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‘I keep away from people’ – combined vision and hearing loss is isolating more and more older Australians

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/moira-dunsmore-295190">Moira Dunsmore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/annmaree-watharow-1540942">Annmaree Watharow</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-kecman-429210">Emily Kecman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health">ageing population</a> brings a growing crisis: people over 65 are at greater risk of dual sensory impairment (also known as “deafblindness” or combined vision and hearing loss).</p> <p>Some 66% of people over 60 have hearing loss and 33% of older Australians have low vision. Estimates suggest more than a quarter of Australians over 80 are <a href="https://www.senseswa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/a-clear-view---senses-australia.pdf">living with dual sensory impairment</a>.</p> <p>Combined vision and hearing loss <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0264619613490519">describes</a> any degree of sight and hearing loss, so neither sense can compensate for the other. Dual sensory impairment can occur at any point in life but is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.02.004">increasingly common</a> as people get older.</p> <p>The experience can make older people feel isolated and unable to participate in important conversations, including about their health.</p> <h2>Causes and conditions</h2> <p>Conditions related to hearing and vision impairment often <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-lose-our-hearing-and-vision-as-we-age-67930">increase as we age</a> – but many of these changes are subtle.</p> <p>Hearing loss can start <a href="https://www.who.int/teams/noncommunicable-diseases/sensory-functions-disability-and-rehabilitation/highlighting-priorities-for-ear-and-hearing-care">as early as our 50s</a> and often accompany other age-related visual changes, such as <a href="https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/">age-related macular degeneration</a>.</p> <p>Other age-related conditions are frequently prioritised by patients, doctors or carers, such as <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-conditions-disability-deaths/chronic-disease/overview">diabetes or heart disease</a>. Vision and hearing changes can be easy to overlook or accept as a normal aspect of ageing. As an older person we interviewed for our <a href="https://hdl.handle.net/2123/29262">research</a> told us</p> <blockquote> <p>I don’t see too good or hear too well. It’s just part of old age.</p> </blockquote> <h2>An invisible disability</h2> <p>Dual sensory impairment has a significant and negative impact in all aspects of a person’s life. It reduces access to information, mobility and orientation, impacts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/09638280210129162">social activities and communication</a>, making it difficult for older adults to manage.</p> <p>It is underdiagnosed, underrecognised and sometimes misattributed (for example, to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbz043">cognitive impairment or decline</a>). However, there is also growing evidence of links between <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">dementia and dual sensory loss</a>. If left untreated or without appropriate support, dual sensory impairment diminishes the capacity of older people to live independently, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">feel happy and be safe</a>.</p> <p>A dearth of specific resources to educate and support older Australians with their dual sensory impairment means when older people do raise the issue, their GP or health professional may not understand its significance or where to refer them. One older person told us:</p> <blockquote> <p>There’s another thing too about the GP, the sort of mentality ‘well what do you expect? You’re 95.’ Hearing and vision loss in old age is not seen as a disability, it’s seen as something else.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Isolated yet more dependent on others</h2> <p>Global trends show a worrying conundrum. Older people with dual sensory impairment become <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12054">more socially isolated</a>, which impacts their mental health and wellbeing. At the same time they can become increasingly dependent on other people to help them navigate and manage day-to-day activities with limited sight and hearing.</p> <p>One aspect of this is how effectively they can <a href="https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25522">comprehend and communicate in a health-care setting</a>. Recent research shows <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12080852">doctors and nurses in hospitals</a> aren’t making themselves understood to most of their patients with dual sensory impairment. Good communication in the health context is about more than just “knowing what is going on”, <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9032/12/8/852">researchers note</a>. It facilitates:</p> <ul> <li>shorter hospital stays</li> <li>fewer re-admissions</li> <li>reduced emergency room visits</li> <li>better treatment adherence and medical follow up</li> <li>less unnecessary diagnostic testing</li> <li>improved health-care outcomes.</li> </ul> <h2>‘Too hard’</h2> <p>Globally, there is a better understanding of how important it is to <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240030749">maintain active social lives</a> as people age. But this is difficult for older adults with dual sensory loss. One person told us</p> <blockquote> <p>I don’t particularly want to mix with people. Too hard, because they can’t understand. I can no longer now walk into that room, see nothing, find my seat and not recognise [or hear] people.</p> </blockquote> <p>Again, these experiences increase reliance on family. But caring in this context is tough and largely <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2020.572201">hidden</a>. Family members describe being the “eyes and ears” for their loved one. It’s a 24/7 role which can bring <a href="https://doi.org/10.1159/000507856">frustration, social isolation and depression</a> for carers too. One spouse told us:</p> <blockquote> <p>He doesn’t talk anymore much, because he doesn’t know whether [people are] talking to him, unless they use his name, he’s unaware they’re speaking to him, so he might ignore people and so on. And in the end, I noticed people weren’t even bothering him to talk, so now I refuse to go. Because I don’t think it’s fair.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, what can we do?</p> <p>Dual sensory impairment is a growing problem with potentially devastating impacts.</p> <p>It should be considered a unique and distinct disability in all relevant protections and policies. This includes the right to dedicated diagnosis and support, accessibility provisions and specialised skill development for health and social professionals and carers.</p> <p>We need to develop resources to help people with dual sensory impairment and their families and carers understand the condition, what it means and how everyone can be supported. This could include communication adaptation, such as social haptics (communicating using touch) and specialised support for older adults to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09649069.2019.1627088">navigate health care</a>.</p> <p>Increasing awareness and understanding of dual sensory impairment will also help those impacted with everyday engagement with the world around them – rather than the isolation many feel now.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232142/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/moira-dunsmore-295190">Moira Dunsmore</a>, Senior Lecturer, Sydney Nursing School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/annmaree-watharow-1540942">Annmaree Watharow</a>, Lived Experience Research Fellow, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-kecman-429210">Emily Kecman</a>, Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Linguistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/i-keep-away-from-people-combined-vision-and-hearing-loss-is-isolating-more-and-more-older-australians-232142">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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"Heartbreaking": Teen dies after collapsing on badminton court

