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Hospice nurse reveals the key to a peaceful death

<p>Hospice nurse Julie McFadden has shared her best advice for ensuring a peaceful death, after learning from her patients in their final moments. </p> <p>The healthcare professional, who is known for her YouTube channel where she shares information about death to break the taboo of conversations around dying, shared a video about what you can do in life to ensure a peaceful passing. </p> <p>In the recent clip, she shared what you can do in order to have a peaceful death, and she says it comes down to preparedness and acceptance.</p> <p>"That's one of the biggest things I see," she explained. "People who plan for death will tend to have a more peaceful death than those who do not plan for death."</p> <p>"A prepared death versus a non-prepared death - that's the one thing that I've seen in all of my patients," she explained.</p> <p>Julie said she noticed the patients that were "willing to talk about the hard stuff" had a more peaceful death.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qoFvKkfIo00?si=Ba5BnxuaKsBVaGAe" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"[That means] willing to ask the questions about, 'how long do you think I have? What can I expect? What should I do before I die to make this easier for my family?'" she listed.</p> <p>Julie went on to share a story of when a patient of hers died peacefully surrounded by his family, explaining that the patient was in hospice and had started to decline around 20 minutes after she arrived.</p> <p>"He started having weird changes in breathing, so this was a sudden decline and it looked like he may suddenly die," she recalled, adding the abrupt change was "uncommon actually" in hospice care.</p> <p>"What I noticed was because this family - and him - were so prepared, instead of the family [being] chaotic and reacting in an emotional way - which is very normal - they flipped along right with him," she explained.</p> <p>"[They laid] in bed with him. They understood immediately what was happening. They didn't panic," she shared.</p> <p>Julie said the man was surrounded by his loving family and it was an overwhelmingly emotional experience.</p> <p>"It makes me cry every time I think about it - that vision of them all being able to understand what was happening, even though it was a change they didn't want," she explained.</p> <p>"By the end of that visit he died, so he went from kind of looking okay to dying which is hard - but that family made it a beautiful moment," she said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube </em></p>

Caring

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"Family unity is key": Sarah Ferguson gives cancer update

<p>Sarah Ferguson has shared an update on her cancer journey during her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. </p> <p>The Duchess of York was diagnosed with <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-reveals-second-cancer-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skin cancer</a> in January, not long after getting a mastectomy for her breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in June 2023. </p> <p>When asked about her health, the royal told <em>People</em>: "This evening I am doing very well. I think that we've managed to get cancer in the right place rather than cancer ruling me. I've put cancer in the corner." </p> <p>Speaking on the amfAR Gala red carpet, the 64-year-old added that it was important to be aware and get checked for both breast cancer and melanoma. </p> <p>“I think you always have to be aware. I think it’s great to get checked for breast cancer [and] melanoma. I think you just have to be very candid about it," she told the publication. </p> <p>“I think a lot of people get very frightened to talk about these things. I’m very happy with my mastectomy and my breasts and just to talk about it.”</p> <p>Her diagnosis coincided with both her brother-in-law King Charles, and Princess Catherine's cancer diagnoses, although both of them have not disclosed what types of cancer they have. </p> <p>She praised the royal family for their "unity" during these difficult times and how she has been able to offer support to Charles and Catherine. </p> <p>"I think family unity is key… I think the key to life is that we all support each other," she said. </p> <p>"And also forgiveness is a great thing. I think forgiveness of yourself, and forgiveness of others." </p> <p>Earlier this month, the duchess' eldest daughter Princess Beatrice spoke about her mother's health in her debut TV interview on <em>This Morning</em>. </p> <p>"She’s such a phenomenal icon. As a mum she’s been amazing," she said, adding that despite going through so much in the last year, she felt inspired by her mum's resilience and sense of purpose. </p> <p>“She’s doing really well. She had a bumpy health scare last year but she’s all clear now. But I think at 64, she’s thriving. She’s been through so much, but now she’s coming into her own.</p> <p>“We are just reminded when any parent or individual has a health scenario, you really need to get the checks you need as early as you possibly can.”</p> <p><em>Image: DGP/imageSPACE/ Shutterstock editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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'Boomer' cyclist allegedly caught keying cars

<p>A baby boomer on a bicycle has allegedly been caught red-handed by CCTV footage, which reportedly shows the man keying a series of cars. </p> <p>Residents of the affluent Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba have been terrorised by the anonymous car-keyer since September of last year. </p> <p>Mick Brown, who lives in the area, checked local CCTV cameras after his car had been keyed on September 29th, to try to identify the culprit.</p> <p>The footage showed what Mr Brown described as a “regular, well-dressed elderly man” cycling down Hubert Street.</p> <p>The man then turned around and cycled past 30 seconds later with one arm extended toward the parked cars with something attached to a red lanyard in his hand.</p> <p>Mr Brown told the <em><a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=CMWEB_WRE170_a_NEW&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.couriermail.com.au%2Fnews%2Fqueensland%2Fwoolloongabba-resident-claims-cars-repeatedly-targeted-by-man-on-bike-with-keys-over-period-of-months%2Fnews-story%2Fd6ca80fcd103ff0eaae3bc02e33e8fb4&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium&v21=LOW-Segment-1-SCORE&nk=5bc945873ffec79da7263488711d2aab-1715304777" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Courier Mail</a></em>, “This act cost myself and the owner of the other two vehicles in excess of $10,000 in repairs.”</p> <p>“After repairs were completed on all three vehicles this same person has struck again on Saturday, December 30 (2023),” he said.</p> <p>After being struck by the cyclist three times and paying over $10,000 to fix the cars, Mr Brown said his car was targeted again on May 5th. </p> <p>"These attacks are happening in broad daylight,” he said. “While these appear to be targeted attacks neither myself nor the other victim know or recognise this person."</p> <p>“It is becoming quite distressing and this individual needs to be stopped.”</p> <p>The cyclist has yet to be identified, and no charges have been laid. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Courier Mail </em></p>

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People in the world’s ‘blue zones’ live longer – their diet could hold the key to why

