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Canberra Today 18°/22° | Monday, December 6, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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There’s a lot of living to be done for active seniors

Cheerful senior friends gathered together at cozy small patio and remembering funny stories from their past, they wearing knitted sweaters and warming themselves with herbal tea

In this sponsored post, “CityNews” celebrates seniors, by speaking to people who are passionate about helping them make the most out of later life.

THESE days, seniors are remaining productive for longer, working for longer, and generally leading more vibrant and active lives, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

From looking after health to looking after the home, there are heaps of businesses throughout the Canberra region that help make this possible.

To celebrate seniors, “CityNews” speaks to some of the local experts who are dedicated to improving the lives of our older residents.

Downer village is making sales

GOODWIN Aged Care Services has opened sales in the first stage of its yet-to-be-built retirement village in Downer.

Goodwin Village Downer will be the organisation’s fifth retirement village in the ACT and will offer a central location and an environment designed specifically for seniors.

With units built to the adaptable housing standards and a variety of on-site supports, Goodwin Village Downer grows to meet residents’ changing needs, allowing people to age in place and remain active for longer.

The village will offer a range of shared spaces including a clubhouse, gym, library, landscaped gardens and alfresco dining areas, as well as an on-staff lifestyle officer.

Located around the corner from the Dickson shops on the corner of Melba and Bradfield Streets, Goodwin Village Downer comprises 109 two and three-bedroom independent living apartments and 20 single-bedroom assisted-living apartments.

Erik Boddeus, Goodwin executive manager, Retirement Living, Property and Development says: “Retirement living takes a lot of the chores and stress out of life.

“There’s a maintenance officer on site to help with any odd jobs, a village manager and concierge, and a lifestyle officer who facilitates events which people can choose to participate in.

“Goodwin has spent decades listening to the wants and needs of seniors. We’ve taken the learnings from our existing villages and have designed a retirement village that we know is going to offer an outstanding lifestyle, balancing luxury, privacy and connectivity.”

Goodwin Village Downer is currently pending DA with construction expected to start in early 2022.

More from 6175 5059, and


Keeping seniors connected even through lockdown

Arthritis ACT CEO Rebecca Davey.

CEO of Arthritis ACT, Rebecca Davey, says she and the team are keen to connect with clients in person again.

For more than 40 years, Arthritis ACT has been assisting its clients with arthritis, neuropathic pain, osteoporosis and more, and COVID-19 didn’t stop the care.

Throughout lockdown, Rebecca says Arthritis ACT offered its clients free daily exercise classes to, “keep them all moving, try and reduce their pain and keep them connected with each other as well”.

The online classes started with the first lockdown in 2020, and continued during this year’s lockdown. Rebecca also says Arthritis ACT did a few home visits and taught people how to use their phone to connect to the classes.

“It was just to keep people connected, because mostly they were lonely and anxious,” says Rebecca.

The online classes will continue to run.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing the people again. We’re all healthcare workers, we like seeing people, being able to share a cuppa with them and have a laugh in person,” she says.

Arthritis ACT, building 1, Colette Place, Pearce, and building 18, 170 Haydon Drive, Bruce. Call 1800 011041, email or visit


Principal Dr William Vass.

Dr Vass offers life-changing hearing help

GETTING help with hearing loss is all about improving communication and gaining clarity, says Dr Vass Hearing Clinic principal Dr William Vass.

With many years of experience in the hearing industry, he says that while people think nothing of having an eye test or wearing glasses to correct their vision, the idea of having a hearing test and facing up to hearing issues is still not comfortably accepted.

“Hearing loss is identified as an elderly person’s issue and it is associated negatively with ageing,” Dr Vass says.

“That’s not necessarily true. Generally, people don’t want to admit they need hearing help.

“I say to patients: ‘I wear glasses to improve my eyesight, it doesn’t mean I am blind!’

“Wearing hearing aids doesn’t mean the person is deaf, it means you are seeking better clarity and improved communication.”

Dr Vass says patients have the certainty that they’ll be seeing him when they visit the clinic and that he will provide one-on-one, tailored care and advice.

The best part of Dr Vass’ job is seeing how his patients’ lives can be turned around once they make the step to get their hearing tested.