<p>Rising badminton star Zhang Zhijie has died after he collapsed in the middle of a match at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Monday.</p> <p>In an interview with the BBC,  Indonesia’s badminton association PBSI said that the  17-year-old athlete suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. </p> <p>The Chinese athlete was facing Japan’s Kazuma Kawano when he fell to the floor and appeared to convulse. </p> <p>He was stretchered off the floor and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead after they failed to resuscitate him. </p> <p>Viral footage of the tragic incident has sparked fury on Chinese social media platform Weibo, after it showed that it took first medical responders more than 35 seconds to finally arrive and check his condition. </p> <p>According to a PBSI spokesman, medical teams were only following the rule where they needed to get the referee's permission before entering the court. </p> <p>“That is in accordance with the regulations and standards of procedure that applies to every international badminton tournament,” the spokesman said.</p> <p>The Badminton World Federation said it will investigate if the correct protocols were taken during the tragic incident.</p> <p>“Zhang’s death at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia is a tragic occurrence, and we are taking all necessary steps to thoroughly review this matter in consultation with Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Indonesia,” they told <em>TMZ</em>. </p> <p>It is also reported that the medical responders did not have an AED machine to react to the cardiac arrest. </p> <p>Zhijie's death has been a trending topic on Weibo for days, with many outraged over the medical response. </p> <p>One person wrote: “Which is more important - the rules or someone’s life?” </p> <p>Another added: “Did they miss the ‘golden period’ to rescue him?”</p> <p>The badminton community have since paid tribute to the athlete, and they observed a moment of silence in memory of him at the championship on Tuesday. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhi Jie.</p> <p>Rest in peace. <a href="https://t.co/DhP4actMDJ">pic.twitter.com/DhP4actMDJ</a></p> <p>— BAM (@BA_Malaysia) <a href="https://twitter.com/BA_Malaysia/status/1807601602460819621?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Badminton Association of Malaysia also held a moment of silence at tournament on Sunday, as seen in a video posted on X.</p> <p>“One minute of silence as we pay our respects to the late Zhang Zhijie. Rest in peace," they wrote. </p> <p>China’s badminton association also said that they were “deeply saddened” by the loss. </p> <p>“Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team,” they said in a statement. </p> <p>His parents have since travelled to Yogyakarta to retrieve his body. </p> <p><em>Images: Twitter/ Wide Awake Media</em></p>

Caring

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4 things you’re likely doing that are damaging your hearing

<p>Your hearing is a precious gift, so it’s important to take good care of your ears. We’ve got some advice on the things to avoid, and what you can do to protect your hearing.</p> <p><strong>Using cotton tips</strong></p> <p>Though they’re commonly used for the job, cotton tips should never be used to clean out your ears. In fact, no solid object should be put inside your ears. Cotton tips account for around four per cent of all ruptured eardrums.</p> <p>These innocuous-looking objects can also cause bleeding, scratch your ear canal, or trigger an infection. So put them down and step away. Instead, use a commercial ear cleaner, or even just a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerine to soften the earwax.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait and see</strong></p> <p>If your hearing in one or both ears suddenly disappears without cause, you need to go and see your doctor as soon as you can. It could be inflammation, infection, or a decrease in blood supply to the area.</p> <p>If you need treatment, you’ll likely need it immediately to have any hope of restoring your hearing.</p> <p><strong>Using eardrops without advice</strong></p> <p>There are many over-the-counter eardrops available to help with things like swimmer’s ear. But in extreme cases, these products can cause deafness. Before you use anything, including a home remedy, get your doctor to check that you don’t have a ruptured eardrum.</p> <p>Some people may be born that way, or have had surgery as a child, or suffered an injury. If the ingredients in these drops make their way inside your eardrum, it can cause a lot of pain, and permanent deafness.</p> <p><strong>Always protect your ears</strong></p> <p>It’s incredibly important to protect your ears from permanent damage. Tiny hairs inside your ears act as hearing receptors, and these can be broken by extremely loud noises. Once they’re gone, they don’t come back.</p> <p>So things like loud music, fireworks, machinery, and artillery are all risky to be around. The best thing you can do is cover up with earmuffs whenever you’re around these things – especially if it’s on a regular basis. For extra safety, use earplugs as well.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Charlise Mutten's mother flees court in tears

<p>Charlise Mutten's mother has broken down and fled the courtroom in tears after being accused of murdering her nine-year-old daughter.</p> <p>Kallista Mutten was grilled by her ex-fiancé Justin Stein's lawyer on Tuesday about her excessive methamphetamine use, including while pregnant with his child.</p> <p>The grilling began when Carolyn Davenport SC accused her by saying, "You shot and killed your daughter", to which Ms Mutten replied, "Are you serious?"</p> <p>She then burst into tears, crying out "I didn't even know where she was shot" before Ms Davenport added that Mr Stein "had seen you deliver the second shot".</p> <p>After being excused from the witness box, Ms Mutten ran out of the courtroom in tears, while the jury were temporarily sent out.  </p> <p>The dramatic moment came after Ms Mutten admitted taking methamphetamine even when her daughter came to visit.</p> <p>Ms Mutten was being cross-examined on day 12 of Stein's trial, who has been charged with Charlise's murder in January 2022. </p> <p>The 40-year-old admitted to having psychotic episodes while on using ice and had continued to take the drug despite her Charlise's visit during the summer school holidays in 2022.</p> <p>She denied she and Charlise were not getting along in the days before her death, or that she had been told to leave the Stein's Mount Wilson property, and instead left of her own accord.</p> <p>"I chose to leave because I didn't want to be there any more. Yeah, I was very hormonal, I was pregnant. Yeah, I was using, yeah. My emotions were very strong at the time," she said.</p> <p>Stein, 33, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Charlise, but has admitted to disposing the schoolgirl's body.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Daily Mail / Facebook / Nine News</em></p>

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The dos and don’ts of caring for your hearing aids

<p>Proper care and maintenance of your hearing aids is important. It will ensure you to get the most out of your aids, prevent problems and maintain optimum hearing conditions. Here are some guidelines to help you care for them.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: clean your hearing aids regularly with a dry cloth or tissue.</p> <p><strong>DON’T</strong>: get your hearing aids wet. That means no wearing them in the shower or when swimming. If they happen to get wet, dry it off immediately.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: put your hearing aids in their case when you’re not using them</p> <p><strong>DON’T</strong>: wear your aids when using aftershave, hairspray, perfume, sunscreen, insect repellent and so on. They contain chemicals that could damage it. Allow time for drying before putting back on hearing aids.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: use a moisture protection kit/anti-humidity kit. They help with moisture problems (which can affect performance of hearing aids) and extend life of hearing aids.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: keep out of reach of pets and visiting grandkids. Dogs have been known to chew them up and if swallowed by either pet or grandkid, can be very dangerous.</p> <p><strong>DON’T</strong>: expose your device to extreme heats. Don’t leave them in a parked car, near a heater or wear while using a hairdryer. </p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: Store your hearing aid in a safe place that's dry and cool.</p> <p><strong>DON’T</strong>: leave your hearing aids switched on when you’re not using them.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: change batteries often so you won’t be stuck with aids that have suddenly run out of power.</p> <p><strong>DON’T</strong>: ever insert anything into the sound outlet as it could damage the receiver. If you can’t clean it properly, ask your hearing professional.</p> <p><strong>DO</strong>: remove any earwax that gets into your hearing aid. It could cause permanent damage.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Hearing

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What if there was a hearing aid that understood your listening intentions?

