September 17 - October 7, 2023: Issue 599

Time to surgery is critical for survival after hip fracture

September 11, 2023
Many people with a hip fracture wait longer than is optimal for surgery – despite some hospitals making a dramatic improvement in time to surgery in the past few years.

Today the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is launching the updated national clinical care standard for hip fracture at the binational Hip Fest 2023 conference, hosted by the Australian & New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR).

The updated standard reduces the recommended maximum time to surgery – along with other improvements for better care – and will drive meaningful change as hospitals establish protocols to meet these targets.

Every year in Australia, 19,000 people fracture their hip[i], usually after a fall. Most hip fractures happen to people over 65 years and are often a life changing event.

Australia’s aging population makes taking action on hip fracture more important than ever.

Hip fracture significantly increases an older person’s risk of death, with one in four people dying within 12 months after a hip fracture injury.[ii] Of those who survive, many lose their ability to live independently or return to their former lifestyle.

The updated Hip Fracture Clinical Care Standard (2023) for hospitals has reduced the maximum time to surgery from 48 hours to 36 hours in line with international guidelines. For the first time, this explicitly includes patients who need to be transferred to a hospital that can perform the surgery.

The Commission’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, emergency physician Associate Professor Carolyn Hullick, said there was an urgent need for health services to offer better care for people with a hip fracture, using the framework in the updated standard.

“Anyone who has seen someone live through a hip fracture knows it’s much more than a broken bone. People with a hip fracture tend to be older, frail and more vulnerable, so it is critical the fracture is repaired quickly to reduce pain and get them on the road to recovery back to independence,” she said.

“The data is sobering, as an Australian with a hip fracture is almost four times more likely to die within a year than someone of the same age who isn’t injured. This has an immense personal toll on individuals and families, in addition to the burden on our health system of around $600 million each year.” [iii]

Much has improved since the Hip Fracture Clinical Care Standard was introduced in 2016, according to ANZHFR annual reports. The ANZHFR contains around 90,000 records, with 91% of hospitals performing hip fracture surgery in Australia participating to help improve their hip fracture care.

While some hospitals have substantially reduced their time to surgery, there is still marked variation.

In 2022, the average time to surgery ranged from 16 to 92 hours,ii with the longest waiting times for people being transferred for surgery. 78% of patients had surgery within 48 hours.

A lever for change: ‘We can and should do better’
Geriatrician Professor Jacqueline Close, Co-chair of the ANZHFR and Co-chair of the expert advisory group for the standard, knows first-hand the value of high-quality care for hip fractures and believes the updated standard will be a lever for change.

“The Hip Fracture Clinical Care Standard sets expectations for how every patient should be cared for, while allowing for treatment to be tailored to the individual,” she said.

“The adage ‘don’t let the sun set twice before hip fracture repair’ has merit for several reasons. Firstly, no-one wants to see their mum or dad fasting and in pain waiting for surgery; and shorter time to surgery is associated with fewer complications, better recovery and survival.

“It is also more cost efficient to manage these patients well. Every day surgery is delayed, two days are added to the length of stay. The sooner you operate, the quicker patients can get walking and go home.”

Professor Close said the registry data shows Australia can do better in several key areas of hip fracture care. “The evidence tells us the sooner you are supported to get out of bed, the better your functional recovery. Last year, fewer than half (45%) of patients walked on the first day after hip fracture surgery.

“Also, only one third (32%) of patients leave hospital on bone protection medication for osteoporosis to prevent another fracture. We absolutely can and should do better,” she said.

A/Professor Hullick added: “Older people can have complex needs, and research shows the best results come when specialists from both orthopaedic surgery and geriatric medicine work together on a patient’s care – known as an orthogeriatric model of care.

“This means that as well as repairing the bone, we are managing the person’s other medical conditions, their cognitive function, their mobility and reducing the risk of more falls and fractures. This has been a focus since the standard was first introduced, with many hospitals now having orthogeriatric teams.

“The standard has already been a catalyst for change. By updating it and addressing the gaps, care will continue to improve. It will be fantastic to see a solid boost to patient outcomes as hospitals embed these latest changes.”

For more information, visit:

[i] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Hip fracture incidence and hospitalisations in Australia 2015–16External link
[ii] Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry. ANZHFR Annual ReportExternal link 2023
[iii] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Disease expenditure in Australia 2019–20

World Patient Safety Day: 17 September

This Sunday is World Patient Safety Day, a global movement to champion safer healthcare practices.
Engaging patients for patient safety
This year’s World Patient Safety Day theme, ‘Engaging patients for patient safety’, highlights the vital role patients and consumers play in shaping the safety and quality of our healthcare system.

Patient and consumer voices shape our practice, improve outcomes, and contribute to a positive safety culture. Working in partnership with patients, their families, carers and the wider community is critical to achieving a healthcare system that is efficient, effective and meets people’s needs.

This World Patient Safety Day, the Commission is releasing a new Guide for consumers. This guide has been developed by patients and consumers, and provides valuable insights on strengthening partnerships between patients, consumers and health services.

I also encourage you to view our new Consumer Insights Video Series to hear directly from consumer representatives on their experiences working to improve health care.

Safe health care is person-centred health care, and we will continue to support, encourage and empower patients and consumers to help improve health care for everyone.

As we stand together on this important day, I invite you to reflect on your role in patient safety. Whether you are a patient or consumer, healthcare professional, manager or policymaker, your dedication and commitment contribute to safer healthcare practices.

Yours sincerely,

Conjoint Professor Anne Duggan
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

App unlocking benefits of music therapy, wearable tech and AI for dementia awarded $2m grant

September 13, 2023
An app that unlocks the therapeutic potential of music for people living with dementia across Australia will receive $2 million ($1.3m USD) in grant funding and support from Google’s philanthropic arm, to develop wearable sensors and AI-enabled music adaptive systems and undertake a pilot in Australia.

MATCH (Music Attuned Technology - Care via eHealth) is an adaptive, music-based tool that aims to address a common challenge for people with dementia - agitation that can occur when emotional and physical needs go unmet – by detecting early signs of agitation behaviours and providing music-based interventions to regulate mood and reduce the likelihood of developing, or severity of challenging behaviours.

55 million people live with dementia globally, with 90 per cent of them displaying agitation, a challenging symptom that can lead to physical and verbal aggression, distress to families and professional carers, and most importantly, poorer quality of life for the person with dementia.

