1st Jun 2017
Professor blames lack of support for high elderly suicide rate
Author: Ben Hocking
Professor blames lack of support for high elderly suicide rate

A leading Monash University professor this week said a lack of support and a feeling that they were a drain on the country’s healthcare resources was behind the high suicide rate of elderly men in Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men aged over 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia, more than double the rate of teenagers.

The suicide rate for men aged 85 and older was 39.3 per 100,000 people. In women of the same age, it was 5.7.

Professor Paul Komesaroff, from Monash University’s health sciences department, told the ABC’s PM program that a lack of support was partly to blame for poor mental health in many elderly Australians.

"Elderly people have often been blamed for soaking up disproportionate quantities of our healthcare resources," he said.

"There's been a reduction in the support that has been made available for elderly people."

He said many older Australians had a mindset that not being as productive as they once were meant they had little to live for.

"They may well express to their doctor the view that they don't want care to be prolonged," he said.

"Not because they fear losing their capabilities or their capacities, but because they don't want to impose on the rest of society. It's their sense of responsibility.

"And of course, that's a terrible tragedy because these are the people who have actually created the wealth."

Listen to the PM report

Opinion: Rhetoric around pension perpetuating suicide problem

The high suicide rate of men over the age of 85 is a shocking statistic, but it is even worse when you consider that part of the problem is the way the older generations are made to feel about their impact on society.

The elderly have contributed so much to make this country great and they are still highly valued by most members of society. However, recent discussions surrounding the pension do little to show how much we value the elderly.

Earlier this year, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Kate Carnell suggested that the Age Pension should be treated as a loan repayable when the family home is sold. She claimed that Australia risked a ‘Greek-style’ debt crisis if so-called ‘runaway’ spending on the Age Pension was not reined in.

Then we had the chair of the Abbott Government’s Commission of Audit Tony Shepherd saying that Australia risked being crippled by pension spending.

It isn’t only big business, the Government tries at every opportunity to paint the picture of the pension as an increasing cost that can no longer be afforded, referring to welfare dependency as ‘poison’ and persisting with a push to extend the retirement age to 70.

With this constant source of negative feedback on the contribution of the elderly, it is no wonder that so many seniors get the feeling that they are a drain on society. It is time for the Government and big business interests to consider the social cost of their arguments and the effect on the mental health of elderly Australians before they trot out lines designed to make people feel unwanted and unloved.

An investment in more resources for mental health support services targeted at this age group would also go a long way to helping redress these terrible figures.

Do you think the recent discourse regarding the Age Pension is contributing to a sense of worthlessness among the elderly? Should the Government do more to aid suicide prevention among the elderly?

Australian readers seeking support and information about suicide and depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    10:21am
    Add loneliness and the abuse of the elderly by their children wanting to get their hands on their parents' money.
    Money I would thing comes in a distant third but of course we all know by now what the current government is about and that the destitution of retirees is high on its list. Hard to believe that retirees actually gave this crowd their vote but welcome to supporting the footie team.
    arbee
    1st Jun 2017
    11:49am
    You always find a way to make everything the governments fault. Maybe you should look a bit further back and see where the previous government got us into so much debt, and don't blame the GFC because most other countries went through that as well and didn't throw billions around, most of which was totally wasted. But then you will probably use the old Labor excuse that it doesn't matter how much debt they rack up they always expect the Liberals to sort it out and balance the budget in their first term.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    12:52pm
    I call it like I see it arbee.
    The facts: low assets test, con people into downsizing and then living off the proceeds. Now in the midst of removing all other things which help pensioners. Others could probably list other things I have missed.
    The Liberals are sorting out NOTHING. There is no budget repair but only lies to the contrary and the deceitful blame game. And in case you have not noticed the deficit has MORE THAN DOUBLED since Abbott was elected.
    Your attempt to pin all problems on Labor is the normal BS one has to read and I suggest you read the following:

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/news-federal-budget/2017/05/10/eighty-billion-dollars-bad-debt/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170511_TND

    Look at the table half way down the page and then tell me about a "balanced budget" and about Liberals sorting out the debt.
    And then explain WHY this the Liberals REFUSE to collect rightful taxes from the top end of town, specifically multinationals, and WHY it does not close offshore tax shelters where people like our PM can choose to launder their money. And not forgetting tax cuts for the top end. Don't even get me started on that one.

    Your post is either made in ignorance or you have a relationship with the current government. Either way kindly please respond to the above WITH FACTS rather than trot out the rubbish you have above above.
    jackie
    1st Jun 2017
    1:02pm
    arbee....The banks and corporations are behind and have been behind all our puppet governments. All these entities have no compassion toward humanity. Their only drive is to generate profits at the destruction of our planet and the expense of every living creature on it. We are all slaves of the system.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:07pm
    "Earlier this year, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Kate Carnell suggested that the Age Pension should be treated as a loan repayable when the family home is sold. She claimed that Australia risked a ‘Greek-style’ debt crisis if so-called ‘runaway’ spending on the Age Pension was not reined in.

    Then we had the chair of the Abbott Government’s Commission of Audit Tony Shepherd saying that Australia risked being crippled by pension spending.

    It isn’t only big business, the Government tries at every opportunity to paint the picture of the pension as an increasing cost that can no longer be afforded, referring to welfare dependency as ‘poison’ and persisting with a push to extend the retirement age to 70."

    Oh, I dunno - I'd tend to think this never-ending barrage of criticism and threats to rip off pensioners clearly indicates that Mick is right here..... just saying... out of the horse's mouth, so to speak... Carnell is just another of the same stamp, an overpaid, over fed, over-rated clown with no idea other than self.

    In short - just another neo-con sociopath.
    Alexii
    1st Jun 2017
    2:32pm
    arbee, the government continually gives financial aid to big business, big international corporations (just look at what they want to give Adani for instance, the lack of taxes paid by these extremely profitable businesses) and then they go and slug pensioners and particularly part pensioners claiming they are "wealthy". What a joke it would be if it wasn't so serious for all those of us affected by the assets changes. This is not fiction as it has happened and is happening as you should well know.
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2017
    2:36pm
    No wonder -- losing one's independence -- haveing to go into care -- maybe loneliness for some -- and maybe not having the place to yourself for others --(like myself) plus SOME families and the way they treat their elders -- plus of course this *&^(%$# Government making a big deal out of having to pay out for us oldies -- the Lab'Gov'got us out of the GFC NO DOUBT about that -- yes other countries had the GFC too but they went bad We didn't. The only reason the Libs ever get out of debt is that they sell off the bloody assets AND the &^%$(#@ country too.

    Us Oldies PAID for our pension when we worked THAT WAS the deal! So get over it anyone that states differently!


    I forgot to add the Banks have already cut the interest -- they were paying the large amount of 1.35% now it has been slashed to 1% BUT --get this -- the Government have not altered their Deeming rate for 2 years -- or more -- and are still deeming us to be getting 3.25% -- so if a person is lucky enough to have a few bob -- they have their pension cut
    Rae
    1st Jun 2017
    3:12pm
    Arbee if you look at the amount of money the US FED and the European Union has thrown at the GFC then our few billion looks very small indeed and we managed to avoid recession which they haven't.

    The ageism and propaganda relating to the elderly is appalling.

    And a really big fight needs to sort out the crazy deeming fantasies being spun to rip off retired savers.

