Seniors Card - INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! Passion sparks environmental legacy Immune to retirement Close-knit friends Sudoku puzzle ...

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Seniors Card - INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! Passion sparks environmental legacy Immune to retirement Close-knit friends Sudoku puzzle ...
Seniors Card

  INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! • Passion sparks environmental legacy
     Immune to retirement • Close-knit friends • Sudoku puzzle
Seniors Card - INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! Passion sparks environmental legacy Immune to retirement Close-knit friends Sudoku puzzle ...
2019 Seniors Card magazine
                                                                                                                                 celebrating extraordinary seniors

         Timing is                                                                                                        Everywhere in Victoria older people
                                                                                                                          are leading extraordinary lives.
                                                                                                                              This year’s Seniors Card magazine
                                                                                                                                                                          If you’ve just received your Seniors
                                                                                                                                                                      Card, head to pages 5, 48 and 49 to
                                                                                                                                                                      read what’s on offer in the Seniors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Make sure you enter our Holiday Inn

        everything.                                                                                                       features exceptional Victorian seniors
                                                                                                                          who are savvy, generous and clever
                                                                                                                          with their time.
                                                                                                                                                                      Card program. If you’re an old hand,
                                                                                                                                                                      you’ll also want to have a gander. We
                                                                                                                                                                      share details of changes we’re making
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 competition by subscribing or updating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 your email address – details below!

                                                                                                                              Whether knitting for others,            to next year’s magazine and how you        Bookmark Seniors Online at
                                                                                                                          playing walking footy for the first         can get a copy.                   for
                                                                                                                          time, lobbying against single-use               If you’re the online type,             regular content and access to this
                                                                                                                          plastics, setting up or joining a choir,    be sure to say hello by ‘liking’ our       magazine in electronic form
                                                                                                                          or simply deciding to adjust one’s diet     Facebook page and bookmarking
                                                                                                                          for strength, the people featured in this   Seniors Online – your e-home for           Like us on Facebook
                                                                                                                          year’s magazine have great stories          Seniors Card information. You will
                                                                                                                          to tell.                                    also find games, puzzles, services and
                                                                                                                                                                      information and more stories than we
                                                                                                                                                                      can fit here!

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Seniors Card - INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! Passion sparks environmental legacy Immune to retirement Close-knit friends Sudoku puzzle ...
CONTENTS                                                                                                                  INFORMATION FEATURE

Message                                                                                                                                     Seniors Card news
                                                                                    p.44 Tears and hugs on the
                                          Features                                  road to reconciliation

from the
                                                                                    Peek Whurrong Elder Uncle Robbie
                                                                                    Lowe’s stories help Aboriginal kids feel

                                                                                    proud of who they are

                                                                                    p.47 Passion sparks
                                                                                                                               More than 100 new businesses have            Museum and Scienceworks, and
                                                                                    environmental legacy
                                                                                    The health of a marine sanctuary led
                                                                                                                               joined the Seniors Card program              exemption from the need to hold a             Information
                                                                                                                               since 2018. And many of Melbourne’s          Fishing Licence in Victorian waters are    Hop online to visit the Seniors
                                                                                    Elizabeth to lobby for the banning of
                                                                                                                               favourite destinations continue to offer     all still available.                       Card Discount Directory at
                                                                                    single-use plastics
                                          p.7 Volunteer
                                                      path                                                                     you free or cheaper entry when you                What's more, in exciting news we
                                                                                    p.59 Two of us:                            present your Seniors Card or Seniors         are delighted to welcome 24,000 new        or keep an eye out for the Seniors Card
                                          to paid work
                                          Rosie’s volunteering led to a paid role   Japanese choir                             Business Discount Card.                      Victorian Carer Card holders to the        ‘Welcome Here’ logo at your local store
                                                                                    Harumi and Margaret’s love of music            These include Werribee Open Range        Seniors Card program this year.            or business
                                          managing young learner drivers and
                                                                                    and Japanese culture brought them          Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne                Carers make big contributions to
                                          their volunteer mentors
                                                                                    together                                   Star Observation Wheel, National             the lives of the people they care for,        Update your contact details,
‘People do not decide to become           p.8 Immune to retirement                                                             Sports Museum and MCG Tours, to              and to our communities.                    subscribe to the Seniors Card
 extraordinary. They decide to            A retired immunologist’s work             p.60 Two   of us: Close-knit               name a few.                                       They can now access the same          e-Newsletter, or replace a lost or
 accomplish extraordinary things.’        is never done                             friends                                        Old favourites, like free entry to the   discounts that Seniors Card holders do.    stolen Seniors Card at
                                                                                    Judy and Helen are friends and knitters    Melbourne Museum, Immigration                                                 
As Minister for Disability, Ageing and                                              with a community-minded bent
 Carers I am convinced of the truth
 of this statement from Sir Edmund
                                                                                    Also in this issue                         Imprint                                      Privacy                                    Disclaimer
 Hillary. Each day, I meet older
                                                                                                                               To receive this publication in an            The Seniors Card program collects          This publication and the enclosed
Victorians who are leading exceptional
                                                                                                                               accessible format phone 1300 797 210         and uses your personal information         materials have been provided to you
 lives and making a great contribution                                              p.15 Preparation is key                    using the National Relay Service             for the purpose of administering the       for information purposes only. The
 to our communities.                                                                to positive ageing                         13 36 77 if required, or email               program. This includes mailing to you      State of Victoria does not endorse any
     All across Victoria, seniors are                                               Commissioner Gerard Mansour on                   your Seniors Card, free travel vouchers,   particular organisation, product or
 showing they are passionate about        p.11 Circus performer                     maximising the ageing experience                                                        publications, surveys, government          services named in this publication or
volunteering, working, playing
                                          still juggling work                       p.18 Ladies who lunch                      Authorised and published by the              information and special offers from        enclosed material; does not accept any
 sports and making connections
                                          commitments                               Protein for muscles and calcium and        Victorian Government,                        participating businesses.                  responsibility for any errors, omissions,
 in the community. It’s what has
                                          All in a day’s work – Sue juggles         vitamin D for bones!                       1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.                                                            or inaccuracies that may be contained
 inspired this year’s magazine theme of
                                          and flies through the air                                                                                                         The Seniors Card program respects          in this publication or enclosed material
‘extraordinary seniors’.                                                            p.33 The
                                                                                           easy way to report                  © State of Victoria, Department              your privacy. If you would like to read    and disclaims all liability for error, loss
     I hope you enjoy the stories of      p.27 Onthe road                           non-urgent crime                           of Health and Human Services,                our ‘Seniors Card: Your privacy’ notice    or other consequence which may arise
 senior Victorians in this magazine,      with James Blundell                       When you need the police, but not the      August 2019.                                 please call 1300 797 210 or visit us on    from you relying on any information in
who like you, make our state a better     The country music icon revels in his      sirens                                                                                       this publication and enclosed material,
 place.                                   senior audiences                                                                     Except where otherwise indicated, the                                                   and does not represent or warrant that
     This year’s magazine also has                                                  p.49 Two become one
                                                                                                                               images in this publication show models       If you would prefer not to receive         any service or product specified in this
 details about the recently announced                                               Your magazine and Seniors Festival
                                                                                                                               and illustrative settings only, and do       Seniors Card information or would          publication or enclosed material is of a
 expansion of Seniors Card business                                                 program are joining forces next year
                                                                                                                               not necessarily depict actual services,      like to access or update your personal     particular standard or is suitable to your
 discounts to Carer Card holders,
                                                                                                                               facilities or recipients of services. This   information, please call Seniors Card      needs, and has not assessed whether
 Seniors Card discounts on goods
 and services from more than 4,000
                                                                                    More stories online at                     publication may contain images of            on 1300 797 210 or contact the             the services or product is of a particular

 businesses across the state, and the
                                                                                           deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait        Seniors Card program on                    standard.

