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New proposal would see child care cost just $10 per day

<p>In an incredibly promising step towards affordable and high-quality early childhood education, f<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">amilies in Australia could soon benefit from a significant reduction in costs – potentially paying just $10 a day for three days a week of high-quality care. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">This development is part of a broader push to reform the current, troubled system, driven by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) and supported by various early learning and parenting groups.</span></p> <p>The CPD has introduced a comprehensive plan aimed at overhauling the existing system, proposing free or low-cost early learning for all children three days a week. A key aspect of their proposal includes replacing the current childcare subsidy with a "child-centred" funding model that directly finances early education centres.</p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has endorsed the initiative, highlighting its significance in the national conversation on childcare, stating, “Universal child care provision, as it is in a range of other countries, is something that is a valued national asset. Early education is good for children, it’s good for families, but it’s also good for our economy.”</p> <p>Countries like Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway have successfully implemented legislated entitlements for early childhood services. Research indicates that where universal or low-cost education is available, participation rates are high, suggesting similar potential outcomes for Australia.</p> <p>Economic modelling by CPD suggests that universal or low-cost early learning could increase tax revenue by up to $3.2 billion annually and boost economic growth by $6.9 billion as more parents, particularly mothers, are able to work additional hours.</p> <p>The federal government is awaiting the final report from the Productivity Commission before making further decisions. Preliminary findings from this body and a separate investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have identified the current system as complex, costly and inconsistently available across the country.</p> <p>Andrew Hudson, CEO of the Centre for Policy Development, labelled the existing system as "broken", noting that about 22% of children start school developmentally vulnerable and over 120,000 children miss out on early learning entirely due to stringent activity test rules and other barriers.</p> <p>Hudson also pointed out that enabling more women to return to the workforce represents the "single biggest productivity gain" for the country, describing the proposal as a "classic win-win".</p> <p>As momentum builds, this initiative promises a brighter future for Australian families, making high-quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable, while delivering significant economic and social benefits.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Dog care below freezing − how to keep your pet warm and safe from cold weather, road salt and more this winter

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erik-christian-olstad-1505284">Erik Christian Olstad</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-davis-1312">University of California, Davis</a></em></p> <p>Time outside with your dog in the spring, summer and fall can be lovely. Visiting your favorite downtown café on a cool spring morning, going to a favorite dog park on a clear summer evening or going on walks along a river when the leaves are changing color are all wonderful when the weather is favorable. But in much of the country, when winter rolls around, previously hospitable conditions can <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-winter-miserable-for-wildlife-108734">quickly turn chilly and dangerous</a> for people and pups alike.</p> <p>Winter brings some unique challenges for dog owners, since dogs still need activity and socialization during colder seasons. Studies have shown that dog owners are almost 50% less likely to walk their dogs <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113302">when the weather gets cold</a>. Knowing the basics of winter safety is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog.</p> <p>I am an <a href="https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/erik-olstad">assistant professor</a> at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine who weathered polar vortexes with my dog while living in Michigan early in my career. While I’ve since moved to sunny California, I’ve seen how quickly frigid temperatures can turn dangerous for pets.</p> <h2>Breed and age differences</h2> <p>Not all dogs have the same abilities to deal with cold weather. A short-coated dog like a Chihuahua is much more susceptible to the dangers of cold weather than a thick-coated husky. When the weather dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), the well-acclimated husky may be comfortable, whereas the Chihuahua would shiver and be at risk of hypothermia.</p> <p>Additionally, if your dog is used to warm weather, but you decide to move to a colder region, the dog will need time to acclimate to that colder weather, even if they have a thick coat.</p> <p>Age also affects cold-weather resilience. Puppies and elderly dogs can’t withstand the chill as well as other dogs, but every dog is unique – each may have individual health conditions or physical attributes that make them more or less resilient to cold weather.</p> <h2>When is my dog too cold?</h2> <p>Pet owners should be able to recognize the symptoms of a dog that is getting too cold. Dogs will shiver, and some may vocalize or whine. Dogs may resist putting their feet down on the cold ground, or burrow, or try to find warmth in their environment when they are uncomfortable.</p> <p>Just like people, <a href="https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/frostbite-in-dogs">dogs can get frostbite</a>. And just like people, the signs can take days to appear, making it hard to assess them in the moment. The most common sites for frostbite in dogs are their ears and the tips of their tails. Some of the initial signs of frostbite are skin discoloring, turning paler than normal, or purple, gray or even black; red, blistered skin; swelling; pain at the site; <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/ulcer">or ulceration</a>.</p> <p>Other <a href="https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/frostbite-in-dogs">serious signs of hypothermia</a> include sluggishness or lethargy, and if you observe them, please visit your veterinarian immediately. A good rule to live by is if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your dog.</p> <p>Getting your dog a <a href="https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/pets/best-winter-dog-coats-jackets">sweater or jacket</a> and <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/vets-corner/protect-dogs-paws-snow-ice-salt/">paw covers</a> can provide them with protection from the elements and keep them comfortable. Veterinarians also recommend closely monitoring your dog and limiting their time outside when the temperature nears the freezing point or drops below it.</p> <h2>Road salt dangers</h2> <p>Road salt that treats ice on streets and sidewalks <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/ice-salt-toxic-for-pets-1.5020088">can also harm dogs</a>. When dogs walk on the salt, the sharp, rough edges of the salt crystals can irritate the sensitive skin on their paws.</p> <p>Dogs will often lick their feet when they’re dirty, wet or irritated, and if they ingest any salt doing that, they may face GI upset, dehydration, kidney failure, seizures or even death. Even small amounts of pure salt can <a href="https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-tips/my-dog-ate-road-salt-will-they-be-okay/">disrupt critical body functions</a> in dogs.</p> <p>Some companies make pet-safe salt, but in public it can be hard to tell what type of salt is on the ground. After walking your dog, wash off their feet or boots. You can also keep their paw fur trimmed to prevent snow from balling up or salt collecting in the fur. Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/how-to-make-your-own-paw-balm-for-winter/">paw pad balm</a> to the skin of the paw pads can also help protect your pet’s paws from irritation.</p> <h2>Antifreeze risks</h2> <p><a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/antifreeze-chemical-substance">Antifreeze, or ethylene glycol</a>, is in most vehicles to prevent the fluids from freezing when it gets cold out. Some people pour antifreeze into their toilets when away from their home to prevent the water in the toilet from freezing.</p> <p>Antifreeze is an exceptionally dangerous chemical to dogs and cats, as it tastes sweet but can be deadly when ingested. If a pet ingests even a small amount of antifreeze, the substance causes a chemical cascade in their body that results in severe kidney damage. If left untreated, the pet may have <a href="https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owner-blog/antifreeze-poisoning/">permanent kidney damage or die</a>.</p> <p>There are safer antifreeze options on the market that use ingredients other than ethylene glycol. If your dog ingests antifreeze, please see your veterinarian immediately for treatment.</p> <p>When temperatures dip below freezing, the best thing pet owners can do is keep the time spent outside as minimal as possible. Try some <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/great-indoor-games-to-play-with-your-dog/">indoor activities</a>, like hide-and-seek with low-calorie treats, fetch or even an interactive obstacle course. Food puzzles can also keep your dog mentally engaged during indoor time.</p> <p>Although winter presents some unique challenges, it can still be an enjoyable and healthy time for you and your canine companion.<!-- 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/221709/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/erik-christian-olstad-1505284">Erik Christian Olstad</a>, Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-davis-1312">University of California, Davis</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/dog-care-below-freezing-how-to-keep-your-pet-warm-and-safe-from-cold-weather-road-salt-and-more-this-winter-221709">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

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

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

Hearing

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Why scalp care is just important as washing your hair

