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"I'm a prisoner in my own body": Rob Burrow's heartbreaking last message

<p>An emotional final message from rugby legend Rob Burrow has been released in the days after his death. </p> <p>The former footballer <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/rugby-league-hero-dies-at-just-41" target="_blank" rel="noopener">died</a> at the age of 41 on Sunday after a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease, with his former club, the Leeds Rhinos, sharing the news of his passing. </p> <p>Before he died, Burrow was involved in the making of a documentary about his life by the BBC, titled <em>There's Only One Burrow</em>, only agreeing to appear in the program on the condition it only be used after his death.</p> <p>In the documentary, Burrow spoke of how the cruel disease impacted his life and how he hoped to raise awareness for MND research.</p> <p>"I want to live in a world free of MND. By the time you watch this I will no longer be here," he said in the video.</p> <p>"In a world full of adversity, we must still dare to dream. I'm just a lad from Yorkshire who got to live out his dream of playing rugby league."</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7xPgSxM6lY/?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/C7xPgSxM6lY/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by BBC SPORT (@bbcsport)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>His pre-recorded final words were shown to his friends and family on screen, reacting to his words.</p> <p>"I'm a fighter, to be honest. I might not be able to tackle MND but I'll certainly be swinging, I'm not going to give in, not until my last breath," he said.</p> <p>"I'm a prisoner in my own body, that's the way MND gets you. The lights are on but no one is home."</p> <p>Recalling his diagnosis, he said, "My family told me I was slurring my speech a bit but I didn't take notice or believe them."</p> <p>In an emotional segment of the widow, Burrow's wife Lindsey spoke of how she learnt of her husband's devastating disease.</p> <p>"I remember that moment being told it's not good news. Asking how long and them saying two years. Rob said 'thank god it's me and not the kids'. That's all he was bothered about," she recalled.</p> <p>When asked about his children, Burrow became emotional, saying, "I had no idea how my family would cope. They've become a beacon of hope for families in the same situation as ours." </p> <p>"I have had such a great life. I have been gifted with the most incredible wife and three children. I hope they know how much I love them."</p> <p>Burrows finishes the piece, saying. "As a father of three young children, I would never want someone to go through this."</p> <p>"I hope I have left a mark on this disease. I hope you choose to live in the moment. I hope you find inspiration."</p> <p>"My final message to you is whatever your personal battle to be brave and face it."</p> <p>"Every single day is precious. Don't waste a moment. In a world full of adversity we must still dare to dream. Rob Burrow over and out."</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC</em></p>

Caring

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How do I keep my fruit, veggies and herbs fresh longer? Are there any ‘hacks’?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/senaka-ranadheera-199225">Senaka Ranadheera</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>We all know <a href="https://theconversation.com/frozen-canned-or-fermented-when-you-cant-shop-often-for-fresh-vegetables-what-are-the-best-alternatives-131678">fresh produce is good for us</a>, but fruit, vegetables and herbs have a tendency to perish quickly if left uneaten.</p> <p>This is because <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212429219305188">even after harvesting</a>, produce from living plants tends to continue its biological processes. This includes respiration: producing energy from stored carbohydrates, proteins and fats while releasing carbon dioxide and water vapour. (Ever found a sprouting potato in your pantry?)</p> <p>On top of that, fresh produce also <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/journal/agriculture/special_issues/quality_safety_fresh_produce">spoils easily thanks to various microbes</a> – both harmless and ones that can cause disease, called pathogens.</p> <p>Simply chucking things in the fridge won’t solve the problem, as different types of plants will react differently to how they’re stored. So, how can you combat food waste and keep produce fresh for longer? Fortunately, there are some helpful tips.</p> <h2>Freshness and quality begin at the farm</h2> <p>Farmers always aim to harvest produce when it’s at an optimal condition, but both pre-harvest and post-harvest factors will affect freshness and quality even before you buy it.</p> <p>Pre-harvest factors are agricultural, such as climatic conditions, soil type and water availability. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212429219305188">Post-harvest factors</a> include washing and cleaning after harvesting, transportation and distribution, processing and packaging, and storage.</p> <p>As consumers we can’t directly control these factors – sometimes the veggies we buy just won’t be as good. But we can look out for things that will affect the produce once we bring it home.</p> <p>One major thing to look out for is bruised, wounded or damaged produce. This can happen at any stage of post-harvest handling, and can really speed up the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814609001411">decay of your veggies and fruit</a>.</p> <p>Moisture loss through damaged skin speeds up deterioration and nutrient loss. The damage also makes it easier for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468014119301943">spoilage microbes</a> to get in.</p> <h2>To wash or not to wash?</h2> <p>You don’t need to wash your produce before storing it. A lot of what we buy has already been washed commercially. In fact, if you wash your produce and can’t get it completely dry, the added moisture could speed up decay in the fridge.</p> <p>But washing produce <a href="https://theconversation.com/do-we-really-have-to-wash-fruit-and-vegetables-53039">just before you use it</a> is important to remove dirt and pathogenic bugs.</p> <p>Don’t use vinegar in your washing water despite what you see on social media. Studies indicate <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16496573/">vinegar has no effect</a> on lowering microbial loads on fresh produce.</p> <p>Similarly, don’t use baking soda. Even though there’s some evidence baking soda <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03118">can remove pesticide residues</a> from the surface of some produce, it’s not advisable at home. Just use plain tap water.</p> <h2>Location, location, location</h2> <p>The main thing you need is the correct type of packaging and the correct location – you want to manage moisture loss, decay and ripening.</p> <p>The three main storage options are on the counter, in the fridge, or in a “cool, dry and dark place”, such as the pantry. Here are some common examples of produce and where best to put them.</p> <p>Bananas, onion, garlic, potatoes, sweet potato and whole pumpkin will do better in a dark pantry or cupboard. Don’t store potatoes and onions together: onions produce a gas called ethylene that makes potatoes spoil quicker, while the high moisture in potatoes spoils onions.</p> <p>In fact, don’t store fruits such as apples, pears, avocado and bananas together, because these fruits <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15538362.2013.748378#:%7E:text=%27Malindi%27%20had%20higher%20respiration%20rates,retention%20in%20fruit%20during%20ripening">release ethylene gas</a> as they ripen, making nearby fruits ripen (and potentially spoil) much faster. That is, unless you <em>do</em> want to ripen your fruits fast.</p> <p>All leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower and broccoli will do best in the low-humidity drawer (crisper) in the fridge. You can put them in perforated plastic bags to retain moisture but maintain air flow. But don’t put them in completely sealed bags because this can slow down ripening while <a href="https://ucanr.edu/sites/hdnmastergardeners/files/338860.pdf">trapping carbon dioxide</a>, leading to decay and bad smells.</p> <p>Some fruits will also do best in the fridge. For example, apples and citrus fruits such as oranges can keep fresh longer in the fridge (crisper drawer), although they can stay at room temperature for short periods. However, don’t store watermelon in the fridge for too long, as it will lose its flavour and deep red colour if kept refrigerated <a href="https://ucanr.edu/sites/hdnmastergardeners/files/338860.pdf">for longer than three days</a>.</p> <p>Most herbs and some leafy vegetables – like celery, spring onions and asparagus – can be kept with stems in water to keep them crisp. Keep them in a well-ventilated area and away from direct sunlight, so they don’t get too warm and wilt.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cHu10C1DAds?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Experimenting at home is a good way to find the best ways to store your produce.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Fight food waste and experiment</h2> <p><strong>Don’t buy too much.</strong> Whenever possible, buy only small amounts so that you don’t need to worry about keeping them fresh. Never buy bruised, wounded or damaged produce if you plan to keep it around for more than a day.</p> <p><strong>“Process” your veggies for storage.</strong> If you do buy a large quantity – maybe a bulk option was on sale – consider turning the produce into something you can keep for longer. For example, banana puree made from really ripe bananas can be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0023643817300853">stored for up to 14 days at 4°C</a>. You can use <a href="https://theconversation.com/frozen-canned-or-fermented-when-you-cant-shop-often-for-fresh-vegetables-what-are-the-best-alternatives-131678">freezing, blanching, fermentation and canning</a> for most vegetables.</p> <p><strong>Consider vacuum sealing.</strong> Vacuum packaging of vegetables and berries can keep them fresh longer, as well. For example, vacuum-sealed beans can keep up to 16 months in the fridge, but will last only about <a href="https://www.vacpac.com.au/vacuum-sealed-life-expectancy-how-long-will-my-vacuum-sealed-products-last">four weeks in the fridge unsealed</a>.</p> <p><strong>Keep track.</strong> Arrange your fridge so you can see the produce easily and use it all before it loses freshness.</p> <p><strong>Experiment with storage hacks.</strong> Social media is full of tips and hacks on how best to store produce. Turn your kitchen into a lab and try out any tips you’re curious about – they might just work. You can even use these experiments as a way to teach your kids about the importance of reducing food waste.</p> <p><strong>Grow some of your own.</strong> This isn’t <a href="https://theconversation.com/growing-your-own-food-and-foraging-can-help-tackle-your-ballooning-grocery-bill-heres-how-216264">feasible for all of us</a>, but you can always try having some herbs in pots so you don’t need to worry about keeping them fresh or using up a giant bunch of mint all at once. <a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-are-microgreens-better-for-you-than-regular-greens-73950">Growing your own microgreens</a> could be handy, too.<!-- 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/226763/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/senaka-ranadheera-199225">Senaka Ranadheera</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</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/how-do-i-keep-my-fruit-veggies-and-herbs-fresh-longer-are-there-any-hacks-226763">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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How do I plan for my retirement? Step one – start right away