<div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column">Hearing conversations in noisy environments can be especially hard for people with impaired hearing. Unfortunately, traditional hearing aids adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to processing sounds, regardless of the listening needs of individual users. This may make listening and engaging with others more difficult. Users may also experience a lack of sound clarity and be reluctant to engage in conversations with others.</div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column">Hearing aid manufacturer <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/hearing-aid-users" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oticon</a> is taking the next important step on the journey to solve the No.1 challenge for people with hearing loss – hearing speech in noise<sup>2</sup>. With new groundbreaking 4D Sensor technology, <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/hearing-aid-users/hearing-aids/products/intent" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oticon Intent</a> is capable of understanding the user’s listening intentions by recognising what they want and need to listen to, in order to deliver truly personalised support.</div> <div class="column"> <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column"><strong>The Brain And Sound</strong></div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column">Our ears gather the sounds around us, but the true hero in sound processing is the brain, as it is constantly working to make sense of sound. Oticon uses their BrainHearing<sup>TM</sup> philosophy to develop technology that provides the brain with access to the full sound environment.</div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column">The latest <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/hearing-aid-users/hearing-loss/understand-hearing-loss/how-hearing-works" target="_blank" rel="noopener">BrainHearing<sup>TM</sup></a> insights reveal that people’s communication behaviour reflects their listening needs and intentions at a given moment via head and body movements. In conversation, users tend to keep their heads still to engage with a single person or move their heads in a group conversation to engage with different people. When struggling to hear what someone is saying, users are likely to lean in to listen.</div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column">The technology in Oticon Intent understands and adapts to the user through sensors that monitor head and body movements, conversation activity and the acoustic environment. Oticon Intent helps users move beyond just hearing and listening, helping them to communicate and fully engage in life.</div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column"><strong>Ease Of Communication</strong></div> <div class="column"> </div> <div class="column">In challenging, noisy environments, Oticon Intent makes it possible to:</p> <ul> <li>Move through a crowd with seamless awareness, while orienting to the surrounding sounds.</li> <li>Begin chatting with a group of people, thanks to heightened access to voices and balanced background sounds so they are not intrusive, while still accessible.</li> <li>Start an intimate conversation with one person, easily hearing the speaker’s voice amid the noise all around.</li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-50989" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/Oticon_Intent_HA_In_Hand_Hero3_KC_1321_Expires_On_2_8_2029_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><strong>Engage More In Life</strong></p> <p>“If you have a hearing loss, you can actually protect your brain from cognitive decline by using active hearing aids which enable you to connect with others and let you engage in life to the fullest,” says Thomas Behrens, Vice President of Audiology at Oticon. “You can also enjoy future-proof, next- generation connectivity technology, crafted into the smallest form factor we have designed to date within this category.”</p> <p><strong>Open Up The Digital World</strong></p> <p>Offering easy connection to compatible smart devices through Bluetooth® Low Energy technology, Oticon Intent also enables users to engage in the digital world like never before. It allows a detailed, high-quality sound experience for hands-free calls and delivers direct streaming of music, audio book and much more<sup>3</sup>.</p> <p>With up to 20 hours of battery life, users will never have to worry about running out of battery. When they need a recharge, they’d simply drop the hearing aids into the charger for just 30 minutes for up to 8 hours of battery life<sup>4</sup>.</p> <p>Your hearing matters. Take a step towards better hearing by contacting your nearest <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/hearing-aid-users/find-audiologist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hearing care professional</a>. To explore this revolutionary hearing aid that helps users to engage in life like never before, visit <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/oticon-intent" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.oticon.co.nz/oticon-intent</a></p> <p>For more information and to find your nearest hearing clinic, visit <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener">oticon.co.nz</a></p> <p><em>*4D Sensor technology only available in Oticon Intent 1 & 2. [</em><em>2.] Jorgensen, L., & Novak, M. (2020). Factors Influencing Hearing Aid Adoption. Seminars in hearing, 41(1), 6–20. [3.] Hands-free communication is available on select devices. See which hearing aids and devices are compatible here: oticon.co.nz/compatibility. [</em><em>4.] Expected use time for rechargeable battery depends on use pattern, active feature set, hearing loss, sound environment, battery age and use of wireless accessories.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Oticon.</em></p>

Hearing

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Paul Simon reveals sad health update

<p>At 82 years of age, the great Paul Simon – one half of the iconic duo Simon & Garfunkel – has admitted to facing a new health challenge that could prove devastating to millions of fans worldwide: hearing loss.</p> <p>In a recent revelation, he spoke candidly about how this health issue has affected his performances, yet also how he's adapted in oder to continue pursuing his passion for music.</p> <p>Simon's discussion about his hearing loss comes ahead of the premiere of a two-part docuseries, <em>In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon</em>, set to air on MGM+ starting March 17. It's a timely revelation, shedding light on the personal struggles behind the legendary musician's enduring career.</p> <p>During a panel discussion, Simon disclosed the impact of his hearing loss on his recent stage experiences. While he's regained some comfort in singing and playing instruments, he noted difficulties when certain instruments overshadow his own voice.</p> <p>"If there's a drum or an electric guitar," he revealed, "it's too loud and I can't hear my voice. But when I first lost the hearing, I couldn't get – it threw me off."</p> <p>It's a frustration that resonates deeply with any performer reliant on auditory cues for their craft.</p> <p>Simon's journey with hearing loss began suddenly, with the loss predominantly affecting his left ear. In a previous interview, he described the initial frustration and annoyance at the unexplained condition, hoping it would eventually resolve itself.</p> <p>"Nobody has an explanation, so everything became more difficult," he said in a <em>Times</em> interview in May 2023. "My reaction to that was frustration and annoyance; not quite anger yet, because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself."</p> <p>Despite the challenges, he's found solace and creative expression through his daily guitar playing, using it as both a creative outlet and a source of comfort during trying times.</p> <p>Reflecting on his musical journey alongside Art Garfunkel, Simon highlighted the enduring impact of their collaboration. From their humble beginnings as schoolmates in New York to becoming one of the best-selling music acts of the 1960s and 1970s, Simon & Garfunkel's legacy is undeniable. Their timeless hits, including "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs Robinson," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water," continue to resonate with audiences worldwide.</p> <p>Despite occasional tensions and artistic differences that led to their split in 1970, Simon & Garfunkel's partnership endured, marked by intermittent reunions for select performances. Their ability to transcend personal conflicts in the pursuit of their shared musical vision speaks volumes about their dedication to their craft and the enduring power of their bond.</p> <p>While Simon's journey may have taken an unexpected turn, his musical legacy continues to shine brightly, resonating with generations past, present and future.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Hearing

