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A newly released book by Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel, psychiatry professor at University of California, The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer, discusses how we can have healthier and longer lives.

Telomeres, as described by Blackburn, are like the ends of shoelaces that prevents them from fraying. She explains that if we do not have good telomeres, our DNA will start fraying and and cells will start to age.

"So you have to make sure these chromosome ends are not so worn down that they won’t protect the DNA. If they wear down, the cells don’t work properly, and the cells can’t replenish tissues. In humans, this natural wearing down happens over the decades of our life. But the worse it happens, the more likely we are to get diseases like heart disease, cancers, diabetes and even some dementias. So keeping telomeres healthy keeps you healthy for longer", Blackburn says.

In an interview with online magazine OZY, Blackburn and Epel explain the science behind ageing, the fraying of telomeres and how to keep them healthy, with the most surprising discovery being how much our mental well-being impacts the health of our telomeres.

And how can we help look after our telomeres? "Have fun, get exercise of any kind, say something warm to somebody every day and enjoy healthy food", Blackburn says.

To read their interview with OZY, visit

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23 May 2017

A film made by Apia Australia exposed our perceptions of age and revealed that subconscious age discrimination exists.

In an intergenerational social experiment, the video showed one group of younger people brought in to cast 'models' for advertising a new gym while another group of fit and active older people watched the casting process from another room. Only younger 'models' were picked as the first group decided they were representative of good health and fitness.

When the two groups meet after the experiment, the discussion was positive but not surprising that discriminating based on age stereotyping exist.

Are our perceptions of age distorted?

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19 May 2017

Image still from the short film, Pablo's Villa.

The Life in Pictures short film competition is calling for entries as part of this year's Revelation Perth International Film Festival.

A collaboration between government, arts and the community, the film competition aims to raise awareness and spark a conversation "about ageing, celebrating achievements of those who are ageing and diving into cultures each who have a different perspective on what it is to age", while shining a spotlight on the creative contributions of seniors in our community.

Here are some short films with themes about ageing:

Feeling inspired? Find out more on how you can submit your short film exploring ageing by visiting the Revelation Perth International Film Festival website here:

Entries to the film competition is now open with the deadline for submissions extended to Wednesday, 14 June 2017.

What did you think of the short films? Do you have a film about ageing you could recommend we watch?

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19 May 2017

Harry Gardner, image via The Sun UK

A 16-year old recently moved Britain's Got Talent judges and presenters to tears when he sang this moving, self-penned tribute to his Nan who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Titled 'Not Alone', Harry wrote the song based on his fondest memories with his Nan. His audition struck a chord with many on social media commenting on how their loved ones were affected by the disease. You can watch Harry's audition on Britain's Got Talent here.

Do you, or a family member or friend, live with dementia? Join Garden City Memory Cafe for a coffee, make new friends and nurture old ones, share experiences and memories... and create new ones!

Memory Cafe is a collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia WA, the City of Melville and Garden City Shopping Centre, and takes place the last Tuesday in every month.

The next Memory Cafe is on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 from 9:00am to 10:30am at Coffea Fine Espresso in Garden City. For more information, visit

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10 May 2017

Jackie and Andy Creighan. Photo by Briana Shepherd, ABC News

Meet City of Melville residents Jackie & Andy Creighan, regulars of the Memory Cafe at Coffea Fine Espresso in Garden City. After being diagnosed with early onset dementia at just 54 years of age, Andy began volunteering when he was unable to find work.

They recently spoke to ABC News on how they live well with dementia and you can read about it here:

Do you know someone who is living with memory loss? Come along and meet others living with this condition and there partners at the Garden City Memory Café which is held on the last Tuesday of the month from 9am – 10:30am at Coffea Fine Expresso. The buzz of conversation and the laughter can be heard way before you reach the café, all the staff look forward to Memory café day just as much as the participants.

You can find out more about Memory Cafe at Coffea Fine Espresso here:

Are you or someone you know living with memory loss? We'd like to hear from you.

