IN THIS EDITION
Home Care Packages; Mental Health Check Up; COVID-19 Vaccine; Flu Vaccine and much much more…
Welcome to our 365 Care March newsletter.
It was fabulous to see so many happy faces at our Friendship lunch and we are looking forward to meeting new members, chatting over many cups of tea and enjoying many more events together. Please refer to the Calendar of Events and we encourage you to double check the event dates with your coordinator, as events are subject to change.
Home Care Packages
Firstly, we need to advise you on changes to home care packages. The Government is changing the way clients utilise their funds. Clients who are accruing a large amount of surplus funds are becoming of interest to the Government. If you are not utilising your funding, the Government may decide that you don’t need it, in this case the Government may claim surplus funds so they can help other people on the waiting list. If you are not utilising your funds the Government may reduce your funding.
What you need to do to adapt to this change:
If you are not using home care services efficiently or still have a relatively high amount of unused funds in your package, you might consider receiving more care services to maximise the value of your home care package.
We are here to support you. Please call 365 Care to discuss your situation or for more information.
Mental Health Check Up
We plan to share health information with you in this newsletter. Each month we will focus on a different health topic and we hope the information will benefit you. This time we are focusing on depression. Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors, such as; physical illness or personal loss.
It is thought that between 10 and 15 percent of older people experience depression and about 10 per cent experience anxiety. Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care are much higher, at around 35 per cent.
Unfortunately, many people over 65 still attach a stigma to depression and anxiety, viewing depression and anxiety as a weakness or character flaw rather than a genuine health condition.
Older people are also more hesitant to share their experiences of anxiety and depression with others, often ignoring symptoms over long periods of time and only seeking professional help when things reach a crisis point.
The good news is help is available, effective treatments exist for older people and with the right treatment most older people recover.
Risk Factors for Older People
Anxiety and depression in older people may occur for different reasons, but physical illness or personal loss can be common triggers.
Factors that can increase an older person’s risk of developing anxiety or depression include:
- an increase in physical health problems/conditions, for example; heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease
- chronic pain
- side-effects from medications
- losses: relationships,
- independence, work and income, self-worth, mobility and flexibility
- social isolation
- significant change in living arrangements, for example; moving from living independently to a care setting
- admission to hospital
- particular anniversaries and the memories they evoke
Everyone is different and it’s often a combination of factors that can contribute to a person developing anxiety or depression.
While you can’t always identify the cause or change difficult circumstances, the most important thing is that you learn to recognise the signs and symptoms and get support.
An older person may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, he or she has felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or has lost interest or pleasure in most of his or her usual activities, and similar to anxiety, has experienced several of the signs and symptoms across at least three of the categories below.
It’s important to note that everyone experiences some of these symptoms from time to time and it may not necessarily mean that the person is depressed. Equally, not every person who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.
Depression in Older People
Older people with depression tend to present with more symptoms from the physical category compared to the other categories.
So, an older person is more likely to present to their GP with various physical complaints and difficulty sleeping rather than complaints of sadness or low mood.
- General slowing down or restlessness
- Neglect of responsibilities and self-care
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Decline in day-to-day ability to function, being confused, worried and agitated
- Inability to find pleasure in any activity
- Difficulty getting motivated in the morning
- Behaving out of character
- Denial of depressive feelings as a defence mechanism
- Loss of self-esteem
- Persistent suicidal thoughts
- Negative comments like ‘I’m a failure, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘Life is not worth living’
- Excessive concerns about financial situation
- Perceived change of status within the family
- Moodiness or irritability, which may present as angry or aggressive
- Sadness, hopelessness or emptiness
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Feeling tired all the time
- Slowed movement
- Memory problems
- Unexplained headaches, backache, pain or similar complaints
- Digestive upsets, nausea, changes in bowel habits
- Agitation, hand wringing, pacing
- Loss or change of appetite
- Significant weight loss (or gain)
If you’re concerned about an older person experiencing anxiety or depression, or just not coping, then it is important to have a conversation. Your support and concern may make all the difference.
If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, it can be difficult to take the first step in getting help and asking for help.
Anxiety in Older People
The symptoms of anxiety in older people are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop gradually and, given that we all experience some anxiety at some points in time, it can be hard to know how much is too much.
Often older people with anxiety will experience a range of symptoms from the categories below:
- Avoiding objects or situations which cause anxiety
- Urges to perform certain rituals in a bid to relieve anxiety
- Not being assertive (avoiding eye contact)
- Difficulty making decisions
- Being startled easily
- Fear (particularly when facing certain objects, situations or events)
- Worried about physical symptoms
- Constantly tense or nervous
- Uncontrollable or overwhelming panic
- “I’m going crazy.”
- “I can’t control myself.”
- “I’m about to die.”
- “People are judging me.”