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-roberts-1176632">Justin Roberts</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joseph-lillis-1505087">Joseph Lillis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-cortnage-438941">Mark Cortnage</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p>Ageing is an inevitable part of life, which may explain our <a href="https://time.com/4672969/why-do-people-want-to-live-so-long/">strong fascination</a> with the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726954">quest for longevity</a>. The allure of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26566891/">eternal youth</a> drives a <a href="https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/longevity-and-anti-senescence-therapy-market-A14010">multi-billion pound industry</a> ranging from anti-ageing products, supplements and <a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/longevity-diet">diets</a> for those hoping to extend their lifespan.</p> <p>f you look back to the turn of the 20th century, average life expectancy in the UK was around 46 years. Today, it’s closer to <a href="https://population.un.org/wpp/">82 years</a>. We are in fact <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27706136/">living longer than ever before</a>, possibly due to medical advancements and improved <a href="https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/mortality-and-life-expectancy-trends-in-the-uk">living and working conditions</a>.</p> <p>But living longer has also come at a price. We’re now seeing higher rates of <a href="https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/mortality-and-global-health-estimates/ghe-leading-causes-of-death">chronic and degenerative diseases</a> – with heart disease consistently topping the list. So while we’re fascinated by what may help us live longer, maybe we should be more interested in being healthier for longer. Improving our “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632858/">healthy life expectancy</a>” remains a global challenge.</p> <p>Interestingly, certain locations around the world have been discovered where there are a high proportion of centenarians who display remarkable physical and mental health. The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15489066/">AKEA study of Sardinia, Italy</a>, as example, identified a “blue zone” (named because it was marked with blue pen), where there was a higher number of locals living in the central-eastern mountainous areas who had reached their 100th birthday compared with the wider Sardinian community.</p> <p>This longevity hotspot has since been expanded, and now includes several other areas around the world which also have greater numbers of longer-living, healthy people. Alongside Sardinia, these blue zones are now <a href="https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81214929">popularly recognised</a> as: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.</p> <p>Other than their long lifespans, people living in these zones also appear to share certain other commonalities, which centre around being <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874460">part of a community</a>, having a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224996/">life purpose</a>, eating <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33514872/">nutritious, healthy foods</a>, keeping <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01735-7">stress levels</a> low and undertaking purposeful daily <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30202288/">exercise or physical tasks</a>.</p> <p>Their longevity could also relate to their <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9010380/">environment</a>, being mostly rural (or less polluted), or because of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22253498/">specific longevity genes</a>.</p> <p>However, studies indicate genetics may only account for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8786073">around 20-25% of longevity</a> – meaning a person’s lifespan is a complex interaction between lifestyle and genetic factors, which contribute to a long and healthy life.</p> <h2>Is the secret in our diet?</h2> <p>When it comes to diet, each blue zone has its own approach – so one specific food or nutrient does not explain the remarkable longevity observed. But interestingly, a diet rich in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288">plant foods</a> (such as locally-grown vegetables, fruits and legumes) does appear to be reasonably consistent across these zones.</p> <p>For instance, the Seventh-day Adventists of Loma Linda are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10641813/">predominately vegetarian</a>. For centenarians in Okinawa, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20234038/">high intakes of flavonoids</a> (a chemical compound typically found in plants) from purple sweet potatoes, soy and vegetables, have been linked with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11710359/">better cardiovascular health</a> – including lower cholesterol levels and lower incidences of stroke and heart disease.</p> <p>In Nicoya, consumption of locally produced rice and beans has been associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34444746/">longer telomere length</a>. Telomeres are the structural part at the end of our chromosomes which protect our genetic material. Our telomeres get shorter each time a cell divides – so get progressively shorter as we age.</p> <p>Certain <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21102320/">lifestyle factors</a> (such as smoking and poor diet) can also shorten telomere length. It’s thought that telomere length acts as a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31728493/">biomarker of ageing</a> – so having longer telomeres could, in part, be linked with longevity.</p> <p>But a plant-based diet isn’t the only secret. In Sardinia, for example, meat and fish is consumed in moderation in addition to locally grown vegetables and <a href="https://journalofethnicfoods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42779-022-00152-5">traditional foods</a> such as acorn breads, pane carasau (a sourdough flatbread), honey and soft cheeses.</p> <p>Also observed in several blue zone areas is the inclusion of <a href="https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.10.041">olive oil</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33669360/">wine</a> (in moderation – around 1-2 glasses a day), as well as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830687/">tea</a>. All of these contain powerful antioxidants which may help <a href="https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10049696/">protect our cells</a> from damage <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6273542/">as we age</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps then, it’s a combination of the protective effects of various nutrients in the diets of these centenarians, which explains their exceptional longevity.</p> <p>Another striking observation from these longevity hot spots is that meals are typically <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232892">freshly prepared at home</a>. Traditional blue zone diets also don’t appear to contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538973/">ultra-processed foods</a>, fast foods or sugary drinks which may <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32330232/">accelerate ageing</a>. So maybe it’s just as important to consider what these longer-living populations are not doing, as much as what they are doing.</p> <p>There also appears to be a pattern of eating until 80% full (in other words partial <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9036399/">caloric reduction</a>. This could be important in also supporting how our cells deal with damage as we age, which could mean a longer life.</p> <p>Many of the factors making up these blue zone diets – primarily plant-based and natural whole foods – are associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35706591/">lower risk of chronic diseases</a> such as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28728684/">heart disease</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37589638/">cancer</a>. Not only could such diets contribute to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37836577/">longer, healthier life</a>, but could support a more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33397404/">diverse gut microbiome</a>, which is also associated with healthy ageing.</p> <p>Perhaps then we can learn something from these remarkable centenarians. While diet is only one part of the bigger picture when it comes to longevity, it’s an area we can do something about. In fact, it might just be at the heart of improving not only the quality of our health, but the quality of how we 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/221463/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/justin-roberts-1176632">Justin Roberts</a>, Professor of Nutritional Physiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joseph-lillis-1505087">Joseph Lillis</a>, PhD Candidate in Nutritional Physiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-cortnage-438941">Mark Cortnage</a>, Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin 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/people-in-the-worlds-blue-zones-live-longer-their-diet-could-hold-the-key-to-why-221463">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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The key decision that led to cruise passengers being abandoned by ship

<p>A group of travellers, including two Australians, have been left stranded in Africa after their cruise ship allegedly refused to let them board the ship after a day trip. </p> <p>Eight passengers were among the many cruisers who disembarked the Norwegian Dawn at São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of 220,000 people off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, last Wednesday. </p> <p>The group of eight passengers took off on a private day tour, that reportedly wasn't organised through the cruise company. </p> <p>Things turned sour when the group were delayed on their day trip, with their tour operator allegedly connecting with the captain to tell the cruise the eight passengers would arrive later than their 3pm curfew. </p> <p>When the group arrived to the port, the ship was still anchored, but American couple Jill and Jay Campbell said the captain allegedly refused to let them on board.</p> <p>According to cruise ship lawyer Spencer Aonfeld, the group's big mistake was not booking the tour through the cruise company, as private tours come with a huge risk. </p> <p>Weighing into the drama on TikTok, Mr Aonfeld said, “Eight passengers were left behind when their cruise ship left them because they were delayed in an excursion apparently conducted without buying it directly through Norwegian."</p> <p>“These passengers include elderly passengers, one apparently a paraplegic, one has a heart condition, they don't have their medication, money, passports, cell phones and other things — they’re just left behind."</p> <p>“That unfortunately, according to Norwegian and me is, one of the consequences you pay when you buy your excursions from someone other than the cruise line."</p> <p>“Now they’re left there having to come up with the means to travel back to the next port or home and forfeit the remaining potion of their cruise. Imagine trying to do that in Africa without a passport, money or medication — we wish them the very best.”</p> <p>In order to rejoin the cruise and be reunited with their valuables, the group is now trekking to a port in Senegal, where the cruise is set to dock on Tuesday. </p> <p>In a statement, Norwegian Cruise Lines said it was “in communication with the guests,” and was providing them with “additional information” to rejoin the cruise. </p> <p>“While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel,” NCL said in a statement.</p> <p>The company said it was “working closely with the local authorities” on how the guests might re-join the ship. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / WRAL North Carolina </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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The secret witness who could be the key to the Madeleine McCann case

<p>A secret witness to a disturbing comment made by the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann case could be the key to seeing him charged. </p> <p>Madeleine McCann was three years old when she went missing on a family trip to Portugal in 2007, and has not been seen since. </p> <p>Christian Brueckner, a convicted rapist and paedophile, has long been named the prime suspect in Maddie's abduction, and is set to stand trial on Friday for a series of charges, none of while relate to the McCann case. </p> <p>Now, almost seventeen years since her disappearance, a secret witness has come forward about a disturbing comment Brueckner a year after Maddie's abduction. </p> <p>Helge Busching, a former friend of Brueckner, has revealed a chilling conversation he had with his former friend after they ran into each other at a music festival. </p> <p>Busching, who is currently in police protection, claims Brueckner told him Madeleine was taken without anyone noticing because she didn't make a sound. </p> <p>"He said she didn't scream. 'She didn't scream', that is what Brueckner said and then I looked at Mr Brueckner and thought 'what are you telling me now?'" said Busching on <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/the-secret-witness-who-could-break-open-the-madeleine-mccann-case/3a383ca7-758a-4b46-a288-8f911ee942e5" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>. </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/C3NDFgEPudr/?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/C3NDFgEPudr/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the wake of Busching's comments, the police prosecutor in Brueckner's case remains adamant he is behind the high-profile disappearance of Maddie. </p> <p>"We have evidence and we come to the conclusion that Madeleine McCann is dead and Christian B murdered her," says Hans Christian Wolters.  </p> <p>With the 46-year-old currently in jail and facing convictions for several counts of rape and sexual assault, Wolters has the luxury of time to pursue all leads, no matter how small, to build a watertight case against the suspect. </p> <p>He said, "We have only one chance and we want to go to court with the best result we could get. So we decided to investigate as much as we can and if it takes much more time than normal investigations, it's the price for the best result."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / 60 Minutes</em></p>

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Should we still be using RATs to test for COVID? 4 key questions answered

