Where to find the help you need this holiday season

Over60 native article for Just Better Care

No matter how much you love celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year, there’s no denying that the festive season is one of the busiest and most stressful times of year.

In fact, according to one UK survey, it’s the sixth most stressful life event – yet we deal with it every year. And with so much to do – from shopping for (and wrapping) gifts to preparing Christmas lunch – it hardly comes as a surprise.

So, spare a thought for the thousands of people around the country dealing with all the usual sources of Christmas stress as well as chronic health conditions. There are currently around 60,000 Australians waiting to be assigned a Home Care Package – and many can expect to wait 12 months, even though they need support now.

If you are someone looking for support at home or out in the community, or you are caring for someone who is, it’s important to remember there are ways to ease the pressure this holiday season.

Here, we take a look at three of the biggest holiday stressors and how you can overcome them to stay stress-free and happy this Christmas.

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Jeffrey Archer interview: “Writing is a drug”

I recently had the privilege of speaking to best-selling author Jeffrey Archer about his new collection of short stories (as well as some old favourites).


A decade after his last collection, international best-selling author Jeffrey Archer is back with a fresh batch of suspenseful short stories, Tell Tale. To find out more about the book and when we can expect to see more from him, Over60 sat down for a quick chat with the 77-year-old storyteller.

Our readers are huge fans of yours and they’re very excited to see what you’ve got in store for the future. What motivates you to keep writing and working at an age when most people – our readers included – are long retired?

I think your opening sentence answers that question. Your fans are very excited to hear what I have to say and there’s a lot of them waiting to find out. In a way, it’s a drug in itself that so many millions of people buy the books, but when you’ve done one, you want to do another.

You’ve written dozens of novels and short stories on many varied topics, where do you draw inspiration for your stories, and this latest batch of short stories in particular?

In the case of Tell Tale, which is 14 new stories, several of them have come in my visits around the world where I pick up the stories. To give you an example, one of my stories from an earlier set of short stories, “The Queen’s Birthday Telegram”, someone gave me that story in Sydney. So, I’m always being told stories or incidents and sometimes I can turn those into a short story.

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Interview with author of “Grandma Forgets”: the picture book helping children understand dementia

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, an estimated 413,106 Australians currently live with dementia, and there are around 244 new cases reported each day. Sadly, this means it’s more likely than ever that each and every one of our lives will be affected in some way by this cruel disease.

And when we, as adults, have such difficulty coming to terms with it, how can we explain it to the kids in our lives? Well, one author may have just found a way.

Grandma Forgets is a picture book offering a gentle and positive yet realistic look into the changes children might expect to see in their older loved one suffering from dementia. Written by Paul Russell and illustrated by Nicky Johnston, this beautiful story will make any child – no matter whether or not their grandparent has dementia – thankful for the precious bond they share with Nan and Pop.

To find out more about this heart-warming book, Over60 spoke to the author, Paul Russell, about what inspired him and how he hopes others can learn from it.

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The deadly cancer with a survival rate of less than 8%

Over60 native article for the Garvan Institute

With a five-year survival rate of just 7.7 per cent, pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Australia – but awareness of the disease is at an alarmingly low 15 per cent, research from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has found. As a result, research into pancreatic cancer isn’t receiving the funds it desperately needs to find a potential breakthrough.

It’s not just the cancer that people aren’t aware of, however. A staggering 83 per cent of Australians aren’t even sure of the organ’s function – to secrete digestion-aiding enzymes and produce hormones that help regulate the metabolism of sugar. Furthermore, 77 per cent of people have an incorrect view of the signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

Unfortunately, correct symptoms of the disease, such as upper abdominal pain, jaundice, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression and blood clots, may not present themselves until the cancer is at such an advanced stage that surgical intervention is no longer possible.

[…]

So, a recent breakthrough from Australian and UK scientists couldn’t have come at a better time. Associate Professor Paul Timpson, Head of Invasion and Metastasis at the Garvan Institute, and Professor Kurt Anderson of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, UK, have created a “biosensor mouse” which allows them to track the disease’s progression – and perhaps even stop it in its tracks.

To find out more about this incredible innovation, Over60 spoke to Associate Professor Paul Timpson. “We’ve made a green glow-in-the-dark mouse that can show a pancreatic cancer tumour getting ready to break apart and spread throughout the body before it even occurs,” he explains.