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5 May 2017

Elia Binnoculars

Photo by Tony Luciani via Senior Planet

This is a story of the creative journey of 2 accidental photographers - Elia Luciani, a 91 year old mother with dementia and her 57 year old son, Tony.

After giving his mother a point and shoot camera, Tony discovered that the pictures she took during her walks were reflective of her state of mind and 'kind of a self-portrait'.

Their collaboration has resulted in Tony's show, M A M M A: In the Meantime.

You can read the full story here:

Are you an accidental photographer? Share your pictures here.

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1 May 2017


" I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you are is the point."

- Susan Sarandon and as quoted in Put Your Big Girl Panties on and Deal with it, Roz Van Meter, 2007

In 2016, the World Health Organization created a global campaign to focus attention on stereotypes about aging and designated October 1 as “International Day of Older Persons.”

Thanks to Senior Planet: Ageing with Attitude, there are 14 free quote cards about ageing you can download to keep or share by email or on social media.

What are some of your favourite quotes on ageing?

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28 April 2017

Alzheimer’s Australia commissioned NATSEM at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra to estimate the cost of dementia in Australia.

The economic impact of dementia is a major concern nationally and internationally as the number of individuals with dementia continues to rise. Access Economics (2003) estimated the total cost of dementia to be $6.6 billion in 2002.

This report now shows that the cost of dementia in Australia in 2016 is $14.25 billion, which equates to an average costof $35,550 per person with dementia.

16 February 2017


Entries Close May 31st!

What is ageing? Does it mean ‘getting old’? Is it ‘getting older’? Or is it simply ‘growing’?

The Life in Pictures filmmaking competition is a unique collaboration between government, the arts and the community that's centered on stimulating discussion about ageing, celebrating achievements of those who are ageing and diving into cultures each who have a different perspective on what it is to age.

31 January 2017

Bingo? Pass. Bring on Senior Speed-Dating and Wine-Tasting.

Senior centers have undergone profound changes in recent years to appeal to baby boomers who are living longer and expect more — much more.

Read the full New York Times story here:

Do you have a special place like Mather’s Cafe that you enjoy attending? Share it with us below.

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21 November 2016

By the time you reach your 60s, you’ve almost certainly made your share of financial mistakes. Even if you are one of the lucky few who managed to save consistently for retirement, you probably look back on your life and wish that someone had taught you more about money as a kid. Check out these tips from sixtyandme, and don't forget to click on this link to read the full story:

  • Start Working as Early as Possible
  • Be Clear About “Wants” vs “Needs”
  • Use Coins to Make Money Real
  • Put 10% of Your Money into Savings
  • Using Your Money to Help Others Feels Good

What advice would you give to young people living in the City of Melville about money?

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11 November 2016

Image gallery

The seniors population spans more than 40 years in WA (from 60 – 100 + years), making it very diverse in terms of health, family, economic, emotional, physical, financial and household circumstances.

Social isolation is a well-established risk factor for depression and anxiety. Social connections are shown to be protective factors that can prevent against and reduce the severity of these conditions.

In a very interesting panel-led forum, on 8 November 2016, held in partnerships between ConnectGroups and the City Of Melville, service providers, state government, university representatives and the seniors community had robust and interesting discussions on the topic.

Please can you recap and share your thoughts on:

  • What Social Isolation means to you/your organisation.
  • Key factors contributing to it
  • Opportunities and services
  • Sharing experiences and ideas.

Please leave your comments below

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10 November 2016

Attended this event? Share your experiences below!

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4 November 2016

Ninety-year-old Joan Devenish chastised her mobile phone for being too slow to load her Facebook app.

"Come on," she chided, then deftly scrolled through her news feed.

A year ago Ms Devenish had no intention of engaging with social media, however a mobile phone upgrade and a little help from her grandchildren saw her set up an account.

