnes-beating-last-years-record-high-128113">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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The royal family responds to rumours of Queen’s retirement

<p><span>A Clarence House spokesman has issued a statement amid rumours that Queen Elizabeth II will step back from her role at the age of 95.</span></p> <p><span>The 93-year-old monarch will continue her reign until the end of her life, the press office for Prince Charles confirmed. “There are no plans for any change in arrangements at the age of 95 – or any other age,” the spokesman told <em><a href="https://people.com/royals/is-queen-elizabeth-planning-to-retire-when-she-turns-95-in-favor-of-son-prince-charles/">People</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>The statement came after reports emerged that the Queen considered pulling back from public life in 2021 following her 95<sup>th</sup> birthday in favour of Prince Charles. The Duke of Cornwall was said to be in the process of taking over the reins after <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/prince-charles-office-issues-statement-about-queen-s-retirement-1.4719891" target="_blank">allegedly taking leadership</a> in the fallout from the scandal involving his brother Prince Andrew.</span></p> <p><span>The claim first came up in Robert Jobson’s 2018 biography of Prince Charles, <em>Charles at Seventy: Our Future King</em>. Jobson wrote that the Queen is likely to “trigger a period of regency”, in which she will grant her eldest son the “full power to reign”.</span></p> <p><span>The Queen’s husband Prince Philip retired as a working royal in 2017 when he was 96 years old.</span></p> <p><span>A palace source told <em>People </em>that the Queen will continue to have a full schedule. “The Queen is as busy as ever in terms of audiences, investitures and meetings. It is business as usual,” the source said.</span></p>

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How to cook the perfect Christmas roast

<p>One of the most loved Christmas traditions is the succulent roast we devour with family and friends over Christmas lunchtime or dinner. Below are some tips and tricks that will help ensure your roast ham, pork or turkey is the most tender and tasty roast you've made yet. </p> <p><strong>Ham</strong><br />Glazed ham is a Christmas classic and with these simple tips you’ll be on your way to ham heaven. You want to make sure you’re choosing the right sized ham – a 4kg ham for example will feed up to 10 people and allows a little extra for leftovers.<br /><br />To give the ham a decorative look, use a sharp knife to cut around the shank in a zig-zap pattern. Run a knife under the rind and gently pull it off. Use the knife to cut diamond squares into the ham.<br /><br />To glaze your ham, place it on a wire rack in a large baking dish. Brush the surface of the ham with your glaze of choice – options could include honey, mustard, apricot or orange jam. Bake for as long as the instructions on the package tell you too, and make sure to brush the ham at frequent intervals with glaze whilst cooking.</p> <p><strong>Pork</strong><br />It’s hard to resist a plate full of tender pork and crispy crackling at Christmas time – and the best thing is, making the perfect roast pork isn’t all that hard! Contrary to popular belief, pork doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through as overcooking it makes the meat dry and tough. Cooking it to slight blushing pink will ensure it remains succulent and juicy.</p> <p>As a general guide when roasting pork with rind, preheat your oven to 220c to crisp the rind (roughly 15-20 minutes) and then reduce the temperature to 180 to finish cooking the meat. The pork should be in the oven for 45 minutes per kilo. To get a crispy crackling, rub some oil and salt into the rind before cooking.<br /><br />Once the pork is done, remove it from the oven, cover it in foil and let it sit for 5-10 minutes – this ensures all the flavours and juices to settle which keeps the meat tender. Carve up the pork, serve and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Turkey</strong><br />While everyone prepares their turkeys in different ways, if you’re thawing a frozen turkey make sure you always thaw it in the fridge and never on the bench. A full-size turkey can take up to three days to defrost properly so keep that in mind when it comes to preparing it. Turkey breast is very lean so it can potentially dry out during the long cooking process. Rub the outside of the turkey top and bottom with softened butter (use liberal amounts) and place it breast side down on a baking tray. The butter prevents the turkey (particularly the turkey breast).</p> <p>Some recipes say to cover the turkey with foil, or leave it uncovered. We recommend that you brush it with butter then place two large sheets of foil in a roasting pan then place your turkey in the centre and bring the foil up to form a loose tent. Make sure there is a pocket of air between the turkey and the foil. This ensures the turkey will cook in a moist environment and not dry out.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/how-to-cook-the-perfect-christmas-roast.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Retirement Life

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Appreciating the 50-year-old brain: “Ages like fine wine”

<p>It’s no secret that the big five-oh may come with a few unwanted health complaints. A few more jiggly bits that weren’t there a decade ago. Some aches and pains, perhaps. Definitely more hair in unwanted places.</p> <p>But like a fine wine (and hopefully if you haven’t quaffed too much of it over your time on the planet), there is one part of the body that’s actually doing better in a lot of ways than it did when you were younger.</p> <p>Believe it or not, it’s your brain. Sure, you’re not as good at multitasking as you used to be, and things are possibly operating a little slower up there too – which can be annoying when grappling with a particularly tricky Sudoko or trying to remember Cousin Janet’s daughter’s name. But your brain has learned to compensate for its slightly slower processing speed by using more of itself, according to studies – something it simply couldn’t or didn’t do when you’re younger. Pretty amazing, right?</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3359129/">one study</a>, an MRI taken of a teenager working through a problem shows mainly activity on one side of the brain, the area used for conscious reasoning. The amazing upshot of doing the same test on a middle-aged person? It shows both sides of the brain sharing the task equally.</p> <p>And, research involving air-traffic controllers and airline pilots found that those between the ages of 50 and 69 took more time to learn new equipment than their younger counterparts, but once they had, they made fewer mistakes while using it.</p> <p>Experts also say the 50-year-old brain is more adept at making rational decisions and has better judgement – helped, no doubt, by a lifetime of memories and experiences. You’re also far more likely to make smarter financial decisions, and enjoy better impulse control (something many of us probably couldn’t lay claim to in our youth).</p> <p>The 50-year-old brain can reportedly also adapt, absorb new information and gain new skills and wisdom, too. Your reasoning is better. When faced with a problem, you may be slower to come up with a solution, but the one you put on the table will no doubt be more elegant and shrewder than that of a younger person. Research shows you’re better able to articulate in your 50s and you continue expanding your vocabulary as you age, too. (Clearly, there are good reasons why the <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/this-is-what-you-need-to-become-a-ceo-of-an-asx-200-company-2014-10">average age of CEOs</a> in Australia – men and women – is 54).</p> <p>So, you’re probably feeling smarter, wiser, calmer and more mature right about now. Rightly so; you and your brain have earned it. But that’s not to say you should rest on your, er, noggin.</p> <p>In fact, if you want to keep your brain in its prime for as long as possible, maintaining a healthy weight and doing as much as you can to challenge your grey matter are key in staying sharp and strong upstairs. <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110">Exercise is huge too</a>: it’s well documented some daily cardiovascular activity can go a long way towards maintaining good brain function (particularly the area involved in verbal memory and learning). Lifting weights may work your guns, but it seems you’ve got to break a sweat for your brain to enjoy the knock-on effects.</p> <p>The best news, though, is that you’ve got a heap of ammo to whip out next time a younger family member starts joking about your doddery ‘senior moments’. You now know better than anyone that you’re far more of a braniac than they are, and actually, it’s all thanks to your age. Who would’ve thought?</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/in-praise-of/in-praise-of%E2%80%A6-the-50-year-old-brain.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Where there’s Wilbr, there’s a way to make a Will

