The Carer's Champion Issue 3 November 2021

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The Carer's Champion Easing the Caring Journey for all!

In this issue: Tips, Traps, and Tricks for Carers!

LIFESTYLE Experts sharing their wisdom to help you live your best life.



Sharing about the products and services available to ease the caring journey.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO Talking with people across the aged care sector to find out why they do what they do.

FEATURE STORIES Stress - How it affects you! A Caring Story 61 Years in the Making


The Carer's Champion Moving and living a full and happy life

Editorial Contributions are welcome however authors must include their names and addresses. Full names may be published unless you request otherwise. Contributions should be sent as Word or PDF documents. Contributions may be edited in accordance with standard editorial practice. While due care is taken to ensure the accuracy of published material, The Carer's Champion accepts no responsibility for any information contained in contributions and specifically disclaims liability for contributors' claims or opinions. Readers are strongly advised to seek appropriate professional advice before acting on any medical, pharmaceutical, health related or financial information in this publication.


Advertising Advertisements are published in the form submitted by advertisers. The publisher does not check the veracity of claims made in advertisements and accepts no responsibility for their content.

Rita Merienne Aged Care with Ease

Privacy The Carer's Champion takes your privacy seriously and will not pass on your details to any third party without your approval.

Feedback We want to hear from you, your opinion matters. Emails can be sent to

The Carer's Champion was established in 2021 to shine a light on the challenges of family members caring for their aged loved ones.



Aged Care with Ease 0414 491 761 PO Box 3338 Asquith NSW 2077

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The Carer's Champion


Why I Do What I Do


A look at what it is like for the amazing staff working hard behind the aged care scene to provide products and services that will make caring easier for you and your loved ones.

This issue we have a chat with a couple of people who provide services in the aged care sector.


In the Spotlight


Lifestyle Articles on topics like health, fitness, stress, mindfulness, relationships, and more. Get the best out of your life with Lifestyle! .


Tech Guide

Cover: The Tech Guide There are lots of products that can make the caring journey easier - the Tech guide have just a few!

Finding the right support for you and your loved ones.

Discover which technology can be helpful in your daily life.

Shining a light on products and services to make the caring journey easier and a little something that makes you smile.


A Day in the Life


The Directory A list of products and services mentioned in the magazine .

Feature Story: A Caring Story - 61 Years in the Making! Last Month we heard from Gina in a Daughter's story - this month Tony share's his caring journey!

In This Issue Feature Stories


Find Your Bling with Angie Rasi


Breathe, Move, Stress Less and Feel Lighter with Lisa West


A Caring Story 61 Years in the Making


Rejuvenate by Del Marie McAlister


Carer's Chitter-Chatter

Page 8

Why I Do What I do DR Care Solutions with Danielle Robertson


Guilt Free Caring by Rita Merienne


Like Family is Just Like Family with Mat


Can You Afford a Spot in an Aged Care Home with Heather from Mondy Financial Services


A Day in the Life Moving is Moving - Or Is It? with Davina from Flames Fitness Move it or Lose it! with Rob from Dynamic Motion A Home For All! - with Bronwyn from Bupa Aged Care Homes

November Giveaways

Page 26

41 45 48

In the Spotlight The Gift that Keeps on Giving - The Soka Tub


Stop and Smell the Roses - Sparkys Candles


Care & Style - Flex-A-Tee


Time for Something a Little Different - Focus Folding


One Size Doesn't Fit All - Colleen's Lingerie & Swimwear


To Whom I May Concern - Tamar Krebs (Group Homes)


LifeStyle Skin Support by Janita Lloyd


Life Style by Dr Gina Kingston


Mind Your Language by Alyson Williams


Mindfully Me by Dee Brennan


Wellness with Nat


Body, Mind & Breathe with Lisa West


Staying Connected to Loved Ones through the Pandemic by Kim Viney


Benefits of a Mediterranean Sytly Diet with Gabrielle Newman


The Tech Guide

Highlighting Tech products

to help you on the caring journey Page 67 Harmony in Words

Book Review: Where the Fruit Falls by Karen Wyld Page 88

World According to Rita



Editor's Note Welcome to the third issue of The Carer’s Champion. A space for you! This month we have some special treats for Photography by @traceymurrayphotography

you. Last month we glimpsed what it was like to be a daughter watching her parents on the caring journey and this month I am pleased to share with you Tony’s story of his caring journey. We also look at how stress affects our bodies and share tips on how to stress less especially during COVID restrictions. It’s time to put a bit of bling back in our lives and Angie from Find Your Bling is here to show you how! This month we also have a Tech Guide – where we look at different technology that

Nicole from Soka Australia shared a few more uses of the Soka Tub! Lisa from Sparkys Candles showed us how fragrances can help on the caring journey. We also look at a couple of different types of care - in a home and in your home! Lots of giveaways, information and advice for you in this bumper issue. With Christmas just around the corner, I would love it if you would send in your favourite Christmas recipe.

can help our caring journey. Something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are caring for your aged loved one in your home, their home or a home it is tough and we are here to help ease the journey for you and for them.


You matter to me! Rita

Meet the Columnists Alyson Williams

Deanne Brennan

Trained Transformational coach, Relationship coach, Neuro-linguistic

Wellbeing and Mindfulness Coach, Mum, Runner and total Coffee snob. Her number

Programming (NLP) Master Coach, Extended DISC Behaviour Analysis practitioner and Hypnotherapist and Bling Angel

one priority in life is to take care of herself first.

Upcoming Events

The next Issue of The Carers

Janita Lloyd

Yvonne Heitz

Rodan + Fields consultant, a melanoma survivor and a Certified Bling Angel. Janita is passionate about empowering young adults to find the fire and love within themselves to achieve great things. And she has a special giveaway for you this month too!

Words in Harmony book review provided by Word Harmony Proofreading and Editing Enterprise. Providing support for carers since 2014 with Aged Care with Ease.

Gabrielle Newman Gabrielle Newman, BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), is the Nutritionist and Recipe Developer for The Fast 800.

Champion will be available on 1 December Christmas Gift guide December Issue

Rita Merienne Editor, author, podcaster and the main person behind The Carer's Champion. Here to support you on your caring journey. You Matter to Me!

Contact me now to find out how to advertise in The Carer's Champion



Meet the Columnists Dr Gina Kingston Qualified Personal Stylist specialising in people with health issues. Gina’s mum

Kim Viney

Lisa is a Mind and Body Coach, Yoga Teacher & Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant


Providing information on the ADT Assure System

had Multiple Systems Atrophy a Parkinson’s Plus disorder and Gina has scoliosis.

Lisa West


Nat Mallia Nat is a certified meditation teacher and wellness coach

Have you thought about how to manage Christmas with your aged loved ones. Rest breaks Food Activities

We will be discussing tips in the December issue

Starting in December The Carer's Champion will be including ads for services

Check out the Tech Guide on Page 67

and products. Contact me on agedcarewitheas for all the details


Carer's Chitter-Chatter! Photography by @traceymurrayphotography

Christmas Recipe

Adding Protein

What’s your favourite

Last issue we talked about

Christmas Recipe?

providing healthy meals for our aged loved ones and raised the

Send in your responses and

issue of malnutrition in the aged.

we will include them in the

Susie Burrell provided tips for all

December issue!

of us that included adding more

Send to

protein to our diets. This month I found a great new resource I want to share with you Check out their easy-to-read handout – How to add more protein to your diet. Just Click on the link in the giveaways section of the covering email to access the handout.

Vaccination Proof As our cities begin to open up safely, there will be a need to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If your parent is receiving aged care services in the home, they may also want to see proof of vaccination status from their support workers. So here’s some information from the Carers’ Circle and Careseekers on the different ways you can access your own proof of vaccine status. 8 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

An Attitude of Gratitude

Count your blessings and

you will have


to count!

Find Your Bling!

2021 has been tough for all of us! Time to put the sparkle back and I couldn’t think of a better way than introducing you to Find Your Bling and the amazing Angie! I have known Angie for over 12 months and each and every time I talk with her she brightens my day! Angie is passionate about helping people to heal with Love and Laughter. Find Your Bling – It's not just a game, It’s a game-changer. It will change your life! As you know I like to find out the “why” - why people do what they do, why they started and why they keep going. That was my first question to Angie – Why Find Your Bling? In 2002 Angie’s marriage of 17 years fell apart, her life fell apart. She had two small children and she was in deep trauma. She was drowning. She could either sink or swim. .


It was at this time she was given Louise Hay’s Book – Heal your life. Slowly one day at a time Angie started to swim and her healing journey had begun. She started to heal her life. In 2006 Angie was given the opportunity to become a certified Louise Hay course instructor, an opportunity she embraced wholeheartedly. Then followed more coaching experiences with NLP and Hypnotherapy. Angie became a personal coach and was helping others to heal. As we all know people with lived experiences make the best coaches/supporters. About 15 years ago Angie was attending a business masterclass and she said “I think I have found my Bling” and that is where it all started. Bling Believe Love Heals everything Inspiration New beginnings Grow

Find Your Bling!

Angie has always been creative – she was a photographer. It just seemed natural to use that creativity to develop the Diamond Club in Canberra and Sydney to help people find their bling and their diamonds within. In 2010 for one of the events she developed a game with 250 cards. Created a prototype for one off use. The game was a huge success – people actually asked to buy it. Angie quickly made a few copies.

By the end of 2019 “Find Your Bling” went into production now with eight decks of cards. I played the game in 2020 – for me it wasn’t really a game. It was a tool/resource for creating a space for a heartfelt, meaningful conversation. I was so impressed, enamored with Find Your Bling that I was one of the first to preorder it.

Fast forward to 2018 and she was asked if she had any more of the games. 2019 Angie had 30 Games professional printed. Then came bushfires/floods/Covid19 and we all needed a little Bling in our lives.

What do you do to some Bling in your day?

This is a copy of Me receiving my Find Your Bling Game

There is no such thing as too much bling! 10 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Find Your Bling!

Angie is passionate about giving back and she is also donating Find Your Bling to domestic violence centres/shelters. For every pre-order, a game was given to a center/shelter. To date, 90 games have been donated. One of the organisations that have benefited from Angie's generosity is The Guy Sebastian Foundation. In only three years Find Your Bling is healing hearts all over the world. Helping people to find their diamonds within and to sparkle. The second run of the game has been ordered and more importantly, Angie has 12 Bling Angels to help her with her mission to heal hearts. Each Bling Angel does it their own way – either using the game in their coaching business to start the heartfelt meaning conversations or using them for Business and Corporate events. It isn’t just about personal issues – you can use this game to dive deeply into any issue you want. When I first played the game it was at a business conference and the questions we spoke about were related to our businesses. So what does Find Your Bling do? It is an intuitive game that takes you on a journey. 11 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Ask a question you want to be answered and then pull 8 to 10 cards for insight, clarity, direction, and validation. Take your life forward and bring more of what you are looking for into your life. There are now more decks added with Diamond Within, Gold Light, and Bling Burst – and here’s a scoop for you in 2022 there will be 4 new decks coming. Angie often holds Bling Nights where a group of people get together and play the game with Angie as the facilitator. It was at one of Bling Nights that a guest said “I want my partner of 15 years to marry me”, Angie suggested she ask the game “how to marry the man I love”. Long story short – 4 weeks later wedding plans had been put in place. Angie went to the wedding – the photographer didn’t show and Angie actually ended up being the wedding photographer.

Find Your Bling!

Families are playing Find Your Bling too and recently a Dad told Angie “he had never had such an insightful conversation with his teenage kids until he played the game”. Another happy mum thanked Angie, “it was the best conversation ever with her 20 year old son”. That’s what this game does – creates the space and opportunity for a meaningful and heartfelt conversation and that can only be a good thing. Clarity is the greatest gift. Helping you to talk with not at others. Connecting with people. The cards embrace you and nurture you helping you to move forward. There are lots of ways to work with Find Your Bling: Bling Village on Facebook Coaching 1:1 with a Bling Angel Buy the game Exclusive events in your home with a group of your friends Bling Nights – an event hosted by Angie or one of her Bling Angels Corporate Wellness Days Free events are run monthly on Facebook – Find Your Bling page


If you want to find your diamond within I highly recommend you try Find Your Bling by checking out the Facebook page or go to

JOIN THE GROUP Are you looking for motivation, inspiration and connection? The next 'Put Your Bling On Group' dates will be released soon. Interested? Email with "YES" and I'll send you the next step. And you'll be a part of the Bling Village. FIRST EDITION Did you know you can preorder your very own Find Your Bling Game? Send an email to BLING MAIL Want to brighten someone's day? Send them some delightful Bling Mail. Send an email to, BLING BOOST Need a Bling Boost in your week? Gain insights and clarity from the Bling Cards. Send an email to

Find Your Bling!

Angie has been very generous and has given a Bling Pack valued at $215 for this month's giveaway: 3 Decks of Bling Cards Free Bling Angel session Happy Bling Mail To go into the draw for this amazingly sparkly prize all you have to do is: Like Find Your Bling on Facebook and Instagram (if you tag 2 or more friends you will get an extra 2 entries) Click on the link in the Giveaway section of the covering email for this issue of the Carer’s Champion


Final Three Thoughts 1. The best bit of advice? Never look back, keep moving forward. In 100 years it’s all new people anyway. 2. If in 5 years it won’t matter, what do you wish you hadn’t spent 5 minutes on: Wasting time on social media 3. Angie’s passions: Healing hearts all over the world - one person at a time. When we heal the mothers we heal the daughters. When we heal the daughters we heal the future. When we heal the mothers we heal the partners and the sons. We heal the world.

