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OLDER AUSTRALIANS MYTH

Myth: Older people are an economic burden on society.
Reality: Older people make a significant contribution to the economy:

• They spend $895 million on domestic travel annually.
• They donate generously to charity.

  1. In the 1999-2000 tax year, over 65s accounted for 22% of total donations while earning only 7% of the population’s income.
  2. Their unpaid work as carers and volunteers is valued at almost $39 billion per year.

Caravan and camping liftout: Mt Augustus outback trip;Heading to Yuin through Tardie station.Pic by Guy Magowan, The West Australian. Feb 10. Fairfax online out.

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Myth: All old people are unwell.
Reality:
• The majority of older people are healthy and active, particularly those under 80 years old.
• In 2003 only 5% of people aged 60 and older were in hospitals or aged care homes.

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Myth: Older people are unable to learn or change.
Reality:
• There are increasing numbers of older people pursuing university studies while others attend informal classes through the University of the Third Age.
• Many seniors learn new things to allow them to take part in activities and leisure interests.

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Myth: Memory loss and senility comes with old age.
Reality:
• Studies show you can maintain intellect and creativity into old age. While your risk of dementia does increase, it affects only about 5% of older people.

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Myth: Older people are more likely to be victims of criminal assault and robbery.
Reality:
• People aged 65 and over are less likely to be victims of crime than other adults.

 

Source: Queensland Government Seniors Page

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