    The depression being felt by elderly men need addressing swiftly.

    Appalling !
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    9:08pm
    The debt under Rudd and Gillard has been beaten up beyond belief by the (not) Free Press running their right wing propaganda. The TRUTH is that this was a short cash splash and that in the last year of Labor the debt was coming down. I have the figures. Since Abbott was pushed into office the debt has MORE THAN DOUBLED. They are the facts and are easily proved. The propaganda merchants never produce the relevant figures of course. No great surprise.
    Charlie
    1st Jun 2017
    10:53am
    Suicide at over 85, doesn't surprise me. I was ready to suicide at 56 with chronic unstoppable nerve pain. They didn't have the medications to stop it in under five years duration, but more likely they weren't allowed to use them.

    We have medical treatment that is allowing people to live longer but it does not ensure quality of life. Once I saw my grandmother in an old peoples home when she was 92. I said I would see her there when she was 100. She said "I don't want to be 100."

    It think there's a little more to this than uncertainty about pensions.
    JAID
    1st Jun 2017
    11:07am
    That story may figure on this discussion Charlie. I have a mother in her 90's who vehemently wants to live (not necessarily to 100 but for living's sake) yet she doesn't want to live if she gets to the stage that she has to go to a home.
    Jennie
    1st Jun 2017
    11:26am
    You are certainly correct. It seems that the professor is offering opinion and not fact. Yes, I don't want to go into a nursing home and will euthanise myself rather than this happen. I want quality of life not quantity. And once you end up in ICU as an aged person, the doctors try to keep you alive at all costs. ICU is referred to by an enlightened US ICU specialist as "the slow conveyor belt through suffering to death." Do any of us really want to be artificially kept alive? My mother didn't. She, like your mother Charlie wanted to die, and said she was past her use-by date. She finally did, in a nursing hone which she hated, aged 92. I don't want to be 90, let alone 100! am not at all surprised that a small number of men suicide aged over 85 look at the figures: 39.3 per 100,000 people. How many of those are not 85 but a lot older? They have courage. Yes, I can see no point in being kept alive if you have Irremediable suffering, whether it is physical or emotional. I know some of you will argue that you might end up in hospital due to unforeseen circumstances, so this is when you need an advocate on the same page as you and an Advanced Care Directive. Just avoid getting dementia!! Then you have to go too soon...
    Alexii
    1st Jun 2017
    2:34pm
    There's no way I would want to live if I were in a nursing home. euthanasia for me.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    9:04pm
    How about a rum & Cola in the morning and Vodka and Orange at afternoon tea? That'll put a kick in your step.
    PlanB
    2nd Jun 2017
    6:38am
    Nursing home would be the last place I want to be -- I would rather be dead!
    JAID
    1st Jun 2017
    10:57am
    It is a terrible statistic. Reminds of aboriginal longevity.

    We have a lot of things to turn around.

    Though the age when some people apparently reach this frame of mind would have progressed over the years it would be interesting to know whether the percentages have changed in the last few hundred years. Did men 15 or 20 years into retirement choose this option in similar percentages a hundred years ago?

    Assuming this is not built-in to the male animal, perhaps knowing this would help us
    understand what constants there have been in their sense of responsibilty and how that could be managed better especially where its gravity may be seen to change in later years.

    The difference in rates between males and females is massive. Again assuming that this is not built-in you would hope that the role changes that gradually but strongly institutionalised from the 60's till the present should yield an equalling out with time, hopefully at a low figure. We would still be decades away from substantial impact so action remains necessary.
    inextratime
    1st Jun 2017
    11:01am
    I an sure that many pensioners feel that they are past their 'use by' date exacerbated by the continued squawking re pensions, retirement age etc. Truth is that most pension money gets paid back into the economy as does the truckloads that gets paid to underworked public servants employed as a way of keeping unemployment figures down, but unemployment stats are more important than oldies.
    JAID
    1st Jun 2017
    11:11am
    A 'use by date' could as well be printed on people in this society. Only inclusion, meaning, a reason to live can fix that.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    12:57pm
    Good point inextratime and one rarely discussed. Certainly pensions get recycled IN AUSTRALIA whilst the big end of town spends abroad and buys luxuries which earn money for foreigners. The top of the obscene tree is giving multinationals and offshore miners who run Australian operations TAX CUTS.
    This government has this all wrong. It knows what it is doing and sending Australian to overseas investors and to the top end of town is wrong. I call it for what it is: corruption and betrayal of the country.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:12pm
    Getting my bar code stamped tomorrow - go to the supermarket and once your net socio-economic worth is used up - no food etc for you.. no medications, and no power etc.

    Yes - the return of Social Security money into the tax cycle almost immediately, thus creating a solid baseline, allows government more freedom in allocating cash resources. Now all we have to do is train them to do it properly and with thought first instead of out their other ends.

    $50Bn for offshore submarines is 'bad debt'... $130bn into the Futures Fund offshore replaced by borrowing is 'bad debt'... pensioners and other social security recipients are a zero net cost to government budget.

    Many things need to be brought under proper control - investment rules, spending decisions and so forth.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    9:03pm
    There are a lot TREBOR and our so called free Press (owned by the top of town) says little and certainly does not run an ongoing campaign.
    There is a long list of atrocities including the rubber stamp known as the Foreign Investment Review Board which let the Australia post icon in Martin Place be sold offshore. The next in a long line.
    WE NEED A REAL GOVERNMENT AND WE NEED AN END TO BETRAYAL OF THE COUNTRY.
    Patriot
    2nd Jun 2017
    7:49am
    MICK,
    That last paragraph ALL in CAPITAL letters is what this "UTTER CRAP" is all about.
    The BETRAYAL & ENSLAVEMENT of a ONCE Fiercely INDEPENDENT nation with it's proud citizens being the same.
    We now seem to have a lot of individuals who are happily being reprogrammed by the "ILLUSIVE PROPAGANDA & BLATANT LIES" dished out on the "IDIOT BOXES" every night!
    Triss
    1st Jun 2017
    11:13am
    Genocide by stealth on the part of government supported by media by propaganda which seems to be used frequently to stereotype, degrade and humiliate pensioners.
    Chris_58
    1st Jun 2017
    11:41am
    You have put into words what I have been trying to think of to say out loud, Triss. Truer words were never spoken/written...........
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    12:59pm
    I find it rather sad that pensioners are taking what is happening with a grain of salt instead of joining a pressure group and voting the bastards out. I guess this bad bad government has worked out that older people at the ends of their lives have little kick left in them and can be done over pretty easily.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:17pm
    They're wrong there, Mick - like John Paul Jones, I have not yet begun to fight. I woke up to these bastards years ago when they set on me for no valid reason.
    AutumnOz
    1st Jun 2017
    2:20pm
    I am certainly not taking what is happening with a grain of salt and will fight them to the day I die.
    Unfortunately many others just assume they can do nothing to help fix the problem successive governments have created and don't seem able to change.
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2017
    2:29pm
    Darn right your are Triss, liars the lot of the Governments we have and they seem to be getting worse by the week -- all talk in poly talk -- all smoke and mirrors NO straight answers and are turn coats --
    Alexii
    1st Jun 2017
    2:36pm
    Spot on, Triss.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    8:59pm
    Great to see a bit of fire. I wish that the retirement community as a whole had half as much because it would not be under sustained attack if that were the case.
    ex PS
    2nd Jun 2017
    10:23am
    Well said Triss, the government treats retirees with no respect, it constantly betrays them in favor of big business and seems to want to belittle them at ever opportunity. This latest attack on them and their dignity by labeling them Welfare recipients when they are only accessing a system that they have paid taxes into for most of their lives demonstrates their lack of empathy, understanding and respect for the elder contributors to this society.
    When your own government turns their back on you and belittles your right to live a dignified life, of course you are susceptible to depression and all that goes with it. Even more pathetic are the mindless camp followers who persist in advancing their anti elder lies and deceit.
    Farside
    5th Jun 2017
    11:59am
    Genocide is defined in the OED as "The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group." The facts are easily overlooked in the hyperbole – there is no way that 85 suicides in a year is genocide among an elderley population of more than 480,000 (85+ men 68 in 180,000). http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide/facts-and-stats
    Attila
    5th Jun 2017
    12:36pm
    I think both sides of parliament have the same ideas.