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New details emerge in Sam Kerr incident

<p>Court documents have revealed that Sam Kerr was taken into custody was taken into custody and placed in a holding cell on the night she <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/sam-kerr-s-alleged-racial-comments-revealed-by-uk-paper" target="_blank" rel="noopener">allegedly verbally abused</a> a UK police officer. </p> <p>The Matildas captain has pleaded not guilty to the public disorder charge of using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress towards a police officer in Twickenham, London, on January 30, 2023.</p> <p><em>The Sun </em>reported that Kerr allegedly vomited in a taxi, was involved in a dispute about the taxi fare, and allegedly called an attending police officer a “stupid white b*****d”, which her legal team have argued that she actually called him a "stupid white cop".</p> <p>Kerr was <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/sam-kerr-s-lawyers-request-police-station-cctv-footage-interview-be-retained-20240314-p5fc9w.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly</a> placed in a police custody suite inside a police station and was interviewed during that time.</p> <p>According to court transcripts, there were also numerous body cam clips filmed by police during the alleged incident, which will be used as evidence in court. </p> <p>Kerr's legal team have reportedly requested for video footage of the incident to be made available to them, and  last week they asked the Kingston Crown Court for any CCTV footage from outside a Twickenham station or from inside the custody suite to be provided to them.</p> <p>According to News Corp, her legal team is also yet to receive footage taken from two police body cam clips, and the transcript and audio from her interview while she was detained over the incident. </p> <p><em>The Daily Telegraph </em>reported that during her plea hearing, Kerr was also warned about delaying any decision to change her plea to guilty — should that change of plea occur.</p> <p>“Should there be any change in your position … the sooner you plead guilty to this matter, if that is your intention and your wish, the earlier you do that the better, do you understand?” Judge Judith Elaine Coello  said.</p> <p>“You will lose credit as time goes on and should you be convicted after trial; you will lose all credit you might otherwise have obtained. Are you clear on all of that?”</p> <p>Kerr is due to face trial in February 2025, and if found guilty could face up to six months in jail or an unlimited fine. </p> <p>Her lawyers are preparing to apply for the charges to be dismissed next month. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Former world champion cyclist to face court over Olympian wife's death

<p>Rohan Dennis, the husband of former Olympic cyclist Melissa Hoskins, will face court after allegedly causing her death. </p> <p>Dennis, a former world champion cyclist, was arrested in January and charged with  causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life.</p> <p>It is alleged that he recklessly struck his wife with his car in front of their home in Medindie in Adelaide on December 30.</p> <p>Hoskins was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital but died later that night. </p> <p>The pair share two children together, and Dennis is due to appear at the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.</p> <p>If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. </p> <p>The Australian cycling community were devastated when news of Hoskins' death first broke. </p> <p>"Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 world championships as the highlight of her career but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around," AusCycling chief executive Marne Fechner said at the time.</p> <p>"Although she retired in 2017, her presence as an alumnus of the sport has been felt and appreciated by many in the cycling and riding community."</p> <p>Hoskins competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics as a member of the Australian track cycling team pursuit, that finished fourth place. </p> <p>She also competed at the 2016 Olympics for the same team, and was in the squad that won the 2015 world title in the event. </p> <p>The Olympian was laid to rest in her hometown, Perth, in January with a public memorial service held in Adelaide during what would've been her 33rd birthday a month later.</p> <p>Dennis, who has been on bail since January, attended both ceremonies. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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"Who cares?": Kyle Sandilands backs Sam Kerr

<p>Kyle Sandilands has weighed in on Matildas captain Sam Kerr's court battle, after it was alleged that she called a police officer in London a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/sam-kerr-s-alleged-racial-comments-revealed-by-uk-paper" target="_blank" rel="noopener">"stupid white b*****d"</a> during a dispute over a taxi fare.</p> <p>Sandilands was quick to defend the Matildas captain during the <em>Kyle And Jackie O show </em>on Tuesday and insisted that calling someone that didn't warrant a criminal conviction. </p> <p>"It's not even a big deal. She call some guy 'white b*****d'. Who cares?" the 52-year-old shock jock said.</p> <p>"White b******s don't care about that. That's for the other races to worry about," he added, before newsreader Brooklyn Ross quickly changed the topic. </p> <p>Kerr, 30, is preparing to face a four-day trial next February, following the incident that occurred after a night out in Twickenham on January 30, 2023.  </p> <p>The football star appeared in a London court on Monday after she was accused of using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to the officer.</p> <p>Kerr has maintained her innocence, pleading not guilty to the charges brought against her.</p> <p>Her legal team hope to have the case thrown out when they return to court next month.</p> <p>In response to the controversy, the sport's governing body Football Australia (FA) said that while they were aware of the legal proceedings, they didn't know about the charges laid against Kerr. </p> <p>"As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment at this time. Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate," they said in a statement. </p> <p><em>Images: Kyle and Jackie O show/ Getty</em></p>

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"I was shocked": Lisa Wilkinson's text messages shown in court

<p>A series of explosive texts revealed in court have shown how Lisa Wilkinson's controversial Logies speech led to her untimely dismissal from <em>The Project</em>. </p> <p>The texts are contained in an affidavit that Wilkinson and her lawyers have submitted to the Federal Court in relation to a dispute over who will pay her million-dollar legal fees after being sued by Bruce Lehrmann for defamation. </p> <p>In an affidavit to the Federal Court, Wilkinson said she was shocked when she found out she was being let go from <em>The Project</em>, after she discovered her agent Nick Fordham had a meeting with Network Ten CEO Beverley McGarvey.</p> <p>“I was shocked, embarrassed and deeply disappointed by Ms McGarvey’s decision to remove me from <em>The Project,</em>” she said.</p> <p>“At that time, my most recent contract as co-host of The Project had only been signed 11 months before and still had more than two years to run.”</p> <p>Speaking of her agent's meeting, she said, “He told me that Ms McGarvey had informed him that Ten was doing a ‘rebrand’ of <em>The Project</em> with a number of hosting changes. He told me that she had said that those hosting changes included me."</p> <p>“He also told me that she had said that, because there had been too much heat on me in the months since the Logies speech – and, as a result, too much ‘brand damage’ – it was best that I be removed from my hosting role on <em>The Project</em>.”</p> <p>When she said farewell to <em>The Project</em> in 2022, Wilkinson blamed the “targeted toxicity” of sections of the media.</p> <p>“The last six months have not been easy,” Wilkinson told viewers of the panel show when she announced she would be leaving the show. </p> <p>“And the relentless, targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll not just on me but on people I love."</p> <p>“I have had a ball,” she said. “But for me right now it’s time for a change. To be clear. I’m not leaving Ten and we’re looking at some very exciting work ideas ahead.”</p> <p>In the affidavit, she says that Ms McGarvey approved Wilkinson’s on-air explanation for her departure and suggested that they “sound very authentic”.</p> <p>“I said to her that this decision to remove me from <em>The Project</em> would result in yet more negative publicity for me, for <em>The Project</em>, and for Ten, particularly if my sudden departure was without explanation,” Wilkinson said.</p> <p>Ms McGarvey told Wilkinson in texts “Perfect delivery, you spoke from the heart.” </p> <p>“It was a beautiful sentiment and you are so generous to your colleagues. Thank you. The media should all be kind, you deserve it.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Jumping castle operator in court over Hillcrest tragedy