Victorian Seniors Festival.
                                                                                    au/emag                                    Islander peoples. Where the term   
                                                                                                                               'Aboriginal' is used it refers to both                                                  Before purchasing any goods or services
                                                                                    Credits                                    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander        The Seniors Card program is part of        or relying on any information referred to
                                          p.34 Living
                                                    legends:                                                                   people. Indigenous is retained when it       the Department of Health and Human         in this publication or enclosed material,
                                                                                    Writers: Andrew Macrae, Ralph
                                          Two brothers with an                      Johnstone, Kate Robertson                  is part of the title of a report, program    Services. For more information on the      you should make your own enquiries
                                          ironclad will to survive                  Editor: Hilary Fisher                      or quotation.                                department’s privacy policy please visit   about whether the goods or services
                                          A brother’s love has resulted in          Photography: Nicole Cleary                                                              are of good quality and are suitable
                                          the creation of a two-time world          Design: Forde + Nicol                      ISSN 2206-6071 - Print                       privacy-policy                             for your needs, and if necessary, seek
Luke Donnellan MP
                                          champion                                                                             Available at                                                                            independent financial, legal or medical
Minister for Disability,
Ageing and Carers
                                                                                                                               Printed by Ovato Clayton on sustainable
                                                                                                                               paper (1907404)

                                                             4                                                                                                                                 5
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                                                           Volunteer path
                                                            to paid work

                                                              The skills of older workers benefit employers

                                    Rosie Finn OA had a brief fling with           ‘I would book lunches with people          Rosie now works a four-day week,
                                    retirement before throwing herself         but most of my friends are a bit           managing 100 people: 50 young learner
                                    into a volunteering role that led to       younger than me and are still working      drivers and the 50 volunteer mentors
                                    her return to paid work where she          and they would cancel or just give         who accompany them on the road.
                                    manages 100 people.                        me half an hour. Understandable,               Rosie has no doubts that finding
                                        Now in her seventies, Rosie            but it was the highlight of my week!       work can be harder for older people
                                    had retired at 65 after a lifetime in      So that didn’t fit the vision I’d had of   but says volunteering definitely helped
                                    community development in Australia         retirement.’                               her land her paid role.
                                    and overseas; and a stint as a dental          Comically she recounts: ‘One day           ‘Because I worked in the
                                    nurse for the Air Force, where she         I found myself making our German           community sector, where there is lots
                                    earned an Australia Day award for her      Shepherd dog a cup of tea in one of        of project-based work, I was applying
                                    heroic actions during Cyclone Tracy.       those big soup cups and sitting down       for a new job every few years and I was
                                        ‘I was excited about retiring. I       with her on the floor and having a         used to getting an interview at least.
                                    thought I would have all this free time    conversation, which, I have got to say,    Once I was 50, it was quite a bit harder.
                                    and would do all the projects around       was one way!’                              I didn’t get a response at all for many
                                    the house that I wanted to do, and go          Rosie finished her tea, called her     applications, didn’t get an interview,
                                    out for lunches with friends and have a    wife to tell her she really wasn’t ready   didn’t even get told – I’d have to chase
                                    grand old time,’ Rosie says.               for retirement, and promptly began         them. And I’d say that wasn’t my
                                        But, 12 months in, Rosie could see     volunteering at a not-for-profit           experience before I turned 50.’
                                    that retirement wasn’t quite for her.      organisation three days a week.                Rosie says volunteering is a good
                                        ‘I did most of the things I could: I       ‘They realised I had the skills        option for people who are looking for
                                    painted anything that stood still, like    they needed to do locums in their          ways to contribute their skills and
                                    the front fence and did other things       different programs, so I did locums        experience to the community, and can
                                    around the house. But, then I realised     in emergency food relief, no interest      even be a path to paid work.
                                    the bigger things I wanted to do           loans and the L2P Learn to Drive               Employers are missing out if they
                                    needed money, like re-carpeting the        program. Then a paid position became       discount older workers, she says.
                                    lounge room ... I had time but then, I     available in the Victorian Learn to            ‘I think I have more to offer now
                                    didn’t have money.                         Drive program and I interviewed for it     than when I was younger.’ ↩
                                                                               and got the job.’

6   Rosie Finn and her dog Jessie                                                                 7
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                            to retirement

                   At 88, Sir Gustav Nossal’s expertise is still in demand

When an email hits 88-year-old Sir          one cell of your body, one single cell,      work part-time for many years. This
Gustav Nossal’s inbox it may well be        always only makes one antibody.’             includes working for the World Health
the World Health Organization or Bill           The long-lasting impact of Sir           Organization in the field of infectious
and Melinda Gates seeking his advice.       Gustav’s work is impressive and it           diseases and vaccines.
    The award-winning medical               shows just how much a person can                 ‘The Bill and Melinda Gates
researcher, who has a high school and       contribute to a single field over a          Foundation became a very major
university research institute named         lifetime – then and now.                     interest after my retirement,’ he says.
after him and was the Australian of the         ‘I always think of it like an ever-          ‘I have the highest respect for
Year in 2000, officially retired at 65.     growing giant jigsaw puzzle. If you’re       both Bill and Melinda Gates. They
However, he still fields calls from those   lucky enough to put one piece into the       really care. Soon after I retired, they
needing his expertise in vaccines and       jigsaw puzzle, that’s really something.      made polio eradication their number
immunology.                                 But the jigsaw puzzle only takes on          one priority and, second to that, the
    ‘I think it’s important for people to   meaning when all the other pieces,           development of more vaccine coverage
stay active as long as possible and when    made by other researchers, are there as      for the developing countries, and
their full-time career finishes, try and    well. So, any one person’s contribution      they really believed in it and put their
find some part time involvement to          has to be seen in the light of the           money where their mouth was.’
keep the mind active,’ Sir Gustav says.     contribution of many, many others.’              For several post-retirement years,
    Sir Gustav’s career saw him                 Sir Gustav was also involved             Sir Gustav chaired the Strategic
make major inroads in the fields of         in teaching and mentoring a new              Advisory Council for the Bill and
antibody formation and immunological        generation of researchers as Director        Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine
tolerance.                                  of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of    Program and he is still called upon
    It’s clear that Sir Gustav’s passion    Medical Research.                            from time to time to assist with grant
for science is lifelong.                        ‘That’s been really satisfying … the     applications and other work.
    ‘I grew to love immunology and,         number of times that someone has                 ‘I’m lucky that people understand
in particular, fascinating subjects         come up to me in a supermarket when          if you’ve been around for a long time
such as autoimmune diseases and             I’m shopping and said, “Look, you            you’ve seen a lot of things and tackled
the possibility of an immune defence        might not remember me, but I studied         a lot of problems and maybe have a bit
against cancer,’ Sir Gustav says.           under you 50 years ago and those years       of a contribution to make in how those
    ‘I studied how the cells of the body    at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute       problems could be solved.
make the precious antibody molecules        were the best years of my life”,’ he says.       ‘It’s both healthy and sensible
that keep you free of disease. It’s an          ‘It happens surprisingly                 to use the skills you’ve built up
extraordinary fact that you can make        frequently.’                                 over a lifetime for as long as you
antibodies to virtually anything, and           An academic never quite retires,         possibly can.’ ↩
I made some good discoveries about          and after his official retirement at the
that. One of the main ones was that         age of 65, Sir Gustav has continued to