<p>Have you written your professional Will? Is it on your to-do list? </p> <p>More than half of New Zealanders leave this world without a professional Will each year, resulting in confusion and uncertainties for their immediate family, and the prospect of working through a mountain of complex legal paperwork during a time of intense grief. </p> <p>A personal binding Will shouldn’t be difficult or expensive. Even so, thousands of New Zealanders are likely to avoid the task of creating a professional Will. This is not helped by a proliferation of legally suspect online DIY will kits, and concerns over exorbitant costs charged by law firms.</p> <p>The process can be incredibly costly, time consuming, confusing or unclear, or just sensitive and difficult to face. Thankfully, that real stress can be avoided because an Australian-based company has created a platform that enables anyone to remotely and securely create a binding Will.</p> <p><a href="https://wilbrwills.com/au/register">Wilbr</a> was founded in August 2019 by a senior lawyer with a simple goal: that access to legally binding and easy-to-navigate wills should be offered to all New Zealanders and that any friction or obstacles should be removed. All you have to do is Write, Sign and Store.</p> <p>The company has removed any worries about the legality of the Will by allowing people to sign digitally via its own technology, which encrypts your signature, creating total security and authenticity.</p> <p><strong>Why Wilbr? </strong></p> <p>The benefits of Wilbr? No waiting to see a lawyer, no hidden costs or fees, and no need to fret about the process. The Wilbr platform is seamless, transparent and easy to navigate, making the process less stressful and quite possibly, even enjoyable. You can even use the platform to calculate your own net worth.</p> <p>Wilbr allows anyone to commence writing their Will whenever they like, wherever they like – on their laptop, tablet or mobile device. The company offers a once-off fee Will for only $169. Approved by solicitors and barristers, Wilbr is legally binding and just as trustworthy as seeing your own local lawyer.</p> <p>Wilbr can be signed and verified authentically online, without the hassle of printing copious streams of paper. The Wills are stored securely online and the all-important signature is captured digitally. There is no excuse anymore for creating heartache for your loved ones.</p> <p>You can <a href="https://wilbrwills.com/au/register">sign up for Wilbr here</a>.</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored post in partnership with <a href="/Wilbr%20Wills">Wilbr</a>. Guest author Doron Rivlin is the founder of Wilbr Wills and a practising solicitor based in Sydney. </em></p>

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Veterans have poorer mental health than Australians overall

<p>A career in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), or the armed forces in any country, can be rewarding, but also demanding. Challenges include the rigorous training, frequent moves, and maintaining social connections.</p> <p>Beyond this, military personnel may be exposed to trauma during combat, peace-keeping missions, border protection, disaster and humanitarian relief, and training accidents.</p> <p>They may be confronted not only with threats to their own lives or safety, but also with the suffering or death of others, which can have a significant emotional and <a href="http://www.defence.gov.au/Health/DMH/Docs/MHPWSReport-FullReport.pdf">psychological impact</a>.</p> <p>So it’s not surprising we see <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/health-studies/mental-health-prevalence-report">higher rates of mental illness</a> among veterans compared to the overall Australian population.</p> <p>The rates of suicide are also concerning, particularly among younger veterans. Between 2001 and 2016, <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/national-veteran-suicide-monitoring/contents/summary">373 Australian veterans</a> took their lives. Male veterans under 30 had a suicide rate more than twice the national average for men the same age. These figures have led to considerable community concern, including <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/plea-to-pm-for-royal-commission-into-veterans-suicide/11678984">calls for a royal commission</a> into veteran suicide.</p> <p>Whether or not this eventuates, we should be targeting veterans with a high level of care that better reflects their unique set of needs.</p> <p><strong>Transitioning back into civilian life</strong></p> <p>Recent research has highlighted <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">one of the most challenging periods for military personnel</a> can be transitioning back to civilian life.</p> <p>Major lifestyle changes can be stressful for anyone, but leaving the ADF can feel like more than leaving a job. It will likely represent a change in a person’s way of life across the board.</p> <p>While many transitioning personnel may initially experience some uncertainty and a sense of losing some part of themselves, most make the adjustment successfully. For others, the problems may not go away and for some, may become worse, unless they receive help.</p> <p>A comprehensive study commissioned by the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Defence in 2015 found ADF members who had discharged or transitioned to the Reserves were <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">at greater risk</a> of experiencing mental health issues compared to both those who were still serving and the broader Australian community.</p> <p>For example, in the previous 12 months, 17.7% of transitioned ADF personnel had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to 8.7% still serving in the ADF full-time, and 5.2% in the Australian community.</p> <p>Other common mental health conditions in transitioned ADF personnel include depression (11.2%), and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder (5.4%), agoraphobia (11.9%) and social phobia (11%), all estimated to be higher than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4326.0Main+Features32007?OpenDocument">rates in the general population</a>.</p> <p>Rates of suicidality (thinking about, planning or attempting suicide) were more than double for those who had transitioned out of full-time ADF service compared to those still serving in the ADF full-time (21.7% versus 8.8%), and <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4326.0Main+Features32007?OpenDocument">ten times greater</a> than the Australian community.</p> <p><strong>Seeking and receiving help</strong></p> <p>About 75% of veterans who reported they had mental health concerns in the DVA study had sought and received assistance at some point from a GP or mental health professional. These rates are much higher than in the general community and auger well for the <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/health-studies/pathways-care-report">preparedness of veterans to seek care</a>.</p> <p>However, as is the case in the Australian community and internationally, there is an under-engagement with evidence-based treatment and practice. Only <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">about 25%</a> of help-seeking veterans were estimated to be receiving evidence-based care, such as cognitive behavioural therapy. This may be because veterans don’t stay engaged in health services for long enough to receive evidence-based treatments.</p> <p>So while the help-seeking and care delivery for veterans is on par with, and in some ways exceeds, that of the general community, there’s room for improvement to ensure veterans remain engaged with services and receive the treatment they need.                                                                                                                                                                                                            </p> <p><strong>What could we be doing better?</strong></p> <p>Coming from a health system in the armed forces where health care is organised for them, veterans may have heightened expectations about the level of coordinated and integrated practice.</p> <p>So first, we need improved integration and coordination of services, including development of outreach capabilities which more proactively engage with veterans and their families and connect them to appropriate services. Outreach can be led by health professionals or intersect with existing peer support networks.</p> <p>Second, we need to enhance the knowledge and skills among health professionals in the various services to which veterans are reaching out. Importantly, services and treatments should be delivered with appropriate “military cultural awareness”.</p> <p>This means practitioners demonstrating they understand the types of experiences veterans may have been exposed to, and the potential lasting impacts of these experiences. Veterans are likely to be more engaged in services if they feel well understood.</p> <p>Parallel to this, we need to be aware of the needs of, and actively support, the families who often bear the brunt of the mental health problems experienced by the veterans. <a href="https://www.openarms.gov.au/">Open Arms – Veterans &amp; Families Counselling</a>, a free national counselling service, plays a large role in provision of this support.</p> <p>Ultimately we need to continue to focus on innovations in the prevention of and early interventions for mental health problems among veterans, including suicidality. In doing so we must maintain a focus on well-being outcomes more broadly and not just on symptoms and conditions, ensuring our goal remains assisting veterans in living a meaningful and satisfying life in all its domains.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you or you’re concerned about someone you know, call Open Arms on 1800 011 046 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Nicole Sadler. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-have-poorer-mental-health-than-australians-overall-we-could-be-serving-them-better-119525">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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‘Life just went to crap’: why army veterans are twice as likely to end up in prison in Australia

<p>The question of whether Australia does enough to support its ex-service personnel is growing in urgency, with Labor leader Anthony Albanese this week <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/we-must-do-better-labor-backs-royal-commission-into-veteran-deaths">adding his voice</a> to those calling for a royal commission into veteran suicides.</p> <p>The numbers are alarming – between 2001 and 2017, <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/national-veteran-suicide-monitoring/contents/summary">419 serving and ex-serving</a>Australian Defence Force personnel died by suicide. But while the suicide rate for men still serving was 48% lower than in the equivalent general population, the rate is 18% higher for those who had left the military.</p> <p>For women it’s a similar story, where the suicide rate for ex-serving women is higher than Australian women generally. However, the small numbers of ex-service women who have been studied means the data are limited.</p> <p>But there’s another issue afflicting ex-military men that’s not often discussed: they are imprisoned twice as often as men in the general Australian population. This is according to the first known Australian prison audit to identify incarcerated ex-service members, conducted in South Australia last year.</p> <p>In fact, these findings support <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d3898.extract">research from England</a>, which identifies ex-service men as the largest incarcerated occupational group.</p> <p>The high rate of imprisonment, along with the spike in the suicide rate of ex-members, reflects the challenges some service people face transitioning from military service back to civilian life, and the critical lack of available transition planning and support.</p> <p><strong>Why do some veterans turn to crime?</strong></p> <p>When a United States ex-Marine fatally shot 12 people in California in 2018, President Donald Trump promoted a widespread, oversimplified connection between military service and criminal offending. He <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-rankles-veterans-with-comments-about-ptsd-and-california-shooter/2018/11/09/2c4ab5ba-e463-11e8-a1c9-6afe99dddd92_story.html">said</a> the shooter</p> <p><em>was in the war. He saw some pretty bad things […] they come back, they’re never the same.</em></p> <p>We have so far interviewed 13 former service men for our ongoing research, trying to explain the findings of the South Australia audit. And we found the connection between military service and criminal offending is more complex than Trump suggests.</p> <p>The combination of childhood trauma, military training, social exclusion and mental health issues on discharge created the perfect cocktail of risk factors leading to crime.</p> <p>For many, joining the service was a way to find respect, discipline and camaraderie. In fact, most interviewees found military service effective at controlling the effects of childhood trauma. One man we interviewed said he “could see me life going to the shit, that’s when I went and signed up for the army […] The discipline appealed to me. To me I was like yearning for it because I was going down the bad road real quick.”</p> <p>Another explained that joining the military was the: “BEST thing I ever did. LOVED it. Well they gave me discipline, they showed me true friendships and it let me work my issues out […] I loved putting my uniform on and the respect that I could show other people, whereas before I’d rather hit them.”</p> <p><strong>Leaving the military can aggravate past trauma</strong></p> <p>However, all men complained military discharge was a complete, “sudden cut”. This sudden departure from the service, combined with the rigorous military training, can aggravate previous trauma. As one ex-service member put it: “The military is a fantastic thing […] but the moment that you’re not there […] it magnifies everything else and it’s just like a ticking time bomb.</p> <p>“I mean you’re trained to shoot people.”</p> <p>Another reflected that when he left the army, he lost the routine that kept his past traumas at bay.</p> <p>“I was working myself to the bone just to stop thinking about it. Then when I got out issues were coming back, coming back. I’ve lost my structure […] and life just went to crap.”</p> <p>Every man we interviewed had been diagnosed with some combination of post traumatic stress, multiple personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or alcohol and other drug dependence.</p> <p>They arose from various combinations of pre-service and service-related trauma.</p> <p>All interviewees lacked support from the Australian Defence Force or government veteran services. One explained how he found it difficult to manage post traumatic stress since his usual strategies were “getting very thin”.</p> <p>And the lack of support for their mental health issues worsened when they were incarcerated because they said the Department of Veterans Affairs cut ties, and “no-one inside the prison system is going to pay for psychological help”.</p> <p><strong>Maintaining identity</strong></p> <p>For some men, joining criminal organisations was a deliberate way to find a sense of belonging and the “brotherhood” they missed from the defence force. One man reflected:</p> <p>“I found a lot of Australian soldiers that are lost. You think you’re a civilian but you’re not, you never will be […] even three years’ service in the army will change you forever.</p> <p>“And the Australian government doesn’t do enough.”</p> <p>Ex-service men in prison are a significant, vulnerable part of that community. The Australian Defence Force and government veteran agencies need to urgently reform transition support services because current discharge processes are costing lives.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09638237.2017.1370640">English research</a> has found peer support helps service men transition into civilian life, but the men we interviewed did not receive peer support until they were in prison.</p> <p>Then, it was through a <a href="https://xmrc.com.au/">welfare organisation</a> and Correctional Services, not defence agencies.</p> <p>One man told us that after his discharge</p> <p><em>I actually went back and asked if I could mow the lawns for free, just so I could be around them still. They wouldn’t allow it.</em></p> <p>If ex-service men could maintain contact with the Australian Defence Force through peer support and informal networks, their identity and sense of purpose could be maintained to reduce the risk factors for offending and re-offending.</p> <p><em>If you or anyone you know needs help or is having suicidal thoughts, contact Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Kellie Toole and Elaine Waddell. Republished with <a href="/For%20women%20it’s%20a%20similar%20story,%20where%20the%20suicide%20rate%20for%20ex-serving%20women%20is%20higher%20than%20Australian%20women%20generally.%20However,%20the%20small%20numbers%20of%20ex-service%20women%20who%20have%20been%20studied%20means%20the%20data%20are%20limited.">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Builder wins $212 million in EuroMillions jackpot

<p>A builder who won a £105 million (NZ $212 million) EuroMillions jackpot has pledged not to stop working after receiving the “life-changing” windfall.</p> <p>Steve Thomson said he was “on the verge of a heart attack” when he realised he had won the lottery.</p> <p>Thomson and his wife Lenka said their priority would be buying a new house with a bedroom each for their daughter and two sons, who currently share in a “shoebox” three-bedroom house in West Sussex.</p> <p>“Everyone is going to have a good Christmas,” Thomson said. “Not sure what we are going to do, I am not cooking, Mum is not cooking, Lenka is not cooking. Christmas will be good this year, it really will.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">NEWS: EuroMillions results LIVE: Winning numbers for lottery jackpot for Tuesday November 26 - <a href="https://t.co/HQOEdeQZh8">https://t.co/HQOEdeQZh8</a> <a href="https://t.co/Z7uH7JVvbA">pic.twitter.com/Z7uH7JVvbA</a></p> — EverythingNorthEast (@everything_NE) <a href="https://twitter.com/everything_NE/status/1199417058460614661?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The 42-year-old said he would be “sensibly generous” with the money prize. “It’s so much money, I am going to be generous. I live in a small village, I do not want to leave the village, whatever I can do for the village, I will,” he said.</p> <p>“I have to be sensibly generous. I still can’t get my head around it, one [million] would have done but I have got 105, it’s just amazing.”</p> <p>Thomson said his children had their requests after learning about the jackpot. “My eldest’s reaction, he’s a very sensible kid, he said: ‘Dad, can I have my own room?’ I said: ‘No problem, of course you can son.’ My middle son said: ‘Can I have a Tesla,’ and my daughter asked for a pink iPhone and she’s going to get that.”</p> <p>Despite having become wealthier than famous figures such as Emma Watson and Ronnie Wood, Thomson said he would not stop working as a builder immediately and would complete all his jobs before Christmas.</p> <p>“Once I am over the shock I will need to keep doing something, I am not the type just to sit still. My business partner knows that if he needs a hand I’ll be there,” he said.</p> <p>“At the end of the day I’m still Steve – and she is still Lenka – that is not going to change. We’re just better off financially.”</p>

Retirement Life

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“He picked the wrong house to break into”: 82-year-old bodybuilding grandma beats home intruder

<p><span>An 82-year-old award-winning female bodybuilder turned the table – literally – on a home intruder as she fought and dragged the unwelcome guest out of her property.</span></p> <p><span>Retired social worker Willie Murphy said she was getting ready for bed Thursday night at her home in Rochester, New York when a man pounded on her door, asking her to call an ambulance for him, <em><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/24/us/82-year-old-bodybuilder-grandma-intruder-trnd/index.html">WHAM</a> </em>reported.</span></p> <p><span>Murphy said the man broke through the door when she wouldn’t let him in her house.</span></p> <p><span>“It’s kind of semi-dark and I’m alone, and I’m old. But guess what, I’m tough,” said Murphy, who won a weightlifting competition earlier this year. “He picked the wrong house to break into.”</span></p> <p><span>Murphy said she used various household items to attack the intruder, starting with her table.</span></p> <p><span>“I took that table and I went to working on him, and guess what? The table broke,” she said, adding that she used the metal table legs to keep hitting the man afterwards.</span></p> <p><span>She said she also used a bottle of baby shampoo and a broom to attack the man before dragging the man out of the house.</span></p> <p><span>“He wants to get the heck out of there. And I’m trying to help him get out of the house, but he’s too heavy. I can’t move him. He’s dead weight.”</span></p> <p><span>When police officers arrived a few minutes later, the intruder was apprehended.</span></p> <p><span>“He’s laying down already because I had really did a number on that man. I’m serious. I think he was happy when he went in the ambulance,” Murphy said.</span></p> <p><span>“The officers that came wanted to go on my front porch and take selfies with me.”</span></p> <p>Murphy has made headlines before for her record-setting participation in the World Natural Powerlifting Federation. Speaking to the American <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/a-drunk-man-broke-into-her-house-this-82-year-old-bodybuilder-did-a-number-on-him-she-says/ar-BBXjW6M?li=BBU4PL8">Today</a> </em>show, she said she began powerlifting in her mid-70s to stay healthy and fit.</p>

Retirement Life

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Shocking new details emerge of elderly woman who was bashed at her retirement village

<p>The daughter of an elderly woman who was attacked in her bedroom in a retirement village says that her mother “doesn’t want to be in this world anymore” as she feels so unsafe.</p> <p>Patricia, 84, had only just moved to the North Turramurra facility six weeks ago and came face-to-face with a stranger when she returned to her room on Saturday afternoon.</p> <p>The man assaulted her before fleeing, but she was left with a fractured nose, bleeding on her brain and cuts to her face, chest and arms.</p> <p>She was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition and continues to undergo treatment at Sydney Adventist Hospital.</p> <p>Patricia’s daughter Caroline said that her mother was recently widowed and had arrived back to her new home just before the attack.</p> <p>"This has been a very, very shocking and distressing event in our family and mum is a very, very strong lady, and we will help her get over this, hopefully, and get her home again," she told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-bashed-sydney-retirement-village-recently-widow-065130154.html" target="_blank">reporters</a><span> </span>in Sydney on Wednesday.</p> <p>"But this should never, ever, ever happen to the most vulnerable of vulnerable in our community and we are absolutely outraged, appalled."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnswpoliceforce%2Fvideos%2F415655339127292%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Caroline also mentioned that Patricia’s husband died in April, which is an event that she is still grieving over.</p> <p>"And now she's got to grieve the loss of her independence and her safety and her security in a home that she'd just moved into. She'd only been there six weeks," Caroline said.</p> <p>"I feel so sad that my mum, who is 84, who's just lost her husband, is now in a position where she just doesn't want to be in this world anymore because she just feels so unsafe."</p> <p>Investigators are now seeking further assistance from the community and would like to speak with anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area.</p>

Retirement Life

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Everything you need to know about cholesterol

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Did you know more than a third of all adult Australians suffer from high blood cholesterol? Thankfully there are simple and effective habits you can adopt to help manage the condition.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unfortunately, many of us are forced to confront the reality of high cholesterol and its potentially negative impact on our health at some point in our lives. Though cholsterol is not necessarily inherently bad, high blood cholesterol has been linked to a slew of health problems. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to manage high cholesterol.</span></p> <p><strong>So, what exactly is cholesterol?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is produced naturally within the body. It is an essential part of all animal cell membranes as the sterol helps maintain membrane structure and fluidity. Blood cholesterol is created in the liver then disseminated through the blood stream. Normal levels of the modified steroid are beneficial for general health, but high levels of blood cholesterol can lead to heart disease and long-term health risks.</span></p> <p><strong>The numbers</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the Heart Foundation high cholesterol is the second greatest contributor to heart disease, accounting for more than 36% of cases. Statistics reveal that men and women essentially have an even risk of developing high total cholesterol. The age group most at list? Those of us who are aged 55 to 64 are most at risk of developing cardiovascular and other diseases as a result of high total cholesterol, with almost one in two of us suffering from the imbalance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many cases of high cholesterol often go unnoticed. In a recent study even though 32.8% of Australians had abnormal or high total cholesterol levels, only 10.1% self-reported having high cholesterol. So many of us are unaware of the condition and the potential negative effects it may be having on us.</span></p> <p><strong>Good and bad cholesterol</strong></p> <p><em>There are two main types of blood cholesterol.</em></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Low-density lipoprotein (known as LDL) is the bad kind of cholesterol associated with plaque in the heart's arteries, heart disease and other illnesses.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as ‘good’ cholesterol because it aids in cell recovery and can help prevent heart disease.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not surprisingly, doctors suggest to aim to keep LDL levels low and HDL levels high.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">High blood cholesterol is not associated with any overt symptoms and many sufferers report no difference in their overall wellbeing, which is why regular blood tests are important. A positive blood test can help you understand the severity of your condition and its many treatment options. Speak to your GP for a more in-depth run-down of your options.</span></p> <p><strong>What causes it?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">'Dietary cholesterol' refers to animal products that naturally contain cholesterol. However high cholesterol levels in the blood are caused by foods that are high in saturated and trans-fats. High blood cholesterol levels develop as a result of a poor diet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are also a significant number of people who have a genetic pre-disposition to cholesterol, with many suffering despite a nutritious and healthy diet. Depending on your family history, a unique genetic structure may inhibit the natural production of cholesterol lowering sterols. In these cases, medication is often the best option. Your health expert will advise you.</span></p> <p><strong>Treatment</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thankfully there are many ways to treat high cholesterol levels. Lifestyle and dietary changes are the easiest and least invasive ways of dealing with a positive diagnosis. Those who are particularly at risk of heart related events may be prescribed medicines such as statins to help manage the illness on a pharmaceutical level.</span></p> <p><strong>Lifestyle changes</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you've been diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol levels (and medication is not called for), simple dietary and lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. Here are 8 tips from the CSIRO for reducing your blood cholesterol levels.</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reduce saturated and trans-fats in any way possible!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stay away from cakes, biscuits and pastries - they are heavy in unnoticed fats.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Consume reduced fat milk and polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove fat from meats (red and white) and choose lean, heart-healthy cuts.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eat more fish - twice a week has been said to reduce the risk of heart disease.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eat foods of plant origin, nuts, legumes (high fibre) and especially fruit.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lose weight and exercise more consistently.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol abuse. </span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seeking more information to help managing high blood cholesterol? The CSIRO's Healthy Heart Program is a comprehensive program including healthy eating plans, a 12-week menu with hundreds of recipes and details of an easy exercise routine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The best news is that simple changes you make can really help. Why not start today?</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/what-you-need-to-know-about-cholesterol.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

Retirement Life

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Want to discover the secret to positive thinking?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Experts say it isn’t so much what happens to us which matters but how we respond to it. Here’s how to stay positive!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Did you know that negative beliefs are the number one block to maintaining thriving health and well-being? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Negative beliefs are not supportive and can hold you back in so many ways. What helps is knowing a bit about how beliefs work and how to put into practice tools and techniques that will help dismantle your limiting beliefs in a constructive way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One method, which is probably one of the most widely used therapies in the world, is the rational emotive behavioural therapy (REBT) pioneered in the 1950s by psychologist Dr Albert Ellis. REBT is a practical approach to challenging beliefs using the power of our cognitive and writing skills.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Challenging your beliefs before you write will help you really tap into your inner creative resources. Negative beliefs left untapped have enormous potential to sabotage any attempts you may make in moving and progressing your writing in a productive and positive way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Imagine your beliefs as a pair of glasses. When you wear one particular pair of glasses you see life and events from your life in a particular light. Through these lenses, no matter what is happening, you see what you view as good and positive. But through another set of glasses, the view can be far from rosy. In fact, everything is distorted with a particular meaning, which renders us powerless over our circumstances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s the view of our events that can cause us harm rather than the event itself. Dr Ellis created the ABCDE model to show how our beliefs impact on our emotional responses and behaviours. </span></p> <p><strong>The ABCDE model</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grab your pen and notebook, and work through the steps of the ABCDE model:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong> A stands for the Activation</strong> or event that was the original or key event where you first adopted this belief.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong> B stands for the Belief</strong> you have as a result of your interpretation of the event. What was your interpretation of the event and what belief did you come away with?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong> C highlights the Consequences</strong> and impact this particular belief now has on your life, through your habits, thoughts about yourself and behaviours. A doesn’t cause C; it’s B that causes C, and this is where the work needs to be done.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong> D is where you examine the belief</strong> much more closely and identify even the smallest of evidence that Denies, Disputes or Disagrees with your belief. It challenges what you believe to be true.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong> E stands for the Effects</strong> and how you now feel as a result of changing or shifting your beliefs, as well as identifying how it feels to gain a different perspective of the old belief.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A final question to complete the model would be to ask yourself: ‘What is available to me now that I no longer hold onto this belief?’.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s important to see your responses in writing rather than just mulling them over in your head. Dr Ellis believes that the real work lies in the recognition that we don’t need to cling to our irrational beliefs – but it takes practice, practice and practice. Changing your beliefs is a powerful catalyst in changing the outcome: recognising that shit happens but how we view the event is what makes the difference.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Everyone has his or her good points; and weak points lead us to embed and embody self-acceptance. REBT is an easy tool to reduce emotional pain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It may not get rid of all of your negative beliefs, but it can significantly reduce the frequency with which you allow your irrational beliefs to drive your behaviour.</span></p> <p><strong>Ready to make a positive change? Start today!</strong></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Jackee Holder. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/want-to-discover-the-secret-to-positive-thinking.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Husband and wife named oldest living couple in the world

<p><span>An American couple with a combined age of 211 years has been named the world’s oldest living couple by the Guinness Book of World Records.</span></p> <p><span>Charlotte Henderson is 105 and her husband, John is 106. The pair will celebrate their 80<sup>th</sup> marriage anniversary on December 15.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">With a combined age of 211 years, one couple in Austin, Texas, has been named the oldest living couple in the world, according to Guinness World Records. John Henderson is 106 and his wife, Charlotte, is 105. <a href="https://t.co/3piaX2cPak">pic.twitter.com/3piaX2cPak</a></p> — The Desi Times (@TheDesiTimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDesiTimes/status/1192887507144368129?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The two met in class at The University of Texas in 1934, where Charlotte was studying to be a teacher and John played football for the Longhorns. They tied the knot five years later during the Great Depression.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Oldest living couple in the world live in Texas. On December 15, John Henderson, 106, and his wife, Charlotte, 105, will celebrate 80 years of marriage. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! <a href="https://t.co/OXtUoIOHli">https://t.co/OXtUoIOHli</a> <a href="https://t.co/PgXrBO0N7F">pic.twitter.com/PgXrBO0N7F</a></p> — Day Trippin' Texas (@DayTrippinTexas) <a href="https://twitter.com/DayTrippinTexas/status/1192881208813854721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>Ten years ago, the Hendersons moved into the Longhorn Village, a senior living community associated with a University of Texas alumni group.</span></p> <p><span>According to John, the secret to the longevity of their marriage is to live in moderation and be cordial to each other.</span></p>

Retirement Life

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How do I talk to my elderly parents about aged care?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We navigate you through this highly sensitive topic to help you find the best outcome for both you and your parents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When the need for care arises in parents and the issue becomes a talking point, the overwhelming reaction is often shock, sadness and fear from both parents and children.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of course, adult kids want what is best for their parents and for them to continue to live a safe and fulfilling life with all their needs being met. Unfortunately we don’t always know how to say the right things when discussing aged care with our loved ones. It is often not a simple process to convince parents to allow that practical level of help into their lives.</span></p> <p><strong>Why might parents resist help?  </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to counsellor and psychotherapist, Joanne Wilson, from TheConfidante Counselling, Sunshine Coast, there are many reasons for parents to want to resist care and it’s important for children and loved ones to consider them when broaching the subject.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It may be that the person needing care was a very capable person all their lives and that they find it hard to face the fact that they have a more limited capability. It may be that they have lived in their home for generations and fear leaving it. In some cases it might be the fact that they still see themselves as a patriarch or matriarch of the family and don’t want to see this role diminished,” says Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In other cases, when there is a rapid deterioration physically it can be a case of change coming too quickly without the person being able to take in what’s happening to them, and this can cause confusion and fear about loss of independence says Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve worked with families that are in what we call the pre-contemplation stage – when they know some care is going to be needed at some stage, but suddenly there is a fall and a broken hip or another broken bone and this loss of mobility can be quite confronting and confusing for the person when that happens,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Getting informed about different care options can help the way your parents view the process</span></p> <p><strong>Why is it hard for children? </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For adult children, shock and sadness are also common reactions, but there are also feelings of guilt and frustration that they are letting their parents down in some way by not being able to offer the care themselves. These feelings can lead children to feel like they need to act hastily or to force the issue home, but this is entirely counterproductive says Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While people needing care make up about 20 per cent of Wilson’s clientele, quite often the problem surfaces in other relationship therapy sessions. “What our parents do affects us and our relationships in different ways.” Wilson points out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More often than not the practicalities of finding the right kind of care can lead to sibling arguments, with everyone but the person needing care getting a say in what should actually happen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Among the chief concerns are financial worries, the issue of finding the right carers, and even the question of whether the carers will do as good a job as the children think they can. “It’s quite common for children to say something like ‘I give mum or dad medicine three times a day. How will I know that the new carer will do as good a job as I do?’” says Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So how should you approach the subject with your parents? Here Wilson offers her top tips for positive communication with your parents from years of experience in counselling families on the subject.</span></p> <p><strong>Step 1. Be respectful </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Avoid being disrespectful and talking down to your parents, recommends Wilson. Instead, reinforce the reason you want them to accept care is because you love them and you want to see them safe and happy. “It’s important to focus on the positives in the conversation. Say something like ‘Mum, dad I’m worried about your health and safety. You burnt yourself yesterday and I’m concerned about you. I love you and I want you to be happy,”’ she says.</span></p> <p><strong>Step 2. Be patient</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wilson warns about trying to make things happen too quickly. “Being rushed and hurried can lead to a great deal of stress at that age,” she says. Rather than forcing the issue when they’re psychologically not ready, she encourages children to start the ball rolling early before care is needed by having an open conversation about the topic over a period of time. “The families that I see coping best at this transition time are the ones that have opened those communication lines early and discussed the options available,” she says. “Your parents might not listen to you this month, but next month they might,” she adds.</span></p> <p><strong>Step 3. Address the key topics</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your loved one’s health and safety is key, says Wilson and it’s important not to skirt around that issue. “If you notice that they are suffering burns, if they are becoming confused about appointments, or if you notice something else that makes you worried, you have to ask yourself ‘Can my parents live alone without being supported?’, and then make sure you cover this in your conversation with them,” advises Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Addressing the key issues through positive communication can help express your concerns without causing resentment</span></p> <p><strong>Step 4. Avoid negative talk</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Try not to complicate the topic by bringing up negative memories from your past. Stay away from saying things like “You were a bad parent, this is how you brought me up,” says Wilson. These sorts of comments are only going to cause resentment.</span></p> <p><strong>Step 5. Call in a third party</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s often the case that the closer we are to someone the less they want to listen to our advice. This is commonly the case in parent child relationships. If communication breaks down completely often a third party can help reignite the topic in a positive way, says Wilson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That person may be a family friend, next door neighbour or even a counsellor. “As a counsellor I like to see where in the circle of change that person is, and then I can help them find that needs to be done to move on to the next stage in the best way possible,” she says.</span></p> <p><strong>Step 6. Explore the issue together</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gathering information by speaking to a service provider about the different care options can really change the way your parents view the whole process. “Think about what your parents like doing and how they might be able to achieve that in their care situation. Sometimes when the person learns what aged care will allow them to do, they get really excited and that can really invigorate their lives,” says Wilson. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-do-i-talk-to-my-elderly-parents-about-aged-care.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How to ask for help as we age

<p>An inability to perform what used to be simple tasks such as preparing food, dressing or household chores can make life unpleasant and much more difficult than it should be. It can also feel like the thin end of the wedge, and the first step to losing our independence. <br />If you have ageing relatives the solution seems simple. The person in need should just simply open up and contact a family member or reach out for the home support they need. However, sometimes psychological barriers mean this doesn’t happen.</p> <p><strong>What are the barriers to asking for help?</strong> <br />According to psychologist Merryn Snare, from Merryn Snare Psychological Services, there can be a whole range of psychological barriers preventing people from taking action. These include a generational expectation that they have to do everything themselves, fear of losing independence and even fear of the financial cost of help.</p> <p>Sometimes, too, people who have realised they are not physically capable of doing what they used to do often suffer what Snare calls a kind of loss and grief – not in the context of having lost a loved one, but in that they often feel the oppressive symptoms of the loss of their own capability.</p> <p>“These things don’t even have to be major things, they can just be part of the general ageing process. Whether it’s a loss of physical capability or a loss of their eyesight, focusing on these issues can become almost oppressive because they’re tied in with the person’s idea of self worth,” says Snare.</p> <p><strong>Why do we have these barriers?</strong> <br />Most people have expectations about what they should be able to do and when they can’t do these things they can feel worthless, explains Snare.</p> <p>“If they feel as though they’re failing or they are not able to do what they want to do, it’s like a vicious cycle. They feel their sense of self value deteriorating or they feel that they’re worthless and that keeps them from seeking help to find that feeling of self worth,” adds Snare.</p> <p>Fear of losing independence and burdening loved ones is also a reason many remain tight lipped, says Snare. “It’s the idea that they will have to give up their lifestyle that they have enjoyed for so long or be forced into a living arrangement that would make that impossible or the idea that they will become their children’s problem,” says Snare.</p> <p>Loss of face can be another reason. “They don’t want to show that they can’t manage things themselves so there could be a fear of ridicule – it’s unlikely that they would be ridiculed, but it’s that expectation again that needs to be met,” says Snare.</p> <p>One often-overlooked reason is the worry about how safe it is to allow strangers into their home environment – their own haven. “As we age we often feel vulnerable and that vulnerability can lead to self isolation or reclusive behaviour. There can be a lack of trust and lack of faith in allowing other people into our homes to provide the care we really desperately need,” says Snare.</p> <p><strong>How can we achieve change?</strong><br />Ironically the psychological barriers that people impose on themselves have the very opposite effect that the person intends them to have. By not opening up and asking for help people often end up losing their independence, losing their quality of life and sometimes even their social contacts.</p> <p>As people allow help into their lives they can often reclaim many of the things they were unable to do beforehand and this invigorates their outlook on life. “When they find help it begins to actually meet their expectations and this can often be a great source of joy,” says Snare.</p> <p>Snare explains how that help doesn’t necessarily need to be a full time carer. It might be help with odd jobs around the home, someone coming to help cook a meal, tend to the vacuuming, or cleaning the house. “From my understanding there are different levels of help in the home. It’s often when people open up to this help, that they feel like a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders and they are able to get on with enjoying life again,” Snare says.</p> <p><strong>Snare’s top tips to overcoming the barriers to asking for help</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong> Approach a GP </strong></li> </ul> <p>Your local GP is usually the first point of contact as you age so you most likely already have a close relationship with them, says Snare. Chatting with your GP about your concerns is a safe and anonymous way for people to talk about the things that they are deeply worried about. “GPs are often in contact with a lot of essential support services and they can usually direct the person to find the kind of help they really require,” says Snare.</p> <ul> <li><strong> Investigate what options are available</strong></li> </ul> <p>Gathering information about the types of help there might be out there for you is a great way of overcoming some of the anxieties that you may have. In-home care service providers are very approachable these days and are happy to answer any questions you may have over the phone. But if you don’t know where to start, a great place is your local council, says Snare. “Contacting the council is a good way to find out what services might already be available to people, and for little or no cost,” she says.</p> <ul> <li><strong> Consider what you might be missing out on</strong></li> </ul> <p>Snare says a good way to overcome psychological barriers is to reframe your current situation. To do this yourself look logically at all the things you would like to be able to achieve in a day and then a week and compare it to the number of things that you actually can do. “With my clientele I’ll look at everything they have got happening in their day or week and everything they might want to do and I’ll even use myself as an example to show them that I couldn’t possibly do everything they have in mind. I might say something like ‘Well it takes you a lot longer to do the housework or gardening now that you are older so you might need help with that’. By reframing the situation exactly how it is now, you can really help people see past the barriers,” Snare explains. If you need help doing this, a qualified psychologist or counsellor can help you achieve this, she says.</p> <ul> <li><strong> Take on a small amount of help to test the waters</strong></li> </ul> <p>Often a good compromise is to take on a small level of care that you know is not going to jeopardise your independence or make you feel like you are losing your sense of self worth, Snare explains. That may be getting meals delivered to your home, having someone come around and take you shopping once a week or just cleaning your windows or doing your gardening. “By testing the waters with a small level of care, something simple, you can get an indication about how the care will change your life and then might feel more comfortable about accepting more help later on down the track, “says Snare.</p> <p><strong>How in-home care service provider Just Better Care can help</strong><br />In-home care service provider, Just Better Care, can take away the anxiety and stress associated with asking for help by providing personalised advice and support. Just Better Care service providers offer in-home care services right around Australia. Their highly trained staff will work with the person needing care and provide guidance on the services that are available to best suit their individual needs, preferences and budget. Whether it’s help with the cooking, cleaning or simply help with shopping, Just Better Care provides tailored support options to assist individuals to remain living confidently in their own home.</p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-to-ask-for-help-as-we-age.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A regular breakfast is important to staying healthy and feeling great. Here’s how!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The good news is the vast majority (78%) of adults aged 55-69 consider breakfast as the most important meal of the day and it’s not just talk, 73% say they take the time to always eat breakfast, significantly more than 35-54 year olds (56%).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In fact, a regular breakfast habit may be the key to staying healthy and feeling great. Research shows people aged 65+ years who regularly eat breakfast have better diets and are more likely to rate their health as excellent or good compared to breakfast skippers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We all know, the challenge as we get a little older is making sure each mouthful counts. Generally, we need fewer kilojoules and yet higher amounts of key nutrients to stay healthy, so, our food choices must be packed with nutrients.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Health -breakfast -fibre -wyza -com -au (2)Research shows people who eat breakfast regularly have better diets</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, what nutrients are a must at breakfast and how can we make sure our brekkie choices deliver? Do we need to follow the healthy trend and be drinking green smoothies daily or will traditional brekkie favourites still give us what we need?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, and Director of the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum, Ms Leigh Reeve says there are four must have nutrients to start the day and offers ideas for delicious brekkie options that provide nutritional bang for their buck. These are much loved brekkie staples that are great value for both your health and your wallet.</span></p> <p><strong>BEST BREKKIE CHOICES</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Get an easy fibre fix</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether starting the day with cereal or toast, the key is to choose whole grain or high fibre options. They are an important source of fibre, which is a nutritional hero. As well as maintaining a healthy bowel, regularly eating high-fibre breakfast cereals have been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 24% and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 29%.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In fact, a diet high in cereal fibre may be the secret to longevity and has been linked to a reduced risk of premature death from cancer (15%); heart disease (20%); respiratory disease (21%); diabetes (34%).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to increasing your fibre it doesn’t need to be overloading on prunes.</span></p> <p><strong>Other tasty breakfast options include:</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Experiment with high fibre or whole grain breakfast cereals until you find a favourite</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Top up your favourite cereal with a high fibre cereal or bra cereal</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Include cereal toppers for an extra fibre boost such as chia seeds, psylliumhusks, dried fruits or nuts</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Love toast? It’s as simple as making a switch from white bread to a whole grain variety. Generally the more visible grains or seeds the better</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Milk it for better bones </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Calcium is vital for staying strong and for maintaining the health of our bones. Yet the truth is most Australians are just not getting enough.</span></p> <p><strong>To bump up your calcium intake, the key is to:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy more dairy products, or calcium-enriched milk alternatives. At breakfast, cereal and milk go hand-in-hand. People who regularly eat breakfast cereal are more likely to have better vitamin and mineral intakes, especially for calcium.</span></p> <p><strong>Try adding yoghurt to your cereal</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prefer toast in the morning? Enjoy it with a milky coffee like a latte or a bowl of yoghurt on the side</span></p> <p><strong>Pump up the protein</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Protein is not just important for body builders or fitness fanatics. It is critical to support the body’s normal tissue maintenance. Australian’s aged 71+ years are the group that stand out as less likely to meet their protein requirements.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yet a higher protein brekkie can easily be achieved without expensive or unappealing protein shakes:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Simply enjoy eggs on whole grain toast, muesli with Greek yoghurt or higher protein breakfast cereal options and dairy</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A sprinkle of nuts is another easy way to add protein</span></p> <p><strong>3. B2 is a must at brekkie</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vitamin B2 is important for converting nutrients into forms that can be easily used by our bodies. As we get older, our bodies are less able to process nutrients from food.</span></p> <p><strong>Starting the day with a breakfast containing vitamin B2 is simple:</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Use milk with your breakfast cereal</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Try yeast extract spreads on your toast</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Add some grilled mushrooms to your egg</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Or enjoy a handful of almonds at brekkie</span></li> </ul> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/is-breakfast-really-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Life appreciation the key to better health

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s nothing new that our thoughts can shape how we feel. Just imagine how those positive </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">feelings are tingling through your body and telling you ‘this is going to be a great day!’ The problem is the positive feeling doesn’t seem to come on demand. But according to the </span><a href="http://www.heartmath.org/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Institute of HeartMath</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, you can take control of your feelings by practicing </span>Heartfelt Appreciation.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In fact they believe that heartfelt appreciation can facilitate the healing of the human body and spirit and that sincere heartfelt appreciation uplifts, inspires and drives us to achieve that which we did not think possible. It may be hard to believe that something as simple as appreciation can make you feel happier and even give your heart a healthy boost.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So keeping the potential benefits in mind let’s try a simple </span>Appreciation Exercise<span style="font-weight: 400;"> right now. It only takes a minute – and you may be surprised by the results.</span></p> <p><strong>Appreciation Exercise - Heart Breathing</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Focus your attention on your heart area, and breathe a little deeper than normal, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">in for 5 or 6 seconds and out for 5 or 6 seconds.  Heart Focus: Imagine breathing through your heart. Picture yourself slowly breathing in and out through your heart area.</span></p> <p><strong>Appreciation List</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Make a list of things you appreciate – people, places, activities, and pets –and choose </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">one or two each morning to hold in your heart during the day. Choose an item again at night to hold in your heart while you rest. How do you feel? Do you notice a greater sense of ease, wellbeing or relaxation?</span></p> <p><strong>Appreciation Breaks</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take two or three appreciation breaks each day – ideally in early morning, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">during a midday break and upon returning home or before bed. Just follow the simple steps as above. It takes as little as two minutes to achieve mental, emotional and physical balance.</span></p> <p><strong>Appreciation in the Moment</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep your Appreciation List close all day, in a pocket or purse, by your </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">computer or elsewhere. In stressful moments, choose an item that can quickly evoke appreciation. It can turn a stressful day into one that flows – in 30 seconds or less.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Engage the power of your heart to generate and sustain feelings of appreciation to help increase your own wellbeing. Practicing these appreciation exercises accelerates your connection with your own heart. Appreciating ourselves and others helps restore the colour to our black-and-white perception of life. By simply activating a positive feeling of sincere appreciation, you can increase your heart rhythm coherence, reduce emotional stress and improve your health. Consider practicing appreciation every day. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reprinted with permission of Institute of HeartMath. © 2013 Institute of HeartMath</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Pernille. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/life-appreciation-the-key-to-better-health.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p>

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The best foods for your heart

<p>Add these heart-healthy foods to your every day diet and feel the benefits.</p> <p><strong>Almonds</strong></p> <p>Almonds are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, says dietitian, Kristian Morey. “They are also high in fibre, which helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.” High cholesterol and high blood pressure are major risks for heart disease. Almonds are also magnesium-rich, and magnesium helps protect the heart, according to a review article published in Nutrients. Grab a handful when you need a pick-me-up after a hard work-out.</p> <p><strong>Asparagus</strong></p> <p>Asparagus boasts high amounts of vitamin K, which may play a role in regulating calcium in the body to promote bone and cardiovascular health, Morey says. “Sauté it with sugar snap peas and toss with whole wheat pasta, olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and pepper for a meatless meal fit for a (very healthy) king or queen.</p> <p><strong>Beans</strong></p> <p>These versatile legumes contain more protein than any other plant food – just one cup provides a quarter of what we need each day, Morey says. They also provide heart-healthy and stress-busting B vitamins, iron, and all-important calcium. Plus, they are considered ‘nature’s scrub brush’ because one serving’s 15 grams of fibre goes through the intestines and soaks up cholesterol and takes it away. Use beans in soups and stews or create a vegetarian chili with kidney beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and a little bit of hot pepper. Purée a rinsed and drained can of white beans with two tablespoons of olive oil, a small clove of garlic, and salt and pepper for a Mediterranean-style veggie dip.</p> <p><strong>Blueberries</strong></p> <p>Almost all fruit is good for you – cherries, strawberries, mangos, peaches – yum! But these blue-hued beauties work overtime to provide you with antioxidants and vitamin C, both potent stress busters, Morey explains. They’re low in kilojoules and sugar, so you can snack on them to your heart’s content without an ounce of guilt (or fat). Blueberries are also a good source of fibre, which can help relieve the cramps and constipation that can occur when you’re stressed out. Pile them on cereal, eat them fresh from the basket, or blend them with some plain yoghurt, a banana, and some ice for a fabulous smoothie.</p> <p><strong>Broccoli</strong></p> <p>Broccoli is packed with vitamins K and C, which is an antioxidant powerhouse, Morey says. Antioxidants soak up damaging free radicals that increase the risk for heart disease and other conditions. Steam broccoli in the microwave (rinse and chop it, place it in a glass or other nonreactive bowl, and cover it with a damp paper towel, not plastic wrap) for a few minutes for optimal nutrition. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and, if you dare, a sprinkle of red chilli flakes for punch, and you’ve got yourself a sublime yet simple side dish.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/heart-blood-pressure/the-50-best-foods-for-your-heart?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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5 science facts you never learned in school

<p>The world has many strange but amazing true facts making it a really marvellous and mysterious place. </p> <p><strong>The human stomach can dissolve razor blades</strong></p> <p>On the rare occasion that you swallow a razor blade, don’t fret. The human body is more capable than you think. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14 – the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that it has an impeccably strong pH. In a study, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid.</p> <p><strong>A laser can get trapped in water</strong></p> <p>Yes, really. A cool thing called total internal reflection is applied when pointing a laser beam through a container of water. When light travels through water, it’s slowed by the heavier particles in water, as described here. Thus, the laser beam effectively gets “trapped” in the water.</p> <p><strong>Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean</strong></p> <p>Ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but marine organisms take the bait. Plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesisers produce over half of the world’s oxygen.</p> <p><strong>Animals use Earth’s magnetic field for orientation</strong></p> <p>Lost land animals may not be able to find their way home, but sea animals might. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “there is evidence that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and to use this sense for navigation.”</p> <p><strong>A cloud can weigh over a million pounds</strong></p> <p>Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may get rained on with this fact: the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. A million pounds! That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest passenger jet.</p> <p><em>Written by Claire Nowak. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/25-science-facts-you-never-learned-in-school?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><span><em> </em></span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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