    Doesn't matter if they are Labor or Liberal, they need to cut the expense of government and the easiest way is to do it subtly by getting rid of people over 75.

    So very glad this is now out in the open too.
    Triss
    14th Jun 2017
    11:56am
    I'm coming in here a little late, Farside. You're right up to a point, genocide is usually accepted to mean mass slaughter but that’s not strictly the true meaning of genocide, it can also mean a series of lines of attack that will, in time, destroy completely a person's reason for living, for instance, personal security, human dignity, health.
    AutumnOz
    1st Jun 2017
    11:17am
    Yes I do think the recent discourse regarding the Age Pension is contributing to a sense of worthlessness among the elderly. As is the fact that family is seldom able, or wants to, help their aged relatives and the elderly are passed over to organizations such as My Aged Care which do not have enough funding or people to help all the elderly who need help to stay at home.
    After all you can't tell people they are useless, and a drain on the economy, every week and expect them to ignore these hurtful words and actions.
    Some time ago it was noted in one of the Your Life Choices articles that approx. 3% of GDP was spent on all pensions and welfare, excluding parliamentary pensions. That is a paltry amount considering the billions of dollars wasted by various government departments on items that are way out of date before they were ordered.
    Instead of picking on those who cannot easily defend themselves government ministers should look to savings that can be made elsewhere, if they are incapable of doing that at least they can watch what they say and make sure they are not hurting very elderly people.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:19pm
    Older people need to reconsider their mindset and see that the 'sense of worthlessness' properly goes to those pumping these lines.

    Us oldies here, BTW - do a lot of running back and forth to help grand-kids etc and take a little burden off their parents. Funny how those parents are now beginning to realise what was there all along - a good steady back-up in any crisis.
    AutumnOz
    1st Jun 2017
    2:26pm
    We also do a lot for our kids, the kids don't return the favour when it is needed unfortunately, perhaps they are not quite old enough to appreciate what has been done for them in the past and will realise it more as their children grow.
    However, we have always survived and will continue to do so for many more years yet. We oldies need to get rid of our current government types and get some better people who understand governance into parliament.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    2:38pm
    No - you're right there - the favour is seldom returned, but then, the kids have their own families and businesses and jobs to handle. Not easy all the time, and my son at least is realising that dad is no longer the tough old do anything bastard he used to be - faulty heart valve can do that to you.
    AutumnOz
    1st Jun 2017
    6:19pm
    It can at that :-).
    One of the problems between generations is that the kids remember Mum and Dad as being younger and healthier and when they haven't seen their parents for several years they are shocked at how Dad and Mum have aged and slowed down. I think they then feel their own age and resent us for showing them they are no longer youngsters but middle aged people which shocks them.
    Farside
    5th Jun 2017
    12:24pm
    Enough with doing the kids favours and expecting them to be repaid. Raising children is not a favour, it is an obligation arising from past actions. There can be no reciprocal obligation upon children to look after ageing parents and likewise no obligation upon the elderly to look after or assist with raising of the offspring of their adult children. It's terrific for those families who choose to help out each other at different life circumstances but it's unreasonable for every old person to expect such treatment.
    JAID
    5th Jun 2017
    12:49pm
    EXACTLY Farside. There would be a whole lot less misery all round if all appreciated that.
    Joybellau
    1st Jun 2017
    11:25am
    My father passed away last Christmas, aged 85. As Mick said, loneliness and abuse by children impatient to inherit was a factor in his death. Also, as his physical strength and activity diminished, so did his mental health. I tried to get him engaged in U3A, the Men's Shed, learning to use an iPad, suggesting he still go to meet his mates at the 19th hole when he could no longer play golf, all to no avail. He became depressed and I think, actually preferred to die rather than live with the guilt of my mother going into high care for dementia and for three of his children and their partners abuse. So sad, but this seems to be a common issue. Having just become a senior citizen, I intend to live a full and productive life.

    In Erikson's life stages theory, the final psychosocial stage begins around the age of 65 and lasts until death. During this period of time, the individual look back on his or her life. The major question during this stage is, "Did I live a meaningful life?"

    Those who have will feel a sense of peace, wisdom and fulfillment, even when facing death. For those who look back on life with bitterness and regret, feelings of despair may result. Learn more about the integrity versus despair stage at https://www.verywell.com/psychosocial-stages-2795743
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:01pm
    My condolences to you Joybellau. It's a tough end of life.
    Old Man
    1st Jun 2017
    11:35am
    When subjective words such as "many" and "partly" are used, it makes it very difficult to commentate on what causes a person to suicide. Unless a suicide note is left behind, nobody really knows the reason for a person taking their own life. There could be health problems, a spouse has recently passed away, loneliness or many other reasons. The good professor has an opinion, a theory, but he hasn't backed it up with any reasonable proof.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:06pm
    The problem with generalisations is that somebody can easily pick a hole in them. It's like saying 'Islamic society is a scourge in this country'. Whilst the news every other night highlights the next murder, home invasion, attack on the street or fraudulent behaviour as soon as one generalises they are se upon by the politically correct pack. The fact that a particular community might be a stand-out statistically matters not. It is immediately branded as 'racism' rather than the proverbial canary in the coalmine.
    I suspect your comment is in the above light Old Man. Not everything can have a figure attached to it and we live in a world of perceptions. The only question should be is the perception fair game or is it way off the mark.
    Old Man
    1st Jun 2017
    4:16pm
    I suspect you're right MICK. Whether the perception is fair game or way off the mark is, to me, a matter of fact and there are not enough facts for me to accept the proposition. I don't expect others to come to the same conclusion necessarily as this forum is only to enable an expression of opinion.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    8:57pm
    And you are entitled to have this as long as it is not intentionally dishonest....which I have never seen from you. I respect your views and opinions even though I may at times not agree.
    disillusioned
    1st Jun 2017
    11:40am
    Why should the elderly want to keep living under the current LNP government? This heartless group slashes welfare to the elderly, along with pension entitlements and anything else they can get their hands on. Why don't they slash their huge pensions and perks, maybe then our country can afford to be more generous to our elderly citizens. Those at the top set the trends of today towards our elderly citizens, so if they are devalued at this level this indeed has the "trickle down" effect they are always raving on about. I am in my 70s and already am starting to get the "invisible" treatment, despite working and studying for many years to contribute to the economy. But things will not change while Trumble continues to pontificate and grandstand in parliament in his "do nothing" manner, and life continues to deteriorate for our country's elderly citizens.
    arbee
    1st Jun 2017
    11:51am
    You deserve the same answer as Mick got from me.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:18pm
    And you need to read what my response was arbee. You do not have a leg to stand on mate!
    Alexii
    1st Jun 2017
    2:38pm
    Wakey, wakey, arbee.
    johnp
    1st Jun 2017
    11:47am
    Many western countries give their aged people the pension irrespective of their assets level so I dont know where the Aust Govt is getting off here or how those other countries can afford it so whats going on ?? Also cos of the pollies, CEOs, upper management, govt employees etc with all their obscene salaries, bonuses, perks, travel entitlement abuses there becomes an entitlement envy all the way down the food chain to the point of those that are struggling !!
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:20pm
    Yes. Australia appears to be ALONE in attacking its retired community. Of course this comes from only the coalition side of politics. No other political party would even think such a betrayal of the generation which built this country. This government is of course happy to wipe its feet on us all.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:22pm
    You got it john - the 'politics of envy' most blatantly obvious is the envy of those who get enough already, but think someone is getting something they don't get and for nothing.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:23pm
    Those who carry on about 'politics of envy' are those with no needs but with a massive sense of entitlement for doing such a wonderful job (ROFL).
    casey
    1st Jun 2017
    1:49pm
    Johnp. You say many western countries give their pensioners a pension with no assets test. Not quite right. In the UK there is no assets test because they pay for their pension through working life. When I lived there before I got my pay I had compulsory deductions,
    1/ Income tax.
    2/ National health contributions.
    3/ Graduated pension.