"I ended up with a smart phone, which I did not want because I did not want to be on Facebook and I thought it was too high-tech," Ms Devenish said.

"I thought it was a lot of rubbish, but I don't anymore."

Despite her initial reservations it only took Ms Devenish three days to get the hang of the phone, and checking her social media accounts is now part of her morning routine.

"I check it every morning and I get all these beautiful messages from my grandkids and great-grandkids and I text them," Ms Devenish said.

"It was fairly easy to pick it up."

Read the full story here:

Do you or someone else in the family use technology like this amazing nana? Tell us how in your comments below

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24 October 2016

Kate Swaffer was just 49 years old when she was diagnosed with a form of younger onset dementia. In this book, she offers an all-too-rare first-hand insight into that experience, sounding a clarion call for change in how we ensure a better quality of life for people with dementia.

Kate describes vividly her experiences of living with dementia, exploring the effects of memory difficulties, loss of independence, leaving long-term employment, the impact on her teenage sons, and the enormous impact of the dementia diagnosis on her sense of self.

Never shying away from difficult issues, she tackles head-on stigma, inadequacies in care and support, and the media's role in perpetuating myths about dementia, suggesting ways in which we can include and empower people with the diagnosis. She also reflects on the ways in which her writing and dementia advocacy work have taken her on a process of self-discovery and enabled her to develop a new and meaningful personal identity. K

Kate's powerful words will challenge misconceptions about dementia, and open our eyes to new ways of supporting people with the diagnosis. A must read for people with dementia and their families as well as for professionals and carers.

View the book details on Google.

Do you have a book that you've read that you would recommend to others about this topic?

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28 September 2016

Memory Cafe

In collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia WA, the City of Melville and Garden City Shopping Centre, Coffea Fine Espresso – Garden City is running a Memory Cafe.

Coffea is a member of the Melville Age-Friendly Accessible Business network - a network of retailers providing a supportive, inclusive environment for all shoppers of all ages and abilities.

Memory Cafe details

22 September 2016


In an effort to make the City of Melville more dementia-friendly for the growing number of residents now living with the disease, the community are being encouraged to get involved during Dementia Awareness Month throughout September.

The City of Melville has the second highest number of people living with dementia compared to all other West Australian local government areas according to the Access Economics Report ‘Projections of dementia prevalence and incidence in WA: 2010-2050’. While this figure is linked to the high ageing population in Melville with 23% of residents aged over sixty, there are also a significant number of people living with dementia aged under sixty living in our City.

City of Melville Mayor Russel Aubrey said Dementia was one of the biggest health challenges facing the community, with data showing it to be the second leading cause of death in Australia.

“It is vital that we understand Dementia and what it is like for those living with the disease and their family members, so that as individuals and as a wider community we can provide the support needed for the individual’s wellbeing” said Mayor Aubrey.

“The City of Melville has been a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) global network of Age-Friendly Cities since 2010, and has been developing initiatives and partnerships to provide the appropriate support and resources to make Melville an accessible, age and dementia-friendly place to live.”

Following a 2015 partnership with Alzheimer's Australia WA and Attitudinal Healing WA hosting a series of presentations by international dementia educator Michael Verde, the City has continued to work with these organisations to provide ongoing training opportunities, including workshops for carers and support workers.

Some of this work also includes the development of Melville’s Age-Friendly Accessible Businesses network (MAFAB), an initiative developed by the City to encourage and teach local businesses how to make their premises and services more age-friendly and accessible. The City partnered with Garden City Shopping Centre, Booragoon, to provide MAFAB training to shopping centre staff, with the latest network members, Apple, currently undergoing training in September to raise staff awareness about people living with dementia.

A successful kick-off event for Dementia Awareness Month was held on Friday, 2 September focusing on communicating with people living with dementia. The South of the River Forum for Melville Seniors was presented by Trish Ellis from Attitudinal Healing WA.