Breathe More, Stress Less and Feel Lighter Editor’s Note: I have completed a program run by Lisa and found her information on Stress to be informative and very helpful on my caring journey. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. From ages 0-7, every human creates a belief that they are not ‘something’ enough, not tall enough, pretty enough or smart enough and the beliefs in our own ‘perceived’ deficiencies are then created. Our beliefs become part of our story as to why we can’t, haven’t or couldn’t do something. They are the beginning and continuity of our sense of urgency and everyday stress cycles and patterns. The majority of the time your solution lies in what happens in your mind. Your body really does speak your mind. Bruce Lipton says “The more power we have over our mind the more control we have in our life.” These days we are constantly producing adrenaline simply by the thoughts and urgency that we place on ourselves on a day-to-day basis.


By Lisa West Stress is not a conscious process but a subconscious one. Our subconscious mind stores all our experiences and memories, it’s pretty much the back office of our body. There are many definitions of stress but how does it appear as symptoms? Here are just a few: You feel like everything is urgent, You regularly don’t sleep well and find it hard to concentrate or remember things, You crave sugars or carbohydrates and emotionally eat, A loss of libido, absent, irregular, or painful periods, Aches and pains in the joints and muscles. When we are stressed, we breathe in shallow short breaths. Our body’s response turns the fight or flight response on and starts to produce adrenaline and cortisol which has an adverse effect for your body and how it functions biochemically. Our stress hormones are only trying to keep us safe.

Fight or Flight?

Being switched on all the time means we are in fight or flight all the time. Your body’s response is; Shallow breathing, Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, Blood is diverted away from the digestive system and Sleep is impaired as adrenaline keeps us ever so slightly awake. Your body doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s not and it will keep responding according to your mindset, behaviour’s and breathing pattern. If highly stressed is your normal, it will only be a matter of time before your body starts to communicate loudly enough to make you stop.

Do you want to use this space for advertising your Service or Product contact Rita at

agedcarewithease@gmail .com


What science currently knows, is extending the length of our exhalation activates homeostasis. Breathing slowly and diaphragmatically communicates to every cell in your body that you are safe. When we are relaxed and breathe normally our body can rest, repair, reproduce and digest and creates homeostasis in our body. What you tell yourself every day, can contribute to your stress levels. Being mindful of the language that you are using to yourself, like; “I’ll never get this done” “I need to be more organised” “I’ll have to get up earlier tomorrow now”, “I can’t believe I can’t just keep on top of things” Just pause and consider how you perceive your day and what you say to yourself. What are your stressors? Small or large. Write them down. They could be as simple as having to cook dinner each night, keeping up with the washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, having to fit your gym session in.

Bringing Your Body Back to Balance!

Everyday tasks can turn into subconscious stressors that affect how your body responds on a day-to-day basis. Are you experiencing any symptoms to let you know this?

It takes time and practice to teach your body how to breathe longer breaths, so start off slowly and work up to 20 long slow breaths a day.

Bringing your body back into balance and reducing anxiety can generally make a world of difference to how your body works biochemically.

Focus on positive and loving thoughts, it will increase the hormones oxytocin and serotonin which are our feel-good hormones.

There are many different breath-withmovement practices that can help, like Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation. If none of these resonate, then check in with yourself a few times a day to remember to diaphragmatically breathe. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil Stopped at the traffic lights Stirring tonight’s dinner 3pm when you get a craving


The way you eat, exercise, rest, think and treat yourself are all key players in you feeling more energised and able to live an empowered life and ultimately feeling lighter both mentally and physically. Lisa has also written a column for the Lifestyle segment. To work with Lisa ceck out: for all links to her services and products.

A Caring Story 61 Years in the making Editors note: Trigger warning – this article is an emotional recounting of a 15 year caring journey of a family dealing with Multiple System Atrophy a Parkinson’s Plus Disorder Last month I had the privilege of bringing you “A Daughter’s Story “. Gina’s story of her parent's caring journey. In this issue, I am honoured to bring you Tony’s (Gina’s father) story about his caring journey.

Until 2006 when Gwen was diagnosed and treated for Breast Cancer. After Chemotherapy and Radiation Gwen recovered however it was about this time Gwen lost her sense of taste. Which meant Tony was now on the cooking duties.

Sharing lived experiences to ease other’s caring journey, Tony has lots of great advice for others on the caring journey.

In 2008 Tony retired and in 2010 Gwen was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy – a Parkinson’s plus disorder.

This is a caring story 61 years in the making. Young love, work, marriage, family, shared interests, travel, volunteering, retirement, care and lasting love.

Life continued as normal – just the two of them as both of their daughters had moved overseas/interstate. Tony and Gwen still traveled several times a year and continued their shared interests. Gwen was volunteering with several charities.

Dare I say it – the “white picket fence” we have all dreamed about.

Initially Tony didn’t seek help, he didn’t accept help when it was offered and this is his first piece of advice for us. Accept the advice when offered – don't turn people away. Don’t be too proud to accept help. It makes them feel good too! Being fiercely independent Tony didn’t initially apply for the home care package however when he did apply and was approved he thought “how good is this”! For most of their lives together it was the “white picket fence” life for Tony and Gwen. The normal ups and downs of family life.


A Caring Story 61 Years in the making Back then things were a little different than today the home care provider was allocated the funding and they came to you! Three or four weeks after completing the paperwork the package was approved. Tony still did most of the caring however with the home help he was able to have some time for himself – to do his own things. This is an important part of the caring journey – realising that you both need your own space. Another piece of advice is about funding from CHSP for carer’s respite. ** If you go to and search for CHSP and then “Who it is for” there is an obscure mention at the end of this paragraph. About the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) | Australian Government Department of Health. This link does take you to the relevant clause. Tony’s assessment took place very quickly and the approval was given on the same day! A couple of things to note: The clause talks about care while you are waiting for your package to come through., and intimates that it is temporary. This is NOT the case for planned respite for carers-it is ongoing, It is NOT means-tested as the home care package is (not mentioned on the website), It does NOT affect the Home Care Package in any way as it is a separate funding for the carer, It costs the carer $5.00 per hour **This is an Australian Benefit


Tony was extremely disappointed that he found out about it from a friend who was also a client of the same home care service provider, however, the home care provider made no mention of it being available. It is another case of you don’t know what you don’t know! It isn’t just a case of caring for your loved one and knowing where to find information about the support services available it is also being their champion when things don’t go right. One of the symptoms of Gwen’s condition was being unsteady on her feet and this led to falls. It was after one of the falls that Gwen had broken her arm for and they received incorrect medical advice and the bones didn’t knit properly. However, it was more than that, when Gwen broke the same arm again 3 months later. The Doctor actually said “Frankly I have no intention in operating on your wife’s arm, I am more of a leg man”. This was due to Gwen’s MSA but it meant that her arm would always be painful because it didn’t heal properly. Tony didn’t take no for answer and championed the need to have the break properly fixed by surgery. Caring is getting the best outcome for your loved one.

A Caring Story 61 Years in the making Tony and Gwen continued to travel and 2016 was their last trip – a river cruise. This was all managed with the help of a wheelchair that was obtained from the local health authorities – after a bit more “championing” from Tony. People always helped during the travel – people offered and he accepted, Tony recalls one stop that two sailors actually lifted Gwen and the wheelchair on board while Tony was looking around for a mechanical lift. Gwen was in a wheelchair when “out and about” for nine years prior to passing, and four years within the household. After Gwen passed Tony mentioned to his daughter that “Mum never complained” and Gina’s response was “not to you”. Gwen was extremely grateful for everything that Tony did for her however her risk recognition was zero and she would want to put herself in dangerous situations but Tony would stop her. It is really important for both the carer and the loved one to have someone to talk to.

Tony suggests you join the appropriate carer’s groups ie Parkinson's support group. Join the carers-only groups too, people in these groups are facing the same challenges. It is easier to talk to people with lived experiences and they are able to support you. Socialisation is important and the biggest disappointment for Tony was that during her illness there were only four times in the last three years Gwen was visited at home. Tony and Gwen did go out a lot and socialise but not many people came to their home. Making sure you both get alone time and you both retain some independence. You need a break from each other. Not just 30 or 60 minutes a week you need at least six hours a week in two- or three-hour chunks. It is important to know the symptoms of your loved one’s condition and make sure that any home care providers also know what is needed and are suitably trained. There is no use sending someone that isn’t trained in providing the care that is needed – there is a difference between level 1 and level 4 requirements. Being involved and knowing what is going on when you aren’t there. Give the home care providers the proper instructions on how to use the equipment and what is expected.


A Caring Story 61 Years in the making Now that brings us to the topic of equipment and modifications, Tony’s advice is to get what you are likely to need now before you need it. This comes back to knowing the symptoms of the condition and what the next stages will bring. Make the modifications before you need them. It takes time to have modifications done. Handrails to help your loved one in the shower and around the house are the perfect example.

People don’t know how to handle someone who has poor communication capability and is in a wheelchair. People often asked Tony how Gwen was. Tony’s response was usually “she is right here – ask her”

An Occupational Therapist can help here, have an assessment and then create what you need. One of the things that Tony did was change the bathroom – he removed the bath and installed a shower. He wanted to have non-slip tiles in the shower but there were none suitable, after much discussion with the supplier and many returned options Tony chose an outdoor tile. Thinking outside the box to keep Gwen safe.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know 20| THE CARER'S CHAMPION

I asked Tony what was his advice for Carers Stay positive Keep doing things together Socialise as much as you can Aids in the home before you need it Get the Legals sorted early – Power of Attorney, Enduring guardianship and Advanced Care directive- there are consequences if you don’t have this completed. We can’t stress how important this is. It is already a stressful time and if you have to worry about getting all the legal documentation completed too - something could be missed.

A Caring Story 61 Years in the making I would like to add my own advice here: Follow Tony and Gwen’s example – in everything but one, don’t be too proud to ask for help earlier rather than later. There are services available, even if you have to engage someone to help you find the right supports and have an assessment - do it. We don’t know what we don’t know. Reach out to support networks, talk to others with lived experience. Continue attending the support groups after your loved one has passed. You still need their help and support. Plus you never know whom you may help too! None of this is easy. But it doesn’t have to be unbearable! Tony has been very gracious in sharing his caring journey with us and I know I have learned a lot from him as I hope you have. In the next issue, we are going to share with you how things are going for Tony since Gwen’s passing in May 2021.


Rejuvenate By Del Marie McAlister

Whoever thought that we would be working in Residential Aged Care Homes during a pandemic? No one saw the Covid-19 pandemic coming and very few of us were prepared. We were forced to navigate our way through uncharted waters.

It’s the lack of emotional support. It’s the uncertainty, unpredictability, and daily changes.

We became resourceful and resilient; the unsung heroes, often going over and above the call of duty to care for our residents.

An old, rarely used word gives a name to how many of us are feeling. It’s languishing. According to Dr Sarb Johal, “When a person is languishing, they are not functioning to full capacity. They lack vitality.”1.

Perhaps you, like many others, became like the ever-ready battery that kept on going, and going, and going, and going. But now that we are into the second year of the pandemic for many, fatigue has set in. Are you exhausted.? Do you feel depleted? Are you running on empty? It’s not only the pandemic. It’s the increasing demands that came with it. It’s the disruption to our usual coping mechanisms. It’s feeling unsafe, without knowing how to feel safe again. It’s realising that what was normal is no longer normal. It’s the deprivation of social activity with our friends, family, and club associates.


It’s dealing with adverse circumstances beyond your control.

“Languishing encompasses distressing feelings of stagnation, monotony, and emptiness,” says Dr. Leela R. Magavi2 Sociologist Corey Keyes who is attributed as being the first person to use the term languishing in relation to pandemic weariness says, “Languishing is apathy, a sense of restlessness or feeling unsettled or an overall lack of interest in life or the things that typically bring you joy.”3

Rejuvenate By Del Marie McAlister

The Cambridge Dictionary describes languishing as, ‘to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a long time’. MerriamWebster’s Dictionary defines this state as being ‘dispirited’, whilst the Colin’s Dictionary entry identifies that languishing produces ‘diminish in strength or energy’. There’s also an element of grief attached to this state of being.

You see a farmer’s land doesn’t remain in the fallow condition. Underneath the surface, the land is being replenished and prepared for what lies ahead.

Dr Sarb Johal rightly states that “Languishing is something that sneaks up on us. We often don’t recognise that it is happening, therefore we fail to seek relief from it.”4

1. The first step is to remember you are not alone. Many others feel the same way. You are a human being living in a pandemic world. It’s normal to not feel normal during these unpredictable times as the pandemic drags on.

Languishing changes and challenges us. It has the potential to drag us into depression, trigger anxiety, and plunge us headfirst into burnout. But it needn’t. Languishing has its benefits. It provides us with an interval to rest and recalibrate. Dr Sarb Johal explains that languishing is best described in relation to the farming cycle of ploughing, sowing, growth, harvest and then fallowing. Fallowing is a method of sustainable land management that has been used by farmers for centuries when the ground is subjected to a time of rest and restoration before rejuvenation. So, what if we embrace languishing as part and parcel of life in a pandemic and use it as an opportunity to pause, ponder, and wonder?