“My patients can be depressed, isolated and angry. Hearing loss can result in communication breakdown and when they finally receive appropriate care, they are more outgoing and confident,” he says.

Dr Vass Hearing Clinic, suite 14, John James Medical Centre, 175 Strickland Crescent, Deakin. Visit or call 6282 2717.

Your Property Profits owners Kim Persson, left, and Sophie McLean.

Helping homes look their best

STRESS-free home renovations and sales are the specialty of Your Property Profits, says co-owner Kim Persson.

“We will look after the house and make it shine. They can just leave the keys and focus on more important things.”

Many of the clients at Your Property Profits are seniors who are unwell themselves or have a loved one who is, and they don’t have a lot of support in Canberra, says Kim.

“We have been the help they have needed, to have the ability to actually be able to renovate before selling,” she says.

Kim says Your Property Profits offers “peace of mind,” and clients don’t need to worry about any up-front costs. The renovating team front the cost for clients, who then pay after the property is sold.

“The market is great for sellers at the moment, and renovated homes are doing very well,” says Kim.

Your Property Profits. Call Kim and Sophie on 1800 225597, email or visit

ACT Deafness Resource Centre’s CEO Glenn Vermeulen.

Helping seniors manage hearing loss

FOR more than 35 years, the ACT Deafness Resource Centre has been advising seniors on how best to manage their hearing loss, says CEO Glenn Vermeulen.

For some people, it may be that the television has become hard to hear, while for others, they might be missing out on what their grandchildren are saying, says Glenn.

“We provide them with information that can help them make an informed choice about the type of hearing aid they get and what they can expect from them,” he says.

“[We also help them] go into their audiology appointment armed with lots of information that helps them understand what’s going on, and make that choice based on accurate information, both from us and the audiologist.”

And for those who are already fitted with a hearing aid, Glenn says their John James Foundation “Hearing Aiders” program goes into nursing homes to clean the hearing aids and change the batteries for residents.

There’s no charge to residents for the service, which Glenn says is currently running monthly in 16 nursing homes across Canberra.

Since the ACT Deafness Resource Centre first opened in 1985, Glenn says the technology has continued to change rapidly, with hearing aids becoming obsolete after only four to five years.

“Technology is moving very fast,” he says.

ACT Deafness Resource Centre, 1b/27 Mulley Street, Holder. Call 6287 4393, email or visit

Breastscreen ACT promotions and quality manager Christy Fox.

Mammograms keep an eye out for breast cancer

BREASTSCREEN ACT encourages women to have a mammogram every two years, as research shows that regular screening over the age of 50 reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer.

“It only takes 20 minutes and it could save your life,” promotions and quality manager Christy Fox says.

“One in seven women will develop breast cancer in their life, and most women who develop breast cancer don’t have a family history,” she says.

“Early detection is so important as it optimises treatment options and outcomes.”

Christy says that Breastscreen ACT actively encourages women aged between 50 and 74 to have regular screenings as 75 per cent of breast cancer is diagnosed in women in that age group.

“The benefit of screening every two years is that any small changes that might happen to the breast can be monitored,” says Christy.

“And if you happen to see or feel a change in your breasts, please see your GP in the first instance,” says Christy. 

Breastscreen ACT is located in Civic, Phillip and Belconnen. For appointments call 132050.

Next Sense
Alan Edwards addressed his hearing loss with cochlear implants.

When hearing aids aren’t enough

“BY age 65, one in three people will have hearing loss – an experience associated with social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and is an independent risk factor for dementia,” says Deakin ear, nose and throat surgeon, Dr Tim Makeham.

“But there is something you can do to manage this risk and maintain your quality of life.”

Dr Tim says the NextSense Cochlear implant program (formerly SCIC, an RIDBC service) has supported more than 5000 people to access a better world of sound, making it Australia’s largest and most comprehensive program.

“At NextSense, you have access to leading surgeons, an expert team of health professionals, and the latest technologies – often with no out-of-pocket costs,” he says.

“If you are over the age of 50, it is important to have regular hearing tests with an audiologist who can manage your hearing loss in a timely manner,” says Dr Tim.

