September 27 - October 10, 2020: Issue 468

Michael Mannington OAM

It seems the dill who runs this News Service forgot one of her best mates last Issue in the wonderful Michael Mannington, famous for smiling in delight when out on the estuary photographing Woody Point Boaties and remarking to the dill; ''Here are again, pretending to be working...''

Congratulations Michael - a wonderful recognition of an exceptional gentleman held in high esteem by many of us for too many reasons to list here.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our community. There's a good bottle of red waiting for you for when we next catch up.

With Love,
The Dill.

Photo of Michael and Pam Mannington with Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC Governor of New South Wales and Vincent De Luca OAM.

AVPALS Online seminars

Avpals are pleased to announce the development of our online training programs. These commenced in April 2020. A variety of subjects are covered and are entirely free.  Visit:

Seminars Online 2020

8 September 1:30pm Paul Purvis Creating a Blog for those that don't know what a blog is

15 September 1:30pm Saskia Zaitzieff Have some fun with Google Lens

22 September 1:30pm Peter Marshall Ten top tips to make your iPhone terrific

29 September 1:30pm Annette Fordham More tricks from Mrs Google - speak and be heard on Docs and create a spreadsheet on Sheets

6 October 1:30pm Leigh Haines Tips and tricks to use in searching for ancestors within Australian birth, marriage and death registries. Australian BMD Registries hold records of every registration of these life events since 1788.

6 October 2:30pm Leigh Haines Learn how to unlock the power of Trove Newspaper Advanced search to build your family history. Explore millions of digitised pages from more than 1,000 Australian newspapers and government gazettes.

Most courses run for 20 minutes, with 10 minutes Q&A at the end. Notes and a video are available at the end of the seminar - just look to right hand side of page linked to above and click on the seminar video you wish to watch. All courses are free.

You are invited to be part of our ‘live’ audience! 
For more information or to enrol please fill in the form here: Please mention the course(s) you are interested in. No charge.

Consumer groups outline 10 key points for the future of aged care in Australia

September 23, 2020
An alliance of aged care consumer and carer groups (including National Seniors Australia) this week outlined their shared vision for aged care.

It comes at a time when the aged care system has never been under such intense scrutiny and pressure. Failures have been exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the Aged Care Royal Commission, which this week concluded its last scheduled hearings.

The alliance includes Carers Australia, COTA Australia, Dementia Australia, the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network.

The 10 shared principles will help all older Australians get the support they choose, when and where they need it and be treated with dignity and respect, by an aged care workforce that is trained and equipped to provide the standard of care older Australians and their families expect and deserve.

The full statement is available below and can be summarised as including:A better Aged Care Act.
  1. A simple system where care is guaranteed within 30 days.
  2. Full transparency and easy to understand indicators to help inform consumer choice.
  3. A trained, registered and qualified workforce.
  4. Proper recognition and support for the role of unpaid family/friend carers.
  5. Easy to understand information and local solutions.
  6. A strongly resourced regulator that takes robust action to ensure consumer protections.
  7. Services that are inclusive, culturally safe and sensitive.
  8. A funding model that ensures sufficient taxpayer funding, control by consumers over their funding, independent pricing and transparency in how funds are spent.
  9. Better integration of other health and well being services with aged care.
Carers Australia CEO Liz Callaghan:

“The Aged Care Royal Commission has rightly shone a light on issues that matter to the community, including family and friend carers. Future reform must address these ten points in order to meet community expectations and deliver on quality of care.”

(Council on the Ageing) COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates AM:

“It’s time to overhaul a system that puts the needs of providers and bureaucracy above the human needs of every older Australian. Structurally, culturally and legislatively we have the opportunity to rebuild our aged care system so that it places the needs and preferences of consumers at its very centre. Older Australians must have both choice and control over the supports they receive – whether that’s at home, in specialist housing, or in a residential aged care setting. Above all, the system must ensure every Australian enjoys the highest quality of life as we age.”

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe:

It is vital for the human rights of people living with dementia, their families and carers to be reflected in a reimagined aged care system.

“Around 459,000 Australians are living with dementia. Consistent and equitable access to quality dementia care must be a cornerstone of aged care, and we must focus on building the capacity of our workforce to understand and support people with dementia.”

Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia Chair Mary Patetsos:

“Central to any reform is addressing the increasingly diverse profiles of the ageing population. Catering to culture and language specific needs of consumers and investing in bilingual and bicultural staff should be core business practices of all aged care providers. The current pandemic has also reminded us that communities help facilitate access to services. They need support doing this crucial role in the aged care service ecosystem.”

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke:

“This year’s budget must finally fund enough packages to make sure the neglect ends, and no one waits more than a month for the home care they need. We also need a new system that tracks where the money goes & punishes providers who put profit before people and cause suffering and death.”

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) CEO Craig Gear OAM:

"Everyone will benefit from an improved aged care system. As our population ages, we need a system that allows older people to contribute and belong. Older people and their carers deserve better.”