The following ideas are designed to provide you with some light for your movingforward pathway:

2. Aged care employees often put their client’s needs before their own. Perhaps it’s time to change your focus and realise that its okay to put your needs before others. Self-compassion, self-care, and self-kindness need to become a priority. This is not selfish. This is imperative. 3. Immerse yourself in projects and meaningful activities that provide you with a sense of satisfaction and delight. Schedule these in your diary. 4. Eat nutritious food, do an exercise you enjoy regularly, and ensure you have times of rest and relaxation, and a good sleep every night.

Rejuvenate By Del Marie McAlister

5. Build up a support network. Be with people that boost your sense of wellbeing. Find groups of people with similar interests. Join groups where you gain a sense of belongingness. Find your tribe. Have several of these groups so if one becomes toxic you still have people in your life who appreciate you and enjoy being with you. 6. Create a haven. This can be a corner of a garden or somewhere indoors. It becomes a safe and comfortable place surrounded by things that enrich, nourish, and refresh your soul. 7. Remind yourself that through the ages, human beings have survived all manner of calamities, and so will you. We are designed with qualities such as resilience that enables us to bounce back. Remember the saying, 'this too shall pass'. 8. Share your story. Each one of us have numerous personal stories about how this pandemic has affected us. Your story may appear insignificant to what others have had to deal with, nevertheless, it is your story, and stories are meant to be shared. If you don’t have someone to share your story with, buy a journal and start writing your story. 9. Reach out. You could start by visiting:


Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to move forward out from one season into another. You may take several steps forward with enthusiasm and optimism and then take one back on a bad day. That’s perfectly okay. That’s how it is for most of us. The important thing is to not get stuck. Keep pressing on. Mother Teresa made it mandatory that her nuns had to take a year off every 4-5 years to allow them to rest and recover from the emotional, spiritual, and physical effects of their work. I understand that taking a year off every 4-5 years is not an option for most of us, however being kind to yourself, and focusing on rejuvenation will give you hope and a renewed vision for what lies ahead.

Rejuvenate By Del Marie McAlister

Rejuvenate means to give new energy, revitalise, regenerate, renew and restore. The new regular column in the 2022 editions of the inspire magazine (entitled Flourish) is designed to inspire you in your rejuvenation journey. Incidentally the word flourish is cited as being the opposite word to languish. Perhaps now is the time, dear one, to take your first step out of languishing and into flourishing. Ó 2021 Del Marie McAlister 1. Dr. Sarb Johal is a New Zealand – based clinical psychologist, consultant, speaker, and media commentator. He was the guest speaker in a webinar for New Zealand Mental Health Week in 2021. This quote is from this webinar. 2. 3. 4. Dr. Sarb Johal is a New Zealand – based clinical psychologist, consultant, speaker, and media commentator. He was the guest speaker in a webinar for New Zealand Mental Health Week in 2021. This quote is from this webinar. 5. Ibid Thank you Dr. Sarb Johal for introducing me to the languishing / farrowing concept and igniting my curiosity to learn more so I could apply it to weary aged care employees.


Aged care consultant Del Marie McAlister, is the editor of inspire (a magazine for aged care Leisure & Lifestyle and Pastoral Care employees), workshop facilitator, seminar presenter, author, counsellor, and chaplain.

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WHY I DO WHAT I DO! Introducing the people behind the products and services


I first met Danielle in 2016 while we were talking at the same event. Sharing our caring stories and how we help family members caring for their loved ones . DR Care Solutions is Danielle’s business and she has been in the home care sector for over 35 years. Starting out with Dial-An-Angel and now helping clients to navigate the complexities of the care sector both aged and disability.


It's a complex system - you need all the help you can get! Danielle’s goal is to assist every Australian to find the right care solution that meets their needs, wants and wishes in the quickest possible time. Helping you to navigate the care system, a system that is so complex it is so hard to know where to start, throw in roadblocks and it isn’t hard to see why so many people struggle with getting the right outcomes for their loved ones. Not only the aged care system but also the NDIS system too. The best way to explain what DR Care Solutions does is to share some case studies with you: A 57-year-old client has early-onset Dementia – a wife, a mum with teenage daughters whose behavioural issues have that have been increasing so much that some carers refused to care for her. Her approved funding was $55,000 which didn’t meet all the required care costs. Danielle arranged a funding review and was able to secure extra funding, the reviewed amount is $300,000+ which allowed for the services and supports she needed. It was a long process and has taken months to get settled.


A new provider with a designated Case Manager and suitably trained and skilled carers that understood the needs of the client was selected through the DR Care Solutions preferred provider network;, a new support coordinator has introduced a behavioural therapist that was able to develop and implement behavioural strategies was introduced, the plan was reassessed due to the change in circumstances hence the increase in the funding. It took about a month to get the funding reviewed (timing was perfect as the previous plan was to be renewed within that month), changed and put the new arrangements put in place. Danielle’s parents both required care – her father had Vascular Dementia, his mind failed him and her mother had cervical ovarian cancer, her body failed her. She was able to use her skills in organising the right care and support for both of them and developed their ‘end of life plans to meet their needs, wants and wishes. Both had a ‘good death’.

It's a complex system - you need all the help you can get! Danielle suggests you start your planning early – start it now!

People just don’t get that unexpected life events happen and. happen often.

Another client was only 40 when he needed care. He had a brain tumor. His wife and 3 young children needed help to find the right support. Surprisingly, The client was previously a lawyer and he had no Will or other Estate Planning documentation in place.

The situation is made worse if there are is no Power of Attorney, or enduring guardianship or Will!

Get your Estate planning in place early. Another client was a daughter that needed to find care for her mother after her mother had a stroke, she had lost capacity competency and had reverted back to her native tongue of Serbian. There was no power of attorney, and no enduring guardianship in place and the daughter had to deal with the State Tribunal to obtain control of her mother's financial and medical affairs. Danielle had to find suitable accommodation with Serbian-speaking staff that would be able to manage the client’s medical condition and very high care needs.

DR Care Solutions


Danielle provides a holistic service that also includes helping clients to find a financial planner that has aged care accreditation and also estate planning. Over 35 years, she has created a trusted network to support her clients and their families. It isn’t just about finding the right care for a person, it is about having all the right documentation in place and knowing what care, support and accommodation is needed, assessing the individual requirements and obtaining as much Government funding as possible. She tailors the care and support that the client requires taking notes of their wants and wishes in addition to understanding the client's financial capacity to pay for extra services.then arranging with the funding approvals if required.

It's a complex system - you need all the help you can get! Danielle not only assists ageing clients but also those who are differently-abled also help via the NDIS. She covers the full spectrum ie: under 65 years (via the NDIS) and over 65 years clients (via My Aged Care). Finding the right care Care needs assessment is overwhelming and finding the right person to help you is important. Carer profile is key to getting great outcomes. I asked Danielle why she is in this sector and her answer was to obtain great outcomes for people who are in stressful times. Helping to develop life plans™ that support independent living, or care in an aged care home or group home or retirement communities. Recently Danielle received some feedback from an aged care home where she helped to place a client - “the overview you provided was very excellent and helps staff to know what care and support is required for the resident with information about their background, likes and dislikes. It makes such a difference knowing whether the client fits with the home”.


That's what we want for our aged loved ones – making sure they have the right care and staff know what is required to care for them. Finding the right care for your loved one is important. Not just any care! Not just filling a bed! But care that meets their needs, makes them feel comfortable and enhances their quality of life. People are often looking for a quick and easy fix that is free – they don’t want to pay to find the right care. But inevitably after six or so months of struggling with documentation, aged care services and roadblocks they come back and ask for help.

It's a complex system - you need all the help you can get! Danielle’s Tips are: Look after yourself – you can’t care for others if you need care yourself. Get support – you don’t have to do this alone. Accept support – know people’s strengths and be appreciative. Educate yourself – know their symptoms and what to expect, have strategies in place. Take some time out – respite is important. I highly recommend Danielle and DR Care Solutions to you if you need help to find the right care for your loved ones.

Final Three Thoughts Best Advice: Nothing is ever free in life; work hard; play hard and your rewards will follow. Be kind, treat others with respect and the way you want to be treated. If in 5 years it won’t matter what do you wish you hadn’t spent more than 5 minutes on Dealing with rude, aggressive, or ungrateful people – I take it to heart! Danielle's Passions are: Living my best life, spending quality time with my family and friends, and helping my clients get great outcomes!

Check out the DR Care Solutions website

Tip: Acknowledge it - then you can fix it Trap: Ignoring it! - Only makes things worse for everyone Trick: Talk about it! - You never know the solution may be right in front of you.

Making a Difference 31 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Guilt-free caring is achievable and within reach By Rita Merienne

Every situation is different and there are different solutions for every situation. Understanding that you are doing the best you can is important. 1. Take a deep breath, step back to give the person space and take some time. A heated response may make the situation worse. What are you reacting to – the situation or your feelings. Time for empathy and to find out what the real issue is. 2. Forgive yourself. It’s ok you are doing the best you can. Mistakes will be made, learn from them. Nothing is perfect and every situation will be a lesson. 3. Try not to show any fear, alarm or anxiety, as this may increase the person’s agitation. If you feel threatened, call for help. Try not to shout or initiate physical contact – this could be misinterpreted as threatening behaviour. If the person’s behaviour is physically violent, give them plenty of space and time. Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid closing in or trying to restrain someone, as this can make things worse. 4. Don’t punish the person for their behaviour; try to carry on as normal and be as reassuring as possible. Yes they may have hurt you and their behaviour may be unacceptable however two wrongs do not make a right.


5. Finding ways to prevent and manage the behaviour will improve the quality of life for both of you. It will also make the caring role easier. Don’t make caring your whole life, find things that are fun for both of you. Enjoy the time you have together. 6. You never will do it all so well that everyone is happy. You have to remember that you, too, are part of the equation and have every right to have your opinions heard. 7. Talk to other caregivers. Sharing your experience will help. You are not alone and it helps to talk about things. 8. Find a support network to help you work through the issues. It helps to share the highs and the lows. 9. Work out what the issue is and work on strategies to change the situation. Sometimes it isn’t what you think. 10. Your feelings matter too. Never ever forget that you matter and it is really important to have your feelings acknowledged and heard. They may not understand your feelings however it is good to have them heard. Top Tip: Take a deep breath. Forgive yourself. Your feelings matter too.

Like Family - It is just like family! There is always a story behind every great

Mat swiftly made his way to his mother’s

new initiative and today I am going to share

bedside, when he arrived he found his

the “why” behind Like Family.

mother located on the 4th floor in a dementia ward and his father was on the

When I asked Mat about his “Why” I was so

first floor receiving treatment for his cancer

affected by his story that I hope I can

of the same hospital. After three weeks his

recount it properly.

mother came out of the coma and her brain had reset – she needed to learn everything

Mat is a Canadian who met his Sydney wife,


Jenna, in Belgium when both were exchange students. After returning to

Every three or four weeks she would

Canada he decided he wanted to Jenna

change – learning to walk and talk again,

again and he traveled to Sydney.

going through all the stages.

Fast forward a few years and everything

Mat was 26 years old and faced with

was on track for a corporate career with

making some very tough decisions.

one of the Big Four Banks. Mat was in a

On medical advice, Mat took his mother

management role.

home to have her in familiar surroundings to aid her recovery.

Then he got the call – the phone call no one of ever wants to receive.

It was physically, emotionally and financially draining - taking on the main

His mother was in the hospital, in a coma,

carer role for both his mother and father.

with a brain virus. She was only 55 and the main carer for her husband who had a

After 12 months Mat returned to Sydney

number of health issues and had recently

and Jenna bringing his parents with him.

been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Working three jobs to help pay costs for his family.


Like Family - It is just like family! In 2016, Mat and Jenna decided to take a

Mat’s mum was very appreciative of

holiday prior to their wedding later that

everything that Mat and Jenna had done for


her but she was lonely she wanted to go back to her hometown and be in a close-

Arriving in India Mat’s phone was full of

knit community where she knew everyone

messages – his father had been rushed to

especially now as she was dealing with the

hospital and he was in ICU. Returning

loss of her husband.

immediately to be with his family, Mat and Jenna didn’t even get to spend one day on

Mat had suggested that his mother socialise

their holiday.

with her carers - go to the movies or out to eat and he was very emotional when his

Unfortunately, Mat’s father passed during

mother said “she washes me and cares for

their return flight.

me – I don’t want to socialise with her”.

As they were preparing for their upcoming

It dawned on Mat that people need social

wedding it was brought to their attention

carers too.

that Mat’s father was the primary visa applicant and his mother was the secondary

Interaction and companionship not just the

applicant and with the passing of his father

physical side of caring.

there were a few issues with the visa application. More challenges to be faced. Finally, the wedding date was here and relatives flew in to celebrate. It was during this time that one of Mat’s Aunts raised a very sensitive issue.


And just like that Like Family was born!

Like Family - It is just like family! Matching members for social caring. Like

Ongoing personalised support, participation

Family is a community with many members

in the community, and working towards

– people providing social care and people

independence for members with Australia's

wanting social care.

fastest-growing network of Social Carers.

Like Family has grown in leaps and bounds.

Like Family is an approved NDIS provider

In 2019 Deloitte even acknowledged Like

and is ideal for self-managed home care

Family as the 4th fastest growing Tech


business. Social inclusion and engagement is a huge 2021 has seen Like Family expand into

part of care for our loved ones.