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hassan-vally-202904">Hassan Vally</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>We’re currently navigating <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/life/health/2023/11/15/covid-australia-eighth-wave">an eighth wave</a> of <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-in-a-new-covid-wave-what-can-we-expect-this-time-216820">COVID infections</a> in Australia. However the threat COVID poses to us is significantly less than it has ever been, thanks to immunity we’ve acquired through <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(22)00801-5/fulltext">a combination</a> of prior infection and vaccination.</p> <p>That said, COVID is by no means behind us. The threat of severe illness remains higher for many people, and we’re all potentially at risk of developing <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/long-covid">long COVID</a>.</p> <p>While many people appear to be doing fewer rapid antigen tests (RATs) than they used to – if any at all – with rising cases, and as we head towards the festive season, testing continues to be important.</p> <p>So what do you need to know about testing in this wave? Here are four key questions answered.</p> <h2>1. When should I do a RAT?</h2> <p>There are a few situations where determining your COVID status is important to inform your actions, particularly during an uptick in infections. With more circulating virus, your index of suspicion that you have COVID if you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms should be higher.</p> <p>RATs work best when they’re used to confirm whether you have COVID when you <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/products/covid-19/covid-19-tests/how-testing-works-covid-19">have respiratory symptoms</a> and are infectious. So the primary use of RATs should be to determine your COVID status when you’re sick. A positive test should prompt you to isolate, and if you’re eligible, to seek antivirals.</p> <p>Testing might also be worthwhile if you’ve come into contact with someone with COVID but you haven’t developed symptoms. If you find you have in fact contracted the virus, you can take steps to avoid spreading it to other people (you can infect others even <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-asymptomatic-covid#prevalence">when you’re asymptomatic</a>). This is especially important if you’re going to be socialising in large groups or in contact with people who are vulnerable.</p> <p>Another situation in which to consider testing, particularly at this time of year, is before attending large social gatherings. While the reliability of a RAT is never perfect, do the test as close to the event as possible, because your disease status <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/omicron-rapid-test-hour-before-party-not-day-before-expert-2021-12">can change quickly</a>.</p> <h2>2. Should I test multiple times?</h2> <p>Yes. RATs are not as sensitive as PCR tests, which is the trade-off we make for being able to do this test at home and <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/public-health-officials-pursue-covid-19-tests-that-trade-precision-for-speed-11599562800">getting a rapid result</a>.</p> <p>This means that while if you test positive with a RAT you can be very confident you have COVID, if you test negative, you cannot be as confident that you don’t have COVID. That is, the test may give you a false negative result.</p> <p>Although RATs from different manufacturers have different accuracies, all RATs approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration must have a sensitivity of <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/products/covid-19/covid-19-tests/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-home-use/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-are-approved-australia#:%7E:text=For%20rapid%20antigen%20tests%2C%20this,specificity%20of%20at%20least%2098%25.">at least 80%</a>.</p> <p>The way to increase your confidence in a negative result is to do multiple RATs serially – each negative test increases the confidence you can have that you don’t have COVID. If you have symptoms and have tested negative after your first RAT, <a href="https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/home-covid-19-antigen-tests-take-steps-reduce-your-risk-false-negative-results-fda-safety">the advice</a> is to repeat the test after 48 hours, and potentially a third time after another 48 hours if the second test is also negative.</p> <h2>3. Do RATs detect the latest variants?</h2> <p>Since RATs <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19/testing#:%7E:text=Rapid%20antigen%20tests%2C%20or%20RATs,of%20proteins%20of%20the%20virus.">detect particular surface proteins</a> on SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID), it’s theoretically possible that as the virus evolves, the reliability of these tests may be affected.</p> <p>However, RATs were designed to detect a part of the virus that is not as likely to mutate, so the hope is these tests <a href="https://www.health.com/do-covid-tests-work-new-variants-7967102">will continue to hold up</a> as SARS-CoV-2 evolves.</p> <p>The performance of RATs is continually being assessed by manufacturers. So far, there’s been no change reported in the ability of these tests to <a href="https://www.ama.com.au/articles/tga-updated-advice-rats-nearing-expiry-and-rats-efficacy-current-strains#:%7E:text=The%20TGA%20has%20received%20evidence,19%20RAT%20post%2Dmarket%20review.">detect the latest variants</a>.</p> <h2>4. Can I rely on expired RATs?</h2> <p>At this point in the pandemic, you might have a few expired tests at the back of your cupboard.</p> <p>Technically the most appropriate advice is to say you should never use a diagnostic test <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/products/covid-19/covid-19-tests/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-home-use/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-are-approved-australia">past its expiry date</a>. As a general principle the performance of a test cannot be guaranteed beyond this date. The risk is that over time the components of the RAT degrade and if you use a test that’s not working optimally, it’s more likely to indicate <a href="https://www.health.com/can-you-use-expired-covid-test-6827970">you don’t have COVID</a> when you actually do, which may have consequences.</p> <p>However, as for all things COVID, the answer is not so black and white. Since these tests were new when they were introduced earlier in the pandemic, manufacturers didn’t have specific data on their performance over time, and so the expiry dates given were necessarily conservative.</p> <p>It’s likely these tests will work beyond the expiry dates on the packet, but just how long and how well they work is a bit of an unknown, so we need to be cautious.</p> <p>The other thing to consider is ensuring you store RATs correctly. Storage instructions should be found on the packet, but the key issue is making sure they’re not exposed to extreme temperatures. In particular, <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/how-to-properly-store-your-at-home-covid-19-rapid-antigen-tests-c-5465412">high temperatures</a> may damage the chemicals in the test which may reduce its sensitivity.</p> <h2>The path from here</h2> <p>Regular upticks in COVID cases are something we’re going to have to get used to. At these times, we should all be a bit more cautious about looking after ourselves and others as we go about our lives. What this looks like will vary for different people depending on their personal circumstances.</p> <p>However, being up to date with <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-the-new-covid-booster-vaccines-can-i-get-one-do-they-work-are-they-safe-217804">booster vaccinations</a>, having a plan for <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/oral-treatments">accessing antivirals</a> if you’re eligible, <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-covid-surging-should-i-wear-a-mask-217902">wearing masks</a> in high-risk settings and testing all continue to play an important role in responding to COVID.<!-- 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/218016/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/hassan-vally-202904"><em>Hassan Vally</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, <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/should-we-still-be-using-rats-to-test-for-covid-4-key-questions-answered-218016">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Eight key questions about lab-grown meat