An aged care system needs to have:
  1. A better Aged Care Act that is designed to uphold human rights and ensure consumer choice and control; containing stronger protections for consumers; and better accountability of aged care providers, with tiered enforcement measures and penalties.
  2. A simple system where care is guaranteed within 30 days and easy to access whether at home, in the community or in residential aged care (including future de-institutionalised models).
  3. Requirements that ensures full transparency about staffing, quality measures, complaints, compliance and financial outcomes and supported by easy to understand indicators to help inform consumer choice.
  4. A trained, registered and qualified workforce across all care settings, with the right number of staff to ensure quality support and care, with the right skills to meet all their consumers needs and positive attitudes to working with older people.
  5. Proper recognition and support for the role of unpaid family/friend carers who help people to stay at home, with dedicated flexible carer support services designed to preserve their health and well being.
  6. Easy to understand information and local solutions available for older people and their families/friends, supported by care finding, advocacy or case management when they need it to ensure older people access and receive the care they need, when they need it.
  7. A strongly resourced regulator that takes robust action to ensure consumer protections, and fosters public confidence in quality aged care through vigorously investigating, enforcing and prosecuting breaches of standards utilising a wide range of enforcement tools and penalties.
  8. Core business practices that respect all clients with diverse characteristics and life experiences, by ensuring all services are inclusive, culturally safe and sensitive.
  9. A funding model that grows with the population, ensures sufficient taxpayer funding; balanced with consumer contributions where they can afford to pay. Future funding will provide individuals control over their funding, introduce independent pricing regulated by Government and ensure transparency by service providers in how funds are spent.
  10. Better integration of other health and well being services into aged care including but not limited to disability, general practice, palliative care, pharmacy, primary, allied, community, oral and mental health systems

Gunbus (Full Movie)

Alternate title "Sky Bandits" - Apparently a comedy -  and here because the youngsters are getting movies and videos for Spring School Holidays, why shouldn't you? 

Call for submissions on capital financing arrangements for residential aged care

The Royal Commissioners into Aged Care Quality and Safety are calling for submissions on capital financing arrangements for residential aged care ahead of its Funding, Finance and Prudential Regulation Hearing, commencing Monday 14 September 2020.

The Royal Commissioners are making inquiries into whether the current capital financing arrangements in Australia are appropriate and sufficient for the future requirements of residential aged care, and whether there are improvements to these arrangements that should be recommended.

The amount of capital investment necessary in residential aged care for the future requires careful consideration. In 2019, the Aged Care Financing Authority estimated that the combined total investment for new and rebuilt residential care places over the next decade will be about $55 billion.  This compares to $16.7 billion in building approvals for new and rebuilt residential care places over the decade to 30 June 2020. However, people's preference to remain at home as they age and the reflection of this preference through aged care policy and programs may reduce the amount of capital financing required in residential aged care over time. 

A number of recent reports have raised issues about the current arrangements for capital financing in aged care. These include their effectiveness and efficiency, prudential oversight risks, and also concerns about the way in which the arrangements may affect the viability of providers and their ability to maintain a sufficient standard of accommodation into the future.

To assist interested individuals and organisations to make submissions, the Royal Commissioners are releasing a paper describing the history of capital financing arrangements in residential aged care, and how the current arrangements operate. Capital Financing for Residential Aged Care also contains a number of questions for consideration, together with details on how to make a submission.

Questions around the financing and sustainability of future improvements to the aged care system, the appropriate funding model or models to support the delivery of aged care services, and the prudential regulation of aged care providers are set to be explored by Royal Commissioners in next week's Sydney Hearing 5.

To make a submission, email:

In providing a submission, you can also:
  • write to the Royal Commission at GPO Box 1151 Adelaide SA 5001 or
  • telephone 1800 960 711 (between 8:00am-6:30pm ACDT Monday-Friday except on public holidays. Interpreter service available).
The final date to provide submissions is Friday, 2 October 2020. It is intended to publish all submissions received on the Royal Commission's website. However, the Commissioners reserve the right to not publish submissions, or to redact information in submissions, before publication.

‘Help Harvest NSW' Launched To Help Secure Ag Workers To Bumper Harvest

August 24, 2020
Farmers will be able to capitalise on what is predicted to be the best harvest in many years, with the launch today of a new one-stop resource which will help the agriculture industry overcome a COVID-induced labour shortage and get unemployed Australians into critical work.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced the launch of the ‘Help Harvest NSW’ website today, which will connect unemployed Australians with farm work opportunities across the State as part of the NSW Government’s COVID Recovery Plan.

With NSW at the forefront of this year’s big winter crop comeback after drought and horticulture about six weeks from harvest, Mr Marshall said it was critical to act now as there would be a shortage of between 3,500 and 5,000 workers needed in the state.

“Farmers are desperate to find contractors and employees willing to work to make the most of the bumper harvest we’re about to have,” Mr Marshall said.