                                                                8                                                                   Sir Gustav with his dogs Kiri and Gimbie   9
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                                                    Circus performer
                                                    still juggling work
                                                           Juggling jobs in her 60s is just one of performer
                                                                        Sue Broadway’s skills

                                    Performer and artistic director Sue            Sue was one of the founders of           I think it’s improving slowly; two steps
                                    Broadway spent decades moving from         Circus Oz and made the transition from       forward and one step back, rather than
                                    job to job, long before the term ‘gig      performer to artistic director when she      the opposite,’ she says.
                                    economy’ was coined. And many of           lived in the UK for a decade, where she          ‘It’s fantastic to see younger women
                                    those jobs were, literally, juggling.      started another circus company and           stepping up and taking over the fight
                                        A third-generation performer,          toured through Europe, South America         and being so determined about it.’
                                    Sue has had the sort of career you’d       and Africa.                                      Now, in her 60s, Sue is finding the
                                    usually only read about in books, with         Back in Australia, she worked on         flow of work has changed as many of
                                    highlights such as travelling with a       the Sydney Olympics and directed the         those who commissioned her in the
                                    circus through Europe, South America       Moomba Parade for several years, adding      past have, themselves, retired.
                                    and Africa – delighting people with her    ‘parade expert’ to her expertise in              ‘I’m still doing it but perhaps not
                                    flying trapeze act and juggling skills.    administration, directing and producing.     quite as often as I used to. It’s quite
                                        ‘I still remember fondly a tour            Over the years, Sue has seen             nice to take on projects that I’m really
                                    we did in Africa,’ she says. ‘We took      dramatic changes in the theatre and          fascinated by, rather than needing to
                                    a show to villages where we just           performing arts funding landscape.           earn a living quite so much,’ she says.
                                    played in the dirt. In the middle of           ‘When I started, when I told people          Sue and fellow clown Deb Batton
                                    nowhere really, in the middle of rugby     I worked in the circus they’d say,           perform in their own double act
                                    fields, football fields – but it was a     “But what do you do for a living?”,’         Broadway and Batton, and host a
                                    really fantastic experience to be in        she recalls.                                show called The Classics at this year's
                                    that environment, doing a show for             ‘No one thought you could actually       Victorian Seniors Festival, which
                                    people who really appreciated it. And      make a living being an artist, it was just   features performers who are all aged
                                    appreciated the fact that we bothered      a joke really.                               over 50. The show is billed as ‘Funny,
                                    to go all that way to show them what           ‘There’s a much wider recreational       playful, and like good wine, vintage is
                                    we could do. I’ll never, never forget      use of circus and all of the performing      better!’
                                    that,’ Sue says.                           arts now at all kinds of community               ‘I’m not as agile as I used to be,’ Sue
                                        The circus was not such an unusual     events, which is great.                      says. ‘But I still love performing. It just
                                    choice for Sue – her mother was a              ‘We started Circus Oz because we         feels like coming home.’ ↩
                                    contortionist, acrobat and tap-dancer      could, because nobody else was doing
                                    – but, she did have a brief flirtation     it. And now you can go to university
                                    with the idea of being a serious actress   and study to be a circus performer, so         Read
                                    before the pull of the big top proved      the technical level of contemporary          More online. Read dentist Tony’s story
                                    too strong. ‘When I discovered the         circus has gone up enormously in the
                                    circus, and started performing, I felt     time that I’ve been doing it.’               and about The Classics
                                    like I had really found my genre. I            Circus Oz was very much a feminist
                                    have played around in that field ever      initiative, inspired by ideals of gender
                                    since; there’s something about the live    and racial equality and diversity, so Sue       Jobs Victoria has helped 1,089
                                    audience experience that I just can’t      is heartened by the rise of feminism.        seniors find a job. Learn more on
                                    get away from,’ Sue says.                      ‘I’ve seen an incremental change
                                                                               over my lifetime. Generally speaking,        or call 1300 208 575

Sue Broadway clowning around   10                                                                 11
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                   Walking football
                   is kicking goals

                   People from different cultures are bonding over soccer

The volunteer leaders of Whittlesea’s           ‘We thought that the Italians and        City Football Club’s community
Walking Football Program know they’re       Greeks would embrace the game, but           outreach program, City in the
succeeding when they have to remind         people from other communities also           Community Foundation. Whittlesea
their participants to slow down.            enjoy playing,’ Con says.                    U3A (University of the Third Age)
    Walking football is indoor soccer           ‘You see some people who were too        now runs the program, which means
for people aged over 50. It has modified    afraid to kick a ball three years ago –      participants can take advantage of their
rules to enable people who aren’t very      their progress and the increase in their     new U3A membership to participate in
active to be able to participate.           confidence is just incredible.’              other U3A activities.
    ‘The main differences are that you                                                       Con says walking football is the
aren’t allowed to run, which slows the      'When you have to tell                       most rewarding program he has been
game down, and you must keep the ball                                                    involved in establishing during the
low to the ground,’ says the program’s
                                            them to slow down,                           course of his career.
support coach, Con Constantinou.            you know fitness levels                          ‘The players absolutely love
    ‘Their pace has got a lot quicker and   have increased. It's                         coming,’ he says.
when you have to stop them and tell                                                          The promotion of the program to
them to slow down a bit, you know that      walking football - not                       leaders of Whittlesea’s 79 senior citizens
their fitness levels have increased. It’s   running footy!'                              clubs has been key to its success.
walking football – not running footy!’                                                       ‘We’d have the president or
    A committed group of older                  The female players fielded two           secretary come to the program, and the
Whittlesea residents from a range of        teams in one of the first walking football   following week they would bring five
cultural backgrounds has embraced           tournaments in 2017. Last year a ‘World      more people from their club,’ Con says.
the program.                                Cup’ was held in Melbourne and in May            ‘Then we found friends were
    Participants range in age from 50 to    this year, a ‘Friendship Tournament’.        bringing friends and neighbours were
84, with about a third being women.             ‘Their skill level had increased so      bringing neighbours and now we have
Most had never played soccer before,        much that they ended up playing against      between 30 and 40 people that come
coming from countries like Sri Lanka,       each other in the final,’ Con says.          every week.
Malaysia and China, where it is not a       ‘That made it very hard to coach!’               ‘It’s rare that someone comes and
common sport.                                   Initially, the City of Whittlesea ran    then says, “This isn’t for me.” The
                                            the program with the assistance of           majority that come usually stay.’ ↩
                                            younger volunteers from Melbourne