<div class="copy"> <p>It’s been around for a decade now — but <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/podcast/lab-grown-meat/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">cultured meat</a> still faces some huge hurdles.</p> <p>On 5 August, it will be ten years since the world was introduced to <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23576143" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">the first lab-grown burger</a>.</p> <p>A decade after its arrival, biotechnologist Professor Paul Wood answers eight key questions about cultured meat.</p> <h2>What is lab-grown meat?</h2> <p>Cultured meat, also colloquially referred to as lab-grown meat, is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/af/article/13/2/68/7123477" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">the concept</a> of taking a biopsy from a living animal, selecting an individual cell type and growing these cells in large scale <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajpcell.00408.2022" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">bioreactors</a>.</p> <p>Technically, it’s a viable alternative to growing an animal to maturity before harvesting meat from its carcass.</p> <p>Multiple cell types can be used from animals, such as muscle, fat or <a href="https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Fibroblast" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">fibroblasts</a>.</p> <p>The initial stage of cell selection requires the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123745538002537" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">creation of a cell line</a> which will grow continuously in a selective culture medium.</p> <h2>How long has it been around?</h2> <p>The technology for the culture of cells in laboratories has been used for many decades to produce drugs like <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy/monoclonal-antibodies" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">monoclonal antibodies</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7161866/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">viral vaccines</a>.</p> <p>The difference with cultured meat is the cells themselves are used to produce edible products rather than used as production systems for monoclonals or viral antigens.</p> <p>Cultured meat was first introduced back in 2013 with <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23576143" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">the unveiling of the world’s first lab-grown burger</a>, which cost a whopping USD$330,000 to produce.</p> <p>The first commercial cultured meat product was <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55155741" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">a chicken nugget licensed in Singapore</a> in 2020.</p> <p><a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lab-grown-meat-approved-for-sale-what-you-need-to-know/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">In June 2023</a>, the US Department of Agriculture granted two companies — Upside Foods and Good Meat — licences to sell chicken-based products.</p> <p>Significant excitement ensued in the food industry with <a href="https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ind.2021.29240.ctu?journalCode=ind" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">predictions</a> that cultured meat will transform the meat industry by 2030.</p> <h2>Is lab-grown meat commercially viable?</h2> <p>Currently <a href="https://gfi.org/resource/cultivated-meat-eggs-and-dairy-state-of-the-industry-report/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">around USD$3 billion</a> has been invested in over 150 companies working on beef, chicken, pork, lamb and exotic cell-based products. <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2023/03/woolly-mammoth-meatball-stunt-food-marketing/673578/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Woolly mammoth meatball</a> anyone?</p> <p>Upside Foods has launched its <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/01/business/lab-grown-chicken-san-francisco/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">new cell-based chicken product in a Michelin star restaurant</a>, but it is only available one night a month and the price has not been disclosed.</p> <p>Commercial success will require significant scaling in production, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bit.27848" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">cost reductions</a> and consumer acceptance, or these products will be confined to niche markets for wealthy consumers.</p> <p>Cultured meat is unlikely to be the solution for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/7/53" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">increasing protein needs of developing nations</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://academic.oup.com/af/article/13/2/68/7123477" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">technical challenges</a> involve scaling up cell growth in over 10,000 litre fermentation vessels, while significantly reducing the cost of cell-culture media, the capital cost of equipment and the operating cost of high-quality sterile biocontainment facilities.</p> <p>It has been estimated that the cost of production of cultured meat <a href="https://cedelft.eu/publications/tea-of-cultivated-meat/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">must be reduced by over 1,000-fold</a> to match that of conventional meat production.</p> <p>Proponents of cultured meat like to quote the concept of <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/moores-law" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Moore’s law</a> that predicts that the cost of all new technology will be significantly reduced with time. However this law has never been applied to a biological system that has innate growth limits.</p> <h2>Is it good for you — and does it taste okay?</h2> <p>Currently <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20061-y" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">all cultured meats are hybrid or blended products</a>, in which the harvested cell paste — the meat component — is combined with plant-based materials, plus vitamins and minerals to produce burgers, meatballs, sausages and dumplings.</p> <p>Yes, you have to add the vitamins in, and no, you can’t make a steak with it yet.</p> <p>From a commercial perspective this is important, as cultured meat products will compete in the commodity meat market.</p> <p>Cultured meat does not produce a three-dimensional steak with multiple cell types and complex taste and texture.</p> <p>However, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/lanabandoim/2021/02/12/worlds-first-3d-bioprinted-and-cultivated-ribeye-steak-is-revealed/?sh=4b6baf0a4781" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">there are companies</a> aiming to develop whole cuts of meat using 3D printing and bioengineering technology.</p> <h2>What is the motivation to produce cell-cultured meat?</h2> <p>The drivers for cultured meat are that <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-05-06/vegan-alternative-plant-based-meat-grown-in-lab/9726436" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">animals are not slaughtered</a>, there can be less land and water usage and less greenhouse gases are produced than conventional meat production, particularly from ruminants like cattle and sheep.</p> <p>A lower manufacturing footprint is a terrific plus. And not killing animals is something a lot of people advocate for, but until cultured meat has been scaled significantly, it won’t be known if it’s really better for the planet or for humans.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2022/04/21/cultivated-meat-upside-foods-closes-400m-series-c-round-to-support-commercial-scale-plant-with-production-capacity-of-tens-of-millions-of-pounds" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">largest facility built so far</a> is a pilot plant in the USA that aims to produce around 1,000 pounds (approximately 450 kilograms) of product per week, which is equivalent to the dressed weight of three carcasses — what a single suburban butcher processes in one day.</p> <h2>Will it be expensive to buy?</h2> <p>The taste and texture of food is critical to consumers — but so is value for money. So, it’s not surprising <a href="https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cp/mapped-meat-consumption-by-country-and-type/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">chicken is the dominant choice of meat</a> currently.</p> <p>With high-end lab-grown meat products, both taste and texture can most likely be matched, and with supplementation with vitamins like B12 it should be possible to make cultured meat nutritionally equivalent to its traditional counterpart too.</p> <p>However, cost will be a major challenge and sales data indicated that <a href="https://www.freshplaza.com/oceania/article/9535792/consumers-are-not-willing-to-pay-more-for-sustainability/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">consumers will not pay any significant premium for slaughter-free or more sustainable products</a>.</p> <h2>Who wants to eat meat grown in a factory?</h2> <p>There are also questions around who the consumers will be for cultured meat.</p> <p>Vegans avoid animal products, vegetarians often reject the taste of meat and this new group of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224421003952" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">flexitarians</a>, while interested in trying new products, are seldom converted to <a href="https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/11/16/What-do-flexitarian-consumers-want-Plant-based-innovation-opportunities-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">regular customers</a>.</p> <p>In the US at least, this is one of the reasons that the many plant-based meat products have only captured <a href="https://gfi.org/marketresearch/#plant-based-meat" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">1.3 percent of the meat market</a>.</p> <p>It is also likely that plant-based products will be a <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/agriculture/our-insights/alternative-proteins-the-race-for-market-share-is-on" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">major competitor</a> to these new cultured meat products.</p> <h2>Who will be next to approve cell-cultured meat?</h2> <p>While the first cultured meat products have been licensed in Singapore and the US, it is expected more will follow from other regions.</p> <p>Even though <a href="https://www.fao.org/food-safety/scientific-advice/crosscutting-and-emerging-issues/cell-based-food/en/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">a recent FAO report</a> identified over 50 potential health risks with cultured meat, it concluded that the overall risk was not greater than that seen with conventional meat products.</p> <p>There could be delays in Europe due to the conservative regulatory approach taken in the EU. In Australia, products are <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2023-06-27/cultured-lab-meat-to-sell-in-australia-to-rival-plant-based-meat/102527330" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">expected to be approved in 2024</a>.</p> <p>For now though? Well, the message to Aussie meat producers is … don’t sell the farm.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrition/explainer-lab-grown-meat/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="null">Cosmos</a>. </em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Gratitude amplified: Unlocking the key to happiness and deep connections

<p>In today's fast-paced world, filled with negative news, challenging experiences, and personal losses, finding joy and gratitude can often be a difficult task.</p> <p>As we naturally tend to focus on the negative aspects of life, it becomes essential to pause and cultivate gratitude, which can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.</p> <p><strong>What is gratitude? </strong></p> <p>Gratitude involves showing appreciation for the things in life that are important to you, and taking a moment to notice and acknowledge these moments have proven benefits of lifting mood and helping you feel more positive throughout the day. Have you ever stopped to notice that there is something to be grateful for every day if we just take stock? It could be a person who kindly let you merge into traffic, a refreshing breeze on a scorching day, a beautiful rainbow after a heavy downpour, or a thoughtful call or text from a friend. </p> <p>Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. We also know that Gratitude begets gratitude, meaning that any kind act is likely to bring kindness back, in spades! </p> <p><strong>Practice Gratitude – Write down 3 things per day</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theresilienceproject.com.au/">The Resilience Project</a> changed my life by introducing a simple practice: at the end of each day, we take five minutes to write down three things we are grateful for that happened that day. It could be as simple as a walk in the sun, a phone call from a friend, a stroll with your dog, or even a comforting cup of tea. </p> <p>Engaging in this exercise helps you articulate your gratitude and realise the abundance of things to be grateful for in our everyday lives.</p> <p>I personally experienced the transformative power of gratitude during the two years of COVID lockdown in Victoria while working full-time and home schooling my two boys, aged 8 and 10. Our family embraced this practice each night, which not only changed our outlook on life but also sparked positive conversations during dinner.</p> <p>Surprisingly, it was often the simplest things we were all grateful for, like homemade meals or cherished moments of togetherness.</p> <p>I distinctly remember preparing a hot meal and passing it over our neighbour's fence when their family was unwell with COVID. To our surprise, a few weeks later, they reciprocated with a homecooked meal. In those challenging times, a sense of community became such a source of positivity, and we were immensely grateful for the love that went into that dinner.</p> <p>So why not take the time to stop and smell the roses and practice gratitude? Who knows, over time, you may start to notice your stress levels decreasing, your relationships improving, and be blessed with a strengthened sense of community.</p> <p><strong><em>Melissa Cutajar is <a href="https://www.connectedwomen.net/">Connected Women</a>’s Member Experience and Partnerships Manager. With a deep interest in health and wellness, Melissa is a source of positivity and creativity to the Connected Women team.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://connectedwomen.net/">Connected Women</a> provides a community for women over 50 to connect with each other and build meaningful friendships. With a rapidly growing communities in Perth, Sydney, Wollongong, and Melbourne, Connected Women provides a safe and welcoming space for women to come together and share experiences. To learn more about the organisation and how you can get involved, visit connectedwomen.net.</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Relationships

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Friends are key to keeping fit

<p>Find yourself losing motivation with your workouts? An exercise buddy can be the best way to kick-start your fitness program and put the fun back into workouts. Here’s why you need an exercise buddy.</p> <p><strong>Get motivated</strong></p> <p>A partner can provide the motivation you need to get out and get active. When you’re tempted to stay in bed or flop on the couch, the influence of an exercise buddy will encourage you to change your mind – even if it’s just so you don’t disappoint them. Numerous studies have shown that having a partner increases the likelihood that you will stick to a fitness routine.</p> <p><strong>Monitor your progress</strong></p> <p>Sometimes it can be hard to see how far you’ve come if you’re exercising alone. Often it takes an independent party to see when you’ve gained strength or flexibility, toned up or increased your stamina. A buddy will help you recognise your achievements and celebrate them.</p> <p><strong>Try new things</strong></p> <p>It can be intimidating to go into a new fitness class or activity on your own. You might feel self conscious in front of others or not want to try that new machine without a bit of moral support. An exercise buddy takes the pressure off and brings a social element to the experience, so you can laugh at your mistakes or ask for help without judgment.</p> <p><strong>Be competitive</strong></p> <p>We’re not suggesting that your workouts need to be fights to the death, but having a buddy will inspire you to run that little bit further or push that little bit harder. You can both keep track of your progress against the other and work harder to keep improving. Because no one likes to fall behind.</p> <p><strong>Safety first</strong></p> <p>Exercising à deux is safer for everyone. It can be hard to listen to your own body and you might not be able to tell when something isn’t right. A buddy gives you a spotter when you’re lifting weights, someone to tell you if a pose looks like it’s placing too much strain in one area or just someone to help you home if you twist your ankle on a run. Another set of eyes helps prevent you exercising with bad form and makes sure you’re getting the most out of it.</p> <p><strong>Laugh a little</strong></p> <p>Above all, an exercise buddy makes working out more fun. You can catch up on gossip while walking, laugh at your novice yoga moves or grab a juice after swimming a few laps. And when something is fun you’re more likely to keep doing it. So buddy up!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Body