    50% of my pay went before I received it.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    2:45pm
    Exactly why we need a totally removed from grasping political hands and run by an elected board which must include at least one pensioner and one SFR, Futures Fund that takes in all current retirement packaging funds, returns the Futures Fund into its hands, and then takes on board all future tax levies and contributions.

    Each person will have an account, and all will be treated by the same rules as regards contribution, and each person, regardless of contribution, will be eligible for a non-assets tested and tax-free minimum at age 65.

    There would need to be limits on contributions and such so as to avoid tax rorting etc for the over-fat cats, but that would generate not only a level playing field, but equitable treatment as regards retirement packaging for all, while generating a mass of independent cash available for genuine investment in and for this nation first and foremost.

    Utopian, perhaps, and there will always be the Thommos etc in the woodpile and some who will manufacture 'ghost' accounts for their own benefit .... but proper monitoring and care and a careful watch on expense accounts so as to reflect only genuine expenditure on genuine costs should keep that to a minimum.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    8:55pm
    casey: my understanding is that Australian DID have a pension levy long before compulsory superannuation. This was supposedly to fund the pensions of retiring Australians but the money was at some time put into Consolidated Revenue....and now disappeared.
    You might want to look into pensions elsewhere in the developed world. You'll likely find that this is a RIGHT and that pensioners are not targets to screw over like they have been made in this country by the current government.
    George
    1st Jun 2017
    9:15pm
    Good comments above from all except casey who seems to be unaware of the history in Australia - 7.5% tax was collected from all taxpayers since 1946 for pensions, however it wasn't put aside & was rolled into consolidated revenue. So, it is paid for here also as in UK, but politicians of both sides have conspired to defraud pensioners of their rightful pensions. The situation took a major turn for the worse from Jan 2017 with the revised Assets test, with Tony Abbott breaking his promise in Sep 2013 not to change pensions (among several other broken promises) before he got elected.

    So, yes, pensions for all taxpayers (say with 20 years taxpaying history here for the full rate at a higher rate than we have now, with tax on all additional income) should be the way to go - using a separate fund as suggested by TREBOR. No problem with funding if you make large companies and the rich pay their fair share.

    This article hasn't noted that the likely impact of recent pension cuts (since Jan 2017) will increase the impact on the elderly, i.e. it is going to get worse. Unless, WE ALL ACT and GET RID OF BOTH MAJOR PARTIES who have created this mess.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    9:49pm
    Good post George. That is information you strangely never see in the so called 'free Press'. I wonder why.
    In terms of a separate fund I have to give you and TREBOR the bad news: both sides of politics have been circling the Sovereign Wealth Fund for year wanting to get at a part of that huge pile of money. One day they will likely do so. Creating another one is not necessarily going to have a better ending than the theft of retirement funds now.
    Both sides are bastards and it is long overtime the uneducated public found out about their political parties and then voted in Independents and Minor parties with the proviso that they would get one term and then the boot if the public smelled a rat. They need to know who is in charge and currently the bastards think it is them because people do not deliver harsh justice. We should and we have ourselves to blame for listening to their lies.
    Patriot
    2nd Jun 2017
    8:19am
    George,
    Indeed, this "OAP Levy" was introduced" and - in the beginning - there was a reference on one's PaySlip to verify it.
    This "PaySlip" reference gradually disappeared but "The Levy" was not cancelled when the "STASH of Funds" was stolen by the then pollies and converted into consolidated revenue.
    Once again, the OAP Levy WAS NOT STOPPED!!!

    Then came the Compulsory Super Scam and - once Again - the OAP Levy WAS NOT STOPPED!!!
    Now, with the Global Financial Collapse "In Sight" the compulsory Super Funds will - once again - be dealt a Massive Blow when the Stock Market Collapses.
    Most of this money - as per their original intention - will now end up as Consolidated STOLEN Revenue in the coffers of the BANKSTERS!
    Just watch Rothshield buying up massive stocks of gold currently!
    And our Pollies - bar a very few - keep supporting & promoting this line of events.
    They will not make the "Big Decisions" which will free the Population from slavery.
    The precedent has been set with Iceland Jailing their BANKSTERS and Paying Out ALL Home Loans with a consequence that the People of Iceland now OWN their HOMES rather than facing the impending Peril of Perpetual Slavery as we - and many other countries - are.
    Wake up for the sake of our (grand)children.
    We have this country ON LOAD for them to Care-Take & Improve rather than allow some GREEDY CRIMINALS to squander THEIR WEALTH!!!

    Do not believe that "We rode on the Sheep's back" during the late 1800 and early 1900s.
    Yes this had an impact!