A second event will be held on Friday, 9 September with a workshop scheduled for carers and professionals who work with people with dementia. Register online at

Art Tours specifically run for people with dementia and their carers are available at the Heathcote Cultural Precinct for every exhibition, with the tours led by volunteers who are dementia trained through Attitudinal Healing and the Art Gallery of WA with support by Alzheimers WA. For more information visit or contact the Gallery on 9364 5666.

For more information on Dementia, including how to identify symptoms, treatment options and support services available visit

For more information on City of Melville services and events visit

13 September 2016

An 85-year-old American woman is proving age is not an obstacle when it comes to staying fit and healthy.

Anna Pesce says that for a long time she suffered from a posture issues which gave her an appearance of having a hunched back. The result of this was a herniated disc, scoliosis and osteoporosis.

“I tried everything: acupuncture, a physical therapist and seeing a chiropractor,” Pesce adds. “You feel good temporarily, but [I’d be] in pain again soon after,” she told New York post.

Her life would improve markedly when she met a yoga instructor who suffered from the same scoliosis condition.

The 28-year-old yoga instructor and the 85-year-old began working together every week on restorative poses and stretches, such as child's pose and chair savasana, in which Pesce would rest her lower legs on a chair while lying on the floor with her knees slightly bent and a strap around her thighs. After one month of sessions, Pesce was able to walk again.

The yoga instructor says that yoga, done with the guidance of a back-care specialist, can strengthen bone density and muscles and alleviate back pain caused by osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and other conditions that affect the elderly.

You can read the full story here:

What did you think about this story? Are you feeling inspired to make some healthy changes in your life?

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11 August 2016

The IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing was held in Brisbane, Australia. The conference was a great success built through a strong program and connecting over 600 delegates from around the world with a prestigious roster of experts to ensure a healthy ageing population now and in the future.

The July edition of VoltAGE provides a glimpse into the conference and highlights important information about the IFA 14th Global Conference to be held in Toronto, Canada from August 18-20, 2018. Express your interest in our next conference and receive regular updates at

Did you know?

  • Did you know that Melville has one of the highest ageing populations compared to other local government areas in the state?
  • Did you know that Melville has been a member of World Health Organisation (WHO) Age-Friendly Communities Network since 2010?
  • Would you like to be kept informed about events, activities and information that Melville supports to create an age-friendly city? Sign up to the AIM (Acessible Inclusive Melville) E-Newsletter mailing list.

A major theme of the conference was how to stay healthy. What steps do you take to live a healthy life as an older person?

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5 August 2016

Too many people face discrimination due to discrimination because of Age and Disability in Australia finds a newly released report by the Human Rights Commission – ‘Willing to Work’.

The report recommends improving existing laws and policies and provides strategies for businesses and employers to improve employment of people with disability and older people.

Read more:

What are the barriers for older people or people with disabilities trying to find work in Perth? In Melville? Talk about it in the comments below.

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5 August 2016

Happy senior couple

WA Seniors Award—nominate an exceptional senior today

If you know a senior, organisation or individual who is making an outstanding contribution to the community, consider nominating them for a WA Seniors Award.

Nominations are open for the following six categories:

  • Community Service Award
  • Arts and Culture
  • Group or Organisation Award
  • Business
  • Age Friendly Community Award for a Local Council
  • Deborah Kirwan Media Award.

For more information visit COTA WA's website or call 9472 0104.

Nominations close on Friday 2 September 2016.

With a high demographic of Seniors here in Melville and many that have lived here for a number of decades, who do you know in your neighbourhood or community that could be nominated for an award?

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21 July 2016

Accredited as an Age Friendly City by the World Health Organisation, the City of Melville has many services, events and information for seniors.

The WA Seniors Card member program offers a range of discounts of 10% or more, or at least $20 off the cost of the product or service offered by participating business.

A searchable database of businesses offering discounts to WA Seniors Card members is available through the Online Discounts Directory.

How often do you attend the City's events for seniors?

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18 July 2016