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Planning for retirement is important because it will help you build the nest egg you’ll need to financially sustain your retirement years.</p> <p>Past <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/03601277.2012.660859?needAccess=true">studies</a> have shown that those who plan for their retirement are more likely to be better off at retirement compared to those don’t.</p> <p>The sooner the planning process gets underway, the better. This gives your money more time to grow by generating investment returns. And the income from your first job is your first opportunity to save for retirement. As the saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”</p> <p>As people <a href="https://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=15601">can expect to live longer</a>, they must save more for retirement so that they don’t outlive their savings. This is particularly true given that the pensions landscape worldwide has undergone some major changes.</p> <p>In the past, governments and employers provided retirement income for individuals through government social security benefits and employment-based retirement funds. Because of increasing life expectancies, pension plans that guaranteed a retirement benefit to employees are now rare. Employees are now responsible for making contributions towards their own pensions as well as choosing the investments offered by the pension fund.</p> <p>Since employers are no longer responsible for funding their employees’ retirement and governments lack resources to provide a universal state pension, each person is ultimately responsible for ensuring they have enough retirement savings. So it’s very important to know the basics of the retirement planning process.</p> <p>As a researcher, I’m interested in how people use financial products to overcome economic challenges and build wealth. One of the things I investigate is whether planning for retirement leads to better retirement outcomes. For instance, my <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bomikazi-Zeka-2/publication/340130176_Retirement_funding_adequacy_in_black_South_African_townships/links/5e8bf3924585150839c6408b/Retirement-funding-adequacy-in-black-South-African-townships.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&amp;origin=journalDetail&amp;_rtd=e30%3D">research</a> has found that individuals whose financial affairs are in order are more likely to maintain their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Given that everyone’s financial situation is unique, it’s always a good idea to speak to a financial planner for tailored financial advice.</p> <p>If you haven’t given retirement planning much thought or don’t know where to start, here are four points to help get the ball rolling.</p> <h2>What are my retirement goals?</h2> <p>Retirement goals make you think about what you want to achieve by the time you retire and what you need to do to achieve it. Some people may have a goal in mind about when they want to retire, or how much wealth they’d like to have by the time they retire. And since wealth has different meanings for different people, others may think about maintaining or improving their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Once you’ve thought about your retirement goals, the <a href="https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/management/smart-goal/">“smart” goals</a> framework is a useful guide. It outlines that goals should be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.</p> <p>When goals are clear, within reach, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive, they become a blueprint to help you turn them into a reality.</p> <h2>How do I start saving for retirement?</h2> <p>For those who have a job that comes with retirement fund membership, a workplace pension is used to provide for retirement. But there are also other options available to help you save.</p> <p>For instance, retirement annuity funds are voluntary retirement savings. Personal assets such as <a href="https://www.allangray.co.za/what-we-offer/unit-trust-investment/#fund-3">unit trusts</a> or <a href="https://www.gov.za/faq/money-matters/how-can-i-make-tax-free-investment">tax-free investments</a> can also be used as a savings tool. Unit trusts are generally better suited for people willing to take on risk because their value is tied to the movements of financial markets. In other words, they can generate positive returns but they can also lose value. The drawback of tax-free investments in South Africa is that they have a lifetime contribution limit. You can’t use them to save more than R500,000 (US$27,400).</p> <p>Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and what works best for one person may not be best for another. But there are several ways to save for retirement depending on your financial situation and retirement goals. Getting professional advice will help you determine what’s best for you.</p> <h2>Will my retirement savings be enough?</h2> <p>Once you’ve set your retirement goals and have a retirement savings plan in place, you can calculate whether you are saving enough to achieve your retirement goals.</p> <p>For example, if your retirement goal is: “I want to retire at the age of 65 years with an income equivalent to R35,000 (US$1,900) per month” then you can use a <a href="https://www.sanlam.co.za/tools/Pages/retirement.aspx">retirement calculator</a> to track your progress and determine whether you need to make adjustments to meet your goals.</p> <p>You might have to increase the monthly amount you’re putting away for retirement or reconsider your retirement age. The retirement calculators are also a useful tool for regular check-ins on your progress should your financial situation change – for example, if you change employers and earn a different salary.</p> <h2>What other issues should I consider?</h2> <p>It’s also important to think about your lifestyle and priorities.</p> <p>For instance:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do you aim to retire with your mortgage settled?</p> </li> <li> <p>are there debts you plan to clear before you retire or children who need financial support at retirement?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to renovate your home?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to buy a new car when you reach retirement age?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Another important consideration is healthcare costs. Many people assume that they will be able to work indefinitely and overlook the fact that healthcare costs may increase with age.</p> <h2>Starting early matters</h2> <p>Many people plan to work after retirement age, while others don’t plan to retire at all. It may be that they can’t afford to. They may have accessed their retirement benefits too soon, made inconsistent retirement fund contributions, or had to pay high administrative costs that eroded the final value of a retirement payout.</p> <p>So best be prepared. Retirement may seem like a distant event to plan and save for, especially when there are more pressing financial needs. It’s important to think about the financial decisions you make now that may cost you in the future. If you start to plan for your retirement now, your future self will thank you for it.<!-- 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/230553/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/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</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/how-do-i-plan-for-my-retirement-step-one-start-right-away-230553">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Income

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“My darling wife": Newlywed's tragic death overseas