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This eating habit is key to losing weight

<p>New research has found the time of day you eat is key to losing weight.</p> <p>The findings reveal that your best efforts to cut back may prove ineffective if you’re not timing your meals correctly.</p> <p>A study found that mice lost weight when they were given a reduced calorie diet and only ate during the day.</p> <p>Rodents who consumed the same diet but ate at night did not reap the same results.</p> <p>Lead author of the study, Dr Joseph Takahashi, said, “Translated into human behaviour, these studies suggest that dieting will only be effective if calories are consumed during the daytime when we are awake and active.”</p> <p>Dr Takahashi added, “They further suggest that eating at the wrong time at night will not lead to weight loss even when dieting.”</p> <p>Scientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center also believe the timing of meals is important as it also affects circadian rhythms, the body’s 24-hour clock.</p> <p>They have highlighted how the research may explain how dietary habits impact lifespan.</p> <p>The study observed this by testing the day/night cycles of mice under different feeding schedules.</p> <p>Two groups of mice were fed at the wrong time during their normal cycle. One group was given 30 per cent less calories and the other group had unlimited food, but both groups were more active at night.</p> <p>Various research has associated sleep problems with an increased risk of obesity.</p> <p>“'It has been known for decades that calorie restriction prolongs lifespan in animals, but these types of studies are very difficult to conduct because they required manual feeding of subjects over many years," Dr Takahashi said</p> <p>“This automated system, which can be scaled up for large and very long longevity studies, provides the means to address open questions about what mechanisms extend lifespan in mammals.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>The research was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. </em></p>

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Friends are key to keeping fit

<p>Find yourself losing motivation with your workouts? An exercise buddy can be the best way to kick-start your fitness program and put the fun back into workouts. Here’s why you need an exercise buddy.</p> <p><strong>Get motivated</strong></p> <p>A partner can provide the motivation you need to get out and get active. When you’re tempted to stay in bed or flop on the couch, the influence of an exercise buddy will encourage you to change your mind – even if it’s just so you don’t disappoint them. Numerous studies have shown that having a partner increases the likelihood that you will stick to a fitness routine.</p> <p><strong>Monitor your progress</strong></p> <p>Sometimes it can be hard to see how far you’ve come if you’re exercising alone. Often it takes an independent party to see when you’ve gained strength or flexibility, toned up or increased your stamina. A buddy will help you recognise your achievements and celebrate them.</p> <p><strong>Try new things</strong></p> <p>It can be intimidating to go into a new fitness class or activity on your own. You might feel self conscious in front of others or not want to try that new machine without a bit of moral support. An exercise buddy takes the pressure off and brings a social element to the experience, so you can laugh at your mistakes or ask for help without judgment.</p> <p><strong>Be competitive</strong></p> <p>We’re not suggesting that your workouts need to be fights to the death, but having a buddy will inspire you to run that little bit further or push that little bit harder. You can both keep track of your progress against the other and work harder to keep improving. Because no one likes to fall behind.</p> <p><strong>Safety first</strong></p> <p>Exercising à deux is safer for everyone. It can be hard to listen to your own body and you might not be able to tell when something isn’t right. A buddy gives you a spotter when you’re lifting weights, someone to tell you if a pose looks like it’s placing too much strain in one area or just someone to help you home if you twist your ankle on a run. Another set of eyes helps prevent you exercising with bad form and makes sure you’re getting the most out of it.</p> <p><strong>Laugh a little</strong></p> <p>Above all, an exercise buddy makes working out more fun. You can catch up on gossip while walking, laugh at your novice yoga moves or grab a juice after swimming a few laps. And when something is fun you’re more likely to keep doing it. So buddy up!</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Body

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Federal Budget 2023: How to make the most of the key promises

<p dir="ltr">Treasurer Jim Charles has handed down his first budget for 2023/24, offering a series of measures aimed at tackling the cost-of-living crisis.</p> <p dir="ltr">Millions of Australians will receive a boost from the federal government medical care, bills and welfare payments, amid the forecast that the budget will be be in the black with a surplus of $4bn.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here’s what it means for you:</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Bill help</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Those who are on the pension, a seniors card holder or a recipient of family tax benefits A and B will be eligible to get help with energy bills thanks to a deal between the states and Commonwealth that’s worth $1.5bn.</p> <p dir="ltr">That means over five million eligible households and one million eligible small businesses will benefit from the scheme.</p> <p dir="ltr">The relief will come in the form of credits that apply directly to their power bills rather than cash, and the amount they receive will depend on the state they live in.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Medicare Relief</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The incentives paid to GPs who bulk bill 11.6m eligible Australians including children under 16, pensioners and other concession card holders will increase.</p> <p dir="ltr">GPs will be able to claim the incentives for in-person consultations over six minutes long and certain telehealth consultations.</p> <p dir="ltr">GPs who bulk bill patients in the city will be paid a new incentive of $20.65 compared to the previous rate of $6.60, while regional GPs will receive a $31.40 incentive, up from $10.05.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Welfare recipients</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Over 1.1 million vulnerable Australians will benefit from a $40 fortnightly boost from September, if parliament agrees.</p> <p dir="ltr">The increased base rate will apply to people receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (partnered), ABSTUDY, Disability Support Pension (Youth) and Special Benefit.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Rental assistance</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">For many renters, this budget means that rent is forecasted to increase over the next year as the market tightens.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, for those currently receiving the maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance allowance their payments will increase by 15 per cent.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here’s what the Federal Budget will look like at a glance:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Budget deficit of $13.9 billion in 2023/24</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Commonwealth net debt to rise to $574.9 billion (22.3 per cent of GDP) in 2023/24</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Economic growth to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2023/24</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Unemployment rate to rise to 4.25 per cent in 2023/24</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Inflation as measured by CPI to be 3.25 per cent in 2023/24</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Wages to rise by four per cent in 2023/24</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">And here are the key measures the federal budget has promised:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Energy bill relief for five million households and one million businesses</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Triple bulk-billing incentives and more funding for urgent care clinics</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Base rate of JobSeeker and other payments to be raised for 1.1 million households</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Commonwealth Rent Assistant rise for 1.1 million households</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Housing boost including tax breaks for build-to-rent investors</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">$4 billion extra for renewable energy</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Tax breaks for small business to write-off assets and reduce energy costs</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Targeted help for jobless aged over 55</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Cut to cost of medicines</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Image: Getty Images/ Martin Ollman / Stringer</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why study is the key to keeping your brain healthy as you age