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to our daily beauty routines, we tend to focus on what looks and feels like it needs a refresh, such as washing our hair when it looks a little greasy, or cleansing our faces after a day of wearing makeup. </p> <p dir="ltr">While our beauty, skin and hair care routines are quick to become second nature, there is one area that often gets overlooked: our scalps. </p> <p dir="ltr">When washing our hair, it is easy to focus on the products and techniques we need to get our tresses clean, while skimping on what is best for our scalp. </p> <p dir="ltr">But now, the scalp, which is often the most overlooked part of our skin, is finally being recognised as an area that needs just as much TLC as your face.</p> <p dir="ltr">Implementing scalp care as part of our beauty routines is a must, as this sensitive area can often need extra attention due to a build-up of product, delicate skin and aggressive hair washing techniques. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hair care expert Sanja Scher from Beatnik Studio has shared how important it is to care for the scalp as the foundation for hair growth and health, and how it all starts with the right products. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Revlon Professional, known for game-changing professional haircare, styling, and colour, offers a range of products dedicated to improving the scalp - and they're available to take home. By removing excess build-up, replenishing moisture, and rebalancing the scalp’s microbiome, these targeted products ensure that the microbiome, the first line of defence, can shield hair follicles from pathogens, hair damage, infections and other irritations,” she said.  </p> <p dir="ltr">“And this equals healthier, stronger, more beautiful hair.”</p> <p dir="ltr">To kick start the revolution of your hair care routine to protect your scalp, Revlon Professional's launch of the Eksperience Marine Face Mist Ultra-Light Hydration is a game-changing product that effortlessly combines skin care with hair care.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3Bc5xDSOab/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3Bc5xDSOab/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Revlon Professional Australia (@revlonprofessionalaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Formulated with Earth Marine Water and Algae extract, the same ingredients used in their Eksperience hair care range, the mist helps to hydrate and re-mineralise the skin. </p> <p dir="ltr">For an extremely gentle shampoo, the Revlon Professional RE/START Balance Scalp Soothing Cleanser is sulphate-free and works to clarify the scalp’s microbiome, whilst hydrating, moisturising and nourishing the scalp. </p> <p dir="ltr">If you suffer from irritation, redness or flaking of the scalp, a calming cleanser is what you need, with the Revlon Professional Eksperience Scalp Comfort Dermo Calm Hair Cleanser providing instant relief. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C28RxgsysSP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C28RxgsysSP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Revlon Professional Australia (@revlonprofessionalaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">For a moisturising lotion that is scalp-focused and hydrating, the Revlon Professional RE/START Balance Moisture Lotion is an essential in any hair care routine. It offers a leave-in, lightweight formula that helps to balance and protect the scalp’s microbiome whilst still keeping it nourished.</p> <p dir="ltr">These products not only target the skin on your head to build a stronger scalp barrier, but works to reduce irritation, dryness, and old buildup, further nourishing your hair.</p> <p dir="ltr">Revlon Professional RE/START and Eksperience products are available at <a href="https://www.adorebeauty.com.au/b/revlon-professional.html">Adore Beauty</a>, <a href="https://www.ozhairandbeauty.com/brands/revlon-professional">Oz Hair and Beauty</a> and <a href="https://www.ssshair.com.au/brands/revlon.html">SSS Hair</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr">So, next time you’re washing your hair or cleansing your face, think about putting the same level of care and attention into your scalp health, and see how these game-changing products can leave your scalp and hair healthier than ever. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p> </p>

Beauty & Style

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Husband and wife with dementia reunite after 30 years apart

<p>A former husband and wife with dementia have been reunited after 30 years apart when they moved into the same care home. </p> <p>Nancy, 86, and Stan, 91, were first married in 1957 in Edinburgh, despite their parents "forbidding" their romance and not approving of their union. </p> <p>The couple went on to have three children and lived happily, until Nancy was nearly killed by a brain haemorrhage when she was in her mid-50s. </p> <p>Nancy had to undergo life-altering surgery and a lengthy recovery time, which ultimately led to the downfall of her relationship with Stan and they filed for divorce. </p> <p>After their split, Stan met another woman when he was in his 70s, while Nancy never had another romance. </p> <p>When Nancy and Stan entered their 80s, they both began to show signs of dementia and could no longer care for themselves. </p> <p>Around Christmas time last year, their daughter Karen made the decision to put her father Stan, who suffered a fall while being cared for in Scotland, in the same home as Nancy, which is where she captured the heartwarming footage of them being reunited.</p> <p>In the clip, Nancy tells Stan he is "not bad looking for his age", while her ex-husband replies, "I recognise your face but I couldn't place who it was".</p> <p>The couple then agree to go on a date together and have a cup of tea, before having a kiss for "old time's sake."</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; caret-color: #323338; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; outline: currentcolor !important;">The video was posted to TikTok by Karen's daughter Sarah-Ashleigh, who spoke to the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13196325/Heartwarming-moment-former-husband-wife-dementia-reunited-care-home-30-years-apart.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail</a></em> about the family's decision to put both Nancy and Stan in the same care home. </p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: currentcolor !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: none; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: currentcolor !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7341697620181519648&display_name=tiktok&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40sarahashleighflorals%2Fvideo%2F7341697620181519648&image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-useast2a.tiktokcdn.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast2a-p-0037-euttp%2F4189e3105ed04778a3de6a83a40077b6_1709372224%3Fx-expires%3D1712448000%26x-signature%3DcpIHZABQ%252FDnAqGU7bJYeryVnJlU%253D&key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>"We were so worried how this would go. It's so good to see them be friends again," she said.</p> <p>"Dementia is a horrible disease, but it's moments like this which we really just hold on to."</p> <p>"Granny struggles a bit more in general and gets anxious and confused but I think having someone there who she knows has done wonders for her."</p> <p>"She's always looking for him (even when he's right next to her) and they sit together a lot and bicker like the married couple they used to be."</p> <p>"Love might not be the same kind of love forever, it is a shape shifter, but it never leaves."</p> <p>"Their marriage didn't last forever but just seeing them have a friendship again just shows that love never dies."</p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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Your passport to salon-quality haircare on a budget

