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New report outlines residential aged care funding reform options

The release of a new report into aged care funding highlights a range of options to modify Australia’s residential care funding instrument.   
 
Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) would inform the Turnbull Government’s continuing aged care reforms.
 
“We are determined to put residential care funding on a more consistent, sustainable and equitable footing,” said Minister Wyatt.
 
“The Commonwealth currently contributes a record $18.6 billion per year to aged care and by 2020-21 this is expected to reach more than $22 billion.
 
“We are committed to a system centred on safe, quality care for our older Australians, while ensuring expenditure is affordable for consumers and sustainable for taxpayers.” 
 
The report, prepared by Applied Aged Care Solutions, undertook a comprehensive review of ACFI, focusing on ways to improve the current tool, including adapting it for external assessments of funding needs and updating it to bring it into line with current care practices.
 
“We welcome the new report on residential aged care funding reform, which adds to the options provided in a recent University of Wollongong report,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
The Government-commissioned study was released in April this year, outlining a variety of potential new funding models and tools for the aged care sector. 
 
Minister Wyatt said no decisions had been made, with the next step in the long-term reform process a Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, now underway at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute.
 
This study is investigating the drivers of residential care costs, according to location and the varying needs of individuals in care.
 
“We will continue to monitor use of the existing Aged Care Funding Instrument to ensure expenditure remains under control, while maintaining quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We are equally committed to continue working with the community and the aged care sector to get these reforms right.”
 
The report is available on the Department of Health’s website.
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Victorian seniors to travel free during seniors week

Victorian Seniors Card holders can enjoy complimentary travel from October 8 to 15 as part of the 35th Victorian Seniors Festival.

This is the first year where the eight days of free public transport has been extended to V/Line travel, in addition to all other metropolitan and regional services.

The free travel applies to Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses and regional trains, coaches and buses.

Seniors will need to carry their Seniors myki and Victorian Seniors Card with them and touch on and off as usual.

Seniors will not be charged during the eight days of free public transport.

About 140000 older Victorians are expected to attend the 1500 events and activities, which will be statewide for seniors to enjoy with family and friends.

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Thousands of seniors get back pension card in Federal backflip.

About 92,000 part-rate pensioners lost access to the card in January, which helps with some living costs, as the Federal Government slashed pensions for moderately well-heeled retirees.

But those who were booted off the age pension on January 1 will get a new Pension Concession Card in the next two weeks.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the change would hand back access to a range of State, local government and private sector discounts.

“The January reforms to the assets test were a crucial step in ensuring that our pension system remains sustainable and affordable for future generations,” Mr Porter said.
“In reinstating the PCC, the Turnbull Government is ensuring that these 90,000 former part-pensioners will be able to access those benefits again.”

Part-pensioners were the biggest losers from the assets test changes, which some labelled a “wealth tax” on ordinary retirees.

The decision in the May Budget to reinstate the Pension Concession Card goes a small way to compensating them.

At the time, shadow social services minister Jenny Macklin called the $3 million move an “embarrassing backflip”.

The Department of Human Services will automatically reissue the new cards, meaning those who lost access in January do not need to act to receive theirs.

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As Australia heads to a survey on Equality...

The marriage Equality debate has ignited in Australia as the country lags behind the rest of the western world in making equality happen. The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The normally flamboyant and over the top LGBTQI community (think glitter and marching groups) are being incredibly more sophisticated and grown up than the so called "Australian Christian Lobby" who are acting NOTHING like Christians.

It gives you hope that a cohesive and united Australia is how we work best.

When fringe elements from any side get a hold of an issue - it always turns ridiculous and turns people off... so why bring it up? Because it takes the middle folk - us - so called "normal" people to want to make the difference. We can't rely on politicians to do the job (thus the postal "survey") and these ads are just highlighting the ridiculousness of the argument that some are putting forward. It's hard to believe an ad from the ACL that includes "actors" - sorry - talking heads, that are paid employees of the company that produced the advert. We - the masses - need to actually stand up and say something - it may not affect us directly, but somewhere down the line it does. We can't be complacent. We can't think our elected officials would do it anymore - we need to actually get up and go and help someone who needs our help.

