In This Edition: Christmas Traditions, COVID-19 Updates, Aged Care News, Help with Sleeping Problems, and much more!
Welcome to Our 365 Care December
The happiest season is here! Lockdown is ending just in time for the summer holidays, and everyone is looking forward to getting out and seeing loved ones again. To prepare you for the outside world, here are your latest updates on the trends, issues and stories of the month that matter to you.
So, sit back, enjoy a nice cuppa and our latest newsletter!
December is the month of Christmas celebrations. Even if you are not religious, it’s often hard to resist taking part in the festivities and gift-giving.
Christmas is an annual Christian tradition celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and many cultures have developed their own ways of celebrating. We thought it would be fun to take a look at how Christmas is celebrated around the world.
Children leave their shoes on the windowsill and the ‘Yule lads’ – young men dressed in traditional Icelandic garb – circulate amongst the houses putting candy in the shoes of good children and rotten potatoes in the shoes of bad children. That’s a strong incentive to be good!
China has a small Christian community and they celebrate Sheng Dan Jieh (Holy Birth Festival) by hanging paper chains around their homes and decorating their Christmas tree with lanterns, flowers and red paper chains.
The eldest daughter of the family will get up at the crack of dawn and don a long white dress as the ‘Queen of Light’ and will sing ‘Santa Lucia’ while she brings coffee to the other members of the family.
In Norway, people hide their brooms away on Christmas Eve. This may seem a bit odd but it goes back to a belief that witches and evil spirits roamed about on Christmas Eve looking for a mode of transport.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, families all head to church…on roller skates! The roads are closed and everyone skates to church. All that exercise must build up an appetite, as they then return home to feast on tamales.
The Japanese aren’t big on celebrating Christmas, but one tradition they do uphold is to get KFC as their Christmas meal. Queues will form in the streets of Japan for Colonel Sanders’ Christmas fare.
Here in Australia, we celebrate with a big Christmas lunch, giving gifts, and spending time with loved ones.
If you’re keen to go to a Christmas event this festive season, check out the Christmas Fun Fare at Adventureland Sydney over the three weekends leading up to Christmas. There is also the Christmas Lights Spectacular exhibition from 5 November 2021 to 26 January 2022 at Hunter Valley Gardens.
Health Focus: Sleeping Problems
If you’re finding it hard to sleep through the night and wake up feeling unrested, you are not alone. Around 30% of adults aged 65 and above experience problems with sleeping. As we get older, our body produces less melatonin (the sleep hormone) and releases it earlier in the day, which means going to bed then waking up earlier than usual.
Many other factors can negatively affect your sleep:
- Needing to wake up to use the toilet
- Pain caused by arthritis or osteoporosis
- Psychological disorders like anxiety or depression
- Lifestyle habits like drinking caffeine before bedtime or getting into irregular sleep patterns
- Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia
If this rings a bell with you, we’ve put together a list of ways you can improve and enhance your sleep.
- Regulate your sleeping pattern by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day so your body gets into a rhythm.
- Do exercise no less than three hours before bedtime.
- Don’t take naps during the day if you can help it, and if you can’t, limit them to 15-20 minutes.
- Get lots of sunlight in the daytime to regulate your Circadian rhythm.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking in the late afternoon or evening.
- Instead of watching TV, try to read a book for an hour before bed.
- If you live in a noisy area, use a fan or white noise machine to drown out the noise.
- Do some relaxation techniques before bed like stretching or meditation.
If you’ve tried all of the above and are still struggling to sleep, consult your GP to see what they can do.
Seniors benefit from a newly approved treatment
A new treatment for COVID-19 sufferers has arrived in Australia and it could spell the difference between going on a ventilator and going home.
Sotrovimab is a single dose IV treatment that has been used overseas and has resulted in reducing hospitalisation or death in adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 79%.
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has now approved it to be used for Australians over 55 years old who have risk factors such as heart failure, lung disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, and moderate to severe asthma.
If this treatment is prescribed by your doctor, it will be free of charge. This could go a long way in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection to older Australians.
Aged Care Industry Update
Nursing in aged care
The Royal Commission’s recommendation on nursing in aged care was that residents should receive at least 200 minutes of daily care with 40 of those care minutes being given by a registered nurse.
Now Independent Senator Rex Patrick has taken it one step further and wants to amend the new bill so that aged care homes have at least one registered nurse on-site 24/7.
Notes Patrick, “I’m concerned aged care residents are not getting the care they need, and the care is varied depending on where they are located across Australia. The inconsistent approach leads to variations in the level of care and quality provided to residents. Proper care for our elderly is critical and it requires aged care homes to have registered nurses on-site at all times.”
Here’s hoping his amendments are passed as this would be an important step towards improving aged care standards in homes across the country.
Human Interest Stories
Madame Mayor of Steel
Lilliane Brady, is NSW’s longest-serving female mayor and at 87 years old, she’s not done yet. The rural mining town of Cobar has been under her leadership for the last 18 years.
Ms Brady and her family moved to Cobar in the late 1960s and as time went by, she realised the need for reform in aged care. In 1982, Ms Brady won the fight to get a not-for-profit nursing home built and called it the Lilliane Brady Village.
