What’s Your Dewey? 305.26 Ageing: or, as Dewey likes to call it, People in Late Adulthood!

A brief walk through the local Ageing & Disability Expo where our library had a stall, reminded me that the concept of ageing is ever changing and notions of what it is to be an ‘older person’ or ‘senior citizen’ are not what they once were. As our population ages and the number of people claiming senior status increases, so do our perceptions of what it is to be old, change. Like the many and varied stalls showcasing the different services aimed at seniors, you can find books on ageing shelved in the psychological, medical, spiritual, financial, fitness and biographical shelves, making the topic a grand tour of Dewey. Personally, the titles I find interesting are those that explore the concept of ageing through the collective experiences of those who’ve gone before… people in their late adulthood!

In the book In praise of ageing by Patricia Edgar, Edgar introduces her topic by asking: ‘Why do some people live an active and rewarding life while others die early or live miserably?’ Rather than focusing on the assumed ‘burden of the ageing’, (which she explores in Part One – The gift of age), Edgar begins to tackle this conundrum by interviewing eight people who have lived beyond their 80s (Part Two: The elders). They include teacher, biochemist and artist Muriel Crabtree (aged 102), and Jim Brierley, octogenarian skydiver. Through these stories, Edgar demonstrates that ageing brings with it opportunities to reshape our thinking and our lives by reaffirming what we care about and staying motivated to remain creative and connected to the world. Look inside here: www.booktopia.com.au

The importance of maintaining a sense of humour can not be over-emphasized by many and 1,000 unforgettable senior moments : of which we could remember only 254 by Tom…uh…Friedman is just one book that highlights the lighter side of age-related gaffes, from the ridiculous to the ridiculously worrying. Examples include: The team of astrophysicists who believed they had discovered proof of alien life–only to discover the signals were coming from the lunchroom microwave; the bank robber who wrote a holdup note on a cheque stub that had his name and address printed on it; and the president who left the nuclear launch codes in a suit at the dry cleaners. 1,000 Unforgettable Senior Moments is entertaining, witty and very accessible.
You can sample it here: 1001 unforgettable senior moments

Over 60 : living life to the full edited by Joy Noble and David Bennett is another book filled with examples of what is increasingly called ‘positive ageing’. The book is a compilation of 25 essays written by Baby Boomers as they approach their 60s and 70s; individuals who have the freedom to pursue their life passions and are changing the nature of retirement. While travelling and volunteering feature in many essays, there are also examples of grand-parenting, late career changes, creative pursuits and learning; embracing new technology to be both independent and connected.


Aging : an apprenticeship  edited by Nan Narboe looks at ageing from the perspective of 54 contributors including Judy Blume, Andrew McCarthy, Gloria Steinem, Ursula Le Guin and William Maxwell. Contributors draw from their own experiences as they navigate each decade of their late adulthood  from Nearing 50 up to The 90s and Beyond. Divided into decades, each essay lists the author’s birth year along with his or her subjective age (the age they feel or think). There are many thought-provoking approaches to ageing contained in these pages. Here are just two:  ‘There is no universal guidebook on aging… We have to learn about old age on the job’, (Jan Slepian, born in 1921); and Narboe who states: ‘I think aging tends to refine who the person is… an intellectual becomes more so, a sensualist becomes more so, an adventurer becomes more so.”
Read more about the book here: aginganapprenticeship.com

Aging starts in your mind : you’re only as old as you feel  by Notker Wolf, with Leo G. Linder ; translated by Gerlinde Buchinger-Schmid is a lighthearted, anecdotal approach to life as an ageing adult. While Wolf acknowledges that ‘The body is counting years, and it’s an incorruptible chronicler’ he also states: ‘The body and soul experience time differently… the soul measures itself by a different standard… it doesn’t grow old; it’s timeless’. Wolf encourages readers to focus on the ‘state of our soul- a soul which is resolutely vibrant, cheerful, and full of zest for life.’ Translated from German, this autobiographical book covers many ageing related topics in 22 chapters. You can preview it here: Aging starts in your mind

Staying active, connected and with a positive approach to getting older is a message that resounds in many of the interviews and stories included in the books just viewed. There are an abundance of ways people in their late adulthood can benefit from the diverse activities and support systems available to them in the community, as demonstrated at the Expo. This includes support to enter the modern world of technology with the Be Connected program being offered through the library.  An Australia wide initiative to empower all Australians to thrive in a digital world, it provides online learning resources and in-person support, so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. To find out more, contact the library on 8522 0123 and let staff know you want to Be Connected to make the most of your late adulthood… (and while you’re there, check out the shelves at 305.26).