University of Melbourne Professor Felicity Baker, principal investigator of the MATCH project, said the app has the potential to provide a practical and personalised tool to support dementia patients globally.

“Many carers of people with dementia recognise music’s value in supporting the wellbeing of a loved one. We are working to create a better everyday life for people living with dementia, their families, and carers on the dementia journey using the proven therapeutic benefits of music, alongside wearable sensors and AI,” Professor Baker said.
The Australian Government’s Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended every Australian aged care provider provide access to music and art therapy for people in their care by July 2024. Limitations on the number of therapists is expected to see this recommendation go unmet.

“Our music attunement intervention has been shown to significantly decrease agitation and reduce care costs, however music therapists, who implement the intervention, are in short supply and often not available when episodes of agitation occur,” Professor Baker said.

“By combining the known therapeutic benefits of the patients’ personally preferred music with wearable sensor technology and AI that creates a bespoke music adaptive system, we will be able to provide early detection and treatment of agitation.”

The MATCH app AI system will learn each person’s own unique agitation behaviours and positive music interventions, through an improving cycle of detection and interpretation making use of wearable sensors, observation, analysis, and music treatment. The person with dementia’s preferred music will adapt to synchronise and treat their agitation.

“Even the smallest change in agitation reduces care costs per person, and will reduce the need to use pharmacological interventions that can increase confusion and have other side effects,” Professor Baker said.

“Our app will overcome access and equity barriers by providing support to people with dementia whenever and wherever it is needed.”

The MATCH project has two components - a training package app for caregivers with curated lists of music to enable targeted music interventions to support care, of which a prototype app has already been developed, and the music-adaptive system being developed with funding from

Professor Baker said: “The music-adaptive system will be integrated within this app. We are looking for residential aged care homes, and people living with dementia at home, to come forward and be involved in testing our app prototype and the development of the music-adaptive system.”

University of Melbourne Professor Lars Kulik, leading the development of the app’s AI and the integration of sensor data, said the grant will see the technology developed and introduced in Australia before being expanded globally.

“We will be able to develop a device, similar to a smartwatch, that can monitor movement, heartrate and other biomarkers. Should it detect signs of agitation, the app will play music from a curated playlist designed to soothe and calm them. If the initial music choice isn’t effective, it will continue to change tracks until the person’s state stabilizes,” Professor Kulik said.

“While developing the technology, we will also have access to Google’s knowledge, expertise, and data technologies that would normally be out of our reach.”’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge supports organisations through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The University of Melbourne is the only Australian organisation receiving support through’s $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress towards these goals. Out of many submitted proposals, 15 were selected for funding. All the projects will be open-sourced, so other organizations can build upon the work.

Google SVP of Research James Manyika said: “Each of the 15 selected organisations share our vision for using AI to accelerate progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and each organisation brings their own expertise to help move the needle,”

“We are inspired by the possibilities they see for how AI can be harnessed to help people solve societal problems, and are excited about the collective impact they will have over the next three years.”

More information on the MATCH app project can be found here.

Professor Baker and her team are inviting stakeholders – such as aged care providers, and people living with dementia at home, to participate in the MATCH project throughout the various stages of its development, including the algorithm-building phase of the project, which is proceeding now.

“We’re going to need quite a lot of data to teach the algorithms how to reliably detect. And the more data we get, the more sensitive we can make the system so that it will be more and more accurate,” Professor Baker said

People will be able to participate in the pilot testing of the app mid-next year. To register interest click here.

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club 1st Birthday

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club has grown in the previous 12 months from a gathering of nine to having over 103 members today.

To celebrate, the Club is having their 1st birthday party on October 6th at the Newport Bowls Club, starting at 10:00am. 

Visitors and prospective new members are cordially invited to attend for games, a raffle, best dressed (blue and gold colours), have a free cuppa and some nibblies.
Admission is free.

For further information contact Mike Musgrave (President) at

Spring Surfing Celebration

Do you some boards that are lingering in the yard unused?
Come and sell/swap or trade them on Saturday 23rd Sept, between 12 noon and 4pm at Surfrider Gardens, Narrabeen.

The legendary Mick Mock will be there, chilled tunes from @borderlines___ , Surfboard Souls Manly will host sustainable surfboard art activities for adults and kids, and 2nd hand boards  raffle from Aloha Manly Style. Thank you legends.

Bring your boards for a Spring Surfing celebration!

Surfrider Foundation Northern Beaches

COTA Australia backs ‘YES’ campaign for a Voice to Parliament

September 15, 2023
COTA Australia – the leading advocacy organisation for older Australians – has officially thrown its support behind the Voice to Parliament.

Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, said the organisation support a ‘yes’ vote in the lead up to the upcoming referendum on October 14th.

“COTA Australia strongly believes that publicly supporting a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum is the right thing to do,” Ms Sparrow said.

“This wasn’t a difficult decision for the COTA Australia Board to make. When you look at the core values of our organisation, providing support for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament became very clear.

“At COTA we understand the importance of consultation and in providing everyone with the means to have a say in matters that affect their lives and communities. It’s central to who we are as advocates for older people.

“We see those values reflected in the Voice to Parliament.

Ms Sparrow said COTA Australia’s eyes are open to the differing views on the Voice currently held within the community and urged respect across the board.

“Everyone will make their own decision come referendum day. We see COTA Australia’s role as providing as much clear and factual information as possible to help people ensure that they’re making an informed decision when they head to the polling booth on October 14th.

“It is important for COTA Australia to always be transparent and clear in its actions and to stay true to its values, which is why we’re publicly stating our support for the Voice.

“While we of course respect everyone’s right to their opinion, we are hoping for a large ‘yes’ vote from all Australians, including older people.

“This is an historic opportunity to create a better, fairer Australia for everyone.”

Google Chrome just rolled out a new way to track you and serve ads. Here’s what you need to know

Chris Yang/Unsplash
Erica Mealy, University of the Sunshine Coast

Late last week, Google announced something called the Privacy Sandbox has been rolled out to a “majority” of Chrome users, and will reach 100% of users in the coming months. But what is it, exactly?

The new suite of features represents a fundamental shift in how Chrome will track user data for the benefit of advertisers. Instead of third-party cookies, Chrome can now tap directly into your browsing history to gather information on advertising “topics” (more on that later).

In development since 2019, this change has attracted a great deal of controversy, as some commentators have deemed it invasive in terms of privacy.

Understanding how it works – and whether you want to opt in or out – is important, since Chrome remains the most widely used browser in the world, with a 63% market share as of May 2023 (Safari is in second place with 13%).