A large group of conservative politicians are voting Yes, and have formed a "group" to show their support of equality. Lead by the president of the Federal Liberal party no less. The Prime Minister is in favour, the only hold out is EX Prime Minister and the member for Warringah, Tony Abbott - who's personal views outshine his constituents. So he is going to vote against the wishes of his electorate.... that's just what you need in a politician - a self-serving, self-appointed, view in the parliament. 

You might think us biased... well, kinda - we do think ALL Australians should be treated equally. So yes, in that way we are...  as the anthem says - For we are young and free...

We also take issue with the fact we are spending a HUGE amount of money on a survey, when it was Prime Minister John Howard's government that actually changed the Marriage Act to EXCLUDE same sex couples only a few years ago...  and they did it without an expensive survey or asking fellow Australians to judge other Australians... 

It's time to just get on with it, change it BACK and make ALL Australian's equal. It's not going to hurt anyone - it's not going to impede on religious freedom and all it will do is strengthen our democracy.

We - along with 89% of our readers (from a recent survey) - will be voting YES to equality.

 

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$3.7m in additional support to improve indigenous aged care services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in aged care in regional, rural and remote communities will benefit from more than $3.7 million in one-off grants. 
 
The grants, in response to funding applications, are provided to aged care services across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  
 
Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the grants, under the Australian Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP), were in addition to the $33.5 million the program provides annually for service delivery.
 
“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program is designed specifically to improve services to elderly indigenous people, mainly in remote locations,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“These grants will provide practical assistance to 18 aged care providers to improve the lives of their elderly care residents.
 
“They will ensure that buildings are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural activities, customs, ceremonies and family visits.” 
 
The grants also give providers an opportunity to refurbish or upgrade living spaces for clients or staff, buy a range of necessary equipment for kitchens or laundries, and to fulfil medical or security requirements.
 
“The Government’s reform vision is to deliver integrated aged care services not only to major centres, but also to small regional and remote communities,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We want aged care that is flexible, non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate, no matter where people live, and inclusive of elderly Indigenous Australians who are among our most vulnerable citizens.” 
 
Recipients of NATSIFACP funding include:
  • Wami Kata Old Folks Home Inc. Port Augusta
  • Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Ngaanyatjarra Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Pintupi Homelands 2016-17
  • Calvary Community Care, Bathurst Island
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Council
  • Injilinji Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corp for Children & Youth Aboriginal Community Elders Service Inc. Brunswick
  • Uniting Church Homes Guwardi Ngadu Frail Aged Hostel Fitzroy Crossing Mabuji Aboriginal Resource Aboriginal Corporation Borroloola
  • Tullawon Health Service Inc Yalata.
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Daniel Craig Is Reportedly Returning as James Bond

Daniel Craig is all set to reprise his role as the iconic James Bond in Bond 25 after reportedly reaching a deal with producer Barbara Broccoli. Rumors have been swirling about Craig's return for a fifth movie even after he stated that he'd "slash his wrists" than do another Bond movie after the release of 2015's Spectre. It has previously been reported that the James Bond franchise is close to closing a deal to shoot the next movie in Croatia, which would make the news of Craig's return make much more sense.


The news comes after rumors were circulating about new actors stepping into the Bond role to replace Daniel Craig. Many names were brought up including Idris Elba (The Dark Tower, Avengers: Age of Ultron), who in a hacked Sony email was said to be a top choice with Steven Spielberg even declared that Elba would be his "first choice" in an interview. Tom Hardy (Mad Max, The Dark Knight Rises) has also been rumored to be on the shortlist alongside director Christopher Nolan. Damian Lewis, Aiden Turner, and James Norton are also names that have been rumored to replace Craig as James Bond, but it appears that it is not time to pick a new Bond quite yet.

