Local resident and former GP reflects on healthy ageing at 100

George Corones with General Practice Liaison Officer Dr John Bennett.

After retiring from medical practice at 80, former GP and long term resident of North Brisbane George Corones couldn’t imagine slowing down, instead diving head first into competitive swimming for the first time since the 1940s. 

A guest speaker at the Brisbane North Quarterly Aged Care Forum held in Chermside on 17 May 2018, George spoke to GP Dr John Bennett about ageing, living well and achieving a swimming world record at 99 years of age.

Forum attendees cheered when a video was shown from earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games trials held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, where George swam 50 metres in 56.12 seconds, breaking the previous record for his age group by 35 seconds. 

For George, who practiced across North Queensland before being involved locally in the Brisbane North Division of General Practice, being idle in retirement was never an option. 

“Retirement is an omission to doing anything. Delete the word retirement from your mindset,” he told forum attendees. 

Anthony Shields - Nurse Unit Manager, Aged Care Assessment Team,
Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Having now celebrated his 100th birthday, George attributes his continued good health to activities that start as soon as he wakes up, such as morning stretching in his “bed gymnasium.” 

George is still connected with primary care however, noting an upcoming appointment for vaccinations and the need to annually renew his driver’s licence. 

“The obvious revelation to me is that healthy ageing is a totally unique, personal responsibility,” he said.

When prompted on how service providers and health professionals can encourage people to take charge of their health as they age, George advised that people “must not omit to do things that are good for health and wellbeing. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it.”

“It is achievable because here I am.” 

The quarterly forums are hosted by the Healthy@Home consortium, which provides community based care services to people aged 65 years and over (and 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) to enhance their independence and avoid or delay entry into residential aged care. 

Chris Edith - Member Services Coordinator, Leading Age Services Australia QLD
addresses the forum to provide an aged services sector update.

The popular forums bring together aged care service providers and health professionals to hear the latest aged care sector updates, gain insights into consumer and carer perspectives, increase knowledge of best practice and network with health and care professionals.

Held at Kedron Wavell Services Club, the recent breakfast focusing on healthy ageing was facilitated by Desley Chorlton of Centacare Community Services and included presentations about major areas of reform – the National Disability Insurance Scheme, My Health Record, updates on Aged Care Assessment Team and a call to action to address the problem of chronic wounds in Australia.

The forum follows an earlier quarterly aged care forum at North Lakes in February 2018 which included presentations from the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health and Footprints. At that forum, consumer speaker Laurie Steele, an LGBTI elder generously shared his life experience, so we could understand the impact of how past legal and social discriminations still impact elders today. 

Remaining forums for 2018 will be held on 6 September (full day, Kedron Wavell) and 29 November (breakfast, Caboolture).

To find out more information, and join the subscription list for upcoming forums, email: chsp@brisbanenorthphn.org.au