Hello to each of you again,

While out and about in Pumicestone since my last update, I have been asking the question of particular members of our community, “What affects you most now that you are retired?” The question was prompted with the advent of the upcoming ‘Seniors Week’ commencing Saturday 15 August and I would be very interested to hear your response to that same question. Because by asking that question, these are some of the concerns that get raised. For most, it was the frustration of not being able to do, what in the past was done without even having to think about it. When speaking to Brenda, the restrictions caused by health issues were her main source of frustration. As a result of a stroke, she now required the aid of a walker for her mobility, and something simple like getting up from a table and placing a used cup in a nearby rubbish bin, was now no longer a ‘simple task’, but one requiring an additional amount of effort to undertake.

She, and another gentleman I spoke to, Mervyn, also spoke of the impact of losing a life partner and the loneliness and isolation that can result when faced with the challenge of having to keep one’s self ‘occupied’ at different times of the day or week. This and other significant life events, also required at times, the moving of various family members so each could then be more readily available to support the other. Listening to these and other life experiences, I was so impressed with the resilience and practicality each person applied to their situation. And by listening to their experiences, I also picked up on other ‘more subtle’ aspects that impact on their daily lives.//One issue that was commonly raised, is how does one access the support services available if you either do not have access to a computer or do not know how to use a computer or mobile phone to find out what help is available? Yes, the Queensland Government web site https://www. qld.gov.au/seniors is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information for seniors, provided you can access it. For those who don’t have a computer or access to one, may I suggest you consider joining a local U3A group as they at times have introductory computer courses on offer. The President of the Bribie Island group is Greg Sipthorpe on 34081450 or PO Box 440 Bribie Island 4507. The President of the Beachmere group is Mary Brown on 0456 685 736 or PO Box 103 Beachmere, 4510.

Because these organisations are run for seniors who ‘have a love of learning’, the volunteer tutors are keen to share their knowledge and experience in a learning environment that is both supportive and enjoyable. By being a member of the U3A, you are also able to meet others who have a similar interest to yourself as there are many other courses also available.

This also another positive that I heard when talking to other seniors, that is how friendly people are in our various communities. When chatting with Sandra and John who recently moved to the area from Sydney in NSW, they told me how different it was to now be walking along and to be greeted by locals who they did not know, as compared to where they previously lived where you were one of a couple of hundred thousand locals and each was an island to themselves. They admit it took a bit of getting used to, but now really enjoy being part of their community and are so thankful that they made the choice to move and join us.

When listening to the positives of what our Pumicestone area has to offer, this has reaffirmed my commitment to make sure that these ‘positives’ are supported and maintained, while also driving the changes needed to meet the needs of our collective future, while maintaining the liveability and beauty that makes Pumicestone the place of choice for people to live and visit. I value the wisdom of the elders and look forward to hearing from you, the issues you would like me to pursue on your behalf.

Till we next chat, stay safe, Ross