Victoria and Queensland. To find out more about this great initiative Social carers come from all walks of life –

just click here

paramedics to accountants and everything in between. People who are passionate about helping people. There is a very strict verification process that ensures all carers are the right fit. Not everyone that applies is accepted!


Contact Mat at

Can you afford A Spot in an Aged Care Home? Editor’s Note: Financial advice is individual

The Government hugely subsides care for

and each situation is different. This article is

our aged. It costs up to $114,179 per year

to highlight some of the issues to consider.

per person for care in an Aged Care Facility.

For personal advice contact a financial adviser.

Residents are only required to pay between $19,549 and $48,341 and the government

I’ve known Heather from Mondy Financial

will pay the rest. Accommodation costs are

Services for more than a year – we ran a


summit bringing together eight speakers to share advice about aged care.

The minimum care cost of $19,549 is 85% of a single age pension. Whilst this may

Heather loves playing with numbers and

appear high – think about what it pays for –

gets a great deal of satisfaction helping

Meals, Nursing Service, Laundry, and Daily

others through difficult times.


However, it is more than that, it is helping

Extra services may attract additional fees

clients to make the most of their financial

and these could include – Hairdresser or

situation so they can get the best out of

massage, daily newspaper, wine with meals



People need to live somewhere and as we age this can be more difficult to find the home and help we need.

We are an ageing population.


Can you afford A Spot in an Aged Care Home? The Accommodation fees applicable are: The Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), is the lump sum payment for a room and is set by the respective aged care facility. It is fully refundable (government guaranteed) when the resident leaves unless they opt to have some of their other fees deducted from it. It can be likened to buying a home. The Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) is the interest paid on the unpaid RAD and is worked out as a daily rate and paid periodically. This can be likened to paying rent and the payments are not refundable. The RAD is determined on the quality, location and features of the accommodation and can vary from room to room. The family home is not counted as an asset when calculating Aged Care means-tested fees if a spouse or protected person is still living there. If not, then the value is capped at $175,239.


For age pension, the family home will not be counted as an asset is the spouse is still living there. If not, it is exempt for 2 years then the full value is assessed for pension. If the home is rented, the rental income is counted for both age pension and means tested Aged Care fee calculations It is important to know your aged loved one's financial situation to know if they can afford to pay a RAD or if they will be paying a DAP or a combination of both. Will they be a fully government supported or partially supported resident? Will they pay a means tested fee and what affect will that have on their financial situation? Will they have to sell the family home? Is this the best financial option? Will they have sufficient cash flow to pay fees into the future? These are some of the questions that need to be addressed prior to finding the right Aged Care for your loved one. Knowing what they can afford and then finding what is right for them.

Can you afford A Spot in an Aged Care Home? Heather raised an issue that I didn’t think of and it is a huge issue that can affect their aged loved ones. Sometimes families what to pay the RAD for their aged loved one, however, if they do this, it could increase Aged Care means tested fees. If you want to help out financially it could be better to pay the DAP. This is the reason you need to see a financial adviser who is an aged care specialist. There are so many challenges. Nobody wants to raise the issue of finding an Aged Care home for their aged loved one however have the talk early when all the family can be involved in the discussions. Not when an emergency happens and you “have” to find care immediately. You have 28 days to make a decision whether you pay the RAD or DAP when your aged loved one enters aged care. If you are not able to get finances together in this time, it’s best to pay the DAP until you have it sorted, then you can always pay some RAD when funds become available.

To make an informed decision you need to know the complete financial situation and what payment method will get the best cashflow, maximise the pension and minimize aged care fees. This is different for each person and this is why you need sound financial advice from someone who knows the Aged Care system. Heather provided the following Tips: See a Financial Adviser who specialises in the Aged Care sector. Start early and don’t leave it until there is an emergency. Discuss as a family, include your aged loved one so everyone is all on the same page. I’d like to add a couple of my own tips here: Don’t ambush your aged loved one when talking about this very sensitive topic. Tell them you want them always to be safe and well and you want to look at what is needed to care for them. Look at all options – nothing is silly or wrong, work through what will work for everyone. Explain why you need to know their financial situation, how knowing will help get the best financial position and advice for entering care. Open, honest and early communication where everyone is heard and acknowledged and treated respectfully.


Can you afford A Spot in an Aged Care Home? his isn’t easy and sometimes our aged loved ones will listen to “professionals” more than they listen to us – it's called the “white coat syndrome” and in this case I highly recommend that you see financial advice. I know that Mondy Financial Services conducts meetings via zoom and is available to talk to you no matter where you are. Check out Mondy Financial Services at Contact Heather at Final three thoughts: The best bit of advice received: Enjoy every day as if it's your last. If in 5 Years it won’t matter what do you wish you hadn’t spent more than 5 minutes on: Stressing on things I feel I have to do!

Heather is passionate about Family, Gardening, playing bridge and helping people move into Aged Care.


Send me a picture of your pet and I will include it in an upcoming issue

Send your pictures to

A DAY IN THE LIFE! What they do to make it work for you!

MOVING The theme for this month's "Day In The Life" section is Moving! How to keep moving The Benefits of Moving Moving into Aged Care Getting more out of life and making life move for you!



Editor’s Note: Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Those who know me know that exercise really isn’t my thing, as the years go by I’ve given up pretending I like it and making excuses for not doing it. The truth of the matter is I haven’t found the best way to exercise for my body. But I am here to tell you that may have just changed after talking with Davina from Flames Fitness. Davina started in the fitness sector over 30 years ago when a new gym opened in Armidale where she was working. She thought she would try a few classes and see what it was like. After the first class she was hooked and decided to undertake training to be an instructor.

Moving to Canberra she continued her fitness journey and now she runs a couple of gyms with her husband. As you can imagine COVID has played havoc with regular classes so Davina has been offering online classes via zoom. It’s important to stay connected and moving especially while we are lockdown. Davina wants to help put more movement in their day. More movement will lead to more energy to do what you need to do each day. Attending her classes members found a sense of connection, it wasn’t just an exercise class – it was a community getting together to chat, have a giggle and move their bodies. An important point that Davina made was that you don’t have to spend a long time sweating, huffing and puffing – any type of movement is better than no movement at all. The thing is we are all different and we are all drawn to different types of exercise or in my case we may run a mile from any type of exercise.


MOVING IS MOVING - OR IS IT? Lockdown could lead to staying in bed, watching TV all day or not moving off the lounge which is exhausting and nothing is achieved. This is just an example of a different By putting some movement in your day you

program – you might like to go to the gym

have more energy. The more energy you

or exercise with other people. Whatever

have the more you do!

works for you!

Davina runs Fit Camp – a 30-minute class

When we try to do something we don’t

that gets the endorphins running through

enjoy we soon loose interest.

your body and keeps you motivated to keep going. And she can’t wait to get back to

For Carers it is often difficult to find the

teaching these classes in person.

time to go to a gym or class however Davina explained you could do some

There is a misconception that all exercise to

exercises at home. Chunk it into smaller

be beneficial needs to be hard, fast and

groups of activity. Remember moving is

sweaty. This just isn’t true. Moving your

important how you do it is up to you.

body it the key, more achievable small lots of exercise might be what suits you.

Since talking with Davina I have been doing things differently – making movement work

There is a workout called Tabata where you

for me! I do squats in the kitchen while I am

do an exercise to a 4-minute music track –

waiting for the kettle to boil, when I go up

20 seconds hard and 10 seconds rest.

to the main house to check on our 95 year old (which is every 40 to 50 minutes) I do

Repeat this 8 times. Doing this 5 times a

10 step-ups on each leg, I do bench push-

week would be great. You can do it yourself

ups when I am getting meals ready plus a

– when you like.

few other things around the house. Mixing in movement with my “daily chores”.

There are Tabata tracks on Spotify and there are also some on YouTube. . 42 | THE CARERS CHAMPION


Another thing that Davina told me was

Davina’s tips

about stretching and how important it is

Exercise doesn’t have to take a long

to stretch as it keeps our bodies as supple

time – doing something two or three

as possible. Joints loosen up so the

times a day is good. It all adds up.

nutrients can get through.

Movement can be around the house it doesn’t have to be in the gym –

Taking the first step is daunting and that is

marching on the spot, pushups on the

why going to a class can be beneficial, it

kitchen bench.

also gives you some accountability. With

Gardening is great exercise.

the added bonus of getting you out of the

Anything is an exercise – getting

house and connecting with people.

everything moving. Pumping arms back and forward while sitting at the

I asked Davina what makes her smile and


watching her children smile was her initial

Incidental (or as Davina’s daughter calls

answer however she added that when she

it ‘Accidental’) exercise is another great

is training someone and they get it – they

way to keep moving. Walking to the

do the exercise right and something just

printer, putting washing on the line.

clicks and it works for them.

Your body – move your way to keep your body moving.


Paste a smile on your face – it sends messages to your brain and tricks your body into thinking you are enjoying the exercise. Bodies are designed to move.



Davina also provides Juice Plus products.

Bridging the gap between what we eat and

A supplement to enhance your healthy

what we should eat.

eating plan. If you can be as healthy as possible your With a sick child Davina and her husband

body will reward you.

were looking for something to help boost all the family’s nutritional intake. They

If you want help with moving and getting

were eating well with lots of variety

more energy check out

however they wanted to include more and

decided to add a supplement to their eating plan.

If you want to know more information about Juice Plus check out

After researching a number of different

products they choose Juice Plus because the products are fruits and vegetable dehydrated into capsules. All the different

The Final Three Thoughts

varieties with no chemicals and none of

Best bit of advice: Treat someone the way

the added sugar.

you want to be treated. If in 5 years it won’t matter what do you wish you hadn’t spent more than 5 minutes on: Worrying about what others think about me. If they love you they will love you no matter what. Davina is passionate about making the most of the time she has left on the planet. Living a happy and healthy life. A good circle of friends and helping other people.



Editor’s Note: Always seek the guidance of

Since more people are working from home

your doctor or other qualified health

there have been a lot more people with

professional with any questions you may

aches and pains due to bad posture due to

have regarding your health or a medical

unergonomic furniture being used as home

condition. This article is to highlight the

offices. Lots of neck and spine issues.

benefits of seeing a Physiotherapist and not meant to take the place of seeking

The clinic provides exercises for individuals

professional advice.

and specific injuries. An important aspect is the assessment and individualised plan to

We are told to move it or lose it!

enhance movement.

How do you move it? And what is it you lose?

Getting to know the patient and their particular injuries, medical conditions and

How do you know what it the right type of

past history.

exercise or movements for you and your aged loved one?

Dynamic Motion provides a mobile service and I am sure if you check with your local

I had a chat with Rob from Dynamic Motion

Physiotherapist they will also have a mobile

Physiotherapy at Asquith to get the


answers. Having someone come to your aged loved Typically, Physiotherapists see a range of

one’s home to see how they interact in


their own environment is beneficial for

The elderly

accurate assessment and as we all know it

With Physical and Mental Disabilities

is easier especially if mobility is an issue.

With musculoskeletal injuries such as back, knee and hip issues Sporting injuries



Rob shared what an assessment looks like

It’s not only about our aged loved ones it is

and it isn’t just about getting you to do

about the carers too! Taking care of our

some exercises.

bodies so we can keep doing the things we want to!

It is questioning about current and past medical conditions, working through

Rob’s Tips for enhancing movement:

capabilities, is it an injury or an ongoing ailment and then you take the patient

Get checked first – go to the experts for

through some exercises.

an assessment. Simple things like walking are a great

There is no substitute for watching the

place to start.

patient do the exercises and just a little

Start slow and add a little more each

warning - your physiotherapist will be able


to tell if you aren’t doing the exercises.

Consistency is the key. Maintain an approach with is

There is no masking that will help you here


– your body will show the results of the

It’s ok to ask for help.

exercises being done or not being done. Have you heard of the “white coat

Enhancing movement to help you live your

syndrome” - it is when your aged loved one

best life at a quality that is easy to sustain.

listens to a professional rather than to you! It happens often and it is really disheartening for you! However, it is about your aged loved one’s care and wellbeing so if they will listen to a physiotherapist telling them to move a little more each day it can only be a good thing. 47 | THE CARERS CHAMPION


Referrals aren’t required to see a physiotherapist – just call and make a booking. Home visits can also be arranged. I highly recommend Dynamic Motion – I've been to them several times and have always received excellent care and advice. For contact details check out

Final Three Thoughts: The best bit of advice received: Rob’s Mum told him when he was studying that results don’t matter it is the effort you put in that matters and this advice has helped him in all things. If in 5 years it won’t matter what do you wish you hadn’t worried about: Worrying about what others think – whether it was starting exercises or looking after yourself. Rob’s passions are cycling, pets, teaching and educating people on pathways to getting their bodies moving and fit for life. 47 | THE CARERS CHAMPION

If your aged loved one is vision impaired and having problems finding their clothes in the aged care home.. Try this!


Celebrating Christmas at a Bupa Home

There are many parts to the aged care sector – products and services.

Her duties include tours for families and working closely with Business Managers

At 30 June 2020, a total of 335,889 people

and staff, a huge challenge especially across

were using residential aged care in

eight homes during COVID restrictions.