“A high volume of primary industries labour generally comes from overseas and due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions there simply isn’t the number of farm workers the ag industry needs at the moment.

“The Help Harvest NSW website will help to overcome this challenge by connecting job-seeking Australians with agricultural work opportunities in NSW.

“I want to see more Aussies climb off the couch and get out into the regions where there’s plenty of good paying work on until the end of the year.

“At a time when we are just beginning to emerge from drought, our State’s farmers cannot afford to miss out on the financial uplift that comes from a strong harvest.”

With higher than average unemployment due to COVID-19, Mr Marshall said that ‘Help Harvest NSW’ was a way to get the State’s workforce moving again.

“Never before and never again will Australians have a better chance to take up farm work, earn a decent wage and see first-hand our beautiful regions where the food we buy every day from the supermarket is produced,” Mr Marshall said.

“My message to the increasing number of people looking for a job at the moment is this: get off your bum and get into agriculture – we need you.

“Take a look at Help Harvest NSW and see what job opportunities are around the corner.”

To explore ‘Help Harvest NSW’ visit

Australia's Hearing Services

The Australian Government is committed to supporting Australians who are hard of hearing through improvements to its hearing services.

The social and economic impacts of hearing loss are significant, and it is vital the Hearing Services Program continues to keep pace with demand and improvements in technology.

As the nation’s population ages, the impact of hearing loss could double, with 7.8 million Australians predicted to be affected in 2060.

In order to address the challenges faced by Australians who are hard of hearing, the Commonwealth is working with State and Territory authorities to implement the 2019 Roadmap for Hearing Health and delivering investment and reforms that align with the Roadmap, including:
  • The national rollout of innovative hearing screening tools for primary health care clinics in remote areas, through a collaboration between Hearing Australia and the Royal Flying Doctors Service
  • The development of nationally consistent clinical standards for paediatric audiology and teleaudiology by the Ear Science Institute and Audiology Australia
  • Roll-out of a free sign language interpreting service for senior Australians, being delivered by Auslan Connections
  • Funding the National Acoustic Laboratory to examine the clinical and economic benefits of upgrading sound processors in clients aged over 65
  • A review of the Minimum Hearing Loss Threshold used under the Hearing Services Program, also being undertaken by the National Acoustic Laboratory
Minister Coulton reiterated his desire for the Government’s hearing services to be fit-for-purpose, client-focused, and prepared for the future.

“The client must sit front and centre when we consider how best to deliver the services Australians need.

“Technology is changing, markets are changing, and our population is changing.

“If we are to ensure the best future for all Australians we must identify and address the barriers faced by all Australians in accessing services,” said Minister Coulton.

“It is therefore necessary and timely to conduct a review of settings in the Hearing Services Program.”

The Hearing Services Review, which will examine settings within the Hearing Services Program to ensure its continued performance, will be conducted by an expert panel consisting of Professor Michael Woods and Dr Zena Burgess PhD.

“Both Prof Woods and Dr Burgess bring with them a wealth of experience and understanding and having discussed the Review with them, they are ready and will launch into their work,” Minister Coulton said.

I encourage all stakeholders, both within and beyond the sector, to contribute to this review to ensure it is informed with the most conclusive evidence it possibly can.”

This review is part of a suite of efforts underway to improve the lives of Australians who are hard of hearing, regardless where.

The Hearing Services Review is underway and will deliver its findings to Government in July 2021.

Further information about the review – including its Terms of Reference – is available at

Australian Government Dept. of Health: Hearing Devices for Seniors

Australian Government's Hearing Services Program (the program), offers the option of being fitted with a hearing device if a hearing assessment identifies you have a hearing loss and a hearing device may assist you. 

You will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device. These devices have been approved by the Office of Hearing Services.

You can find out more about this program on the Australian Government's Department of Health webpage on the program here

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

Older Persons Advocacy Network offer free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth funded aged care services.

Older Persons Advocacy Network  seek to ensure that aged care consumers understand and exercise their rights and participate, to the maximum degree possible, in the decisions affecting their care.

Older Persons Advocacy Network achieve this through the delivery of individual advocacy support, information and consumer and service provider education.

Nine State and Territory based organisations form the OPAN network. Older Persons Advocacy Network is funded by the Australian Government to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP), providing a national voice for aged care advocacy.

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations provide free information about aged care service provision, referrals and the rights and responsibilities of consumers

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free information and education sessions to consumers and providers of Commonwealth funded aged care services

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern Beaches

In line with the current Coronavirus conditions we cannot access the Tramshed or continue face to face, one on one training. That is a shame but will not stop us providing you with training online. Trainers with Term 1 students have been asked to contact their students and invite them to undertake online learning. 