- Having upsetting dreams or flashbacks of a traumatic event
- Finding it hard to stop worrying, unwanted or intrusive thoughts
- Increased heart rate/ racing heart
- Vomiting, nausea or pain in the stomach
- Muscle tension and pain
- Feeling detached from your physical self or surroundings
- Having trouble sleeping
- Sweating, shaking
- Dizzy, lightheaded or faint
- Numbness or tingling
- Hot or cold flushes
Remember to seek help sooner rather than later.
Ask family, friends and/or a health professional for support and then follow health advice to stay on the road to recovery. And remember your 365 Care coordinator can also support you and you have access to our social activities and companionship services.
Where to Get Help
If you need help, talking to 365 Care and your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here is a list of organisations that can help you:
- MindSpot Clinic – call 1800 61 44 34.
- Beyond Blue – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
- Black Dog Institute – online help.
- Lifeline – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
- Suicide Call Back Service – call 1300 659 467.
Overcoming Vaccine Anxiety and Apprehension
COVID-19 vaccine! It’s much anticipated arrival is now here!
Dealing with the fear of catching COVID-19 has been a new thing that many of us have had to deal with. Being forced to make extreme lifestyle sacrifices is new. Weighing the risks vs. the rewards of everything we do outside of our home and coping with social isolation is new.
Now, we’re faced with something else that’s new: COVID-19 vaccines!
And you’re not alone if you’re feeling nervous about these brand new vaccines, despite the safety data that’s available.
We welcome the commencement of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The mass vaccination of the Australian community, starting with those with the greatest health risk, will help contain the disease and advance our social and economic recovery.
We understand that the prospect of receiving a vaccine may bring feelings of anxiety. You may wonder whether the vaccines are safe and effective, or whether there will be enough for everyone.
Facts from trusted sources can help manage any doubts, worries or fears. We encourage you to seek information about the vaccines and the roll out program from credible sources, such as:
- The Australian Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines web page
- The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance
- The Therapeutic Goods Administration
- Your GP
It may also help to remember that public health authorities around the world are carefully monitoring how people are responding to the range of vaccines that are already in use, and that Australia is benefiting from these and many other scientific insights.
Feelings of anxiety are normal in times of uncertainty. However, if your worries are persistent, intense or interfering with your daily life, you may benefit from speaking with your GP.
Jane Malysiak was Australia’s first recipient of the coronavirus vaccination
After surviving World War II in Europe and living in Australia for over 70 years, Jane Malysiak took centre stage on the vaccination frontline on the 21st of February, when she became the first Australian to receive the coronavirus jab.
Sitting by her side after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was administered, Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to her and all those who took part.
If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, call the telephone number listed below. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would prefer to email your enquiry please email the appropriate address below.
National helpline: 1800 020 080
COVID-19 enquiries: email@example.com
COVID-19 vaccine enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
COVIDSafe app: email@example.com
Don’t Forget the Flu Vaccination
It is important to have a flu vaccination every year to protect yourself and others.
Older Australians are more at risk of becoming seriously ill from the flu.
We recommend flu vaccination for:
- older Australians
- family and friends of older Australians
- anyone working with older people, including in retirement villages
Vaccination protects the wider community from the flu. It also avoids placing additional strain on our healthcare system. We understand that it is easy for many to forget about the flu vaccination when there is such a spotlight on the COVID vaccination. The flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Please note the flu vaccination does not prevent COVID-19.
We will continue to share COVID updates, however we advise you to discuss any concerns with your doctor and refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website. Our careers can visit you and help you search for information on the internet.
A Mood-Boosting Recipe
When we are feeling down, it can be tempting to turn to food to lift our spirits. However, the sugary, high calorie treats that many of us resort to have negative consequences for our health.
Thus, you may wonder whether any healthy foods can improve your mood.
Recently, research on the relationship between nutrition and mental health has been emerging. Yet, it’s important to note that mood can be influenced by many factors, such as stress, environment, poor sleep, genetics, mood disorders, and nutritional deficiencies.
Therefore, it’s difficult to accurately determine whether food can raise your spirits. Nonetheless, certain foods have been shown to improve overall brain health and certain types of mood disorders.
For example, bananas may help turn a frown upside down.
Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, one large banana (136 grams) provides 16 grams of sugar and 3.5 grams of fiber.
When paired with fiber, sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream, allowing for stable blood sugar levels and better mood control. Blood sugar levels that are too low may lead to irritability and mood swings.
Finally, this ubiquitous tropical fruit, especially when still showing green on the peel, is an excellent source of prebiotics, a type of fiber that helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut.
A robust gut microbiome is associated with lower rates of mood disorders.
WHOLEMEAL BANANA PANCAKES
But do you love fruit, but hate it plain?
Why not cook up a batch of wholemeal banana pancakes and top the stack with honey and sliced banana. These pancakes make a blissful weekend breakfast!