    The major cause for this was that we had a "Banking System" which created finance (Out of nothing like the criminal BANKSTERS do now) for the benefit of ALL AUSTRALIANS.
    The USofA allowed the Fed Reserve (Commercial Global BANKSTERS) to resume this function in. In Australia a similar TAKE OVER occurred in 1923 (I think) and we have been drifting towards SERFDOM ever since!!!
    I have only ONE resolution: A..hole the BANKSTERS like the Govt of Iceland did.
    Hungary has also shown some courage by ejecting the IMF (just a tool of the BANKSTERS).
    John
    1st Jun 2017
    11:49am
    That's all they do is not the pensioners day in day out why not The MPs wages pensions flights accommodation and we be able to pay everybody a decent wage let's get rid of the ones it's falling asleep in parliament is it nothing but lazy bastards get him to go to work in the wrong cars instead of chauffeur driven pay for the room flights paid for the room accommodation away from home instead I reckon the public off a claim in allowances The hotel bills that you do not stopping flying from one state to the next to see the family's for weddings which is all bullshit enough is an off stop ripping off the public tax payers by claiming all these expenses but the people don't even know about nothing but bloody leeches
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:21pm
    And they have doubled our debt. No budget repair happening. Only wealth transfer to the rich better known as 'tax cuts' for the already rich.
    marls
    1st Jun 2017
    12:02pm
    Because of the fear of being dumped in a nursing home and treated like dirt, as has been revealed in some of them. Of losing their identity and being constantly told that they are draining resources, of being told constantly that they should move out of their homes so that the block can be sub-divided to provide extra housing. Of being spoken down to as though they are idiots. The list goes on.
    JAID
    1st Jun 2017
    12:15pm
    They need to stand tall. It is their life, their money, their achievement. What you say does happen and the rest of us are too conditioned to think that it is going to change other than by the victims standing their ground.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:23pm
    I think voters from our community will eventually stop supporting the current government. Surely even dementia cannot disguise what is going on.....but maybe I am wrong. We'll wait and see.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    2:50pm
    No nursing home for me - the ex's ma-in-law, with dementia, went into one, and had bed sores and such, and I never visited, but was of the view that she was being terribly neglected.

    She wasn't so demented that at the last day, she couldn't know what was happening... and her last words were . "I'm scared."

    I've always had the feeling she was allowed to slip away rather than being kept going.

    Now show me that horizon....

    "And the one man crew was found tied to the wheel...."
    ceejay
    1st Jun 2017
    12:17pm
    Unfortunately, in economic terms, many elderly are perceived as a drain on the country, particularly by many 20+ people. What they don't realise is that those same elderly people made our country great and helped deliver the standard of living and facilities that most younger people now take for granted. Too, many older persons of my acquaintance are either still actively involved in a business or doing part-time work, or volunteering to keep our not-for-profit organisations alive to deliver on their social missions. Older people have a wealth of knowledge and lived experiences that can add to the economic value of our nation, if only our politicians and the young would listen.
    Rosret
    1st Jun 2017
    12:35pm
    ceejay the young have very high unemployment rates. I think perhaps they are just vying for the same jobs.
    Its the 30-50 age group that want to chuck us out of our homes so they can develop the larger blocks into apartments.
    The young and the old are just pawns at the whim of those on the economic mouse wheel.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:25pm
    The young have brought up to have almost everything they ever needed and the media has groomed into becoming a self indulgent generation.
    The problem for the young is quite clear: retirees have assets and they want them. As my bogan son in law once said to may wife and I "hand it over". Unbelievable!
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    2:51pm
    Phew - I'm lucky. My kids are happy to wait, and are meantime generating their own incomes and life.... mind you, they'll do well once their parents are gone....
    Trees
    1st Jun 2017
    3:55pm
    Are you all serious?? everyone is out to get you? the 20+ the 30-50 age group - no wonder there is high suicide rate you are all paranoid & negative. What children would want to hang around grumpy old people if that is the way you carry on
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:11pm
    That's the problem with trees. Everybody wants to chop them down. Chuckle...
    Nice to get a bit of consensus on this one though.
    Rosret
    1st Jun 2017
    12:29pm
    I don't think the young really understand this.
    We have an expiry date and the medical profession have found ways to keep us alive at all cost. Some people want that. I don't. Its rather sad that we now have to choose when we die but that is where we are at. When the pain, our mobility, our self pride, our brain space are all history - it is time to go.
    When I look at little babies and their amazing perfection, from the sparkle in their eyes to their silky soft unflawed skin it is very clear to me that there is a cycle of life. We have been so lucky to live in this country and I am grateful for my life and I hope to live a long while yet - but when I am a burden - I want to say goodbye.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:29pm
    Most societies have valued their old for the knowledge and wisdom they have accumulated in their lifetime. I suggest the current younger generation does not care and parents in many cases are little more than bank accounts.
    There has been a significant shift in relationships between generations and God help us all as time moves on. I suggest that things will get really bad in time and I am giving the country I want to die in considerable thought. Some countries still revere their elderly.
    Trees
    1st Jun 2017
    3:56pm
    Those are lovely words Rosret :)
    Jenny
    1st Jun 2017
    5:55pm
    Have to agree with those comments.
    Triss
    1st Jun 2017
    11:16pm
    Beautifully put, Rosret.
    Sen.Cit.89
    1st Jun 2017
    12:31pm
    I loath to comment on this issue however! I'm 88 yo, and agree with part of one comment below by (Joybellau). I also have lost interest in any social gatherings e.g. I was a member of a male choir for 16 years, played lawn bowls, was nick named laughing boy, enjoyed my beer with the boys etc. Now living alone (for years) have lost interest in all social aspects and only leave my unit (Retirement Village) to go shopping or appointments. Guess what? I know not why, I'm NOT blaming anyone else.
    Sen.Cit.89
    1st Jun 2017
    12:33pm
    read comment above for below
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:32pm
    You're only a spring chicken Sen.Cit.
    Being alone is probably the issue for you. So sorry that life does not have a bit of sunshine mate. Chin up and get a girlfriend.
    Suggestion: book a nice cruise somewhere. That'll get you out...and maybe find you a partner. Good luck old timer.
    trood
    1st Jun 2017
    4:53pm
    I love your honesty Sencit84. Honest enough to say that you have lost interest in most things and can't be bothered. And why not? Been there and done it all, why can't you back off and do nothing at 88 if that's what you feel like. If not there is nothing to stop you from heading off the your local senior ctiz club, going to the movies etc, but sometimes depending on your fitness its just a hassle to get there so the 'can't be bothered takes over'. Nothing to be ashamed of! It's your life and you can do as much or as little as you like! Living alone should not be a factor.
    Bellbird
    1st Jun 2017
    12:35pm
    You are dead right: demonising anybody on welfare, including pensions, started with Hockey and the "lifters and leaners" theme has continued unabated since. Who can forget Hockey and Cormann smoking their expensive cigars after delivering the first horror budget? Tudge continued the theme a couple of days ago at a $300 per head lunch.

    Harping away about how pensioners are such a terrible drain on the economy can only contribute to feelings of worthlessness. Your correspondent Arbee tries to blame debt on Labor but it has trebled under LNP. As for the ACCI attack on pensions, they would do well to first review how much tax their big business members are dodging particularly by spending vast sums on tax lawyers & accountants: bring on the Buffet rule!
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:34pm
    I think arbee is colour, or is that text, blind. No response to my challenge above. I wonder why.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:42pm
    A set maximum allowed as deduction for accounting expenses.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    5:41pm
    .. and a minimum tax to be paid on turnover....
    Bushlady
    1st Jun 2017
    12:39pm
    Maybe this talk of paying back the pension and the cost of living, has help double the numbers in age persons committing suicide.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    1:44pm
    Where's OG to tell us again that the family hone should be included in the assets test, since his rellies rorted the system by putting all their money into their lavish homes so they'd have only the pension as spending money.
    Old Man
    1st Jun 2017
    1:10pm
    The opinion piece is misleading in that age pensions are in the same sentence as a statement referring to welfare payments as "poison". The "poison" reference has nothing to do with the age pension but refers solely to the unemployment payments. Governments have never ever said that the pension as an increasing cost that can no longer be afforded. What has always been stated by both sides of politics is that those receiving an age pension are increasing in number and funds will always be found to support those who are eligible.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:34pm
    Come on Old Man...what you got to do today? Chuckle, chuckle....
    arbee
    1st Jun 2017
    3:11pm
    It is not hard to see that Your life choices is very much a left wing publication which people like mick get off on. What ever would he do if Old Man and Old Geezer didn't respond to a lot of the crap which is on here.
    Old Man
    1st Jun 2017
    4:22pm
    Maybe you're right arbee that YLC is left-wing but, gladly, it's not so left-wing that it disallows comments from those who want to challenge them. You may be surprised to know that MICK and I sometimes agree. I respect his right to express his opinion even if it is counter to mine. As to Old Geezer, I'm still trying to work out whether he tells the truth about everything. His life story as it unfolds day after day is so fantastic that he is either exaggerating or he is 150 years old.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:14pm
    YLC is left wing? You might want to watch None News. About as biased and unfair a media outlet you are ever going to see. Never hear any complaints about that old guy.
    If you want to accuse YLC staff of being left wing then why do they not moderate right wing comments. Most right wing controlled websites do.
    You need to be fair.
    jeffr
    1st Jun 2017
    6:42pm
    For what it is worth Old Man, I also read your posts ...at times I have my own views which are contrary to yours but that's democracy.
    Hasbeen
    1st Jun 2017
    1:13pm
    Wake up people, this bloke was touting for a research grant.