Online learning can take several forms - for Apple users there is Face-Time and for PC/Windows users (and Apple users too) Zoom, Skype,  WhatsApp and other similar programmes. Our intention is to support both Trainers and Students learning, where needed, to navigate through these apps to reach a comfortable situation for both parties. New students wanting to learn how to use their Smartphone, Tablet, iPad, PC, Mac or any other current piece of technology should contact our Training Co-ordinator: Anne Matthews 9984 0604 or

The Club Committee made a decision that for Term 2 no terms fees would be levied. The Annual Membership fee will stand and apply to new students joining at any time. We all are looking forward to the challenges the future will bring and overcoming them. Once the Pandemic has disappeared we expect things to return to something like the old normal but with some people returning to the Tramshed and some staying with online training. Which ever way you decide to go we intend to be available to help you.

Tech Savvy Seniors

Tech Savvy Seniors provides free or low cost digital skills training on how to use computers, tablets and smartphones to keep in touch with family and friends, access essential services, conducting personal business and discover more about the things you are interested in.

Join the thousands of people over 60 who have already completed this fun, practical training and made new friends in the process.

With over 150 training locations across NSW as well as resources online it has never been easier to build your digital skills and confidence, with training available in a range of languages. To find out more about training sessions available near you, visit the Tech Savvy Seniors website to find your local library or community college provider.

For here: 
  • Northern Beaches Council Library at Glen Street, Mona Vale, Warringah Mall 02 9976 1720 
  • Northern Beaches Community College Inc at Narrabeen, Brookvale, Mosman (02) 9970 1000
The Tech Savvy Seniors website also contains a great range of ‘self-teach’ videos and free digital literacy training resources available to make it easy to learn at your own pace to develop your digital skills from the comfort of your home.

Tech Savvy Seniors is a NSW Government initiative in partnership with Telstra.

Know Your Bones

CEO of Osteoporosis Australia, Greg Lyubomirsky says “bone health is an important part of your general health and anyone with risks for osteoporosis should be investigated.”

He has urged people to try the online self-assessment, Know Your Bones developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. 

"Simply visit the website, complete the assessment in your own time and a personal report is generated which will outline potential risks and can be taken to your doctor if required.”

You can take the assessment here:

NSW Seniors Website: Crosswords, Puzzles & Games

Did you know that the NSW Seniors website has a range of games and puzzles for you to exercise that great grey matter upstairs?

Recently new items have been added in and now the list is:

Just click on the links we've embedded next time it's too cold out for a stroll and exercise that other great asset you have - your mind!

My Aged Care

If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help.
My Aged Care is the Australian Government's starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need.

Learn about different types of care
If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step. You can see what services are available to help you stay in your own home, or what to expect in an aged care home.

Get assessed
If you’ve had a look at what services might be available and you want to know if you are eligible, this is your next step. Read about how to apply and what’s involved in the assessment process.

Find a provider
If you’ve been assessed and are ready to find a provider and set up your new services, start here. Find out what to consider and get information about service providers near you.

Manage your services
If you are receiving services and want to check what you’ve got in place or make some changes, head to this section.

Need some help?
If you need some help, the My Aged Care team can answer most of your questions over the phone. Call 1800 200 422

council has a Home Library Service Available for Seniors

For those unable to visit the library because of age or disability, the Home Library Service maintains a vital connection with all that the library offers. Your Home Library Service Officer will help you select items for reading or listening. Volunteers or staff will then deliver and collect your library items on a regular basis.

Register for the Home Library Service
If you or the person you care for is unable to visit the library or carry library items home due to age, frailty or disability, please complete Council's Home Library Service Application Form or call us on 9942 2393. 

A medical certificate or statement signed by a doctor may be required to assess eligibility.

What happens next?
After staff receive your completed application form, a Home Library Service Officer will contact you to arrange a time to meet and discuss the service details with you.

Staff or volunteers will then select your items according to your borrowing preferences and then deliver them to you. During this visit you can return any items that you have finished with.

Apply for the $200 Seniors Energy Rebate

A new rebate for independent retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to help with electricity costs. The Seniors Energy Rebate is available for eligible independent retirees to help cover the cost of their electricity.

To be eligible you need to hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
CSHCs are means-tested concession cards issued by Services Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). 

The Seniors Energy Rebate is $200 per household, per financial year.
If your application is successful, the rebate will be paid directly into your nominated bank or Credit Union account.

Note: Gas accounts are not eligible for the rebate.

What you need
  • your valid CSHC from Centrelink or the DVA
  • the most recent electricity bill for your current primary place of residence
  • your contact details
  • your bank or Credit Union account details
How to apply
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Select the 'Apply online' button.
  • Enter the required details.
  • Submit the application.
If you're unable to apply online, visit a service centre or call us on 13 77 88.
If your application is successful, you'll receive payment within 5 working days into your nominated bank/Credit Union account. Service NSW will contact you if there are problems issuing your payment. 

Learn Something New: Australia MOOCs And Free Online Courses

There is a full range of everything your heart, mind and body wants to learn more about, presented and conducted by Australia's best universities, with courses starting Monday, April 6th!