<p>A jumping castle operator who was charged over the 2021 <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/children-killed-in-hillcrest-tragedy-identified-amid-overwhelming-support" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hillcrest Primary School tragedy</a> is expected to face court for the first time.</p> <p>Six children, Peter Dodt, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Zane Mellor, Addison Stewart and Chace Harrison, were killed when the inflatable castle was lifted into the air on December 2021. </p> <p>The students were enjoying the end-of-year celebrations with their classmates on the oval of the school in Devonport in Tasmania's northwest, when the tragic incident occurred. </p> <p>Rosemary Anne Gamble, the operator who worked for Taz-Zorb - the company who supplied and set up the castle - was charged in November after failing to comply with workplace health and safety requirements. </p> <p>It is alleged that the castle was tethered at four of its eight anchorage points and the pegs  recommended by the manufacturer, or a suitable alternative, weren't installed properly. </p> <p>According to court documents, seven students were on the castle when it became dislodged and airborne due to a "significant" weather event, causing them to fall from a height of about 10 metres.</p> <p>A few others were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/heartbreaking-detail-as-mother-of-jumping-castle-victim-speaks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reportedly</a> injured, with one nearby student being struck by the blower attached to the castle. </p> <p>It is alleged that Gamble failed to ensure the anchorage system was sufficient to prevent the castle from lifting, and failed to ensure there were pegs at each anchor point as per the manufacturer's instructions. </p> <p>It is also alleged that Gamble failed to provide adequate information, including manufacturer's operating manual to the two workers she was in charge of at the time. </p> <p>She is expected to face the Devonport Magistrates Court for the first time on Friday. </p> <p>Preparations for the coronial <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/update-on-inquest-into-hillcrest-primary-deaths" target="_blank" rel="noopener">inquest</a> was put on hold because of the criminal charges. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter/ ABC News</em></p>

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"Do you hear it?": Worldwide hum global mystery baffles scientists

<p>A perplexing phenomenon known as "The Worldwide Hum" has been capturing the attention of scientists and citizens alike, as an unusual low-frequency noise continues to puzzle experts.</p> <p>This mysterious hum, first recorded in 2012, has been reported by thousands of people worldwide, sparking investigations, online discussions and even <a href="https://www.thehum.info/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the creation of an interactive map</a> documenting instances of the enigmatic sound. As researchers strive to unravel the mystery, individuals share their experiences, raising questions about its origin and effects.</p> <p>Described as a low rumbling or droning sound, "the hum" is often likened to the idling of a car or truck engine. What makes this phenomenon particularly intriguing is that it is not universally heard, with reports of the hum being exclusive to certain individuals.</p> <p>Some claim it is more pronounced at night than during the day, and louder indoors than outdoors. One Reddit user even compared it to the low-frequency vibrations felt when a passenger jet flies overhead.</p> <p>Since its first documentation, more than 6,500 instances of the hum have been reported globally, with new cases continually emerging. The interactive user-generated World Hum Map and Database Project <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">captures the experiences of those who have encountered the sound, providing a comprehensive overview of its widespread occurrence. In some regions, authorities such as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have conducted investigations, as was the case in the NSW Waverley Council ten years ago. Despite these efforts, the source of the hum remains elusive.</span></p> <p>Individuals affected by the mysterious noise often find solace in online communities, where they share their experiences and discuss possible explanations. Some describe feeling as though they are "going insane", and say that the psychological impact of the persistent hum is actually very severe.</p> <p>Facebook support groups have become a platform for individuals to connect, share anecdotes and speculate about the origin of the sound. Theories range from the mundane – such as the use of headphones causing collective tinnitus – to more complex environmental factors.</p> <p>While tinnitus, a symptom of auditory system issues, has been proposed as a potential explanation, it does not account for the collective experience of the hum. Various theories, including industrial plants, ocean waves, lightning strikes and the proliferation of mobile phone towers, have been suggested over the years. However, none of these explanations have gained widespread acceptance or provided a conclusive answer.</p> <p>Dr Glen MacPherson, who initiated the World Hum Map and Database Project, experienced the hum firsthand on Canada's Sunshine Coast. Having debunked the idea of "hum hotspots", Dr MacPherson theorises that the hum may be a subjective phenomenon, akin to tinnitus, originating from within the individual rather than an external source. His 11 years of research highlight the complexity of the mystery, challenging initial assumptions and pointing towards the need for further investigation.</p> <p>As "The Worldwide Hum" continues to captivate the curiosity of scientists and citizens worldwide, the quest for understanding remains elusive. While theories abound, the true origin of the hum remains unknown, leaving both experts and individuals alike intrigued by a phenomenon that transcends geographic boundaries and defies conventional explanations.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Twist for cop accused of killing Clare Nowland

<p>Senior Constable Kristian James Samuel White, 33, who was accused of killing 95-year-old Clare Nowland <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-horrified-by-police-statement-on-tasering-of-clare-nowland" target="_blank" rel="noopener">with a taser</a> at an aged care home in Cooma, regional NSW has been deemed a “flight risk”. </p> <p>White was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the alleged “excessive use of force”.</p> <p>It is alleged that Nowland was using a walker and holding a serrated steak knife at the time of the incident, when the 33-year-old said “stop, just … nah bugger it” before allegedly tasering her. </p> <p>The great-grandmother fell backwards and fractured her skull, causing an inoperable brain injury that unfortunately led to her death just days later. </p> <p>Just last week, White's charges were upgraded to include an additional charge of manslaughter on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.</p> <p>White appeared in court on Wednesday, for the first time since his charges were upgraded, and received two new bail conditions. </p> <p>The Constable was required to surrender his passport and not leave the country due to the upgraded charges. </p> <p>However, prior to his bail conditions being approved, Magistrate Roger Clisdell criticised both Crown prosecutor Victoria Garrity, and White's defence lawyer Warwick Anderson for negotiating the new terms of bail without his input. </p> <p>“I make the decision,” he said.</p> <p>“I would have thought my last explosion would have caused you to be more sensitive to my position.”</p> <p>This comes after the prosecutors failed to tell the Magistrate that they had agreed to allow White to appear in court via video link in May, without the court's consent.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor defended her actions by saying that she asked him to surrender his passport to mitigate the risk of flight. </p> <p>“With the more serious charge now being faced, there is a heightened risk that he would leave the jurisdiction and not face court,”  she explained. </p> <p>“Those two new conditions are now appropriate.”</p> <p>While the police officer's defence lawyer added that “He has no intention of fleeing the jurisdiction," and agreed to the additional bail conditions “to facilitate the speedy resolution”. </p> <p>White will return to court in February next year. </p> <p>Nowland's family members released a statement via their lawyer after the proceedings on Wednesday. </p> <p>“The family does not wish to comment further on the criminal process at this time given the extremely serious nature of the charge against Mr White, who continues to be a sworn NSW police officer,” the statement read. </p> <p>NSW Police confirmed that White remained suspended from duty with pay.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News South East NSW: Floss Adams/ News.com.au</em></p>