<p dir="ltr">There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking out of the hairdressers to proudly show off your new cut or colour, and your hair is the softest it's ever felt. </p> <p dir="ltr">While this post-salon feeling is second to none, it's hard to recreate at home to avoid spending big bucks at your hairdressers more than you need to. </p> <p dir="ltr">And then begins the seemingly endless journey to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for your unique hair type without breaking the bank. Trawling down the aisles of supermarkets and chemists in search of these elusive products can often raise more questions than answers. </p> <p dir="ltr">What ingredients should you be steering clear of? What brands are better than others? What problem area should you be targeting? Does more expensive actually mean better?</p> <p dir="ltr">And so on and so forth, forever. </p> <p dir="ltr">Until, an unsung hero swoops in to save the day. </p> <p dir="ltr">After absolutely perfecting affordable makeup, Revlon have made their foray into haircare, with Revlon Professional having the answer for everyone’s individual hair care needs while keeping the prices low.   </p> <p dir="ltr">Revlon Professional have a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask to cover everyone, with their systems covering everything from hydration and volume to colour protection, restoration, curly hair maintenance and more. </p> <p dir="ltr">I tried out the Revlon Professional RE/START Hydration system over two weeks while on holiday to really put it to the test.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1X1n6AI9FP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1X1n6AI9FP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Revlon Professional Australia (@revlonprofessionalaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">While I was testing out the three-step system, I was exposing my hair to chlorine pools, salty ocean water and relentless humidity. On top of this, my poor hair has suffered years of abuse (at my own hands), and has been bleached several times, draining my hair of any natural moisture.</p> <p dir="ltr">I have tried dozens of ultra hydration products to make my hair look marginally better than a hay bale, and have yet to find my holy grail solution. </p> <p dir="ltr">I was expecting the Revlon Professional range to do what every other product does: give me maybe 12 hours of softness before my hair goes back to looking like a tumbleweed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Obviously my years of trying every product on the market has made me jaded, because the  RE/START Hydration system was so much more than I ever expected. </p> <p dir="ltr">Over two weeks of trying out the products, I used the shampoo, conditioner and mask about four times. After the first time of using them, I was completely shocked at how hydrated my hair stayed until it was next time for a wash. </p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike other products on the market, the RE/START Hydration system keeps your hair hydrated for days, all while looking clean, healthy, shiny and untangled, without weighing your hair down. </p> <p dir="ltr">At last, I have finally found my holy grail products and I will sing their praises from the rooftops. </p> <p dir="ltr">Whatever your hair concerns may be, Revlon Professional has the answer for you, all while keeping your wallet in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">But don’t just take my word for it. The Revlon Professional ranges are available at <a href="https://www.adorebeauty.com.au/b/revlon-professional.html?p=2">Adore Beauty</a>, <a href="https://www.ozhairandbeauty.com/brands/revlon-professional">Oz Hair &amp; Beauty</a> and Revlon’s <a href="https://www.revlonprofessional.com/">official website</a> for you to find your own holy grail products, and have salon fresh hair all year round. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Is hyaluronic acid as effective as skincare brands claim?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lian-liu-1459225">Lian Liu</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has become a huge buzzword in the beauty industry, with everything from creams and cleansers to shampoos containing it. Often, these products are marketed to consumers with the promise that hyaluronic acid will boost hydration – important for keeping the skin looking its best.</p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2019.00192/full">Hyaluronic acid</a> is ubiquitous in our organs and tissues, playing a crucial role in the function of our cells and tissues.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid has been in clinical use for decades, for example, as an injectable between joints to help <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31294035/">lubricate cartilage</a>. But at the turn of the century, cosmetic companies began using it as a moisturising ingredient in cosmetic products.</p> <p>Topically, it’s thought that hyaluronic acid works by holding and retaining water molecules in order to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S014181301833770X">hydrate the skin</a> and restore elasticity, preventing wrinkles. When combined with sunscreen, hyaluronic acid may be capable of protecting the skin against ultraviolet radiation as it has <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.09.188">antioxidant properties</a> (meaning it prevents damage caused by oxidising agents, such as ultraviolet radiation).</p> <p>One of the most frequent marketing claims used to sell hyaluronic acid is the long-held belief that hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water. This means it can maintain moisture and reduce moisture loss.</p> <p>But this claim has been called into question recently, with <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/2418345-benefits-of-hyaluronic-acid-in-skincare-products-have-been-oversold/">numerous publications</a> recently discussing <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-13140853/Benefits-hyaluronic-acid-skincare-oversold.html">the findings</a> of a <a href="https://chemrxiv.org/engage/chemrxiv/article-details/64b5b086b053dad33a6cdcaf">pre-print paper</a> which suggests this claim is not true.</p> <p>The authors of the pre-print, researchers from the University of California, looked into the molecule-binding properties of hyaluronic acid and water to test the claim that it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>To do this, the researchers created a solution containing 1g of hyaluronic acid and 1,000g of water (0.1% of hyaluronic acid), which was compared with just water. They then applied heat to both solutions, measuring the thermal changes that occurred. They found that there was not much difference in the changes that occurred in the 0.1% hyaluronic acid solution compared with the pure water. They therefore concluded that the long-held claim is not true.</p> <p>These findings may have consumers wondering how well their hyaluronic acid products actually work if it doesn’t hydrate the skin as much as previously claimed.</p> <h2>How hyaluronic acid works</h2> <p>While there’s no disputing the experimental results obtained, the conclusion on hyaluronic acid’s water-holding capacity is not applicable to all forms of hyaluronic acids.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular sizes. This pre-print only looked at one medium-sized hyaluronic acid molecule in their experiments. This means the results may only be true for products containing medium and smaller sized hyaluronic acid molecules.</p> <p>When hylauronic acid interacts with water, its water-loving and water-hating parts lead to electrostatic repulsion. This enables large numbers of hyaluronic acid molecules to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">form networks</a>, which look a bit like honeycombs, and expand.</p> <p>The larger the hyaluronic acid’s molecule size, the more capable it is of forming these honeycomb structures – and also the more able it is to retain water relative to its own weight.</p> <p>Hyaluronic acid with larger molecular sizes will form these networks at a concentration of 0.1%, meaning it can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water. Some very large molecules will even form these networks at a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2012600/">concentration as low as 0.05%</a>. This means it can hold 2,000 times its weight in water.</p> <p>It’s also worth noting that hyaluronic acid doesn’t just hold moisture and hydrate the skin. Because of its <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2004.01180.x">hydrating and antioxidant effects</a>, it also promotes cell regeneration and stimulates collagen production. So hyaluronic acid’s benefits go beyond its ability to retain water.</p> <p>Although this paper may have partially debunked one popular claim about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, that doesn’t mean you should stop using it. The research still shows there’s no doubt about hyaluronic acid’s moisturising abilities, which can leave skin softer, smoother and with fewer wrinkles. Plus, hyaluronic acid’s antioxidant effects promote the growth of new skin cells and collagen.</p> <p>But if you want to make sure you’re getting the most effective product possible, look for one containing multiple weights of hyaluronic acid molecules (sometimes labelled as “triple weight”, “multiweight” or “multi-molecular weight”). Also look for a product containing a minimum hyaluronic acid concentration of 0.1%.</p> <p>This is because research suggests products containing a <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.14981">formulation of multiple sizes</a> of hyaluronic acid molecules could be more beneficial for skin than formulations containing only one molecule size. This is partly due to smaller molecules permeating skin better, while the larger ones hold more water.<!-- 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/224906/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/lian-liu-1459225"><em>Lian Liu</em></a><em>, Reader, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-surrey-1201">University of Surrey</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-hyaluronic-acid-as-effective-as-skincare-brands-claim-224906">original article</a>.</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Dad dies after being bitten by deadly snake in child care centre

<p>A beloved father has passed away after reportedly trying to remove an eastern brown snake from a child care centre in North Queensland. </p> <p>Jeremy Brookes attended the child care centre on Tuesday afternoon after one of his relatives reportedly called him over to remove the snake, according to <em>The Courier Mail</em>. </p> <p>Brookes was not a qualified snake handler and was bitten multiple times on his hand and arm.</p> <p>According to Queensland Ambulance Service acting district director Paula Marten, Brookes then managed to drive to his Deeragun home but he soon went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>HIs wife performed CPR until paramedics arrived and he was rushed to hospital, but unfortunately could not be saved. </p> <p>“(He) was found to be in cardiac arrest by our crews,” Marten said. </p> <p>“The call was made by the patient’s wife, who then commenced CPR as the patient went into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>“The information provided to us was that the gentleman had been bitten in a different location and attended back to his residence, where his wife has immobilised his arm and wrapped it, when the onset of the symptoms occurred.”</p> <p>She added that snake bites were common in North Queensland and they were rarely fatal, but advised that if "you’re not aware of snakes, treat them as if they are venomous."</p> <p>“It’s really important that you stay calm and keep the person calm.</p> <p>“Apply basic first aid, which would be immobilisation and using compression bandages, and contact triple-0.</p> <p>“If you are unsure about what first aid measures to take, call triple-0, and they will walk you through what you need to do for the patient.”</p> <p>Eastern Brown Snakes are one of the most deadly snakes in the world, with the second most toxic venom. </p> <p>They can be found across the east of Australia including the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and the ACT.</p> <p>Brookes is believed to be the first person to have died from a snake bite in Australia this year. </p> <p>Last year, two people died from suspected eastern brown snake bites in Australia. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ news.com.au</em></p>

Caring

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Who will look after us in our final years? A pay rise alone won’t solve aged-care workforce shortages

