In This Edition: Dealing with Loneliness, COVID-19 Lockdown and Vaccination Updates, Home Support News, Artistic Tribute to Ageing, and much more!
Welcome to Our 365 Care August Newsletter
August is the last month of winter (thank goodness) and it is also the month wherein we celebrate our hardworking care workers. August 7th is Aged Care Employee Day and a campaign called #ThanksforCaring is paying tribute to the over 360,000 Australians who work in aged care.
Especially in the last month or two, our care workers have been under more pressure than ever before so be sure to give them a boost by saying thanks.
Now on to the latest updates on the trends, issues and stories of the month.
So, sit back, enjoy a nice, warm cuppa and our latest newsletter!
Health Focus for The Month: Fighting Loneliness During Lockdown
Loneliness is a real concern for many people in aged care. Perhaps your loved ones are far away, you don’t get to see your friends as much as you’d like, or perhaps some of them have passed. Now, during lockdown, it is even harder to see people and have the social interaction we all need.
While it’s understandable to feel lonely, there are ways to keep a positive mindset and give your life a heightened sense of purpose that can alleviate some feelings of loneliness.
Here are 6 tips to help you overcome loneliness
1. Dope yourself on natural dopamine
There are certain things that release dopamine, the feel-good hormone, to give you a natural sense of upliftment. One is exercise, another is listening to your favourite music, and another is feeling the warm sunshine. So, even if you don’t really feel like it, try to push yourself to get out for a walk and get some fresh air at least once a day. If you have some music that you can listen to while you take a walk, even better.
2. ‘Puzzle and puzzle until your puzzler is sore’ (©Dr Seuss)
Often, we feel lonely because we have nothing to do to occupy our time. Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to calm the mind, focus and get engrossed in something other than dwelling on your loneliness. Other options are Sudoku puzzles, adult colouring books, painting by numbers, and building things like model cars or airplanes.
3. Every day is a school day, even in retirement
When you are learning something new, you get a sense of accomplishment and purpose. What is something you’ve always wanted to learn to do but never had the time? Now’s the perfect time! Perhaps you want to practice your gourmet cooking skills or learn a language or take up a harmony-based martial art like Tai Chi. Humans need a raison d’être (reason for being) and self-development and improvement is a great reason to get out of bed.
4. Reach out and voice your feelings
If you have family or friends you can call, do so and check in with them, either to express how you feel or just to connect. You can also chat to your carers and people in your community. Connection is important. It can decrease depression or anxiety, boost your immune system, regulate emotions, and increase self-esteem and empathy.
5. Look for ways to help others
Sometimes, the way to feel better within yourself is to look beyond yourself. Helping others has been scientifically proven to make you happy. It’s called the Helper’s High, a result of the release of mood-boosting chemicals in the brain such as oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. Perhaps someone in your community needs help and you can fill that need.
6. Consider fostering a pet
You could get your own pet. They are fantastic for companionship, affection and fighting loneliness. If you aren’t able to get a permanent pet though, there are many abandoned pets needing foster care until they find their forever homes. By caring for a lost pup or kitty, you’ll be improving your own life. RSPCA NSW has a Foster Care Program as does the Animal Welfare League NSW.
10 Tips On Living With Dementia
- Agree, never argue.
- Divert, never reason.
- Distract, never shame.
- Reassure, never lecture.
- Reminisce, never say “remember”.
- Repeat, never say “I told you”.
- Do what they can do, never say “you can’t”.
- Ask, never demand.
- Encourage, never condescend.
- Reinforce, never force.
Source: (Huey, 1996) CereScan.com/Conditions/Alzheimers
Morrison announces 4-phase plan for a ‘pathway out of the pandemic’
The recent COVID outbreaks have shown that the previous elimination method of the Australian government has not worked and a move towards a plan of containment is a more sustainable and realistic aim.
PM Scott Morrison has now announced this tentative plan for a return to normal life. It consists of four phases with the following key points:
- International arrivals cap will be cut by 50% to reduce pressure on quarantine facilities.
- Some states will allow returning vaccinated travellers to quarantine at home for seven days.
- Lockdowns will only be implemented as a last resort.
- Increased number of vaccinations will take place.