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE


EasyLink (formerly Easy Transport Manly Warringah Pittwater) - medical appointments,  shopping trips, mystery tours and Saturday Lunch - this great non-profit organisation offers great ideas and solutions 


Northern Beaches Concert Band is looking for flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba and trombone adult players.  We cater for players from beginner to advanced and have a varied and exciting repertoire.  Come and join us during school term time at 7.30pm, Pittwater High School, Mona Street, Mona Vale. 
Details 9970 7131 or 0414 560 263.

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook

Download your 2020 Senior Card Directory today!

NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2020 Seniors Card Directory, your guide to the best discounts and special offers from thousands of participating businesses across the state.

Each year five directories are released, one for each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

To download your copy, please click the links here:
  • Sydney and Surrounds
  • Central Coast & Hunter
  • Northern NSW
  • Southern NSW
  • Western NSW
Copies of the directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, Service NSW Centres, MP Offices as well as participating local Councils and Libraries.

Singing Together While Apart - Gondoliera

Video by Kevin Murray 
Cantiamo  continues their Singing Together While Apart series. This time a German song with words by Emanuel Geibel and music by Clara Schumann, called Gondoliera.

The audio version of Seniors' Stories Volume 5 is now available!

September 25, 2020
Seniors’ Stories is a good opportunity for Seniors to share their experiences, showcase their skills and build connections with the younger generations.

Listen to stories written by fellow NSW Seniors Card holders - all sharing the theme of 'Love your Life'.

The audio version is available here.

OR if you prefer to read the stories, click here.

We hope you enjoy reading this wonderful collection of stories.

To read previous editions of Seniors Stories click here.

Telehealth subsidies extended: The Good and Bad of this

September 23, 2020
With COVID-19 reducing willingness to visit the GP, telehealth rebates are good news for isolated seniors.

A silver lining to the COVID-19 emergency has been the rise and proven benefits of telehealth, where patient and doctor can consult remotely over the phone or a video device.  

Telehealth has been described by health professionals as “a critical tool that will be necessary not just for the pandemic but beyond”. 

Professional and consumer bodies have welcomed the federal government’s commitment to keep subsidising telehealth services for another six months to March 31st 2021. 

Patients will continue to have access to Medicare-subsidised telehealth for general practitioner, nursing, midwifery, allied health and allied mental health services. 

What it means for you
Telehealth is also being extended for essential specialist services, such as consultant physician, geriatrician, and neurosurgery services. Bulk billing will continue to be available and regular billing practices will apply to all of these services. 

Up to 150 GP-led respiratory clinics across the country, which complement state run fever clinics, will continue their pivotal role in testing. Patients will continue to have access to bulk-billed COVID-19 tests under Medicare, with aged care residents and staff getting priority access to rapid testing. 

Telehealth is part of the government’s announced $2 billion package of subsidised COVID-19 health measures, including pathology services, GP-led respiratory clinics, home medicines delivery, public and private hospital services will all be extended, as well as further investments in personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Telehealth and home delivered medicine services reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the community while also supporting people in isolation to ensure they get the care they need.  

The National Coronavirus Helpline will continue to operate around the clock providing important advice. 

The sting in the tail
However, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, the peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals and health services, is critical of the government for not mandating that doctors bulk-bill services. 

Chief Executive, Alison Verhoeven says “This could not come at a worse time, when so many people are hurting financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and cannot afford gap payments.” 

She also claims that the requirement for patients to have had an existing and continuous relationship with a GP is a “win” for doctors at patients’ expense.  

“It is also a huge barrier for rural communities where access to any GP can be a problem, for healthy people who infrequently see their GP, people whose local practice is booked out for weeks, and people who want to change doctors,” Ms Verhoeven said. ; 

“That decision also puts a stop to telehealth consultations for sensitive matters like sexual and reproductive health, where patients might want or need to see someone other than their regular GP,” she said. 

Don't put off appointments
Doctors say patients are ignoring their own health needs during the pandemic by not keeping medical consultation appointments, and warns that failing to see a doctor or have tests done may have serious health ramifications. Medical practices have implemented strict procedures to minimise risks of COVID-19 and patients. 

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says it wants telehealth to become a permanent part of the health system and is concerned about the viability of practices in lockdown situations. It has urged the government to step in with more support if needed to help them maintain services to patients. 

Can't get online, can't get help
While seniors have the option of telephone-based appointments, ideally a video-based consult where the doctor can see their patient would be ideal. However, many older Australians are not online.

With more and more essential services being offered online, it makes sense to get seniors connected so they can enjoy all the benefits of this technology. 

National Seniors has called on the government to create a targeted subsidy for pensioners to get them online as part of our 2020 Federal Budget submission. 

Sign language milestone for Senior Australians

Senior Australians who are deaf or hard of hearing will have access to sign language services for a broader range of daily activities as part of a Federal Government funding boost.