<p>Madison Noronha (née Chatham) was in Amsterdam with her husband Kyle Noronha after only a few weeks of getting married when she suddenly collapsed on the street. </p> <p>When she was rushed to hospital last week, scans revealed that she had suffered a brain aneurysm and despite getting immediate surgery to relieve the pressure, she unfortunately <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">could</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> not be saved. </span></p> <p>“Madi fought like she always does right to the very end,” her heartbroken husband wrote on social media. </p> <p>She passed away in his arms and was surrounded by loved ones. </p> <p>“My darling wife I cannot comprehend what has happened, I’m in a million pieces. Forever and always babe.”</p> <p>Now, her family have set up a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/madison-noronha-chatham" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> in attempt to raise funds to “help with flights, funeral costs and to help bring our beloved Madison home to be laid to rest”.</p> <p>Since the launch of the fundraiser, people have come together and raised over $30,000 for the family. </p> <p>Taylah Wicks, the organiser of the fundraiser and a family friend, said that Madison was loved and cherished beyond measure”.</p> <p>“We are all left heart broken, but can’t imagine the pain that Kyle and her immediate family are experiencing,” she wrote on the page.</p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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It’s so hard to see a doctor right now. What are my options?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-scott-10738">Anthony Scott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>Deciding whether to wait and see if your health condition improves or go to a GP can be a difficult task. You might be unsure about where to go, whom to see, how much it will cost and whether you’ll need to take time off work.</p> <p>These choices can create significant barriers to accessing health care in Australia. There is often limited information available about the pros and cons of the different options. Often, we stick to what we know, unaware of better alternatives.</p> <p>But making the wrong decision about how to access care can impact both your health and finances. So what are your options? And what policy reforms are needed to improve affordable access to care for all Australians?</p> <h2>How quickly can I be seen?</h2> <p>Access depends on how long it takes you to speak to a GP, or be seen in an emergency department, or by a community pharmacist, or a nurse practitioner whom you can see directly. Access depends on where you live and the time of day.</p> <p>The rise of telehealth means GPs now get paid to talk to you on the phone, which is great for many minor ailments, medical certificates, repeat scripts or getting test results. Call centres such as <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/">Healthdirect</a> have been available for some time and now <a href="https://www.vved.org.au/patients/">virtual emergency departments</a> can also see you online.</p> <p>There are even GPs who only provide their services <a href="https://www.instantscripts.com.au/gp-online/">online</a> if you can pay. A phone call can save you valuable time. Before COVID, you needed to take half a day off work to see a GP, now it takes five to ten minutes and the GP even calls you.</p> <p>Things get more tricky outside of normal working hours and at weekends – appointments are harder to come by, it is unlikely you will be able to see a GP whom you know, and out-of-pocket costs might be higher.</p> <p>If you can’t wait, your local emergency department is likely to be more accessible, or you might be lucky enough to live near a bulk-billed Medicare <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc">urgent care clinic</a>, where you don’t need an appointment. Tomorrow’s federal budget <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/more-free-urgent-care-clinics-part-of-8-5-billion-health-commitment-20240511-p5jcse.html">will include</a> funding for another 29 urgent care clinics, on top of the 58 already operating.</p> <p>But things are much worse if you live if a rural or remote area, where choice is limited and you need to wait much longer for GP appointments or travel long distances. Telehealth helps but can be expensive if it is not with your usual doctor.</p> <h2>Who will I see?</h2> <p>Access depends on who you will see. At the moment, this will usually be your GP (or, depending on the severity of your health concern, your community pharmacist or local emergency department staff). But to see your preferred GP you might need to wait as they are usually very busy.</p> <p>But a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/issues-papers?language=en">review</a> of “scope of practice” in primary care aims to free up GPs’ time and use their skills more effectively.</p> <p>So in future, you could receive more of your health care from qualified nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other health professionals.</p> <p>But which tasks can be delegated to other health professionals is a significant bone of contention for GPs. For GP practices facing significant cost pressures, safely delegating tasks to other less costly health professionals also makes good business sense.</p> <h2>How much will it cost?</h2> <p>Access depends on out-of-pocket costs. Bulk billing of GP services reached a peak of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/medicare-quarterly-statistics-state-and-territory-december-quarter-2023-24?language=en">89.6%</a> in the September quarter of 2022 but plummeted to 76.5% by the September quarter of 2023.</p> <p>Last November, bulk billing incentives for children under 16 and those on concession cards were tripled, and between November and December 2023 bulk billing had <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-mark-butler-mp/media/bulk-billing-slide-stopped-thanks-to-albanese-government?language=en">increased</a> from 76.5% to 77.7%.</p> <p>They key issue for patients is that it remains uncertain whether a GP will bulk bill you. You often don’t know this until you get into the consultation, at which point you can’t back out. Unless the whole practice bulk bills and so it is guaranteed, it’s entirely up to the GP whether you are bulk billed. It’s difficult to think of any other service where you don’t know how much you will pay until after you have used it.</p> <h2>How can policymakers improve access to care?</h2> <p>Government policies to strengthen primary care have focused on giving patients improved access through telehealth, urgent care clinics and <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/strengthening-medicare-taskforce-report?language=en">Strengthening Medicare</a> initiatives, which are currently being developed.</p> <p>But uncertainty surrounding out-of-pocket costs can deter people from seeking medical attention, or delay care or go instead to the emergency department or urgent care clinic where there is no out-of-pocket cost.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-services/patient-experiences/latest-release">Cost is a factor</a> that leads to 20% of those with a mental health problem and 30% of those with chronic disease to delay or avoid visiting a health professional. Those most in need are more likely to miss out on necessary visits and prescriptions, sometimes with disastrous consequences. A recent <a href="https://academic.oup.com/qje/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/qje/qjae015/7664375?login=false">study</a> shows people can die if they stop heart medications due to increased out-of-pocket costs.</p> <p>The next task for policymakers should be developing policies to guarantee there are no out-of-pocket costs for those on low incomes. This could be a worthwhile investment in our health and should be included in tomorrow’s budget.<!-- 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/229191/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/anthony-scott-10738">Anthony Scott</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</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/its-so-hard-to-see-a-doctor-right-now-what-are-my-options-229191">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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"Best part of my life": Terri Irwin's moving Mother's Day post

<p>Terri Irwin has celebrated Mother's Day by reflecting on being a single parent to Bindi and Robert. </p> <p>Irwin called motherhood the “best part of my life,” writing that it had given her “purpose” after Steve's untimely death in 2006. </p> <p>The 59-year-old shared a series of photos with her two children, Bindi and Robert, who are now 25 and 20 years old.</p> <p>“Being a mum is the best part of my life,” she said on Instagram.</p> <p>“When Steve passed, it was not a burden being a single mum, it was actually my children that gave me purpose, courage, and happiness every day.”</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/p/C65S8q7rqmr/?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/p/C65S8q7rqmr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Terri Irwin (@terriirwincrikey)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Bindi and Robert are the reason I can stand strong, meet every challenge, and embrace every adventure.</p> <p>“As a mother, I am truly blessed.”</p> <p>Bindi responded to the post, “I love these beautiful photos and memories. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me and Robert. And now for Grace. It means more than I can possibly describe. I love you.”</p> <p>“Love you mum!” Robert wrote.</p> <p>Bindi also celebrated Mother's Day by posting her own tribute to her mum, posting a throwback picture and writing, "Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing woman. My mum. Her commitment to conservation and making the world a better place inspires me every day. I love you."</p> <p>The young wildlife warrior also shared a photo of her daughter Grace on the special day, paying tribute to the child who made her a mum. </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/p/C64Mo3Hve1M/?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/p/C64Mo3Hve1M/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bindi shared a series of photos with her daughter, writing, "Grace Warrior, when I look at you, I know the meaning of life."</p> <p>"Being your Mama is the best part of my existence."</p> <p class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020" style="box-sizing: border-box; overflow-wrap: break-word; word-break: break-word; margin: 0px 0px 1.125rem; line-height: 25px;"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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"My angel": Bondi stabbing victim's emotional reunion with her saviour

<p>A woman who was among those stabbed at Bondi Junction Westfield has finally reunited with the man who saved her life. </p> <p>Liya Barko, an international student from Argentina, was one the victims who was stabbed by Joel Cauchi on April 13 during his violent attack which killed six people and injured dozens more. </p> <p>A mystery man in a green t-shirt managed to save her life, but Barko wasn't able to track him down until now. </p> <p>"I would like to see him again, at least give him a hug," she told<em> 9News</em> on Monday.</p> <p>Barko reunited with her hero, identified as ex-military solider Wayne Tolver Banks on Tuesday, finally embracing the man who saved her life. </p> <p>"Oh my god, I remembered you were so tall," Barko said as the pair hugged. </p> <p>"I'm so happy you're alive,"  Banks replied. </p> <p>Banks recalled how during the attack Cauchi looked at him and shook his head, as if to say he wasn't going to attack him, before he stabbed Barko. </p> <p>The ex-military soldier sprung to action and quickly moved Barko into a shop to take refuge, where his wife helped him look after her.</p> <p>"I looked at you when I saw the man stab you and I said straight away to myself I've got to help you... I didn't want you to die," he told Barko. </p> <p>"Straight away I knew what I had to do to take control of the situation and the area."</p> <p>Barko also recalled how Banks' wife was there and helped her get through it when she thought she was going to die. </p> <p>"Your wife she was the person who started to shake me when I started to say 'I want to give up'...she is the one who (said to me) 'You are doing really well'," she said. </p> <p>"For me...you were the angel who just appeared at the right moment at the right place."</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