Jo Dodds, from NextSense, says: “People can have their Cochlear implant surgery, and associated therapy, here in Canberra. Referring our clients to a local ENT surgeon with consultation rooms in Deakin is important.”

Alan Edwards is an older Australian who has benefitted from a Cochlear implant. When Alan’s hearing loss increased over time, he became distant, withdrawing from society and his family.

Alan persisted with hearing aids despite them becoming “physically painful”.

But hearing aids weren’t enough. In 2017, he received his first Cochlear implant and a year later received his second – making him a bilateral Cochlear implant recipient (both ears).

“The impact it has had on me and my life is beyond measure,” said Alan.

NextSense Deakin, Equinox Business Park, Equinox 4, Level 1, 70 Kent Street, Deakin. Call 1300 581391, email or visit


The many benefits of moving

Orthopaedics ACT’s orthopaedic surgeon Dr Nicholas Tsai.

AN active lifestyle has many physical and mental benefits and is particularly important for seniors, according to Orthopaedics ACT’s Dr Nicholas Tsai, an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in the areas of spine, hip, knee and trauma.

“Activity promotes cardiovascular fitness and social interactions; it elevates the mood and also helps to prevent osteoporosis due to inactivity and lack of sun exposure,” he says.

“All joints benefit from moderate daily movements, whether the exercises are land-based or in water. Walking aids are also important for pain relief if you have arthritis in the lower limbs.”

Orthopaedics ACT strives to provide the best advice to all members of the senior community, says Dr Tsai.

“Patients will be assessed by experienced orthopaedic surgeons, and in most cases a conservative management plan will be provided,” he says.

“The goal is always to improve the condition and to return to an active lifestyle as soon as possible.”

Dr Tsai says patients with mild symptoms will be referred to a physiotherapist participating in the GLA:D exercise program, which helps people with hip and knee osteoarthritis manage their symptoms.

Orthopaedics ACT also offers joint-replacement information sessions for those who have to undergo joint-replacement surgery.

“Surgical intervention is offered as the last resort, usually after conservative management has not been successful or if the condition is deemed so severe that conservative treatment is unlikely to improve it,” he says.

Orthopaedics ACT, Woden Specialist Medical Centre, level 2, 90 Corinna Street, Phillip. Call 6221 9320 or visit

Capon & Hubert Lawyers & Mediators wills and estate planning lawyer Ashilpa Khanna.

The importance of an up-to-date will

CAPON and Hubert Lawyers and Mediators can help clients update their will as they get older to ensure their wishes are respected, says wills and estate planning lawyer Ashilpa Khanna.

Unfortunately, Ashilpa says, some people don’t have a will, which means their possessions are instead distributed by the “rules of intestacy”.

“This distribution means that someone – your spouse or a family member – will have to apply to the court to be appointed administrator before they can handle your estate,” she says.

This can be costly and time-consuming, she says.

For seniors, even if they have a will, Ashilpa says it’s important to periodically review it, especially after significant events such as when children get married or the birth of a grandchild.

“At the forefront of people’s minds is making sure their financial and legal affairs are in order, so that in the event of a crisis, their loved ones are secure and can be provided for as intended,” she says.

Capon and Hubert has been helping people with legal matters for more than 34 years and can also help seniors with a range of legal issues in areas such as family law, children’s matters, conveyancing, and power of attorney.

“We are focused on giving honest and expert advice at all times,” she says.

“Our staff are experienced in their fields and we take pride in knowing that they will always use common sense, respect, courtesy and good judgement when dealing with clients.”

Capon and Hubert Lawyers and Mediators, first floor, 32-38 Townshend Street, Phillip. Email, call 6152 9203 or visit

Mark has mobility aids and more

STAFF director of Capital Rehabilitation Supplies, Mark Robinson, says he’s been looking forward to customers returning to the store.

He says clients can come back in again now and have a proper look at the stock.

Capital Rehabilitation Supplies has a large range of mobility aids, lift chairs, daily living aids, and bathroom and bedroom aids.

“With a lift chair, the customer has to sit in it, they have to feel it, see how comfortable it is, if it’s the right size and there’s all colour choices, too,” says Mark.