                                                               12                                                                     Proud walking footy members   13
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Commissioner Gerard Mansour with Melbourne Museum volunteer Linda McCarthy

       Preparation is key to
         positive ageing
    Ageing, like any journey, benefits from some preparation to maximise
                                the experience
Gerard Mansour regularly speaks                ‘It is often the best starting point.     Neighbourhood Houses, multicultural
to seniors throughout the state,           Another priority is proactively               groups and clubs, libraries, art and
spreading his message that people          managing health conditions like               craft events, sporting groups and the
can be proactive in their approach to      diabetes, because research tells us           list goes on.
ageing by ensuring they stay as healthy    that people who actively manage their              ‘I hear great stories of older
and active as possible, plan for their     conditions are better off.’                   people who give so much back to
future needs and call out unacceptable         International research also reveals       our community by, for example,
behaviour such as elder abuse.             the importance of staying as socially         volunteering or supporting local
    ‘One of my messages is to think        connected and active as possible, he says.    organisations or causes. Funnily
about all the little things we can do,         ‘It is so inspiring to hear the stories   enough, they often say they feel like
whether it’s finding a sport or activity   of older people who have decided to try       they get back more than they give!’
we love, or exploring healthier eating     new things and explore new interests.
options,’ says Gerard who was recently         ‘There are opportunities for senior       Ageing as a journey
reappointed Commissioner for Senior        Victorians to be socially connected in        On average, the community is living
Victorians.                                most local communities, from U3As,            longer and more healthily than ever
                                           to Men’s Sheds, Life Activity Clubs,          before.

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INFORMATION FEATURE                                                               ADVERTORIAL

    ‘We can look at ageing from multiple                                                     Clyde reached out for support.

dimensions: Have I got my powers of                                                      ‘I got a lot of help, I got in touch with
attorney? Am I in the right house? What                                                  the Caulfield Hospital and they sent

am I going to do when I start to come                                                    out a nurse every week to check on us.
to terms with the fact that I can't drive                                                I got a podiatrist, I got the person that
safely anymore?’ he says.                                                                did our hair to come to the house, I got
    ‘When the time comes, it’s                                                           a nutritionist who showed me how to
important not to delay getting                Clyde Woods thought he would no            puree her food and told me what she
support. The earlier we find out what         longer need his management skills          should eat.
is available, for example from the            after he retired from his senior role at       I loved Dawn. We had been together
Commonwealth aged care system via             Telecom. But when his wife began to        about 62 years. It broke my heart to see
MyAgedCare, the earlier we can obtain         show signs of dementia, his experience     what was going on, but I thought if I
assistance that helps us maintain our         in project management proved to be         break down what sort of a carer am I
independence for longer.’                     incredibly useful.                         going to be to her?’
                                                  Dawn had always been a vital,              Clyde nursed Dawn at home for
Your voice - trust your                       independent woman but, in her early        eight years, until she began to have
choice booklet                                80s, Clyde noticed she was becoming        falls and he was unable to get her up
There are excellent resources available       forgetful and losing interest in           by himself. Dawn passed away in a
to assist with planning, such as Your         activities she’d previously loved.         nursing home two years later, at the
voice – trust your choice. This free                                                     age of 90, with Clyde at her side.
booklet has answers to many practical                                                        Clyde is now travelling and taking
questions about an enduring power of                                                     a turn as president of his local Probus
attorney.                                                                                club and as a committee member
    ‘The Your voice – trust your                                                         of Rostrum. Despite the challenges
choice publication is popular because                                                    Dawn’s condition presented, he says
it was developed with the direct                                                         the experience was not all bad.
input and guidance from older people                                                         ‘All these problems were not as
themselves,’ Gerard says.                                                                important as the fact my wife was still
    The booklet, developed in                                                            with me. I could hold her hand, I could
partnership with the Office of the                                                       kiss her goodnight and I could hug her
Public Advocate, contains tips and                                                       in bed and she would snuggle up to me.
sample wording that can be included                                                          ‘The silver lining was, I had her
in an enduring power of attorney and                                                     with me.’ ↩
guidance about issues to consider
when thinking about who to trust to be
your enduring power of attorney.                                                           Download
    Elsewhere Gerard is enthusiastically                                                 Download Your voice – trust your choice
supporting Respect Victoria’s campaign                                                   at
                                              Dawn and Clyde Woods
against elder abuse, Call it Out.                                                        commissioner or call Victoria Legal Aid
    The campaign is valuable he says,             ‘I took her to the doctor and he       for a copy on (03) 9269 0223
because although many older people            asked her the simplest of questions,
have trusted family and friends around        like what day is it, what’s the date         Like Gerard’s Facebook page
them, others may sadly experience             today, and she had no idea. No idea.’
elder abuse.                                      After the doctor referred Dawn to      SeniorVicCommissioner
    ‘To prevent elder abuse, we need to       a specialist, Clyde did some research,
start by acknowledging that it exists,        talked to his wife about what was             Learn more about Respect
and ensure our community respects the         likely to happen and wrote up a list of    Victoria’s campaign
rights of older people to be treated with     everything he needed to put in place.
dignity,’ Gerard says.                            ‘I looked at the practicalities of
    ‘We can all take a little of the          what I had to do. I had a look at our         Watch
responsibility as a community; that's         will. Dawn was the executor of my will     Watch Clyde share how he and
what’s going to drive change and that's       so I had to change that, and I got our     beloved wife Dawn planned ahead
why this campaign can be so powerful.         powers of attorney up-to-date.’  
    ‘Let’s call it out – elder abuse is not       Once the specialist formally
OK. All older people have a right to be       diagnosed Dawn as having Alzheimer’s,
treated with respect.’                        the disease progressed quickly.

Seniors Card - INSIDE: Subscribe and WIN! Passion sparks environmental legacy Immune to retirement Close-knit friends Sudoku puzzle ...