Legal

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"Shame on you!" Robert De Niro's courtroom outburst

<p>Robert De Niro has lost his temper in court, as his former assistant accused him of being abusive. </p> <p>The Oscar-winning actor is being sued by Graham Chase Robinson, who worked as his assistant from 2008 until several months into 2019, for millions of dollars after claiming he was abusive when they worked together. </p> <p>Robinson, 41, seeks $US12 million (approximately AUD$18 million) in damages for emotional distress and harm to her reputation, that she claims has left her jobless and unable to recover from the trauma of working for De Niro.</p> <p>The jury is also considering evidence pertaining to a lawsuit De Niro filed against Robinson in which he claimed that she stole things from him, including five million points that could be used for airline flights.</p> <p>De Niro is countersuing his former employee, seeking the return of three years of Robinson's salary.</p> <p>Robinson's attorney Andrew Macurdy interrogated the actor over some of his questionable behaviour, including allegations that he spoke to Robinson while he was urinating, and claims that he called her a "b***h" to her face.</p> <p>De Niro admitted that while he "got angry" at his former assistant, he was "never abusive".</p> <p>Growing frustrated with the line of questioning, he exclaimed, "You got us all here for this?" </p> <p>Eventually, he angrily looked toward Robinson and shouted, "Shame on you, Chase Robinson!"</p> <p>De Niro was also asked by Macurdy if he he sued Robinson before she sued him because he wanted publicity.</p> <p>"It draws attention to me. It's the last thing I wanted to do," De Niro said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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The path to better hearing, today

<p>In 1902, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who would very soon become Queen Consort of the United Kingdom alongside King Edward VII, found herself enraptured by a fascinating new device that was fast becoming the talk of Europe.</p> <p>The young princess had been fitted with one of the world’s first portable electric hearing aids, and it proved to be a life-changing success.</p> <p>Back in Denmark, the impact of this event became a clarion call to one Hans Demant, a bicycle manufacturer and purveyor of sewing machines. His wife, Camilla, also suffered from severe hearing loss and so, after a determined journey to London, Hans returned with a precious electric “Acousticon”.</p> <p>Witnessing Camilla’s progress served as a source of inspiration for Hans to extend his assistance to a broader community of individuals suffering with hearing loss, and so he initiated the import of hearing devices from America. In 1904, Hans Demant founded the company that would later become known as <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/">Oticon</a>, a name now synonymous with cutting-edge hearing solutions, paving the way for the modern hearing aids we know today and bringing new-found joy to millions worldwide.</p> <h3>Hearing health</h3> <p>Hearing health is a such critical aspect of our overall well-being, yet it often goes overlooked until problems arise. In New Zealand, hearing issues affect a surprisingly large portion of the population, with a 2022 EHIMA report estimating as many as one in ten New Zealanders are living with hearing loss. Sadly, a lack of awareness can lead to irregular hear- ing check-ups, which in turn leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment.</p> <h3><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-50616" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/11/miniRITE_R_H1-2023_RightLeft_C090ChromaBeige_LEDgreen_Speaker60_OpenBassDome_500pctSize_w_shadow_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="642" /></h3> <h3>A new world of sounds</h3> <p>A far cry from the bulky hearing aids of over a century ago that were hailed as a miracle in the press and transformed Queen Alexandra’s life, the pinnacle of today’s devices – such as <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/hearing-aid-users/hearing-aids/products/real" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oticon Real™ hearing aids</a> – continue to change the way we experience the world of sound.</p> <p>With their advanced processing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology, Oticon Real can help get back the real sounds of life, precise and optimally balanced, whether it’s the laughter of grandchildren, musical notes or simply the rustling of leaves in the wind.</p> <p>One of the standout features of Oticon Real hearing aids is a unique technology called Deep Neural Network (DNN). This built-in intelligence has learned to recognise all types of sounds, their details, and how they should ideally sound. This means they can instantly adapt to changes, keeping you at your best wherever life takes you.</p> <p>By analysing and adjusting to your environment, Oticon Real hearing aids ensure that they provide what you need to hear. They do this by reducing background noise, which can help enhance speech comprehension and allow you to engage effortlessly in conversations, even in noisy settings.</p> <h3>Connection is key</h3> <p>In today’s digital age, connectivity is paramount, and Oticon Real hearing aids certainly rise to the challenge, offering seamless connectivity to compatible* smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. You can effortlessly stream phone calls, music and other audio directly to your hearing aids, vastly enhancing your listening experience.</p> <h3><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-50617" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/11/Oticon_Real_Still_Life_miniRITE_R_Wallet_JBS_24873_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="863" /></h3> <h3>Improved quality of life</h3> <p>Perhaps the most significant benefit of Oticon Real hearing aids is their positive impact on your quality of life. Improved hearing can lead to increased social engagement, better relationships and enhanced overall well-being. With the help of Oticon Real, you can participate more actively in social gatherings, make the most of your favourite activities and feel more connected to the world around you.</p> <p>Oticon Real hearing aids aren’t just devices; they are a life-changing gift that allow you to reconnect with the sounds and people you love. No longer are they fit just for a queen; they are readily available to anyone with the need and the longing to be truly present for life’s most cherished moments.</p> <p><em>For more information and to find your nearest hearing clinic, visit <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">oticon.co.nz</a></em></p> <p><em>*For information on hearing aid and device compatibility, visit <a href="https://www.oticon.co.nz/compatibility" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.oticon.co.nz/compatibility</a></em></p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-50618" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/11/Oticon_Real_miniRITE_R_9_colors_lineup_1280.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="125" /></p> <p><em>All images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Oticon.</em></p>

Hearing

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"Death was a blessing": Why father was glad to hear his daughter was killed