    May god protect us from academic after money.

    My mother had her 99Th birthday lying on her back, unable to even sit up unaided. She wanted o die, & I most definably want to die before I get to that stage. I'll certainly go before my pain gets to double the current level. Hell, I won't even blame the government, Labor or Liberal for my worn out back & knees.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    1:37pm
    Wow, not blame Labor for the weather today? That would be a first.
    Hey...don't do anything stupid mate. Take a cruise and some of your suffering will fall away. Sorry for giving you advice (a bad habit of mine) but pain can be bearable if you balance it with joy and happiness. Good luck and hope you feel better tomorrow mate.
    Katie
    1st Jun 2017
    1:44pm
    These people have often been the backbone to corporations existing with the profitability they enjoy today. Many elders have played intergral roles in key positions, whether blue collar, white collar or SMEs. As well as raising a generation after them in baby boomers who have mostly worked as hard and perpetuated great growth and acceleration of profitability for corporations. They need to be applauded and supported for the progress they were a part of. Not ridiculed and measured in their frailty. While foreign companies are allowed to rort our resources and minimise or pay no tax, our Govt seeks to punish those that built wealth with their accummulated effort and produced a society that is more functional than many countries compared. This Govt uses "Divide and Rule" to manipulate the community into factions; we need to not play the game and stay respectful and supportive of the elderly. And demand a tax regime where foreign companies pay their fair share of using our markets and technology and people to make money. It will far exceed the pensioners aged pension.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:18pm
    The current retiring workforce (us) built this nation from the Snowy Mountains Scheme to industries which killed many of us and then left town. I think that the current lot of retirees deserve better than being cannibalised by a big business owned government intent of getting its hands on money to hand the already rich, let alone ignoring calls to collect taxes from multinationals and closing loopholes used by the rich to send their profits to tax shelters.
    What is going on on federal politics is not right and the big media players are running the propaganda like water off a duck's back. Maybe time to switch to ABC and SBS and get real news. We have.
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2017
    1:51pm
    No wonder -- losing one's independence -- haveing to go into care -- maybe loneliness for some -- and maybe not having the place to yourself for others --(like myself) plus SOME families and the way they treat their elders -- plus of course this *&^(%$# Government making a big deal out of having to pay out for us oldies -- the Lab'Gov'got us out of the GFC NO DOUBT about that -- yes other countries had the GFC too but they went bad We didn't. The only reason the Libs ever get out of debt is that they sell off the bloody assets AND the &^%$(#@ country too.

    Us Oldies PAID for our pension when we worked THAT WAS the deal! So get over it anyone that states differently!
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:19pm
    We really did and we are being robbed by a crooked government put into office by its rich constituency with a propaganda media campaign.
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2017
    1:59pm
    I forgot to add the Banks have already cut the interest -- they were paying the large amount of 1.35% now it has been slashed to 1% BUT --get this -- the Government have not altered their Deeming rate for 2 years -- or more -- and are still deeming us to be getting 3.25% -- so if a person is lucky enough to have a few bob -- they have their pension cut
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:20pm
    This government's answer to that is to sell your house, downsize and live off the difference.
    KSS
    1st Jun 2017
    2:18pm
    More selective reporting taken as 'truth'.

    One example: The article states: According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men aged over 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia, more than double the rate of teenagers."

    However, the actual report states:

    "The age-specific death rate is highest among males 85 years and over, but it should be noted that the number of suicides in this age group accounted for 3% of all male intentional self harm deaths in 2015."

    Elsewhere the report states:
    "While intentional self-harm accounts for a relatively small proportion (1.9%) of all deaths in Australia, it accounts for a higher proportion of deaths among younger people.In 2015, suicide accounted for one-third of deaths (33.9%) among people 15-24 years of age, and over a quarter of deaths (27.7%) among those 25-34 years of age. For those people 35-44 years of age, 16.9% of deaths were due to intentional self-harm. The proportion of deaths due to suicide decreases in older age groups, as the likelihood of dying from natural causes of death increases."

    And elsewhere again:

    "The median age at death for suicide was 44.5 years. This compares to a median age of 81.9 years for all deaths."

    And the total number of all 'self harm deaths' in 2015? 3027!

    I also think it is drawing a very long bow to connect these self-harm deaths in the elderly male to health care resources and somehow the 'fault' of this or any other Government.

    Ben Hocking in his rush to lay this at the feet of the current government wilfully ignores the many other well known and documented contributory factors to mental health issues in the elderly (loss of partner, separation of partner when said partner is in full time care, loss of friends, inability to look after one's self (even basic cooking and cleaning is beyond many who relied on their partner for all things domestic), family not making an effort to visit (or even contact), loss of access to grandchildren in the case of bitter divorce of their kids, perhaps an increase in health issues (something men are notoriously bad at checking out with a GP, a much loved pet dies)) to list just a few.
    JAID
    1st Jun 2017
    4:45pm
    Hello KSS, I don't dissagree with much of your note but reckon you are abusing the figures too.

    I have not read the ABS material in this.

    The age specific death rate is highest for males over 85.
    Suicides in males over 85 were 3% of the male suicides in 2015

    The number of people over 85 in Australia was about a half million I think. These run 2 to 1 female/male that makes it less than 170,000 males over 85 in the country. About 1.3% of the total male population accounting for 3% of the total male suicides. Seems high. Median age would have little correlation with the over 85 rate as it is based on such a small sample.