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Are young people smarter than older adults? My research shows cognitive differences between generations are diminishing

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p>We often assume young people are smarter, or at least quicker, than older people. For example, we’ve all heard that scientists, and even more so mathematicians, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/08/07/who-says-scientists-peak-by-age-50/">carry out their most important work</a> when they’re comparatively young.</p> <p>But my new research, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027322972400008X#:%7E:text=Highlights&amp;text=Three%20review%20studies%20measure%20secular,%2C%20education%2C%20and%20overall%20health.">published in Developmental Review</a>, suggests that cognitive differences between the old and young are tapering off over time. This is hugely important as stereotypes about the intelligence of people in their sixties or older may be holding them back – in the workplace and beyond.</p> <p>Cognitive ageing is often measured by comparing young adults, aged 18-30, to older adults, aged 65 and over. There are a variety of tasks that older adults do not perform well on compared to young adults, such as memory, spatial ability and speed of processing, which often form the basis of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-iq-test-wars-why-screening-for-intelligence-is-still-so-controversial-81428">IQ tests</a>. That said, there are a few tasks that older people do better at than younger people, such as reading comprehension and vocabulary.</p> <p>Declines in cognition are driven by a process called <a href="https://www.nature.com/collections/cbjacdabdf">cognitive ageing</a>, which happens to everyone. Surprisingly, age-related cognitive deficits start very early in adulthood, and declines in cognition have been measured as dropping in adults as young as just 25.</p> <p>Often, it is only when people reach older age that these effects add up to a noticeable amount. Common complaints consist of walking into a room and forgetting why you entered, as well as difficulty remembering names and struggling to drive in the dark.</p> <h2>The trouble with comparison</h2> <p>Sometimes, comparing young adults to older adults can be misleading though. The two generations were brought up in different times, with different levels of education, healthcare and nutrition. They also lead different daily lives, with some older people having lived though a world war while the youngest generation is growing up with the internet.</p> <p>Most of these factors favour the younger generation, and this can explain a proportion of their advantage in cognitive tasks.</p> <p>Indeed, much existing research shows that <a href="https://theconversation.com/iq-tests-are-humans-getting-smarter-158837">IQ has been improving</a> globally throughout the 20th century. This means that later-born generations are more cognitively able than those born earlier. This is even found when both generations are tested in the same way at the same age.</p> <p>Currently, there is growing evidence that <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1718793115">increases in IQ are levelling off,</a> such that, in the most recent couple of decades, young adults are no more cognitively able than young adults born shortly beforehand.</p> <p>Together, these factors may underlie the current result, namely that cognitive differences between young and older adults are diminishing over time.</p> <h2>New results</h2> <p>My research began when my team started getting strange results in our lab. We found that often the age differences we were getting between young and older adults was smaller or absent, compared to prior research from early 2000s.</p> <p>This prompted me to start looking at trends in age differences across the psychological literature in this area. I uncovered a variety of data that compared young and older adults from the 1960s up to the current day. I plotted this data against year of publication, and found that age deficits have been getting smaller over the last six decades.</p> <p>Next, I assessed if the average increases in cognitive ability over time seen across all individuals was a result that also applied to older adults specifically. Many large databases exist where groups of individuals are recruited every few years to take part in the same tests. I analysed studies using these data sets to look at older adults.</p> <p>I found that, just like younger people, older adults were indeed becoming more cognitively able with each cohort. But if differences are disappearing, does that mean younger people’s improvements in cognitive ability have slowed down or that older people’s have increased?</p> <p>I analysed data from my own laboratory that I had gathered over a seven-year period to find out. Here, I was able to dissociate the performance of the young from the performance of the older. I found that each cohort of young adults was performing to a similar extent across this seven-year period, but that older adults were showing improvements in both processing speed and vocabulary scores.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/591482/original/file-20240501-24-esxcic.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=418&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance." /><figcaption><span class="caption">The figure shows data for a speed-based task where higher scores represent better performance.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY-SA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>I believe the older adults of today are benefiting from many of the factors previously most applicable to young adults. For example, the number of children who went to school <a href="https://education-uk.org/history/chapter12.html">increased significantly</a> in the 1960s – with the system being more similar to what it is today than what it was at the start of the 20th century.</p> <p>This is being reflected in that cohort’s increased scores today, now they are older adults. At the same time, young adults have hit a ceiling and are no longer improving as much with each cohort.</p> <p>It is not entirely clear why the young generations have stopped improving so much. Some research has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2016.10.002">explored maternal age, mental health and even evolutionary trends</a>. I favour the opinion that there is just a natural ceiling – a limit to how much factors such as education, nutrition and health can improve cognitive performance.</p> <p>These data have important implications for research into dementia. For example, it is possible that a modern older adult in the early stages of dementia might pass a dementia test that was designed 20 or 30 years ago for the general population at that time.</p> <p>Therefore, as older adults are performing better in general than previous generations, it may be necessary to revise definitions of dementia that depend on an individuals’ expected level of ability.</p> <p>Ultimately, we need to rethink what it means to become older. And there’s finally some good news. Ultimately, we can expect to be more cognitively able than our grandparents were when we reach their age.<!-- 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/229132/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/stephen-badham-1531316">Stephen Badham</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/nottingham-trent-university-1338">Nottingham Trent University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/are-young-people-smarter-than-older-adults-my-research-shows-cognitive-differences-between-generations-are-diminishing-229132">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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"My heart is shattered": Girlfriend's tribute to partner killed in Mexico

<p>The girlfriend of one of the Perth brothers killed in Mexico has paid tribute to her partner, just days after the news of his tragic death broke. </p> <p>Brothers Callum and Jake Robinson were travelling in Mexico with their American friend, Jack Carter Rhoad, when they went missing. </p> <p>Days after their disappearance, their bodies were found in a well and identified by their families. </p> <p>Authorities believe all three were shot in the head in a botched robbery by thieves who wanted their ute for spare parts.</p> <p>Now, Callum's girlfriend Emily Horwath has shared a heart-breaking tribute to her partner, sharing loved up photos of the couple on Instagram.</p> <p>Horwath said her partner was “one of one”, writing, “My heart is shattered into a million pieces.”</p> <p>“I don’t have the words right now. I will love you forever.”</p> <p>Emily also shared the link to a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/callum-and-jake-robinson-support-the-robinson-family?utm_campaign=p_cp+fundraiser-sidebar&amp;utm_content=anyword&amp;utm_medium=copy_link_all&amp;utm_source=customer" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page made to support the Robinson family, which has raised almost $400,000. </p> <p>Other close friends remembered the 33-year-old as “one of the most beautiful and loving souls”.</p> <p>“This world lost one of its kindest, silliest and most genuine souls this week,” one friend said.</p> <p>“Heaven welcomed the purest, kindest angel,” another said.</p> <p>A friend of Jake paid tribute to the 30-year-old, saying, “it was an honour to have known and worked with you.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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Property tycoon sentenced to death over $27 billion fraud