Australia. Bronwyn told me she receives a lot of joy There are aged care homes all around

doing different things each and every day

Australia and I had a chat with Bronwyn

while helping people to settle into their

from Bupa Aged Care.

new home. Working with great colleagues, residents, families and staff to help

Bupa is one of Australia's leading

everyone settle into their new home.

residential Aged Care providers with 59 care homes, supporting over 6000

Recently she was given the responsibility of


a couple of new homes and some in LGAs of concern – which means COVID

Bronwyn is a Residential Placement

restrictions have meant that there were no

Manager for eight homes in NSW. Her role

opportunities for visits except via zoom or

is to liaise with Discharge Planners from


Hospitals, connect with families of potential residents and other Bupa colleagues, help

COVID restrictions have been challenging

with the journey into aged care and make

for everyone especially aged care homes.

the journey as easy as possible.

No visitors allowed has made “facility tours” go online. Staff at the homes have set up different ways for residents to connect with their loved ones – phone/zoom/skype and windows of happiness.



Did you know that nearly 40% of residents

Aged care homes aren’t just about beds,

don’t receive visitors – this is without

meals and nursing care, there are many

taking COVID into account.

more services provided:

It is really sad and the aged care home staff



put a lot of effort into their lifestyle



programs to ensure that residents are



mentally and physically active.


Occupational Therapists


GP visits

Bronwyn's advice for carers was to take



credit for the hard work they have done



caring for their aged loved one. COVID had definitely raised a few Self-care is very important.

challenges for aged care homes.

I couldn’t agree more – and as I often say it

Wearing of masks for staff creates

doesn’t mean that you don’t care for your

problems but sometimes the full face mask

aged loved one if you are outsourcing their

is also needed and full PPE, this can be

care by placing them in an aged care home.

confusing for residents especially Dementia and low vision residents.

Actually, I believe it means that you care enough to know that they need more care

Connection is important and not seeing the

and that you are willing to do anything to

mouth move makes it difficult to

get them the care they need.

understand staff.



The voice can be muffled when wearing the

Residential Placement Managers are here to

mask and this just adds another layer of

support families and some advice that

confusion for residents. It also means

Bronwyn has for families looking for an

normal tasks take longer.

aged care home for their aged loved ones are:

Tone also changes when you are wearing



two layers of masks and this affects the


It is a journey

residents too.


Ask as many questions as you can –

there are no silly or wrong questions One of the things the staff did was to pin a


Make sure you have an ACAT

picture of themselves to their shirts so


residents could recognise them.


Create a checklist of things your aged

loved ones need and want in the home To help residents stay connected and keep


the sense of community strong there have

are looking for

been lots of cognitive activities arranged


Arrange a tour – virtually or in person



Keep notes on what you see –



especially if you are going to several homes





Putt Putt

care specialist – this is a complicated



process to work out the funding.






aged loved one – know what the services


Men’s Shed visits – making

are and if they get on with the other


Be honest and upfront in what you

Seek Financial advice from an aged

Pick what works best for you and your

residents. ·

The whole journey is a personal one

and every journey is different.



Moving your aged loved one into an aged

Final Three Thoughts:

care home is an emotional journey. Talk to everyone and make sure you are all on the

The best bit of advice Bronwyn has

same page. Include the your aged loved one

received is from her father - Believe in

in the decisions if you can.

yourself, what you do and whom you work for. Being aligned with the visions and goals

Having someone to support you during the

of your workplace is important.

process of finding the right care for your aged loved one is important.

If in 5 years it won’t matter 5 minutes – Cleaning is what Bronwyn wished she

For more information about Bupa Aged

hadn’t spent more than 5 minutes worrying

Care homes go to

about. Bronwyn is passionate about selfBronwyn can be contacted on

development and helping others, learning

new things, and then sharing them with others.

It Doesn't matter if you care for your aged loved ones in your home, their home or a home - it is tough. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help!


IN THE SPOTLIGHT Shining a light on Products and Services!

You don't know what you don't know! In this section I will sharing different products and services with you. Products and services that can make the caring journey easier for you and for your aged loved ones. Not all of the products and services will be right for you but it will show you what is available. When we know better we do better!



In September I shared the story of the Soka

It really makes things easier!

Tub with you and how Nicole designed and created this awesome product.

Caring for someone who often soils their clothing has its challenges and none more

When I spoke with Nicole it was initially

than washing.

about how to use the Soka Tub in a water saving laundry soaking system however

I had buckets sitting around my laundry but

after owning one for a while now I know

that all changed when I got the Soka Tub.

how versatile it is and how it can be used in many different ways.

One container can have three separate soakings at one time.

So this month I am going to put the Soka Tub in the spotlight and share what a day

My life is made easier. Thank you, Soka

its life could look like!

Tub. Nicole shared how she uses the Soka Tub I live in a small granny flat - the laundry is

while camping, I am not the camping type

in the bathroom so space saving is really

however I can see how it would be very

important for me.

useful - storage and cleaning.

The Soka Tub is such a versatile product

As the daughter of a very keen fisherman, I

that it got me thinking about what else it

can see how perfect this would be live bait.

could be used for.

Dad would have loved it and so would have mum. All the fishing widows will understand - for those who are wondering, just imagine the smell of live bait and how much better it is to have a closed container.



What I love most about this product is that it was designed and created in Australia. Nicole has a commitment to sustainability through practical innovation, style, spacesaving, water-saving, detergent saving and a focus of bringing organisation to spaces.

Bringing it back inside and the Soka Tub would make the perfect benchtop compost sorting container - separating the waste prior transferring to your outside compost. With the lid keeping things tidy and fresh. With three removable compartments, it makes a great drinks cooler too. The smaller container is great for displaying flowers. The Soka Tub is BPA-free plastic so can be used to house food - a great idea for picnics. With the three separate compartments, it makes a fantastic way to store lego pieces and other small toys. I am going to use my Soka Tub for my toiletries and makeup when I go traveling again - an easy way to keep all I need in one spot and if spillages occur it won't be an issue.

Check out the details 54 | THE CARERS CHAMPION

The Soka Tub prevents filling up the sink with too much water for just one item. The draining lids encourage and make the recycling of rinsing water easier. This is great for me - I have all these great intentions however sometimes time is my greatest enemy, the Soka Tub makes it easy for me to recycle the rinsing water. As Nicole says "if the Australian family soaks at least one item per week using the Soka Tub as a nation we would save between 23-60 million litres per week'! The Soka Tub is everything I love Australian designed and produced, good for the environment, versatile and is the perfect solution for a caring challenge. Do you have a Soka Tub? How do you use it? Send your response to and I will share it next issue.


There is a reason we say this.

At Sparkys Candles, Lisa has a range of products that will help you create your own

Fragrance is an important part of our lives.

peaceful space and there is also a range of products that will create the right space for

This doesn’t change as we age.

your aged loved ones.

What’s your favourite fragrance? Having a lit candle in your aged loved one’s I’d like to introduce you to Lisa from

home could be a hazard and that is where

Sparkys Candles.

Smart Scents come in. They are decorative scent sticks and most importantly you don’t

Lisa is also on the caring journey and she

light them. Plus there is also a range of

has some very wise words about how

different holders including a mobile one

fragrance can help ease some of the

you could use in the car.

stresses of caring for your aged loved one. The benefits are amazing. Fragrances help you to create your own

In their home to enhance their

space. A space of peace and calmness.

surroundings, removing some of the

Gives you a space to stop and take the time

smells that occur with ageing.

for yourself – stopping to smell the roses!

Creating a welcoming space.

Something all carers need to make time for!

Creating a calming space with fragrances like Lavendar.

When you know you are going into a

Evoking memories.

stressful situation having a familiar and

Creating new memories.

calming fragrance can help to reduce the

In an aged care home there is often a


sterile/disinfectant smell, strategically placed Smart Scents change the sterile

Or just after a stressful situation to help calm the nerves.


to welcoming.


The Smart Scents are perfect for creating a

Both of these products (smartscents and

welcoming and calming space.

aromapure) have some fragrances that help eliminate unwanted odours with revitalising

It may take a bit of trial and error to get the

fresh home fragrances featuring neofresh©

right fragrance for your aged loved ones –

technology. Lisa uses these fragrances in

some fragrances may cause sad memories.

her aged loved one's room in her aged care home.

Knowing what they like is important.


Knowing their history is important.

Final Three Thoughts

Introducing them to new fragrances can

Best piece of advice received:

also be an activity you do together.

Is it life-threatening? Then it can probably wait.

Keep them engaged, get them to pick their fragrance.

If in 5 years it won't matter what do you wish you didn't spend more than 5 minutes

It makes the perfect gift – the gift of


enhancing their lives with memory-evoking

Worrying about whether I am doing the


right thing for my aged loved one, myself and my family.

There is a lot of other fantastic products at Sparkys candles and great gift ideas

What are you passionate about.

especially for small spaces – check them

Helping others whether it be through

out here

enhancing and enlightening their lives with fragrance, candles and decor or helping my

Lisa has the aromapure with her favourite

husband navigate all the things regarding

fragrance in my car which helps destress

caring for his mum.

and ground her after a challenging time with her aged loved one.



I will be the first to admit that until a month ago I didn’t think about adaptive clothing. It wasn’t until I did the interviews for the October Issue of the Carer’s Champion that I began to understand how important it is to have clothing that meets the needs of

The people Flex-A-Tee️ can help are people with

the wearer and not just look good.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS),

I spoke with Anne- Marie from Flex-A-Tee


who only reinforced how much I didn’t really know about adaptive clothing. If you are like me and want to find out more than

Cerebral Palsy (CP), A frozen shoulder. Just to name a few!

this is a great place to start.

Once you start thinking about the possible

Anne-Marie has designed and developed a

can be worn by anyone and for any reason

teeshirt – the Flex-A-Tee especially for people that need some assistance with their

uses for the Flex-A-Tee you realise that it – medical condition or treatment.

clothing either permanently or temporarily.

The Flex-A-Tee has so many great features

It could be any of the following reasons:

standout for me was that it helps to

Inability to move After surgery Breastfeeding During Chemotherapy Ease of changing for carers Sensory issues Comfortable clothing – some people can’t put clothing over their heads Clothing that doesn’t dislodge a cannula As you can see the possibilities are endless.

that it is hard to pick just one however the maintain your dignity. Just imagine you have a frozen shoulder and you have to go to the physio – just undo the fasteners on the shoulder and there is easy access for the physio. Or you are having an injection and instead of pulling your top over your head and trying to maintain a sense of dignity you just undo the fasteners on the should and you don’t have to go through all that struggle.



Suitable for both males and females who want to retain modesty during medical treatment. There are so many uses for this unique

With a generous sizing to accommodate

piece of clothing.

medical equipment but not a one size fits

I wanted to know why Anne-Marie

production began.

designed and created the Flex-A-Tee and it didn’t surprise me to find out it was because of her mother. Yes, another great invention because someone wanted to help their aged loved one. Anne-Marie's mum had Alzheimers and it was difficult to change her as her upper

all! A soft cotton was sourced and

I am impressed with the care and thoughtfulness that went into the design of this garment. Not only is this a garment suitable for our aged loved ones but for anyone.

body range of movement was restricted.

One of the things that is important for

After trying to find something that was

stressful no matter their age – if mobility is

suitable and of good quality Anne-Marie

carers is to make dressing faster and less an issue it is difficult for everyone and can

decided to design what she needed.

be quite frustrating.

The Flex-A-Tee is more than just a teehirt it

Anne-Marie has also been approved as a

is a new way of life – it takes the hassle away. Something we all need. In designing the Flex-A-Tee quality was important, comfort, retains modesty, adaptability for easy dressing and a style that can be worn by anyone


NDIS provider which means that you can order these garments under your NDIS package for people under 65. Anne-Marie has even gone that extra mile to provide the required item number for ordering the garment.


Whilst this might not seem a big deal it lessens the friction of ordering under the NDIS program. Flex-A-Tee registered (under Care and Style Pty Ltd) as an NDIS provider for Low-Cost Technology Consumables for Personal Care/Safety Item # is 03_090000911_0103_1_1 and all details are available from A nne-Marie will have a stall at the Sydney Disability Expo in December. If you are looking for a quality and comfortable teeshirt that makes dressing faster than checkout the Flex-A-Tee. To find out more about the Flex-A-Tee contact Or go to


Finding the right support that will provide you with help and information when you need it the most!

Who is your support network?


Something beautiful and creative.

The earrings are light weight which means

Something to make us smile.

they are easy to wear and easy to send in

I found these stunning earrings and I just

the post. The perfect gift.

have to share them with you. As carers we get so caught up in our caring we don’t have time to buy the unique gifts we want for our loved ones. Folding Focus started during the lockdown last year – oh I do love a great lockdown pivot business story. Stuck at home Rowan and Jesse decided to produce these unique Aren’t they divine?

handmade gifts.

I had a chat with Rowan and Jesse from Focus Folding to find out all the stunning details about this unique handmade origami collection. Handcrafted in Canberra with surgical steel hooks. Did you know that most Australians are allergic to Nickle plated hooks and as soon as they realised this they ensured that they only used surgical steel hooks for all their creations? Focus Folding also have special hypoallergenic gold and silver hooks if required.


Sold at local markets and via Etsy store there is a pair of earrings for everyone. Different styles that will suit everyone. Australian Animals Geometric Shapes Other Animals Perfect for those that want to stand out in a crowd. All earrings come gift-wrapped – an experience from beginning to end. That will brighten the mood every day. If you are looking for a unique handmade gift check out all the details on ing Or look up Focus Folding on Facebook


Where do you go when you need specialist

Buying a bra is difficult – she doesn’t

help with fittings for lingerie and

remember her size and I have only been


helping to look after her for about 4 years. It’s not something her son paid much

Many people need a specialised service –

attention to.

either as part of their breast cancer treatment, for health reasons or disability.