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6 things that make you more attractive to mosquitoes

The pesky mosquito – is there anything more annoying at a BBQ? For many of us, the answer is “no”, but for others, mozzies don’t seem to be an issue at all – but why? Why do mozzies favour come people over others? It may be because of these six things about you which they simply can’t get enough of.

1. You exhale a lot of carbon dioxide

Larger people (and pregnant women) produce more carbon dioxide. Incredibly, this makes them more attractive to mozzies and thus more likely to be bitten. If that’s not incentive to lose some weight, we don’t know what is!

2. You’re hot

No, really, you are! A 2015 study found that having a high body temperature increases the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes. Again, this only makes it harder for overweight people, who as a rule have a higher body temperature. Our advice? Stay cool!

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Why cherries could be the secret to relieving gout

Over60 NZ native article for Abeeco

While the festive season is a time of joy and excitement for many, for gout sufferers, it can signal one of the most painful times of year. From indulgent roasts and Christmas puddings to rich wines and summer cocktails, many gout sufferers find themselves prone to more regular attacks. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case.

With around 110,000 thousand Kiwis suffering from gout (a number expected to double each decade), New Zealand has earned the unfortunate title of the “gout capital of the world,” according to Associate Professor Dr Nicola Dalbeth of the University of Auckland.

In fact, gout is so prevalent in our country that it’s become the second most-common form of arthritis. Caused by sodium urate crystals forming in and around joints (particularly the big toe), gout produces symptoms like sudden, severe pain in the joint, swelling and redness. Men are three times more likely than women to suffer from gout and up to 15 per cent of Maori and Pasifika men have gout compared with fewer than five per cent of Pakeha men.

So, you may be wondering, where do cherries come in? Well, one of the best ways to manage gout attacks is to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood and remove it from the body, and cherries were found to do just that by a 2014 study from Northumbria University.

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The silent condition over 1 million Australians live with

Have you ever been so cold your hands and feet hurt? Or even go numb? Do you dread winter more than anyone you know and rejoice when it comes to an end? You’re not alone – you may be experiencing Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition affecting more than one million Australians.

Raynaud’s phenomenon (or Raynaud syndrome) occurs when the blood flow to the extremities (fingers and toes) becomes restricted, causing discomfort, numbness or tingling. In addition, the affected area will change colour, turning white or blue during an attack, then red when blood flow returns, then finally back to its usual colour.

Raynaud 's

It’s most often triggered by cold weather, sudden changes in temperature or emotionally stressful situations.

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Accessing the wealth locked in your home

Over60 native article for Homesafe

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Medical emergencies, legal difficulties and other unexpected costs can throw off your grand retirement plans and leave you struggling to pay the bills, let alone maintaining your lifestyle as you age. And when this happens, what can you do? Downsizing isn’t always a solution and going back to work may not be an option.

Thankfully, there’s a way to access the wealth locked in your home when you need it most – with a home equity release solution. There are two types of equity release products – reverse mortgages, which involve borrowing money using the equity in your home, and home reversion schemes, which involve selling a portion of the equity in your home. It may sound like a daunting prospect, but a home equity release product shouldn’t be seen as the last resort. Here are four reasons why.

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Easy cancer checks you can do at home

As life expectancy around the world continues to grow, so does the likelihood of developing cancer. However, despite more people than ever being diagnosed with cancer, we’re also more likely to survive it than ever. This is due not only to greater awareness and improved treatment, but also thanks to more and more people knowing what to look for. Here are just a few easy cancer checks you can do right now, right at home. You never know, you could save your own life.

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Do I have enough super if I live beyond 90?

Over60 native article for AustralianSuper

“If I retired now, would I have enough money to last if I live into my 90s?”

It’s a question many people approaching retirement ask themselves as they edge towards the exciting stage of their lives. The good news is that it’s not something that all Australians – even those already retired – should be too concerned about as there are lots of ways you can turn your situation around. Here’s what you need to know.

As life expectancy continues to grow (currently standing at 80.9 years for men and 84.8 for women), it’s never been more important to secure your finances in the event that you reach – or perhaps even exceed – this age.

To help you answer this question,  has a number of free, easy-to-use online calculators to ensure you’re on top of your finances well in advance of retirement. Here’s how you can make these resources work for you.

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