<p>A Vietnamese billionaire was sentenced to death on Thursday in one of the biggest corruption cases in history, an estimated $27 billion in damages - a figure equivalent to six percent of the country’s 2023 GDP. </p> <p>Truong My Lan, chair of major developer Van Thinh Phat, was found guilty of embezzlement, after looting from one of the country's biggest banks, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) for over a decade. </p> <p>“The defendant’s actions... eroded people’s trust in the leadership of the (Communist) Party and state,” the verdict read at the trial in Ho Chi Minh City. </p> <p>After a five-week trial, 85 others were also charged for their involvement in the fraud, with charges ranging from from bribery and abuse of power to appropriation and violations of banking law. </p> <p>Four were given life imprisonment, while others received jail terms ranging between 20 years and three years suspended. Lan's husband was Hong Kong billionaire Eric Chu Nap Kee, was sentenced to nine years in prison.</p> <p>Lan and the others were arrested as part of a national corruption crackdown.</p> <p>Lan was initially believed to have embezzled $12.5 billion, but on Thursday prosecutors have said that the total damages caused by the fraud now amounted to $27 billion. </p> <p>The property tycoon was convicted of taking out $44bn in loans from the bank, according to the <em>BBC</em>, with prosecutors saying that $27 billion of this may never be recovered. </p> <p>The court ordered Lan to to pay almost the entire damages sum in compensation. </p> <p>It is also <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-68778636" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported</a> that she is one of very few women in Vietnam to be sentenced to death for a white collar crime. </p> <p>“In my desperation, I thought of death,” Lan said in her final remarks to the court, according to state media. </p> <p>“I am so angry that I was stupid enough to get involved in this very fierce business environment -- the banking sector -- which I have little knowledge of.”</p> <p>Police have identified around 42,000 victims of the scam, and many of them were unhappy with the verdict. </p> <p>One 67-year-old Hanoi resident told the AFP that she had hoped Lan would receive a life sentence so she could fully witness the devastating impact of her actions. </p> <p>“Many people worked hard to deposit money into the bank, but now she’s received the death sentence and that’s it for her,” they said. </p> <p>“She can’t see the suffering of the people.”</p> <p>The resident has so far been unable to retrieve the $120,000 she invested with SCB. </p> <p>Police have said that many of the victims are SCB bondholders, who cannot withdraw their money and have not received interest or principal payments since Lan’s arrest. </p> <p>Authorities have also reportedly seized over 1000 properties belonging to Lan. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Surgery won’t fix my chronic back pain, so what will?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christine-lin-346821">Christine Lin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-maher-826241">Christopher Maher</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fiona-blyth-448021">Fiona Blyth</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-mcauley-1526139">James Mcauley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-hancock-1463059">Mark Hancock</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>This week’s ABC Four Corners episode <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-08/pain-factory/103683180">Pain Factory</a> highlighted that our health system is failing Australians with chronic pain. Patients are receiving costly, ineffective and risky care instead of effective, low-risk treatments for chronic pain.</p> <p>The challenge is considering how we might reimagine health-care delivery so the effective and safe treatments for chronic pain are available to millions of Australians who suffer from chronic pain.</p> <p><a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/10434b6f-2147-46ab-b654-a90f05592d35/aihw-phe-267.pdf.aspx">One in five</a> Australians aged 45 and over have chronic pain (pain lasting three or more months). This costs an estimated <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/10434b6f-2147-46ab-b654-a90f05592d35/aihw-phe-267.pdf.aspx">A$139 billion a year</a>, including $12 billion in direct health-care costs.</p> <p>The most common complaint among people with chronic pain is low back pain. So what treatments do – and don’t – work?</p> <h2>Opioids and invasive procedures</h2> <p>Treatments offered to people with chronic pain include strong pain medicines such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30561481/">opioids</a> and invasive procedures such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36878313/">spinal cord stimulators</a> or <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/imj.14120">spinal fusion surgery</a>. Unfortunately, these treatments have little if any benefit and are associated with a risk of significant harm.</p> <p><a href="https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-021-06900-8">Spinal fusion surgery</a> and <a href="https://privatehealthcareaustralia.org.au/consumers-urged-to-be-cautious-about-spinal-cord-stimulators-for-pain/#:%7E:text=Australian%20health%20insurance%20data%20shows,of%20the%20procedure%20is%20%2458%2C377.">spinal cord stimulators</a> are also extremely costly procedures, costing tens of thousands of dollars each to the health system as well as incurring costs to the individual.</p> <h2>Addressing the contributors to pain</h2> <p>Recommendations from the latest <a href="https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/standards/clinical-care-standards/low-back-pain-clinical-care-standard">Australian</a> and <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240081789">World Health Organization</a> clinical guidelines for low back pain focus on alternatives to drug and surgical treatments such as:</p> <ul> <li>education</li> <li>advice</li> <li>structured exercise programs</li> <li>physical, psychological or multidisciplinary interventions that address the physical or psychological contributors to ongoing pain.</li> </ul> <p>Two recent Australian trials support these recommendations and have found that interventions that address each person’s physical and psychological contributors to pain produce large and sustained improvements in pain and function in people with chronic low back pain.</p> <p>The interventions have minimal side effects and are cost-effective.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2794765">RESOLVE</a> trial, the intervention consists of pain education and graded sensory and movement “retraining” aimed to help people understand that it’s safe to move.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37146623/">RESTORE</a> trial, the intervention (cognitive functional therapy) involves assisting the person to understand the range of physical and psychological contributing factors related to their condition. It guides patients to relearn how to move and to build confidence in their back, without over-protecting it.</p> <h2>Why isn’t everyone with chronic pain getting this care?</h2> <p>While these trials provide new hope for people with chronic low back pain, and effective alternatives to spinal surgery and opioids, a barrier for implementation is the out-of-pocket costs. The interventions take up to 12 sessions, lasting up to 26 weeks. One physiotherapy session <a href="https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1122674/Physiotherapy-chiropractic-and-osteopathy-fees-practice-requirements-effective-1-February-2023.pdf">can cost</a> $90–$150.</p> <p>In contrast, <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/chronic-disease-individual-allied-health-services-medicare-items">Medicare</a> provides rebates for just five allied health visits (such as physiotherapists or exercise physiologists) for eligible patients per year, to be used for all chronic conditions.</p> <p>Private health insurers also limit access to reimbursement for these services by typically only covering a proportion of the cost and providing a cap on annual benefits. So even those with private health insurance would usually have substantial out-of-pocket costs.</p> <p>Access to trained clinicians is another barrier. This problem is particularly evident in <a href="https://www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc/sites/default/files/B2-1_Bennett.pdf">regional and rural Australia</a>, where access to allied health services, pain specialists and multidisciplinary pain clinics is limited.</p> <p>Higher costs and lack of access are associated with the increased use of available and subsidised treatments, such as pain medicines, even if they are ineffective and harmful. The <a href="https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/publications-and-resources/resource-library/data-file-57-opioid-medicines-dispensing-2016-17-third-atlas-healthcare-variation-2018">rate of opioid use</a>, for example, is higher in regional Australia and in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage than metropolitan centres and affluent areas.</p> <h2>So what can we do about it?</h2> <p>We need to reform Australia’s health system, private and <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/12/taskforce-final-report-pain-management-mbs-items-final-report-on-the-review-of-pain-management-mbs-items.docx">public</a>, to improve access to effective treatments for chronic pain, while removing access to ineffective, costly and high-risk treatments.</p> <p>Better training of the clinical workforce, and using technology such as telehealth and artificial intelligence to train clinicians or deliver treatment may also improve access to effective treatments. A recent Australian <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38461844/">trial</a>, for example, found telehealth delivered via video conferencing was as effective as in-person physiotherapy consultations for improving pain and function in people with chronic knee pain.</p> <p>Advocacy and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37918470/">improving the public’s understanding</a> of effective treatments for chronic pain may also be helpful. Our hope is that coordinated efforts will promote the uptake of effective treatments and improve the care of patients with chronic pain.<!-- 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/227450/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christine-lin-346821"><em>Christine Lin</em></a><em>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-maher-826241">Christopher Maher</a>, Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/fiona-blyth-448021">Fiona Blyth</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-mcauley-1526139">James Mcauley</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-hancock-1463059">Mark Hancock</a>, Professor of Physiotherapy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/surgery-wont-fix-my-chronic-back-pain-so-what-will-227450">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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"I miss my bestie": New appeal after Molly's family left in the dark