A-Z Apps Series – News

The news, is not the civilised activity we used to participate in years ago.  We’d purchase a newspaper and read that or sit in front of the television or the radio at a set time and listen in.  But not anymore.  We are bombarded with ‘news’ constantly. Via social media, radio, television, print media etc. So what can we do to get the news we want to hear about?  How do you access the news?  What is the news for you?  Technology, sports, politics, local events or the social activities of the rich and famous?
Breaking NewsThere are many apps that will collate your news interests or just apps that deal with specific news information. Below we have listed a few you might find handy…
 Free to air television channels have created apps for viewers to watch their content ‘on demand’ wherever and whenever they like.  This will include their news broadcasts and in-depth investigative programs.  Most of these function on the premise that content will be available for a limited time to view then it will expire and become unavailable.  Most of these apps are available not just on smartphones that use Android and iOS, but also for smart tvs, tablet devices, desktop computers and media set top boxes.  The following list is for Australian channels.
NewspapersThen we have the print and online media channels like Facebook where almost every news outlet, regardless of how else they broadcast their news, has a ‘page’ that readers can ‘follow’ to get the news ‘hot off the press’ so to speak.  Print media apps usually are a collection of news articles and stories that you can access, sometimes for a subscription fee. Some of these can be tailored to your likes and interests so you get news geared especially for you.
News wordcloud pageSpeciality News Apps are plentiful and are usually created for specific subjects or followers like sports teams or codes, business, technology, traveling and Australian teams.

So, whether you’re an avid sports fan, globe trotter looking for inspiration or just want to catch up with the days events in your state or local area, there’s an app you can download to keep you informed.

Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – Music

So we’ve obviously come a long way since playing records was the only way to put together a playlist of our favourite tunes. We can now have a personal rock concert, symphony orchestra, dance party or chill out session at our finger tips and playing just for us, owing to the many options for headphones available on the market.

Whether you’re at the gym, on your daily commute, studying or just generally trying to tune out the world, there are many options for you to listen to your favourites, something new or something to get you fired up for your PT session. What’s your go-to music app? Do you have any pros or cons that made the decision for you?

Many music streaming services have popped up and disappeared over the last 5 years. With such a new way of tuning into your music there have been many ideas explored to bring streaming services to the consumer. When using the streaming services on your mobile phone you will need to check whether your data allowance is adequate or if that service is included in your phone’s data plan, otherwise you’ll find you’re out of data before your month has barely begun. Many music artists have added their titles to some or all of these services. If your music collection is looking a little dated and you’re keen to try something new we’ve highlighted some of the more popular streaming services below.

Spotify:  https://www.spotify.com/au/ is a great way to get some music on the go without needing to organise it yourself. Download your app, sign up (free or premium accounts) and hit play. There are restrictions to the free account that might make you consider the paid version. If you don’t mind the ads and don’t usually skip your songs then you’ll find the free version is fine for you. Spotify gives you access to millions of songs to create your own playlists and as one of the most used music streaming services in the world, you may even find your bestie’s fave playlist or a playlist compiled by your favourite artist.

Apple Music
: https://www.apple.com/au/music/ The streaming music service created by Apple for their customers, synced across all their devices they have logged into with their Apple ID. Apple Music is a paid subscriptions only service to give users an extra 40 million songs to their own library, with different prices for students, individuals or families. Create your own playlist or get Apple Music to create something for you based on your music preferences. Connect your Apple devices to play your selections through your iPhone, Apple Watch or their upcoming Home pod. You can also move your playlists to your device to limit your data usage and listen offline.

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/ Launched in Australia during 2013 this recommender system radio station has multiple music stations and offers free, ‘Plus’ and ‘All Access’ subscription services. Available on many devices including home and automotive smart systems. Also, using the All Access Services means you will be able to save live broadcasts to your digital playlists to get more bang for your buck.

Shazam: https://www.shazam.com/ is an application used to recognise the music and TV that is playing near you. Starting out as a text messaging service, it has evolved into a way music artists can keep fans up to date with their latest music offerings and their music tastes. By holding your open app up to the music playing locally, it will ‘listen’ and check against the database of songs, artists and albums to return information to you about track details, artist information, lyrics, videos, concert tickets etc. So the next time you’re walking through somewhere wondering ‘that song is really good, I wonder what it is?’ …you can now answer that question and find your next favourite artist, song or album.