<p><em><strong>Two Over60 community members talk about studying later in life, how it keeps their mind healthy and why they keep going back for more.</strong></em></p> <p>The word study for many people conjures up memories of restless school days, strict teachers and homework you had to force yourself to complete. However, education isn’t just limited to schools – if you think about our everyday lives, we are constantly learning new things. Whether it’s trying out a new recipe, learning about historic events through a film or attempting to remember algebra so we can help our grandkids, it’s clear learning is a lifelong process. Research consistently shows that keeping your mind active has many health benefits. For over-60s, it helps to keep your mind stimulated and mental faculties in top condition as well as improving your overall wellbeing. It is why there are increasingly more seniors who are seeking to study later in life – and they’re finding they not only love it, but that it’s rewarding in so many ways.</p> <p>For Bernard Macdougall, 73, from Maryborough, Queensland, taking courses and learning new things has been crucial in keeping his mind astute. It was after searching online that Bernard stumbled across the free Open2Study courses.</p> <p>“A couple of year ago I was starting to get a bit anxious about whether I had any brain damage. I had a bit of numbness on the right side of my body and I felt I had a slight impediment in my speech,” he reveals, continuing, “but when I found I could get high marks in these courses I thought well I don’t have to worry, my brain is working, there hasn’t been any deterioration.”</p> <p>Bernard found there was a great variety in courses offered and the option of short one-month timeframes could be easily managed. He ended up taking three courses through Open2Study and another online course through Charles Darwin University.</p> <p>It was a similar case for Peter Keyes, 78, from Albion Park Rail, New South Wales, who has completed four courses through Open2Study. Peter has worked in education all his life so when retirement came around he wasn’t about to stop learning.</p> <p>“You can’t sit around in retirement and twiddle your thumbs,” he laughs, adding, “I live in a retirement village and I encourage all of [the residents] to do some study rather than sit around and watch TV all day! It keeps the brain kicking.”</p> <p>As well as keeping him busy, Peter also found the courses were helpful and informative.</p> <p>“During my career in education I ended up being an administrator looking after buildings so I was interested in one of the courses ‘Project Management’. It gave me a further insight into the processes that I used in setting up the buildings of school buildings,” he explains, continuing, “In [my] retirement village, management occasionally ask me to go into planning meetings and talk about what things [to consider] in terms of buildings and older people.”</p> <p>Studying is not only about learning new things but as Bernard found, it can be personally fulfilling too.</p> <p>“Back in the 70s, I did an arts degree with major studies in anthropology. I saw that Open2Study had a course called ‘<a href="https://www.open2study.com/courses/becoming-human-anthropology-090913%20" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Becoming Human</strong></span></a>’. I thought, ‘Right I will have a go at that’,” explains Bernard. He soon found he was not only learning about new theories but about what it means to become human. “I was very emotionally involved as it was about human evolution,” he says.</p> <p>Both Bernard and Peter found the online courses easy to manage – all that was needed was a computer and an internet connection to access the course that you could do in the convenience and comfort of your own home.</p> <p>Lectures were presented through short videos, which Peter found convenient: “You can stop it at any time, make a note and then catch up,” he explains.</p> <p>And for those who are worried that studying means taking exams or doing assessments again, Peter advises you not to worry.</p> <p>“When people hear that they’ve got exams or test or assessment to do, they get a bit frightened. But you teach them there’s nothing to it, you can always stop and go back and have another read,” says Peter.</p> <p>While there are assessments – mainly multiple choice – throughout most courses, it’s not about being competitive but having a barometer for your individual progress. It is simply there so you know how much knowledge you have learnt during the course.  </p> <p>Bernard found that although he felt apprehensive sometimes, there was a greatly fulfilling feeling of not only accomplishing the assessment but gaining some high marks.</p> <p>“I put a lot of work into study and when you have to press the final submit button, sometimes I was extremely apprehensive because I was anxious to get good marks,” Bernard explains, adding, “I think one has to devote time to it but it’s time I’m happy to spend.”</p> <p>Both Peter and Bernard are quick to reveal that they are not going to stop studying anytime soon. Peter has just signed up to Open2Study’s ‘Innovation for Powerful Outcomes’ course while Bernard is still half way through the ‘User Experience for the Web’ course.</p> <p>“The course is self-paced so I can start again and there’s no deadline for me, thank goodness,” Bernard smiles.</p> <p>After each completing a number of courses, they can’t speak highly enough about how beneficial studying has been for them.</p> <p>“It keeps the little grey cells going,” states Peter, because as he know only too well, “the pool of knowledge, skill, understanding and wisdom is enormous” in the over-60 community.</p> <p>“For me it is very, very important to keep learning as you age. Partly so that I know my brain is still good and not fading away,” Bernard chuckles, continuing, “it is also just a matter of curiosity. I’m just interested in learning new topics.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Mind

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I’m a psychotherapist – here are the 5 keys to letting my stress go

<p><strong>Going to therapy?</strong></p> <p>Lately, the growing answer to that question is an emphatic Yes. Thanks to the increased interest in psychotherapy – especially in light of the stress the pandemic caused – some authorities suggest the coming years are likely to see a shortage of therapists…which is perhaps one of the few disadvantages of this trend.</p> <p>As more individuals recognise the need to manage stress, process trauma, and talk through challenges we face in work and our professional lives, many therapists are finding it likewise necessary to ratchet up the ways we take care of ourselves. When your job is to make space for others to process through struggle and heal – and complete the work that’s necessary to effectively manage your practice (and fulfil your role as a parent who works, in the case of myself and many others) – it is essential to take steps to stay feeling spiritually light and come back replenished to work every day.</p> <p>Every April during Stress Awareness Month, I take a conscious inventory of my own self-care strategies, keeping in mind that I can’t be at my best for others unless I’m taking care of myself first. Here are my best practices for getting into a good space, even when the day feels heavy.</p> <p><strong>Engage in meaningful work</strong></p> <p>The time we spend working often takes us away from other things that bring us joy. The truth is, it wears on all of us to think that we may be spending more time in connection with our co-workers than even our families. As often as you can remember to do so, recognise: Yes – your personal sacrifices provide you with what you need to survive – but also, consider how your work translates to the difference you make in the world.</p> <p>Burnout is a key problem facing our workforce today, but you’re less likely to experience burnout if you enjoy, and feel connected to, the work you do. Often at my job, I feel so connected to and proud of the work we do improving access to mental health care that it doesn’t seem like work at all!</p> <p>However, I am careful to make sure I disconnect at the end of the day so I can be present with my family when I’m not at work.</p> <p><strong>Spend time with family and friends</strong></p> <p>It’s important to spend time with those who are important to you. As we emerge from the pandemic (when we were often disconnected from friends, family, and other loved ones), it’s important to reconnect. Even if you can’t physically be present with each other, a key to managing stress is to set aside time each week to video conference with friends and family.</p> <p><strong>Get fresh air</strong></p> <p>I’ve always found that getting outside and doing something enjoyable helps me fill my cup. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, walking my son in his push-along sports car, or sitting in a rocking chair and taking in the sights and sounds…a little time outdoors is so good for the soul.</p> <p><strong>Keep a gratitude journal </strong></p> <p>We all know there is plenty of negativity in the world around us. I find it particularly helpful to focus on the positives by keeping a gratitude journal. This requires me to sift through the noise, zoom out from the daily minutiae, and focus on what I’m grateful for each day. Being intentional to think about what I’m grateful for improves my overall outlook and centres me.</p> <p>From time to time, it’s also nice to flip through the journal and reflect on all of the things that I have to be grateful for on a tough day.</p> <p><strong>Go to therapy</strong></p> <p>I wouldn’t be a good psychologist if I didn’t practise what I preach. Regardless of what is happening in your life, it is wonderful to have a non-partial, confidential sounding board. While my therapist has helped me through the toughest times in my life, she has also helped me focus on and celebrate the best times of my life. Therapy is really such a gift to give yourself.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/im-a-psychotherapist-here-are-the-5-keys-to-letting-my-stress-go" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Mind

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5 key things you need to consider before downsizing