<p>A devastated, recently widowed father has revealed why he was relieved his eight-year-old daughter was killed by Hamas terrorists in Israel. </p> <p>Thomas Hand, an Irish-born father who moved to Israel 30 years ago, tearfully told CNN that he welcomed the news that his daughter, Emily, had been killed quickly by Hamas, because it was better than being taken hostage and tortured by the terrorists. </p> <p>Mr Hand was already grieving the loss of his wife, who died of cancer in recent years, when his daughter was killed during the conflict between Israel and Palestine. </p> <p>In the heartbreaking interview, Mr Hand broke down in tears as he recounted the moment he was finally told his daughter's body had been found, and said his reaction was one of relief that she had not been kidnapped instead.</p> <p>He said in a shaking voice, "They just said we found Emily, she's dead and I went, 'yes'. I went, 'yes' and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CySvzswoJFb/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CySvzswoJFb/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CNN (@cnn)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"That was the best, possibly that I was hoping for. She was either dead or in Gaza. And if you know anything about what they do to people in Gaza, that is worse than death."</p> <p>"That is worse than death. The way they treat you. They'd have no food, they'd have no water." </p> <p>He continued, "She'd be in a dark room filled with Christ knows how many people and terrified every minute, hour, day and possible years to come."</p> <p>"So, death was a blessing, an absolute blessing."</p> <p>Recounting the savage attack, Mr Hand said, "I had to think of Emily. She already lost her mother, I couldn't risk her losing her father too."</p> <p>Revealing harrowing details of events surrounding the attack, he shared why he survived and his daughter did not.</p> <p>"She doesn't do it very often, but unfortunately that night, that particular night - Friday night - she went to sleep at her friend's house."</p> <p>The following morning, Hamas attacked the kibbutz where Emily was staying, killing at least 100 civilians and taking hostages to Gaza. </p> <p><em>Image credits: CNN</em></p>

Family & Pets

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6 natural remedies for tinnitus

<p>As anyone who’s ever experienced will agree, tinnitus is about as fun as repeatedly stubbing your big toe. But the good news is needn’t suffer in silence. There is a range of natural remedies available, and while these won’t eliminate tinnitus completely they may be used to help manage the condition.</p> <p>Before we go through some of the natural remedies, it might be useful to take a moment to understand what tinnitus actually is. Tinnitus is a physical condition that is usually caused by a fault in the hearing system where someone experiences noises or ringing in their ears when there is no external noise presents. It’s important to know tinnitus is symptom, and not a disease. It can be caused by a variety of things including exposure to loud noises, earwax blockages, ear-bone changes and age-related hearing lost. Approximately one in five Australians suffer from tinnitus.</p> <p><strong>1. Gingko biloba</strong></p> <p>Across the board, gingko biloba is generally considered one of the stronger herbal remedies for tinnitus. This widely available herbal remedy is often used to improve blood circulation, which can reduce the ringing sensation and improve the function of your ears. It also contains handy antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help eliminate any existing infections.</p> <p><strong>2. Apple cider vinegar</strong></p> <p>Apple cider vinegar provides a particularly useful daily tonic to help reduce the effects of tinnitus. A natural antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent, apple cider vinegar also works to alkalize your body and help rebalance your internal levels. Again, this remedy is quite helpful when it comes to getting rid of any underlying infections or fungus that may be contributing to your tinnitus.</p> <p><strong>3. Alpha lipoic acid</strong></p> <p>Alpha lipoic acid provides tinnitus sufferers with another handy supplement that can help minimise the effects of this condition. Functioning as an antioxidant, this vitamin-like chemical is known to help treat cell damage and restore natural vitamin levels in your body. Alpha lipoic acid has also been known to help improve neuron function and conduction, which may be contributing factors.</p> <p><strong>4. Holy basil</strong></p> <p>Here’s another natural remedy for treating tinnitus. Holy basil is known to contain a range of antibacterial properties and can be used to help kill the bacteria that may be contributing to the problem. In addition, holy basil can also be used as a way to provide you with relief from more severe forms of ear pain. It won’t solve the problem, but it will make it easier to manage.</p> <p><strong>5. Onions and garlic</strong></p> <p>While they might not make your breath smell the best on a hot date, onions and garlic have been used in the past to provide relief for tinnitus sufferers. Onions contain medicinal and antibacterial properties to help fight infections, while garlic can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, which is particularly useful for tinnitus that is caused by high altitudes.</p> <p><strong>6. Saline solution</strong></p> <p>Here’s another nifty way to treat tinnitus naturally. Saline solution can help clear any blocked nasal passages and ease the pressure caused by excessive fluids that are building up in your sinuses. This simple remedy is a great way to provide effective relief from particular forms of tinnitus. </p> <p>So there you go, six handy ways to help relive yourself of the effects of tinnitus. Ultimately we would recommend that you go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis if you happen to be suffering from tinnitus, but at the very least it’s handy to know that these natural remedies are around.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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These 11 simple everyday things could be ruining your hearing