The news comes via the U.K.'s The Mirror who reports that Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli have reached and that the movie may start filming next year for a 2019 release. The source even went on to say that Craig's wife Rachel Weisz is "on board with the decision" for him to spend a year away filming Bond 25. The Mirror's source appears to be anonymous, so we should take this news with a grain of salt as you would anything that comes from an anonymous source. The source is also claiming that Adele is being courted for a return to the Bond theme as well, which could very well ring true as the singer has informally announced her retirement from the stage. The source had this to say.

"Craig and Adele together are a winning team, the ultimate choice, the money spinners. It's taken time, but Daniel has come round and the strong con-sensus (sic) in the Bond offices is that Mr. Craig is 007 again. As for Adele, she's more of an unknown quantity but loved being a part of Bond, so the signs are positive."
It would make perfect sense for Daniel Craig to return for Bond 25 as Spectre left James Bond ready (in an unorthodox way) for the next movie. Plus Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are back to write Bond 25, which would also make a lot of sense for the return of Craig. In addition, Craig has stated before that he would return if the money were right and it is rumored that he is still under contract for Bond 25, so maybe this was all just a hold out for more money in a really long contract dispute.

The news of the return of Daniel Craig and Adele is still speculation at this point. No official word has come from Broccoli or Craig's camps nor has there been a studio announced to take over financial backing, though Warner Bros. is strongly rumored to be close to a deal through Christopher Nolan's Syncopy involved. There's a lot up in the air at this point, but if the speculation is correct, we could see James Bond 25 as soon as 2019 with Daniel Craig back as 007 one last time.

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15 Habits of People with concealed Depression

Depression is a very serious mental illness that often goes unnoticed for years. People with concealed depression are battling demons within themselves all on their own. They are not sharing their struggles and do not want to burden those around them.

You see, for most people wounds are not something we are open about. We tend to bottle things up and attempt to remedy them on our own. If you are reading this then you must know someone who you feel you need to better understand or you relate to this yourself. The following 15 habits are some of the most common I have noticed in people dealing with concealed depression.

1. The are often quite talented and very expressive.

Alot of famous people have suffered from mental illnesses, and this suffering gives them deeper emotions. If you really think about it, this is in some form a source to their greatness. While we cannot always see it, their struggles are often reflected in their works. These people are able to bring something beautiful out of the darkness that consumes them.
 

2. They tend to search for purpose.

We all need a purpose in this life. We want to be sure that we are in some form doing meaningful things. People suffering from hidden depression are not exempt from this. They too want to know the reason for their existence. They are much more susceptible to feeling things like inadequacy and anxiety which leaves them searching for something they can never seem to achieve in their own minds.

 

3. Sometimes they make muted cries for help.

Sometimes we all need help. When we are not expecting someone to feel weak or to be down in the dumps, we don’t see their cries for help. However, if you notice their cries and can help them in any way, you are creating a very close and trust filled bond with them.

 

4. They interpret substances differently.

Someone who is dealing with depression usually knows what it is they can take to ease their pain in a sense. They know that caffeine and sugar will raise their mood and that some medicines can help them. They actually have to put a lot of effort into feeling better, unlike most people. It is not as simple as taking a Tylenol when you have a headache.

 

5. They often have a very involved perception of life and death.

People suffering from depression often face their own mortality in moments of despair and seek answers to life’s deepest questions. They tend to shift from one terrible mindset into another. Sure, not all depressed people deal with suicidal thoughts, but some do.

 

6. They have strange eating habits.

People with depression may not be able to eat much or at all when they are at their worst. That being said some of them may eat more when at their worst. It varies from person to person.

 

7. They have abnormal sleeping habits.

People with depression will often sleep for what seems like or may literally be days. Sleep at times can be impossible while other times could be the only thing left that the person can do. When a person is depressed they are dealing with a state of helplessness that will rock their world.