- Increased Commonwealth repatriation flights will be scheduled into Darwin to quarantine at the Howard Springs facility.
- This phase is expected to last until the beginning of 2022.
- Inbound travel caps will be restored for unvaccinated travellers.
- Vaccinated travellers will have a larger cap.
- Lockdowns will only happen in extreme circumstances.
- Vaccinated residents will have less restrictions should a lockdown happen.
- There will be a capped entry of student and economic visa holders.
- No cap on returning vaccinated travellers.
- No lockdowns.
- No restrictions on vaccinated residents.
- Increased but still capped entries for international students.
- Treating COVID like the flu.
- Vaccine booster program under way.
- Travel bubbles with countries in a similar phase.
- Return to pre-pandemic life.
- Maintain pre- and post-flight testing for inbound travellers.
- Vaccine passport system to be put in place.
1 million COVID-19 vaccines rolling out
Reportedly, 1 million Pfizer vaccines will be delivered in each week of August to ramp up vaccination numbers.
If you have already had your first dose of AstraZeneca, the recommended waiting time until you receive your second dose has been changed to 6-8 weeks.
If you still need to book your first or second dose of your vaccine,
Source: (Huey, 1996) CereScan.com/Conditions/Alzheimers
. Visit NSW’s government website for more information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
At 365 Care, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated in line with our efforts to ensure the safety of our staff and our clients so we can continue to provide quality care for you.
Aged Care Industry Update
$112 million for senior home support
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) has received a $112.1 million investment from the Morrison Government
This will be used to improve the delivery of entry-level aged care and to enable senior Australians to reside safely and live longer independently in their own homes and communities.
The investment will provide better access to necessary care services for communities that are most in need. According to Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australian and Aged Care Services, these will include meals, transport, social support, respite, gardening and cleaning.
These measures will go a long way to improving the lives of senior Australians who are still capable of living alone but just need an extra helping hand.
Slice of Life Stories
There’s an Art to Ageing
Various campaigns have recently been launched to promote respect, care and dignity for older Australians. This is crucial to protect the rights of the approximately 3.7 million people aged over 65 in Australia.
Many artists have realised that the elderly present a perfect portrait of life stories, wisdom and experiences. And street artists are no exception. We’ve rounded up the best murals of older people in Australia by Australian street artists.
- If you’ve been to Randwick, you probably have seen the ‘Proud of Our Elders’ mural by Carol Ruff, showcasing the stories of older influential Australians. Painted in 1981, the mural went through restoration work in 2012. Have a look at it next time you’re in the area.
- Sam Bates, who goes by his street artist name ‘Smug’, created a beautifully detailed mural in honor of his grandparents in 2017. Next time you are in Melbourne, head to the power station on Lonsdale and Spencer streets to see this tribute to his elders.
- Another Sam Bates mural artwork is on display at Wirrabara, South Australia. Bates shows his intricacy and depth in capturing the tenacity of senior Australians with his massive mural of a farmer, painted on grain silos.
- Speaking of silos, there is actually a Silo Art Trail in Victoria and Kyle Tourney added his contribution in the town of St Arnaud in the Grampians with his magnificent mural across two silos. Entitled ‘Hope’, it features older Australians in the 1800s goldfields setting.
There is beauty in ageing, as portrayed by these stunning artworks to honor our senior Australians. We are glad that these contemporary artists take pride in showing this to the world.
Amazon Echo making life easier for the elderly
Amazon’s Alexa Echo Dot is a voice-activated smart speaker. It can help you out with daily tasks as well as protect your home, and all you need to work it is your voice.
Listening to music can alleviate loneliness. With this device, you simply need to ask it to play music and it will. Ask it to add something to a grocery list and it will. Ask it to call someone and it will.
Other features include: setting reminders for medication, booking an appointment with your doctor, schedule for transportation, listening to news updates, checking the weather, and a variety of other functions. You can also set up an extra safety feature that alerts you about smoke alarms, broken glass and carbon monoxide.
It’s inexpensive and can just make your life a little more hassle-free so you can enjoy living more independently.
Try these easy-to-make yummies from bestrecipes.com.au to keep you warm and healthy for the rest of the winter season.