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Aged-care workers will receive a significant pay increase after the Fair Work Commission <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">ruled</a> they deserved substantial wage rises of up to 28%. The federal government <a href="https://ministers.dewr.gov.au/burke/fair-work-decision-aged-care">has committed to</a> the increases, but is yet to announce when they will start.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Tens of thousands of aged care workers will receive a major pay rise after the Fair Work Commission recommended the increase. <a href="https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9">https://t.co/NeNt1Gvxd9</a></p> <p>— SBS News (@SBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1768557710537068889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>But while wage rises for aged-care workers are welcome, this measure alone will not fix all workforce problems in the sector. The number of people over 80 is expected to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-08/p2023-435150.pdf">triple over the next 40 years</a>, driving an increase in the number of aged care workers needed.</p> <h2>How did we get here?</h2> <p>The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which delivered its <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/aged-care/final-report">final report</a> in March 2021, identified a litany of tragic failures in the regulation and delivery of aged care.</p> <p>The former Liberal government was dragged reluctantly to accept that a total revamp of the aged-care system was needed. But its <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/respect-care-and-dignity-aged-care-royal-commission-452-million-immediate-response-as-government-commits-to-historic-reform-to-deliver-respect-and-care-for-senior-australians#:%7E:text=Minister%20for%20Senior%20Australians%20and,%2C%20dementia%2C%20food%20and%20nutrition.">weak response</a> left the heavy lifting to the incoming Labor government.</p> <p>The current government’s response started well, with a <a href="https://theconversation.com/anthony-albanese-offers-2-5-billion-plan-to-fix-crisis-in-aged-care-180419">significant injection of funding</a> and a promising regulatory response. But it too has failed to pursue a visionary response to the problems identified by the Royal Commission.</p> <p>Action was needed on four fronts:</p> <ul> <li>ensuring enough staff to provide care</li> <li>building a functioning regulatory system to encourage good care and weed out bad providers</li> <li>designing and introducing a fair payment system to distribute funds to providers and</li> <li>implementing a financing system to pay for it all and achieve intergenerational equity.</li> </ul> <p>A government taskforce which proposed a <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">timid response to the fourth challenge</a> – an equitable financing system – was released at the start of last week.</p> <p>Consultation closed on a <a href="https://media.opan.org.au/uploads/2024/03/240308_Aged-Care-Act-Exposure-Draft-Joint-Submission_FINAL.pdf">very poorly designed new regulatory regime</a> the week before.</p> <p>But the big news came at end of the week when the Fair Work Commission handed down a further <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf">determination</a> on what aged-care workers should be paid, confirming and going beyond a previous <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/work-value-aged-care/decisions-statements/2022fwcfb200.pdf">interim determination</a>.</p> <h2>What did the Fair Work Commission find?</h2> <p>Essentially, the commission determined that work in industries with a high proportion of women workers has been traditionally undervalued in wage-setting. This had consequences for both care workers in the aged-care industry (nurses and <a href="https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/CHC33021">Certificate III-qualified</a> personal-care workers) and indirect care workers (cleaners, food services assistants).</p> <p>Aged-care staff will now get significant pay increases – 18–28% increase for personal care workers employed under the Aged Care Award, inclusive of the increase awarded in the interim decision.</p> <figure class="align-center "><figcaption></figcaption>Indirect care workers were awarded a general increase of 3%. Laundry hands, cleaners and food services assistants will receive a further 3.96% <a href="https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decision-summaries/2024fwcfb150-summary.pdf">on the grounds</a> they “interact with residents significantly more regularly than other indirect care employees”.</figure> <p>The final increases for registered and enrolled nurses will be determined in the next few months.</p> <h2>How has the sector responded?</h2> <p>There has been no push-back from employer groups or conservative politicians. This suggests the uplift is accepted as fair by all concerned.</p> <p>The interim increases of up to 15% probably facilitated this acceptance, with the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-the-budget-mean-for-medicare-medicines-aged-care-and-first-nations-health-192842">recognition of the community</a> that care workers should be paid more than fast food workers.</p> <p>There was <a href="https://www.accpa.asn.au/media-releases/accpa-welcomes-further-aged-care-wage-rises">no criticism from aged-care providers</a> either. This is probably because they are facing difficulty in recruiting staff at current wage rates. And because government payments to providers reflect the <a href="https://www.ihacpa.gov.au/">actual cost of aged care</a>, increased payments will automatically flow to providers.</p> <p>When the increases will flow has yet to be determined. The government is due to give its recommendations for staging implementation by mid-April.</p> <h2>Is the workforce problem fixed?</h2> <p>An increase in wages is necessary, but alone is not sufficient to solve workforce shortages.</p> <p>The health- and social-care workforce is <a href="https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/data/employment-projections">predicted</a> to grow faster than any other sector over the next decade. The “care economy” will <a href="https://theconversation.com/care-economy-to-balloon-in-an-australia-of-40-5-million-intergenerational-report-211876">grow</a> from around 8% to around 15% of GDP over the next 40 years.</p> <p>This means a greater proportion of school-leavers will need to be attracted to the aged-care sector. Aged care will also need to attract and retrain workers displaced from industries in decline and attract suitably skilled migrants and refugees with appropriate language skills.</p> <p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/demand-driven-funding-for-universities-is-frozen-what-does-this-mean-and-should-the-policy-be-restored-116060">caps on university and college enrolments</a> imposed by the previous government, coupled with weak student demand for places in key professions (such as nursing), has meant workforce shortages will continue for a few more years, despite the allure of increased wages.</p> <p>A significant increase in intakes into university and vocational education college courses preparing students for health and social care is still required. Better pay will help to increase student demand, but funding to expand place numbers will ensure there are enough qualified staff for the aged-care system of the future. <!-- 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/225898/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/stephen-duckett-10730">Stephen Duckett</a>, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, and Department of General Practice and Primary Care, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></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/who-will-look-after-us-in-our-final-years-a-pay-rise-alone-wont-solve-aged-care-workforce-shortages-225898">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Income

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What will aged care look like for the next generation?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p>Aged care financing is a vexed problem for the Australian government. It is already underfunded for the quality the community expects, and costs will increase dramatically. There are also significant concerns about the complexity of the system.</p> <p>In 2021–22 the federal government spent <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">A$25 billion</a> on aged services for around 1.2 million people aged 65 and over. Around 60% went to residential care (<a href="https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/topics/people-using-aged-care#:%7E:text=On%2030%20June%202022%2C%20approximately,and%203%2C500%20using%20transition%20care.">190,000 people</a>) and one-third to home care (<a href="https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/topics/people-using-aged-care#:%7E:text=On%2030%20June%202022%2C%20approximately,and%203%2C500%20using%20transition%20care.">one million people</a>).</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">final report from the government’s Aged Care Taskforce</a>, which has been reviewing funding options, estimates the number of people who will need services is likely to grow to more than two million over the next 20 years. Costs are therefore likely to more than double.</p> <p>The taskforce has considered what aged care services are reasonable and necessary and made recommendations to the government about how they can be paid for. This includes getting aged care users to pay for more of their care.</p> <p>But rather than recommending an alternative financing arrangement that will safeguard Australians’ aged care services into the future, the taskforce largely recommends tidying up existing arrangements and keeping the status quo.</p> <h2>No Medicare-style levy</h2> <p>The taskforce <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">rejected</a> the aged care royal commission’s recommendation to introduce a levy to meet aged care cost increases. A 1% levy, similar to the Medicare levy, could have raised around <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2021/03/03/cost-of-aged-care-levy#:%7E:text=Overall%2C%20a%201%20per%20cent%20levy%20would%20raise,necessary%20to%20provide%20decent%20aged%20care%20for%20all.">$8 billion a year</a>.</p> <p>The taskforce failed to consider the mix of taxation, personal contributions and social insurance which are commonly used to fund aged care systems internationally. The <a href="https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Japan-OECD-EC-Good-Time-in-Old-Age.pdf">Japanese system</a>, for example, is financed by long-term insurance paid by those aged 40 and over, plus general taxation and a small copayment.</p> <p>Instead, the taskforce puts forward a simple, pragmatic argument that older people are becoming wealthier through superannuation, there is a cost of living crisis for younger people and therefore older people should be required to pay more of their aged care costs.</p> <h2>Separating care from other services</h2> <p>In deciding what older people should pay more for, the taskforce divided services into care, everyday living and accommodation.</p> <p>The taskforce thought the most important services were clinical services (including nursing and allied health) and these should be the main responsibility of government funding. Personal care, including showering and dressing were seen as a middle tier that is likely to attract some co-payment, despite these services often being necessary to maintain independence.</p> <p>The task force recommended the costs for everyday living (such as food and utilities) and accommodation expenses (such as rent) should increasingly be a personal responsibility.</p> <h2>Making the system fairer</h2> <p>The taskforce thought it was unfair people in residential care were making substantial contributions for their everyday living expenses (about 25%) and those receiving home care weren’t (about 5%). This is, in part, because home care has always had a muddled set of rules about user co-payments.</p> <p>But the taskforce provided no analysis of accommodation costs (such as utilities and maintenance) people meet at home compared with residential care.</p> <p>To address the inefficiencies of upfront daily fees for packages, the taskforce recommends means testing co-payments for home care packages and basing them on the actual level of service users receive for everyday support (for food, cleaning, and so on) and to a lesser extent for support to maintain independence.</p> <p>It is unclear whether clinical and personal care costs and user contributions will be treated the same for residential and home care.</p> <h2>Making residential aged care sustainable</h2> <p>The taskforce was <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-of-the-aged-care-taskforce?language=en">concerned</a> residential care operators were losing $4 per resident day on “hotel” (accommodation services) and everyday living costs.</p> <p>The taskforce recommends means tested user contributions for room services and everyday living costs be increased.</p> <p>It also recommends that wealthier older people be given more choice by allowing them to pay more (per resident day) for better amenities. This would allow providers to fully meet the cost of these services.</p> <p>Effectively, this means daily living charges for residents are too low and inflexible and that fees would go up, although the taskforce was clear that low-income residents should be protected.</p> <h2>Moving from buying to renting rooms</h2> <p>Currently older people who need residential care have a choice of making a refundable up-front payment for their room or to pay rent to offset the loans providers take out to build facilities. Providers raise capital to build aged care facilities through equity or loan financing.</p> <p>However, the taskforce did not consider the overall efficiency of the private capital market for financing aged care or alternative solutions.</p> <p>Instead, it recommended capital contributions be streamlined and simplified by phasing out up-front payments and focusing on rental contributions. This echoes the royal commission, which found rent to be a more efficient and less risky method of financing capital for aged care in private capital markets.</p> <p>It’s likely that in a decade or so, once the new home care arrangements are in place, there will be proportionally fewer older people in residential aged care. Those who do go are likely to be more disabled and have greater care needs. And those with more money will pay more for their accommodation and everyday living arrangements. But they may have more choice too.</p> <p>Although the federal government has <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-03-11/aged-care-task-force-hands-down-recommendations/103573554">ruled out an aged care levy</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-15/no-plan-to-touch-aged-care-asset-test/103470442">changes to assets test on the family home</a>, it has yet to respond to the majority of the recommendations. But given the aged care minister chaired the taskforce, it’s likely to provide a good indication of current thinking.<!-- 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/225551/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/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, Emeritus Professor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty</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/what-will-aged-care-look-like-for-the-next-generation-more-of-the-same-but-higher-out-of-pocket-costs-225551">original article</a>.</em></p>