Wait, what is a cookie?

In 1994, computer engineer Lou Montulli at Netscape revolutionised the way we browsed the internet with his invention of the “cookie”. For the first time, web pages could remember our passwords, preferences, language settings and even shopping carts.

This method was supposed to be a private exchange of information just between a user and a website – what’s known as a first-party cookie. But within two years, advertisers worked out how to “hack” cookies to track users. These are third-party cookies.

You can think of a first-party cookie like a shop assistant who listens to your preferences and is happy to hold your bags or clothes while you make your selection – but only while you are inside their store.

A third-party cookie is like a bug from an old spy movie. It listens to everything in your room, but only shares the info with its allies. The “spy” can place this cookie on other people’s sites, to record what you visit and what data you enter. If you’ve ever wondered how Facebook has served you an ad about something related to a news story you just read, chances are it’s because you have third-party cookies enabled.

Unregulated online tracking and surveillance via cookies were the default until 2018, when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) were introduced. If you have noticed more pop-ups notifying you of cookies and asking for your informed consent, you have the GDPR and CCPA to thank.

The first browsers to turn off support for third-party cookies were Apple’s Safari in 2017 and Mozilla’s Firefox in 2019.

But Google is also a major online advertising company, with ads making up 57.8% of Google’s revenue as of 2023. They have been slowest off the mark in turning off third-party cookies in Chrome. With the introduction of the Privacy Sandbox, they now hope to start turning cookies off sometime in 2024.

How is the Privacy Sandbox different from cookies?

The details on how the Privacy Sandbox collection of features works are rather technical. But here are a few of the most important aspects.

Instead of using third-party cookies to serve you ads across the internet, Chrome will provide something called advertising Topics. These are high-level summaries of your browsing behaviour, tracked locally (such as in your browsing history), that companies can access on request to serve you ads on particular subjects.

Additionally, there are features such as Protected Audience that can serve you ads for “remarketing” (for example, Chrome tracked you visiting a listing for a toaster, so now you will get ads for toasters elsewhere), and Attribution Reporting, that gathers data on ad clicks.

In short, instead of third-party cookies doing the spying, the features these cookies enable will be available directly within Chrome.

Is user tracking necessarily bad?

While Google pitches the Privacy Sandbox as something that will improve user privacy, not everyone agrees.

If these features are switched on, Google – one of the world’s biggest advertising companies – is essentially able to listen to you everywhere on the web.

Tracking technology can arguably benefit us as well. For example, it could be helpful if an online store reminds you every three months you need a new toothbrush, or that this time last year you bought a birthday card for your mum.

Offloading cognitive effort, such as reminders like these, is a great way automation can assist humanity. When used in situations where pinpoint accuracy is required, it can make our lives easier and more pleasant.

However, if you are not comfortable with surveillance, the alternative to third-party cookies may not necessarily be the new Privacy Sandbox in Chrome.

The alternative is to completely disable tracking altogether.

What can you do?

If you don’t want your online activities to be tracked for advertising purposes, there are a few straightforward choices.

By far the most private browsers are specialist non-tracking browsers that prioritise no tracking, such as DuckDuckGo and Brave. But if you don’t want to get that nerdy, Safari and Firefox already have third-party cookies blocked by default.

A screenshot of a Chrome settings page listing Ad topics, Site-suggested ads and Ad measurement
The tools found in Google Chrome are nestled under Settings - Ads privacy. You can toggle each section on or off individually, and click on them to look at more details. Screenshot via The Conversation

If you don’t mind some useful targeted advertising, you can leave the Chrome Privacy Sandbox settings on.

If you want to adjust these settings or switch them off, click the three dots in the upper-right corner and go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Ad privacy. It’s unclear if toggling these features off will stop Chrome from collecting these data altogether, or if it just won’t share the data with advertisers. You can find out more details about each feature on the Google Chrome Help page.

Lastly, it’s good to remember nothing truly comes for free. Software costs money to develop. If you’re not paying towards that, then it’s likely you – or your data – are the product. We need to revolutionise how we think about our own data and what value it truly holds.The Conversation

Erica Mealy, Lecturer in Computer Science, University of the Sunshine Coast

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Pittwater-Narrabeen Parkinson’s Support Group

The purpose of our group is to support seniors (55yrs +) living with Parkinson’s, their carers, relatives and those who have lost a partner to Parkinson’s, who live on the northern beaches of Sydney.

This support Group has been meeting for around 30 years on the Northern Beaches. Our meetings aim to help reduce the social isolation, and increase community connectedness for our members. Through guest speakers, discussions, and group activities, our meetings will support and promote mental health, healthy lifestyles and well-being.

Our Facebook webpage will be used to store resources and links, and provide another way to safely keep in touch, for those who want to use Facebook. We also have a website that is regularly updated

We meet regularly and due to Covid we have been meeting at Jamieson Park, The Esplanade, Narrabeen.

Give Dot a call for more information: 0418 640 086 and join our Facebook group:

Concession car parking at NSW Health public hospitals

Patients and carers may be eligible for concession rates on parking at NSW Health public hospitals. 

To be eligible you need to be:
  • requiring treatment over an extended period
  • attending hospital more than twice a week (including carers of long term patients who visit frequently). 
  • ongoing cancer treatment
  • treatment more than twice weekly
  • daily dressing changes
  • cardiac rehabilitation or health promotion classes
Concessions are also available for holders of a: 
  • Transport for NSW Mobility Parking Scheme permit
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card
  • Health Care Card.
Hospitals provide communication to patients, carers and visitors about the availability of concessional car parking rates, this includes:
  • clearly displaying and publicising concessional rates
  • streamlining the concession application process with designated points of access
  • validating concessional parking for the duration of a course of treatment. 
For detailed information on eligibility and concession fees, visit NSW Health webpage:

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.

Hotline to report food quality in aged care now live

Australians now have a simple and efficient way to report food concerns in aged care, with the launch of a dedicated Food, Nutrition and Dining Unit hotline at the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The hotline is active and callers will have access to experts in the areas of food, nutrition, and dining, including dietitians and speech pathologists.

A good meal with good nutrition is crucial to quality of life for everyone but especially older people.

The Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline is also available to aged care providers to access food and nutrition advice, support and education to deliver improved food, nutrition and dining experiences for older people in their care.

Older people, their families and carers, providers and aged care workers can call the Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline on 1800 844 044.