    Total numbers of all self harm deaths at 3027 is much lower than I would have guessed. Though I reckon it would be true. 3% of 3027 is 91. 170000 is 0.68 of the total population so that 3% is 4.4 times the average self harm death of the population. That is skewed a little by babes who probably can't do that unless you leave a blind cord around for them but you get the picture.
    Alufool
    1st Jun 2017
    2:45pm
    We wouldn't have the suicide rates if we had a sane euthanasia policy. Having a father 93 who has been in an aged care place for 5 years wanting to die and a 98 yr old mother in law in the same position I think our pollies are gutless in NOT tackling the hard questions (both sides). oh PS you might improve the budget as that seems to be what they are interested in rather than quality of life issues.
    Trees
    1st Jun 2017
    4:53pm
    That is about it in a nutshell really isn't it. We should all be able to choose when we want to die whether it be old age or terminal illness. That is humane & allows dignity & as callus as it sounds it does help the bottom line
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:22pm
    I don't like dead Trees. Stay alive!
    bandy
    1st Jun 2017
    2:51pm
    I haven't read through all the comments today but I do know that my sister(79yrs of age )who lives by herself tried to take her own life just recently & thankfully failed.In hindsight it was all about being alone & no-one caring,when she ended up in hospital she was able to receive the proper care & people that cared for her & rehabilitated her it took months she is now a better person for that experience.But if doctors & other people could not see that she was crying out for help what the hell are politicians going to do about it.I am not making excuses for myself but I was hamstrung by not living in Australia this is what s happening to people like my sister politicians will never understand these problems.
    shirboy
    1st Jun 2017
    2:54pm
    I tell my boys that I am worth more to them dead than alive & so far they want me to stay alive.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:24pm
    Lucky you. If you watch the media you might be shocked to discover that some do not.
    Maybe you have done something right in bringing your brood up. Many of us did the best we could and gave the little blighters everything they needed other than showering them with consumables and did not come out good. Of course partners plays a big role in this too so maybe your lot chose well. Either way congratulations.
    trood
    1st Jun 2017
    5:05pm
    Some people want to live until they are 150 or forever and good on them but others feel that they've HAD ENOUGH even if they are not sick or in pain and wouldn't mind checking out legally if euthanasia existed in Australia; that not being the case suicide is the only answer.

    People need to get used to the idea just because you breed children doesn't mean that they are going to look after you when you are old or that your owe them a living. If they even hint at wanting to get their hands on your assets/money, grow a backbone and make it clear that you have your own 'age of entitlement', you worked for it, you are entitled to spend it as you will and tell the little suckers to bugger off in no uncertain terms and they'll be lucky to get anything if they don't pull their heads in!. Don't even entertain the idea that you are a nuisance and past your 'use by date'. Take all the help and hand outs that the government offers to the oldies, especially those to keep you in your own home.
    trood
    1st Jun 2017
    5:05pm
    Some people want to live until they are 150 or forever and good on them but others feel that they've HAD ENOUGH even if they are not sick or in pain and wouldn't mind checking out legally if euthanasia existed in Australia; that not being the case suicide is the only answer.

    People need to get used to the idea just because you breed children doesn't mean that they are going to look after you when you are old or that your owe them a living. If they even hint at wanting to get their hands on your assets/money, grow a backbone and make it clear that you have your own 'age of entitlement', you worked for it, you are entitled to spend it as you will and tell the little suckers to bugger off in no uncertain terms and they'll be lucky to get anything if they don't pull their heads in!. Don't even entertain the idea that you are a nuisance and past your 'use by date'. Take all the help and hand outs that the government offers to the oldies, especially those to keep you in your own home.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    5:43pm
    I always said 150 for me, but the body is not lifting its share of the burden....
    Ella
    1st Jun 2017
    5:08pm
    Just my opinion as a nurse but probable causes of suicide in elderly is a combination of living in pain, isolation and having no quality of life. As a community nurse i frequently saw elderly people so lonely after losing their partners combined with being confined to their homes due to health , pain and mobility issues. When there is no reason to get out of bed in the morning its easy to contemplate bowing out. There is a time when individual elderly people are simply just tired of living. I firmly believe in euthanasia as do most of my nursing colleagues after caring for many old people who had reached their wall.
    terrib
    1st Jun 2017
    5:24pm
    Because many do not want to die in a hospice or nursing home possibly drip fed, bed wetting, dribbling demented people. Let those happy to do so have that choice. We know the chances of avoiding this fate are not good & quality comes before quantity in the years we live to. I attend Exit meetings & I know all of us there have the same objective. To exit before the going gets nasty. BUT what we really want is for the gov. to accept the bleeding obvious & that is allow us the right to choose a medical option of euthanasia so bring in the law to allow us that right. We do not have to be within deaths door but before we get that far, when the pain or the quality of our life has deteriorated so badly that we would rather be dead. No one will force us to we are not stupid, just sensible, why would be so stupid as to want to die in agony & slowly, not for me. I have too many medical problems & illnesses to know it won't be an easy passing for me, so I will decide when I go. So come on pollies give us our right to choose.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    5:26pm
    Your choice of course. I believe in God and I hope that He takes me when the time is right. Let you know about that from the other side.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2017
    5:45pm
    When your time's up, your time's up... no matter how it comes..... I'm sure it will take me unawares - too busy. Mind you - there are days.... when you wonder if you'll make it to nightfall....
    Jennie
    1st Jun 2017
    6:05pm
    terrib, if you are a member of Exit, you don't need a legal and medical option of euthanasia, you already know what to do. What you would like legally is the option of having loved ones present when you die or loved ones helping you to die if you can't do it yourself. I can't see this ever being legal here, it's not even legal in the Netherlands. I don't want doctors giving me permission - or not - to end my life!
    Jenny
    1st Jun 2017
    5:45pm
    My opinion is that older men who have lost their wives are the most likely to find life too burdensome to bear. Most of them are lost without their lifetime companion, and many men do not have any other close relationships. It is very sad, and I don't know what the answer is. Loneliness, health problems, money shortage, and just the day-to-day maintenance of life can be overwhelming with no one to share it with. Possibly residential care in retirement village units with company of similar people may help. Likewise men's sheds could help bring some pleasure back into life.

    1st Jun 2017
    7:37pm
    the comments, special those of the siamese twins, mickey and tremor or should that read tremor and mickey on suicide would give anybody a death wish, as usual it is their view to-days government was the one who brought all this upon us, maybe it was the gfc who played a great part in this when many people lost their nest eggs saved to give their children a leg up or made their upcoming retirement look like heaven on earth. as usual under a labor government as day follows night the recession set in, our banks were ready for such a occasion but under labor it is always followed by money wasted, money given to people overseas 6 feet under, free t.v's, pokies, free insulation in your roof, at the cost of three or more people lives, maybe mickey could enlighten us to disclose how many houses burnt down, had to remove the insulation for fear of being burnt to death, the government is still paying out for the incredible, life treatening, mind blowing disastrous decisions or the waste of money by giving school ensembly halls, while somebody forgot to tell them you would need a door for access or one would need windows to see outside, the debt labor left us when they got voted out of government and tell us the debt when the howard was voted out or the debt rudd, then gillard then again rudd left us maybe that got something to do with our oldies committing suicides finding it impossible to leave something to their children, the gfc so badly handled by labor it still weights this country down, yes to be lonely is a great burden on the elderly, being by yourself all day is another burden but how many of you screamers give your time as a volunteer to visit the elderly and as to blame the banks have lowered their deeming rates yet the government has not, the me me mentality is rife, however love the post of trood as I live by the same principles, what annoys me is that the likes of the siamese twins mickey and tremor etc are trying to tell me how to live my life, I feel for those who take their own life, however don't blame anybody else for that decision.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2017
    8:50pm
    The voice of insane Liberal Party politics has come our from under the rock to grace us with his divine presence again. Had a few drinks have we......?
    Labor......pink batts.......school halls.....debt (last 4 years??).....ha, ha, ha. What a dead loss as normal.

