Retirement Life

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How I found strength on my long walk to recovery

<p>On the phone, her voice is calm, clear and full of positivity. You wouldn’t guess that six years ago, Kathleen Jordan was lying in a hospital bed at Royal Melbourne Hospital after suffering a major right haemorrhagic stroke – one of the most severe and deadly forms of stroke.</p> <p>“It was a major bleed,” Kathleen explains, “In fact, one doctor said they’d never seen such a big bleed in anyone that had survived.”</p> <p>The doctors had warned her family to prepare for the fact that she may end up in an aged care ward for the rest of her life, or worse, she could be in a permanent vegetative state.</p> <p>“They actually said to my daughters that they should probably consider an NFR. An NFR means a ‘not-for-resuscitation’ order, but the girls said, ‘No, that’s not gonna happen. She’s going to be fine.’”</p> <p>And Kathleen proved her daughters right. “I’m back doing all the things I used to do. I see my grandchildren, I go to the ballet and the opera, I see my friends, I’m living in the most wonderful retirement complex in Carlton … and I’ve got lots and lots of friends,” she says. “A lot of it is good and I’m very grateful for the life I’ve got.”</p> <p>Prior to the incident, Kathleen led a busy life, running her own leadership coaching business which sent her travelling around Australia and across the world. By contrast, having to spend almost two years recovering in hospital was a huge adjustment.</p> <p>Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. While Kathleen says her blood pressure was under control and there was no clear cause for the stroke, she recalls her doctor warning her to take it easy.</p> <p>“My doctor had been saying to me, ‘You need to slow down a bit, you’re doing a lot.’ And I would always say, ‘But I’m loving what I’m doing.’ I guess it’s when your body is in resolves with your mind really.”</p> <p>Sharon McGowan, CEO of the National Stroke Foundation, says 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented. “The advice is to know your blood pressure and maintain it within normal range, eat well, keep a healthy weight, don’t smoke, keep blood pressure down, exercise regularly and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.”</p> <p>“Stroke doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any age, however risk factors do increase with age,” she adds.</p> <p><strong>Recovering after a stroke</strong><br />For Kathleen, the haemorrhagic stroke resulted in partial paralysis on the left side of her body. She is unable to use her left hand and will have to continue doing physiotherapy, probably for the rest of her life.</p> <p>“Every single day is a struggle day, but I’m not going to give up that struggle because – even six years later – I’m still making improvements,” says Kathleen.</p> <p>“It’s still very hard. Some silly things are difficult, like I was trying to get something out of a package before – and trying to do it with one hand. I was just getting very cross because I couldn’t do it.”</p> <p>The operation to stop the significant bleed in her brain damaged some neurons, sometimes causing Kathleen to search for words when speaking – pausing mid-sentence or often repeating herself.</p> <p>“It’s called aphasia,” explains Kathleen. “However, when I say that to my friends, they all just laugh and say, ‘But we all have trouble finding words!’”</p> <p><strong>Overcoming adversity</strong><br />Kathleen’s resolve and tenacity following her recovery is inspiring, despite her initial fears of being unable to live a normal life again.</p> <p>“I had to just rely on thinking about [my] strengths, and every time I made a little bit of progress, my family and my friends [would] help me celebrate that progress.</p> <p>“For a long time, I couldn’t really walk or sit up without falling over but, with physio and determination, I am now walking around my apartment.”</p> <p>Kathleen actually set in place what she calls her ‘Hope Team’, made up of her close friends and family members. “Whenever I was feeling low, I could ring one of the people in my Hope Team and say, ‘Help me, what do I need to do?’ and they would very quickly give me some encouragement. So, my Hope Team helped me tremendously. They just wanted to support me, even more than what was perhaps expected of them.”</p> <p>In her book, <span><em><a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=https://www.booktopia.com.au/standing-up--kathleen-with-steggall-vicki-jordan/prod9781925384024.html">Standing Up! My Story of Hope, Advocacy &amp; Survival after Stroke</a></em></span>, Kathleen shares the tools that helped her progress during her stroke journey, and how she achieved resilience and happiness by reframing issues.</p> <p>“I wrote the book for stroke victims and their loved ones. I want to give people hope that they too can recover from stroke, from other illness, by really focusing their minds ... [with] the belief that you can.</p> <p>“Have hope that you can recover and work hard on your physio,” she suggests. “Surround yourself with positive people – perhaps create a ‘Hope Team’ that will help you feel strong and focussed on your recovery.”</p> <p>While the road to recovery can be an uphill battle, there are platforms for the Australian stroke community to discuss and seek support. The <a href="http://www.enableme.org.au/">enableme</a> website is a good place to start. It provides a forum for stroke survivors, carers and loved ones to share their experiences, set recovery goals and gain further knowledge about stroke.</p> <p>“Setting personal recovery goals and self-directed rehabilitation continues to play an important role in Kathleen’s journey after stroke,” says Sharon McGowan of the Stroke Foundation. “[She] is a true inspiration and her experience demonstrates the determination, vital support and services stroke survivors need to live well after stroke. Kathleen shows that there is life after stroke.”</p> <p>Although Kathleen has been able to return to semi-normality, she will have carers for the rest of her life. “Sometimes I got a bit miserable about that,” says Kathleen. “And then I thought, ‘Kathleen, just be grateful for the fact there are carers available, and that they want to do a good job and look after you.’ So that made me feel a lot better. Rather than feeling miserable, just think, ‘What have you got?’”</p> <p>“I am just so happy that my life is back on an even keel,” she adds. “I can’t do everything I used to do – for instance, I can’t drive a car anymore, but I’ve got people who look after [me] and who care for me. I’m just blessed really.”</p> <p>Have you had to overcome a major trauma in your life? How did you find the strength?</p> <p><em>Written by Maria Angela Parajo. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/how-i-found-strength-on-my-long-walk-to-recovery.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Combating loneliness: How to meet new friends

<p><span>Many of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives. It’s that sadness that comes from being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the people around you. For some it’s fleeting, for others it becomes entrenched and damaging.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Several recent studies indicate loneliness is set to reach epidemic proportions by 2030. Experts say it’s as bad for us as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Britain has even appointed a minister for loneliness. A </span><span><a href="https://www.jocoxloneliness.org/pdf/a_call_to_action.pdf">report published by the Jo Cox Commission</a></span><span> showed nine million people “always or often feel lonely” and 200,000 older people in the UK have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Here at home, we have the </span><span><a href="http://endloneliness.com.au/">Australian Coalition to End Loneliness (ACEL)</a></span><span>. Inspired by the work of the </span><span><a href="https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/">UK’s Campaign to End Loneliness</a></span><span>, the ACEL aims to address loneliness in Australia.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>The good news is that feeling lonely is nothing to be ashamed of – the research is </span><span>clear that </span><span>millions of people are in the same boat.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need,” says one of the most prominent researchers in the field, Julianne Holt-</span><span>Lunstad</span><span>, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in the United States. “It is crucial to both wellbeing and survival.”</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>“Help, I’m lonely!"</strong></span><span> </span></p> <p><span>A community member recently asked if we have any suggestions on how to overcome loneliness.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>“I'm a young 50s and love doing things but I'm lonely. I have lost close friends due to them moving away. I have lost the contact with people. I think I'm a loner – help me. What groups could I join to meet people?”</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Here are some ideas for meeting new friends:</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>1. Volunteering</strong></span><span></span><br /><span>Volunteering is all about helping others, but it also benefits you personally – it offers the chance to make new friends, try a different career field, and explore your local area.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Organisations</span><span> that help refugees, the homeless, people with disabilities, disadvantaged youths or the elderly are numerous. Such </span><span>organisations</span><span> include </span><span><a href="http://mealsonwheels.org.au/">Meals on Wheels</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/">The Smith Family</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/">The Salvation Army</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://youthoffthestreets.com.au/">Youth Off The Streets</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.midnightbasketball.org.au/">Midnight Basketball Australia</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.sacredheartmission.org/">Sacred Heart Mission</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/">Black Dog Institute</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="http://guidedogsaustralia.com/">Guide Dogs Australia</a></span><span>, and </span><span><a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">Lifeline Australia</a></span><span>.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>The State Emergency Service (SES) in your state and </span><span><a href="http://stjohn.org.au/">St John Ambulance Australia</a></span><span> often put a callout for volunteers.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Wildlife rescue groups, such as </span><span><a href="https://www.wires.org.au/">WIRES </a></span><span>in NSW, and animal welfare </span><span>organisations</span><span> like the </span><span><a href="https://rspca.org.au/">RSPCA</a></span><span>, always appreciate an extra pair of hands – check the parks and wildlife service in your state. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, for example, is seeking volunteers for historic and cultural heritage tours, and for their threatened species and bush regeneration programs.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>If you enjoy working in customer service, try the local </span><span><a href="https://shop.oxfam.org.au/volunteer">Oxfam Shop</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.redcross.org.au/get-involved/connect/volunteer">Red Cross</a></span><span> or </span><span><a href="https://www.savethechildren.org.au/take-action/volunteer">Save the Children op shop</a></span><span>. Libraries need volunteers to help with </span><span>stocktake</span><span> to maintain the toy library and to deliver books to library customers. For music lovers, community radio stations are often run by volunteers – you might even have the chance to host your own show.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Major events also provide exciting opportunities for volunteers, so keep an eye out for big events that are coming to your town or city. Film, music and fashion festivals are often looking for volunteers.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>For more information, contact your local council or visit </span><span><a href="http://www.volunteering.org.au/">Volunteering Australia</a></span><span>.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>2.</strong> </span><strong>Fitness classes</strong></p> <p><span>If you’re into group exercise, you have a potential social network right in front of you. Try golf, tennis, dragon boat racing, rowing, squash, salsa classes, ballroom dancing, badminton, ocean swimming, sailing, aqua aerobics or yoga — or find a walking group via the </span><span><a href="http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/">Heart Foundation Walking network</a></span><span>.</span><span></span></p> <p><span><strong>3.</strong> </span><strong>Hobbies</strong></p> <p><span>Do you like gardening, films, model airplane flying, bird watching, photography, chess, creative writing, clay target shooting, knitting, bridge, quilting, cooking or reading? Look in your local area for groups, clubs or classes that you could join.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Car fanatics could join a club, such as a classic car club. For motorcyclists, the </span><span><a href="http://www.ulyssesclub.org/">Ulysses Club</a></span><span> is a social group for people aged over 40 years. Its motto is “grow old disgracefully”.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>For the community or politically minded, you could attend local council meetings. And don’t forget your local </span><span><a href="https://mensshed.org/">Men’s Shed</a></span><span>, which provides a space to work on practical projects while enjoying some good old-fashioned </span><span>mateship</span><span>.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>4.</strong> </span><strong>Faith-based groups</strong></p> <p><span>Churches and religious </span><span>organisations t</span><span>end to host a lot of social gatherings outside of their regular services, offering golden opportunities to meet people with similar beliefs.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>5.</strong> </span><strong>Virtual spaces</strong></p> <p><span>Facebook, Instagram and other social networks can be used as a way to connect with old friends, make new ones, and keep up with what’s happening in your community.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>If you want to learn more about computers or social media, ask at your local library or visit a local computer club. The </span><span><a href="http://www.ascca.org.au/">Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association</a></span><span> lists over 130 clubs for older Australians – one might be in your area.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><strong>6.</strong> </span><strong>Meetups</strong></p> <p><span><a href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup.com</a></span><span> is a nifty site that offers users the chance to join groups, known as Meetups, based on their location and interests. Examples of groups you can join include “Monopoly Players”, “More Bakeries Than Cycling Touring Club”, “Women’s Social Club”, and “French Movie Group”. If you can’t find a group that interests you, create your own!</span></p> <p><strong>7. Online dating</strong></p> <p><span>The major online dating sites are </span><span><a href="https://www.rsvp.com.au/">RSVP</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.eharmony.com.au/">eHarmony</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://au.match.com/">Match</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.oasisactive.com/">Oasis Active</a></span><span>, </span><span><a href="https://www.pof.com/">Plenty of Fish (POF)</a></span><span>, </span><a href="https://www.zoosk.com/"><span>Zoosk</span></a> <span>and </span><span><a href="https://tinder.com/">Tinder</a></span><span>.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>A good place to start might be with eHarmony, as it caters for a large number of older users. Billed as “Australia’s most trusted online dating site”, it offers specific dating advice for seniors. Of course, there are scams out there, so keep your wits about you.</span><span> </span></p> <p><strong>8. Lions and Rotary Clubs</strong></p> <p><span><a href="http://lionsclubs.org.au/">Lions </a></span><span>and </span><span><a href="http://rotaryaustralia.org.au/">Rotary </a></span><span>do a lot of good in their local communities and further afield. Lions’ motto is “where there’s a need, there’s a Lion”. Rotary is made up of members “who strive to make the world a better place”.</span><span></span></p> <p><strong>9. Returning to work</strong></p> <p><span>Working doesn’t have to be about the money. If you are in need of an outlet for mingling, going back to work could be the answer. Perhaps you could ask your former workplace about casual work or approach your local Bunnings Warehouse – the hardware chain encourages older workers back in to the workforce.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Former teachers might register for substitute teaching and pet lovers could advertise pet sitting or walking services. If you love weddings, why not become a marriage celebrant?</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Adore children? Ask parents you know if they need babysitting or someone to pick their kids up after school. Crafty? How about a market stall? Too many veggies in the garden? Try selling them at a farmer’s market. A spare bungalow, caravan or room could be decorated and listed on </span><span><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a></span><span>.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>Other ideas include freelance writing, consulting or selling your photos on a </span><span>microstock</span><span> site such as </span><span><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com/">Getty Images</a></span><span>.</span><span> </span></p> <p><strong>10. Pets</strong></p> <p><span>They are known as man’s best friend but having a dog can help you socialise more with people. A study by the University of Western Australia found “pet owners were significantly more likely to get to know people in their neighbourhood whom they didn’t know previously, compared with non-pet owners”.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Published in <em>PLOS ONE, </em></span><span><a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122085"><em>The Pet Factor – Companion Animals as a Conduit for Getting to Know People, Friendship Formation and Social Support</em></a></span><span><em> </em></span><span>concluded that dog owners were more likely to get to know people in their community than owners of other pets, such as cats or birds.</span><span> </span></p> <p><strong>11. Reconnecting with old friends</strong></p> <p><span>Make a list of people that you remember fondly and reach out to them by phone, email or Facebook. If they live nearby, invite them out for coffee, and if they are interstate or overseas, send a short email – who knows, one day you might take a trip and meet up with them.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Don’t assume old friends have forgotten about you just because they haven’t been in touch – they may have been juggling work and parenting in their 30s and 40s, making it hard to stay in touch. Most likely, they will be pleased to hear from you.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span>What have you done to combat feeling lonely? Share you experiences and ideas below.</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><em>Written by Leah McLennan. Republished with permission of </em></span><span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/combating-loneliness-how-to-meet-new-friends.aspx"><em>Wyza.com.au</em></a></span><span><em>.</em></span><span> </span></p>

Retirement Life

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The most misused word in the English language

<p>A traffic jam when you’re already late.<br /><br />A free ride when you’ve already paid.<br /><br />The fact that the King James Bible is the most shoplifted book in the United States.</p> <p>One of these three things is an example of irony – the reversal of what is expected or intended.<br /><br />The other two (no offense to Alanis Morissette) are not.<br /><br />The difference between them may be one of the most rage-inducing linguistic misunderstandings you’re likely to read about on the Internet or hear about from the determined grammar nerds in your life.<br /><br />“Ironic” does not, technically, mean “unfortunate,” “interesting” or “coincidental,” despite these terms often being used interchangeably. And that frequent misuse has not escaped linguists.</p> <p>According to the editors at <span><a href="http://WWW.DICTIONARY.COM">Dictionary.com</a></span>, “We submit that ironic might be the most abused word in the English language.”</p> <p>That’s a tough claim to prove, but it’s clear that confusion over the definition of irony is persistent and decades old.<br /><br />“Irony” makes Harvard linguist Steven Pinker’s <span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-58-most-commonly-misused-words-and-phrases-a6754551.html">list</a></span> of the 58 most commonly misused words in English, and ranks in the top 1 percent of all word lookups on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.<br /><br />Even Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald got it wrong, some say, when he claimed in 1939, “It is an ironic thought that the last picture job I took yielded me five thousand dollars five hundred and cost over four thousand in medical attention.” </p> <p>So what does irony mean, really, and where does the confusion come from?<br /><br />Part of the ambiguity probably stems from the fact that there are no fewer than three definitions of irony depending on which dictionary you use.<br /><br />There’s Socratic irony (an ancient rhetorical move), and dramatic irony (an ancient theatrical move), but the definition of irony we care about – and the kind that’s most bitterly debated ­– is situational irony.<br /><br />Situational irony occurs when, as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it, “a state of affairs or an event… seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result”. </p> <p>The trick, according to purists, is the deliberately contrary part – for a situation to be ironic, it must be the opposite of what is expected, not merely an amusing coincidence.<br /><br />A traffic jam when you’re already late may be an undesirable coincidence, but it is not the opposite outcome one would expect when leaving for work late (especially if that person lives in a major city).<br /><br />In an article titled <span><a href="http://www.collegehumor.com/post/229130/lines-from-alanis-morissettes-ironic-modified-to-actually-make-them-ironic">Lines From Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” Modified to Actually Make them Ironic</a></span>, College Humor writer Patrick Cassels corrects the situation like this: “A traffic jam when you’re already late… to receive an award from the Municipal Planning Board for reducing the city’s automobile congestion 80 per cent.” Now that’s irony.</p> <p>Not every linguist goes by this limited view, though.<br /><br />Ever the champions of fluid language growth, Merriam Webster <span><a href="https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irony">argues</a></span> that Mr. Fitzgerald, Ms. Morissette, and anyone else who uses “ironic” to mean “coincidental” isn’t actually wrong, but is actually just trailblazing.<br /><br />“The word irony has come to be applied to events that are merely curious or coincidental,” the editors write, “and while some feel this is an incorrect use of the word, it is merely a new one.”</p> <p>Now isn’t that something.</p> <p><em>Written by Brandon Specktor. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/our-language/most-misused-word-english-language">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Retirement Life

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9 words that will immediately make you sound old

<p>Want to close the generational gap? You’ll need to strike some of these out-of-date words from your lexicon.</p> <p><strong>1. Pocketbook</strong></p> <p>This European word dates way back to the 1600s, when it was used to describe a small bag used to carry coins.</p> <p>The name comes from – you guessed it – a small book that used to be carried in one’s pocket, and also held bank notes and money.</p> <p>While your grandmother might still use the term, younger women tend to call their bags “purses” or “handbags”.</p> <p>You are more likely to hear the term pocketbook these days when it refers to an app or a handheld touchscreen computer. Seem confusing? Bone up on <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/4-most-confusing-computer-technology-terms-explained">today's computing terms</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>2. Whippersnapper</strong></p> <p>This word, which is an alteration of the term “snippersnapper,” first appeared in the 1700s, making it abundantly clear that even our earliest ancestors were easily annoyed by petulant children.</p> <p>In its more modern form, the term relates to an overconfident child or young person who acts more important than he or she actually is: “That clueless whippersnapper doesn’t know a darn thing about life!”</p> <p>Let's face it – kids can be a challenge sometimes. Here's 7 ways they can really get your goat and <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/drama/7-ways-kids-are-annoying-and-how-you-can-deal-it">how to manage them</a></span>. </p> <p><strong>3. Tape</strong></p> <p>If you came of age in the 1980s, chances are you still use the word “tape” when it comes to recording your favourite music or TV shows, as in, “I’m not going to be home tonight to watch ‘Knight Rider.’ Could you tape it for me?”</p> <p>With the advent of digital media, there’s obviously no longer a need to record anything on magnetic tape, but still, old linguistic habits die hard.</p> <p>Speaking of old habits dying hard, is the convenience offered by technology making us lazy, forgetful and <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/Deskilling-in-the-Age-of-Digital-Amnesia">unable to solve basic problems</a></span>?</p> <p><strong>4. Xerox</strong></p> <p>Xerox launched its first commercially available copy machine in the 1960s.</p> <p>Due to its rapid success, the brand name Xerox soon became interchangeable with the word “copy,” much like the brand Kleenex has become synonymous with “tissue”.</p> <p>Today, there are many new printing companies on the market, and most workers refer to making copies as … making copies.</p> <p>Therefore, if you ask a younger co-worker to “Xerox” a document for you, you might be met with a blank stare. </p> <p>You may need to school up on how to deal with the onslaught of tech in the home and workplace by <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/3-Survival-Tips-for-the-Digital-World">reading this survival guide to the digital age</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>5. Floppy disk</strong></p> <p>If you used a computer in the 1980s and ’90s, chances are, you used a square floppy disk for file storage.</p> <p>As CDs became more ubiquitous, the need for floppy disks faded away, so much so that computers stopped manufacturing computers with built-in floppy disk drives.</p> <p>Asking a colleague to save something on a disk will certainly make you sound old, as tiny “thumb” or “flash” drives have since replaced bulkier storage media … for now.</p> <p>Perhaps you just <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/In-Praise-of-Technology">need to embrace technology</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>6. Stewardess</strong></p> <p>In the early days of air travel, a woman who attended to her passengers’ needs was called a stewardess.</p> <p>As years went on, the term took on a negative connotation, because of the restrictive emphasis put on the way women looked.</p> <p>As more men entered the profession, and as women fought back against gender bias in the 1960s and 1970s, the term was replaced with the more gender-neutral title of “flight attendant”.</p> <p>Travelling is stressful as it is so look after yourself if taking a long-haul flight and take note of the <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/10-things-you-should-never-do-airplane">10 things you should never do on an airplane</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>7. Icebox</strong></p> <p>Before people had refrigerators, they used to keep food cold by placing them in iceboxes, which, quite literally, were insulated metal or wood boxes that held large blocks of ice.</p> <p>Once home refrigerators became more commonplace in the 1930s and ‘40s, iceboxes were no longer necessary.</p> <p>For those older folks who grew up without mechanical refrigeration, however, the word “icebox” is forever etched in their vernacular.</p> <p>Does anyone still use the term icebox today? It's certainly not the <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/our-language/most-misused-word-english-language">most misused word in the English language</a></span>. </p> <p><strong>8. Dungarees</strong></p> <p>Today, we call them “jeans,” but people once referred to pants made out of heavy denim as “dungarees”.</p> <p>The name comes from a cheap coarse type of cloth imported from Dongari Kilda, India.</p> <p>The word “dungaree” eventually transformed into “jeans” when clothing manufacturers began importing the cloth from Genoa in Italy, which is referred to as “Genes” in French.</p> <p>Despite its antiquated terminology, you still might periodically hear old-timers referring to heavy work pants as dungarees.</p> <p>Got some old dungarees or other vintage clothes you can't bring yourself to throw out? Here are <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/4-steps-keep-treasured-vintage-clothing-its-best">4 steps to keep treasured vintage clothing looking it's best</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>9. Groovy</strong></p> <p>The origins of this word date back to the jazz age of the 1920s, when it started as a slang term for good music – found “in the grooves” of a vinyl record.</p> <p>It gained widespread prominence during the 1960s and ’70s, when it was used as a synonym for “excellent” or “cool.”</p> <p>By the 1980s, the word was pretty much out of fashion.</p> <p>Today, if you refer to someone or something as “groovy” (without a hint of sarcasm, that is), you’ll sound anything but hip.</p> <p>Fancy yourself a bit of a wordsmith? Never at a loss to find the right word? <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/quiz/test-your-vocabulary-obscure-words-quiz">See if our quiz can stump you</a></span>.</p> <p><em>Written by Jennifer Brozak. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/10-words-will-immediately-make-you-sound-old?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Retirement Life

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Does a smartphone make us smart?

<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><em>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><u>Does a smartphone make us smart?</u></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Once upon a childhood, we recall that we lived in a different world. On Saturday</p> <p style="text-align: left;">afternoons, our parents would drive us to a far-flung suburb, where our maternal</p> <p style="text-align: left;">grandparents lived. The adults loved us dearly, but believed that children should be seen</p> <p style="text-align: left;">and not heard.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">We would arrive punctually at 2pm. After a brief pit stop, our Nanna would say,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“Go for a walk!” Our mother would add, “Come back at four o’clock.” So that is exactly what</p> <p style="text-align: left;">we did.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In an unfamiliar suburb, with no street directory, or no GPS, or no watches to tell</p> <p style="text-align: left;">the time, not even a modern plastic bottle of water for refreshment, three young</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Australians would “Go for a walk!” Thus, we walked, past front yard gardens, along strange</p> <p style="text-align: left;">streets. We would walk for approximately one hour, then we turned around and walked</p> <p style="text-align: left;">back to our grandparents’ home. My elder sister must have had a good sense of geography.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Upon reflection, I do wonder what the current parent police would say now, to such</p> <p style="text-align: left;">child-raising habits. As every reader is aware, these days, there are smart phones employed</p> <p style="text-align: left;">to supervise children’s adventures in society. Such smart phones had not been imagined</p> <p style="text-align: left;">once, let alone invented.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Our oldies collectively had no idea where we were walking to, or even if we would</p> <p style="text-align: left;">return let alone at the correct time. Somehow, we just knew it was nearly four o’clock in</p> <p style="text-align: left;">the afternoon. Maybe we all lived in a safer world, where we were mostly a lot more naïve</p> <p style="text-align: left;">than folk and children are today.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Times change. These days, in the digital world of the 21<sup>st</sup> century, if children go for</p> <p style="text-align: left;">a walk, the parent police phone their offspring up every five minutes on their smart phones.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">As passers-by, we can hear some very strange conversations, in shopping centres or railway</p> <p style="text-align: left;">stations. Here is one I heard, not long ago.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The parent police must have asked, “Where are you now?”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Teenager on phone: “I am at the shops, Mum.”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Mum must have inquired, “Where are you going?”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Teenager’s response: “I am going to the loo!”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Mum’s next question, “What are you doing now?”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Teenager, sounding slightly exasperated, “I’m in the loo, having a wee! Mum!””</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Well, really. I wondered if it was really necessary to share with society, including</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Now there is someone calling on my smart phone! Whoops missed call. I must cease</p> <p style="text-align: left;">everything and return the call. It seems everyone I see is either gazing at a smart phone, or</p> <p style="text-align: left;">chatting on one. Are we so scared to be alone?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Are we all like the teenager in the shopping centre loo, with her mother calling her</p> <p style="text-align: left;">incessantly on her smart phone, the modern parent police? Would parents in these modern</p> <p style="text-align: left;">days even say, “Go for a walk!”, to send their children off for two hours, with no time pieces,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">or smart phones to monitor them? These days the parents must check for the location of</p> <p style="text-align: left;">their children, and for potential predators.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">So, the world is no longer as safe as it once appeared to be. There was the famous</p> <p style="text-align: left;">case of the Beaumont children. “Go for a walk, go for a swim!” Those three children have,</p> <p style="text-align: left;">unfortunately, never been seen again.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Amazingly, the three young girls we once were never disappeared, got lost, and</p> <p style="text-align: left;">always arrived back by four o’clock, unmolested. These days, our mother would have</p> <p style="text-align: left;">phoned us every five minutes on our smart phones, so we were not feeling apart. The smart</p> <p style="text-align: left;">phone is a great invention, but if everyone has to relate every action on a smart phone, has</p> <p style="text-align: left;">the smart phone really made us smart? Food for thought. “See ya!” (The great Australian</p> <p style="text-align: left;">smart phone farewell.). Yeah, “See ya!”</p>

Retirement Life

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The hilarious A-Z guide on the perils of ageing

<p><em><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></em></p> <p align="center"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Retirement Alphabet Soup!</span></p> <p align="center">Here is an ode to say,</p> <p align="center">Retirement Soup for us today!</p> <p align="center">A is for aging with attitude,</p> <p align="center">We are feisty old chicks and dudes!</p> <p align="center">B is for bronchitis, cough and blow,</p> <p align="center">And for bursitis, where did vigour go?</p> <p align="center">C is for COPD we were stoking,</p> <p align="center">With all our youthful smoking.</p> <p align="center">D is for diarrhoea,</p> <p align="center">No doctor wants to know ya!</p> <p align="center">E is for euthanasia,</p> <p align="center">Some geriatrics’ fantasia.</p> <p align="center">F is for the flatulence part,</p> <p align="center">Yes, we are grand old farts!</p> <p align="center">G is for the geriatricity stuff,</p> <p align="center">We got old, suck that up!</p> <p align="center">H is for halitosis for us,</p> <p align="center">Listerine is good, no need to fuss.</p> <p align="center">I is for Imodium’s task,</p> <p align="center">All you do is the chemist ask.</p> <p align="center">J is for jellybeans, eh?</p> <p align="center">Been to the pharmacist, let’s say,</p> <p align="center">Brought the lolly trolley today!</p> <p align="center">K is for our kids who also grow old,</p> <p align="center">Us they tell what to do, be told!</p> <p align="center">L is for laxatives for that constipation,</p> <p align="center">The flip side of grey consternation.</p> <p align="center">M is for MRI scans and tests,</p> <p align="center">All clear, we hope, that’s best.</p> <p align="center">N is for negative Normans around,</p> <p align="center">Wish grey positivity would abound.</p> <p align="center">O is for obesity sighs,</p> <p align="center">Cellulite for all our thighs!</p> <p align="center">P is for pappa’s don’t preach,</p> <p align="center">Lard butts so out of reach.</p> <p align="center">Q is for hope we don’t go queer,</p> <p align="center">No dementia here yet, dears.</p> <p align="center">R is for Retirement years,</p> <p align="center">We race on, switching gears.</p> <p align="center">S is for that sexuality bit,</p> <p align="center">Hope you made memories of blips!</p> <p align="center">T is for testicles, you can’t see ‘em,</p> <p align="center">Do oldies belong in museums?</p> <p align="center">U is for ultrasounds,</p> <p align="center">Our medical tests do abound.</p> <p align="center">V is for Ventolin inhalers for us,</p> <p align="center">Breathing disorders cause a fuss.</p> <p align="center">W is for the water works,</p> <p align="center">Fluid tablets are the worst!</p> <p align="center">X is for more X-rays today,</p> <p align="center">Got a photo of my bad back, yah!</p> <p align="center">Y is for that yellow jaundice for oldies,</p> <p align="center">Bilirubin levels make us feel mouldy.</p> <p align="center">Z is for this human zoo,</p> <p align="center">No rocking chairs for me and you!</p> <p align="center"> </p> <p align="center">That’s your alphabet soup today,</p> <p align="center">Welcome to our new old age!</p>

Retirement Life

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6 myths about older ladies that just aren’t true

<p><strong><em>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</em></strong></p> <p>Here are some versions of common myths about older ladies. This is for our retirement years.</p> <p><strong>1. Is it too late to exercise, if I never have before?</strong></p> <p>FACT: It’s never too late to exercise. Even if we are in our fifties or sixties, and have not exercised too much, we can adopt a moderate, balanced exercise regimen. In retirement, we have more leisure time, so can explore gym memberships, or golf, or aqua aerobics, or senior yoga, or pilates, or anything we fancy. We all need a balanced, moderate physical regimen.</p> <p><strong>2. Is dementia inevitable?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Dementia is a medical condition, for which treatments are evolving and developing. It is not an inevitable or normal factor of ageing. Steps can be taken to prevent this condition. We can engage in healthy exercise, and persevere with intellectual pursuits, such as reading, crosswords, letter writing, puzzles, and maintain a support network for our communication skills.</p> <p><strong>3. Shall we become depressed?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Depressive conditions can occur at any age. Some people believe all older people become isolated and depressed. But if depression occurs, it can be treated, with appropriate health professionals. Take things one day at a time, but you can plan and look forward to your golden years. One good practice is to write down all your blessings on a daily basis. You woke up! Great! The sun rises and blesses you with another day on Earth, make the most of it!</p> <p><strong>4. Does ageing mean the end of love?</strong></p> <p>FACT: No, life can begin at sixty. If we have a long-term significant other, we can develop our old love life in an understanding manner. If we are single, we might meet ‘the one’. But use precautions, these guys were active in the swinging sixties. They are called STD’s, part of the legacy of the baby boomers.</p> <p><strong>5. Do older ladies fear ageing?</strong></p> <p>FACT:  In general, older ladies do not fear ageing. We cannot worry about, or control, normal signs of growing older. We can have grey hair, we like it that way! We get chicken necks, and double chins, by heck! But we don’t need the undertakers yet!</p> <p>Lots of women embrace their post-menopausal years, with a positive mindset. There are never enough hours in the day. Women our age can succeed in many pursuits. Plus, wisdom and enlightenment can come with age, but we still don’t know everything!</p> <p><strong>6. Is arthritis part of ageing?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Women over fifty years of age, arthritis can be more likely to develop. This is due to the loss of cartilage in our joints. We can adopt suitable strategies such as sensible flat shoes, not expansive high heels, and less jogging or stressful activities for our musculoskeletal system. The key factor to managing this condition is pacing ourselves in physical activities. Use it or lose it! But if there is arthritic pain being experienced, there are holistic remedies to alleviate it. These include: heat packs, massage, maybe acupuncture, hydrotherapy, or TENS, known as electrotherapy. Sometimes, rest is best, sometimes simple exercises can be beneficial, for a balanced lifestyle, now we are ‘older ladies’.</p> <p>What are some myths about older ladies you are debunking?</p>

Retirement Life

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Hilarious poem about the perils of men in retirement

<p><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Perils of Men in Retirement</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Here’s an ode for ladies of a certain age,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Your men are going to retire one day,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Very old joke—is this your hunch?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">You married him for better or worse, not lunch!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">His first day at home, what’s he going to do?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He wants to come to the supermarket with you!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Now this is a man on a mission,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Buys half the shop with no permission,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, that was an expensive shop,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Now he wants you to cook this lot,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">A retired husband is a full time job!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">What’s this? He’s gardening with his chainsaw,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, those were your plants… but wait, there’s more,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He’s bought an electric guitar,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">You wish his greyboy band would go far</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Away, that is! Oh no, not this,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He wants to go camping with his grey old miss,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">NO! NO! God gave you a home, not a tent,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Yes, girls, camping is a defence,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, aren’t we both having fun?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Wife wishes she’d bought a gun,</p> <p>Never mind, it’s only retirement together, day one!</p>

Retirement Life

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Why returning back to my childhood home was so emotional

<p><strong><em>Ray Thomas left his family farm in South Australia when he was in his 20s and moved to New Zealand. He has always loved writing short stories and watching sport. He married an amazing woman 16 years ago and they both retired three years ago. They love family life, travelling, spending time in their large garden and fostering young children.</em></strong></p> <p>My wife and I had been planning the trip to my home state of South Australia, for many months. Now, after very little sleep because of our early flight, combined with great anticipation, we were finally on our way. Like excited young children off on their first overseas holiday, we happily boarded our aircraft. We grinned at each other saying, “Aussie here we come”.</p> <p>This, in all likelihood will be final trip home to South Australia, the country I left about 45 years ago, but still the country I call home. I fully expected the holiday to be full of mixed emotions. Fortunately, I had my amazing wife beside me, to share it with.</p> <p>So what the real reason for this trip, and why do it now? I have older siblings who are not in the best of health, so thought it would be nice to spend time with them, while I have the opportunity. We also thought it would be nice to visit places that meant a great deal to me, in my younger days, and allow myself to take one last trip down memory lane.</p> <p>We arrived in Adelaide several hours later than we had expected due to cancelled and alternative flights. To arrive in a city I had once called home (but had obviously changed a great deal), with a Google map to guide us, in peak hour traffic before a long weekend, was somewhat daunting, challenging and stressful.</p> <p>It was with great relief, when we finally arrived at ours friends home. Wayne and Wendy were relieved and delighted to finally see us. So began an amazing few days, full of laughter and great fun.</p> <p>It was great to spend time with our close friends, and we really appreciated everything they did for us.</p> <p>The following day was the first of many that were to follow of mixed emotions, as we took them with us around the district where I spent the first 17 years of my life.</p> <p><strong>Closure</strong></p> <p>First, we drove around the township of Gawler. It was great to revisit places that used to mean so much to me, and share it with my wife and close friends.</p> <p>I noticed a sign above a shop door with the name of distant family members where they once ran a thriving business. Then we walked up to the house where my grandparents once lived. We then drove passed the church where my brother was married over 55 years ago, to name but a few of the places, we visited, all of which brought back happy memories. It had been decades since I last visited Gawler, but instinctively I knew where to go. I was home. Upon leaving the town, I had mixed emotions. I felt perfectly happy and content, but also a sense of not needing to return.</p> <p><strong>Heartbreaking sadness</strong></p> <p>And so we travelled out to Reeves Plains and our former home and farm. What initially struck me was how dry and barren the district was after months of drought. I had also forgotten how flat the country was. Despite little recent rain, and the high cost of piped water, from reservoirs many miles away, combined with the searing heat, the total absence of gardens still shocked me.</p> <p>I noticed our shearing shed, but was then amazed to see our large sheep yards had vanished.</p> <p>As I surveyed the nearby paddocks, I was deeply saddened that for whatever reason, no sheep were to be seen. I presume farmers now rely totally on growing cereal crops, which upset me, because the district once had large numbers of sheep.</p> <p>It was desperately sad to see our old house and gardens looking so badly run down, almost like it was un-loved. The barn where we once spent countless happy hours playing table-tennis still stood proud amongst the drought and desolation.</p> <p>We then drove passed the decaying and broken old school and the adjoining tennis courts.</p> <p>The odd metal post which once helped to support the tennis net’s, stood strong and defiant. With overgrown trees and long since disintegrated tennis courts, we would never have known they ever existed. What was once one of the meeting places in the district is now confined to the minds of those who are old enough to remember the importance of the courts all those years ago.  </p> <p>A short time later, we arrived at Redbanks and walked around what was once our local church and community hall. Many happy memories came flooding back. It was heart breaking to see what was once a fun filled building decaying and slowly succumbing to nature.</p> <p>The once bustling township of Wasleys still exists, but like so many rural towns, is now struggling to survive. However, it was heartening to see the Bowling Club Clubhouse where both my parents once happily played with their many friends, had been rebuilt after the disastrous fire, which swept through the district a few years ago.</p> <p>It was the only glimmer of life we had seen in the district all day. Was it a day of mixed emotions? The answer is undoubtedly yes. I now have closure with no desire or intention of returning to that part of my life. I found it to be deeply upsetting to see everything so badly decayed, largely because of time and I suspect, years of low rainfall.</p> <p>I felt it was far better for me to remember our home and district, as it used to be, rather than (I fear) the inevitable total disintegration that will follow in the years to come.</p> <p><strong>Family time</strong></p> <p>The next day we visited my niece and family in Riverton. It was great to see them all again, and relive the happy time we spent together on their trip to New Zealand a few years ago.</p> <p>Then we travelled to the Barossa Valley and visited my elderly sister. It was nice to share old family photos and happily talk about the “old days” with her and rekindle the relationship we once had.</p> <p>It had been a long, hot, emotionally tiring day. Surprisingly, for the first time in many years, I began to realise I was missing MY family. It turned out to be a day of mixed emotions which I had not expected.</p> <p><strong>Childhood memories </strong></p> <p>Many decades ago, when we stayed at Port Elliot, our family often ate fish and chips for tea and then together went for a walk afterwards.  My wife and I found ourselves often doing exactly the same thing.</p> <p>We spent many happy days walking along the many paths, which offered magnificent views of fantastic scenery, and along the quiet streets, most of which had not changed. Several great trips to nearby Victor Harbour and walking around Granite Island and climbing The Bluff were also highlights of our time spend in that amazing area. Both towns were fantastic places to relax and unwind.</p> <p>Being our final night, it seemed appropriate to eat fish and chips overlooking the golden sandy beach. We then went for a leisurely walk, into the fast setting sun, sitting briefly on the rocks overlooking Green Bay, soaking in the sight and sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. We left the next morning, but not before our final walk, and say our “Goodbyes” to the many places we had frequently visited and enjoyed.</p> <p>In my youth (55-60 years ago) I had only climbed over the rocks. The paths were only for “oldies”. Now, I was THAT “oldie”, and quite happy to do just that, while fondly remembering my “long ago” youth.</p> <p>We were both sad to leave.  It was great to share the special area which means so much to me with my wife. Both of us would love to return, which we hope to do again sometime in the near future.</p> <p><strong>Overwhelming grief</strong></p> <p>Visiting the Mundalla cemetery however left me with very real mixed emotions. To walk around and see the names of many of my parent’s friends and bowling mates and people that I knew, was very sad.</p> <p>A short time later, we located my parent’s headstones. We left flowers and tidied the around the area, “talking” to them as we did so. I had an overwhelming sense that Dad was quite happy, as he had Mum beside him, and he was surrounded by people he knew. Mum is also surrounded by people she knew, but when I kissed her headstone to say “Bye Mum” before turning to leave, I sensed her saying “Don’t go, stay here with me”. Walking away with tear filled eyes, I clutched my chest thinking and re-affirming “here is where you will always be and always stay”.</p> <p>I once read: “A mother holds her children’s hands for a-while but their hearts forever”, and I thought how appropriate.</p> <p>I joined my wife who was sitting on a nearby seat. We held each other, for several minutes, the silence broken only by the sound of the kookaburra’s in the nearby gum trees. Somehow, words were not required.</p> <p>Visiting the cemetery affected me more than I thought it would. Very real mixed emotions and my feeling of home caught me by surprise.</p> <p><strong>More family time</strong></p> <p>And so on to Mount Gambier, where we stayed with my brother and his wife. Yes, he was very frail, but he still remained my much loved, admired older brother, with his wife I had known virtually all my life beside and taking care of him. We spent many happy hours, laughing together, sharing old ‘photos and reliving our younger days together.</p> <p>On his 78th birthday, it was great that most of his family were able to celebrate his birthday with him. It also gave us the opportunity to catch-up with many family members we had not seen for many years.</p> <p>All to soon it was time to leave and return home, but not before my brother said to my wife and I, separately and alone, in his softly spoken, frail voice “I hope I will see you again”, to which we could only mutter with voices choked with emotion, something that we hoped sounded bright and positive, knowing that in our hearts, it would be highly unlikely. After hugging and saying “Bye big brother”, and a “Thank-you” hug, for my amazing sister-in-law, we were on our way.</p> <p>So was it a trip of mixed emotions as I had expected? Absolutely, and for parts of it, a sense of total and absolute closure. For other parts of me, a very strong desire to return, at least for a holiday.</p> <p>The desire to suddenly want to live closer to family, has taken me by surprised, and I am uncertain what (if anything) can be done about it. With time, hopefully the concerns I am currently having with my mixed emotions will be resolved.</p>

Retirement Life

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Is ageism affecting you?

<p><em><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></em></p> <p>Yah, we made it! We got old! Now we are ageing in the millennial world, which we have played a part in creating.</p> <p>Is ageism affecting you? Ageism is simply discrimination against older people in the workforce, in the media, in advertising, and in the social scene.</p> <p>One of the major areas where ageism is evident, is in the employment of older workers. Older workers can provide years of experience, life skills, and be great mentors to younger workers. But nearly a third of the officially unemployed workers are aged 45-65 years old. If someone loses their job at this age, they may never gain more than a casual, part-time position. These are the vital years pre-retirement, when employees build up savings and superannuation for their golden years.</p> <p>Basically, many employers do discriminate against hiring older workers from their candidates. Some unemployed older worker can retrain, but may battle an overlooked prejudice, the ageism of the potential employer. These retrained workers may never gain employment. If they do, they may have only 5-10 years of working life remaining. Many employers prefer to hire someone younger.</p> <p>Ageism is also evident in the media. For instance, no weather girl on the television is an old, grey, fat woman. Weather girls are anorexic, beautiful, blonde bimbos who can barely read an autocue. Maybe old, fat, grey women don’t want to be weather girls. That’s okay. Maybe they do, and the employers in television land hire young, attractive babes. That is ageism.</p> <p>On the other hand, ageism can factor in a reverse situation. An older, more experienced nurse, doctor, allied health professional, or a teacher, can still attract job opportunities. Society regards their experience as both valid and valuable. In my personal experience, as a teacher/tutor for 42 years, I receive part-time job offers as a tutor, several times per week. Nice to be asked.</p> <p>Moreover, seniors have discounts on travel fares, a senior’s card discount on purchases, and some concessions with their pensions. But is the level of the senior’s pension, a sign of ageism itself? Most household budgets are eroded by the cost of food and bills.</p> <p>What are your experiences? Is ageism affecting you?</p>

Retirement Life

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Why you should learn one new thing every day in retirement

<p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.megangiles.com/" target="_blank">Megan Giles</a></span>, Retirement Transition Consultant, supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live!</strong></em></p> <p>Learn one new thing in retirement, you say? Why on earth would I want to do that, you muse to yourself. I’ve worked hard over the years and now it is finally time to kick back, relax and enjoy the fruits of my labours.</p> <p>Why is it important to keep learning, especially in retirement? There are a number of reasons.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Curiosity is fantastic for ensuring strong social connections in retirement.</strong> People who are interested in others tend to be perceived as interesting themselves. As social beings we tend to gravitate towards people who are interesting and have a sense of energy about them. The friendships established during our working life start to (naturally) drift away as routines change in retirement and so this becomes all the more important.</li> <li><strong>As the saying goes ‘use it or lose it’.</strong> The most effective way to keep your mind sharp and prevent mental decline is to keep using it!</li> <li><strong>Set yourself up for success.</strong> Learning requires us to challenge what we thought we knew and be willing to try different things. This in turn makes us more adaptable to new situations and more confident in how we step into the world. In acknowledging that retirement can be a time of transition and upheaval, wouldn’t it be great to know you were stepping into it on the front foot.</li> </ol> <p>What is that one thing that you muse over and think ‘I’d love to learn that, if only I had time…’. Why not make the time? Rather than thinking of learning as an arduous journey, such as a three year (full time!) university degree or learning a language fluently, why not start small and commit to learning just one thing each day. Perhaps learn just one new Spanish word each day (and practice using it!) or read one article about a topic you are passionate about. Imagine what you can learn over the course of a year!</p> <p><strong>After ideas for one new thing you could learn each and every day? </strong></p> <p>Here are 20 ideas to get you started!</p> <ul> <li>The name of your neighbours (particularly if you’ve recently moved)</li> <li>The one thing your grandchildren enjoyed most at school today</li> <li>Your significant other’s greatest wish for retirement</li> <li>How to take better care of your health (and ensure you are able to live out your retirement dreams)</li> <li>A new recipe for dinner</li> <li>How to compost</li> <li>How to grow your own vegetables</li> <li>The names of the plants in your garden</li> <li>Trace your family tree</li> <li>The history of your local area, particularly the indigenous history</li> <li>First aid</li> <li> How to SnapChat or tweet (and keep up with the grandkids!)</li> <li>How to blog</li> <li>Join a bookclub</li> <li>How to stand-up paddle board / yoga/ cycle</li> <li>How to drive a 4X4</li> <li>To play the ukulele</li> <li>To sing (why not head along to one of the many Pub Choirs popping up around the country!)</li> <li>Build your own pizza oven</li> <li>Creative writing</li> <li>Up-cycling furniture (and update your home to reflect your new lifestyle in retirement)</li> </ul> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><strong>Where to start?</strong></p> <p>There are fantastic interest groups and classes both in your community and online. Browse the web or pick up a copy of the local paper and see what’s on near you.  </p> <p>You don’t need to spend the whole day learning, or even one hour. Commit to just 15 mins of focused learning each and see where that takes you.</p> <p align="center"><em>‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream’ – C.S. Lewis</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Life in retirement: Why it’s never too late to start a business

<p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.megangiles.com/" target="_blank">Megan Giles</a></span>, Retirement Transition Consultant, supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live!</strong></em></p> <p>Think you’re too old to start a business? Think again. The 55+ age bracket is the fastest growing demographic for launching a new business and proves that age is no barrier to entrepreneurship. A recent US study found that almost 40% of Baby Boomer respondents indicated they were interested in starting a business or not-for-profit in retirement. And why not! Retirement provides a wonderful opportunity to pursue your passion on your own terms and earn an income in the process.</p> <p><em>As Jill says, “I love being over 60 and just figuring out my new career. So many wonderful things still to come”</em></p> <p>Why kick back in the recliner if you would rather be doing something else?</p> <p><strong>How a business can help realise your purpose in retirement</strong></p> <p>There are a number of motivators for starting a business after stepping away from one’s ‘real’ career. It might be that you developed a specific or highly desirable skill set during your career and don’t want your skills to lose currency.  It might be that you have a hobby and are excited to purpose it with passion, or that you are an empty nester with more time on your hands and want to do something meaningful with your days. Whatever your motivation, why not give it a go! Remember that there is nothing wrong with making money by serving and delivering great value to others.</p> <p><strong>The unique contribution that Baby Boomers have to offer</strong></p> <p>One of the most powerful points of difference that retirees have to offer is the ability to identify with, and respond to, the needs of a fast growing consumer demographic – the Baby Boomers themselves.</p> <p>According to the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument" target="_blank">ABS</a></strong></span>, at least 15% of the Australia population in 2017 were 65 or older, which accounts for 3.4 million people! Baby Boomers constitute a significant part of the consumer market and are inclined to do business with other Baby Boomers because they ‘get’ them. They think to themselves ‘you’ve been where I’ve been and you understand what I need’.</p> <p><em>As Ange* reflects “I’m 67 and most of the women I work with are baby boomers too. One of the things I realised is that women of a certain age come from a place of wisdom. We’ve lived, we’ve learned, we synthesise so much…And we’re truly experts on what we do because we have that deeper knowledge that goes beyond textbook knowledge”</em></p> <p>Challenge the stereotypes that retirees are past it and out of touch. Your experience, networks and resilience are just three valuable qualities you will bring to the entrepreneurial world.</p> <p><strong>Setting off on the right foot - Key actions to take when starting a business in retirement</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Do market research.</strong> For the greatest chance of success it is important to ensure you are solving a problem in a marketplace. Who is your ideal client? Can you describe them – what they like doing, how they spend their time, and what is important to them. Do you know someone who fits this description? Chat to them and find out if what you want to offer will appeal to them? Test and refine. Find some more people to speak with. Test and refine again.</p> <p><strong>2. Stop and reflect.</strong> Take a moment to stop and reflect on your strengths, your proudest moments, the challenges you have overcome and what you are truly passionate about. This will provide a positive foundation to build your business on. Remember that you don’t need to compete with the 20-somethings in this digital age. Offerings do not have to be tech-based to succeed.</p> <p><strong>3. Plan.</strong> Identify the problem or opportunity and assess if you have the right skills to respond. If there are any gaps consider if you need to bring in some expertise, be that coaching, outsourcing or upskilling. Don’t be afraid to use your connections and embrace technology. Determine how much money you are willing to outlay, how many items/sessions you need to sell to break even (and better yet earn a profit) and then make that one of your goals.</p> <p><strong>4. Set ground rules.</strong> Make the distinction between work and personal time. Remember, retirement is about lifestyle – you don’t want your business to become all-consuming. Set these expectations early and hold yourself to account!</p> <p><strong>One bonus tip</strong> – it is not worth losing a friendship over a business. Before you launch a venture with a friend, ensure that your skills are complementary and create some ground rules about how the two of you are going to work together and speak up when things are not going as anticipated.</p> <p><em>After a long and successful career in recruitment, Lisa* established a personal image business. Through her career she frequently advised on creating a high impact first impression and recognised the importance of feeling good in one’s skin. She also had an amateur interest in styling with friends regularly asking ‘what should I wear to that important dinner’ or ‘what shoes go with this outfit’. Not surprisingly she created a business supporting women approaching retirement to transition from a corporate wardrobe to a more relaxed style. She appreciated that women (like herself) still want to look smart but reflect a new energy in retirement.</em></p> <p><em>Lisa has built her business via word-of-mouth, some networking and an online presence. She is conscious of the number of clients she takes on each week as she wants her business to be a joy, not a burden. To her, business is about pursuing something that lights her up (and being rewarded for it!).</em></p> <p>The Baby Boomers have always been the ones to break the rules and to challenge the social norms. Why should that be any difference in retirement? Why retire in the traditional sense of the word if you’re excited to be doing something else?</p>

Retirement Life

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“I still make my adult son’s packed lunch”

<p>Mother and business owner, Amanda, has confessed that she is still mollycoddling her son despite him being an adult.</p> <p>“I know he's 23 but I still struggle to see him as properly grown up," Amanda Pampel told the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/i-still-make-my-adult-son-s-packed-lunch-20180418-p4zabq.html" target="_blank"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Sydney Morning Herald.</span></em></strong></a></p> <p>“He's perfectly capable, but as soon as he came back I wanted to mollycoddle him."</p> <p>Until her son Louis recently found a full time job, Amanda and her husband David supported him financially.</p> <p>They still don’t charge him rent and she makes him a packed lunch every day for work.</p> <p>"I know he could do it himself but it's just a nice thing to do," she said. </p> <p>Amanda knows that she is spoiling her son, but Louis is happy with the arrangement.</p> <p>Clinical psychologist Dr Chirag Gorasia says that there are benefits for practising tough love as a parent rather than just giving them endless amounts of support.</p> <p>"The concept of parenting has changed and both parents and children now find it difficult to let go," said Dr Gorasia.</p> <p>"Financial support can often mean a better quality of life for young adults. However, it can also mean that children end up less able to cope with challenges, as they've not had much experience of resolving their issues independently."</p> <p>In <em>The Lancet Child &amp; Adolescent Health</em> medical journal, an opinion piece suggested that adolescence now lasts until the age of 24, increasing from the previous age of 19.</p> <p>This shift coincides with high rent, fewer jobs and an increase in the median age for first marriages.</p> <p>Experts agree that it is vital for parents to set boundaries if their children move back into the family home to save for their future.</p> <p>"Having your children home again can be rewarding as you all develop a more adult relationship," said psychotherapist Ellie Roberts.</p> <p>"But most parents know that the appropriate developmental stage is for their children to move away from the home and establish themselves in relationships and work.”</p> <p>Roberts believes that the toll of modern education on children encourages helicopter parenting.</p> <p>"Education has become stressful for children and parents tend to compensate by offering a kind of butler service," she said.</p> <p>However, Roberts says that once their children’s education is over, parents need to learn to let go.</p> <p>Roberts also suggests to not keep tabs on your children on social media.</p> <p>"It has blurred the boundaries," she said.</p> <p>"If parents aren't careful, their anxiety about what their children are up to can drive them into becoming voyeurs. It can also lead to parents assuming they are 'friends' when it's more developmentally healthy for children that their parents remain parents.</p> <p>"Being supportive isn't the same as over-involvement," Roberts said.</p> <p>What is a bad idea, she explained, is "enmeshment – when the young person finds it difficult to separate and is constantly either appeasing the parents or rebelling against them."</p>

Retirement Life

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Millionaire leaves nothing to partner of 42 years in will

<p><span>Despite being together for 42 years, a millionaire landowner who died left nothing behind in his will for his partner.</span></p> <p><span>Wynford Hodge, who owned Parsonage Farm and Caravan Park in Wales, died after battling prostate cancer in 2017.</span></p> <p><span>Mr Hodge left behind more than $2,700,000 in funds and assets but the 92-year-old did not want his 79-year-old partner or his children to inherit any of his money.</span></p> <p><span>When Mr Hodge's health deteriorated, his partner Jane Thompson took on the role of his main carer.</span></p> <p><span>The High Court were told that Mr Hodge had made 10 wills before his death.</span></p> <p><span>In his final will, Mr Hodge left all of his wealth to his two tenants, Karla Evans and Agon Berisha, who worked at his properties.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img width="500" height="280" src="/media/7817779/1_500x280.jpg" alt="1 (127)"/></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Parsonage Farm and Caravan Park via Google Maps</em></p> <p><span>Mr Hodge said Ms Thompson was “financially comfortable” and didn’t need any of his money.</span></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span>In reality, his partner had only been left with savings of about $4,500.</span></p> <p><span>Judge Milywn Jarman ruled that Mr Hodge failed to meet his responsibilities to his partner and awarded Ms Thompson a cottage on the estate wroth $410,000.</span></p> <p><span>She also received almost $346,000 to pay for the renovation of the cottage and to give her financial security.</span></p>

Retirement Life

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“We remember”: Auschwitz survivor and Vietnam vet on what ANZAC Day means to them

<p>Anzac Day means different things to different people. </p> <p>Frank Smolen, who turns 100 in October, survived Auschwitz. When Nazi Germany occupied his country, Frank joined the Polish Resistance. He spent about three years in this infamous concentration camp after the Gestapo discovered his allegiance to the resistance. </p> <p>Frank admires how Australians come together to remember the brave people who served their country in war. </p> <p>“Australians do it well. No other country in the world recognises their returned soldiers and diggers like that. They haven’t forgotten.”</p> <p>Frank moved from Poland to Australia after World War II. He met his future wife, Hedwig, on the boat trip to Australia and they enjoyed a happy life in Melbourne suburb, Footscray, before she passed away about 10 years ago. He has only recently started talking about some of his experiences.</p> <p>Today, he lives at VMCH aged care residence, St Bernadette’s in Sunshine. Frank’s family describe him as a treasure. </p> <p>“He’s just an adorable man and we love him to bits,” his daughter-in-law, Ina, says.</p> <p>While ANZAC Day was not something the family have been a part of in the past, Frank was moved when he was asked to be part of St Bernadette’s Anzac Day service last year.</p> <p>“St Bernadette’s asked him to lay the wreath for their Anzac Day service because he was the oldest one in the centre,” Ina, said. </p> <p>“He was so emotional and so proud. I really think that is the closest he’s ever come to somebody acknowledging what he’s been through.” </p> <p>Ina says Frank is in good health and the family hope to record his experiences during World War II to make sure his memories and important story is not lost. She sees parallels between his reasons for joining the Polish Resistance and what the ANZACs did. </p> <p>“We have asked him why did he do it? ‘Why were you part of the underground?’ He said, ‘I did it for Poland. I did it for the love of my country.’ That’s exactly how we look at our ANZACs and what they have been through at Gallipoli.  They just do it because it’s for their country,” she said.</p> <p>For Gary McNabb, 66, ANZAC Day is an important day to remember people who did not come back from war.  </p> <p>A Vietnam War veteran, Gary marches in the ANZAC Day Parade in Melbourne every year.</p> <p>“I can’t get over the amount of people there … all cheering. I am proud to march. But you still remember everyone that’s been your mates that are not with you anymore,” he says.</p> <p>Gary is a volunteer at St Bernadette’s. He started volunteering after his mum moved into St Bernadette’s about eight years ago. While his mum passed away a few years ago, Gary still volunteers. He loves to chat with residents and help out during the regular bingo games. </p> <p>Gary says he does not like to talk about his time during the Vietnam War. </p> <p>“I have locked it and thrown the key away,” he said. </p> <p>He says he only started marching in the Anzac Day parade in the ‘90s at the insistence of an aunt. But, now he enjoys the day and recalls the first time he joined the parade.</p> <p>“I met blokes I hadn’t seen in years and years. It felt fantastic.”</p> <p>It is the stories and sacrifice of people like Frank, Gary and countless others that continue to make days like Anzac Day so important to Australians.</p> <p>Lest we forget.</p>

Retirement Life