<p dir="ltr">Retirement is a time of change, and it can be a change of address too. Many pre-retirees consider making a sea change or a tree change and make the decision to move into a property that better meets their changing lifestyle needs. Often the move is out of a larger family home into a smaller house, an apartment, or a retirement village. Of course it doesn’t need to be a change of suburb, it might be something smaller in the same area. Like all decisions, your own goals about moving homes should be front and centre.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a financial planning opportunity associated with a decision like this and it’s one that many Australians are making. It’s called the downsizing contribution strategy and it allows you to use superannuation to help you fund your retirement lifestyle using proceeds from the property sale. The good news is that you don’t have to use all of the proceeds from the sale of the family home into a superannuation downsizer contribution. You get to choose how much you’d like to contribute, up to $300,000 for singles and $300,000 each for couples.</p> <p dir="ltr">There are 5 key things you should consider before you make a decision to use the downsizing contribution strategy.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. What type of property and which suburb will you downsize to?</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Many people approaching retirement don’t want to be rattling around in a larger family home. So if you do look for something smaller, what type of property and which suburb will you move to?</p> <p dir="ltr">Some key considerations may include:</p> <p dir="ltr">· Proximity to family and friends</p> <p dir="ltr">· The distance to essential services you use, shopping and medical services</p> <p dir="ltr">· Availability of public transport</p> <p dir="ltr">· Accessibility of lifestyle activities such as golf, tennis courts, swimming</p> <p dir="ltr">· The type of property itself, perhaps single level with no stairs</p> <p dir="ltr">Many city dwellers who choose the sea or tree change often take what they have for granted so if you’re moving to a region, make sure you do your homework to ensure you will have everything you need.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Check your eligibility to ensure this strategy is open to you</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to finding your next home, you should also make sure you understand and follow the rules the government has set out about using the downsizer contribution strategy. There are always rules! Check the eligibility requirements to make sure it’s available to you, including</p> <p dir="ltr">completing the right paperwork at the right time. Originally this was only open to those aged 60 or over from 1 July 2022, however the government has now lowered the accessibility age to those aged 55 and over from 1 January 2023. Other conditions apply too so ensure you meet them to ensure you’re eligible for this financial planning strategy.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Make the most of your contribution options.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The downsizer contribution allows an individual to make a $300,000 contribution to your super. And if you’re a couple, you each can make a $300,000 contribution. With the focus on getting money into your super to fund your retirement life, remember that you may also make a non-concessional contribution of up to $330,000 (total super balance permitting). This way you can maximise the base from which a tax free income stream may be commenced or equalise the value of accounts if one member is over the transfer balance cap. Remember that you can also make a downsizer contribution if you have reached your transfer balance cap of $1.7 million.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Ensure the strategy is considered with Centrelink.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">For many Australians, Centrelink provides an important source of income for their retirement and it makes sense to consider this strategy in the context of your eligibility for that income. The money you receive from the sale of your family home will be considered when determining your entitlements. Your new home however, the one you downsize to, becomes exempt once you have purchased it. This is because it becomes your primary residence.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Don’t forget about the other ways you can contribute to super.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The downsizing contribution strategy is just one way you can contribute to super. There are other ways you can contribute too. An example is making a personal deductible contribution to super. Through this type of contribution, you make your contribution, and you claim a tax deduction when you get your tax return completed. Downsizer super contributions don’t allow you to claim a tax deduction. Make sure you consider all of your options when making super contributions and assess the pros and cons of each.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a lot to consider when making the decision to downsize your family home and it’s not just about where you want to live next. The downsizer contribution strategy is a great way to get extra money from the sale of your family home to fund your retirement lifestyle. Make sure you understand your financial planning options though, before making a decision, to be more confident that you will achieve the outcomes that you’re seeking. No one likes surprises around unexpected outcomes, so do your homework and seek advice from a licensed financial planner if you need help.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em><strong>Luke Smith is a licensed Australian financial planner and author of the new book, Smart Money Strategy – Your Ultimate Guide to Financial Planning (Wiley, $34.95), published by Wiley. Luke is also the host of the popular podcast ‘The Strategy Stacker – Luke Talks Money’ and appears every Friday afternoon on Canberra’s 2CC. Found out more at <a href="http://www.thestrategystacker.com.au">www.thestrategystacker.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-b947a9ff-7fff-c3ad-8165-fba98ab2beb8"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Downsizing

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Interior designer shares key things that make your home look “cheap”

<p dir="ltr">Everyone has their own unique way of decorating their home, finding the perfect aesthetic to make your space your own.</p> <p dir="ltr">And while there are limitless ways to jazz up your home, there are a few major faux pas that can instantly turn your space from fab to drab. </p> <p dir="ltr">An expert interior designer has gone viral on TikTok for listing the three things to look out for when decorating your home in order to avoid your space looking “cheap” or “tacky”. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Visible cords</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Her biggest no-no was having electrical cords for all your chargers and appliances on show. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said they can make any space look “cluttered”, and recommends hiding cords behind special covers of under furniture. </p> <p dir="ltr">“You can run your cords through the wall if possible and if not you can get a little case from Amazon. So much better,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Mass-produced artworks</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another thing the designer recommends avoiding is generic, mass-produced artwork that you find in home department shops. </p> <p dir="ltr">“When you're looking for artwork, look for something a little bit more original, something that not everyone will have,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also advised against cluttering a space with too much art, and recommended focusing on one main focal piece instead. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Tacky decor </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The design expert also warned against tacky pillows, decor pieces and anything with an inspirational quote. </p> <p dir="ltr">She told all shoppers to steer clear of anything that boasts the words “Live, Laugh, Love”, and encouraged people to pick more classic and timeless decor options. </p> <p dir="ltr">While some appreciated the designers tips, others encouraged people to decorate their homes however they see fit. </p> <p dir="ltr">“What if I am cheap?” one woman asked.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Things that make my house look cheap: no money,” another quipped. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If it makes you happy then it's not cheap,” another said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just let people be happy with whatever they like and can afford,” one annoyed fan said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Home & Garden

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5 keys to understanding grief

<p><em><strong>Christopher Hall is chief executive officer of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, and previously worked as a psychologist with the Victorian Department of Education. </strong></em></p> <p>For too long, we have suffered from a narrow definition of grief. We’ve viewed grief largely as the human response to death but grief is really the human response to change.</p> <p>It’s a multifaceted response that involves our emotional life, our cognitions – the way we think about ourselves, the world and our relationships, as well as the impact of grief on our bodies, our relationships, our spirituality and even our broader frameworks of meaning.</p> <p>It may be a change that is unwelcome, an adverse life event such as a loved one’s death or a floundering relationship. It may even be a welcome change, such as adjusting to a new work culture or moving to a new location.</p> <p>Change is a fundamental part of life. It plays a central role in the work of psychologists, as we help our clients adjust to change or transition.</p> <p><strong>1. Theories about grief</strong></p> <p>People often refer to Kübler-Ross’ 1969 model of grief which suggests that people passively go through five emotional stages – from denial through to anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. While this cookie-cutter model brings a sense of order to a complex process, it has been widely rejected for failing to reflect people’s own unique experience of grief.</p> <p>Freud’s initial work suggested that the task for bereaved people was to say goodbye and let go – a process of breaking emotional bonds.</p> <p>We now acknowledge that grief is different for everyone. Bereaved people do not tend to break emotional bonds, instead they continue these bonds with the deceased. We know that death ends a life but it doesn’t end a relationship.</p> <p><strong>2. Keeping the connection</strong></p> <p>Much of psychology’s work is in how people can maintain, in an adaptive way, a connection to the deceased and their relationship, while not preventing them from living fully in the world.</p> <p>We move from a relationship of physical presence to a relationship of memory. This continuing bond can manifest in a variety of ways. It may be that the person has relocated their loved one to heaven and their heart or that they remember the person on their birthday and light a candle.</p> <p>It may be that they keep that relationship alive through raising research funds, a foundation in their memory, or even pursue a change to legislation.</p> <p>Most importantly, it can be a creative and dynamic connection. Just as our relationships in life can be complicated, so can our relationships with the deceased.</p> <p>The therapeutic task is no longer about getting the person to say goodbye, it’s about developing a new relationship with the deceased. In a sense, the deceased still populates our head and our heart. They can still speak to us and we can still listen to them.</p> <p><strong>3. The grieving process</strong></p> <p>Grief has been described as the price we pay for love.</p> <p>We know that in bereavement, grief will often come in waves. People can waver between the intensity and the pain of grief and finding times where they find comfort in activities that might distract or provide some avoidance of the loss.</p> <p>We all have different ways of grieving. For some people, their grief is very private while for many, it’s instrumental – they grieve through action. People need to find a safe place where they can let the grief in while finding a home for grief in their world.</p> <p>Grief is a process that can potentially last a lifetime. For the child who loses a parent in their early life, they will re-grieve this loss as they are able to think about the world in more complex ways or as they miss that parent at later stages in their life.</p> <p>Grief is not about arriving at a point of closure, where all business is done and dusted. In many ways, it is a loss that will be revisited throughout life.</p> <p>Historically, we have tended to pathologise people’s response to loss. We believed that if they hadn’t let go or said goodbye, that in some way their grief was compromised. We now recognise that grief is an experience that most people will respond to with resiliency.</p> <p>We know about seven per cent of bereaved people will develop complications in their bereavement experience that will benefit from professional engagement. These are often, but not always, people who have a particular way of relating in the world that makes change difficult for them and people who experience deaths that are sudden, unexpected or traumatic.</p> <p>While grief will always remain with us, we expect that around the six-month mark that people will begin to feel that they are able to manage their way in the world more effectively. If they are still significantly struggling, we may advise them to seek additional support.</p> <p><strong>4. How others can help</strong></p> <p>The silence or inaction of others following a bereavement can add to people’s experience of grief. It’s important that people surrounding the bereaved person be courageous and proactive.</p> <p>Recognise that there are no best words or best actions. However, it’s imperative we don’t give the bereaved person our own meaning in the death. Be cautious about saying things like – ‘look on the good times’ or ‘they’re with God now’.</p> <p>Support may come in the form of a written note or an opportunity for social engagement. Offers of assistance can help, as for many bereaved people a significant stressor are the day to day demands of living, particularly after the death of a partner.</p> <p><strong>5. Coping with grief</strong></p> <p>It’s imperative that people take good care of themselves physically and get plenty of rest. Seek out those things or activities that provide you with some degree of comfort or relief. These could be activities such as walking, yoga or meditation.</p> <p>Many people want to read information about other people who’ve had similar experiences of loss. They might access online information, books or films about grief. They may consider joining a support group and meeting with other people who’ve had a similar experience or simply find company in supportive friends.</p> <p>People grieve in the way that they tend to live their lives. Some people will find that returning to work or being occupied in activities is beneficial.</p> <p>For many people, it’s about finding some kind of meaning in the loss, perhaps reflecting on those questions of why and how, and thinking about how this person has changed their life.</p> <p>Ultimately, change is part of the world in which we live. Coping with grief is not about getting back to normal. It’s often about creating a brand new normal – a new life, in the wake of that event.</p> <p><em>Written by Christopher Hall. Republished with permission of <a href="https://psychlopaedia.org/society/understanding-grief/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Psychlopaedia</span></strong></a>. </em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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Wimbledon to make key change to all-white dress code

