In This Edition: Hearthealth, COVID-19 Updates, Aged Care News, Travel Spotlight, and many more!
Welcome to Our 365 Care February Newsletter
Each month we bring you the 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!
It’s Red Feb
February is traditionally the month of love, but here in Sydney, it’s also the peak of summer and a great time to get out and about with loved ones, enjoy some fresh air and dust away the COVID cobwebs. So, show yourself a little love this Feb and get a good dose of Vitamin D.
Health Focus: heart health
Besides the sentimental side of February, it is also the month of heart health when the Australian Heart Foundation runs their Red Feb campaign to raise awareness about heart disease and keeping your heart healthy.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and it’s especially important to keep an eye on your heart as you get older. Much of heart disease is caused by lifestyle factors, which is actually good news, because it means you can help your heart with a few small changes to your daily life.
What can I do to protect my heart health?
- Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, and one low in salt, sugar and processed fats.
- Get out and get moving. Exercise gets the blood pumping, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and strengthens your heart.
- Reduce stress that causes high blood pressure by taking part in relaxing activities like yoga, tai chi, listening to music, reading or meditating.
- If you’re a smoker, one sure-fire way to help your heart is to quit smoking, as it wreaks heart havoc.
- Limit your alcohol intake as it makes your heart rate rise, which puts pressure on your heart and can weaken it.
In our latest blog, we do a deep dive into heart health, so if you’d like to learn more, check it out.
COVID 19 Update
There’s some promising news on the COVID front.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is currently trialling two new antiviral drugs that may help people who get struck down by COVID to recover faster.
Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck & Co’s Molnupiravir are their names. The way they work, in a nutshell, is that Paxlovid stops the virus from replicating and Molnupiravir causes mutations in the RNA of the virus, which makes it die.
Both of these mean the viral load (copies of the virus) will be lower in your body, which will make it less infectious and lower your chances of landing in hospital.
The upside is that these drugs can be taken in pill form at home. The downside is that they currently need to be taken within five days of symptoms showing, which is a small window to get tested, go to a doctor for a prescription, and then get it filled.
In the US, Paxlovid has proven to be the more effective one and lowered hospitalisations and deaths by 89% in a trial of 2,250 patients.
It sounds hopeful and perhaps this could be the answer to living alongside COVID instead of trying to eliminate it.
Aged Care Industry Update
With the surge in COVID cases over Christmas, over 500 aged care homes went into lockdown, which left thousands of older Australians isolated from their friends and families.
Steps are now being taken to address a very serious by-product of COVID for aged care residents: loneliness.
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, along with 12 care organisations, have recognised the need to balance safety measures with mental health and older Australians’ rights. They’ve been working to revise the Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes to protect the mental health of residents by making sure they are allowed at least one visitor, no matter what the COVID outbreak status.
The three types of essential visitor that will always be allowed are:
Partners in Care – The person who supports and cares for a resident in their daily life.
Named Visitors – If a resident doesn’t have a partner in care, they can nominate a person to be their sole visitor.
End of Life Care – This will allow visits to someone who is nearing the end of their life.
If you’d like to know more, you can view the code here.
Human Interest Stories – Aunty Val takes Senior Australian of the year
Each year, notable Australian citizens who serve as role models in the community are nominated for the Australian of the Year Awards, hosted by National Australia Day Council. The winners are announced on 25th January every year in the categories of:
- Australian of the Year
- Senior Australian of the Year
- Young Australian of the Year
- Australia’s Local Hero
This year, 71-year-old Valmai Dempsey of Canberra, ACT, took the award for Senior Australian of the Year in recognition of her tireless volunteer efforts for St John’s Ambulance over the last 50 years and, especially, during the crises of the last year or two.
Aunty Val, as she is fondly called, started as a cadet volunteer when she was in primary school and has been one of St John’s Ambulance’s most committed volunteers ever since, clocking up 600 hours of volunteering in 2021 alone.
In 2020, first with the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires and then with the COVID-19 pandemic, Aunty Val proved invaluable in keeping up team morale. She personally called every one of the team of 40 volunteers to check in on them and make sure they were coping, and worked tirelessly in her volunteer efforts.
When asked about her motivations, Aunty Val responded, “I believe holding out a hand to someone or taking the opportunity to be kind makes all the difference and comes back to you 1000-fold.”
Winners in other categories included:
Australian of the Year: Dylan Alcott – Athlete, Paralympian, philanthropist, media commentator and advocate, who received a gold medal in the Paralympic Games as well as won 23 quad wheelchair Grand Slam tennis titles, amongst other things.
Young Australian of the Year: Dr Daniel Nour, who founded Street Side Medics, a not-for-profit, mobile medical service for homeless people, in 2020. The initiative has 145 volunteers, four clinics in NSW and has helped over 300 patients.
Local Hero: Shanna Whan – Founder and CEO of Sober in the Country, a grassroots charity that offers peer support, powerful broadscale advocacy and promotes education.