He says Capital Rehabilitation Supplies has staff with more than 35 years of experience and is a family owned business, which helps them deliver quality, caring service, and he’s ready for customers to come in and test the products for themselves to find the perfect fit.

Capital Rehabilitation Supplies, 3/66 Heffernan Street, Mitchell. Call 6174 4813 or visit


Individual support for individual needs

KIRI Tennent is the local franchise owner of Just Better Care, an in-home aged-care and disability support service.

“We’ve always been customer-focused, personalised and tailored support is our approach,” she says.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ – the support we provide is based on your individual situation.”

Just Better Care Canberra and South Coast prides itself on a genuine connection to the community, she says.

“We are a completely local team. When you call us, you speak to someone who not only works in our office but lives nearby, too,” she says.

“I love that about Just Better Care – we are real people making a real difference.”

Supporting people to navigate the often-confusing aged-care system, to find appropriate support is a constant challenge, Kiri says.

“For us, it’s about giving people all the options so they can gain the most out of their funding and continue to live the life they choose,” she says.

“Everyone has different needs and lifestyles. Finding out what’s important to you is what’s important to us.”

For in-home or lifestyle support for any age or ability, Kiri says contact them for more information.

Just Better Care, unit 9A, 189 Flemington Road, Mitchell. Call 6280 4070, email or visit


Special offer for respite care

Mark Sewell, CEO of Warrigal Aged Care.

WARRIGAL Aged Care is reaching out to the Canberra community to offer some “much needed” respite.

CEO Mark Sewell says: “We understand that many of us need a break, now more than ever, particularly as we have all been affected by the recent lockdowns.

“Respite has positive benefits for not only the older people who are staying with Warrigal, but also their carers by allowing some peace of mind while they enjoy a break from their important caring roles.”

Warrigal is running an offer, stay three weeks and get two free, which will run until December 31. It’s available at Warrigal Stirling, Warrigal Calwell and Warrigal Queanbeyan.

Mark says it’s a great opportunity to get a feel for what supportive living in a residential care home is like and to experience the quality services that Warrigal has to offer.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this free respite stay to the Canberra community, and we’re looking forward to providing them with a well-deserved break.”

Warrigal Aged Care, call 1800 927744, email or visit


How walking with poles helps seniors

BoomerAABS founder Duncan Craig.

DUNCAN Craig, founder of BoomerAABS, says his business is about more than selling poles, it’s about assisting people in their fitness and mobility journey.

He says the poles help to support people, help them balance or relieve joints and he runs Nordic walking training around Canberra when there is demand.

“When you press down, there’s 20cm of travel in the pole and you can get between 4kg and 10kg of resistance, which really helps with muscular engagement, walking posture and core strength,” he says.

He aims to cater for older people with varying abilities.

“I do tailor specifically for people over 55 and being 67 myself, I am aware of the issues that impact on people, so I make exercises accordingly,” says Duncan.

“It’s about providing a tool to assist people, it’s about quality of life and enabling them to move functionally and safely, and maintain their independence without pain, that’s the important thing; that’s front of mind.”

BoomerAABS, call Duncan on 0404 373157, email, visit or search BoomerAABS on Facebook.


Diabetes Day’s focus on access to care

SUNDAY (November 14) is World Diabetes Day, which this year is focusing on access to care for those living with the condition.

Sturt Eastwood, chief executive officer for Diabetes NSW & ACT says: “One in four Australians over the age of 25 lives with diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you add to that number the family, friends and carers who support them, you have a more accurate picture of the effect diabetes is having on the community.”

There are 19,530 people living with diabetes in the ACT and surrounding areas. More than 15,900 live with type 2 diabetes while a further 2100 live with type 1 diabetes and 1300 live with gestational diabetes.

Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is key to helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications. If type 1 diabetes is not detected early, it can be fatal. A delayed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney or heart disease, and depression or anxiety.

“Knowing the signs of diabetes can help protect your family. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to be on the lookout for symptoms such as sudden weight loss, tiredness or excessive thirst and urination. We’re also encouraging anyone over 40 to include a diabetes test in their annual check-up,” said Mr Eastwood.

Download and share materials from the Diabetes NSW & ACT website or share your story on Facebook page. 

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