<p>Peggy and Ruby, the inseparable pet dogs, and their feathered friend the illustrious Molly the Magpie, are back in the news again – this time for being "snubbed" by the Queensland Premier.</p> <p>After <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/outcry-after-authorities-seize-internet-famous-magpie-from-queensland-family" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wildlife officials swooped in</a> and plucked Molly from her cozy abode, leaving Peggy and Ruby in a state of mourning, the Gold Coast community erupted into chaos, with cries of injustice echoing through the streets.</p> <p>Even the Queensland Premier Steven Miles couldn't resist dipping his toes into the avian drama, promising to right the perceived wrong and reunite the trio.</p> <p>“I’m most interested in what is in the best interests of the animal and if the department can work with the family to reunite them in a way that is legal, I would support them,” Premier Miles said. “I know they take their responsibilities under the law very seriously, but I think in these circumstances there’s room for some flexibility. I sometimes think common sense needs to prevail. I hope my support for that campaign can get Molly back home.”</p> <p>But as time passes and emails go unanswered, the hopes of the trio have dwindled like a deflating balloon at a child's birthday party, prompting the pets' owner, Juliette Wells, to release a further appeal on poor Ruby's behalf:</p> <p>"Ruby is disappointed," reads the post on Instagram. "She says, 'What is taking soo long? MR QLD STEVEN MILES said he was going to help bring Molly home but he’s not answering my emails or phone calls. I don’t understand why?</p> <p>'If he does get back to me I’m going to tell him WOOF I’m NOT Happy, I miss my bestie & think about him everyday 🥹🐶🐾'</p> <p>Wells then goes on to call for further action. "We are all getting to this point 😕," she writes. "We need to keep pushing forward keep the emails rolling . . ." </p> <p>But then Wells is very careful to instruct fans as to the tone they should adopt: "<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">** NO AGGRESSION. Be kind - remember what these 3 best friends have shown the world Love & acceptance in differences. We all have differences in opinions let’s just voice them in a positive way for this Famous Magpie Molly **"</span></p> <p>Calls for action from fans and followers was immediate and resolute, with one fan writing "protest needs to be organised ❤️ all we want to see is for three friends to be reunited ❤️ If they really cared about Molly as they say they wouldn’t let him suffer like that he must be sad without his friends 😢."</p> <p>Another, dramatically, went one step further: "I’ve just put a call in to a friend on the opposition party to your premier- she’s going to see what she can do xxx🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽🌈🌈🌈."</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span></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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C5h8zoJpmN4/?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/C5h8zoJpmN4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Peggyandmolly (@peggyandmolly)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Could my glasses be making my eyesight worse?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-armitage-399647">James Armitage</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-hockley-1517162">Nick Hockley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>So, you got your eyesight tested and found out you need your first pair of glasses. Or you found out you need a stronger pair than the ones you have. You put them on and everything looks crystal clear. But after a few weeks things look blurrier without them than they did before your eye test. What’s going on?</p> <p>Some people start to wear spectacles for the first time and perceive their vision is “bad” when they take their glasses off. They incorrectly interpret this as the glasses making their vision worse. Fear of this might make them <a href="https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20140513-do-glasses-weaken-your-eyesight#:%7E:text=A%20study%20from,they%20are%20right%3F">less likely to wear their glasses</a>.</p> <p>But what they are noticing is how much better the world appears through the glasses. They become <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2576117X.2022.2033588">less tolerant</a> of a blurry world when they remove them.</p> <p>Here are some other things you might notice about eyesight and wearing glasses.</p> <h2>Lazy eyes?</h2> <p>Some people sense an increasing reliance on glasses and wonder if their eyes have become “lazy”.</p> <p>Our eyes work in much the same way as an auto-focus camera. A flexible lens inside each eye is controlled by muscles that let us <a href="https://www.aao.org/museum-eye-openers/how-does-eye-focus">focus on objects</a> in the distance (such as a footy scoreboard) by relaxing the muscle to flatten the lens. When the muscle contracts it makes the lens steeper and more powerful to see things that are much closer to us (such as a text message).</p> <p>From the age of about 40, the lens in our eye <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-lose-our-hearing-and-vision-as-we-age-67930">progressively hardens</a> and loses its ability to change shape. Gradually, we lose our capacity to focus on near objects. This is called “<a href="https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/presbyopia">presbyopia</a>” and at the moment there are no treatments for this lens hardening.</p> <p>Optometrists correct this with prescription glasses that take the load of your natural lens. The lenses allow you to see those up-close images clearly by providing extra refractive power.</p> <p>Once we are used to seeing clearly, our tolerance for blurry vision will be lower and we will reach for the glasses to see well again.</p> <h2>The wrong glasses?</h2> <p>Wearing old glasses, the wrong prescription (or even someone else’s glasses) won’t allow you to see as well as possible for day-to-day tasks. It could also cause <a href="https://headaches.org/readers-mail-glasses-causing-headache/">eyestrain and headaches</a>.</p> <p>Incorrectly prescribed or dispensed prescription glasses can lead to vision impairment in children <a href="https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2126392">as their visual system is still in development</a>.</p> <p>But it is more common for kids to develop long-term vision problems as a result of <a href="https://www.cera.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Healthy-Young-Eyes-Guide-ACC.pdf">not wearing glasses when they need them</a>.</p> <p>By the time children are about 10–12 years of age, wearing incorrect spectacles is less likely to cause their eyes to become lazy or damage vision in the long term, but it is likely to result in <a href="https://www.cera.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Healthy-Young-Eyes-Guide-ACC.pdf">blurry or uncomfortable vision</a> during daily wear.</p> <p><a href="https://goodvisionforlife.com.au/">Registered optometrists in Australia</a> are trained to assess refractive error (whether the eye focuses light into the retina) as well as the different aspects of ocular function (including how the eyes work together, change focus, move around to see objects). All of these help us see clearly and comfortably.</p> <h2>What about dirty glasses?</h2> <p>Dirty or scratched glasses can give you the impression your vision is worse than it actually is. Just like a window, the dirtier your glasses are, the more difficult it is to see clearly through them. <a href="https://www.optometry.org.au/wp-content/uploads/GVFL/Brochure_PDFs/Care-for-Glasses-2018-A4-single-page-final.pdf">Cleaning glasses regularly</a> with a microfibre lens cloth will help.</p> <p>While dirty glasses are not commonly associated with eye infections, some research suggests dirty glasses can <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207238">harbour bacteria</a> with the remote but theoretical <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6628431/#:%7E:text=59%2C60%5D.-,S.,39%2C40%2C41%5D.">potential to cause eye infection</a>.</p> <p>To ensure best possible vision, people who wear prescription glasses every day should clean their lenses at least every morning and twice a day where required. Cleaning frames with alcohol wipes can <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207238">reduce bacterial contamination by 96%</a> – but care should be taken as alcohol can damage some frames, depending on what they are made of.</p> <h2>When should I get my eyes checked?</h2> <p><a href="https://goodvisionforlife.com.au/faqs/">Regular eye exams</a>, starting just before school age, are important for ocular health. Most prescriptions for corrective glasses <a href="https://www.ahpra.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?record=WD16%2F20156&amp;dbid=AP&amp;chksum=676U2aH1QM4XJ6ICVAVaKg%3D%3D">expire within two years</a> and contact lens prescriptions often expire after a year. So you’ll need an eye check for a new pair every year or so.</p> <p>Kids with ocular conditions such as progressive myopia (short-sightedness), strabismus (poor eye alignment), or amblyopia (reduced vision in one eye) will need checks at least every year, but likely more often. Likewise, people over 65 or who have known eye conditions, such as <a href="https://goodvisionforlife.com.au/vision-problems/glaucoma/">glaucoma</a>, will be recommended more frequent checks.</p> <p>An <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6706420/">online prescription estimator</a> is no substitute for a full eye examination. If you have a valid prescription then you can order glasses online, but you miss out on the ability to check the fit of the frame or to have them adjusted properly. This is particularly important for multifocal lenses where even a millimetre or two of misalignment can cause uncomfortable or blurry vision.</p> <p>Conditions such as <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-vision-loss.html#:%7E:text=Diabetic%20retinopathy%20is%20caused%20when,vision%20or%20stopping%20blood%20flow.">diabetes</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525980/">high blood pressure</a>, can affect the eyes so regular eye checks can also help flag broader health issues. The vast majority of eye conditions can be treated if caught early, highlighting the importance of regular preventative care.<!-- 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/225169/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/james-armitage-399647">James Armitage</a>, Associate Professor in Vision Science, Optometry Course Director, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-hockley-1517162">Nick Hockley</a>, Lecturer in Optometric Clinical Skills, Director Deakin Collaborative Eye Care Clinic, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/could-my-glasses-be-making-my-eyesight-worse-225169">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Exciting news": MKR couple Carly and Tresne share heartwarming update