The hotline builds on the Federal Government’s grant to the Maggie Beer Foundation to build the capability of aged care chefs and cooks working in aged care.

The first free online training modules are now available:

Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells stated;

“What older Australians consume and their dining experience has a significant impact on their overall wellbeing.

“Australians were shocked when the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that 68% of aged care residents were malnourished or at risk of malnourishment on the Coalition’s watch.
“I can't be clear enough, food must be a priority in aged care.

“The Food, Nutrition and Dining Unit hotline is another important step in the Albanese Government’s mission to make sure older people have access to nourishing food that improves their quality of life.”



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

MWP Care

We've been supporting the community for over 50 years! 
Our Neighbour Aid staff and volunteers are able to provide crucial support to vulnerable elderly residents during the lockdown. 

Help with going to the supermarket or shopping on your behalf from a list as well as transport to medical appointments. Please get in touch via our website for more information 

MWP Care is a not-for-profit organisation that assists frail aged and younger people with disabilities and their carer’s in the Manly, Warringah, Pittwater area to remain independent members of our community.

MWP Care provides support to people who cannot manage alone by providing a range of services. Many of Community Aid’s activities are made possible by the generous work of our wonderful volunteers. Please contact us for more information.

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.

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.

 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 2022 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:

2023 Seniors Card Discount Directory

Seniors right across the state can now pick up the latest copy of the NSW Seniors Card Directory from hundreds of locations across the state or access it online.

Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said the directory details more than 2,000 businesses providing significant discounts off products and services available through the NSW Seniors Card program.

“This directory lists all the savings that can be accessed, from supermarkets, retail and boutique stores, health and fitness, travel, utilities and professional services,” Mr Coure said.

“The Seniors Card is the largest program of its kind in Australia, and has been helping keep more money in seniors pockets and easing the cost of living for 30 years.”

The 2023 Seniors Card Directory is available in five regional areas, including Sydney and Surrounds, Central Coast and Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

Mr Coure encouraged more businesses to sign up to the NSW Seniors Program and join the more than 6,000 businesses that have opened their door to more than 1.9 million seniors across the state.

“The more businesses that sign up can potentially get more people through their door and seniors have more choice to shop and use services, so it is a win-win,” Mr Coure said.

Seniors Cards are available for permanent NSW residents who are 60 years of age or over and are working no more than 20 hours per week in paid employment.

NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2023 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 link below:
Copies of the 2023 directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, Service NSW Centres, MP Offices as well as participating local Councils and Libraries across the state. Please click here to find a location near you.

Also available:
  • Central Coast & Hunter
  • Northern NSW
  • Southern NSW
  • Western NSW

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.

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

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.

Wellbeing Plus 

The Wellbeing Plus Course is a free, online treatment course for Australian’s aged 60 years+  
The course includes 5 lessons delivered over 8 weeks, with optional weekly support from a therapist via email or phone. It aims to help us understand symptoms of anxiety and depression, and practice helpful skills.    

Over 95% of people said they would recommend the Wellbeing Plus Course.  

If you're interested in learning more, visit  

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

NSW Spectacles Program

The NSW Spectacles Program provides glasses and visual aids to eligible recipients who might be at risk of a preventable decline in their eye health.

If you're eligible, you can receive free of charge in any 2-year period:
  • one pair of single vision glasses, or
  • one pair of bifocal glasses.
Contact lenses, tinted lenses or low vision aids may be provided in certain circumstances.

You are eligible if you:
  • receive a full Centrelink pension/benefit
  • have no other income other than the Centrelink payments
  • have financial assets less than $500 (if single) or $1000 (if married/partnered or parent/guardian)
  • are a low-wage earner who earns less than:
  • the JobSeeker Payment if you're under 65, or
  • the aged pension if you're over 65.
People living in regional/remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may also qualify for the subsidy. At your appointment, your provider will use the program’s online portal to check your eligibility using the information you've supplied.

Visit Vision Australia for more details on the program, your eligibility and how to apply, at:

Home Instead Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches

We are a provider of quality home care and companionship services for seniors in the Northern suburbs of Sydney. 

To you, it’s about finding trustworthy care for your ageing loved one. To us, it’s about providing the highest-quality in-home care services to fit you and your family’s needs.
To Us, It's Personal.

We provide services to all areas and suburbs in the North Shore and Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Telephone: (02) 9144 2322

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

 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

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

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.

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:

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

Bilgola plateau Probus Club

The Bilgola Plateau Probus Club is now on a membership drive to secure interested people to join our club.  Membership is open to males and females who are currently retired or semi-retired.

We meet on the first Friday of each month at 10am at the Newport Bowling Club; 2 Palm Road Newport.

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club is now one year old, and is still accepting membership applications.

To find out more contact the President Mike Musgrave on 0419 263 165.

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

Meals on Wheels 

Meal preparation and delivery: Benevolent Society
Our food services include meal preparation, and delivery of hot, frozen or chilled meals as part of the Meals on Wheels NSW program. This service is currently provided in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.

Assistance to prepare food at home is available as an activity to help stay active and independent.
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for this service, call our friendly staff. 
Call 1800 236 762

Pittwater; 6 Jackson Road, WARRIEWOOD, NSW 2102
Phone: 02 9457 3900

Manly & Warringah; Manly Seniors Centre, 275 Pittwater Road, MANLY, NSW 2095
Phone: 02 9976 1469


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 $50 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:


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.

Keep on Dancing is what the science says!

ABC Catalyst is presenting a 2 part special studying the many benefits of dance for the over 65s. Improvements in memory, movement and the creation of new neural pathways in the brain are some of the benefits found in recent studies.

Nia is a combination of 52 moves drawn from dance arts, martial arts and healing arts. Within one class we combine flexibility, agility, mobility, strength and stability (FAMMS) in order to improve balance and fitness. By incorporating FAMMS within the movements, Nia is an integrated way to condition the entire body. People who regularly practice Nia open to a new awareness of their bodies, their internal energies, and their feelings – all of which help them move more efficiently, effectively, and safely in their workouts and in life.

Come along and give it a try. There's no performance pressure. Avalon Nia Classes are held at the Recreation Centre.
6pm Thursdays Classic Nia
9.30am Fridays Gentle Nia
Call or text Mandy Loveday 0411 645 389 - Profile

Nia’s 9 movement forms embrace the 5 Sensations of Fitness:
  • Flexibility
  • Agility
  • Mobility
  • Strength
  • Stability
Dance for health. Avalon Recreation Centre Thursdays 6pm and Fridays 9.30am. 