                                                                                                                                            ‘I’ve often found nutrition advice           conscientious diet can bring multiple          But Dot doesn’t let her focus on
                                                                                                                                        to be quite confusing,’ admits Janet,            health benefits. Now in her early 70s,     calcium prevent her from getting her
                                                                                                                                        who works as a cancer nurse at Latrobe           ‘Dot’ has had long-running battles         fair share of protein and fibre.
                                                                                                                                        Regional Hospital. ‘But I’ve gradually           with osteoporosis, as well as dairy and        'Like my mother I don't have a
                                                                                                                                        come to realise that a steak isn’t a sin,        gluten intolerance.                        big appetite' says Dot. 'So I need to
                                                                                                                                        and I can have some nuts every day – as              ‘Ironically, my osteoporosis means     prioritise foods that provide the right
                                                                                                                                        long as I don’t eat the whole packet!’           I need more calcium, but I’m sensitive     nutrients. I've had a few friends
                                                                                                                                            These days, Janet makes an effort to         to dairy products so I buy goats’ cheese   who've started forgetting to eat as they
                                                                                                                                        eat at least two pieces of fruit and drink       and sheep’s milk cheese and yoghurt        get older and have had to go into care
                                                                                                                                        two litres of water every day, as well as        to make up for my lack of dairy,’ she      as a result. But that's not my plan!'↩
                                                                                                                                        avoiding processed foods.                        says. ‘My doctor prescribes me calcium
                                                                                                                                            ‘I try and have some red meat two            supplements, and I also eat a lot of
                                                                                                                                        or three times a week, with chicken              almonds – which I love – and salmon           Search
                                                                                                                                        or fish on the other days,’ she says.            and tofu, which also contain calcium.’     Search ‘food and your life stages’ on
                                                                                                                                        ‘I have a very sweet tooth, but these                Dot was diagnosed with        or find
                                                                                                                                        days I’ll try and limit it to two squares        osteoporosis back in 2003, but has         an accredited practising dietitian on
                                                                                                                                        of chocolate after dinner. It’s become           been able to increase her bone density
                                                                                                                                        a real treat, which I look forward to –          through her calcium regime and daily
                                                                                                                                        and most days I feel I deserve!’                 medication. ‘I also walk a lot and do        Visit
                                                                                                                                            Dorothy Bysouth is another                   Pilates every week, which really seems     recipes for a delicious fig, honey and
                                                                                                                                        senior who’s found that a ‘smart’,               to help,’ she says.                        custard tartlet recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                         Essential nutrients that help us age well*
Janet Tunks with some of her preferred foods
                                                                                                                                        Nutrient                                         Why we need it                             What provides it

                                                                                                                                        Protein                                          Maintain muscle mass and strength;         Red meats, poultry and fish; eggs,

                  Ladies who lunch
                                                                                                                                        to maintain your muscles                         repair cells in our organs, skin and       nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes and
                                                                                                                                                                                         brain; support an effective immune         lentils; dairy products.
                                                                                                                                                                                         system and wound repair.

                                                                                                                                        Calcium                                          Strengthen and build bones; prevent        Best source: Cow’s milk, yoghurt,
                                                                                                                                        to keep your bones strong                        osteoporosis; reduce the risk of heart     cheese and custard.
                                                                                                                                                                                         disease, stroke, high blood pressure       Other sources: Soy, rice and other
                                                                                                                                                                                         and some cancers.                          cereal drinks enriched with calcium;
                        A good diet as we age includes protein for muscles                                                                                                                                                          almonds with skin; canned sardines,
                              and calcium and Vitamin D for bones                                                                                                                                                                   salmon and firm tofu.

                                                                                                                                        Vitamin D                                        Strengthen bones; improve muscle           Sunlight; oily fish, liver, egg yolks;
There’s a common misconception that            treadly’ and travelling overseas with      eating across the five ‘core food groups’;    to keep you on your feet                         strength and function.                     products enriched with Vitamin D
as we age we need to eat less – to watch       husband Ray each year.                     and drinking plenty of water – needs                                                                                                      including some margarines and
our waistlines and cut our kilojoules.             The answer, says Janet, was not        further tweaks when we reach our 70s.                                                                                                     breakfast cereals.
In fact, most of the time, the opposite        focusing on kilojoules, as so much as          Then, in addition to these healthy
is true. What’s far more important             ‘establishing a routine around good        eating fundamentals, we need to start         Fibre and B-group vitamins                       Prevent constipation; reduce risk of       Fruits, vegetables, wholegrain bread,
is that we eat healthily – with a diet         foods’ – foods that would keep her         prioritising a new series of nutrients:       to keep your heart and gut healthy               heart disease and diabetes.                cereals, lentils, legumes, nuts and
focused on keeping us strong.                  muscles and bones strong, her gut          protein for our muscles, calcium and                                                                                                      seeds.
     Just ask Janet Tunks. Five years ago,     healthy and her mind agile.                Vitamin D for our bones, and fibre and                                                                                                    Some B-group vitamins are also
Janet inspired all of her friends when she         As dietary science progresses,         the B-group vitamins for our hearts                                                                                                       found in meat and dairy products.
lost significant weight so she could have      advice to seniors is being fine-tuned to   and guts.
a hip replacement. Today, at 60, with          reflect the latest wisdom on how our           Getting these nutrients from a            Fluids                                           Counter reduced thirst; prevent            6–8 cups of fluid daily, preferably
a new hip and a new outlook on life,           nutrition needs to change as we age.       variety of food and drinks is vital to help   to keep your body healthy                        constipation; improve physical and         tap water; milk, tea, coffee, juice
she’s a shining example of nourishing              In a nutshell, the focus of a good     us stay active and independent – and,                                                          mental performance.                        and hot chocolate.
foods and active living – walking 6 to 7       diet in our 50s and 60s on limiting        of course, ensures we enjoy all the social
kilometres every day, riding her ‘deadly       unhealthy fats, salt and added sugars;     benefits that come with good food.            * Unless otherwise specified by your general practitioner (GP)

                                                                  18                                                                                                                                        19

        Essential check-ups
            as you age
     Having regular health checks can help you can stay at the top of your
                       game, and catch problems early

