Every month, Probus Perth invites a speaker to address members on his or her particular field of expertise or endeavour. Below are summaries of talks given recently. Summaries of various earlier talks are to be found within the “Archives” section of the website.
THE PURPLE ROAD
Judy Joukador (Probus Perth Member), November 2020
Judy, with her background of teaching overseas and as head of English in several of Perth’s private high schools, gave a detailed summary about her involvement since retirement with the daunting matter of elder abuse, its manifestations and some strategies and resources to help combat it. She advocates bringing this “hidden shame” into the open.
The Purple Road is a rallying point. One in six seniors experience one or more forms of elder abuse. Abuses may take the form of financial abuse (e.g., suspicious or unexplained transfers), which is estimated to be suffered by about 34% of abuse victims; emotional/ psychological (e.g., verbal threats, by 32%), social (e.g., enforced social isolation, by 13%), physical (e.g., restraint, bruising, by 10% of victims) and sexual. This prevalence and pattern are similar in westernised countries. The abuser is commonly a family member. The process often begins in a small way, commonly a slippery slope. It is believed that only one in ~24 cases is reported.
There are various strategies to assist sufferers. Keeping up one’s support network helps combat ageism by being heard and respected.
A definitive report by the Western Australian Government’s Select Committee into Elder Abuse, ‘I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me’, https://parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/commit.nsf/(Report+Lookup+by+Com+ID)/5D4DB8F8EB0A444848258307000F6874/$file/el.eld.180830.rpf.000.xx.web.pdf, was released in 2018. The Royal Commission into Aged Care has also thrown the problem into prominence. The deadline for responses to the Commission, https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/), will close on the 12 November 2020.
The elderly have rights. The important ones are to be seen, to be heard and to be respected. If you or one of your support group is uncertain of his or her rights, it is important that you access the correct information. To discuss, contact OPRS, “Older People’s Rights Services”, which is funded by the Department of Communities and is under the auspice of the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre. Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre can be contacted via this link https://www.nsclegal.org.au/contact , their phone number is 9440 1663 and their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/NorthernSuburbsCommunityLegalCentre/. The video “Purple Road” is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9KXgf8nZiM
Judy displayed a 3m length of “Purple Road” tapestry, one of a number being made in Perth.
David Beard, March 2021
David gave us an uplifting speech inspired by his father who said “Wish I was 20 years younger and know what I know now.”
David’s training as an Exercise Physiologist and his working with elderly people has given him insight into what factors influence the enjoyment and health of old age.
He based 7 points of his presentation on the Acronym of AGE WELL.
The first three relate to one’s brain.
A – Attitude – think positively and each day think of 3 good things that have happened. “Do not let what you can’t do interfere with what you can.” ( John Wooden)
G – Goals. Set yourself a goal – What do you want to do for your 100th birthday? Then work towards this goal.
E – Expectatons – Times have changed and we can expect to be here a lot longer than our forebears. So make good use of the time.
The following 4 are more practical.
W – Work. Make sure you have something to do, something that means you will get up out of bed each day
E – Exercise . Make sure you keep your body strong. David suggested that each day you almost sit and then stand up and repeat this until your legs are tired – this keeps the muscles in your legs strong. Then do standing push-ups near a wall so that your upper body is strengthened.
Eating healthily – mainly fresh food, meat and vegetables and not full of preservatives is also part of this E.
L – Learning. Keep the brain active and thus continue to make new pathways. Learn a language, a musical instrument, a dance, crosswords etc.
L – Leave a Legacy. Show your family and friends that although you are old, life is good, full of enjoyment and you are happy.
His speech was met with an enthusiastic round of applause and many bought his book “If Only I’d Known I’d Live This Long….”