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook

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.

Avalon Beach Historical Society Celebrates 40 years

On Tuesday September 12 2023, in the Annexe in Dunbar Park, 51 visitors and members of the Avalon Beach Historical Society were welcomed by President Geoff Searl to celebrations for 40 years of the Society. 

18 locals were present in the upstairs dining room of the Avalon Beach RSL Club on 14 September 1983 to give birth to the Society and there were 3 members present at Tuesday’s meeting who were there on that night – Gwen Lansbury, Nick Manfield and Geoff.

Three original members: Geoff Searl OAM (President of ABHS), Gwen Lansbury, Nickolas Manfield. 

Five of the original 19 ABHS Members in 2018; Russell and Gwen Lansbury, Geoff Searl, Nickolas Manfield, and Judy Thomson. 

Geoff was elected President on that night and Nick was elected Vice-President while Gwen put her hand up as a committee member.

The Society has been affiliated with the Royal Australian Historical Society since inception.

It has grown considerably and now has the following of 135 keen members, including 7 recipients of OAMs and one AM.

66 photographs illustrated the many activities of the Society from witnessing one of the last firings of a torpedo from the observation deck of the testing station at Clareville in September 1983 to the ‘10th Great Historic Photographic Exhibition’ held last year.

Bill Goddard ably provided the projection skills necessary for the evening. 

Mention was made of the huge contribution to the Society by its inaugural Life Member (in 2003), and Patron, John Stone. John has made available to the Society the front portion of his office at 15 Bowling Green Lane for the last 10 years. John’s computer skills have also enabled restoration of damaged or poor quality photos loaned to the Society for exhibition and research.

Geoff Searl and John Stone at entrance to John Stone Photographic services business where ABHS office also is.

A special cake to celebrate the occasion had the Society’s logo covering the entire top of the cake – the first general store in 1922!

Election of Office Bearers for the coming year was simple as those from the past year were unanimously re-elected – Geoff as President, Nina Gow as Secretary, Christine Ellis as Treasurer, Roger Sayers as Publicity Officer and Sue Morrow and Collette Searl as Committee members.

Committee Members for the coming year - Roger, Geoff, Collette, Christine and Sue

The Society holds 4 meetings a year with the September meeting being the AGM. Meetings are always of interest with either a guest speaker or photographic show focussing on a particular area of research and interest.

If you wish to become a member of the Society, drop a line to the Avalon Beach Historical Society, Post Office Box 1, Avalon Beach or call Geoff on 0439.292.566.

You are also very welcome to visit the Society any Saturday morning between 10am and 1pm.

Report: Geoff Searl OAM
Photos: Brian Friend OAM/AJG

Vale: Ken 'Sava' Lloyd

It is our sad duty to advise our community that Ken ‘’Sava’’ Lloyd from Gunnedah, ex Collaroy, Warriewood and Bayview, passed away in Tamworth Hospital on Monday September 11, 2023. 

Sava was a member of Collaroy SLSC earlier in his teens and later, of Warriewood SLSC. He often told Pittwater Online about his adventures in and along the coast here, as well as his distress that the fairy penguin colony that once lived on Turimetta Beach had been displaced by dogs being taken onto that beach. 

In his teens he and 3 others from the Collaroy Club formed a singing foursome called the Four Brothers. See ‘’My Singing Story’’ by Sava

His family later lived at Bayview and were in our area for a few generations. See Ken’s story ‘Bayview Memories – the Lloyd family’ 

Sava; ''I have attached a photo of Fred, Elva and Bill and myself in trap and Fred was taking sister Elva to school at Katoomba. The sulky is the one Fred Lloyd borrowed off Mark Foy.''

His grandfather held one of the first fishing licences in NSW and his dad had one of the fisherman’s shacks at Long Reef: Dad's Fishing Shack At Long Reef by Sava.

Mr. Lloyd's Fishing Shack at Long Reef. Painting by G K Townshend - courtesy 'Sava Lloyd'.

He also told us about the ‘closing of the Narrabeen Hotel’ over a firecracker incident.

Along with asking us to find out where the display gun that had once been at Narrabeen Cenotaph may be and sparking a month’s long delving into those records for him as that Marker and Narrabeen RSL were commencing some anniversaries. More on that here.

In recent months Pittwater Online sent Ken in a new camera after his had been destroyed in flooding (a few times) along with new wheels for his ‘seniors scooter’ so he could keep on getting out and about, todays’ pension for seniors not stretching to afford these physical and emotional necessitates, especially after those floods – Ken loved taking photos, and he loved getting around his neighbourhood!

Ken was also a member of the Manly Warringah DJRFL. His father was a founding member of the Narrabeen Rugby Club in the 1930’s – along with being a very good lifesaver himself. His dad, Bill Lloyd, was a foundation member of South Narrabeen SLSC where he made a rescue and received an award for bravery:

Although a gallant rescue was attempted, Harold Spooner, a baker of Pittwater-road, Narrabeen, was drowned in the surf not far from his home yesterday.
The bather had been in the surf for a brief time before he was seen to throw up his hands as if trying to attract attention. Mr. William Lloyd, a member of the Narrabeen Surf Club, immediately went to the rescue. The club's life-saving appliances were too far from the scene to be of use, but Mr. Lloyd pluckily plunged into the surf without their aid, and attempted to reach the bather. His efforts, however, failed, and Mr. Spooner disappeared. The body has not been recovered. BATHER DROWNED. (1925, February 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

R.I.P. ‘Sava’ – you and your generous sharing of local stories and those quirky poems will be missed. 

Photos; Ken’s including Collaroy Junior Boat crew 1955; Bob Maladay Sweep.Wally Bienson, Ken 'Sava' Lloyd, Tom Whelan, The Late Bede Brodigan, and Collaroy's first Tuck Stern Surf Boat and this boat's First time competing at a Carnival at Nth Narrabeen. Photos: Ken ''Sava'' Lloyd - who liked saveloys!

Celebrations for dedicated NSW RFS members: September 2023

Experienced RFS firefighters from across the Northern Beaches were recently celebrated for their collective contribution of more than 1,000 years of service to their communities.

Across two ceremonies at the Northern Beaches Headquarters Brigade Station in Terrey Hills, Commissioner of the RFS, Rob Rogers and Deputy Commissioner Kyle Stewart presented 18 National Medals and 33 Long Service Medals.