Classic comfort food that’s budget-friendly and makes good use of leftover roast chicken.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken shredded
- 6 button mushrooms halved
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons chives chopped
- 1/3 cup mascarpone
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 pinch sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 sheet puff pastry sheet thawed
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 1 egg whisked
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (to decorate)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Combine the chicken, mushrooms, thyme, chives and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the mascarpone, stock and corn flour. Pour into the chicken mix.
- Cut the sheet of pastry, so that it is 1cm larger than your pie dish.
- Fill the pie dish with the chicken mixture. Brush the rim of the dish with the beaten egg, and top with the pastry. Press the edges down to seal.
- Brush the pastry with some of the remaining egg mixture, and sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds. Place in the oven for 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.
A delicious veggie soup with the perfect ingredients to keep the winter chill and sniffles away.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves large minced
- 1/2 onion brown medium
- 1 tablespoon turmeric root peeled grated
- 1L vegetable stock low salt
- 3 cups butternut pumpkin peeled diced
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and onion until just soft. Add the turmeric and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the stock and the pumpkin, and bring to the boil. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Add the cooked pumpkin mixture to a high speed blender. Process until smooth, then add the coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and serve.
NOTE: Vegetable stock can be substituted for chicken stock (or any stock of your liking).
“MYSTERY” WORD QUIZ
Find the words based on their definition:
- A discovery that helps solve a crime _______________
- An object or statement that helps the detective solve the crime ______________
- A guess or a feeling that is not based on facts __________________
- A fact or object that gives information that helps the detective solve the crime ______________
- A reason a person does something ______________
- A false clue that throws the investigator off track __________________
- A person who has a motive to have committed the crime ______________
- To use logical thinking to infer information ______________
- Someone who is guilty of committing a crime ______________
- A person who is harmed by a crime ______________
- The arrangement of events in a story______________
- Someone who saw something related to the crime______________
- The time, place, surroundings and circumstances in which a story takes place ______________
- Another name for ‘detective’ ______________
- An excuse given by an accused person to prove (s)he was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed. ______________
NAME FIVE THINGS…
- that have buttons. _______________________________
- that you would find in a hospital. ______________________________
- that keep you cool. ____________________________________
- that melt when heated. ________________________________
- that can make you sneeze. _________________________________
Our Reading Recommendation: Books That Celebrate Your Senior Years
Be inspired by humorous stories, heartfelt anecdotes, and uplifting insights on what it means to be in your Golden Years.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Join the hilarious adventures of a man who decides to escape his retirement home before he turns 100 years old. As the story unfolds, he shares memorable moments peppered with a menagerie of characters—from historical figures to drug dealers—that he has met along the way.
A uniquely charming fictional tale of a man who still knows how to live it up despite his well-advanced years.
Reinventing Myself: Memoirs of a Retired Professor by Marlys Marshall Styne
Retired, widowed, childless, and depressed, 73-year-old Marlys Marshall Styne finds comfort and contentment by writing personal essays about her life experiences. She shares her reflections about her family, her career in teaching, her travels around the world, and her struggle in dealing with ageing, retirement, and personal loss.
A beautifully written memoir that encourages you to write your own story as well.
Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul: Heartwarming Stories About People 60 and Over
From the Chicken Soup For The Soul series comes this heartwarming collection with inspirational stories on rediscovering and enjoying what life has to offer in your senior years.
Erma Bombeck, Ruth Stafford Peale, Tom Landry, Florence Littauer, Roy Rogers and Max Lucado among others contribute their own words of wisdom on how they’ve dealt with letting go, overcoming obstacles, living your dream, reminiscing about the past, and more.
Due to the current lockdown, 365 Care events are postponed until further notice.
For more information, please contact your Coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Press Announcement
Sadly, due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, our Christmas in July event will not be going ahead. Your Coordinator will be contacting anyone who booked individually. We hope to be able to run our end-of-year event in early December so watch this space!
Have A Laugh!
Exercise For People Over 60
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.
With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.
Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags and perform the same exercise.
Now level up the potato bags each week as you do this exercise. You’re getting the hang of it!
Then try 50-lb potato bags and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level).
After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.
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.
“MYSTERY” WORD QUIZ ANSWERS
- RED HERRING