Caring

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"Who cares?": Kyle Sandilands backs Sam Kerr

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

Legal

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Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-bednarek-144872">Janet Bednarek</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</a></em></p> <p>Long lines at security checkpoints, tiny plastic cups of soda, small bags of pretzels, planes filled to capacity, fees attached to every amenity – all reflect the realities of 21st century commercial air travel. It’s no wonder that many travelers have become nostalgic for the so-called “golden age” of air travel in the United States.</p> <p>During the 1950s, airlines promoted commercial air travel as glamorous: stewardesses served full meals on real china, airline seats were large (and frequently empty) with ample leg-room, and passengers always dressed well.</p> <p>After jets were introduced in the late 1950s, passengers could travel to even the most distant locations at speeds unimaginable a mere decade before. An airline trip from New York to London that could take up to 15 hours in the early 1950s could be made in less than seven hours by the early 1960s.</p> <p>But airline nostalgia can be tricky, and “golden ages” are seldom as idyllic as they seem.</p> <p>Until the introduction of jets in 1958, most of the nation’s commercial planes were propeller-driven aircraft, like the DC-4. Most of these planes were unpressurized, and with a maximum cruising altitude of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, they were unable to fly over bad weather. Delays were frequent, turbulence common, and air sickness bags often needed.</p> <p>Some planes were spacious and pressurized: the <a href="http://everythingnice.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/PanAm-cutawayS.jpg">Boeing Stratocruiser</a>, for example, could seat 50 first class passengers or 81 coach passengers compared to the DC-3’s 21 passengers. It could cruise at 32,000 feet, which allowed Stratocruiser to fly above most bad weather it encountered. But only 56 of these planes were ever in service.</p> <p>While the later DC-6 and DC-7 were pressurized, they still flew much lower than the soon-to-appear jets – 20,000 feet compared to 30,000 feet – and often encountered turbulence. The piston engines were bulky, complex and difficult to maintain, which contributed to frequent delays.</p> <p>For much of this period, the old saying “Time to spare, go by air” still rang true.</p> <p>Through the 1930s and into the 1940s, almost everyone flew first class. Airlines did encourage more people to fly in the 1950s and 1960s by introducing coach or tourist fares, but the savings were relative: less expensive than first class, but still pricey. In 1955, for example, so-called “bargain fares” from New York to Paris were the equivalent of just over $2,600 in 2014 dollars. Although the advent of jets did result in lower fares, the cost was still out of reach of most Americans. The most likely frequent flier was a white, male businessman traveling on his company’s expense account, and in the 1960s, airlines – with young attractive stewardesses in short skirts – clearly catered to their most frequent flyers.</p> <p>The demographics of travelers did begin to shift during this period. More women, more young people, and retirees began to fly; still, airline travel remained financially out-of-reach for most.</p> <p>If it was a golden age, it only was for the very few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bKqQgNZylLw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Jet planes were introduced in the late 1950s, resulting in shorter flight times. But their ticket prices out of reach for the average traveler.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>People also forget that well into the 1960s, air travel was far more dangerous than it is today. In the 1950s and 1960s US airlines experienced at least a half dozen crashes per year – most leading to fatalities of all on board. People today may bemoan the crowded airplanes and lack of on-board amenities, but the number of fatalities per million miles flown has dropped dramatically since since the late 1970s, especially compared to the 1960s. Through at least the 1970s, airports even prominently featured kiosks selling flight insurance.</p> <p>And we can’t forget hijackings. By the mid-1960s so many airplanes had been hijacked that <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/hijackers/flying-high.htm">“Take me to Cuba”</a> became a punch line for stand-up comics. In 1971 <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/39593/index2.html">D.B. Cooper</a> – a hijacker who parachuted from a Boeing 727 after extorting $200,000 – might have been able to achieve folk hero status. But one reason US airline passengers today (generally) tolerate security checkpoints is that they want some kind of assurance that their aircraft will remain safe.</p> <p>And if the previous examples don’t dull the sheen of air travel’s “golden age,” remember: in-flight smoking was both permitted and encouraged.<!-- 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/34177/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/janet-bednarek-144872"><em>Janet Bednarek</em></a><em>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dayton-1726">University of Dayton</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/longing-for-the-golden-age-of-air-travel-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-34177">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Hamish Blake shares major health scare

<p dir="ltr">Hamish Blake has shared the details of a drastic health that resulted in surgery and a series of stitches on his face. </p> <p dir="ltr">The TV presenter took to Instagram to share the news with his followers, revealing that he had to have a skin cancer cut from his forehead. </p> <p dir="ltr">While he was quick to make a joke about the procedure, calling it a “mini-facelift”, he followed up with a serious message for his followers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing a close-up photo of the stitches in his forehead, he wrote: “Got a mini facelift! I love it!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m doing the other side in a few weeks. #love #tinylift #bitbybit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But in the second photo, he wrote, “OK not really ... This is my reminder to anyone who needs it (ie: everyone) to get your skin checked every six months.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He added, “By the way, everything is totally fine, but glad she got caught very early).”</p> <p dir="ltr">After a particularly harsh summer, Hamish Blake joins a long line of celebs who have battled skin cancers, while reminding Aussies to keep on top of their routine skin checks. </p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/hugh-jackman-s-health-scare" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hugh Jackman</a> had two biopsies after doctors became concerned that he may have skin cancers on his nose.</p> <p dir="ltr">While the tests came back clear, the Hollywood legend issued a warning to his followers, saying if his scare “reminds even one person to put on sunscreen with a high SPF, then I’m happy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Journalist and news presenter <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/deb-knight-urges-influencers-to-stop-glorifying-tanning" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Deb Knight</a> also issued a recent warning about “glorifying tanning” after sharing the results of her annual skin check up. </p> <p dir="ltr">Knight shared a series of photos showing the sun damage on her skin, writing, "Got off pretty lightly from my annual skin check. Just a few barnacles zapped but nothing serious this time round.” </p> <p dir="ltr">"Timely reminder to get your skin checked and protect it from the sun in the first place," she added, before tagging two melanoma treatment specialists and the Melanoma Institute Australia. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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How to be kind to yourself (without going to a day spa)