 

8. They have abandonment issues usually.

If you have dealt with abandonment then you know how terrible it can be. When someone walks out of your life it can be a devastating, but this impacts those with depression much more than other people. It causes them to be more and more secretive about their feelings and creates a fear within them of being abandoned by their loved ones.

 

9. They are professionals at coming up with ‘cover-up’ stories.

They are able to come up with believable elaborate excuses for the things they are going through. Like if they skip an appointment or don’t return your calls for days. They can easily change the subject when things like this come up and turn the attention away from their pain.

 

10. They might have habitual remedies.

There are several different lifestyle changes a person can make as an attempt to ease their minds. For instance, these people may do things like exercise, listen to music, go walking, and so forth.

 

11. They are aways making efforts to seem happy.

People suffering from depression learn to fake moods. They will often come off as happy and normal on the outside. When they let their inner struggles appear on the outside they feel as if they are bringing others down.

 

12. They seek love and acceptance.

People with hidden depression are not hiding their depression because they want to be dishonest, they are just working to protect their hearts. These people want to be loved and accepted just like everyone else.

 

13. They have trouble shutting off their brains.

These people process everything going on in their lives at a fast speed. They over analyze the good and the bad making everything impact them much deeper. Their brains are like sponges absorbing everything that comes their way.

 

14. They hurt when other people hurt.

When other people are suffering it brings them down to their worst points. This sort of thing often triggers their emotional pain and can be crippling.

 

15. They always think of the worst-case scenarios.

While this is very stressful it can be beneficial from time to time. A high intelligence seems to be linked with depression, and they are able to respond to anything that comes their way. This makes them good problem solvers for the most part.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from concealed depression either get help or offer a helping hand. Fighting this alone is not easy or productive. The world can be a wonderful place if you get the help you need nothing can stand in your way. You are not a burden to others and the people who love and care about you want to help you, let them.

 

If you have any issues or know someone who needs a helping hand - you can reach out to Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636

www.beyondblue.org.au

 

h/t AwarenessAct

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Have you checked your medicine cabinet?

Return Unwanted Medicines has launched a new awareness campaign that explains the dangers of keeping expired and unwanted medicine in the home and explains how people should to dispose of medicines responsibly.

It is recommended for older Australians who may have a stocked medicine cabinet that might not be aware of any expiry dates on their medicines.


It is estimated that there are millions of medicines sitting in Australian homes – either out-of-date or no longer needed. These quantities of medicines pose a huge danger of accidental poisonings and medication mismanagement.


Most accidental poisonings occur in children younger than five years old, with children aged one to three years being at the greatest risk, but it is well worth check your medicines for your own safety as well.


Return Unwanted Medicines - or the RUM Project - is a Federal Government-funded initiative that provides all Australians with a free and convenient way to dispose of expired and unwanted household medicines.

Anyone can return their medicines to any community pharmacy at any time, for safe collection and disposal.


A recent Griffith University study of over 4,300 Australians* found more than 80% of people are completely unware of the RUM Project and do not know how to dispose of unwanted medicines safely and appropriately.


“Last year alone, over 700 tonnes of medicines were collected and safely disposed of by the RUM Project, preventing it from ending up in waterways or landfill. If that’s only medicines collected from around 20% of the population, imagine how many more are hiding in bathroom cabinets and kitchen drawers across the country,” said Toni Riley, Project Manager, RUM, and community pharmacist.


The Griffith University study also revealed that most respondents (67%) said they disposed of unwanted medicines with the usual household garbage; followed by being poured down the drain or toilet (23.3%) and less than a quarter (23%) actually disposed of their medication by returning it to a pharmacy.


“By following three simple steps of READ, REMOVE & RETURN, Australians can minimise the risk of unintended poisonings and medication mix-ups, and do their bit to protect the environment,” continued Ms Riley.


Return Unwanted Medicines is urging Australians to follow 3 simple steps to a safer home and cleaner environment:


For more information on Return Unwanted Medicines, visit returnmed.com.au or talk to your local pharmacist.

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