<p><strong>Protect your ears</strong></p> <p>You know a leaf blower can do a number on your hearing or a loud rock concert can make your ears ring for days. But there are all sorts of surprising everyday items that can have an impact on your hearing, and you don’t want to wait until you’re collecting Social Security to take action – Millennials are losing their hearing, too.</p> <p>From your kitchen to your yard, your medicines to your health conditions, here are things that affect your ears. Take a listen.</p> <p><strong>Blood-related conditions </strong></p> <p>Types 1 and 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol affect almost every cell in the body – including the ears. Vibrations from tiny hair cells in your ears send your brain messages about what you’re hearing, but those cells need proper blood flow.</p> <p>“All those hair cells are fed nutrients by tiny little capillaries,” says audiologist Craig A. Kasper. “If there’s any problem with blood flow, you’re not going to get those hair cells to grow.” People who have diabetes, for instance, are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than the rest of the population, he says.</p> <p><strong>Blow-dryers</strong></p> <p>A hairdryer near your head could be putting out 85 or more decibels of noise. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 dB is when people are at risk of hearing loss, says the US National Institutes of Health. You’d probably have to dry your hair for eight hours straight before it did any damage, but that loud part of your beauty regime could add up over time, says clinical audiologist Kit Frank.</p> <p>“The more you use [blow-dryers] and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to have damage,” she says. “It might not do immediate damage, but over time it will.”</p> <p><strong>Loud music</strong></p> <p>You know what it was like when you came home after a loud concert: The ringing in your ears was a sure sign the music was too loud. But even the tunes coming through your headphones could damage your ears. Earbuds are typically more damaging than over-the-ear headphones because they rest deeper in your ear canal, says Frank.</p> <p>And if you crank up the volume to drown out the noise around you, things get even riskier, says Kasper. “You typically have to compete with the environmental noise to hear the music,” he says. “That’s when it becomes dangerous.” Sticking with volume at or below 60 per cent will keep the sound at a safe level, he says. If you can’t hear at that volume, buy sound-blocking headphones to cut out the outside noise.</p> <p><strong>Skipping your annual check-up</strong></p> <p>Most hearing loss comes from gradual damage to your inner ear, but blockages are totally treatable. During your annual visit to your GP, your doctor should check the inside of your ears for wax build-up. Skip that check-up and you might end up with clogged earwax muffling your hearing, says Frank.</p> <p>But you might also get stuffed-up ears after a specific event, says Kasper. “It could be someone has a history of sinus infections or allergies, or just took multiple plane rides and their ears are clogged,” he says. “It makes us feel like we’re underwater."</p> <p><strong>Prescriptions </strong></p> <p>Hearing loss could be a side effect of your medication. Some diuretics for heart disease, chemotherapy and antibiotics (especially gentamicin, neomycin, and others in the -mycin family) could damage your ears.</p> <p>Getting better is your first priority, but it’s worth talking to your doctor about whether the dose is high enough to do damage. “High doses of any antibiotic can be dangerous,” says Frank. “Usually myacins are used in high doses.”</p> <p><strong>Over-the-counter pain relievers </strong></p> <p>Even pain relievers you get over the counter, like aspirin and ibuprofen, could do damage in high amounts. Any hearing loss or tinnitus from them is usually temporary, but the side effects are sometimes permanent.</p> <p>As long as you stick with baby aspirin or regular doses of a pain medication, though, you won’t risk ruining your hearing, says Kasper.</p> <p><strong>High fever</strong></p> <p>As if a high fever weren’t bad enough, that elevated temperature could also damage the nerves in your inner ear, either because of inflammation or lack of oxygen.</p> <p>“If you don’t get that oxygen to the nerves, they break down and they don’t work like they should,” says Frank.</p> <p><strong>Exercise classes</strong></p> <p>Exercise classes are often very loud. The music blasting at your group workout might power you through your sweat session, but it might be working your ears in a bad way. “If you walk out of spin classes and your ears are buzzing, that’s an indication that you may have done damage to your ears,” says Kasper.</p> <p>Download an app to your smartphone to measure the sound level around you throughout your day, he recommends. Consider using hearing protection if your fitness centre is particularly noisy.</p> <p><strong>Kitchen appliances</strong></p> <p>Noisy appliances like blenders and coffee grinders could do damage to your ears over time. The more often you get those noisy blades going, the more trauma your ears go through. Hard-core chefs should consider ear protection, though the occasional smoothie isn’t anything to worry about.</p> <p>“If you’re in the kitchen and cooking and using a blender all day, that’s a problem,” says Frank. “If you use it for ten seconds once a week, it probably won’t be a problem for you.”</p> <p><strong>Power tools </strong></p> <p>The racket from lawnmowers, jackhammers, leaf blowers, drills and other power tools isn’t just a headache, it also risks hearing damage. You’ll need to protect your ears, but earplugs might not be the best choice. Putting fingers grimy from the tools so close to your ear canal could put you at risk for infection, says Kasper.</p> <p>Instead, pick up a pair of earmuffs from the hardware store. “They go right over the ear, and they’re easy to take on and off,” Kasper says.</p> <p><strong>Your commute</strong></p> <p>Public transport can be noisy, and sitting on a train or bus for half an hour to and from work could add up over time and hurt your ears, says Frank.</p> <p>Plus, the siren of an emergency vehicle passing you on the street could be loud enough to do some damage. “Covering your ears is a good thing – it’s not silly,” says Frank.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/hearing/listen-up-11-surprising-things-that-could-ruin-your-hearing?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Jubilant scenes as High Court hands down judgment against Qantas

<p>In a landmark decision that saw former employees pumping their fists in celebration inside the courtroom, Qantas has issued a formal apology to its workforce after the High Court declared its actions unlawful when it terminated the employment of over 1,700 ground crew members during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The court upheld two prior rulings from the Federal Court that deemed the airline's outsourcing of baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff to be in violation of the law.</p> <p>The judgment delivered by Justices Susan Kiefel, Stephen Gageler, Jacqueline Gleeson, and Jayne Jagot underscores that taking "adverse action against another person for a substantial and operative reason of preventing the exercise of a workplace right by the other person contravenes (part of section 340 of the Fair Work Act) ... regardless of whether that other person has the relevant workplace right at the time the adverse action is taken."</p> <p>In essence, Qantas could not evade the law by taking such actions before the employees possessed the specific workplace rights the airline sought to obstruct.</p> <p>Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus, who was there for the judgment's announcement, posted a celebratory photo on social media, declaring, "The workers win against Qantas in the High Court. We will always have the backs of workers, well done ⁦@TWUAus"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The workers win against Qantas in the High Court. We will always have the backs of workers, well done ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/TWUAus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TWUAus</a>⁩ <a href="https://t.co/wvZr7ouULX">pic.twitter.com/wvZr7ouULX</a></p> <p>— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) <a href="https://twitter.com/sallymcmanus/status/1701749294947291564?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p> </p> <p>This legal battle began when the Transport Workers' Union brought a case against Qantas in the Federal Court, asserting that the airline had violated the Fair Work Act by outsourcing its ground operations to circumvent enterprise bargaining rights. Qantas, which had laid off workers in 2020, suffered significant financial losses due to the pandemic's severe impact on the aviation sector.</p> <p>In its response to the High Court's decision, Qantas clarified that it made the decision to outsource its remaining ground handling function in August 2020, at a time when borders were closed, lockdowns were widespread, and COVID-19 vaccines were not yet available.</p> <p>The airline stated, "The likelihood of a years-long crisis led Qantas to restructure its business to improve its ability to survive and ultimately recover."</p> <p>Qantas then expressed deep regret for the adverse personal impact this decision had on the affected employees and offered an apology:</p> <p>"As we have said from the beginning, we deeply regret the personal impact the outsourcing decision had on all those affected and we sincerely apologise for that.</p> <p>"A prior decision by the Federal Court has ruled out reinstatement of workers but it will now consider penalties for the breach and compensation for relevant employees, which will factor in redundancy payments already made by Qantas."</p> <p>The airline outsourced the positions of baggage handlers and cleaners at ten airports in response to a drastic decline in business, citing sound commercial reasons as the motivation, as its operations had plummeted by over 90 percent.</p> <p>However, the Transport Workers' Union argued that Qantas had also sought to preempt industrial action once business returned to normal, contending that the dismissals were in violation of the Fair Work Act, which prohibited actions impeding workers' rights.</p> <p>After losing twice in the Federal Court, Qantas escalated the case to the High Court, which was tasked with determining whether the workers possessed the rights claimed by the union at the time of the outsourcing decision. The unanimous decision of the High Court now paves the way for the workers to pursue compensation.</p> <p>Images: Twitter (X)</p>

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