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lydia-brown-179583">Lydia Brown</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>“I have to be hard on myself,” Sarah told me in a recent telehealth psychology session. “I would never reach my potential if I was kind and let myself off the hook.”</p> <p>I could empathise with this fear of self-compassion from clients such as Sarah (not her real name). From a young age, we are taught to be kind to others, but self-kindness is never mentioned.</p> <p>Instead, we are taught success hinges on self-sacrifice. And we need a healthy inner critic to bully us forward into becoming increasingly better versions of ourselves.</p> <p>But <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212445599">research shows</a> there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between self-compassion and success.</p> <p>Self-compassion can help you reach your potential, while supporting you to face the inevitable stumbles and setbacks along the way.</p> <h2>What is self-compassion?</h2> <p><a href="https://self-compassion.org/">Self-compassion</a> has <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298860309027">three</a> key ingredients.</p> <p><strong>1. Self-kindness</strong></p> <p>This involves treating yourself with the same kindness you would extend towards a good friend – via your thoughts, feelings and actions – especially during life’s difficult moments.</p> <p>For instance, if you find yourself fixating on a minor mistake you made at work, self-kindness might involve taking a ten-minute walk to shift focus, and reminding yourself it is OK to make mistakes sometimes, before moving on with your day.</p> <p><strong>2. Mindfulness</strong></p> <p>In this context, mindfulness involves being aware of your own experience of stress or suffering, rather than repressing or avoiding your feelings, or over-identifying with them.</p> <p>Basically, you must see your stress with a clear (mindful) perspective before you can respond with kindness. If we avoid or are consumed by our suffering, we lose perspective.</p> <p><strong>3. Common humanity</strong></p> <p>Common humanity involves recognising our own experience of suffering as something that unites us as being human.</p> <p>For instance, a sleep-deprived parent waking up (for the fourth time) to feed their newborn might choose to think about all the other parents around the world doing exactly the same thing – as opposed to feeling isolated and alone.</p> <h2>It’s not about day spas, or booking a manicure</h2> <p>When Sarah voiced her fear that self-compassion would prevent her success, I explained self-compassion is distinct from self-indulgence.</p> <p>“So is self-compassion just about booking in more mani/pedis?” Sarah asked.</p> <p>Not really, I explained. A one-off trip to a day spa is unlikely to transform your mental health.</p> <p>Instead, self-compassion is a flexible <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-22348-8_7">psychological resilience factor</a> that shapes our thoughts, feelings and actions.</p> <p>It’s associated with a suite of benefits to our <a href="https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aphw.12051">wellbeing</a>, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298868.2011.639548">relationships</a> and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17437199.2019.1705872">health</a>.</p> <h2>What does the science say?</h2> <p>Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned self-compassionate people enjoy a wide range of benefits. They tend to be <a href="https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aphw.12051">happier</a> and have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.06.003">fewer psychological symptoms</a> of distress.</p> <p>Those high on self-compassion <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212445599">persevere</a> following a failure. They say they are more motivated to overcome a personal weakness than those low on self-compassion, who are more likely to give up.</p> <p>So rather than feeling trapped by your inadequacies, self-compassion encourages a <a href="https://hbr.org/2018/09/give-yourself-a-break-the-power-of-self-compassion">growth mindset</a>, helping you reach your potential.</p> <p>However, self-compassion is not a panacea. It will not change your life circumstances or somehow make life “easy”. It is based on the premise that life is hard, and provides practical tools to cope.</p> <h2>It’s a factor in healthy ageing</h2> <p>I research menopause and healthy ageing and am especially interested in the value of self-compassion through menopause and in the second half of life.</p> <p>Because self-compassion becomes important during life’s challenges, it can help people navigate physical symptoms (for instance, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378512214001649?via%3Dihub">menopausal hot flushes</a>), life transitions such as <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797611429466">divorce</a>, and <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-22348-8_7">promote healthy ageing</a>.</p> <p>I’ve also teamed up with researchers at <a href="https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/">Autism Spectrum Australia</a> to explore self-compassion in autistic adults.</p> <p>We found autistic adults report significantly <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-022-05668-y">lower levels</a> of self-compassion than neurotypical adults. So we developed an online <a href="https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/blog/new-online-self-compassion-program-for-autistic-adults">self-compassion training program</a> for this at-risk population.</p> <h2>Three tips for self-compassion</h2> <p>You <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jclp.21923">can learn</a> self-compassion with these three exercises.</p> <p><strong>1. What would you say to a friend?</strong></p> <p>Think back to the last time you made a mistake. What did you say to yourself?</p> <p>If you notice you’re treating yourself more like an enemy than a friend, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, try to think about what you might tell a friend, and direct that same friendly language towards yourself.</p> <p><strong>2. Harness the power of touch</strong></p> <p>Soothing human touch <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.555058/full">activates</a> the parasympathetic “relaxation” branch of our nervous system and counteracts the fight or flight response.</p> <p>Specifically, self-soothing touch (for instance, by placing both hands on your heart, stroking your forearm or giving yourself a hug) <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666497621000655">reduces</a> cortisol responses to psychosocial stress.</p> <p><strong>3. What do I need right now?</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out exactly what self-compassion looks like in a given moment. The question “what do I need right now” helps clarify your true needs.</p> <p>For example, when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I woke up bolt awake one morning at 3am.</p> <p>Rather than beating myself up about it, or fretting about not getting enough sleep, I gently placed my hands on my heart and took a few deep breaths. By asking myself “what do I need right now?” it became clear that listening to a gentle podcast/meditation fitted the bill (even though I wanted to addictively scroll my phone).<!-- 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/223194/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/lydia-brown-179583"><em>Lydia Brown</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-be-kind-to-yourself-without-going-to-a-day-spa-223194">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Sarah Ferguson makes first public appearance since skin cancer diagnosis

<p>Sarah Ferguson has made her first public appearance since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-reveals-second-cancer-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skin cancer diagnosis</a> was announced almost two weeks ago. </p> <p>The Duchess of York made an unexpected appearance at the <em>Haute Living Celebrates The Haute 100</em> event in Miami, Florida on Monday. </p> <p>Fergie rocked a military-style black and white blazer over a black dress for the cocktail event, and appeared happier than ever as she posed for the cameras. </p> <p>The 64-year-old was pictured cuddling up to and interacting with fellow guests at the event. </p> <p>This comes just two weeks after the Duchess <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-breaks-silence-amid-second-cancer-battle" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opened up</a> on her second cancer diagnosis in a year. </p> <p>"I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year," she said in the Instagram post at the time.</p> <p>She also recently opened up on her recovery from breast cancer, following her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.</p> <p>The Duchess expressed her gratitude to her two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for their constant support. </p> <p>"My two wonderful daughters are my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are," she told <em>People magazine </em>at the time.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p> <p> </p>

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Your skin is a mirror of your health – here’s what yours might be saying

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12095893/">Skin accounts for around 15% of our body mass</a>. It is the largest and most visible organ in the human body.</p> <p>Yet many of the skin’s functions are often overlooked. It’s a sunscreen, a shield from germs, a reservoir of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28994020/">vitamin D</a> and a means of tightly regulating our body temperature.</p> <p>Being the most visible of our organs, the skin also offers us a view into the body tissues that it protects. So don’t think of your skin merely aesthetically – think of it as a reflection of your health. Disorders of the gut, blood, hormones and even the heart might first be seen on the skin in the form of a rash.</p> <p>Here are a few to look out for.</p> <h2>Bullseye</h2> <p>Ticks are pesky creatures that no one will want to return home from a country walk with.</p> <p>But while the vast majority of tick bites <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36116831/">won’t make you ill</a>, there is one rash that should prompt a visit to your doctor if you spot it.</p> <p>Erythema migrans, a rash named for its ability to rapidly expand across the skin, is a hallmark of <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1041.long">Lyme disease</a>, a potentially severe bacterial illness. This rash forms a classic target pattern, like a bullseye on a dartboard.</p> <p>Be vigilant for a few weeks after being bitten to check this rash doesn’t make an appearance – especially if you noticed a red lump that wasn’t there before or if you had to remove a tick from your skin. You should also keep an eye out for other associated symptoms of Lyme disease – such as swinging temperatures, muscle and joint pains and headache.</p> <p>The condition is treated with antibiotics, which can prevent long-term complications, including chronic fatigue symptoms.</p> <h2>Purpura</h2> <p>Some rashes are given a <a href="https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1538-7836(22)01880-3">colourful namesake</a> – purpura is one such example. This rash’s name is derived from a mollusc which was used to make purple dye.</p> <p>Purpura refers to a rash of small purple or red dots. The cause is pooling of blood into a deeper layer of the skin (dermis). When pressed with a finger – or even better, the side of a glass – it refuses to blanch away.</p> <p>Purpura signals an issue with either the walls of the tiny blood vessels that feed the skin or the blood within them. This might be from a deficiency in platelets, the tiny cell fragments that allow blood to clot – perhaps from bone marrow failure, or an autoimmune condition where the body turns on itself and attacks its own cells.</p> <p>At worst, purpura may signal the life-threatening condition <a href="https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/hmed.2017.78.8.468">septicaemia</a>, where an infection has spread into the bloodstream – perhaps from the lungs, kidneys or even from the skin itself.</p> <h2>Skin spiders</h2> <p>Skin rashes can also take on <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513406/">recognisable shapes</a>.</p> <p>Spider naevi represent an issue within skin arterioles (small arteries which supply the skin with blood). Arterioles open and close to control the loss of heat from the body’s surface. But sometimes they can get stuck open – and a spider-like pattern will appear.</p> <p>The open arteriole is the spider’s body, and the even tinier capillaries fanning out in all directions are the thready legs. Crush the body under a fingertip and the whole thing disappears, as your touch temporarily stops the blood flow.</p> <p>Often, these are benign and not associated with any specific condition – especially if you only have one or two. However, more than three suggest higher circulating levels of the <a href="https://dermnetnz.org/topics/spider-telangiectasis">hormone oestrogen</a>, often due to liver disease or from the hormonal changes seen in pregnancy. Treat the underlying cause, and the spiders often vanish with time – though they may persist or reappear later.</p> <h2>Black velvet</h2> <p>Changes to the folds of your skin (usually around the armpits or neck) – especially if it becomes thickened and velveteen to the touch – may suggest a condition known as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.13544">acanthosis nigricans</a>. This “black velvet” skin appearance is more commonly seen in darker skins.</p> <p>Usually, the condition is associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29241752/">disorders of the metabolism</a> – namely type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. If either of these conditions are successfully treated, the rash may fade. In rare cases, it can also be a sign of <a href="https://www.hkmj.org/abstracts/v29n4/355.htm">stomach cancer</a>, which should be considered in patients with few or none of the key signs of metabolic disease (obesity and high blood pressure).</p> <h2>Butterfly rashes</h2> <p>Even disorders of the heart can be visible on the skin.</p> <p>Cardiac valves have the important role of correctly directing the journey of blood through the heart and preventing backflow. The valve between the chambers on the left side of the heart (the mitral valve – so called because of its resemblance to a bishop’s hat, or mitre) can sometimes become narrowed, causing the heart’s function to deteriorate. The body’s natural response is to preserve core blood volume, shutting off flow towards the skin.</p> <p>The net effect can produce a purple-red rash, high across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, like the outstretched wings of a butterfly. We call this <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050313X231200965?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">mitral facies</a> which, depending on the extent of damage to the heart and great vessels, may persist despite treatment.</p> <p>It’s important to pay heed to your skin. It’s constantly talking to you, and any changes in its texture, colour or if new marks or patterns appear, may indicate something is going on beneath the surface.<!-- 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/221937/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/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</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/your-skin-is-a-mirror-of-your-health-heres-what-yours-might-be-saying-221937">original article</a>.</em></p>