<p><em>My Kitchen Rules</em> couple Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton have shared that they are expected a baby boy. </p> <p>The couple endured the worst when their daughter, Poppy Grace, passed away in February 2023 at just 20 months old after battling leukaemia. </p> <p>Just five months after Poppy's death, the couple were dealt another blow as they announced they had suffered a miscarriage.</p> <p>Now, a year on from Poppy's tragic passing, the women have shared some joyous news with their followers, sharing that they are expecting a new addition to their family.</p> <p>Posting the pregnancy announcement to their shared Instagram page, they wrote that their baby boy is due on August 24th this year: just one day before Carly's birthday.</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/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?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/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Carly Tresne (@carlyandtresne)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“We have some exciting news! Poppy Grace is going to be a big sister! 🎉” they said on Tuesday.</p> <p>“We’ve been battling with the right time to share this news, as we always want to be sensitive to those who have been going through their own challenges with cancer and fertility treatment. But this bump is getting too big to hide!”</p> <p>Carly continued writing of the challenging journey she and Tresne had gone through, both undergoing IVF while dealing with the grief of losing Poppy Grace.</p> <p>“We both struggle with visiting the hospital due to the difficult memories of our 17 months living in hospital with Poppy Grace," she wrote. </p> <p>"This darling little boy is something very positive for us to look forward to. Thank you to the people who have continued to be in our corner."</p> <p>"We want to give this sweet little boy the best possible chance, and we know that our beautiful Poppy will be excitedly looking down on us with happiness dancing in her heart. 🩵"</p> <p>The announcement prompted a flood of well wishes and congratulations for the couple, with one overjoyed fan writing, "Oh I’m so happy for you all. A beautiful little boy sent from above by their big sis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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"Harper is my favourite Tilly": Matildas toddler steals the show

<p>In a heartwarming turn of events at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, the Matildas' post-game press conference took an unexpected twist when two-year-old Harper decided to steal the show.</p> <p>As her mother, Katrina Gorry, attempted to navigate the world of media interviews, young Harper had other plans, firmly establishing herself as the newest sensation in Australian football – or at least in press conference antics.</p> <p>With the Aussies securing their spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics with a resounding 10-0 victory over Uzbekistan, it seemed fitting that the youngest member of the team would make her mark in the spotlight. Sporting a yellow team jersey and adorned with Taylor Swift-esque friendship bracelets, little Harper made it clear that she was not to be ignored.</p> <p>As Alanna Kennedy patiently awaited her turn to address the media, Harper decided that the press conference desk was the perfect spot for her impromptu playdate. Refusing to budge, she left her mark by placing her bracelets on the table, much to the delight of amused onlookers.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C35D414PZxD/?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/C35D414PZxD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by CommBank Matildas (@matildas)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite gentle prodding from her mother, Harper was determined to make her presence known. With a polite "bye bye" into the mic, she momentarily bid farewell before settling back down, much to the amusement of the room.</p> <p>Gorry, unable to contain her laughter, gracefully ushered her daughter away from the limelight, but not before receiving a wave and a cheerful "Byyyyeee" from the pint-sized press conference crasher.</p> <p>The Matildas, quick to embrace the adorable interruption, shared the sweet moment on social media, solidifying Harper's status as the unofficial mascot of the team. In a caption that perfectly captured the essence of the moment, they affectionately dubbed it "Crashing Lani's press conference," tagging Gorry for good measure.</p> <p>Fans took to the comments section to praise the Tilly Toddler, with one claiming "Harper is my favourite Tilly", and another declaring that "No offence, but I'd actually like to hear harpers press conference."</p> <p>As the Matildas look ahead to the Paris Olympics, one thing is for certain – they have a secret weapon in their midst, and her name is Harper.</p> <p>Images: Instagram</p>

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Jackie O reveals the "worst diagnosis of my life"

<p>Jackie O Henderson has shared the "worst diagnosis of my life", announcing that she found a lump on her breast. </p> <p>The radio host was joined live on air by the show's resident medical expert Dr Sam Hay, explaining her situation and asking for advice. </p> <p>“There is a small lump there but it doesn’t look like cancer. I think it’s a seborrheic keratosis,” Hay told her after examining the area.</p> <p>“What do I do with it?” she asked him.</p> <p>“That one you can leave and if it’s continuing to get bigger, doctors will freeze it with liquid nitrogen,” he said.</p> <p>While discussing their medical concerns, Jackie O's co-host Kyle Sandilands shared a worry of his own with Dr Hay, asking for advice on a lump that had arisen on his cheek that was “the size of a pea”.</p> <p>“I have a feeling it’s exactly the same thing. It could be a viral wart,” the doctor told Sandilands.</p> <p>“I didn’t want to say that to Jackie but they’re called geriatric warts,” Kyle said.</p> <p>Henderson appeared horrified at this comment, asking, “Do I have a wart?”</p> <p>“This is the worst diagnosis of my life. I’m going to get it frozen off as soon as possible,” she said.</p> <p>It's not the first time Jackie O has discussed a health scare live on air, as in November last year, she was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/they-checked-the-lungs-jackie-o-rushed-to-hospital-mid-show" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rushed to hospital</a> during an episode of the <em>Kyle and Jackie O Show</em>.</p> <p>Returning to the radio studio in the days after, she shared that while her symptoms were similar to that of a heart attack, she was suffering from an infection that she was treated for at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital. </p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em></p>

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“My sister-in-law announced she was pregnant at my child’s funeral”

<p dir="ltr">A woman has asked for advice on how to navigate her relationship with her sister-in-law, after the woman overheard an inappropriate conversation at her child’s funeral. </p> <p dir="ltr">The grieving mother, a 28-year-old named Melissa, took to Reddit to share the heartbreaking story of how her toddler passed away after a battle with cancer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa described the time as the “hardest in my life”, explaining how she felt she lost “a part of herself” after the funeral.</p> <p dir="ltr">While Melissa expected her toddlers’ memorial service to be difficult, she never predicted a family member would make it even harder. </p> <p dir="ltr">The mother said that when she heard her sister-in-law telling people about her pregnancy, she thought the move was just cruel. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She didn't make a big announcement but more than ten people at the service 'heard' and it's what everyone was talking about. To understate it, I was livid,” Melissa wrote on Reddit.</p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa’s post then asked social media users for advice, as she was unsure how much of a relationship she wanted to have with her sister-in-law after the stunt. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 28-year-old shared that she had fallen pregnant herself, and was facing pressure to have a party in celebration, but she didn’t want her whole family in attendance. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I've been working on who I want to invite, and I really don't want my SIL there,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Besides what she did, she's a vindictive and mean person and I cannot stand her.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mentioned it to my husband and he says he couldn't care less whether she's there or not. But for the sake of saving face, I want opinions before I do this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She asked the online forum if she would be “an a**hole” for not inviting her, addin that she would still be inviting her husband's other sister and husband's brother's wife. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The original SIL will be the only one not invited,” she clarified.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was flooded with comments as many backed up Melissa, slamming the sister-in-law for her selfish behaviour. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I wouldn't want someone like that around me. Announcing a pregnancy at a child's funeral is insane,” one said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Cut her off and ignore everyone close to her. You are right to have nothing to do with her. She's totally classless.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, others encouraged her to have an adult conversation with her sister-in-law in an attempt to mend their relationship.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please let it go,” one person began. “This happened on a terrible day during a bad time for you. It's possible that could be clouding how you're looking at this, she may not have been malicious at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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"My heart exploded": Larry Emdur reflects on his daughter's wedding day