    Want a real discussion heemsjerK? Debt, betrayal and irresponsible government which makes the other side look like spring chickens? I thought not. Rave on!
    Kathleen
    1st Jun 2017
    9:26pm
    Yes, the government should address depression in all age groups and know this terrible statistic. People are being inundated with reminders that the pension is not sustainable and some elderly people especially those who live alone could well be feeling this. People should be able to live out their lives naturally and not have to deal with depression in old age. We should all care for each other more than we do.
    SKRAPI
    1st Jun 2017
    9:59pm
    1 reason Gov. is getting deeper in debt is becausr Labor Legislated on things without costing them in , Julie Gillard was good at that . Also the price of iron ore fell dramatically after present Gov. got in. Plus the fact too many R bludging on the system who R younger & able 2 work . A good few of those R so called efugees who cunningly work the system I agree loneliness has a lot to do with it.
    MICK
    2nd Jun 2017
    8:48am
    Nonsense. We are getting further into debt because the current government has been spending without costing things. If it were not so then was the Gillard government pegging back the deficits when Abbott was pushed into office and why are the deficits of the last 2 coalition governments growing every year. You can't blame Labor forever although this is what the current government seeks to do. Here are some figures on the coalition government's track record. Check out the table half way down the page:

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/news-federal-budget/2017/05/10/eighty-billion-dollars-bad-debt/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170511_TND
    SKRAPI
    1st Jun 2017
    9:59pm
    1 reason Gov. is getting deeper in debt is becausr Labor Legislated on things without costing them in , Julie Gillard was good at that . Also the price of iron ore fell dramatically after present Gov. got in. Plus the fact too many R bludging on the system who R younger & able 2 work . A good few of those R so called efugees who cunningly work the system I agree loneliness has a lot to do with it.
    SKRAPI
    1st Jun 2017
    10:14pm
    Thank U Ella U R very right ,why should people who have had enough not be able to have a quick painless death. Just think There could be a quiet time with loved ones when all would say good-bye & they would feel better after too .For those who don't chose that path Ok. we don't stop them so please let others make their own choice
    Triss
    1st Jun 2017
    11:08pm
    So Kate Carnell wants the Age Pension treated as a loan and paid back! Are we surrounded by morons? The reason people get the age pension is because they haven't any money and the pension will be spent on living expenses. One section of pensioners apparently can be stripped of their house at the end of their lives but what is she going to do about pensioners without a house.
    In my opinion she shows quite strong sociopathic indications.
    MICK
    2nd Jun 2017
    8:52am
    Kate Carnell is the head of the business group that wants tax cuts far deeper than what is already been given and I seem to recall her demanding a 14% rate. The BCA is what it is: a greedy business lobby wanting to take everything for its own members whilst crying out "we'll be ruined" in front of the cameras ever time the bottom of the heap get a $5 a week pay rise.
    Don't be surprised that the rich want it all. Look to America to see that one playing out: first they turned the bottom end into the working poor, now that ey doing the same thing to the middle class.
    Jannie
    2nd Jun 2017
    8:31am
    I worked in aged care and no way do I want to be put in an aged care facility when the time comes around, so yes I could consider suicide like a lot do. The system is so complex it is hard to make the right decision, what I have seen scares me to death so no way would I want to be put in a home for the elderly. The cost of being in an aged care facility is so expensive most could not afford to go into a nice home, so what are the alternatives? non that I know of. A lot of the elderly are being ripped off and it is time the whole aged care area is investigated. By whom I am not sure as the governments do not seem to be able to get it right more like not capable, just look at our failing hospitals and infra structure in general.
    MICK
    2nd Jun 2017
    8:55am
    Agree Janine. This sector is disgraceful, there is no mandatory patient to (nursing) staff ratio and of course the cost is off the planet. This is a part of the package which is dealt to older people by governments of all persuasion in this country...........and still people do not use the ballot box to bypass our woolies and coles governments.
    Rae
    2nd Jun 2017
    9:44am
    Cruise while you can Jannie and try to stay healthy. A cruise can cost as little as $140 a day and the income from the bond would pay a young nurse to travel the world as your companion. Do the figures. Much cheaper than a nursing home. There is always a doctor available as well.
    Jannie
    2nd Jun 2017
    11:04am
    Rae this is a good idea but I get sea sick.
    ex PS
    2nd Jun 2017
    10:31am
    If this government sees us as a drain on resources, why doesn't it let us make the decision to go with dignity at a time and a way of our own choosing. It constantly denigrates its elder population and seems intent on draining us of every cent we have before we go. And that probably is the answer to my question, maybe if we had to leave everything to the government if we self terminate the government would change their mind. I think they would.
    Jannie
    2nd Jun 2017
    10:59am
    The government has a lot to answer for, and I feel this is what they want, the elderly to suicide saves the government paying a pension and use of resources, this is Soylent Green watch the movie you all might be in for a shock.
    Attila
    5th Jun 2017
    12:30pm
    Jannie that is more or less what my late father felt too!
    leek
    3rd Jun 2017
    12:15am
    My mum spent the last 3 years in the dementia section of an aged care centre. I am also a home care worker. And I can tell you now sitting at home on your own waiting for your kids to never phone you, friends to never see you in your own home is far far worse than being in in a good aged care centres. Most centres are reasonably good. Most staff care for the aged, you get rasonable meals, and 3 times a day with morning/arvo tea. Good centres have activities. If you don't have dementia and you are in low care, life is pretty good. The staff care about if you have had a shower, been to the toilet, have a clean room. Your kids don't. As a worker in aged care and having had a mum with alzheimers. I have seen it all. A good aged care home is defintely the best option unless family can provide the 24/7 care that a lot of the elderly require.
    musicveg
    3rd Jun 2017
    2:55am
    Along with all the other causes that have been mentioned, does anyone consider that these men no long eat properly therefore not getting the nutrition their brains need, not sleeping well also causes depression. I think more should join a community garden, you get outdoors (Vitamin d), you get to take home fresh vegies, you meet people and you exercise. Caring for plants makes you feel worthwhile. More community hubs with gardens and activities for everyone, old meeting young, we need more of this.
    JAID
    3rd Jun 2017
    12:45pm
    It probably takes all kinds mveg but all those things would have to be good for many if well enough to get out and about.
    Attila
    5th Jun 2017
    12:28pm
    Perhaps the issues is the Government in the first place, they don't like old people...
    it drains their funds.
    What is the average age of a Politician today?
    40years perhaps. I know they are getting younger. When one is 40, 70 years seems a very long way away. That is 30 Christmases! 30 Australia Days.

    My late father used to say that the Government wants to reduce the number of ages by not being as caring to the elderly. He never felt his doctor did the right thing by him.
    I didn't believe it at the time, but now in my 70s I am starting to think he was correct.
    SKRAPI
    20th Jun 2017
    10:40pm
    sO DO U ALL THINK THAT OTHER MOB OF LOONEYS
    R GOING TO FIX EVERYTHING GOOD LUCK WITH THAT LOL.
    SKRAPI
    20th Jun 2017
    10:40pm
    sO DO U ALL THINK THAT OTHER MOB OF LOONEYS
    R GOING TO FIX EVERYTHING GOOD LUCK WITH THAT LOL.


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