Having a personal fitting would be great. Wearing the right-sized bra not only offers

Actually, I think it is more than that – often

comfort and support but also gives a sense

finding the right lingerie or swimwear as we

of dignity. With so many options to choose

age can be difficult. Carers need to be

from, such as front opening, soft cotton and

aware that their aged loved one’s bodies

pull over your head bras, the right bra can

are changing and sometimes they are

offer independence for longer.

unable to communicate what they need and what feels comfortable for them.

It is definitely a case of one size doesn’t fit all!

That’s where “Colleen’s” steps in with a complete fitting service for bras, breast

Each and everyone of us is different and we

forms or even wigs.

need different bras for our individual circumstances, having an expert fit you

Without getting too personal here – getting

properly taking into account your personal

the right bra for my 95 year old is becoming

medical conditions and finding the most

challenging. Her body has changed a lot and

comfortable outcome will help your loved

to be honest when she is at home she

one feel better.

doesn’t wear a bra but when we go out she does.

As we all know when we are comfortable and feel better we are better.



People with Breast Cancer need specialised

Colleen’s is an inclusive lingerie store,

products – breast forms and Colleen’s are

offering a fitting service and advice

available to help you find exactly what you

especially for those who may struggle to

need. Assistance with the Medical rebate

find a bra that fits.

for breast forms is also available. This service would be valuable for anyone Colleen’s also has a range of mastectomy

who is caring for their aged loved ones.

bras and clothes, there are wigs and headwear plus swimwear and cotton

Helping them to feel comfortable and


enhance their lives.

Their swimwear is designed for the mature

With respect, care and a sense of

woman, offering many options such as

community, Colleen’s is helping women to

swim dresses, tankini tops and bottoms,

feel comfortable and deal with a

rash vests to cover up - all great for

challenging time.

hydrotherapy or in the pool. There is an online shop plus even a regional fitting

If you want more information about

service (in line with COVID restrictions of

Colleens just click here




WIhat happens when you are diagnosed with Dementia? Unless you are faced with this diagnosis you don’t think about it. It isn’t even on your radar but what happens if you start noticing memory loss and you are

I met the fabulous Tamar Krebs who has been working in aged care for over 24 years. Initially in the aged care facility setting where she loved caring for her

forgetting things.

patients however she could give her

We know what that is like – our 95-year-

liked especially for dementia patients.

old loved one has started the Dementia journey. Our Doctor has arranged tests and an appointment for a specialist but that is a few months away. How do we cope? How does she cope? She has noticed changes – sometimes she talks to herself all night and when I ask her why she says “I don’t want my mind to go flat”.

patients wasn't as individualised as she

Tamar traveled overseas to see how other countries cared for their aged loved ones and she came back and established Group Homes. I will provide more information about this great initiative in the coming months. Today I want to share with you the

It is heartbreaking.

fabulous long overdue program that Tamar

Can you imagine what it would be like to be

to Whom I May Concern (TWIMC)

in your 60s, 70s, 80s or even younger and to be going through this? To feel like something is wrong but not knowing where to get help and then having to wait many months to see someone that might be able to help?


is bringing to people that need it the most –

Tamar would love to change the stigma and conversation that society has about people living with dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment.


TWIMC began in 2006 when Maureen

The purpose of TWIMC is to provide a

Matthews, PhD, RN, posed a question to an

forum for people with dementia to speak

Early Stage Support Group in NYC:

and be heard, educate care providers about the “inside” experience of dementia and

“What is it like to live with Alzheimer’s

MCI and to support conversations amongst

disease or any of the other illnesses that

people diagnosed, their families and friends.

cause memory loss and confusion?” The group is about changing the stigma of The answers to that question were

those living with dementia and MCI

wonderful stories that became the script of

Giving those living with dementia and

the first performance of TWIMC.

MCI a voice and an opportunity to connect

The audience included care partners, other

Participants can choose to be part of

people with early dementia and

the 10 week gathering and the


performance or just the gathering

The response was overwhelmingly positive!

Wherever there are people with early-stage MCI or dementia, there can be a TWIMC group. Contact Tamar Krebs: Please indicate if you would like to participate in a face to face group or an online Zoom group


Is there anything you would like to know about - a product or service? Let me know and I will do my best to provide an article in upcoming issues.


TECH GUIDE Using Technology to help make the caring journey easier!

I'm not very tech savvy – actually I am the complete opposite, however I do see a huge space that tech can fill in the aged care sector to make carers’ lives easier. How do you know what is out there? Where do you go to find out the information you need to know. I put the call out for tech products and I was thrilled at the response. In the following pages you will see personal alarms, a smart bed, an app for Mortgage Mates, a meditation platform and so much more. If you want more information on any of the products please visit the websites listed or contact the providers – can you do me a favour and mention The Carer’s Champion if you speak to them. Thanks. Lets take a stroll in the tech world and see what can help ease your caring journey. 66 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION


Features include a Base unit that has a

Calamity provides a complete range of

battery backup and uses the mobile

carefully managed security services,

network so there aren’t any problems if

including Silent Sentinel®, a personal

there are disruptions to power, the NBN or

alerting system for people at risk of falls.

phone networks. The client wears a small

The security that gives you peace of mind,

comfortable pendant that is hot water-

protecting your loved ones.

resistant which means it never needs to be

Never Alone When Home Alone

taken off – great for safety in the shower.

If you have a family member who is aging,

The system can include automatic fall

frail or unwell, but you can’t be with them

detection that can ‘press a button’ even if

all the time, then make sure they’re safe for

you are unconscious or injured. Alarms

you with Calamity ’s Life Safety Monitoring

feeds back to the 24/7 monitoring team


who open a voice channel to communicate

Beware of so-called "smart dialers” which

with the client and assess the situation. A

are widely advertised but are not backed by

fail-safe system ensures that even if your

reliable 24/7 monitoring services. You

loved one doesn’t respond, activation of

could be left on your own.

emergency services still occurs.

Silent Sentinel is an affordable Life Safety

Responses are tailored to individuals with

Monitoring service that provides 24/7

the monitoring team triaging the nature of

monitoring for your loved ones, with

the emergency and able to despatch the

trained operators and direct links to

appropriate responders including family

emergency services.

members. The monitoring team has access

Benefiting: Perfect for people who are frail,

to details of medical history, allergies and

unwell or simply want to age in place in

medications and can notify first responders

their own home. If you live alone or if you

to assist with treatment. They also arrange

have a loved one this will give you peace of

building access via combination lockboxes

mind and confidence.

or PIN Pads to ensure an ambulance can reach you in an emergency. The best way to keep them safe, all day, every day. Silent Sentinel is available from Calamity at


ent-sentinel/ or 1300 300 24 7.

Having the right tools to make everyday life easier is even more important for carers. Mobile technology devices - such as mobile phones, iPads and tablets - can make it easier to juggle tasks and improve communication. However, making sure that you can keep it safe from damage is key. Maximise Technology has been helping carers, disability support workers and family to protect their tech for over a decade, helping you to use devices safely for telehealth, learning, life management and for fun. iPads, tablets and mobile phones used with software such as Apple’s Facetime, or Google Meet, Zoom or Microsoft Teams, makes it possible to look someone eye to eye from anywhere around the world. This is so important for sensitive discussions such as telehealth with doctors and counsellors, as well as catching up with friends and family. Keeping the device safe from drops is crucial or the communication stops. A properly engineered protective case can protect a device from falls of up to 2 metres. Waterproof cases take it a step further, keeping the device safe from splashes and more. For someone who has a lot to carry or who has limited mobility, choosing a case with a hand or shoulder strap can save devices from damaging drops. 68| THE CARERS CHAMPION

A stand or mount is a good way for taking the pressure off anyone who is using a device over a long time, such as a lovely long video chat with a friend. A stand that sits on the table top and can be angled just right can make the experience feel so seamless. A tablet or phone wheelchair mount makes it so easy for a wheelchair user to have their device nearby then they need it, and to move it out of the way when they need it, including for transfers. Maximise Technology has a wide range of solutions for most mobile devices including protective cases, stands and mounts. We have all the leading brands and are Authorised Apple Resellers too. As Registered NDIS Providers, we can look after your needs using NDIS funds. We are here to help, so visit our website to see what we offer or call us on 1300 769 374, or email to

The First Carer Wellbeing Survey showed

Actual Scenes from AtOne

that carers across Australia are at high risk of poor wellbeing, high psychological distress and poor physical health. Some factors that contribute to this higher risk are isolation, lack of access to services and lack of time for self-care. AtOne assists carers to reduce their symptoms of stress and long-term resilience with an immersive experience using a portable headset. AtOne is a tool for carers that targets stress, anxiety and mind fitness using virtual reality technology. AtOne is being used in community centres and organisations as it supercharges meditation experiences, taking people into a relaxed space faster. The multi-sensory approach uses scents, sound and visuals with over 30 guided meditations to choose from. You are transported into another world with 20 different real and virtual scenes to choose from.

Regardless of whether or not you think you can meditate, you can enjoy sitting in a beautiful location in nature listening to relaxing music and smelling relaxing scents. AtOne provides individual and group reporting that measures and tracks 5 areas of mind fitness including focus, recovery ( heart rate), clarity, engagement and emotions . Online training and tips are targeted to each of these 5 areas so you can continue to build your mind fitness. Multiple users can access a headset which makes it easy for many people to use in your centre.

If your organisation or centre would like to book a demo, please contact Edwina via: For a sneak peek inside the app:



Keeping loved ones safe 24/7 with ADT’s personal emergency alarm system The wonderful benefit of modern technology is its ability to enhance our everyday life, helping us to live more freely and independently. Advanced technology not only makes our life easier, it also helps us connect with others quickly which provides reassurance and peace of mind. One solution that is helping to enhance lives is ADT Home Assure, a 24/7 monitored personal alarm system that helps users live their life confidently and worryfree by providing round-the-clock assistance. The system is connected to ADT’s 24/7 monitoring centre, where a team of trained emergency response specialists are on hand to assist. Individuals simply need to press the button to connect to the emergency response team, who are available at any time of the day or night.

Once activated, the ADT emergency response team will quickly check that the user is okay and, if required, call a family member or arrange an ambulance. The system comes as a control panel with a portable emergency button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband with optional accessories that include an extra portable button for someone else in the household. There are also additional functionalities such as fall detection and voice activation so that should the wearer be unable to press the button in an emergency, they can still feel safe knowing that someone from ADT will check they are okay. This level of reassurance allows users and their families to live with confidence that around-the-clock support is available whenever it’s needed. For more information about ADT Home Assure visit or call ADT on 131 238.


Welcome to the Ageing Revolution

"We’re eradicating ageism. Our aim is to make a positive and tangible difference to the lives of older people, their friends and their families – that’s just about everyone! We seek out innovation, inclusion and deeper conversations for a better world". When I read this introduction, I was intrigued to find out more – I don’t know about you but as a 58 year old carer I see

I’m going to give you a snapshot of some of the projects they are working however to see what The Ageing Revolution is all about go to Carers and Caring – development of a mobile application to provide information

ageism everywhere.

and connect carers and family.

Especially when you see there is no range

Virtual reality in aged care – working with

of diversity once you reach 55. We are all different and just because we reach a certain age we shouldn’t be lumped in together. Talking with Leonie from The Ageing Revolution I was excited to hear about some of the projects they are working on to enhance the lives of older people.


Queensland University of Technology to deliver virtual reality to enhance the lives of aged care residents. Working with The Australian Centre for Innovation (TACSI) on games focused on End of Life– we often have difficulty talking about this with our aged loved ones and games are a great way to help start the conversation.

Mepacs Personal Alarm System

"MePACS is a fully monitored personal alarm service responded to by trained professional anytime of the day or night. It gives seniors and people with disabilities the independence and freedom to live an active life at home on their own, with the peace of mind for them and their carers, that if they should fall or have a medical emergency help is available 24/7. The user wears the personal alarm around The user has a choice of personal alarms

their neck or on their wrist and if they have

from home pendants, mobile and watch

a fall or medical emergency they can signal


for help by pressing the alarm which then connects though to the MePACS response centre, where a team of professionals identify what help is required and then call a family, friend or Triple Zero to attend, depending on the nature of the incident. With GPS, Fall Detection and 4G coverage, MePACS alarms use the latest technology and are the most rated personal alarm service in Australia with 4.6 stars out of 5. And that is why you are safer with MePACS. For more information visit or call 1800 685329.


The Right Music for The Ageing Brain

" is an Australian startup building digital wellness products with music. Our first product ( is designed to deliver music as a therapy to those living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Vera is the first AI-powered music as a therapy platform to help with brain ageing.

We are on a mission to keep our ageing population independent, healthy and happy for as long as possible, through the power of music.

The team have licensed the entire Universal Music catalogue bringing the hits from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin (to name a few) straight to the ears of our members. Finding the right music from the past can trigger incredible outcomes for people living with dementia. Music memories can stimulate the brain providing temporary access to long lost memories and can even bring back the use of other faculties such as speech and physical movement.