She has been serving as a local councillor for 35 years and is renowned for her tenacity, bravery and perseverance.
Ms Brady doesn’t see age as a deterrent from getting things done. She notes, “Older people can do so much, but they’ve got to be willing to show what they can do. This business of sitting in a chair all day and feeling sorry for yourself is bullshit. Get out there and really live your life. Every day that you’re alive is a good day,”.
Ms Brady intends to serve out two more years as mayor to complete her 20 years of service before she retires. This sassy granny doesn’t take ageism lying down.
“I don’t tolerate idiots. I’m too outspoken and I’ve got far too much to do,” said Ms Brady. “The only time I really deal with ageism is when I wake up in the morning and get outta bed. Then I just say ‘suck it up princess,’ and then I get up and get on with things.”
NeedleCalm™: A breakthrough Australian medical device, assisting with the reduction of needle-associated pain with injection
If you’ve got a fear of needles and that has put you off receiving treatment or being vaccinated, a new technological development may ease your fears.
NeedleCalm™ is an adhesive patch that is applied to the site of the coming injection. It minimises pain by using the ‘Gate Control’ pain theory to activate the large nerve fibres that register touch and pressure over the small nerve fibres that register pain.
This will help the one in four Australians that suffer from Trypanophobia – a fear of needles – to get vaccinations, donate blood, have blood drawn for tests and undergo cancer treatments.
The Islands of Hawaii
When you hear ‘Hawaii’, images of coconuts, hula dresses, surfboards and island life spring to mind. Hawaii is a collection of six islands in the Pacific Ocean, namely Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the island of Hawaii (or Big Island). Hawaiians are known to have a warm and welcoming culture. They greet people with hugs and smiles and believe in the spirit of ‘aloha’, which means living in the present and sharing the essence of life. They also believe in the concept of ‘malama’, which is to care for the environment and each other.
Here are some fun facts about Hawaii:
- You can send a coconut as a postcard. People often decorate a dried coconut and then post it directly without a box or envelope.
- There’s no smog in Hawaii, but there is sometimes vog, which is volcanic haze from the active Kilauea volcano on Big Island.
- People believe in sharing, so if you have too much fruit from your fruit tree, you can hang it in a communal area and people will help themselves, but they will only take what they can eat themselves.
- Hawaii is the 50th state of the USA.
Enjoy these healthy, flavour-packed treats from www.bestrecipes.com.au/ to satisfy your cravings!
A fresh and vibrant lunch or dinner you can pull together in minutes.
Prep time: Easy 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 3 cups dried breadcrumbs
- 1 onion diced small
- 12 sage leaves finely chopped fresh
- 3 bacon rashers chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped firm medium
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch salt and pepper optional *to taste
- Lightly saute onion and bacon in pan until onion is transparent.
- Combine all ingredients.
- Breadcrumbs should be just moist, so that ingredients just cling together.
- Stuff turkey or chicken.
Prep time: Easy 20 minutes
- 150 mL thickened cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 2 punnets fresh strawberries
- 1 chocolate icing pen
- Whip cream with the vanilla and sugar until very stiff. Place in a freezer bag, or piping bag and snip off the end.
- Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towel. Slice the stalk end off, so that the strawberry sits flat. Slice across each strawberry about halfway up.
- Pipe cream onto the cut strawberry and place the ‘hat’ back on. Pipe a little dot of cream onto the top. Use the icing pen to make the eyes.
Name an object that starts with each letter of CHRISTMAS
- C __________________
- H __________________
- R __________________
- I __________________
- S __________________
- T __________________
- M __________________
- A __________________
- S __________________
Word Scramble: Unscramble the words to discover the Christmas words
- GBDIARGNEER NAM __________________
- ENONRTSAM __________________
- TRESEPNS __________________
- DEEREINR __________________
- SHLIGE __________________
- EESVL __________________
- YMMRE SHRSTACMI __________________
- NWSMNAO __________________
- IADHOLY __________________
- AASTN ___________________
by Rob Auton
If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, this collection of observations will help you learn to appreciate the wonders that everyday life has to offer. Tune out negative news, leave behind messy politics, and pick up this book for a refreshing rediscovery of what makes life on Earth so beautiful.
Read and be inspired with Rob’s insights that will make you feel more optimistic in this complicated period.
Service You Can Trust
At 365 Care, we provide quality, compassionate home care in Western Sydney for the elderly and for adults with disability who want to remain independent in their own homes. We work alongside families seeking peace of mind whilst building caring relationships that are based on honesty, respect and advocacy.
For more information on the aged care services and disability services we offer and how we can assist in maximising the value from your home care packages, contact us on 1300 365 248.
Online Resources for Aged Care Assistance
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
If you have concerns regarding the quality of your aged care services, visit this website to download the brochure for more details:
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
To make a complaint regarding safety and support services, visit this website to download the brochure for more details:
My Aged Care
If you require assistance with home, transport, and personal care support, click on the link to download the document for more details:
Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)
If you need free legal support for aged care rights, click on the link to download the document for more details:
Answers to Mind Games