A $13 million injection will mean sign language services will be more accessible for deaf elders aged 65 and over.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said the initiative marked an important milestone for elders who use Auslan in their everyday communication.

September 23rd, 2020 marks International Day of Sign Languages.

“Hearing limitations can have a profound impact on the daily activities of senior Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The  Government is committed to ensuring anybody dealing with hearing loss can still live life to the full.”

Certified interpreters will provide Auslan, American Sign Language and International Sign Languages as part of the new service due to launch in November.

Signed English for deaf consumers and tactile signing and hand-over-hand for deafblind users will also be available.

It means those in need will have access to interpreters for a range of daily activities from face-to-face appointments and online learning to community and family functions.

The service, which will also include on-demand video remote interpreting, will be offered nationally, seven days a week and after business hours.

“I thank Australian Deaf Elders and members for advising how together we can address this gap and develop the new service,” Minister Colbeck said.

“I know many Australians who are deaf or hard of hearing have benefited from sign language interpreters at press briefings during the recent bushfires and the COVID-19 health emergency,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Government will continue to identify and remove barriers so senior Australians can live healthy, active and socially connected lives.” 

For more information about this and other sign language services available to senior Australians visit the My Aged Care website or call 1800 200 422.

Agatha Christie's Cat Among the Pigeons

Art of Ageing 2020 Exhibition Coming to Warringah Library in Spring

The Art of Ageing is an initiative under the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016–2020 to demonstrate the diversity and contributions of older people in NSW. Art of Ageing 2020 opened on  March 3rd 2020.  This exciting exhibition will tour to 45 sites across NSW and will be available at Warringah Library from September 29th to October 28th 2020.

The Art of Ageing is a photographic exhibition that celebrates the value, experience and contribution older people bring, and challenges out-dated perceptions of ageing.

The 2020 exhibition comprises of 24  images taken by talented NSW photographers. Each photograph is accompanied by a short story highlighting the subject's experiences and reflections on ageing.

Accomplished and unconventional perhaps best describes the many diverse individuals in this exhibition. These extraordinary people have carved out an interesting life for themselves that keeps them young. Let them inspire you to live life to the fullest.

You can view all of the photos in the online version by clicking into each of the frames here. 

Addressing ageism is a priority of the NSW Ageing Strategy. Ageism is negative stereotyping, prejudice, or discrimination against people based on their age, and it is experienced by many older people in NSW. Ageism takes form within individuals’ attitudes, institutional and policy practices, as well as media representation that devalues and excludes older people.

During consultations undertaken for the NSW Ageing Strategy, older people expressed concerns that younger people do not value or respect them. This is consistent with research by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which found a high prevalence of negative attitudes and stereotyping of older people. The report linked these attitudes with the high rates of age discrimination older people experience.

The NSW Government is committed to addressing ageism by supporting initiatives that improve respect for and social inclusion of older people – particularly those that promote positive images of older people in the media, educate younger generations, provide opportunities for intergenerational connection and recognise older people’s contributions to their communities.

The feedback received from the attendees to the previous exhibitions showed that it successfully challenged negative perceptions of ageing and older people, while inspiring a positive vision of ageing.
The photos capture a diverse range of unconventional and accomplished subjects - a retired panel beater, a regarded viticulturist, a diver with disability and an actor with a long list of credits.

The exhibition is the third in the series commissioned by the NSW Government and features works by talented photographers Kerri Ambler, Tina Milson, Julie Slavin, Tim White, Trevor Green and Tayla Martin.

One example available - Andrew Whitehead b. 1958
Well-recognised sculpture artist, Andrew Whitehead, works at his property near Urana producing incredible artworks that have been shipped around Australia and internationally, with 12 public artworks on display across the country.

‘I began a mechanical apprenticeship at 40 years of age at the local shire where I worked for 10 years. That’s where I learnt to weld. I started going to the back shed and building things. I entered my first sculpture in the Farm Art Show in Lockhart, 10 years ago, where I won. I pretty much entered every year since then.’

Speaking with Andrew, he stated that his career has only just started, ‘I’m only about one-third of the way into my career.’

Visit the Online Exhibition of Art of Ageing 2020 at: 

Warringah Library
Westfield Warringah Mall, Shop 650, 145 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale
29 Sept – 28 October 2020

Photo: Andrew Whitehead by T Martin.

Media Releases concerning Seniors this week from National Seniors Australia

With around a quarter of a million members, National Seniors is Australia’s largest consumer organisation for the over 50s and fourth largest group of its kind in the world.

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

 Australian Ageing Agenda

Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) is an independent and authoritative bi-monthly publication for people who work in or around the aged care and retirement sectors in Australia. It provides a broad range of news, education and opinion with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and research translation.

Each issue also contains regular updates on relevant business and financial issues along with a selection of well researched features on crucial systems and operations, clinical care, technology, built environment and other issues relevant to the ‘ageing sector’. AAA leads the way with the industry’s most comprehensive conference details and remains Australia’s number one source of news and information about ageing issues and aged care.