Commissioner Rogers said these medals are a proud acknowledgement of the commitment shown by these individuals over the years.

“The members being recognised this week range from 10 to 52 years of service, with a special mention of three members who have each contributed 50 or more years’ Service.

“I acknowledge Northern Beaches Headquarters Brigade member Allan Brett, a member for 52 years. Alan is receiving the National Medal 3rd Clasp for his long and distinguished service beyond normal expectations.

“Ronald Hughes has been an active member of the Ingleside Brigade and continues to impart his knowledge and skills on fellow Brigade members, and is a worthy recipient of the Long Service Medal for his 50 years of Service.

“I also note Retired Chief Superintendent Alan Brinkworth of the Terrey Hills Brigade for his 50 years of service. Alan has served his Brigade, District and the wider Service though his various roles as both a volunteer and staff member, all while maintaining the history of the Service as the RFS Honorary Historian.”

Commissioner Rogers congratulated each of the Northern Beaches volunteers on their dedication, commitment and service to their communities.

“Members of the Northern Beaches District exemplify the very essence of community service. They stand as role models, inspiring others to come forward and contribute to the betterment of our communities.

“The hard work and professionalism of all RFS members does not go unnoticed and while they do not ask for praise, we should take every opportunity to acknowledge their contribution and commitment to their community.

“We also thank the family, friends, employers and colleagues of all our members. It takes their ongoing support and patience to assist and enable our volunteers to do what they do to save lives and property.”

Photos: by and courtesy Warringah / Pittwater Headquarters Rural Fire Brigade; Life member Firefighter Allan Brett AFSM who has received his third National Service Medal clasp, totalling a massive 52 years of service to the Northern Beaches community. Throughout his time at the Brigade, AB has risen through the ranks to Group Leader and still contributes significantly to the brigades operations. We are also celebrating Deputy Captain John Freeman who received his 15 year National Service Medal. Better known as Kiwi, John has contributed countless hours to the training of our members and attending incidents across NSW.

Photo: Alan Brinkworth ('Brinky') - by and courtesy NSW RFS Terrey Hills Brigade - Brinky's historical Rural Fire Service Display. With decades of RFS knowledge and memorabilia, Brinky has curated the most comprehensive historical display.

Congratulations gentlemen and thank you for your service!

Rising cost of living keeps older people awake at night

September 14, 2023
  • According to research, 53% of older Australians believe they will outlive their savings.
New research by National Seniors Australia and Challenger reveals most older people are increasingly concerned about the rising costs of living, with four in five reporting it had negatively impacted their lifestyle and wellbeing.

The report The Cost of Living and Older Australians’ Financial Wellbeing, based on the 2023 National Seniors Social Survey of almost 6,000 people aged 50 and over, unpacks how cost-of-living pressures are affecting the financial security of older Australians.

Over half the survey respondents (53%) said they thought they would outlive their savings, and 85% of them were worried about that.

Those concerned about long-term cost-of-living struggles were five times more likely to be concerned about this scenario.

National Seniors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Chris Grice, said older people are typically thought to be protected from the more severe impacts of increasing living costs because of their relatively high rates of home ownership, but that is simply not the case.

“The survey findings show that people aged 50-plus are very diverse in terms of the impact of the increasing cost of living on their financial wellbeing,” Mr Grice said.

“Older people experience less overt challenges to their financial wellbeing that undermine financial security and overall quality of life and these effects vary depending on age, gender, partner status, health, wealth, home ownership, and sources of income.

“The results are clear, recent increases in the cost of living in Australia have impacted older people’s financial wellbeing across all three of its components: meeting expenses, being in control of finances, and feeling financially secure.”

Long-term impacts for most vulnerable
Eighty-three per cent of survey respondents believed they would continue to feel cost-of-living impacts on their lifestyle over the 12-month period following the February survey.  

People with less savings, people who don’t own their home, younger age groups, those in poor health, and women were the groups most likely to hold long-term concerns about the rising cost of living.

Being able to afford essentials was the highest cause for concern, with respondents listing health, energy, and grocery expenses as the top three pain points.

For most, managing their financial situation meant cutting back. Almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) chose this as an option they could use to adjust to increasing cost-of-living pressures.

Challenger Head of Retirement Income Research, Aaron Minney, said cutting spending is not a sustainable long-term strategy for older Australians to manage rising costs of living, with the impacts of this issue set to be long-lasting.

“An important factor for retirement wellbeing is having the financial capacity to maintain living standards that were enjoyed before retirement,” Mr Minney said.

“In general, older people’s sense of financial resilience and financial security have fallen since the start of the pandemic and the increasing cost of living has further undermined long-term planning and financial goal setting of older Australians.

“Certainty of income is vital to give retirees the confidence to spend and peace of mind that they have the financial security to protect their lifestyle, health, and wellbeing throughout their golden years."

Retirees want money that lasts a lifetime
To manage the concern about outliving savings, 83 percent of those surveyed reported they want money that lasts a lifetime, and income that increases with inflation is also a top financial priority for most. Regular income for essentials (91%) and being able to afford care and medical costs (86%) were also crucial to long-term confidence.  

“Financial wellbeing is critical to quality of life in older age, and rapidly increasing living costs are undermining the financial wellbeing of older people,” Mr Minney said. 

“Finding ways to mitigate worry and giving greater confidence that they will always have the income to meet these essential expenses will improve people’s wellbeing and quality of later life. A guaranteed and adequate income stream provides a lot of reassurance and comfort to older Australians battling rising costs.  

“After nearly 30 years of relative stability in the cost of living, retirement planning and financial advice must better address the potential effects of inflation in undermining people’s control over their finances.”

To read the full report, click here.

Inquiry into housing policies and practices for precariously housed older Australians

This final Inquiry brings together the findings of three research projects to address how Australia can deliver the types of housing precariously housed individuals in, or approaching, retirement need to support their life aspirations, wellbeing, participation and inclusion. 

Over the last 20 years, housing options for older Australians on lower incomes have been getting worse with home ownership rates falling, more people carrying their mortgage debt into retirement and reduced access to social housing. By 2031 an estimated 440,000 older households will be unable to find or afford suitable housing.

Lower income older Australians want housing that is achievable, with some factors gaining greater significance as people get older, such as they want to stay in an affordable home and to live in safe, secure and neighbourhoods. The Inquiry developed and explored alternative housing models through a survey with lower income households. There was a clear preference for a shared equity home ownership model, a cooperative housing model and a transportable housing model, which reflects the expectation that it is ‘normal’ to own one’s home in Australia.