Here are some of the things you should        you’ve had a stroke or have diabetes,            Women aged 50 to 74 are invited
consider talking to your general              high blood pressure or a neurological        for a free breast screen every two
practitioner (GP) about.                      condition. If you are over 65 you are        years through BreastScreen Victoria. If
                                              eligible for a Medicare rebate for an eye    you are over 74, you won’t receive an
Vaccinations                                  test every year.                             invitation but you are still eligible to
Immunisation is a safe and                        As well as measuring how well you        have a free breast screen.
scientifically proven way to protect          see, eye tests monitor eye health.               Breast screens can detect breast
yourself from diseases that can be                                                         cancer at an early stage, when you have
harmful – and even deadly – for older         Bowel cancer                                 no symptoms or a cancer may be too
people. Talk to your GP about what            If you’re aged 50 to 74, you will be sent    small to be felt by you or your doctor.
vaccines might be right for your health,      a bowel cancer screening test kit in the
age, lifestyle and occupation.                mail to do at home. It is free and easy      Prostate cancer
    Two vaccines in particular are            to do. The test checks for tiny traces of    Unlike bowel, cervical and breast
recommended for older people:                 blood in your bowel movements and it         cancer, there is no national screening
influenza (flu) and shingles.                 can detect early signs of bowel cancer.      program for prostate cancer. Not all
    You need to get a flu shot every              If diagnosed early, most bowel           men need to be tested for prostate
year, because different strains of the        cancers can be treated successfully.         cancer, and there are some limitations
virus are active each flu season. Flu         You can also talk to your GP about           of prostate cancer testing and
shots are free for people over 65.            bowel cancer screening.                      treatment that you should talk about
    Even if you’ve had shingles before,                                                    with your GP.
you should still have the shingles vaccine,   Cervical cancer                                  However, men with a family
which is free for people aged 70–79.          Cervical cancer is one of the most           history of prostate cancer, or with a
                                              preventable cancers. Routine cervical        previously elevated test result, may
Heart health                                  screening is your best protection.           wish to start two-yearly testing from
Heart attack is the biggest killer of men         If you are 25 to 74 years old, have      the age of 45.
and women in Australia, and it often          a cervix and have ever been sexually             The two most common tests for
strikes with no warning signs. As you         active, you should have a Cervical           prostate cancer are a digital rectal
get older, your risk of heart disease         Screening Test.                              examination (DRE) or a prostate-
increases. The risk is also higher for            In December 2017, the two-yearly         specific antigen (PSA) blood test – but
men, and for people with a family             pap test was replaced by the five-           neither is completely accurate.
history of heart disease.                     yearly Cervical Screening Test. Your             If a DRE or PSA test is abnormal,
    When you talk to your GP about            first cervical screening test is due two     you might need to have a biopsy to
heart health, some of the tests they          years after your last pap test. After        determine whether cancer is present.
might recommend include a blood               that, you will only need to have the test
pressure test, a coronary angiogram or        every five years if your result is normal.
an electrocardiogram (ECG).                       Contact your healthcare provider to         Information
                                              book an appointment.                         Head to the Better Health Channel to find
Eye checks                                                                                 out more
As you get older, you need to get your        Breast cancer
eyes checked more regularly.                  Breast cancer affects one in eight              You can book a breastscreening
    Optometrists recommend being              women in Victoria. It can occur at any       appointment online at
tested at least every two years. You          age, but it is most common in women
may need to be tested more often if           over 60.                                     or call 13 20 50


                                                                                                                                      Tanya, who for the past 11 years has             ‘We all know that getting outdoors          ‘People are always saying to us,
                                                                                                                                      been working at Parks Victoria, which        is good for us, but we’re also aware       “you’re so fit and healthy, how do you
                                                                                                                                      has pioneered several imaginative            that many seniors aren’t comfortable       do it?”, but for us it’s a no-brainer,’
                                                                                                                                      programs to make our parks more              heading off on their own,’ says Shauna     says Gerry. ‘Working as a nurse I see
                                                                                                                                      accessible for older Victorians.             Jones, Parks Victoria’s Manager of         all the time what happens if you don’t
                                                                                                                                          In recent years, Parks Victoria has      Health and Community Activation.           stay active. I try and do yoga, gym,
                                                                                                                                      developed a range of guided tours and        ‘It’s important that people step into      cycling and walking every week. I
                                                                                                                                      ‘welcome walks’ for people, including        nature at the right level and slowly       think a good variety of exercise is
                                                                                                                                      less active seniors, who want to broaden     build their confidence and fitness to      important for strength and balance.
                                                                                                                                      their natural horizons. It has also          take on bigger challenges.                 That’s my recipe for a long life!’
                                                                                                                                      developed some great innovations for             ‘Our welcome walks provide a safe           ‘One of the things I love about
                                                                                                                                      people who can struggle to access more       and enjoyable introduction for all ages.   hiking is that it gets me away from
                                                                                                                                      remote locations – including all-terrain     On one recent walk in Lysterfield Park,    all the chatter, the traffic, the social
                                                                                                                                      wheelchairs and ‘Sherpa volunteers’          with members of the Southern Migrant       media,’ adds Geoff. ‘I think it’s really
                                                                                                                                      in the Grampians and Dandenongs; an          and Refugee Centre, we had five ladies     good to spend some time in nature
                                                                                                                                      accessible canoe ramp in Mildura; and        over 90!’                                  with your own thoughts. For me,
                                                                                                                                      a hoist to get wheelchairs into boats at         Back in Alexandra, it’s easy to        nature really is the best medicine!’ ↩
                                                                                                                                      Patterson River.                             imagine Geoff and Gerry McClure
                                                                                                                                          In the past year, Parks Victoria staff   hiking into their 90s. As they gear up
                                                                                                                                      have run more than 100 guided nature         for their 70th birthdays, neither shows       Information
                                                                                                                                      walks for seniors from Melbourne and         any sign of slowing down – with twice-     For information on nearby parks, visitor
                                                                                                                                      across Victoria, including in Lysterfield    weekly bush walks; regular fishing         guides, access and inclusion details,
                                                                                                                                      Park, Brimbank Park, the Grampians,          excursions for Geoff; and yoga, gym and    and welcome walks visit
                                                                                                                                      and parks around Bendigo and                 cycling all on the agenda for Gerry. or call 13 19 63

Passionate explorers Geoff and Gerry McClure

           Simple path
      to a healthier horizon
                 Getting out in nature is a great way to ‘grow’ your health

Looking through Geoff and Gerry                    The short answer is no – especially     parks on our doorstep,’ says Gerry.
McClure’s photo albums is like flicking        now that Geoff has retired from             ‘Plus having a husband who’s worked
through a rack of brochures in a               his job at Victoria’s Department            for more than 40 years in wildlife
particularly adventurous travel agency.        of Environment, Land, Water and             management – it’s like having my own
There’s Gerry hiking the Camino Trail          Planning, and Gerry has reduced her         wilderness guide!’
in Spain; Geoff standing on top of             hours as a nurse at Alexandra Hospital.         In fact, Geoff’s outdoors expertise
Mount Kilimanjaro; and surrounded by           If anything, on the eve of their 70th       has helped countless seniors to
prayer flags at Everest Base Camp. Here        birthdays, the McClures have become         discover the parks of northern Victoria.
are the couple dwarfed by Argentina’s          even more intrepid.                         As well as sharing his knowledge with
Iguazú Falls; on a month-long trek                 Their passion for an Indiana            other hikers in his community, he’s
through the Yukon and Alaska; and              Jones-lifestyle, it seems, was born         been approached by organised walking
jumping out of a rubber dinghy onto            much closer to home – in the parks of       groups for advice on the Cathedral
an ice shelf in Iceland. Does this couple      northern Victoria.                          Ranges and Rubicon Valley.
ever slow down?                                    ‘Living in Alexandra, we’ve been            The McClures’ love of parks has                                                                                       1800 88 22 22
                                               spoiled for choice with all the beautiful   also rubbed off on their daughter,