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

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-fay-low-98311">Lee-Fay Low</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>It’s a shock when we realise our parents aren’t managing well at home.</p> <p>Perhaps the house and garden are looking more chaotic, and Mum or Dad are relying more on snacks than nutritious meals. Maybe their grooming or hygiene has declined markedly, they are socially isolated or not doing the things they used to enjoy. They may be losing weight, have had a fall, aren’t managing their medications correctly, and are at risk of getting scammed.</p> <p>You’re worried and you want them to be safe and healthy. You’ve tried to talk to them about aged care but been met with swift refusal and an indignant declaration “I don’t need help – everything is fine!” Now what?</p> <p>Here are four things to consider.</p> <h2>1. Start with more help at home</h2> <p>Getting help and support at home can help keep Mum or Dad well and comfortable without them needing to move.</p> <p>Consider drawing up a roster of family and friends visiting to help with shopping, cleaning and outings. You can also use home aged care services – or a combination of both.</p> <p>Government subsidised home care services provide from one to 13 hours of care a week. You can get more help if you are a veteran or are able to pay privately. You can take advantage of things like rehabilitation, fall risk-reduction programs, personal alarms, stove automatic switch-offs and other technology aimed at increasing safety.</p> <p>Call <a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/">My Aged Care</a> to discuss your options.</p> <h2>2. Be prepared for multiple conversations</h2> <p>Getting Mum or Dad to accept paid help can be tricky. Many families often have multiple conversations around aged care before a decision is made.</p> <p>Ideally, the older person feels supported rather than attacked during these conversations.</p> <p>Some families have a meeting, so everyone is coming together to help. In other families, certain family members or friends might be better placed to have these conversations – perhaps the daughter with the health background, or the auntie or GP who Mum trusts more to provide good advice.</p> <p>Mum or Dad’s main emotional support person should try to maintain their relationship. It’s OK to get someone else (like the GP, the hospital or an adult child) to play “bad cop”, while a different person (such as the older person’s spouse, or a different adult child) plays “good cop”.</p> <h2>3. Understand the options when help at home isn’t enough</h2> <p>If you have maximised home support and it’s not enough, or if the hospital won’t discharge Mum or Dad without extensive supports, then you may be <a href="https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/60/8/1504/5863160">considering a nursing home</a> (also known as residential aged care in Australia).</p> <p>Every person has a legal right to <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/9-your-right-choose-where-you-live">choose where we live</a> (unless they have lost capacity to make that decision).</p> <p>This means families can’t put Mum or Dad into residential aged care against their will. Every person also has the right to choose to take risks. People can choose to continue to live at home, even if it means they might not get help immediately if they fall, or eat poorly. We should respect Mum or Dad’s decisions, even if we disagree with them. Researchers call this “dignity of risk”.</p> <p>It’s important to understand Mum or Dad’s point of view. Listen to them. Try to figure out what they are feeling, and what they are worried might happen (which might not be rational).</p> <p>Try to understand what’s really important to their quality of life. Is it the dog, having privacy in their safe space, seeing grandchildren and friends, or something else?</p> <p>Older people are often understandably concerned about losing independence, losing control, and having strangers in their personal space.</p> <p>Sometimes families prioritise physical health over psychological wellbeing. But we need to consider both when considering nursing home admission.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9826495/">Research</a> suggests going into a nursing home temporarily increases loneliness, risk of depression and anxiety, and sense of losing control.</p> <p>Mum and Dad should be involved in the decision-making process about where they live, and when they might move.</p> <p>Some families start looking “just in case” as it often takes some time to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/questions-to-ask-when-choosing-an-aged-care-home-for-a-loved-one/10302590">find the right nursing home</a> and there can be a wait.</p> <p>After you have your top two or three choices, take Mum or Dad to visit them. If this is not possible, take pictures of the rooms, the public areas in the nursing home, the menu and the activities schedule.</p> <p>We should give Mum or Dad information about their options and risks so they can make informed (and hopefully better) decisions.</p> <p>For instance, if they visit a nursing home and the manager says they can go on outings whenever they want, this might dispel a belief they are “locked up”.</p> <p>Having one or two weeks “respite” in a home may let them try it out before making the big decision about staying permanently. And if they find the place unacceptable, they can try another nursing home instead.</p> <h2>4. Understand the options if a parent has lost capacity to make decisions</h2> <p>If Mum or Dad have lost capacity to choose where they live, family may be able to make that decision in their best interests.</p> <p>If it’s not clear whether a person has capacity to make a particular decision, a medical practitioner can assess for that capacity.</p> <p>Mum or Dad may have appointed an <a href="https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills/appoint-enduring-guardian/what-enduring-guardian">enduring guardian</a> to make decisions about their health and lifestyle decisions when they are not able to.</p> <p>An enduring guardian can make the decision that the person should live in residential aged care, if the person no longer has the capacity to make that decision themselves.</p> <p>If Mum or Dad didn’t appoint an enduring guardian, and have lost capacity, then a court or tribunal can <a href="https://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/guardianship/information-about-guardianship">appoint</a> that person a private guardian (usually a family member, close friend or unpaid carer).</p> <p>If no such person is available to act as private guardian, a public official may be appointed as public guardian.</p> <h2>Deal with your own feelings</h2> <p>Families often feel <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-023-04538-9">guilt and grief</a> during the decision-making and transition process.</p> <p>Families need to act in the best interest of Mum or Dad, but also balance other caring responsibilities, financial priorities and their own wellbeing.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221210/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-fay-low-98311"><em>Lee-Fay Low</em></a><em>, Professor in Ageing and Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-i-handle-it-if-my-parent-is-refusing-aged-care-4-things-to-consider-221210">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Deb Knight urges Influencers to stop "glorifying tanning"