Check out for all the information

For older adults looking to share their

Mortgage Mates

accommodation, the additional benefits

"Mortgage Mates is a website developed to

bills, groceries and care whilst increasing

support users (Mates) to rent or co-own a

the social connection and community

home together. Mortgage Mates matches

options available in their own home.

include reducing the cost of the property,

two or more people to rent or own, based on housing need such as location, price and

Using our website makes living with

property type alongside

another person safer than if you do this

houseMate/Mortgage Mate preferences

independently. We have free resources that

such as pets, employment and smoking

support shared living, and have connections


with trusted third party providers who can offer specialist support in arears such as

Mortgage Mates is the first platform in

real estate, finance and legal support.

Australia that focuses on the people in shared living properties, rather than the

Once two Mates have matched on our site,

property itself, and assists individuals to

they can use the Information Centre and

save money, share resources and increase

What Happens Next pages to gain the

social connection in a safe, secure and

support, advice and assistance they need to

happy way.

share their home, whether this is in a private rental property, or a home they co-

To use the site, and match with a Mate, all

own together.

you need to do is create a profile with your information and requirements and our

Contact details. Daisy Ashworth:

unique algorithm will do the rest.

Mortgage Mates can be used by anyone

If you know someone who is struggling to

looking to share the cost of renting, or, by

afford their own home, Mortgage Mates

those opting for a lower cost way to enter

might be their solution. We know older

(or re-enter) the property market

adults (especially women) is the largest demographic entering homelessness and we want to do something about it. By sharing resources and sharing with others, we can help individuals age in place, in their own home in a safe, secure and happy way. Go to to find out more


Automatic Medication Dispenser

Taking your medicine simultaneously every day, as doctors advise, will help you receive the maximum benefit from your therapy. Instead of utilizing a traditional pillbox, seniors may now use medicine distribution systems that reduce the risk of harmful drug responses. Minor improvements like this can assist in enhancing the overall quality and safety of care. A medicine dispenser can help anybody by reducing the danger of accidental overdose while a caregiver is unavailable, reducing the likelihood of medical problems that could have been avoided. It also aids in the independence of your senior loved one. Features: Up to 30 minutes or until medicines are delivered, a loud audio alarm will sound. Low battery warning A keyed locking mechanism that is tamper-resistant Contact:


Technology is at its best when it brings people together

How InteliCare’s Smart Home Technology Helps You Worry Less and Care More Using camera-free monitors, wearable tech, and alert devices InteliCare’s smart technology helps seniors and people with disabilities live independently and safely in their own homes. The smart home technology, called InteliLiving, provides actionable insights by identifying patterns of behaviour. When that behaviour changes, like your loved one doesn’t get out of bed, the carer is alerted by the InteiLiving phone app. However, InteliLiving is much more than an alert device! The app also shows carers early signs of mental and physical decline. These signs could be a loved one waking up multiple times a night to use the bathroom, or not leaving their house, which is a sign of social isolation. The InteliLiving app shows these changes that often otherwise go undetected. This allows a carer to take proactive action, like booking a doctor’s appointment.


The InteliLiving app shows these changes that often otherwise go undetected. This allows a carer to take proactive action, like booking a doctor’s appointment. Proactive action can prevent incidents, such as a loved one falling in the night. Reduce your worry throughout the day by finding out how your loved one is doing at any time. InteliLiving is sharing information in real time through the app. InteliLiving can also be funded by Home Care Packages or with the NDIS. To learn more about InteliCare visit the website:

BetterMe: Health Coaching app

BetterMe launched a new workout program

We believe that sport should be accessible

for seniors as a part of BetterMe: Health

to everyone. And we are happy to assist

Coaching app. Together with certified

users in achieving their goals and changing

trainers and therapists, our team created

the lifestyle.

several training programs that offer various

Visit our website

difficulty levels, intensity, and number of

Download the app in App Store and in


Google Play

We partnered with models from a local charitable foundation «Lifelover» to shoot videos and photos to inspire grandmothers and grandfathers all over the world. Daily physical activity among older people dropped by 53% since quarantine began, and it is likely that there will be significant physical and mental health consequences. Our team took note of this and provided a tool to solve the problem. Currently, BetterMe: Health Coaching offers over 1700+ workout options: fitness at home, gym, running and functional training, HIIT, yoga, stretching, dancing and more. We have a training program for wheelchair users.

I hope the Tech Guide has shined a light on so products and services that will make your life easier. This has just been a glimpse of what is available, if you want more information please contact the providers for all the details. Don't forget to mention The Carer's Champion....


LIFESTYLE Living your best life, Your way!

Living your life. Your way! In this section our columnists will share tips, traps and tricks on how to live life your way. Making the most of each and every day. Not all of the products and services will be right for you however it will shine a light on how self-love, self-care and self-compassion isn't selfish! . When we know better we do better! 78 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Skin Support by Janita Janita is a mum of 2 young girls, a Rodan + Fields consultant, a melanoma survivor and a Certified Bling Angel. She is passionate about empowering young adults to find the fire and love within themselves to achieve great things. Follow janita on Insta @janitam_lloyd

Photography by Grace Costa

Maskne As our areas start to emerge out of lockdowns and we are moving out and about in the community again – we all need to be very aware of Maskne. MASKNE is where you develop breakouts, pimples, redness, irritation, and/or bumps caused by wearing a face mask. And it's very real especially for those people who are wearing a face mask all day, every day. So what causes Maskne? Ever had your glasses fog up when you have your face mask on? Well, that’s one cause of Maskne – that air that you are breathing underneath your mask is creating humidity and because there is a lack of oxygen – it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Add putting make-up on underneath your face mask and you are clogging and blocking your pores even more – creating more buildup and yep you guessed it – more chance of breakouts and irritations. Sensitive skin anyone? The material of your face mask could also cause irritation. It could be the fabric causing friction on your face. Some masks are pre-treated with chemicals that cause irritation and some could be scented washing detergent causing irritation on your face. So how can you prevent Maskne? Here are my top 3 tips : 1. If using a cloth face mask – wash after every single use. Disposable face mask – dispose after every single use. Bacteria is living and thriving in our face masks and we don’t want that bacteria anywhere near our face !! 2. Once you are home and finished wearing your face mask – wash, cleanse and moisturize your face. These 3 things will help nourish your skin and help with any possible irritations. 3. Exfoliate at least once a week. Breakouts occur when pores are clogged so by regular exfoliation you are eliminating dead skin clogging your pores and possibly eliminating those breakouts and maskne. If you would like to try a free face exfoliation scrub then click here 79 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Life Style by DR Gina Kingston

Qualified Personal Stylist specialising in people with health issues. Gina’s mum had Multiple Systems Atrophy a Parkinson’s Plus disorder and Gina has scoliosis. They still want to look stylish.

5 Ways to Look Stylish with Minimal Effort

Looking stylish is important because it helps improve our mood. When we are busy looking after someone else it can be difficult to find the time for ourselves. So how can we get dressed quickly and easily with minimal effort, but still look stylish?. The tips in this article have been designed to work equally well for carers and those that they are cared for. 1. A Low Maintenance Hair Cut A good low-maintenance haircut is a great place to start as it’s something that will make an impact every day no matter what else you are doing. If you like your hair to be blow-dried everyday, you don’t have to give that up, just opt for a style where it doesn’t take too much time and concentration. 2. Wear Clothing With Built-in Details Wearing clothing with built-in detail adds interest without the need to add as many accessories. Choose from: Prints. Embroidery. Bling. Diamantés or sequins add a little bit of sparkle to an everyday outfit, but care may be required with washing. Interesting textures. Piping Feature seams


3. Look for Fabrics that Stretch Fabrics that stretch are generally easier to put on, particularly for people that have mobility issues. They often come without buttons to do up or the need to iron them making the dressing process faster.

4. Look for Clothing with Built-in Layers. Clothing with built-in layers mean one less layer to put on when you get dressed reducing the time and effort involved. If you can’t find ones you like, keep your layers together between washes.

5. Wear Clothing that helps Regulate Temperature Getting dressed is one thing, but continually adding and removing clothing can also use a lot of time and energy. Look for breathable fabrics for summer think cotton, and linen, look at wools for winter and purpose built fabrics year round. Next Month: Should you consider adaptive clothing for the person you are caring for?

Gina offers personalised style sessions and group workshops in person and online. 1/2 zoom sessions to answer your style questions cost $20.21. Standard consultations to help you find clothes that fit and flatter cost $250.

Gina is a stockist of Veducci and Flex-A-Tee.

Email: Phone: 0479 087 923 Web: Facebook: Instagram:


Self Compassion Alyson Williams is a Transformation; Mindset Coach and Self-love Mentor, she empowers women to love themselves and live a life they love. Alyson is a trained Transformational coach, Relationship coach, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Coach, Extended DISC Behaviour Analysis practitioner and Hypnotherapist and Bling Angel.

Mind Your Language The words we use (and choose) are so important not just because they are one of the fundamental tools of communication, also because they can have deep impact. Words can be healing, uplifting, motivating and soothing. On other hand, words can also hurt and even damage reputations. In fact, words can create deep wounds that last a lifetime if we allow it. The words we use in our own lives affect not just the people we interact with at home and at work but also those we meet along the way in casual exchanges. Most importantly, the words we say to ourselves have a huge impact on our thoughts, our outlook on life, our health & well-being, our self-image/self-confidence/self-esteem. Most people are far harsher in the words they use to themselves than they would ever use with anyone else. This matters because these words embed themselves in our psyche. They then become our identity and determine what we think, what we do, how we feel, how we treat others and how we allow others to treat us. Ninety five percent of the way we operate is subconscious and only five percent of our behaviour is conscious, so if our subconscious is determining our thoughts and our results – the very quality of our life, then it’s really up to us to feed it positive messages about who we are and what we stand for.


So, please get rid of the negative things you say to yourself, some of which you might not even be aware. The most powerful words in any language are ‘I AM’. Anything that follows these words gets stored in the psyche as part of our identity. So, it’s important to be mindful of the words we select to follow ‘I am’. Saying derogatory things to ourselves is a common trap we fall into, me included (much less now than before). See the table below for other examples of disempowering words as well as more empowering words you can use as a substitute. DISEMPOWERING EMPOWERING Should Choose to (Can) Must Would like to Always Sometimes… Never Occasionally… Have to Decide (not) to If only… Yet Wish I had Want to Steps to mind your language. Decide you want to improve your self-talk. Be aware of the words you choose. Stop yourself immediately you hear you putting yourself down, even if it’s mid-sentence. Correct yourself by rephrasing it in a positive (or at least a neutral) way. Practice Rinse and repeat on a continuous basis. Some of the ways to work with Alyson: Book a Bling Angel card guidance session if you would like to explore using more positive selftalk in your life or to increase your self-love or self-care practices contact Alyson, details below. Bling Angel card sessions: $55 for 20 minutes $150 for 1 hour $200 for 1 ½ hours $250 for 2 hours Email: Website: Facebook: LinkedIn: Phone: +61 432 580 886 83 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Mindfully Me Dee Brennan – is a Wellbeing and Mindfulness Coach, Mum, Runner and total Coffee snob. Her number one priority in life is to take care of herself first. Having had cancer and been a carer for family members with cancer it’s health that matters most. Her non-negotiable meditation and mindfulness practice helps her handle life with more ease.

How to start a meditation practice right now Identify your motivation to meditate. What has got you interested in meditation in the first place? Are you looking to find more inner peace, help you with a health condition, deepen a spiritual practice or perhaps just improve your general wellbeing. Connecting to your desired outcome will help you to continue to return to the practice.

Download Insight Timer App. This is a free App with hundreds of teachers to choose from. It’s like google for meditation. You can use the search bar to try different teachers and styles. Start by searching ‘relaxation’ or ‘mindfulness’.

Create a habit. It’s best to start with either 3 or 5 minute meditations. It’s ideal to meditate the same time of day. You will be able to get a better gauge on how you are feeling by the previous day. Make it apart of your lifestyle like brushing your teeth. Rather than seeing it as something you need to fit in, it will eventually feel like something you just do.

Expect obstacles. There will be many obstacles as your practice evolves. The first one is usually forgetting you had decided to start meditating. Setting an alarm in your phone or even a post-it on your mirror could be a great reminder. There will be days where you say ‘I didn’t have time’ however this might just be a little resistance. Everyone can find 3 minutes, right? Instead of avoiding your meditation practice, turn resistance into curiosity. Feel into why you don’t want to. If you give the emotion a little attention it will soon pass.


Thoughts are normal. We can have between 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day so don’t expect to empty your head, this is simply unrealistic. It can be uncomfortable to sit with a head full of thoughts. Often in the beginning your thoughts can feel more dominate. Having thoughts during meditation does not mean you have failed. Mindfulness Meditation teaches you with time to learn to sit with whatever arises in your practice, thoughts, sensations and sometimes big emotions. With time you’ll realise that whatever arises either in your meditation practice or in life, you will always be ok. Don’t make your practice perfect, make perfect practice. In other words…just have a go. Stick with it and it will improve your life, just like the gym, but this is the gym for the mind.

Dee’s next program starts Monday 3rd November, Meditation & Mojo – A 4 Week Online Coaching Program to help you handle stress better and improve your wellbeing. FB – thinkoutloud Insta – thinkoutloudwellness


HARMONY IN WORDS A Book Review By Yvonne Heitz from Word Harmony Proofreading and Editing Enterprise

Where the Fruit Falls by Karen Wyld

Winner of the 2020 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

This book is a work of fiction, and the author clearly states this in her Author’s Notes. But one cannot avoid the simple fact that through the reflection of one of the characters in the book, Maeve’s life, there is a focus on swift public transformation expanding Aboriginal rights.