     The volunteer service
     that gives Melbourne
       visitors a leg-up
  The caring staff and volunteers of the Travellers Aid Companion Service
 have been helping Victorians with mobility issues for more than 100 years

Shirley Perkins is a frequent rail         lounges at Southern Cross and Flinders          ‘If I need to get medication or have
traveller for all the wrong reasons. For   Street railway stations, a regional         another test, they’re always there,
the past year, she’s been travelling to    service at Seymour, and a buggy service     never complaining – always so patient
Melbourne almost weekly from her           during major events at the MCG.             and kind.
home in Kilmore to attend medical              Shirley Perkins has made so many            ‘I broke my ankle about a year and
appointments – for Crohn’s disease,        trips with the Companion Service, she       a half ago, and I find it very difficult
kidney problems, and most recently,        now considers herself part of the family.   getting on and off trains and trams.
treatment for a brain tumour. Due                                                      Sometimes, when it’s bad, I have to use
to long-term complications from a                                                      my walking frame. But they’re always
broken ankle, she’s also forced to walk                                                there to help me.
with a stick or walking frame.                                                             ‘I was just telling the senior sister
    So it’s a source of some surprise                                                  at Kilmore Hospital that they also
to find 69-year old Shirley eagerly                                                    run a service out of Seymour, and
looking forward to her next train ride.                                                will pick you up from your station on
    ‘At the moment I have to take                                                      that line – which is my line! So I’m
an ambulance to Melbourne for my                                                       looking forward to finishing with the
radiation treatment,” says Shirley.                                                    ambulance service shortly, and getting
“But I don’t want Kilmore Hospital                                                     back onto the train as soon as possible.’
to keep using the ambulance for me.                                                        Travellers Aid Australia’s
Besides, I can get around the city very                                                Companion Service is available free
easily with my volunteers.’                                                            to anyone from regional Victoria
    Shirley’s volunteers are a dedicated                                               who requires assistance to reach an
group of 20 community-spirited                                                         appointment or event in Melbourne.
helpers who run the Travellers Aid                                                     The service is available from 9 am to 5
Companion Service – a hands-on                                                         pm, Monday to Friday, and bookings
support service that enables people with   Volunteers Lee and Cheryl                   must be received at least three business      is free   takes about         no need               female       available near you
mobility issues to travel independently        ‘The volunteers are all so lovely and   days in advance.
                                                                                                                                                 10 mins     for doctor’s referral   radiographers   throughout Victoria
into and around Melbourne.                 caring,’ she says. ‘If they see my name
    Since it was launched in 2014, the     on the roster, they’ll make a point of
Companion Service has provided more        putting their name down to come and            Information
than 2,500 free journeys – principally     look after me again.’                       For bookings or more information,
for people attending medical                   As they have done in the past, the      please visit,
appointments, but also for those           volunteers will meet Shirley off her        email
visiting sports events, family reunions,   train at Southern Cross, take her to the    or call 1300 700 399
or other social occasions.                 lounge if she needs to use the toilet,
    Travellers Aid Australia was started   and then accompany her by train or             If you would like to volunteer, please
by a group of YWCA volunteers during       tram to whichever hospital or clinic        contact
the First World War and has grown into     she has to visit that day. Then they’ll     or register your interest on the Travellers
a vibrant support network – providing      wait for her and take her back to her       Aid website                                                                                                      Interpreters
buggies, mobility equipment and            homebound train.                                                                                                                                             available 13 14 50


                                                                                                 On the road in Victoria
                                                                                                  with James Blundell
                                                                                                           An Australian country music icon retraces his journey from
                                                                                                            Tamworth to Victoria – and revels in his senior audiences

                                                                                             The January day this year that James           than playing ’til midnight!                  a Sydney bar owner, who told him if
                                                                                             Blundell was inducted into the                     ‘I really love these audiences, and      his patrons liked his music he could
                                                                                             Australian Country Music Hall of Fame          I’m not just saying that. This festival is   come back the next day. ‘I played to
                                                                                             began like any other. The 54-year-old          one of the highlights of my year.’           three drunks and a dog,’ he says. ‘But

                                          Get into it!                                       troubadour woke at 5am in Tamworth,
                                                                                             where he’d played until 11 pm the night
                                                                                             before; flew to Sydney and then
                                                                                                                                                These days, James’ years are mighty
                                                                                                                                            full. When he’s not touring the country
                                                                                                                                            or recording in the studio, he’s got his
                                                                                                                                                                                         one guy staying in the pub heard me
                                                                                                                                                                                         playing a couple of my own songs, and
                                                                                                                                                                                         he gave me an ad from the paper for
                                                                                             Brisbane, played another gig; then             hands full at the livestock farm he runs     the Star Maker Quest.’
                                                                                             jumped back onto a plane to Tamworth           near Stanthorpe, three-and-a-half                That was in 1987, when James
                                                                                             to receive country music’s highest             hours southwest of Brisbane. Although        famously went on to win the Tamworth
                                                                                             honour.                                        he’s travelled the world, James takes        talent show. The next year, he followed
                                                                                                 ‘I arrived 20 minutes before I had         great pride in the fact that he ‘always      up with the first of 10 Golden Guitar
                                                                                             to go on stage,’ he recalls. ‘The award’s      comes back’ to this little corner of         Awards.
                                                                                             a closely guarded secret, so I think my        Queensland.                                      It was something of a homecoming
                                                                                             schedule caused a bit of a fuss. When                                                       in January this year, when he stepped
                                                                                             they heard I was playing in Brisbane,                                                       onto the Tamworth stage to receive
                                                                                             they ordered me a charter plane to make                                                     Australia’s highest country music
                                                                                             sure I got there on time – it turned into                                                   honour.
                                                                                             quite a mission!’                                                                               ‘Of all the awards, this was the
                                                                                                 When James takes to the stages of                                                       one that made me realise just how
                                                                                             regional Victoria this October, he’ll be                                                    much has happened over the past 32
                                                                                             moving at a much more sedate pace.                                                          years – and how fortunate I’ve been
                                                                                             He’ll be accompanied by his 20-year-                                                        to have worked with some of the best
                                                                                             old son, Briar, who’s an accomplished                                                       musicians in the world. When I got
                                                                                             guitarist in his own right. ‘Briar loves the                                                my first contract from EMI for three
                                                                                             seniors runs,’ says James, ‘because the                                                     albums, I thought: how am I possibly