- 2 large bananas
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Honey, to serve
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal
- Reduced-fat passionfruit self-raising flour yoghurt, to serve
- Mash 1 banana in a bowl (see note). Place flour in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Combine buttermilk, eggs, honey and mashed banana in a jug. Pour into well. Whisk until smooth. Stand for 10 minutes.
- Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter to make 12 pancakes.
- Thinly slice the remaining banana. Place pancakes on plates. Top with sliced banana, honey and yoghurt. Serve.
International Day of Happiness
Did you know that March 20th is the International Day of Happiness.?
HOW TO RESPOND
Here are 3 positive steps we can all take when facing difficult times:
There are lots of things outside our control. Let’s remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively.
Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same.
We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.
This Coping Calendar has 30 suggested daily actions to look after ourselves and stay happy!
Bird Watching and Mental Health – How Are They Connected?
Many people are looking for treatments and ways to help manage the way they feel.
From mindfulness meditation to medication, there are many solutions out there, but we want to focus on a tried-and-true pastime—birdwatching!
Studies prove that people who are around natural environments have significantly fewer feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. The studies define nature as “more birds, trees, and shrubs.”
The researchers found no correlation between the species of birds seen, but instead the number, indicating that seeing common birds on a regular basis is a key factor.
Evidence shows it’s not about identifying bird types, but instead, interacting with birds.
If you find that you’re suffering from a mental health condition such as stress, anxiety, or depression, it may help to get outside to see what kind of birds you can see.
Whether you’re simply investing in a bird feeder and setting it up in your back garden or you’re going for a walk in nature to see what you can see, the act is beneficial to your mind and body, even if you don’t see something.
DIY: HOW TO MAKE A FEEDER FOR AUSTRALIAN NATIVE BIRDS
Being outside in the garden is a healthy pastime for many people. We get to watch and learn all about the local wildlife and as studies show, our mental health benefits from interacting with birds in nature. The chirping and singing of local birds sure does make a garden come to life. Let’s support our local birds and provide them with food that they will love.
- 2 cups of native bird seed mix
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 8 tablespoons of water
- 3 teaspoons of golden syrup
- Drinking straws
- String for hanging
- Mixing bowl and spoon
- Tray with baking paper
- Mix it all together and then press out on a piece of baking paper about 2 cm thick.
- Using a cookie cutter cut the birdseed layer and remove the excess from the cutter.
- Now, using a drinking straw cut out a hole at the top then gently remove the cutter.
- Leave to dry overnight on the baking paper.
- The next day gently flip it over and let the other side dry.
- When dry use a length of string and feed through the hole at the top.
- Hang where birds can perch to feed.
Call 365 Care and ask for a Carer to take you shopping to get supplies.
Check out this Splendid Fairy Wren.
There’s no false modesty here – the Splendid Fairy-wren lives up to its name! In full breeding plumage, the males are a brilliant shade of cobalt, turquoise or violet blue, and will often pluck colourful petals and present them to females in courtship.
These glamorous little birds preen, forage and raise their chicks together in small flocks, run by a single female and with one breeding male.
They live in mostly dense shrublands, acacia woodlands and mallee eucalypt woodlands across arid and semi-arid Australia.
Have you spotted one before?
If you adore birds and have an interest in Birdwatching, we recommend Citizen science: Birdwatching by Birdlife Australia. Contact Birdlife for more information.
(03) 9347 0757
Event Cinema Special
Event cinema offers special Senior screenings where the first session of the day is dedicated to lovely senior members.
Plus, you can purchase any midi popcorn, midi drink, Mount Franklin water, regular coffee, vanilla choc top or Smiths chips for just $4* each. Or grab a regular coffee with a choice of Twix or cookie for just $6*.
If you would like to see a movie, call 365 Care to arrange transport and mobility services and/or a coordinator to enjoy a movie with you.
Movie of the Month
Love the grandkids – but how much?
A Robert De Niro movie sheds light on a time-honoured family bond and raises some naughty questions about grandpas too.
Have you seen The War with Grandpa?
Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs into the creepy attic. And though he loves his grandpa he wants the room back – so he has no choice but to declare war. With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even.
We have put together an Events Calendar for 2021 with monthly activities to give you an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Do you live alone or have to wait for someone to take you out and about? There is no need to wait! Call 365 Care and we will arrange for one of our wonderful coordinators to take you to events.
WE WELCOME YOU TO A MORNING TEA ON FRIDAY MARCH THE 26TH
TIME: 10.00 – 11.30 am
WHERE: 2 Birds Cafe
Please let your Co-ordinator know if you wish to join us or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember, if you need transportation, or someone to accompany you, please speak to your Co-ordinator, and don’t miss out.
We hope you are enjoying our monthly newsletter and look forward to our April edition.
Until next time.