With all the doom and gloom we’ve been seeing in the news in the last year, it’s nice to hear about some people who are doing their bit to help fellow Australians and inspire others.
Travel Spotlight: India
When you think of India, a million images probably spring to mind: colours, bustling cities, aromatic foods, the Taj Mahal, yoga, elephants, cows and monkeys.
India is certainly a diverse and colourful place, but it also has a fascinating history. The earliest known people of India, according to archaeologists, were the Indus civilization who were well ahead of their time and had brick houses, running water and sewage systems 5000 years ago! Since then, India’s been influenced by the Mongol, Arab, Turkish and Persian invasions, as well as the British occupation, to give us the multi-lingual, multi-cultural melting pot it is today.
Here are some fun facts you might now know about India:
- The Aryan people, who came from Central Asia to India around 1500BC, spoke the oldest known language in the world – Sanskrit.
- India is the only country in the world that has both lions and tigers.
- The game Snakes & Ladders originated in India and was created to teach kids about karma.
- Cows are sacred and it is forbidden to kill them.
- There are over 2 million Hindu temples in India, including one in Rajasthan dedicated to rats.
- Hinduism is considered the oldest religion in the world and dates back to 5,500BC. The main god of Hinduism is Brahma.
- India has 22 official languages and the 2nd largest number of English speakers in the world.
- 70% of the world’s spices come from India.
- India has the highest vegetarian population and one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. It’s doubtful there is a connection between those facts, but it’s interesting to know.
- Tea is the national drink of India.
- Shampoo comes from India. ‘Champu’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘to massage’ and the first shampoos were made up of mixed herbs ground up and combined with water.
- The Golden Temple of Amritsar is a Sikh temple that serves over 50,000 free meals to people every day.
Enjoy these healthy, flavour-packed treats from www.bestrecipes.com.au/ to satisfy your cravings!
Potato Gem-Topped Tuna Bake
A fresh and vibrant lunch or dinner you can pull together in minutes.
- 400 g spiral pasta
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 30 g butter
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup grated tasty cheese, plus extra
- 425 g tin tuna in oil, drained
- 500 g potato gems
- A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Instructions Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200° Grease a large casserole dish.
- Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes until soft.
- Stir through the flour and allow to cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking to create a smooth sauce.
- Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Season well with salt and pepper, then stir through cheese.
- Add tuna and cooked pasta, and stir to combine.
- Pour pasta mix into prepared casserole dish. Top with potato gems and sprinkle over a little extra cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until potato gems are golden and crispy.
- 1 pastry case
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup thick cream
- 2 tsp lemon rind, grated
- 3 eggs
Instructions Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
- Whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, cream and rind.
- Beat in eggs one at a time and mix well.
- Pour into the prepared pastry case and bake for 20-25 minutes in a moderate
Allow to cool and serve with cream and/or ice cream.
An anagram is a word made by using letters of another word in a different order.
Example: Change toga into an animal; answer: goat.
- Change thicken into a place where you cook ___________________________
- Change resist into a member of a family ___________________________
- Change entrap into a father or mother ___________________________
- Change asleep into a word used by polite people ___________________________
- Change below into a part of a body ___________________________
- Change pagers into a fruit ___________________________
- Change prides into an insect ___________________________
- Change boredom into a place where you sleep ___________________________
- Change bleat into a furniture ___________________________
- Change super into something you keep money in ___________________________
Word Scramble: Countries of the World
WNE NDALEZA ___________________________
by Jenna Bush Hager
Writing her memoir Everything Beautiful in Its Time, Jenna Bush Hager realised that by committing precious memories of her family to paper, she was preserving them not only for herself but for her children and future generations. Now, inspired by this experience, she guides readers through gathering invaluable family stories that can all too easily be lost to time.
Beautifully illustrated and filled with thoughtful quotes from her memoir, this journal will help you collect favourite family memories, note special milestones, and take a moment to cherish those meaningful to you through letters and stories. It will give you a sense of gratitude for your most treasured recollections, help you preserve them for the next generation, and inspire you to make new memories every day.
Answers to Mind Games
- New Zealand
Please HELP US to IMPROVE OUR SERVICES
At 365 Care we are committed to providing you the highest quality of care to meet your needs. Your feedback is important to us, whether good or bad.
If you have something you would like to share, you can:
1. Request a feedback form from the office
2. Contact your Coordinator in the first instance
or if it is more confidential in nature, please contact our General Manager on 02 8294 4126
We aim to address your concerns as quickly as possible and where appropriate, will investigate and keep you informed along the way.
If you do not feel comfortable speaking with us, you can contact the following organisations for assistance.
Aged Care Advocacy: a free and confidential service promoting the rights of aged care recipients.
Phone 1800 700 600
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner: a free and confidential service for anyone to raise issues about Australian Government funded aged care.
Phone 1800 550 552