In addition, the research highlights that, even though many low income older householders can’t afford any form of mortgage, some people are paying large proportions of their income on rent. If they could get a loan there are two options that have the potential to deliver forms of home ownership, with the security of tenure and well being that provides: shared equity mortgages and land lease mortgages.

The research mapped the increases (and decreases) in populations of older low income households across Australia and predicted changes in each area to 2031, measured in suburb-sized geographical areas. The largest projected increases are likely to be in peri-urban and outer-suburban regions, with some significant rises in regional and rural locations.

Faulkner, D., Sharam, A., James, A., Tually, S. and Barrie, H. (2023) Inquiry into housing policies and practices for precariously housed older Australians, AHURI Final Report No. 406, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne,, doi: 10.18408/ahuri3225001.

Are we about to see a rare green comet light up the sky? An expert on what to expect from Nishimura

Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland

Of all the objects in the Solar System, perhaps the most spectacular are the great comets that occasionally grace our skies. If you’ve been on social media in the past few days, you’ve probably seen articles proclaiming we have such a comet in our skies right now: C/2023 P1 (Nishimura).

As I write this, comet Nishimura is swinging past on its first visit in more than 400 years. Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura discovered the comet on August 12. Soon after, pre-discovery images of the comet dating back to January were found, allowing astronomers to determine its path.

They quickly realised Nishimura would swing closer to the Sun than the orbit of Mercury this month. Given the comet’s brightness at the time of discovery, it could become bright enough to see with the naked eye. So, will it be a spectacular sight in our skies? Probably not.

Unfortunately, Nishimura’s path will keep it close to the Sun in the sky as observed from Earth. While it’s definitely bright enough to be visible to the naked eye in dark skies, at best it will hug the horizon just after sunset – almost lost in the Sun’s glow.

Still, astronomers across the globe are excited. Even a hard-to-spot naked-eye comet is worth observing. And as science writer and astronomer David H. Levy once said:

Comets are like cats: they have tails, and they do precisely what they want.

There’s a chance Nishimura might brighten unexpectedly. If it does, we might see something special in the couple of weeks. If not, there’s always next year – but more on that later.

Recipe for a bright comet

When they are far from the Sun, in the icy depths of space, comets are essentially dirty snowballs: lumps of ice, dust and rock left over from the Solar System’s formation.

As a comet approaches the Sun, its surface begins to heat up. The ices near the surface get hot and “sublime”, turning to gas and erupting outward from the comet’s surface. This gas carries dust and debris, shrouding the nucleus in a diaphanous cloud of gas and dust called a “coma”.

The solar wind then blows the gas and dust away from the Sun, which gives the comet its tail (or tails). The tails always point away from the Sun.

The comet we see is sunlight being reflected from the gas and dust in the coma and tails – the nucleus itself is hidden from sight. A comet’s brightness, therefore, is typically determined by three things:

  1. the size of the nucleus: a bigger nucleus typically means a larger active area (though some comets are more active than others) and more gas and dust production
  2. distance to the Sun: the closer the comet is to the Sun, the more active (and brighter) it will become
  3. distance to Earth: the closer the comet is to us, the brighter it will appear.

What about Nishimura?

That brings us to comet Nishimura. It seems likely Nishimura isn’t that large – otherwise we’d have spotted it sooner – nor is it particularly close to Earth. It is, however, passing relatively close to the Sun and is expected to be very active around perihelion (its closest point to the Sun).

Were it possible to view in a dark night sky, the comet would be quite impressive. Sadly, even at its best Nishimura will be close to the Sun in the sky.

On top of that, it just so happens the comet and Earth are located at about the worst orientation for viewing: Nishimura will stay close to the Sun as it recedes from us, remaining buried in the star’s glare.

A short window to see Nishimura from Australia

Nishimura will soon peek above the western horizon after sunset, but only just. The best chance to see it from Australia comes in the week of September 20 to 27, when the comet’s head will set around one hour after the Sun. It will be farthest from the Sun in the evening sky on September 23.

As twilight ends, Nishimura will be very close to the western horizon, about to set. That means it will probably be lost in the Sun’s glare.

But remember, comets are like cats. Some comets fall apart when at their closest to the Sun, in which case they often brighten significantly. If that were to happen to Nishimura, it could become much easier to spot.

Unfortunately, the comets most likely to fragment are those visiting the inner Solar System for the first time, moving on very long-period orbits of tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Nishimura is a seasoned visitor, with an orbital period of around 430 years. It has likely swung past the Sun many times and survived, which lowers the odds of it breaking apart.

Nonetheless, while the head of the comet might be lost in the twilight, the tail might still be visible as the sky darkens. Before the comet was lost in the glare to northern hemisphere viewers, observers put its tail at around six degrees in length – and it will likely grow as the comet swings closer to the Sun.

If you’re lucky, you might spot the tail standing proud above the horizon as the sky darkens.

The next great comet

If Nishimura doesn’t turn out to be the show you hoped for, there’s a chance another comet could put on a truly spectacular show next year. Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) was discovered at the start of this year. It’s currently almost as far from the Sun as Jupiter.

Over the next 12 months it will continue to fall sunward, coming closest to the Sun in late September 2024. Tsuchinshan-ATLAS is looking promising. If it behaves as expected it could be a spectacular sight – but just remember: comets are like cats! The Conversation

Jonti Horner, Professor (Astrophysics), University of Southern Queensland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

u3a at Newport Community Centre: coming up

About Our Courses and Activities
Sydney u3a comprises seven regions covering the greater Sydney metropolitan area. The local one is U3A Northern Beaches Region.

Sydney u3a is managed and run entirely by volunteers who contribute time and energy to provide life-long learning and social activities for everyone.  Join in to enjoy the benefits of membership!  At the one affordable annual membership fee of $85.00 (less than $2 per week), you’ll get:
  • access to a wide range of courses and presentations
  • friendly and inviting social events in your region

Members can attend any course in any of the seven regions
  • Volunteers lead and administer the courses and talks
  • A wide range of topics is covered – from learning foreign languages to table tennis to history to book/movie clubs to philosophy to science related issues. There’s something for everyone!
  • Courses are held in a variety of local venues and via Zoom
  • Events, visits, tours and social activities are also offered
  • Full details of activities are listed each semester in the Course Book and on individual regional pages
From time to time there are changes to course details after publication of the Course Book. Please keep checking your region’s website or the website home page for updates.

u3a Northern Beaches Region
Our current newsletter includes up to date information on courses, events and any changes to the program.  Previous newsletters are available here if you missed any information or wish to refresh your memory.