It is a beautiful and vivid story about a young Aboriginal woman and her twin daughters travelling through the land, stolen land and seeking a better future.

As I read through this book I discovered many magical moments, especially the tree house ~ it brought a childlike fantasy to the story which I adored. There are also many hardships encountered and the author has depicted the reality of these events in a fictitious style which evokes the strength and resilience of “First Nation peoples”. It was inspirational to read this story written by an indigenous author. I highly recommend this book.


“An ancient ocean roars under the red dirt. Hush. Be still just for a moment. Hear its thundering waves crashing on unseen shores. Spanning four generations, with a focus on the 1960s and 70s, an era of rapid social change and burgeoning Aboriginal rights.”

Good Reading

If you are looking for a book about the emotional side of caring for your aged loved one - check out our book "Tough...Tough Times...Tough Decisions


Wellness with Nat Nat Mallia is a Mindfulness and Metaphysics Coach empowering busy, multi-tasking women to bring a sense of balance and calm to the overwhelm and pressures of their chaotic day, enabling them to create a happy and fulfilling life, even if they don’t have time to sit and meditate. In 2015 Nat faced the devastating prospect of going blind and with the power of mindfulness, has not only been able to recreate a life she loves using her Signature Mindfulness in Action approach, but miraculously her vision was restored with surgery in 2019. Nat also loves working with our chakras and has an online store selling soul-warming teas.

How to make your tea-break a soul-warming experience

We all love sitting down to a fresh and fragrant cup of tea, feeling the warmth of the cup in our hands and inhaling that sense of freedom and calmness that comes from sitting still, if even for a moment. What if I told you that you can turn this simple cup of tea into a mindful tea-drinking experience and create a sense of calm and balance within your busy or overwhelming day? Best of all … it’s so simple you can easily squeeze it into your day. Steps: 1. Find a comfortable space to sit with your tea. 2. Hold the cup in both hands and take a breath while gazing at your tea. (My eyes usually slowly close here as I start to feel more relaxed already). 3. Notice what you can see, feel, smell and taste in this moment.

Perhaps you can notice the colour or texture of the tea, or you might notice the design of your cup. Feel the warmth of the cup against your hands Breathe in through your nose and notice what you can smell, can you identify the herbs? Now it’s time to take your first sip, savour and enjoy the taste and sensation of the tea as it moves down into your tummy. 88 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

4. Are there any memories or happy thoughts popping up? Enjoy these too as they are all part of helping you feel relaxed and happy. 5. You may like to say a mantra like Ï am calm and relaxed’ to really affirm your calm state. Why not try doing it together with the person you’re caring for? You can both share your experience after you’ve had the first sip. I’d love to hear how you find this mindful exercise, simply let our wonderful host Rita know.

Happy sipping Nat Mallia Mindfulness & Metaphysics Coach Soul-warming tea creator Wellness with Nat FB: Are you still feeling the stress and anxiety from the roller-coaster ride that is Covid in Australia? You’re not alone. Even though restrictions are easing this is causing even more anxiety and stress as there is so much unknown. I was inspired to create a FREE Masterclass to reveal the hidden effects of stress on your body and inspire you to find a sense of balance and calm and regain clarity during these chaotic times. It’s FREE and all you need to do is register here:


BODY, MIND AND BREATH Lisa West is a Mind and Body Coach, Yoga Teacher & Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant Adapting yoga philosophy and mindset tools, she works with clients to explore their belief systems, habits and patterns.

Breathe More, Stress Less and Feel Lighter

Here’s a few tips to manage your stress levels for overall health, wellbeing and longevity. Bring awareness to your thoughts, beliefs and actions throughout the day. Are they creating a sense of stress and urgency or are you living on autopilot? Create more boundaries in your life, so that you can say yes to things that bring joy and no to things that create stress Reframe your thoughts and beliefs to create a conscious way of living, to help you make better choices both mentally and physically. Take a moment to take a couple of deep breaths. Place one hand on your heart, and a hand on your belly, close your eyes and breathe normally. I invite you to bring compassion and trust for your body and the messages that it sends to you. Take a deep inhale….. and exhale with an ahh.. Do this 3 times. Now open your eyes. The aim of using our breath properly is to balance our nervous system and ultimately create more stability and mobility in your body. How we use our breath, tells our body whether we are safe or not. When your body knows that you are safe, your health is optimal.

Lisa also teaches regular online mindful yoga classes and Chair yoga and is currently completing Yoga Therapy Training. To find out how to work with Lisa got to: for all links to her services and products. 90 | THE CARER'S CHAMPION

Guest Columnist: Kim Viney Kim's column bought to you by ADT Home Assure wellness solution is another advanced solution from ADT Security that uses intuitive, real-time technology through a mobile enabled app and personal wearable devices to help loved ones stay constantly connected. The personal alarm can be triggered at the touch of a button wherever they are in the home and will either notify a close contact or ADT Security’s 24-hour monitoring centre, which can escalate a response quickly in the event of an emergency.

Staying connected to loved ones through the pandemic With many Australians unable to travel between states at the moment, it can be a troubling time for families living far apart, particularly those who are vulnerable or have special needs. According to Health Direct, an Australian government health advisory service, nearly 1 in 3 older Australians experienced a fall in the past 12 months and 1 in 5 of these required hospitalisation. Statistics like these can be unnerving for families who are in lockdown or unable to travel as often as they would like to in normal circumstances. While loved ones may not be able to see each other in person due to local restrictions, there are ways to make sure they are okay and staying connected during the pandemic. Setting a time and day with family members to give them a call or, when it is safe to do so, visit them. Putting a regular check-in time in the diary means people are more likely to stick to plans rather than putting it off for another day or forgetting altogether. A scheduled call will also give loved ones something to look forward to in these challenging times. Writing letters is another way for people to communicate with friends and family, and a great activity for children to get involved with, sharing loving messages and drawings. Arranging video calls is a great way to stay connected to people on a more personal level. With more Australians staying home, either by choice or due to a forced lockdown, not having visitors or being able to attend usual social activities can be particularly distressing for those who rely on human interaction.


Staying connected to loved ones through the pandemic An emergency contact list can be essential in an emergency. Check there is a hard copy on hand that’s easily accessible so they know whom to call to get help in an emergency, when family is not contactable. The contact list should also include details of local emergency services, their doctor, nearest hospital, close friends and trusted neighbours. Depending on their situation, it may also be useful to include phone numbers for reliable tradespeople, such as a plumber or electrician. Arranging additional support at home can be a great way to help family and friends. Cleaners and carers can provide valuable assistance by helping around the house, with shopping, and managing a medical condition. Home support can also take some of the pressure off for those struggling to keep up with their daily needs and provides that necessary personal interaction for mental wellbeing. Consider other technology to help keep family members safe, secure and connected. The pandemic has highlighted the need for greater personal safety and wellbeing, and devices like ADT Wi-Fi Cameras are not just for catching intruders in the act, they can also be used to check in on close family and friends at home using your smartphone, tablet or computer. They are ideally positioned at stairs, steps or other high-risk areas around the home to monitor for falls or medical incidents that might require a response. To protect individuals’ privacy and safety, the ADT Wi-Fi Cameras are not monitored by ADT Security, only users can access and view footage from these cameras. Let older family members who live independently live with confidence that around-theclock assistance is there when it’s needed most. For further advice and solutions to help keep loved ones safe and secure, call ADT Security on 131238 or visit Kim Viney Write Away Communication E:


Guest Columnist: Gabrielle Newman Gabrielle Newman - Nutritionist at The Fast 800. The programme philosophy is based on Dr Michael Mosley’s best-selling books – ‘The Fast 800’, ‘The Fast Diet’, ‘Fast Exercise’ and ‘The Blood Sugar Diet’ which follows the principles of a moderately low-carb, Mediterranean-style diet.

Benefits Of A Mediterranean-Style Diet You might think that chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, or a big bag of chips are ‘happy foods’. While yes, sugary, fatty and salty foods might provide a short-lived energy and mood boost, the latest research shows a healthy Mediterranean-style diet really is a far more effective way to lift and stabilise your mood long-term. There is a big body of scientific evidence to support the belief that a Mediterraneanstyle diet is great for your physical health and your waistline1. It will cut your risk of heart attack and stroke by around 30%, reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50%, and slash your risk of breast cancer by 70%. It is also a great way to lose weight2 and that’s why it forms the basis of The Fast 800 online programme. Recent research shows it is great for your mental health and well-being too, having a positive effect on moods and helping to ease depression3. That’s because the foods that make up the traditional Mediterranean diet (plenty of extra virgin olive oil, nuts, oily fish, fruit, veg and whole grains, full-fat yoghurt and cheese, and perhaps even a glass of red wine with the evening meal) are packed with the nutrients your body needs; they truly are ‘happy’ foods! The Mediterranean diet is great for reducing inflammation and also at improving amounts of the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, which in turn play an important role in controlling your mood.


Benefits Of A Mediterranean-Style Diet Feed your gut ‘happy’ foods The wide variety of vegetables, fruit and legumes (happy food) that form a central part of the traditional Mediterranean diet are a great way to increase amounts of the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, and we now know that some microbiota produce chemicals which reduce anxiety. Amazingly, the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut manufacture the majority of your body’s serotonin, which is known as a ‘feel-good hormone,’ because it contributes to our sense of happiness

and helps with mood regulation. In fact, research has shown a direct link between a healthy gut microbiome, elevated mood and a reduction in depression4 and the good news is you can swiftly improve the balance of microbes that live in your gut by changing what you eat. By avoiding sugar and junk food you can starve out ‘bad’ bacteria which are harmful to your health, and by filling your plate with delicious vegetables, pulses and whole grains you can create the best possible environment for ‘good’ bacteria to thrive. Ease away from inflammation Oxidative stress is a type of internal stress caused by free radicals; speeding up the ageing process in the body and the brain. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce inflammation around the body and lower levels of oxidative stress. A plate packed with a variety of fruit and vegetables contains lots of antioxidants to mop-up damaging free radicals, which may otherwise damage your brain cells and impact your mood. Research has linked depression to inflammation in the brain, leading to feelings of anxiety, stress and hopelessness5. Certain Mediterranean foods such as olive oil, oily fish, legumes and vegetables also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, such as oleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols. Some plant foods (such as apples, kale, berries, grapes and onion) contain a phytochemical called quercetin that can have a natural antidepressant effect.


Benefits Of A Mediterranean-Style Diet 6 dietary changes you can make to help boost your mood 1. Eat a wide variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables, these contain a good mix of vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients that a happy brain needs6 2. Include leeks, onions, garlic and pulses which are packed with prebiotic fibre to feed the gut bacteria helping to produce serotonin

3. Enjoy oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, mackerel) three times a week as the omega-3 fats can help lower levels of depression7 4. Incorporate fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha to strengthen your happiness inducing gut bacteria8 5. Treat yourself to an occasional square of very dark chocolate which contains feel-good compounds (flavonoids) linked to improved mood9 6. Include nuts – a moderate intake can lower your risk of depression10

For more healthy lifestyle tips and recipes, head to BIO: Gabrielle Newman, BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), is the Nutritionist and Recipe Developer for The Fast 800.

References Reference 1 - Reference 2 - Reference 3 - Reference 4 - Reference 5 - Lucas M, Chocano-Bedoya P, Shulze MB, et al. Inflammatory dietary pattern and risk of depression among women. Brain Behav Immun. 2014;36:46-53 Reference 6 - Reference 7 - Reference 8 - Reference 9 - Reference 10 -


World According To Rita I've been running the ACE support network since 2014. I've been a support carer, long-distance carer, main carer and now I am helping my partner to care for his 95 year old mother. Caring isn't always pretty or nice, however, there are always pretty and nice moments.


Sometimes things need to go wrong so you can fix them. When things go wrong it can see like the end of the world. Does it ever feel like trouble follows you around and won’t cut you any slack? It feels like you can’t buy a trick and everything you try just makes things much worse. Things will go wrong – it is Murphy’s law. There will be some challenges along the way and not everything will be going the way you thought. You don’t have total control over everything – actually on the caring journey things are totally out of control. You have your aged loved one to consider, their carers, family and all the other unpredictable things. Even when things are going along smoothly things can go wrong at any time. Remember that what happens to you is not who you are. From defeat, you can still emerge victorious. Often when things don’t go the way you planned there is a reason, you won’t always know it and at the time it will seem the world is against you however you need to take a step back and look at the situation to find out what is really happening. Is it really wrong or is it just a challenge? Learning to deal with challenges, changes and the hiccups that life presents us on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I can give you many examples of how things were improved after things went wrong – let me explain. When you have to change things they can be improved. Sometimes we just go with the flow because we don’t want to change the status quo and well things have been working out ok so why fix it if it isn’t broke. When things do break it is an opportunity to fix things. It can be simple things like changing visiting times, talking with staff to change showering times or changing service providers. When something goes wrong it doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad for you and your aged loved ones it just means it is going to be different.

Check out my FB page for more information. Aged Care with Ease – Rita Merienne. You Matter to Me!


Top Tip: Set Boundaries and keep them


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https://www.drc a reso lutio ns.c om/

Whom I May Concer

Colleen's Lingerie and Swimwear SPECI ALI SED F I TTI NGS

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IN THE NEXT ISSUE: Maggie Beer Talks to us! Food for people who have trouble swalling Christmas Gift Guide Careseekers Update on Tony's Story of Caring Plus so much more

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