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We all have the legal right to refuse health care. Warren Goldswain

It’s your choice: how to plan for a better death

Have you thought about how you would want to be treated if you cannot make your own decisions? You may be unconscious after car accident, you may be so ill you cannot communicate, or you may be dying and…
The majority of Australians want to die at home but just 14% are able to do so. Rustle/Shutterstock

A good death: Australians need support to die at home

The baby boomers are growing old and in the next 25 years the number of Australians who die each year will double. People want to die comfortably at home, supported by family and friends and effective…
More than 90% of kids are vaccinated compared with 74% of adults aged over 65 years. Shutterstock

Vaccination isn’t just for kids – a guide for over-65s

We live in an ageing society, with the global median age rising steadily. Australia’s economic viability will increasingly rely on retaining older people in the workforce for longer. This, of course, relies…
Psychotropic drugs are often used to control the behaviour of people with dementia in aged care. Harry/Flickr

Antipsychotic drugs harm older people, let’s reduce their use

Psychotropic drugs are being over-used in Australian aged-care facilities to chemically restrain residents, according to both researchers and several government reports. But despite all this attention…
We need to see old age as success and value older people as expressions of this accomplishment. Vinoth Chandar

An age-old problem: society fails to truly embrace its seniors

Cockroaches in the kitchen, kerosene in the bath, abuse and malnutrition - these are the aged-care stories that often make headlines. We, the public, respond with outrage and calls for more staff and more…
Caring is part of everyday life; it taps into our vulnerabilities and allows us to turn possibilities into material outcomes. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: How we grow and care for each other

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
Older people living with younger family members is increasingly popular, but there can be associated legal issues if the relationship breaks down. Shutterstock

Close to home: financial hazards for older people in family accommodation

Last year, having recently lost her life partner, 78-year old Miriam* was advised by her children that the family home was now “too big” for her to live in. She sold her property and moved into the home…
The new funding arrangement presumes that older people know what help they need to live in their own home for as long as possible. Vinoth Chandar

Older citizens need information to be good aged-care customers

Community-care packages have traditionally been case-managed packages of services for older people requiring residential care but wanting to stay in their home. Since July 1, all new community-care packages…
The project aims to harness technology to allow elderly people to live safely at home for longer. Louisa Billeter

Is Grandma OK? There’s an app for that

CSIRO researchers are trialling an app that aims to allow elderly people to live at home safely for longer by subtly collecting…
How to deal with our demographic future of an ageing population? One was is the status quo - hike taxes - but the other requires the courage to grapple funding to health and the elderly. AAP

Australia’s choice: keep hiking taxes, or grapple with our spending on health and the aged

More than a decade ago the federal treasury produced the first Intergenerational Report (IGR), warning of the challenges facing the Australian economy due to demographic change. The IGR warned that the…

More elderly people suffer falls more often

The number of elderly people hospitalised after a fall continues to rise in Australia. A new study shows that more than 70…
Ageing couple Gorges and Ann Laurant (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) negotiate illness and death in Amour. EPA Claudio Onorati

The thorny issue of home care in Michael Haneke’s Amour

During our lifetime, we face a series of developmental tasks that are universal to the human condition. The last of these stages comes in our final years, when we face our mortality, reflect back upon…
The children with the greatest level of disease also have the poorest access to care. Image from shutterstock.com

Filling the gaps in Australia’s dental workforce

Data released recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show the number of dentists has increased by 24% in the five years to 2011. There are now around 12,700 dentists in Australia, with…
How will the NDIS support life-long planning for Australians with disability as they grow older? Image from shutterstock.com

NDIS for under 65s: ageism or a battle over priorities?

Last week’s protest by several quadriplegic Queenslanders against age discrimination prompts us to examine how the National Disability Insurance Scheme should balance needs-based eligibility and entitlement…
Community attitudes towards the health system have improved significantly over the last four years. Sarah Reid

Australians give an upbeat diagnosis of health system

More than half of the Australian population believe they’re in very good to excellent health, have a high level of confidence in the health system and support the policy direction that the federal government’s…
Aged-care residents are among the most vulnerable in our society, with many reliant on pensions. Kariobinja/Flickr

It’s complicated: why aged-care funding is still a problem

Recent media reports have highlighted an anomaly in residential aged-care funding in Australia: that day-to-day operations of facilities are governed by both Commonwealth and state government policies…

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