  There’s much to see and experience                                                         audiences are always so appreciative.’
                                                                                                 This will be James Blundell’s third
                                                                                                                                                                                         going to write that much? But now
                                                                                                                                                                                         here I am working on my 14th album.

          at this year’s festival
                                                                                             outing at the Victorian Seniors Festival,                                                       ‘As John Lennon said, “Life is what
                                                                                             and he says he’ll keep coming back                                                          happens while you’re busy making
                                                                                             as long as we keep inviting him. The                                                        other plans”!’ ↩
                                                                                             legendary crooner – whose anthems
                                                                                             like ‘This Road’ and ‘Way Out West’
                                                                                                                                            James Blundell
As Seniors Card holders, you’ll also enjoy free                                              are carved into our country lore – says                                                       Information
                                                     Information                             senior Australians are not only easier             ‘I went to boarding schools in           James Blundell at the 2019 Victorian
public transport from 6–13 October                Pick up a Festival program at a local      audiences; they’re his audiences.              Toowoomba and the Gold Coast, and            Seniors Festival:
                                                  Coles store, neighbourhood house,              ‘Older people come from a time             I was sure my life would be all about        St Arnaud         Tuesday 8 October
                                                  library, council or visit the online       when we just had music and movies, so          cattle and livestock,’ he says. ‘But when    Horsham           Wednesday 9 October
                                                  calendar at                                they’re much more receptive and less           I was 21, I got run over by a bull in PNG,   Castlemaine       Friday 11 October
                                              demanding than younger audiences.              and while I was recuperating in hospital     Colac		           Monday 14 October
                                                  You can also call 1300 797 210 to have a   Plus we get to play in the middle of the       in Sydney my guitar saved me.’               Camperdown        Tuesday 15 October
                                                  program sent to you                        day – which is so much more enjoyable              James recalls a conversation with        Casterton         Wednesday 16 October

                                     26                                                                                                                        27

                                                                                                                                 bad arthritis and it stimulates the         positively it seems to impact people,’
                                                                                                                                 blood flow and helps to ease the pain.      says Annie. ‘Over the years, we’ve had         Information
                                                                                                                                 Plus our group is very sociable and         people join us who suffer anxiety or        Drum Connection’s Festival workshop is
                                                                                                                                 we’ve become good friends – which is        are recovering from illness or going        at Allwood Neighbourhood House at
                                                                                                                                 another aspect we both love.’               through another transition. One lady        12 noon on Friday 18 October. Drums
                                                                                                                                     Alf, Carole and others from Drum        started drumming after chemotherapy         will be supplied. Bookings open on
                                                                                                                                 Connection Seniors will perform at          treatment and said it gave her back her     1 October and are essential by emailing
                                                                                                                                 Allwood House after a ‘come and             “pre-chemo brain”. It’s stimulating and
                                                                                                                                 try workshop’ during the Victorian          meditative, and a great stress-buster.
                                                                                                                                 Seniors Festival. They’re well              Plus of course, it’s immensely sociable.’   The workshop will be followed by a light
                                                                                                                                 qualified as drumming ambassadors,              Annie has developed strong              lunch and a performance by the Drum
                                                                                                                                 with regular performances at the            bonds with many of her students and         Connection Seniors at 2.15 pm
                                                                                                                                 Hurstbridge Wattle Festival and             celebrates their achievements and
                                                                                                                                 Summer Soirée; lively ‘flash mobs’ at       milestones with individual ‘badges’.          Read
                                                                                                                                 local shopping centres; outings to the          Two years ago, she delivered her        Browse the Festival calendar and read
                                                                                                                                 Estia Health retirement home; and           first ‘octogenarian badge’ to Alf Adins.    about The Classics, other events like
                                                                                                                                 even the occasional performance with        But she knows he won’t be the last.         Music to play to plants and this year's
                                                                                                                                 four members who double as limber           ‘Interest in drumming is growing            Festival faces at
                                                                                                                                 belly dancers.                              rapidly, and our seniors’ cohort  
                                                                                                                                     Drum Connection is led by Annie         continues to grow with it,’ says Annie.
                                                                                                                                 Fletcher, a high school teacher and         ‘With role models like Alf around, the
                                                                                                                                 African music aficionado, who says          word is out that this is a fun hobby
                                                                                                                                 she’s seen group drumming bring             which is also super-healthy – and
                                                                                                                                 enjoyment and fulfilment into               which people can keep doing long into
                                                                                                                                 hundreds of older people’s lives.           their senior years.’ ↩
                                                                                                                                     ‘It constantly amazes me how
Alf and Carole Adins with their drums

                 African drums hit                                                                                                                                                                                             The abuse of
                  the right notes                                                                                                                                                                                              older people is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               hard to talk about.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Often, it’s committed by a family member.
                    A harmonious group of Melbourne seniors are proving                                                                                                                                                        It could be a daughter, a son, or a loved one.

                              you can grow groovier with age                                                                                                                                                                   Too many older people suffer in silence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Elder abuse is a form of family violence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and it is unacceptable.

Imagine if you could get together with      drumming – a pastime he took up eight     wellbeing. ‘As well as the steady                                                                                                        What starts out small doesn’t always stay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               that way. Elder abuse is hard to picture,
a great group of people every Friday        years ago, at the tender age of 74.       exercise, playing drums definitely                                                                                                       but it happens every day.
afternoon, relax, play some music, enjoy        Alf and his wife, Carole, are among   helps my memory,’ Alf says. ‘If you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               For further information and for independent
some lively conversation, and leave with    several long-standing members of          play the same rhythm several times,                                                                                                      advice, contact:
your blood pressure lower, your arthritis   Drum Connection Seniors – a uniquely      it goes into your muscle memory and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Seniors Rights Victoria – 1300 368 821
eased, your memory improved, and a          ‘hands on’ drumming collective that       your body remembers it instinctively                                                                                                     1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732
general feeling of happiness and peace      runs workshops for students of all        the next time you hear it. You may not                                                                                                   Men’s Referral Service – 1300 766 491
with the world. Wouldn’t you want to        abilities in the peaceful surrounds of    play something for two or three years,                                                                                                   If you are concerned for your immediate
keep coming back, week after week,          Hurstbridge’s Allwood House. The          but when the beat begins it all comes                                                                                                    safety or that of someone else, please
month after month, for as long as the       daytime workshops have gained a           back to you.’                                                                                                                            contact the police in your state or territory or
good vibes lasted?                          particularly dedicated following among        For Carole, 75, there are more                                                                                                       call Triple Zero (000) for emergency services.
     ‘There’s really nothing quite like     local seniors, who find that drumming     tangible physical benefits. ‘Hitting the                                                                                                 For more information, please visit
it,’ says Alf Adins, who swears by          offers an enriching combination           drums helps me with the circulation                                                                                            
the therapeutic benefits of African         of social connection and physical         in my hands,’ she says. ‘I’ve had quite

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