Author: Editor

New coastal boom town for retirement living

Newcastle is being tipped as the next ‘residential and lifestyle hub’ for retirees with significant development going on in and around the city. All signs of its former industrial image will soon be gone with major upgrades to the waterfront areas that were previously the heart of BHP’s local operations. A new public transport system was launched for the city last month that integrates bus, ferry and light rail timetables in an Australian first, which is part of the city’s urban renewal plan. There will be approximately 2500 new apartments coming onto the market in the next two to three years, compared to about 250 per year previously, all of which have already sold to owner-occupiers – mainly baby boomers, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review. With median 2-bedroom apartment prices about $200,000 less than Sydney, nice beaches, good transport and public services it’s no surprise that growth of the city over the next three years is tipped to be 15 per cent, compared to two per cent in Sydney, says BIS Shrapnel managing director, Robert Mellor. However, local providers are already experiencing the effects of the city’s boom, with more than 100 aged care jobs currently being advertised in the area, primarily for registered nurses, care workers, physiotherapists and OTs. A staff member at Interactive Community Care, a local provider in Newcastle, said new direct care services...

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My Emergency Dr app shows promise

A new app is enabling aged care residents to access emergency specialist doctors around the clock without having to go to hospital. The My Emergency Dr app, invented by Royal North Shore Hospital emergency physician Justin Bowra, gives people the ability to access an emergency doctor who can write prescriptions, order X-rays and pathology tests and refer patients to other specialists 24-hours a day. During trials of the app, more than half the patients who used it were saved a trip to the local hospital emergency department. Group Homes Australia had seven of its aged care sites across Sydney involved in the trials. Dr Bowra told the Daily Telegraph that the service has the potential to revolutionise emergency medical care. “We see the service as being particularly useful for those who live a long way from the nearest hospital emergency department,” he said. If a doctor believes the patient needs to go to hospital, the app allows their medical details to be sent to the...

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New method to track wanderers

A small town in Japan has begun giving out bar coded stickers to citizens who have dementia in a bid to help keep them safe if they wander off and become lost. Iruma, a town north west of Tokyo, has a population of 150,000 with about 3,000 people thought to be in advanced stages of dementia. Last year local officials began issuing Quick Response (QR) code seals to families of elderly citizens to be worn on a fingernail as a discreet form of identification. If someone comes across a person who is seemingly lost and confused but has a QR code on their fingernail, they can use a mobile phone to scan the code and find out who to call. The words “City of Iruma” and its main switchboard number then appear on the phone. A city official who answers the phone has access to records that identify the person and their contact information, so they can call a relative to collect the elderly person. The seal is attached to a fingernail, and unlike a name tag it does not reveal the person’s identity or address to the public. The QR seals are available at no cost but can only be requested by individuals or their families. When the fingernail needs to be cut, a new seal is...

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