Please note:  The newsletter is distributed to members by email at the end of each month. If you haven’t received the latest copy please check as it may have been captured in your Junk email folder. If this is the case, please adjust your settings so that you receive future newsletters as soon as possible. We also take this opportunity to issue a friendly reminder to contact us with your updated details if you change your home or email address. Thank you.

Games Table Tennis
Every Thursday from 1:15 to 4:15
Main Hall
Table tennis stimulates physical and mental performance. We offer the opportunity to revive a dormant skill and to socialise with new friends in an air-conditioned venue that is ideal for year-round play.
Leader: Richard Hughes
Bookings: Ron Heald and Angela Gollmer

Every Monday from 12:30 to 2:00
Main Hall
Please book only one yoga class per week. Every class consists of basic yoga practice, breathing and
deep relaxation which will help improve joint mobility, increase muscle flexibility and bone density.
Teacher: Maryanne Deans Kolek
Leader: Susan Barnard
Bookings: Pamela Frei

Alternate Wednesdays from 8 Feb 1:30 to 4:00
Activity Rooms 1 and 2
Looking for fun and an enjoyable activity that extends you? Join our drama activities where you will meet new people and have fun along the way. We do drama to music, also mime, improvisation and roleplaying.
Leader: Helen Rosenkranz
Bookings: Claire Kennedy

Every Wednesday (except first Wed every month) from 8 Feb 2:00 to 3:30
Main Hall.
Reconnect with nature via this gentle, moving meditation originating in China. Relaxes the joints, aids digestion and sleep, calms the mind and gently tones and strengthens muscles. Work at your own level.
Suitable for most.

Leader: Penny Auburn
Bookings: Helen Howes

Pittwater RSL: Seniors Show + Lunch 2023

Our Seniors Shows are on every last Monday of month! LIVE in the auditorium. 
Two course luncheon in the Glasshouse PLUS a show special:  $20pp
Doors open from 10am for an 11am show.
BOOK TODAY! -  11.30-12.15pm

Sept 25th: Jo Elms
Nov 27th: Daniel T

Active and Healthy at any age

Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to stay fit and independent, as you get older. Age is no barrier, research shows that exercise, at any age, is worth the effort. If you are in any doubt about exercise, please talk to your doctor.

This website ( can help you find an exercise program in your local area and provides information and tools that can assist you to increase your physical activity.

Join Healthy and Active for Life Online!

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a FREE 10-week healthy lifestyle program for adults aged 60 years* and over.

The program will help you learn how to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle to improve your health.

The program covers lots of topics including healthy eating and physical activity.
No prior knowledge or exercise experience is required!
*Aboriginal people aged 45+ years can register. 

Healthy and Active for Life Online will help you to be active by:
  • Providing online exercise programs for you to complete in the comfort of your home
  • Providing you with an exercise manual and log to keep you on track
  • Helping you to create realistic goals and increase your fitness

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. 
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:

assistance to pay your aged care costs

It’s now easier to get help if you need assistance to pay your aged care costs.
Services Australia have improved their Aged Care Claim for financial hardship assistance form and made changes to some evidence requirements. They’ve made these changes so it’s easier for you to get help.

You may get help if you can’t pay your aged care costs and you’re either:
  • in residential or respite care
  • getting a home care package.
You can claim for financial hardship assistance if all of the following apply:
If you get a Home Care Package, your care must have started on or after 1 July 2014.

Before you claim, you should update your income and asset details as well as your partners if you have one. You may also be eligible for other payments and services.

Next steps

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. 

NSW Seniors Card program: Translated Resources

If you're from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, and would like more information about the NSW Seniors Card program, translated versions of the Membership Guide brochure are available here:
Available for download in 13 different languages.

Pensioner water rebate

If you receive a pension, you may qualify for a rebate on your water bill. 

To be eligible, you’ll need a:
  • Pensioner Concession Card from Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs, or
  • gold Health Card (also known as a gold card) that shows:
  • war widow
  • war widower
  • extreme disablement adjustment (EDA)
  • totally and temporarily incapacitated (TTI)
  • totally and permanently incapacitated (TPI).
You’ll also need to be the owner and occupier of one of the following:
  • single dwelling
  • dual occupancy
  • strata or company title unit
  • unit in a retirement village with a life term lease.
If you own the property with someone who isn't a pensioner, you may still get a rebate. This depends on your relationship with the other owner(s) and your eligibility.

Rebates are applied to each bill. 

You can claim your pensioner rebate by selecting your water supplier from the following list:


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

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!

 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:

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.


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.


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

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!
Avalon Beach Ladies Probus Club - Profile

Looking For New Members - Spring Into Spring - October 2023 is Probus Month - Theme This Year: Good Friends, Great Times, New Adventures.

Currently Avalon Beach Ladies Probus club is looking for new members - a great opportunity to spring into Spring by meeting up with wonderful local women for fun and friendship. Meets first Tuesday of every month at Club Palm Beach (Palm Beach RSL).

President Margaret White shares a few insights into this local ladies Probus club.

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern BeachesTechnology made easy for Seniors

Have you ever struggled with the demands of modern technology? Come and join our friendly club and learn at your own pace. 

Computer Pals for Seniors Northern Beaches is here to help you master your device, be it Android/Apple tablets and phones, Apple/Microsoft/Chromebook laptops.

Each lesson is one-on-one for an hour each week during term times.

We are based at The Tramshed Arts & Community Centre, 1395a Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, close to the B-Line bus stop.

If you would like further information please contact Anne - Tel: 9984 0604 or email

Avalon Scottish Country Dancing

Avalon Rec. Centre
Thursday 3pm to 5pm
Most Saturdays 2pm to 4pm
(contact Margot Fenelon 0419 122 455 to confirm Saturday class)
COST:  $5 - first visit free
WHAT TO WEAR: Casual clothes and soft soled shoes

Pensioner's Concessions: Council Rates

Did you know that Pensioners are entitled to concessions on their Council Rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government. You can only claim a concession on the property if it is the sole or principal place you live.

If you are eligible, you are entitled to:
  • Half of the total of your ordinary rates and domestic waste management service charge, up to a maximum of $250.
  • Half of your water rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
  • Half of your sewerage rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
To apply, you need to complete a pensioner concession application form. You can obtain these forms from your council - download our area's one HERE