<p>Larry Emdur has opened up about his daughter's wedding day, reflecting on the moment he walked her down the aisle. </p> <p>On <em>The Morning Show</em>, the proud dad shared the details of the day with his co-host Kylie Gillies, while telling the stories behind the charming photos of the big day. </p> <p>Emdur's daughter Tia, 24, tied the knot with her long-term boyfriend Rowell Jauco at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday. </p> <p>“Tia got married — I got to walk her down the aisle,” Larry said on the show, becoming clearly emotional. </p> <p>“At the end of the aisle, I had to put her hand in Rohan’s hand."</p> <p>“It was a magnificent day — so much love, and it was special — my heart exploded.”</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/p/C28i_qDL7gr/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;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/p/C28i_qDL7gr/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by The Morning Show On 7 (@morningshowon7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Larry joked that years of walking down the red carpet at the Logies set him up for walking his beautiful daughter down the aisle.</p> <p>“You look for moments, one thing after another — It was a beautiful day.”</p> <p>“(Tia) was pretty happy. She said on the day ‘I get to marry my best friend’ so it was special."</p> <p>“The speeches were lovely, coming together with the family. It was everything — I’m sure when other people get married, it’s the same."</p> <p>He went on to joke about how emotional he was all day, saying he needed “Five boxes of Kleenexes.”</p> <p>Larry shared photos and a sweet video from the big day to his Instagram on Sunday, showing a clip from his father-daughter dance with Tia, in which they danced to Lean On Me which was performed by Guy Sebastian. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / The Morning Show</em></p>

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How do I handle it if my parent is refusing aged care? 4 things to consider

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-fay-low-98311">Lee-Fay Low</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>It’s a shock when we realise our parents aren’t managing well at home.</p> <p>Perhaps the house and garden are looking more chaotic, and Mum or Dad are relying more on snacks than nutritious meals. Maybe their grooming or hygiene has declined markedly, they are socially isolated or not doing the things they used to enjoy. They may be losing weight, have had a fall, aren’t managing their medications correctly, and are at risk of getting scammed.</p> <p>You’re worried and you want them to be safe and healthy. You’ve tried to talk to them about aged care but been met with swift refusal and an indignant declaration “I don’t need help – everything is fine!” Now what?</p> <p>Here are four things to consider.</p> <h2>1. Start with more help at home</h2> <p>Getting help and support at home can help keep Mum or Dad well and comfortable without them needing to move.</p> <p>Consider drawing up a roster of family and friends visiting to help with shopping, cleaning and outings. You can also use home aged care services – or a combination of both.</p> <p>Government subsidised home care services provide from one to 13 hours of care a week. You can get more help if you are a veteran or are able to pay privately. You can take advantage of things like rehabilitation, fall risk-reduction programs, personal alarms, stove automatic switch-offs and other technology aimed at increasing safety.</p> <p>Call <a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/">My Aged Care</a> to discuss your options.</p> <h2>2. Be prepared for multiple conversations</h2> <p>Getting Mum or Dad to accept paid help can be tricky. Many families often have multiple conversations around aged care before a decision is made.</p> <p>Ideally, the older person feels supported rather than attacked during these conversations.</p> <p>Some families have a meeting, so everyone is coming together to help. In other families, certain family members or friends might be better placed to have these conversations – perhaps the daughter with the health background, or the auntie or GP who Mum trusts more to provide good advice.</p> <p>Mum or Dad’s main emotional support person should try to maintain their relationship. It’s OK to get someone else (like the GP, the hospital or an adult child) to play “bad cop”, while a different person (such as the older person’s spouse, or a different adult child) plays “good cop”.</p> <h2>3. Understand the options when help at home isn’t enough</h2> <p>If you have maximised home support and it’s not enough, or if the hospital won’t discharge Mum or Dad without extensive supports, then you may be <a href="https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/60/8/1504/5863160">considering a nursing home</a> (also known as residential aged care in Australia).</p> <p>Every person has a legal right to <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/9-your-right-choose-where-you-live">choose where we live</a> (unless they have lost capacity to make that decision).</p> <p>This means families can’t put Mum or Dad into residential aged care against their will. Every person also has the right to choose to take risks. People can choose to continue to live at home, even if it means they might not get help immediately if they fall, or eat poorly. We should respect Mum or Dad’s decisions, even if we disagree with them. Researchers call this “dignity of risk”.</p> <p>It’s important to understand Mum or Dad’s point of view. Listen to them. Try to figure out what they are feeling, and what they are worried might happen (which might not be rational).</p> <p>Try to understand what’s really important to their quality of life. Is it the dog, having privacy in their safe space, seeing grandchildren and friends, or something else?</p> <p>Older people are often understandably concerned about losing independence, losing control, and having strangers in their personal space.</p> <p>Sometimes families prioritise physical health over psychological wellbeing. But we need to consider both when considering nursing home admission.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9826495/">Research</a> suggests going into a nursing home temporarily increases loneliness, risk of depression and anxiety, and sense of losing control.</p> <p>Mum and Dad should be involved in the decision-making process about where they live, and when they might move.</p> <p>Some families start looking “just in case” as it often takes some time to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-aged-care-home-for-a-loved-one/10302590">find the right nursing home</a> and there can be a wait.</p> <p>After you have your top two or three choices, take Mum or Dad to visit them. If this is not possible, take pictures of the rooms, the public areas in the nursing home, the menu and the activities schedule.</p> <p>We should give Mum or Dad information about their options and risks so they can make informed (and hopefully better) decisions.</p> <p>For instance, if they visit a nursing home and the manager says they can go on outings whenever they want, this might dispel a belief they are “locked up”.</p> <p>Having one or two weeks “respite” in a home may let them try it out before making the big decision about staying permanently. And if they find the place unacceptable, they can try another nursing home instead.</p> <h2>4. Understand the options if a parent has lost capacity to make decisions</h2> <p>If Mum or Dad have lost capacity to choose where they live, family may be able to make that decision in their best interests.</p> <p>If it’s not clear whether a person has capacity to make a particular decision, a medical practitioner can assess for that capacity.</p> <p>Mum or Dad may have appointed an <a href="https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills/appoint-enduring-guardian/what-enduring-guardian">enduring guardian</a> to make decisions about their health and lifestyle decisions when they are not able to.</p> <p>An enduring guardian can make the decision that the person should live in residential aged care, if the person no longer has the capacity to make that decision themselves.</p> <p>If Mum or Dad didn’t appoint an enduring guardian, and have lost capacity, then a court or tribunal can <a href="https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/guardianship/information-about-guardianship">appoint</a> that person a private guardian (usually a family member, close friend or unpaid carer).</p> <p>If no such person is available to act as private guardian, a public official may be appointed as public guardian.</p> <h2>Deal with your own feelings</h2> <p>Families often feel <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-023-04538-9">guilt and grief</a> during the decision-making and transition process.</p> <p>Families need to act in the best interest of Mum or Dad, but also balance other caring responsibilities, financial priorities and their own wellbeing.<!-- 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/221210/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-fay-low-98311"><em>Lee-Fay Low</em></a><em>, Professor in Ageing and Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </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/how-do-i-handle-it-if-my-parent-is-refusing-aged-care-4-things-to-consider-221210">original article</a>.</em></p>

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