Have a look at their comprehensive website HERE

 MWP CARE (previously known as MWP Community Aid) is a local not for profit organisation that was founded by Daphne Elsworthy, a Collaroy resident, 52 years ago and we are still going strong! 

In 2019 our programs focus on assisting older people aged 65 years and older, we also assist younger people with a disability and their carers.  We are funded by the Australian Government Dept. of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (known as CHSP). Pittwater Online News PROFILE

These services may be eligible for government subsidies. Call us on (02) 9913 3244 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively you may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your needs. To access our services (and all other CHSP provider services) you must be registered with My Aged Care – the portal for all things related to Aged Care Services 

We provide services aimed at helping people to stay independently living in their own homes.

Our programs cover:

  • Transport – to medical and social appointments
  • Shopping – Escorted Shopping, Shop By List, Group Social Shopping
  • Visiting – a volunteer visits a client in their own home for social support
  • Individual Activities – visit a friend, the library, the beach, local garden, and nursery, go for a coffee & chat, attend community activities etc.
  • Social Group Bus Outings – our mini bus and experienced staff coordinate a calendar of bus outings to interesting venues
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) social groups/outings  – Chinese, Italian, Korean , Filipino, Serbian
  • Home Maintenance Modification Service – provided to individual home owners at reasonable cost. Services provided by trusted tradespeople can include Plumbing, Carpentry, Handyman, Electrical, Modifications (ramps, rails etc.)

Visit our website for more at:  and on Facebook:

Peninsula Bridge Club - Founded in 1967, we are a key community hub on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We contribute strongly to our community: with both social connectedness for those who need it and opportunities to learn and train for those with competitive sporting goals. 

The Club is a vibrant organisation hosting up to three bridge sessions a day. We have 37 permanently set tables – that’s 148 players. We host over 30,000 player sessions every year. This includes prominent tournaments and education events attracting players from across the region. 

We pride ourselves on the friendliness of the club and our strong community spirit. We support local charities but even more importantly we support community members by providing them with social connection and mental stimulus – irrespective of age and mobility.

Our clubhouse is at Warriewood.

We have a new Beginners Course starting the end of September.

Each 2-hour lesson focuses on learning by playing, with a break for tea and chocolate biscuits mid-way. The course runs for 6 weeks and costs $100, which includes text book and support materials.

After the lessons we offer “Help with Play” sessions to practise what you’ve learned; Mondays 7-9pm; Tuesdays 2.15-4.30; Fridays 9.15-11.30. ($7 for members & $12 for visitors – membership

We also offer more advanced lessons each month so you can continue to improve your game if you want. 

If you are keen to learn this great game, please call or email Cath Whiddon (Director of Bridge Ed at PBC): 9979 5752 or

If you already know how to play, take a look at our website to see what’s on offer this month:

Peninsula Bridge Club Facebook page:

Community Connect

Need help on where to go to find the community information and assistance you need?

At Community Connect Northern Beaches, our professional staff and trained volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and we will be only too pleased to help you find the service you want. We provide information and support, as well as advocacy and referral to other non profit community services and government agencies.

If we can’t help you we will get you someone who can. If you are newly arrived or do not have an English speaking background we can offer individual advice and support. Or Why not come to Specialist Community Support Workshops: Family Law, Power of Attorney plus Wills and Executors; Domestic Violence Support and Prevention; Positive Community Integration ; Crime Prevention; Or  Our Free English Classes. 

We also provide information on: Family Services: Child Care, Personal Support & Counselling; Health (Including Mental Health) ;  Material and Practical Assistance ; Advocacy to access state and federal MP assistance; Accommodation and Tenancy (help with form filling); Legal and Financial Matters ; Consumer Affairs ; Multicultural Issues; Conservation and the Environment ; Employment and Education; Accessing Community Facilities  -You are welcome to call in for: Brochures, booklets and fact sheets on a range of topics; Service Directories e.g. Council Guides and Migrant Directories; Publications e.g. The Senior newspaper and Nova.

Access to our community information data base, internet, email, fax and photocopying.(Please note there is a small charge for photocopying and use of the fax to cover the cost of paper, toner and fax call).  We also offer: A Legal Referral Program - Monday 1pm to 2pm at our 30 Fisher Road, Dee Why office.  Taxation Assistance for low income earners and pensioners from July to October. 

What does it cost?: Our services are free, however we are always grateful for a small donation where possible. The program is supported by NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). CONTACT US: Phone: 02 99317777.

RSPCA's Community Aged Care Program

RSPCA NSW understands that to an elderly owner, a pet can mean everything. Our Aged Care program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we assist elderly pet owners over the age of 65, Indigenous pet owners over the age of 50 and palliative care patients of any age.
  • services our Aged Care program offers include: temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • assistance with veterinary treatment
  • home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care
  • assistance with pet grooming
  • assistance with transport to and from the local veterinarian
  • a volunteer network to assist with dog walking and short periods of in-home care if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
Please note that due to high demand for this program, we ask that pet owners first ask family and friends whether they are able to assist with their pet’s care.

