We are all looking forward to what this month brings us in news and views.
We are all looking forward to what this month brings us in news and views.

Mixing the past sad with the glad

LOOK up and out is my motto for the rest of the year.

Already, and with only one month under our belt, the news has had the power to drag me down.

Our dear friend and travel writer Ann Rickard was taken from her family and friends with far too much haste.

In late December, the vivacious actress Penny Cook also died. She was only 61.

Seniors News had the pleasure of talking with Penny in August in what was possibly her last interview. Penny's farewell was as enthusiastic as the woman the Australian public came to know and love. Songs, hilarious stories, video snapshots of her various acting roles and words of great wisdom from her husband, David Lynch, were all part of the celebration in front of a packed audience at her alma mater, NIDA.

Tributes flowed for both these exceptional women as we all struggled to know how to contain our sorrow and turn the memories of their vibrant lives into a positive.

It hasn't taken long for our minds to turn back to the present as the onslaught of political commentary and promises fire up. There must be a federal election on the calendar, soon.

The Federal Government announced last month the roll out a further 10,000 high-level home care packages to be allocated by June 30 and new regulations for the use of restraints in Aged Care.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has started. The stories will be difficult to hear and read.

We are preparing for at least 18 months of hard news. Hopefully, the outcomes of overdue changes to the industry and to improving the training and working conditions of the industry's carers bring some comfort to those families who have fought to achieve a supportive and caring time for their loved ones resident in Aged Care.

Those retirees with self-managed super funds, along with many finance industry advisors, appear to be gearing up for a Labor government and a change in franking credits. There are plenty of people trying to discourage Labor from this move, but only time will tell if they can change that party's stance.

Proving age is great fun creatively, Clint Eastwood is back on the big screen at 80 in a new movie.

Joining him in movie theatres, soon, will be an impressive Australian and British cast in The Chain Breakers. James Cromwell (78), Dennis Waterman (70), Jacki Weaver (71) and Jack Thompson (78) will star in this comedy about four Vietnam veterans, famous for escaping out of a POW camp, who find themselves in a new hell; the Hogan Hills Retirement Home for Returned Veterans.

February is the month of love so be prepared for news about ways to get closer to the ones you love, finding new love and staying safe from dating scammers.

It's also the month for getting better on the internet. We are being encouraged to develop four critical skills - respect for yourself and for others; being responsible for your actions and taking a stand when you see something wrong; questioning what is real; getting back up from tough situations - all good discussion points for your next community chat.

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