<p>Deborah Knight, 51, has spoken out against influencers who glorify tanning as she shared the results from her annual skin check. </p> <p>The TV and radio presenter, shared a series of photos showing the sun damage on her skin, as she reminded her followers to stay sun safe and get their skin checked. </p> <p>"Got off pretty lightly from my annual skin check. Just a few barnacles zapped but nothing serious this time round," she began in the caption. </p> <p>"Timely reminder to get your skin checked and protect it from the sun in the first place," she added, before tagging two melanoma treatment specialists and the Melanoma Institute Australia. </p> <p>She signed off the post with the hashtag #stopglorifyingtanning. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2n1Rtth20D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Deborah Knight (@deborah_knight)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The <em>Money News </em>2GB<em> </em>host has regularly shared her skin journey and has previously opened up about the "true extent" of the "damaging effects of the sun" on <em>9Honey</em>.</p> <p>"As a blonde, fair-skinned child growing up by the beach, I resisted putting on zinc and sunscreen as much as my own children do now," she said in the interview in 2023. </p> <p>She added that she now has to pay the price and has to get her age spots frozen off every year. </p> <p>"I've had a Basal Cell Carcinoma surgically removed from the bridge of my nose, leaving a scar far worse than the damage it could have done if left untreated, possibly spreading and destroying skin, tissue, even bone," she said. </p> <p>She also spoke out about the influencers who glorify tanning. </p> <p>"These are often the same influencers who recommend spending a fortune on anti-ageing treatments and creams and serums, despite willingly exposing their skin to the most damaging ageing element there is – the harsh Aussie sun," she added. </p> <p>According to the <a href="https://melanomaresearch.com.au/about-melanoma/what-is-melanoma/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Melanoma Research Foundation</a>, one in 17 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes, with melanoma reportedly the third most common cancer in the country, following prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Sarah Ferguson diagnosed with malignant melanoma – here are the latest treatments for this increasingly common skin cancer

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-allinson-137762">Sarah Allinson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p>News that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma highlights the dangers of this increasingly common skin cancer.</p> <p>Malignant melanoma affects <a href="https://www.iarc.who.int/cancer-type/skin-cancer/">325,000 people worldwide</a> every year. While it’s not the most common form of skin cancer – typically, for every one diagnosed case of melanoma, up to ten non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed – it causes <a href="https://theconversation.com/skin-cancer-more-people-die-from-types-that-arent-melanoma-surprise-new-finding-215378">almost as many deaths</a>. The reason for this is because it’s far more likely to spread, or metastasise, to other sites in the body compared to non-melanoma skin cancers.</p> <p>Melanoma arises in a type of pigment-producing skin cell called a <a href="https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/what-is-melanoma.html#:%7E:text=Melanoma%20is%20a%20type%20of,to%20grow%20out%20of%20control.">melanocyte</a>. These cells produce and export melanin in order to provide a protective layer in the skin which helps to screen out ultraviolet (UV) radiation.</p> <p>Mutations in genes that normally carefully regulate cell growth and survival override the controls that ensure the body only produces the cells it needs. The result is uncontrolled cellular growth, or a tumour, that normally appears as an unusual-looking mole.</p> <p>The mutations that drive the growth of a melanoma usually happen as a result of exposure to UV from the sun or from an artificial source, such as a tanning bed. We know this because when a melanoma’s genome is compared to that of a normal cell we can see a high number of mutations that have a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-1943-3">characteristic “UV signature”</a>. For this reason, melanoma skin cancers occur most frequently in people who have light-coloured skin and who are exposed to high amounts of UV.</p> <p>Non-melanoma skin cancers are also mainly caused by exposure to UV but arise from a different kind of skin cell called a keratinocyte. These are the cells that normally make up the majority of the outer part of our skin, called the epidermis. Cancers that arise from keratinocytes are less likely to spread than those that come from melanocytes – although <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/non-melanoma-skin-cancer#heading-One">they can still be fatal</a>.</p> <p>In the duchess’s case, the melanoma was discovered during treatment for breast cancer. Her dermatologist recommended that some moles be removed for biopsy during breast reconstruction surgery. After testing, one was identified as malignant melanoma.</p> <p>If the results of the biopsy show that the cancer hasn’t spread, then like the majority of patients with melanoma, the duchess will be treated with surgery. In this case the tumour will be removed along with some of the surrounding normal skin.</p> <p>The amount of normal skin removed depends on the results of the biopsy – in particular, how deep into the skin the tumour has penetrated (called the <a href="https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/melanoma/staging-of-melanoma">Breslow thickness</a>). The normal skin will be checked for any signs that cancerous cells might have spread out of the tumour.</p> <p>For most people diagnosed with melanoma, particularly if it’s at an early stage, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK481850/">surgery will cure the cancer</a> and they will be able to go on with their lives. But for around <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8544364/">20% of patients</a>, additional treatment will be needed. This happens if their cancer has spread further into the body or if their cancer can’t be treated surgically. The <a href="https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/OP.21.00686">good news</a> for these patients is that the past decade has seen huge improvements in treatment.</p> <p>Previously the only options other than surgery were radiotherapy or non-specific chemotherapy treatments. These treatments work by affecting the ability of cells to copy their DNA, which prevents them from duplicating and causes fast-growing cancer cells to die. But because these also affect the patient’s normal cells, they were accompanied by severe side effects – and were often ineffective.</p> <p>But we now have a better understanding of the specific changes melanoma makes to cell growth pathways. This has led to the development of drugs, such as <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2022/fda-dabrafenib-trametinib-braf-solid-tumors">dabrafenib</a> and <a href="https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Trametinib">trametinib</a>, that specifically target cells with these altered pathways. In other words, they only target the cancerous cells.</p> <p>These drugs are much more effective and have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapies – although about half of patients who initially respond to them relapse within a year. In these patients a few of the tumour cells survive by activating other pathways for growth and use these to <a href="https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cncr.30435">regrow the tumour</a>. Promisingly, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10417341/">a recent study</a> suggests that re-using these drugs after a period off them can have good results in relapsed patients.</p> <p>Another exciting development in the treatment of malignant melanoma has been the use of immunotherapies. These involve harnessing the patient’s own immune system to fight the tumour.</p> <p>One particularly successful immunotherapy approach for melanoma involves the use of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. These prevent cancer cells from being able to hide from the body’s immune system. A <a href="https://www.ejcancer.com/article/S0959-8049(23)00694-9/fulltext">recent report</a> has highlighted how the introduction of these treatments has led to improved survival for melanoma patients.</p> <p>Although the duchess’s skin cancer was discovered while she was being treated for breast cancer, it’s unlikely that the two are related. A more likely risk factor is the duchess’s famous red hair. People with red hair and pale skin that tends to freckle and burn in the sun are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer because their skin produces <a href="https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/gene/mc1r/#conditions">less melanin</a>. This means that their melanocytes are exposed to higher levels of UV and are more likely to undergo cancer-causing mutations.</p> <p>While melanoma is much more common in people with the duchess’s skin type, it’s important to be aware that anyone can get it. It’s a good idea to regularly check your skin for unusual looking moles and to contact a doctor for advice if you have a mole with any of the so-called <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/melanoma/symptoms">ABCDE characteristics</a>: such as an asymmetrical shape, irregular, blurred or jagged border, uneven colour, is more than 6mm wide and is evolving (either in size, texture or even bleeding).<!-- 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/221647/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/sarah-allinson-137762">Sarah Allinson</a>, Professor, Department of Biomedical and Life Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/lancaster-university-1176">Lancaster University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>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/sarah-ferguson-diagnosed-with-malignant-melanoma-here-are-the-latest-treatments-for-this-increasingly-common-skin-cancer-221647">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"I just don't like old skin": Jane Fonda's bizarre confession

<p>Jane Fonda has made an unusual confession about her dating life, explaining why she would only date people of a certain age. </p> <p>The Hollywood legend, 85, has been married three times throughout her life: first to director Roger Vadim from 1965 to 1973, then to activist Tom Hayden from 1973 to 1990, and finally to CNN founder Ted Turner from 1991 to 2001.</p> <p>Fonda is currently single, but doesn't plan on staying that way. </p> <p>Despite being open to finding love, the actress has a very specific criteria for potential suitors to meet before agreeing to a date. </p> <p>On the <em>Absolutely Not</em> podcast, the Oscar winner initially suggested she was done with men for good, saying, “I’m done, I’m over, I’m [almost] 86 years old, even in the dark I wouldn’t want to be naked in front of anybody.” </p> <p>But she then went on to confess that there’s still a chance she could fall for a man, but they would just have to be substantially younger. </p> <p>“And here’s another thing, I’m ashamed to say this, if I were to take a lover, he’d have to be 20. Because I don’t like old skin,” said Fonda.</p> <p>She continued, “And consequently, I don’t want to foist that on anybody else. I assume other people are like me, I just don’t like old skin.”</p> <p>“I disapprove of 86-year-old men with 20-year-old women, so I’m not going to repeat it. I can ogle them, and I can’t pretend that I don’t get turned on if I see a certain kind of a person, but no, no, no, I don’t want to force that on anybody.”</p> <p>Her confession has been criticised on social media, with some suggesting the star would be “cancelled” if it was a man that had said the same about young women. </p> <p>“This is seriously weird,” tweeted one fan, while another said: “But an 85 year old man wanting to date a 20 year old woman is disgusting? Am I right?”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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