<p dir="ltr"><a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/beauty-style/female-tennis-stars-speak-out-against-all-white-wimbledon-dress-code" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wimbledon’s controversial all-white dress code</a> is expected to undergo a major change after the prestigious tennis competition faced months of pressure from female athletes.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 1880s rule restricts players to wearing only white clothing - including undergarments such as underwear and bras - and has been the subject of criticism for the toll it takes on female players in relation to their periods.</p> <p dir="ltr">Current guidelines require players to wear all-white, with undergarments that can be seen during play or because of sweat only allowed to have a “single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Now, Wimbledon bosses are due to scrap the undergarments rule for female players, which will come into effect from 2023 and will allow for different coloured underwear and bras to be worn.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-be94bf8d-7fff-b809-228d-6418307f5490"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">The archaic rule became the subject of widespread attention after stars spoke about the anxiety around getting their period while competing, including Australian player Daria Saville who admitted she has needed to skip her period altogether and British star Heather Watson revealing she would likely take birth control to stop her period ahead of Wimbledon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Wimbledon</a>, wanna chat periods? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AddressTheDressCode?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AddressTheDressCode</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/mcjAioqMw4">pic.twitter.com/mcjAioqMw4</a></p> <p>— gabs (@gabriellaholmez) <a href="https://twitter.com/gabriellaholmez/status/1543197239182508033?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 2, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">At the same time,the rule drew fresh criticism when Romanian player Mihaela Buzarnescu was forced to swap her bra for her coach’s prior to her first-round match in July, after officials noticed hers was too dark.</p> <p dir="ltr">"My bustier was too black and could be seen up here," she told <em>Eurosport </em>at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The white one I had was too transparent and you could see everything underneath and I couldn't wear it, so I borrowed from my coach, I took her bustier.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A group of protestors also made headlines during the ladies’ singles final, gathering outside Wimbledon dressed in white shirts and red undershorts with signs reading “About bloody time”, “Address the dress code” and “You can do it Ian Hewitt”, referring to the All England Club chairman.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gabriella Holmes and Holly Gordon, who organised the campaign Address the Dress Code to highlight the anxiety women face while competing in all-white, were among those protesting, telling <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jul/09/protesters-at-wimbledon-urge-end-to-all-white-dress-code-due-to-period-concerns#:~:text=3%20months%20old-,Protesters%20at%20Wimbledon%20urge%20end%20to%20all%2Dwhite,code%20due%20to%20period%20concerns&amp;text=Campaigners%20are%20urging%20Wimbledon%20organisers,female%20players%20who%20are%20menstruating." target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Guardian</a></em> they began calling for change after opening up to each other about the challenges of playing sport while menstruating.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4648f22f-7fff-ec3f-f7cf-70fda8b1b488"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve come down today because we want Wimbledon to address the white dress code that doesn’t take into consideration female athletes on their periods,” Holmes said at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/11/wimbledon-protest.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Members of the public have begun calling for action too, including Gabriella Holmes and Holly Gordon, the women who started the campaign Address the Dress Code. Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“We want to make it really known to Wimbledon that the rules they are making at the top, they’re all already filtering down to grassroots levels. We are already seeing tons of young girls who drop out of sports when they start their period or by the time they’ve hit puberty they’ve stopped sports altogether.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We think it’s the time to address those barriers for young girls getting into the sport and it starts at the top, so that’s Wimbledon. We want women to be able to focus on the tennis and on the sport and not have to worry about other factors when competing at this level.”</p> <p dir="ltr">More athletes have since spoken out about the issue, with Andy Murray’s mother and coach Judy describing it as a “traumatic experience” and noting that other sports had already dropped similar rules.</p> <p dir="ltr">“One of the biggest problems previously in sport was that it was always white shorts, white kit and so on in lots of different sports,” Murray told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Everything was white. Nearly all sports have moved over to colour now.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think it’s certainly a much more open talking point, if you are wearing all white and then possibly have a leak while you’re playing.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-fdb5d9d2-7fff-1b1d-78e8-9e621ea27795"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“I cannot think of a much more traumatic experience than that.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Indeed, it is time to address the dress code in sports and especially in Tennis competitions like Wimbledon. #<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AddressTheDressCode?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AddressTheDressCode</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZMD9OXg1iN">https://t.co/ZMD9OXg1iN</a></p> <p>— OJEApads (@OJEApads) <a href="https://twitter.com/OJEApads/status/1555134095717441541?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 4, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Since the announcement of the rule change, tennis icon Billie Jean King has slammed the rule, saying it was one of her biggest “pet peeves”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My generation, we always worried because we wore all white all the time,” she told <em>CNN</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And it’s what you wear underneath that’s important for your menstrual period.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And we’re always checking whether we’re showing. You get tense about it because the first thing we are is entertainers and you want whatever you wear to look immaculate, look great. We’re entertainers. We’re bringing it to the people.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement, the All England Club stated they were in discussions over ways to support players and prioritise women’s health.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f57600df-7fff-4a46-64e5-e21c91521e6c"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“Prioritising women’s health and supporting players based on their individual needs is very important to us, and we are in discussions with the WTA, with manufacturers and with the medical teams about the ways in which we can do that,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Romance movies the key to a lasting relationship

<p>One of the longest-running arguments between man and woman is what film to watch come movie night? Will it be the women’s preferred “rom-com” or “chick-flick” or the man’s choice which is usually “any other movie”? But there may be another reason for watching a good romance film – other than the sometimes much needed cry when all seems lost for our on-screen couples – a new study from the University of Rochester in the USA has found that watching romance movies can help real-life relationships.</p> <p>The three-year study, which observed 174 couples, compared different types of marriage intervention programs such as relationship counselling but found the cheap, fun and simple “movie-and-talk” approach was just as effective as intensive and expensive therapy options, cutting the divorce rate in half.</p> <p>“We thought the movie treatment would help, but not nearly as much as the other programs in which we were teaching all of these state-of-the-art skills,” said lead researcher and associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, Dr Ronald Rogge. </p> <p>Couples attended a 10-minute lecture on the importance of relationship awareness and how watching relationships in movies would help them pay attention to their own behaviour in a relationship, whether constructive or destructive. Then couples watched the move Two for the Road, a 1967 rom-com about the joys and strain of love over 12 years of a marriage. Afterwards, each couple met separately to discuss a list of 12 questions about the screen couple's interactions.</p> <p>Then each couple was sent home and instructed to watch a romantic film from a list once a week for the next month. The movies that were chosen all featured intimate relationships as a major focus, with highs and lows, as opposed to “falling in love” movies like When Harry Met Sally. Films like Gone with the Wind, Terms of Endearment, The Way We Were, Date Night and The Notebook were watched and couples were asked to have a similar discussion about the movie.</p> <p>The results were surprising with researchers finding the divorce-and-separation rate was halved from 24 per cent among the couples in the control group to 11 per cent. Couples in the control group received no training or instructions but were otherwise similar in age, education and relationship satisfaction.</p> <p>“The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships. Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate,” said Dr Rogge, continuing, “You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years-that is awesome.”</p> <p>Dr Rogge is pleased that the “movie-and-talk” approach has proved effective.</p> <p>“I think it's the couples reinvesting in their relationship and taking a cold hard look at their own behaviour that makes the difference. The sad truth is that when life knocks you down, you come home and the people you are most likely to lash out at in frustration are the ones you love the most,” he said, adding,  “for these couples to stop and look and say, 'You know, I have yelled at you like that before. I have called you names before and that's not nice. That's not what I want to do to the person I love the most.' Just that insight alone, is likely what makes this intervention work.”</p> <p>“You might not be able to get your husband into a couples group, especially when you are happy. But watching a movie together and having a discussion, that's not so scary. It's less pathologising, less stigmatising,” he said. </p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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