This community program was previously known as Pets of Older Persons (POOPs).

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555
Aged Care Program FAQs



The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, non-partisan, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met. COTA NSW works to empower and engage people over 50. For decades, we’ve shaped the policies and programs that change lives.

Since our beginning in 1956, COTA NSW has introduced policies and programs that make a real difference to peoples’ lives. We have proud record, having created: ■Meals on Wheels, ■Retirement Village Residents Association, ■Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, ■Seniors Clubs, ■Seniors Information Service, ■OM:NI – Older Men: New Ideas, ■Grandfriends, ■Grandparents, Relatives and Kinship Care Alliance, ■Medication Management for Older People, and the ■Mature Employment Line

Northern Beaches Jive is a social dance group. Our Modern Jive classes are held every Wednesday at 7.30pm at Narrabeen RSL.

Modern Jive is an easy partner dance with an emphasis on having fun and is great for all ages. Our experienced teachers always make the lesson interesting and fun. 

You can come along to class any time as we cater for new beginners every week. You don't have to sign up for a course - just come along when it suits you. First timers are only $10 for the first two weeks in total!!  You can even just come and watch for free to see if you think you'll like it.

There’s no need to bring a partner as we rotate you around to different partners during the class.

We start with a beginner class at 7:30pm for 45 minutes, followed by social dancing. At 9pm we have an Intermediate /advanced class for 45 minutes, and a concurrent 'refresher' class for the beginners, then social dancing until 10:30pm.  That’s right beginners get 2 classes every night.

Casual entry is $15 per night.  Students and seniors are only $12 per night.  We also have discounted prices, for all groups, if you buy a 5 class pass.  Great value for learning and dancing up to 3 hours per night.

If you're keen and would like to go to a class more than once a week, or go to a dance party in the weekend then check out where you'll find more classes and weekly dance parties.

Click here ( to sign up for our weekly newsletter which will tell you who is teaching each week and any other venue news such as special events.

If you have any questions - email us at:

Heartmoves is a low-moderate intensity exercise program. Regular participation in Heartmoves will help to: Better manage weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol; Improve fitness, balance, co-ordination and flexibility; Enhance your quality of life and meet other people. Ingrid Davey is a qualified Older Adult Instructor and accredited Heartmoves Leader who will guide you through an exercise program that is fun, safe and modified to suit you. Tuesday 9.30am and Thursday 10.30am at Nelson Heather Centre, 4 Jackson Road Warriewood.  The cost per class is $10.00 casual now and $17.00 for two classes. Phone Ingrid to secure your spot on 0405 457 063.

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!
Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

Any person can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including care recipients, family members, friends, staff, volunteers, or professionals.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of services including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment. The 1800 550 552 helpline is staffed 9am to 5pm (AEDST) Monday to Friday.

Out of hours callers can leave a message, or contact the Commissioner at anytime through the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.


In 2014-15, there were 10,924 contacts to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. 3,725 were assessed as a complaint, 3,812 ‘other’ contacts includes non-compulsory notifications, own motion investigations and compliance referrals. There were also 3,387 out of scope contacts which were not related to an approved provider or an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket: NSW Public Transport

Parents missing out on REAL face time? If they have a Pension Card, sign them up & they could get unlimited $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets*.
Call 13 22 32 to sign up.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket (CPE)
A Country Pensioner Excursion (CPE) ticket is an affordable ticket for eligible pensioners and seniors to travel by train in regional NSW and the ACT.

For $2.50 you can book an economy class seat on a NSW TrainLink 

Regional train service. You will need to book 7 days or less in advance


Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps Seniors learn and improve their computer skills. It is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. 

Started in 2000 it now has 20+ trainers and many hundreds of students. At a really low cost (about $30 a school term) they can provide one-to-one training on most matters connected with computing and related technologies like mobile phones and digital cameras. From the smallest problem (how to hold the mouse!) to much more serious matters, there is a trainer who can help.

We offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses in the training rooms under the Catholic Church in Avalon. Training is conducted Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information visit AVPALS web site or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at:

Seniors Toy Repair Group needs your help

Volunteers are sought to help out on Wednesday mornings (7.30am to midday) at the group's workshed in Ingleside. Volunteers need their own transport and be willing to sort and clean toys that are picked up at different collection points on the Northern Beaches. 

Prospective volunteers can email Mary Kitchen to arrange a visit to the workshed. To arrange a donation pickup please call Terry Cook on 0410 597 327 or email himFind out more about this great community group HERE

 Keep your Wits About You

A regular contributor suggests we all look at Lumosity to see if will suit keeping active mentally. Their website states: "improve Brain Health and performance. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. Dozens of research collaborations help improve the Lumosity training program and its effectiveness." You can visit their website to decide for yourself  at:

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.