Google Play Music: https://play.google.com/store/music?hl=en Just like some of the previous options, you have a choice of paid or free subscriptions to access the music service. The paid subscription service will also give subscribers ad-free access to YouTube Red, the premium offering from YouTube. There is an Offline Mixtape functionality for you to listen offline to your playlists. And if you’re not sure what to listen to next, you can mix your own library with the radio stations and get an eclectic mix. Don’t like the current song? You can skip unlimited times with their paid ‘All Access’ pass. Would you like to know what that song is playing near you right now? Google Play Music has a Shazam style ‘identify what’s playing’ option which will connect you with the music, artist and anything available on YouTube for you to watch.

So it comes down to whether you want to keep your favourite tunes or just listen to what takes your fancy at the time. Do you want all the bells and whistles that come with the paid subscriptions or are you just happy to have any music to listen to? Do you mind ads appearing in between your songs, like a radio station, or are you looking to get away from the radio and just have music? All these are great questions for deciding on a music streaming service, and luckily, most services have a great intro price or free service model for you to test them. What is your go-to music service? Are you intrigued and want to give it a try? Let us know what you think!
Melinda Kennedy

Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – Lifestyle and Leisure

Au Coffee Summer Pleasure Holidays Leisure

So you’ve got yourself some free time, what are you going to do with it?  What’s your go-to activity when you have the time? Do you like to veg in front of the television and binge watch your favourite shows? Do you prefer to take the time to meditate, clear your head and breathe or do you like to get up and do something physical?  There are so many apps available to assist you with how to spend your free time, we’ve included a small list below of some of our favourites.  Have a look and let us know if there’s a great app you use to help you chill out, relax and have fun.

Geocaching – https://www.geocaching.com/play Available on the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play as a FREE download, but with optional in-app purchases.  It’s treasure hunting for adults but can include the whole family! Like to get out in the great wide world but need the motivation to keep walking? If you’ve got a phone, you can locate these little hidden treasures all over the world.  Some are very difficult to find, others are much easier.  As you progress, you will get better and without trying, you will get a workout for your mind and your body, out and about in the fresh air.

Smiling Mind – https://smilingmind.com.au/  Available on the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play as a FREE download. Developed by psychologists and educators by a not-for-profit organisation to increase mindfulness at home, at school, at the workplace, for sportspeople, everyone! It includes many features like different programs for different people and ages, tracking functionality to review progress, and varying durations so you can fit it in to your day regardless of how busy you are.

– An Apple Watch app (included with operating system) that monitors your breathing. A quick way to take a few moments from your busy day to focus on your breathing, relax, and increase your mindfulness.

TV when you want it,  is what’s happening more and more now, and there are so many different providers to choose from for your next great binge watch! Some of these are free, some require a subscription to access the services, all have hours of great content to watch!  Game of Thrones marathon anyone?…

Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/app)

STAN (https://www.stan.com.au/)

Fetch (https://www.iinet.net.au/tv/fetch/app/)

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/)

iView (http://iview.abc.net.au/support/where-to-get-iview)

Foxtel Anywhere (https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtel-app.html)

TenPlay (https://tenplay.com.au/apps)

PLUS7 (https://au.tv.yahoo.com/plus7/mobile/get-the-app/)

9NOW (https://www.9now.com.au/ways-to-watch)

SBS On Demand (https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/faqs)

Since Colouring-in Books have become very popular recently, they have been made into multiple types of apps that you can download and use on the go without requiring pencils, textas or other colouring mediums.  You can find many from your app store by searching for colouring (or coloring) book for iTunes and click the link for a collection of apps available.  For Google Play we’ve included the following link for you to browse the available colouring-in apps (https://play.google.com/store/search?q=coloring%20book&c=apps&hl=en).

Podcast apps like Pocket Casts (https://play.pocketcasts.com/) and Podcasts (Apple iOS) (https://www.apple.com/au/itunes/podcasts/) have been very popular for catching up with any subject you’re interested in.  News, health, comedy, radio, interviews, crafting, ted talks, sports, true crime and entertainment are all catered for by thousands of hosts happy to discuss the world around them.  Listening to podcasts is a great idea for people when they are on the go, relaxing, at the gym, on your lunch break and more. Easy to download from your app store, then browse through the categories to find something that takes your fancy.  If you enjoy it, then subscribe to it and when there’s a new episode you’ll get a notification.

So a nice quick list and we’ll not take up anymore of your time.  Go, relax, enjoy your free time!  However you spend it.

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy