On The Coast Over 55 - September/October 2021

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coast ISSUE 43 SEPT/OCT 2021


Backyard Games from 1970s ‘ULTIMUTT’ Survival Kit



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We have to admit that there is a different energy surrounding this edition. Local businesses are feeling the heaviness of being in lock down for two months now, families are struggling with home schooling and our aged care residents are faced with not seeing their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for months on end. It seems everyone is a little ‘flat’.

4 Backyard Games from 1970s 8 Pet Rescue: The ‘Ultimutt’ Survival Kit

Although we’ve always had a ‘glass half full’ attitude to life, we have to acknowledge these unsettling feelings. There are days that are quite tough. But amongst all of this, the community is still finding ways to give back and put a smile on the face of those who may not be doing so well. Our son’s preschool organised an initiative, where the kids were given craft packs to make up little gifts and cards. These gifts were then delivered to local aged care residents to brighten their day, hoping to reassure them that they are not alone. A beautiful gesture, where something so simple can have such a positive impact.

12 MEAx: A new roadmap for Life

14 Five reasons to eat more plant-based

This is the beautiful thing about the Central Coast, the community is so strong and in situations like this, it is our strength that gets us through. If you know someone who may not be managing so well, and you are in a position to help, please extend an olive branch and send them a little care package. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, sometimes it’s the simpler things that have the greatest impact. Hang in there Coasties, we are all in different boats but we are facing the same storm. Take care and be well xx


Tanzie Carpenter tanzie@onthecoastpublications.com.au

Spotpress Pty Ltd – 9549 1111



Luke Carpenter luke@onthecoastpublications.com.au


Tanzie Carpenter – Ph: 0414 611 851 Luke Carpenter – Ph: 0405 449 339 trading as On the Coast Publications ABN 52 212 212 482 PO Box 3251, Bateau Bay NSW 2261

20 Seven tips for navigating menopause

Tanz ie & L uke

Art Director/Editor


18 High Vibe Hues

Photography – Cover image

www.ingimage.com, www.freepik.com

23 Matters of Life & Love 24 HELP for the sandwich generation

26 Let’s talk about dying

Contributors Dorian Mode, Lydia Thorpe, Nicole Saliba, Sam Woods, Jordi Woods, Sarah Tolmie, Sophie Doyle, Dr Elly Warren www.onthecoastpublications.com.au

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Advertisers and/or advertising agencies upon and by lodging material with the Publisher for publication or authorising or approving of the publication of any material INDEMNIFY the Publisher, its servants and agents against all liability claims or proceedings whatsoever arising from the publication and without limiting the generality of the fore-going to indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, slander of title, breach of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of rights or privacy AND WARRANT that the material compiles with all relevant laws and regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities in the Publisher, its servants or agents and in particular that nothing therein is capable of being misleading or deceptive or otherwise in breach of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The views expressed in On the Coast – Over 55 are not necessarily those of the editor or publishing staff. While every effort has been made to insure accuracy of the information in this publication, no responsibility will be accepted by On the Coast – Over 55. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher.






With NSW in lock down, for this travel column, I’ve been reflecting on how we used to entertain ourselves in the backyard the 1970s. YELLOW BRAKE ROAD If you weren’t rich enough to own a swimming pool in the 1970s, the next best thing was the Slip ‘N Slide. This was invented accidentally when its inventor saw his son sliding on wet painted concrete at his home in California and thought: ‘This kid’s gonna break his neck’. So he took a strip of plastic and sewed a tube into the side, forming an “irrigating duct” to which his garden hose could attach. It’s still available for purchase today but was taken off the market for a while in the early 90s. While kids are fairly mailable, your beer-gutted dad, sliding down the ‘yellow brake road’ holding a can of KB and a damp cigarette bobbing in the corner of his mouth, and sliding faster than a Qantas share portfolio, might indeed break his neck. This is what happened, resulting in numerous lawsuits in the US. My chum Pete says he cracked two ribs on the slide some years ago while playing with his


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kids. (It now says “not recommended for adults” and is back on the market.) There were Slip ‘N Slide secrets of course. You needed a big run-up. And you never placed it at the end of a footpath as the slides inertia was unpredictable. Particularly, if you used the secret ingredient: a bottle of mum’s jade green Palmolive detergent. Indeed, there was an ad on telly with Madge, a bottle-blonde manicurist, telling a customer she was soaking her hands in said dishwashing liquid. ‘It’s mild on hands while you do dishes,’ says Madge. ‘It’s green,’ replies the shocked client. ‘Yes. You’re soaking in it,’ she adds. The customer looks perplexed before peering down at her feet. ‘And my pedicure? It’s blue.’ ‘Yep. Harpic Toilet Cleaner. Works wonders on your bunions.’ At this stage, Madge’s long-suffering boss flags her into his office. ‘Madge, we are going to have to let you go.’ ‘What on earth for?’ ‘Well, first there was the Palmolive incident. Now this new “Harpic Pedicure” of yours. And last week a customer complained that you died her hair with Kiwi Boot Polish.’ ‘But these are all products we simply have lying around the house!’

There were Slip ‘N Slide secrets of course. You needed a big run-up. Anyway, I digress. The Palmolive turbocharged your sliding experience. But my wife Lydia says she remembers the detergent stinging her eyes as a kid on the slide. Nonetheless, no summer was complete without that grass kill on your front lawn, where the yellow strip was left for a month where it subsequently killed off dad’s lawn. A summer garden tattoo. TOKEN TENNIS I’m putting it out there that McEnroe never made a Wimbledon final by playing totem tennis – which like Slip ‘N Slide, you can still purchase today. It was kinda lame. It was simply a tennis ball attached to a cord connected to a vertical pole with a coil on top. Inevitably, the ball would become tangled, and you would be left wildly swinging your racquet in an ever-shrinking arc till you bashed each other. Overseas it was also known by other brand names such as Zim Zam,

Tether Tennis, Swingball and in the UK under the patent, Unbelievably Crap Tennis. Annoyingly, my childhood friend, Jamie McDougal, used to turn up to play Totem Tennis dressed like Bjorn Borg: headband, wrist bands and wearing inaptly named Dunlop Volleys, all freshly painted with that white paint we used to use. Irritatingly, he would grunt with each double-handed strike of the ball. “Really?” I would say. “It’s Totem Tennis!” You always drank Tang at game’s end. This was an orange powdered drink that tasted like radiator fluid flavoured with asbestos. No matter how hard you stirred it you never got rid of the powdery texture. But the tennis stars all drank it on the telly. Sure, they did. In the way John Newcombe always walked into a bar after a game of doubles and ordered a schooner of Cinzano. RUSH HOUR One of my favourite neighbourhood games was Bull Rush – also known as British Bulldog/ Red Rover/Cocky Laura. It was banned at our school for being too violent. (And this was the 70s. And I went to a famous rugby school.) So we simply played it in the local park. It was all about rugby tackling. However, each time someone was taken out by a Ray Price-style grassing tackle, they, in turn, became one of the predators in what quickly devolved into a Lord of Flies contest of betrayal. Someone who you thought was your best friend, would suddenly target you because you were slow or wore glasses or both. You’d hear them taunt you from the middle of the field. ‘You take out Mad Malcolm and I’ll cream the Piano Nerd.’ TWANG The game Lydia used to play with the girls in her street was the mysterious

‘elastics’. I remember girls playing this game for hours in the neighbourhood. It was played with three or four people (or two and a chair) and a long piece of elastic fabric (it was never rubber) that was tied in a loop and placed around the ankles of the players. The third or fourth player would then jump over different parts of the elastic. With each successful jump, the height of the elastic was raised from the ankles to the knees, and then the waist. Lydia, a dancer, says she was crap at elastics for some reason. Group skipping was equally a terror for her as she’d inexorably wait for the giant rope to garrotte her before a chorus of groans from the cool kids.

So, you have no excuse not to entertain yourselves in lock down. Why not build your own Slip’N’Slide?

ASHES WEDNESDAY Of course, this essay on backyard games from the 1970s wouldn’t be complete without mentioning backyard cricket. We all adored this game and played it year round. But I mostly remember it in summer, under azure blue skies with no sunscreen or hats and the grating of cicadas as we’d play long into the twilight. Every Australian knows that ‘over the fence’ was sixand-out and any catch off the roof was taken one-handed and crowed about for hours. The gentleman’s rule was you were never out the first ball. And it was always hit and run. The wicket was an old metal garbage bin we used to have in the 70s. But like Palmolive, the secret was the ‘mini bat’. This was a great leveller. A regular bat and a moth eaten tennis ball put the batsman/person (Lyd played with her family too.) at a distinct advantage. You see, it was impossible to resist the Pavlovian impulse to smash the tennis ball into the ‘grandstands’ i.e. Mrs Warboys’ Rhododendrons. The mini-bat also made the game slightly less macho, which I always liked. In the way a fat man playing the ukulele



Nonetheless, no summer was complete without that grass kill on your front lawn, where the yellow strip was left for a month where it subsequently killed off dad’s lawn. A summer garden tattoo. will always make you smile. But I recall that perennial irritating fielder on the boundary: my inaptly named Golden Retriever. She would never “retrieve” anything but rather snatch any rogue tennis ball and bolt with it, chased by a

chorus of angry children, thongs flapping like maracas. Sometimes she would catch the ball on the full, which meant you were out, and the bowler became the new batsman. I secretly think she knew exactly what she was doing and loved the game.

heat, and smoking a French cigarette, hooting in my schoolboy French “Cette cigarette a le goût d’une mouette morte” (This cigarette tastes like a dead seagull.) Le Rainbow Warrior était une terrible erreur (The Rainbow Warrior was a terrible mistake.) Les vacances européennes de Chevy Chase étaientelles réalisées par Cocteau? (Was Chevy Chase’s ‘European Vacation’ directed by Cocteau?)

IN CLOSING So, you have no excuse not to entertain yourselves in lock down. Why not build your own Slip’N’Slide? POSTSCRIPT Oh, when I was a student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and living in Surry Hills in the 80s, a game we all played – thinking we were hip – was the French game of Boules. This was essentially lawn bowls wrapped in a baguette. I’d be there dressed in black, wearing a beret in the 40-degree summer



on the



Inspiring and supporting the local community 6

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PET RESCUE: The “Ultimutt” SURVIVAL Kit An Erina based business and leader in first aid innovation, SURVIVAL, has tapped into its animal instinct, launching a radical new Pet First Aid KIT, the latest must have pet product for everyday and emergency use. We Aussies love our pets and, with over 29 million pets in Australia, there are officially more pets than people, with nearly 2/3 of all households having an animal companion. With a fresh wave of pet culture sweeping the nation since the Covid-19 pandemic struck and, drawing from their own insight as self confessed pet lovers, the team at SURVIVAL are fulfilling their mission to ensure every member of the family is safe and protected.


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CEO Mike Tyrrell, explains the inspiration behind the Pet First Aid Kit and how pets can be life saving for people, especially in these tumultuous times. “Pets play a vital role in our health, social life, and overall sense of well being, providing a great deal of emotional comfort for their owners,” says Mike. “As a country, we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with more Australian households living with a dog and/or cat than with a child, and collectively investing over $2.6 billion on veterinary services each year. “Like us, our pets can suffer from illness and injuries anytime and anywhere, with some of the most common pet emergencies being bleeding cuts and wounds,

tick paralysis and bone fractures from car strikes. “Just like we have a basic first aid kit to bandage a cut, or tweeze out a nasty splinter, our pets also need their own everyday safety equipment – and while

exclusive OFFER

SURVIVAL and On the Coast Publications are teaming up to offer all readers an exclusive 15% discount on SURVIVAL’s recently-launched Pet First Aid Kit. Use the code: COASTPETS at checkout during September/October 2021.

Pets play a vital role in our health, social life, and overall sense of well being, providing a great deal of emotional comfort for their owners first aid is by no means a substitute for veterinary care, having the right tools on hand might just save your pet’s life until you can get them to a vet.” Director of Marketing & IT Jordan Green, was the driving force behind SURVIVAL’s newest pet first aid offering and has his finger on the pulse when it comes to using insights from customer and community feedback to innovate new product lines. “There are so many pet parents on the Central Coast who don’t just love their pets but depend on them too, so

we wanted to develop a product that provided everything pet owners might need to keep their beloved furry friends satisfied and safe,” explains Jordan. “While few people will be pleased about the way this past year has panned out with intermittent lock downs keeping us from our loved ones, the same can’t be said of our four legged friends who are getting the good end of the coronavirus stick, enjoying more treats, more soapy baths, more cuddles, and considerably more outdoor adventures. “If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that our pets are like family and, as we settle into the ‘new norm,’ their health and well being has proven to be a peak priority to pet parents everywhere.” Expertly designed to sit perfectly on your hip or shoulder with a clever strap attachment that doubles as a lead, SURVIVAL’s Pet First Aid Kit contains vital first aid supplies that can be used to treat animals and humans alike, with additional canine essentials like shears, a tick removal spoon, eco friendly poop disposal bags, and a zippered pouch for

treats. So ‘take the lead’ and be part of the pet revolution, with this skilfully designed, portable pet accessory that will bring added peace of mind, and keep you and your hiking buddy safe on the trail. For all the latest in first aid innovation visit survival.net.au or be part of the SURVIVAL community on socials at: Facebook /SurvivalFirstAid Instagram @survivalfirstaid or Search ‘SURVIVAL’ on Pinterest and LinkedIN. Source: Animal Medicine Australia Pet Survey Report 2019

There are so many pet parents on the Central Coast who don’t just love their pets but depend on them too.

On the Coast Over 55 has teamed up with SURVIVAL – a family–owned, Coastie business of more than 30 years – to give you the chance to WIN one of their fantastic, fully stocked Pet First Aid Kits. Head over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to find out more! Facebook /onthecoastover55 Instagram @onthecoastover55 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER – ISSUE 43


Council welcomes FREE Pet Registration for rescue animals Central Coast Council is encouraging community members to ‘adopt, not shop’ when making the commitment to bring a new companion animal into their home. This follows the NSW Government’s announcement of free lifetime pet registration for people who adopt a rescue pet from Council pounds, animal shelters and rehoming organisations. Council Unit Manager Environmental Compliance and Systems, Sara Foster said free registration for rescue pets will ensure more abandoned or surrendered cats and dogs find a forever home, reinforcing the benefits of animal adoption. “Thanks to the announcement from the NSW Government, community members who choose to adopt a rescue dog or cat from Council’s Animal Care Facilities are now entitled to free lifetime pet registration,” Ms Foster said.

“Council works closely with our Animal Care Facilities at Charmhaven and Erina to ensure surrendered pets can find a suitable and safe new home. “With backyard breeding a huge issue on the Central Coast, we hope that this new initiative will make adoption an even more desirable pathway for those looking for a pet, so that we can reduce the number of people accessing unregistered breeders.

out more about the animals currently up for adoption,” Mr Hart said. “It’s important to remember that while owning a pet can be highly rewarding, it is also a big responsibility. Pet owners are encouraged to visit Council’s website to learn more about their responsibilities, not only to their pet, but also to the wider Central Coast community.”

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact this has on the animals in our care.” Council Administrator, Rik Hart said pets are a much loved part of the fabric of the Central Coast and this new registration fee exemption will make adoption an even more desirable choice for community members searching for a new companion animal. “If you’re looking for a new four legged friend, I encourage you to contact Council’s Animal Welfare Facilities to find

To learn more about pet ownership on the Central Coast as well as information on Council’s Animal Care Facilities, search ‘pet ownership’ at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.


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MEAx: A new roadmap for



he Covid-19 pandemic has (amongst other things) given us all a lot of time to reflect on what we want from life and how we want to resume it when this storm passes. This is especially so for the more than 8 million Australians over 50, for whom the health risks of Covid-19 have been disproportionately higher, which is why the arrival to Australia of the Modern Elder Academy (MEA), the world’s first midlife wisdom school, is particularly timely. MEA offers courses, both online and in person that help people to navigate midlife transitions, find purpose and reframe their mindset on ageing. It’s a bit like a midlife pit-stop, because as MEA founder Chip Conley (pictured above) says, “life is no longer a one-tank journey.” Society is still referencing an out-ofdate roadmap that ends around midlife, because one hundred years ago, that was as long as we were reasonably expected to live. Today, at age 50 we are statistically only half way through our adult lives and yet we are still holding on to (and being held back by) the antiquated belief that the best is behind us.

Until now, MEA residential workshops were only available in North America, but thanks to a team of enthusiastic Australian alumni, they are coming down under. Set to launch in September 2021, MEAx has been created in the spirit of MEA’s mission to inspire and empower people in midlife and beyond. They will be running in-person workshops in the Blue Mountains in February 2022 (assuming Covid restrictions permit) as well as an 8-week online course commencing on 3 October 2021. MEAx courses provide participants with tools to navigate midlife, so they are better equipped to flourish during the second half of their lives. Local writer Ang Galloway, who is part of the team


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bringing MEAx to Australia was drawn to the concept because, “I want more from the second half of life than the societal script I inherited. I knew I wasn’t in the market for sensible, beige or elasticised anything and yet the image of ageing that society reflected back at me was at total odds with how I felt. MEA helped me to reframe midlife from a crisis to a calling.”

“At MEA we believe in making ageing aspirational. It’s about creating a life that is as deep and meaningful as it is long.” The first MEA campus opened in the Baja Peninsula Mexico in 2018. Since then, 1,500 people from 25 countries, with an average age of 54, have undertaken MEA’s range of programmes in Baja and online.

MEA attracts people of all ages and stages, from midlife and beyond. Melbourne-based consultant Dr Tom Verghese, another MEA alumni, says “I’ve been thinking about conscious ageing since I turned 60. MEA supported my intention to heighten my awareness of transitioning through the stages of life and doing so in a positive and active manner.” Another graduate, Sydney business owner Emily Wheldon says, “MEA gave me the confidence to start a new business, to become an entrepreneur, in midlife. In fact, I’ve reset more than my career since my MEA Baja experience.”

The MEAx Pilot in Australia will test the demand for a midlife wisdom school catering for Australia’s growing older population, many of whom are questioning the traditional retire-at-65 model and seeking to stay engaged beyond this age. According to new findings by the Australian Research Council issued last month, by 2050 it’s expected that over 55s will make up about 40 per cent of the adult population. It is this growing older population, together with the reality of age discrimination, that makes MEAx’s proposition so valuable.

MEA is the brainchild of New York Times best-selling author and hospitality maverick Chip Conley. Having founded the second largest chain of boutique hotels in the USA at just 26 and then selling it at 50, Conley repurposed his skills and joined Airbnb’s young founders to help guide their promising start-up, disrupting the hospitality industry to create the world’s most valuable hospitality brand. This intergenerational, mutual mentoring at Airbnb provided the inspiration for Conley’s book Wisdom@ Work, The Making of a Modern Elder, which in turn, became the inspiration for founding the Modern Elder Academy.

MEAx is launching with an 8-week online Navigating Midlife Transitions course commencing on 3rd of October, and in-person workshops in February 2022. The Big Reset is a 3-day residential workshop aimed at those feeling not only stuck, but also curious about what it takes to be a modern elder. Flourish in Midlife and Beyond is a 6-day residential workshop for those who are reflecting on what they’ve learned during the Covid pandemic and how to apply these lessons to flourish during their next stage. The residential workshops will be conducted at Dantosa Blue Mountains Retreat. More information and specific workshop dates are available at www.meax.com.au

Conley explains, “There’s a whole culture out there telling us that getting older means becoming less relevant. But MEA deems that wisdom and experience have never been more important in the workplace…or in the world.” He adds,

MEAx will be conducting free (1 hour) online information sessions, commencing on 1st of September 2021. You can book your spot at a MEAx Connex at https://meax.com.au/meax-connex/

Central Coast’s Biggest Step Challenge

#MoveAgainstCancer In a time when moving more is extremely important for our mind and body, one local doctor is encouraging the Central Coast to participate in his annual #MoveAgainstCancer Step Challenge this September. Dr Ash Bowden, also known to the community as Doctor Do More, is on a mission to get people exercising and moving more to improve their health and happiness. The 2021 September Move Against Cancer Step Challenge encourages people to record their number of steps over the whole month in teams to win prizes. Participation costs $10, with all money going to Cancer Council and an array of prizes for 2021 steppers up for grabs kindly donated by local businesses to incentivise the Central Coast’s participants. Australian Dental & Implant Group is thrilled to be the major sponsor this year. Practice Principal and leading dentist, Dr Ned Restom is a cancer survivor himself and is keen to get involved with initiatives to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. Dr Restom is also the founder of Customs 4 Cancer. Australian Dental & Implant Group comprises of a network of independently owned and operated premium dental practices including Avoca Beach Dental, Saratoga Dental, Warnervale Dental, Empire Bay Dental, Mingara Dental & Implant Centre, Bonnells Bay Dental, White Space Dental and Compete Smiles Bella Vista. Australian Dental & Implant Group offer patients exceptional service using the most advanced treatment and technology available and are the local leaders in dental implants and cosmetic dentistry. Other sponsors and supporters include Cancer Rehabilitation and Lymphatic Solutions and Bounce Back from Breast Cancer led by Kate Perkins, Corporate Merchandise Australia, Reality

Marketing, Slippery coco, Activate Foods, Central Coast Spinal Care, Five Star Day Spa, MediRecruit and more. Jaynie Moloney, Community Relations Coordinator, Cancer Council NSW – Central Coast: “We are so excited about the return of this community event, and are so happy it is something that can be continued safely within the current restrictions. As well as the positive health benefits gained from those participating, the funds raised will support local cancer patients and fund critical research. Cancer patients are telling us they are feeling more isolated than ever due to Covid19, so our local support services have never been more important”. This is the second annual Move Against Cancer Step Challenge, and Dr Bowden said he wants this year to be bigger and better. “Last year, we raised over $13,500 for Cancer Council and had over 800 people involved,” Dr Bowden said. “It is such a simple, achievable challenge for people to participate in. When I’m asked ‘How do I go from doing nothing active to something?’ the best answer is to start with a walk.

“Moving more has unbelievable benefits on your health – reduced risk of cancers, reduced risk of cardiorespiratory disease, improved cognition and more. Importantly, it has a huge impact on our mental health, something we can all relate to. “This pandemic has caused so much stress and anxiety. With loss of incomes and so much uncertainty. Getting outside and staying active massively helps your head space, helping us to stay positive as we move forward. Dr Bowden suggests using any type of activity watch or smartphone to track steps. Participants log their steps each day to go in the running to win prizes. There are many categories to win: the individual most steps, most steps as a team, biggest fundraiser, best team name, and some mid-challenge events.

The challenge starts on Wednesday, September 1st and will run to Thursday, September 30th. TO REGISTER www.doitforcancer.com.au/event/move-against-cancer www.australiandentalandimplantgroup.com.au Dr Ash Bowden | Doctor Do More admin@do-more.live | mob 0411 882 949 www.do-more.live @DoctorDoMore




five reasons to eat more plant-based BY NICOLE SALIBA

It’s no secret that eating fresh fruits and vegetables will benefit our health, however it is common for most of us to forget about our fruits and vegetables and consume large amounts of animal products such as meat. In fact, less than 4% of Australian adults and 0.5% of Australian kids are meeting the recommended serves of fruits, vegetables and legumes. Despite this, plant-based diets are one of the biggest food and health trends this year with more than 2 million Australians currently reporting their diet to be ‘almost all’ or ‘all’ vegetarian. Many people are now also self-proclaimed ‘flexitarians’ who incorporate vegan or vegetarian products into their overall diet instead of a complete diet overhaul. So what exactly is a plant-based diet and is there any benefit in switching to one? What is a plant-based diet? Plant-based diets don’t necessarily mean following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet and avoiding all foods that come from animals such as meat, eggs and cheese. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, like meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy products. A vegetarian diet generally excludes animal foods like meat and poultry, whereas foods like eggs, milk products and/or seafood may still be included. A whole foods, plant-based diet is simply a diet rich in foods that come from


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plants such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain breads and cereals and nuts and seed. Plant-based diets can still contain smaller amounts of lean meats, eggs, seafood and dairy products. What are the benefits of following a plant-based diet? Plant-based diets reduce your risk of chronic lifestyle diseases The most important benefit of following a plant-based diet is that they help protect against many of the chronic lifestyle diseases and health concerns that we face today. A 2017 study which followed two groups of people with various chronic health conditions got half of the study participants to follow a plant-based diet, and the other half to follow their regular diet. After just 6 months, researchers found that those following the plant-based diet decreased their total cholesterol, dropped their medication use by 29%, reduced their HbA1c (a marker of type 2 diabetes), reduced their BMI and lost an average of 12.1kg of weight. These improvements continued when researchers did a follow up 12 months after the study finished. The participants who followed their normal diet had no significant reductions in BMI or weight, their total cholesterol reduced only marginally and their medication use increased by 8%. This is only one of the many studies that show the benefits of following a plant-based diet, emphasising how it is an effective option for improving various conditions such as type two diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high

Increasing our intake of plant-based foods and reducing our intake of meat and animal products can truly benefit our health, food budget and the environment. cholesterol and cancer. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer looked at more than 800 studies researching the link between red meat, processed meat and cancer. They declared red meat as “probably carcinogenic” (has the potential to cause cancer) and linked it to colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Processed meat (e.g. ham, sausages) was declared as “carcinogenic to humans”, based on evidence that eating processed meats causes colorectal cancer. The researchers stated that although red meat has some nutritional benefits, it is best to limit intake to promote good health. Plant-based diets are associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression Mental disorders, especially depression, account for the highest burden of global disability, meaning years of quality life lost. Almost 1 in 2 Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. There is a strong link between the quality of people’s diets and

their risk of mental disorders. Better quality diets are consistently associated with a reduced risk for depression. Unhealthy dietary patterns high in processed foods, red meat, processed meat, added sugars, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat and sodium and low in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with an increased risk for depression and often also anxiety. Many people argue that this link exists because many people with poor mental health turn to poor quality comfort foods such as chocolate and takeaway food but research shows that these foods cause depression in the first place. Neurotransmitters or brain chemicals are produced in our brain from the nutrients that come directly from the foods we eat. The quality of your diet can either impair or enhance the production of neurotransmitters. Variety in the diet is key as diets with a higher variety of fruits and vegetables have been shown to be more effective for improving mood. Eating more plant-based foods can have a positive effect on mood and mental health by calming down inflammation, clearing up oxidative stress and improving our gut microbiota which play a role in mood regulation and stress hormones. In fact a 2017 study called the SMILES trial showed that a modified Mediterranean diet- a plant-based diet that contains smaller amounts of meat and dairy – could improve or even reverse depression in a small sample of people. Plant-based diets are better for our gut health Plant-based diets are richer in fibre, the edible parts of plants which our body is unable to digest resulting in partial or complete fermentation in the large intestine by our gut bacteria. Fibre improves our health because when our gut bacteria ferment or break down fibre they produce compounds called shortchain fatty acids (SCFAs) which have multiple health benefits. SCFA’s help fuel and nourish other healthy gut bacteria, strengthen the bowel lining protecting it against harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation in the body. People with healthier guts have lower rates of heart disease, bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, better immune systems, lower levels of inflammation in the body, and are more likely to achieve a healthy weight

and prevent excessive weight gain. In fact, eating three serves of wholegrain or high-fibre plant-based foods per day reduces a person’s bowel cancer risk by approximately 17% Typical western diets that are high in red meat, animal protein, salt and added sugar, and low in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains not only cause imbalances in our gut bacteria but also increase our risk of early death, cancer, weight gain and chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and type two diabetes. Plant-based diets contain more nutrients It is no secret that fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients. Plant-based foods (including wholegrain breads and cereals and legumes) are high in a number of nutrients including a special group of antioxidants called phytochemicals and fibre. These are both some of the most health-promoting and disease-fighting nutrients which can only be found in plant foods. Plants contain thousands of phytochemicals which all have many beneficial roles in the body, including: Anti-oxidation: a process which protects the body’s cells from damage Anti-inflammation Lowering cancer activity by preventing tumour growth, detoxifying cancer causing substances and preventing the growth of bad cells Improved immunity Protecting against some diseases like osteoporosis, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and cataracts Improving cholesterol levels

Plant-based diets are less expensive Not only do plant-based diets give you the many health benefits we have discussed above, they can also be easier on the pocket. A 2015 study found that an everyday meat containing diet cost an extra $14.40 USD per week (equivalent to $18.50 AUD per week).When you think about how much you currently spend weekly on meat and other animal-based products, it really does add up. Using the average calculation of an extra $18.50 per week for meat products, this adds up to an additional $962 a year spent on meat products. Better yet, buying fruit and vegetables that are seasonal and locally grown can save you lots of money too. Take home message Increasing our intake of plant-based foods and reducing our intake of meat and animal products can truly benefit our health, food budget and the environment. Plant-based diets don’t need to be followed strictly or involve cutting out all animal products in order to be beneficial. Simply striving for a diet that contains plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seed is what count. Our favourite way to do this is by making the vegetables or salad the hero of your dish or simply incorporating one or two meat-free meals per week. If you are considering transitioning to a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, or simply want some easy ideas of how to incorporate more plant-based foods, book in a consult with one of our dietitians who can ensure you are consuming all of the essential nutrients and are not missing out on any key nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, B12 and folate.

Nicole is a passionate sports nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian who established her practice Eatsense in 2013 as she has a burning desire to help people, see them happy and watch them thrive. Her vision is to help as many people learn to prioritise themselves, feel their best, enjoy delicious and nourishing food and live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life through her one on one consultations and seminars. Contact Nicole at her Erina Clinic on 4311 3623.




Could you need root canal therapy? Know the signs to watch out for Root canal is the name of the dental procedure that cleans out the decay in your tooth’s pulp and root. The aim of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that has been irreversibly damaged due to tooth decay, disease or following tooth trauma. Your teeth have an enamel layer on the outside, a second layer of dentine, and a soft inside core that extends into the root in your jawbone. The core contains the dental pulp, which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When decay gets into the soft core, the pulp can become inflamed or infected, or even necrotic (dead). A root canal is thus needed to clean out the decay. What is root canal therapy? Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that replaces a tooth’s damaged or infected pulp. The pulp is the tooth’s lifeline – its vessels, tissue fibres and nerves in the central hollow of the tooth keep it alive. What Causes Root Canals? Decay: Tooth decay that has penetrated the outer layers of the teeth causes root canal pain. Damage: Cracks or chips in teeth can cause tooth decay and root canal pain. Disease: Risk factors for infection in the tooth pulp include severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth. Could you need root canal therapy? Read below for signs that may indicate you need root canal treatment: Serious teeth pain when eating or when you put pressure on the area Teeth pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers after the hot or cold stimuli have been removed A small, pimple-like bump on the gums near the area of teeth pain Darkening of the tooth


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Tenderness or swelling in the gums near the area of teeth pain Oozing of pus surrounding the affected tooth Facial swelling A hole, chip, or crack in your tooth Root canal treatment: A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain. Anxious about having root canal treatment? The good news is you don’t need to be! Dr Ned Restom and Dr David Bassal and the teams at Australian Dental & Implant Group dental practices are thrilled to be able to offer patients more options when

it comes to sedation during dental, sleep dentistry and their experience. Not only do they offer convenient in chair sleep dentistry and sedation during dental treatment, but they also work with some of the best anesthetists and nurses to deliver excellence, operating on a weekly basis at the Brisbane Private Waters Hospital. Think you may need root canal? Please contact your dentist and they can assess and advise next steps to ensure you achieve optimal oral health and keep you comfortable and calm in the process. Premium dental practices keeping Coasties smiles healthy. Our practices are here to help you to achieve optimal oral health and wellness. www.australiandentalandimplantgroup.com.au


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www.australiandentalandimplantgroup.com.au SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER – ISSUE 43 17




What better way to introduce a new season than with the magic of colour, a source that can directly lift our emotions and energy levels. With what the past few months (and longer) has dealt our society and world I am sure most people will be more than happy to have their spirit lifted.

One of my favourite things at the start of a new season is to “play with” the trending colours and this Spring there are an abundance of stunning hues to get creative with. Nothing will give your wardrobe a fresh update more than a new hue. Whether you decide to embrace colour in clothing, a new lipstick, nail polish or accessory, one thing is for certain...this Springs colours are not boring and bland.

Here is just a taste of some of the gorgeous hues and accessories that are guaranteed to lift your vibe and keep you modern and on-trend all Summer long. Inject new season colour palettes into your existing wardrobe and give your crisp white, natural neutrals and denim a fresh lease on life. TIP: Opt for the hues in each colour palette that compliment your skin tone, features, personality and style.

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, our days and times of opening have temporarily changed. Please call before visiting to check on our current opening hours.

a large range of styles, widths &

We are specialists in fitting as well as providing comfort and orthopaedic footwear. We provide footwear for difficult to fit feet ~ in particular people with diabetes, arthritis, swelling and bunions as examples. We also provide a home visiting service and shoe modifications and repairs.

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O N T H E C OA S T – OV ER 5 5

colours available


WINTER PALETTES Opt for colours that are clear, cool, strong and icy.

SPRING PALETTES Opt for colours that are warm and clear.

AUTUMN PALETTES Opt for colours with golden undertones that are more muted.

SUMMER PALETTES Opt for pretty hues with cool undertones that are not too harsh.

“Colour is a power that directly influences the soul.” Kandinsky


th citrus hues Spice up your style wi , Lemon and encumbering Tangerine Acidic Yellow.


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Refreshing new shades of Seafoam, Fern, Spearmint and Jad e will keep your style super cool.


with this pretty Be feminine and bold ac and Baby palette ranging from Lil des of Fuschia. Pink to the richest sha

Hope you have fun lifting your vibe with these energetic and vibrant new hues this Spring! Vibrantly yours, Sam & Jordi xx

If you would like to receive weekly style updates, outfit ideas, makeup and dressing “how to’s” & tips, the latest shopping finds and access to Sam and Jordi, join the VC Style & Beauty Portal. We also have a copy of our complete Spring/Summer Colour & Trend Report waiting for all our members! www.patreon.com/vibrantconcepts

Kate Perkins, B.App.Sci (Occupational Therapy) helps people who have undergone surgery and related treatment for cancer gain recovery of strength, movement and energy.

» Lymphoedema monitoring pre/post cancer treatment » Assessment and management of Lymphoedema » Bounce Back From Breast Cancer Online Program » Scar tissue management – surgical, adhesive scar tissue, cording » Lymph and Scar Taping techniques » Low Level Laser Therapy » Manual Lymph Drainage massage » Compression garment prescription » Patient Education » EPC and Health Fund Claimable Call us on 02 4312 7033 to make an appointment

*All products featured available at The VibrantConcepts Style Studio – Erina Understanding styling and fashion is one thing. Having a super-natural flair for making everyday people look incredible is another. Once you’ve met Sam & Jordi Woods, it’s hard not to catch their infectious passion for dressing to match your own lifestyle, personality and charisma. Through their consultancy ‘Vibrant Concepts’, Sam & Jordi have transformed the lives of thousands. Let Sam & Jordi show you how to look and feel fabulous everyday at their Style Studio in Erina – learn the art of illusion dressing, colour matching, styling, translating fashion trends and savvy shopping with their unique VC Signature Styling Systems and services that are truly personal and really work! To contact Vibrant Concepts phone 0425 221 676.






e s u a p o n e m

Seven tips for navigating Menopause is a natural transition for women where the reproductive system starts to wind down. Our oestrogen levels that once played a key role in releasing a mature egg each month, start to fluctuate then decline. Other hormones, such as progesterone and testosterone that are produced by the ovaries, also start to trend downwards, preparing the body for the next phase of life. During this transition the body can struggle with some of these changing hormones, often resulting in symptoms such as mood swings, weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats and trouble sleeping. These hormones also appear to provide women with some protection, especially for bone health, weight maintenance and cardiovascular health, so as they decrease, so can those protective factors. The good news is that there are several changes we can make to minimise the impact these shifting hormones can have on our body. Here are our top six strategies for navigating this phase of life. Increase your fibre intake Fibre is the part of plants we are unable to digest and it is found predominantly in foods such as: Wholegrains such as rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice and seeded bread Vegetables Legumes e.g. chickpeas, beans, lentils Fruits


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Nuts and seeds Researchers have identified that a higher fibre diet appears to reduce the occurrence of symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats in menopausal women. A high fibre diet is also associated with other health benefits such as: Reduced mortality risk Improved bowel health including reducing the risk of constipation, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease Reduced risk of type 2 Diabetes Lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease 1 in 2 Australian women are meeting the recommended fibre target. Aim for 28g of fibre per day. Our top tips for boosting your fibre intake are: Include 2 serves of fruit per day Include 3 different coloured vegetables at main meals Include 30g or a handful of nuts and seeds per day Include three serves of wholegrains per day such as rolled oats, natural muesli, seeded bread, grainy crackers, quinoa or brown rice Include the skins on fruits and vegetables wherever possible Top your breakfast cereal with seeds such as hemp seeds, chia seeds or LSA Replace ½ the mince in a dish with lentils, beans or chickpeas Follow a Mediterranean style diet A Mediterranean diet is one characterised by a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes (all of which are high fibre!), a moderate intake of fish, eggs, extra virgin olive oil and fermented dairy foods, and a limited intake of red meats and processed foods.


While this type of diet has long been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and several other chronic diseases in a general population, it is now evident that this it may also play an important role in managing some post menopausal health risks. In one study, a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet was linked with a higher bone mineral density and therefore a reduced risk of osteoporosis and fractures as well as an increased lean muscle mass. Dementia is also the leading cause of death in Australian women, and we have strong research to show how beneficial a Mediterranean style eating pattern when it comes to brain health, memory and mood and reducing cognitive decline as we age! Further studies also found that a Mediterranean diet was linked with a lower risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. Traditionally, a Mediterranean diet includes a moderate intake of alcohol, but before you start topping up that wine glass, it is important to note that several of the studies actually excluded alcohol as part of the ‘healthy’ diet. Alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of various cancers and can contribute to weight gain, so limiting your intake is generally considered wise. Reduce your waist circumference In our nutrition clinics we see an abundance of women distressed about extra weight gained (typically around the waist) during and after menopause. On average, women tend to gain approximately half a kilogram per year during this time. While it is a common phenomenon, a higher waist

circumference increases the risk of several chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes in post-menopausal women. There can be a myriad of factors that contribute to weight gain at this stage of life, such as hormonal fluctuations that are linked with psychological stress and increased emotional eating, or a decline in muscle mass which results in the body burning fewer calories during the day, storing the excess as fat tissue. When it comes to reducing your waist, choose a sustainable and holistic approach that takes into consideration issues such as mood changes and lifestyle. A nutrient rich eating plan is also vital, that focuses on a healthy balance of whole foods. When aiming for long term success: Set small, achievable goals Snack smart by choosing more sustaining snacks such as protein rich Greek yoghurt or nutrient rich avocado on a grainy crispbread Avoid meal skipping Visit your local Accredited Practising Dietitian for personalised advice Include phytoestrogens Phytoestrogens are a natural component of various plant foods, such as soy, linseeds and chickpeas, known to produce mild oestrogen-like effects in the human body. As menopause is characterised by a decline in oestrogen, researchers have spent many years assessing the role these phytoestrogens play in post-menopausal symptom management. Recent review studies suggest that including phytoestrogens is associated with a reduction in hot flushes and may help to slow bone density losses, but the results are less convincing for many other common symptoms of menopause. However, these studies did identify that phytoestrogens have very few side effects, making them a safe addition to the diet. To increase the phytoestrogens in your diet: Implement a meat free meal each week, swapping the animal protein for a plant protein such as soy, chickpeas or lentils Boost salads with a sprinkle of linseeds or sesame seeds Choose whole grain and seeded breads and cereals Try your hand at cooking a tofu or tempeh based meal

Include regular resistance training While activity levels tend to wane as we progress in years, the research shows us that regular physical activity as we head towards menopause is vital to maintain good health! Physical activity of any kind is important in weight management, improving heart health and promoting mental health, however resistance exercise (where we lift, push or pull a weight of some kind) plays a specific role in our health as we age. Resistance exercise, such as weights, circuit classes or pilates, is known to promote the maintenance of our muscle mass that normally declines over the years. This is important for maintaining function, reducing injuries and also increasing our metabolic rate – the amount of calories our bodies burn in a day. Another less obvious benefit of this type of exercise is the positive impact on bone density, fighting the all too common progression towards osteoporosis. Osteoporosis Australia recommends including resistance exercise three times each week that gradually progresses (such as increasing the size of the weight lifted or increasing the repetitions) for optimal bone health. Manage your mood The hormonal and physical changes that occur during menopause are closely linked with reduced mood and increased stress levels, both of which can trigger comfort or emotional eating in many women as well as increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Practices such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in managing mood and stress levels and some studies indicate yoga may in fact also play a role in improving sleep quality in post-menopausal women. Ways to get started: Download a mindful app for your smartphone, such as Smiling Mind or Headspace Research beginner yoga classes in your area Schedule in ‘mental-health’ time, such as a walk outdoors or a relaxing cup of tea somewhere quiet Make sure you stay well connected to positive friends and family If you would like to further discuss how

dietary changes may help with managing menopause, book an appointment with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians today! Consume enough calcium Over 60% of Australians suffer from low bone mineral density. Menopause also results in a rapid decline in bone mineral density or strength due to a drop in our oestrogen levels. Not consuming enough calcium from the diet results in the body drawing more out from the bones, causing them to become weaker and more brittle. Post menopausal women require 1300mg per day of calcium preferably through diet. This equates to roughly four serves of calcium-rich foods. The following foods are equivalent to one serve: 250mL of milk or soy milk 1/2 x cup firm tofu 200g yoghurt 2 x slices (40g) cheese 1 x can sardines (90g) 150g tinned pink salmon 1 cup almonds 10 dried figs 12 prawns 170g mussels There is also smaller amounts of calcium in tahini, soy beans, dried fruit and chia seeds.

Nicole is a passionate sports nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian who established her practice Eatsense in 2013 as she has a burning desire to help people, see them happy and watch them thrive. Her vision is to help as many people learn to prioritise themselves, feel their best, enjoy delicious and nourishing food and live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life through her one on one consultations and seminars. Contact Nicole at her Erina Clinic on 4311 3623 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER – ISSUE 43



Travel Safer With A Mobility Scooter If you are having difficulty walking, standing or getting around, or suffer from a debilitating health concern, a mobility scooter can help you maintain an important measure of independence when running essential errands. One of the benefits of a mobility scooter is the ability to nip to the local shop without the need for public transport. This means that no matter what your ailment or ability level, owning a mobility scooter makes it easier to get from a to b and in these times of Covid-19, to do so in a direct and safe manner. Premier Mobility Centre is an essential business, remaining Covid safe and can offer contactless purchase and delivery. They have an extensive range of mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs for you to choose from with a great selection of unique and popular models with very helpful features. Their range includes new and used mobility scooters from travel and portable to large all-weather designs. They stock scooters that disassemble to fit in the boot of your vehicle and conversely, scooters with long range batteries capable of up to 70km until requiring re-charge. When deciding on getting a mobility scooter, you may need assistance to make an informed choice. Premier Mobility will consult with you and/or your provider in your decision. They will help to assess your situation. Some of the considerations are: the extent of your physical challenge, if it is a long or short term issue, your

safety, your budget, your living situation and the surrounding area. They will endeavour to find the absolute best fit for your individual circumstances. Trade Ins are welcome and assessed on an individual basis. They have several financing options including Rent To Buy, Eftpos, pensioner financing and they also accept NDIS clients. Premier Mobility provide after sales support, servicing, repair, scooter cleaning and the facility to deliver your scooter and provide you an in house demonstration to show you how to safely use your new equipment. For valued customers convenience they have an easy to navigate website and a showroom which is located at Long Jetty. Their staff are committed to excellence in customer service and look forward to serving you.

Premier Mobility Centre Phone 4333 7004 Cnr Anzac Rd & The Entrance Rd Long Jetty www.premiermobilitycentre.com.au 22

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e v o l life Matters of



READER QUESTION: “I am a single female and I live in an over 55’s residence. Without family living nearby, during lock down my single male neighbour and I organised ourselves into a singles bubble. We sometimes share dinner or meet to do crosswords, we go for walks and will have our afternoon cup of tea together. It’s been lovely to have real human contact and we both feel the mental health benefits from the arrangement but I worry about what the other residents may say and I do worry that when things lift, how to return back to normal?”

Dearly Beloved Looking after your physical well being and mental health is THE priority during these extraordinary times. I am so glad you and your neighbour have found such a beneficial arrangement to suit you both so well. These are not just extraordinary times, this is a situation in our recent history where we don’t have a play book to follow to know what we ‘should’ do or what the ‘usual’ protocols are. We are all “building the plane as it flies”. So whatever solution keeps you safe and sane and doesn’t hurt anybody is a great outcome. I appreciate that living in a closed community residence, you may feel the gaze of others more acutely, but I also believe in adopting the mantra of assuming the best in others. We can often go down a negative self-talk rabbit hole worrying about what others think about us and it usually is futile energy wasted. I bet that if they are thinking about you, it probably doesn’t remotely match your worst thoughts. When I used to work in corporate and community

communications, the best approach to managing misinformation or rumours is to bravely address things from the front foot and transparently share your fears about what people are thinking and communicate your truth. In PR, we used to call this ‘killing the story before it ran’. Identifying each other as your bubble buddy might even inspire and help others to adopt something similar that will help them too. As to how to return back to normal – gosh – aren’t we all worrying about that!? How will it all look on the other side of Covid, lock downs and vaccination drives? In my relationship therapy work, when I work with couples to restore relationships, we never frame things in the language of ‘returning back to how things were’. Life and love just doesn’t work that way. Relationships don’t go backwards. We have to create into the unfolding new space anew. There is only one direction life and love takes, and that is moving forwards, taking in the changes and evolutions and building on what has

already passed. Expect that everything may need to be up for re-evaluation, reassessment and recalibration. I wonder if in this time of ‘bubbling’ you will develop a closer relationship with your neighbour and inevitably find a deeper sense of intimacy with your connection? Times of intensity and crisis can do this. If this occurs, maybe you will be able to find a way to authentically discuss how your friendship has evolved and how you both might consciously navigate its evolution moving forwards. Have trust you will both will be able to lean into the real conversations you may want to have about redefining your own time and space again and re-integrating family and other friends and commitments into your life. For now, I invite you to enjoy the delights of friendship and the support you can offer each other. Much love Sarah x

Sarah Tolmie – Life & Love: Sarah is a marriage therapist, life & love and relationship coach, end-of-life consultant, an independent and bespoke funeral director and holistic celebrant. She provides holistic care, mentoring, guidance, healing and transformation for individuals, couples and families at their most important times of life & love - at end-of-life, in love & relationship, and in ritual and celebration. Sarah has a relationship online course for couples called “Creating a Miracle Marriage” and a free resource and video series for families facing dying, death and grief called “Landscapes of Life & Love and Loss”. To find out more, visit www.sarahtolmie.com.au.



HELP for the sandwich generation BY SOPHIE DOYLE

We all lead busy lives so juggling family, work and personal responsibilities can be complicated – particularly when people we love need increasing levels of care and support. Encouraging older parents to accept help, can be difficult. But when help is

accepted, as a member of the “sandwich generation” you may find yourself sandwiched between obligations to help with care of older parents and young grandchildren – and just when you were thinking about your own retirement. Life might feel a bit overwhelming. Knowing where and how to access support for your parents and yourself may make all the difference.

Helping you – the carer A good place to start your research is the Carer Gateway (carergateway.gov.au). This website can help you to identify and connect with available support services. As a carer, your physical and emotional well being is vital. So don’t feel that you need to do it all and don’t feel guilty about taking some time out for yourself. This is where respite care can step in. Respite provides short-term temporary care when

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you need some time out for several hours, overnight, days or even weeks. The government subsidises respite care to make it affordable, but you may first need to arrange an Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/ACAS) – so plan ahead. If your care duties prevent you from being able to work you might qualify for a Carer Payment from Centrelink to provide you with income support. If you are not eligible for this payment, you might be eligible for a Carer Allowance of $131.90* per fortnight to help with some of the costs you are likely to incur.

Helping your parent Depending on how much help is needed by your parents, you may want to look at support in the home or in residential care. These services may be government-subsidised, with the starting point through MyAgedCare (myagedcare. gov.au). Home care can help with needs such as house cleaning, personal care (such as bathing), social support and even some home modifications to adapt to your parent’s care needs. Even if your parent is living with you, they may still be eligible for subsidised home care.

As a carer, your physical and emotional well-being is vital. So don’t feel that you need to do it all and don’t feel guilty about taking some time out for yourself.

Helping to understand the finances Subsidised care can help to make care more affordable. But be warned, there might be a long wait for a home care package, so don’t wait until the need is urgent before applying. You might also need to find cashflow to contribute towards the cost or fund additional care. Seeking advice from a financial adviser can provide peace of mind and give your parent’s a clearer direction on potential options for structuring their finances.

Sophie Doyle (AR#000470612) is an Aged Care Specialist at Morgans Financial Limited (Morgans AFSL 235410 / ABN49 010 669 726); she has a passion for assisting people make informed financial decisions, as they navigate their way through the aged care system. To contact Sophie phone 4325 0884 or 0488 521 844. Disclaimer: The information in this article is general advice only and does not take into account your particular circumstances. We recommend you see a financial adviser, registered tax agent or legal adviser before making any decisions based on this information. *Current at 1 May 2021.

Leading Geriatric Medical Care on the Peninsula Experience exceptional care right here on the Coast with our multi-disciplinary Geriatric medical services team. With a focus on: - supporting independence - maintaining wellbeing - an holistic approach to a variety of major geriatric illnesses including: –



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If this topic makes you want to turn the page, resist the urge! For many of us, talking about death is scary, taboo, or morbid. We’d rather avoid the topic. Regardless of age or life stage, planning for the end of our lives can be empowering, reduce anxiety and bring us closer together. It’s important to talk about what you want at the end of life with those closest to you. We all have a responsibility to make sure our loved ones know our wishes. We don’t have to (in fact, we shouldn’t) wait for a crisis to start these conversations. We’re not very good at talking about dying in Australia. Almost 80% of Australians agree they should think and talk about their preferences for end-of-life care with family. Only 25%


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of Australians, however, have talked to another family member about their wishes. There is a disconnect between what people think and what they do. While most Australians think that planning ahead will give them a sense of control over their care, give them a say in where they spend their final days and reduce the stress on loved ones, only: 43% have a will 18% have a Power of Attorney 18% have an Enduring Guardian 17% have an Advance Care Directive, plan or other document outlining wishes for end of life. There are many reasons why people have never talked, or sometimes even thought about, their end of life wishes. These might include: Cultural or religious traditions Fear of dying Belief that they are too young

So, take the plunge and start your conversation about death and dying today! Once you cut through the first awkward moments, it can be fun, funny and save your loved ones a whole lot of grief and distress later Belief that they are too healthy Reliance on others to raise the conversation History of trauma and abuse Currently experiencing abuse or neglect

Not wanting to upset others Not having anyone to talk to Many people die in hospital in ways that they wouldn’t choose. Between 6070% of Australians would prefer to die at home but only about 14% do. Families are often faced with difficult decisions at the end of life. Early conversations can help future decisions and improve culturally appropriate and person-centred care when the time comes. Here are a few simple steps to make the end of life process easier: Write a will Appoint a Power of Attorney Appoint an Enduring Guardian Write an Advanced Care Directive Register as an organ and tissue donor Plan your funeral Document your wishes with your GP, local health service and or My Health Record Most importantly, talk to your loved ones about all of the above! It is free to write a will and appoint a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian through the NSW Trustee and Guardian if you receive a Full Centrelink Age Pension. Alternatively, you can use a personal lawyer. Your Power of Attorney can manage your assets and make decisions about your finances like paying bills and managing investments. They can also sign legal documents for you. Your Enduring Guardian can make health and lifestyle decisions for you. They can make choices about where you live and the treatment you receive. It is important to choose your Power of Attorney and

Enduring Guardian carefully as they are in a position of trust and have a responsibility to act in your best interests. If you become unable to make decisions, an Advanced Care Directive is a way to say what healthcare treatments you would like to have or refuse. Doctors and family members cannot override a valid Advanced Care Directive in NSW. An Advanced Care Directive may include: The person who you would like to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to Details of what is important to you, such as your values, life goals and preferred outcomes The treatments and care you would like or would refuse if you have a life threatening illness or injury. Making decisions about your own life and having those decisions respected is an essential right, including for those with cognitive impairment or living with a disability. Cognitive impairment is not a reason to exclude someone from their own decision making. Their decisionmaking can be supported and enabled by those closest to them, so that the important choices are still theirs. Remember, having a discussion about dying doesn’t mean you are about to die. We should all get our affairs in order,

no matter how old or young, unwell or fighting fit. It’s also important to know that you can review or revisit any of your decisions or documentation and update them at any time if your circumstances change. So, take the plunge and start your conversation about death and dying today! Once you cut through the first awkward moments, it can be fun, funny and save your loved ones a whole lot of grief and distress later. For more information, insights and conversation starters, take a look at these websites: NSW Trustee and Guardian www.tag.nsw.gov.au Dying to Talk www.dyingtotalk.org.au Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander yarns www.dyingtotalk.org.au/aboriginaltorres-strait-islander-discussion-starter CareSearch www.caresearch.com.au Organ Donation register www.donatelife.gov.au The Groundswell Project www.thegroundswellproject.com Death Over Dinner www.deathoverdinner.org.au Or talk to your friendly GP!

Elly enjoys being a GP at Your Family Doctors at Erina and Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre. She cycles huge distances to raise money for cancer research, support and prevention. Check out her ‘What should I know about cancer?’ series on Instagram @drelly_warren and ‘Dr Elly’s Tour de Cure adventures’ on Facebook @drellystdc. Her newest project will take her to Bright, Victoria in Jan 2022, where she will ride 500km in 36hrs to improve cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. www.alpineeveresting.com.au

FIND YOUR OWN PIECE OF PARADISE Toowoon Bay | Killarney Vale Blake Gray 0448 822 123 Paul Denny 0417 266 488 Shop 1 134 Wyong Rd, Killarney Vale 2261 02 4332 6800




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During this uncertain time Creightons Funeral Service are here for you, as they have been for over 170 years. Creightons are committed to strictly adhering to the current Government restrictions and regulations, to do their part in supporting the health and well being of families, staff and the wider community. In these changing times, Creightons have adapted their services with varied options to ensure everyone’s loved ones are honoured during these difficult times. “We can offer an intimate farewell, with no delay in honouring your loved one. This would involve a service at one of our chapels within the current restriction guidelines, inclusive of all staffing required with the cremation or burial taking place.


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“A cremation or burial is available without loved ones present, with a memorial service then taking place at a later date. “Families may also choose to use technology via live streaming the service at selected chapels across the Central Coast, social media platforms, including Facebook for online memorial information.” – Lyn Parkes, Community Liaison Manager of Creightons Funeral Service. It all began on the Central Coast, Creightons Funeral Service was once known as R.H. Creighton, of the Brisbane Water District and founded in 1843. In the mid-1980s, R.H. Creighton was rebranded as ‘Creightons Funeral Service’, adapting for the modern era. Still locally owned and operated, now by the local Palmdale Group who are known for their stunning Memorial Gardens at Palmdale and Greenway, Creightons has grown from a one-man office in 1843, to now over seven offices spanning across the Central Coast, Hunter and Sydney. Creightons Funeral Service is proud to serve each community respectfully and

diligently, with locals helping locals for over 170 years. Alongside the 7 offices across the regions, Creightons, in partnership with the Palmdale Group, additionally have access to a number of chapels with stateof-the-art facilities across the Central Coast. These chapels include their Erina Heights chapel, Greenway chapel and two located at Palmdale Memorial Park, the Rose and Hillside chapels. Each

We can offer an intimate farewell, with no delay in honouring your loved one. chapel is unique in its design, layout and atmosphere; talk to a friendly representative to determine which chapel may be best for your bespoke memorial service.


name just a selection of their community activity.

Creightons Funeral Service is proud to serve each community respectfully and diligently, with locals helping locals for over 170 years. Creightons Funeral Service are proud to be active members of the local community. They sponsor a range of community groups, including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, local Rotary clubs, local sports and events to

Alongside their services, the friendly team at Creightons Funeral Services offer prepaid funeral plans. Available at affordable prices, a prepaid plan allows you to lock in the price at today’s rates, avoiding future rising costs, where you can document your wishes for your chosen memorial service. Contact our team to organise an appointment at one of the conveniently located offices across

the Central Coast, or in the comfort of your home with a mobile representative. Positioned across the Central Coast, find one of the conveniently located offices at Erina, Palmdale, Toukley and Mingara. Creightons Funeral Service is here to assist and guide you through this difficult time to ensure a respectful farewell for loved ones, celebrating their life while adhering to the current restrictions from the Australian Government.

Contact the friendly team at Creightons Funeral Service on their 24/7 phone line on 1300 130 955 or visit their website: www.creightonsfuneralservice.com.au

Caring for families since 1843

Locally Owned & Operated Prepaid funerals available Lock in the price today Document your wishes 24/7 Care Line

1300 130 955




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Local Physio helping to heal headaches and migraines on the Central Coast


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BOOK NOW: Box Office: 02 4323 3233 www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/theatres

Headaches are one of the most common and least treated musculoskeletal pains in Australia, with 87% of the Aussie population experiencing head pain each year. Of this, 16% experienced migraine, with debilitating pain and neural symptoms. Only 23% of these sought treatment (that’s 3% of the total headache suffers). Physio Connex Performance Clinic in North Wyong is doing its best to beat these statistics offering a unique and specialised headache and migraine clinic for Coasties.

based practice to best serve the Central Coast community. Physio Connex Performance Clinic has a special interest in the assessment and management of headache and jaw pain (TMJ disorders). Senior Physiotherapist, Andrew Alexander, has completed a Masters in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy which has finessed his evidence-based assessment and management of neck, headache and TMJ disorders. Complementing their extensive experience and offering is Brendan Clark, a certified Watson Headache(R) practitioner, who brings expertise and innovative clinical reasoning in managing headache and migraine cases. Both physiotherapists use a combination of lifestyle management strategies, manual therapy, dry needling, and exercise to effect lasting change. According to Senior Physiotherapist and leader of the Physio Connex Headache and Migraine Clinic, Andrew Alexander, the reason for such high numbers suffering from headaches “is possibly a cultural issue of “pushing through the pain”. Or perhaps an awareness issue of not realising the management options for this kind of pain. Or maybe it is just a complex issue that is difficult to treat with only one singular intervention. Or all of the above” explains Alexander. Physio Connex Performance Clinic are active members of the Central Coast community and demonstrate this support through extensive involvement with local and national sports teams. Healthcare professionals trust and regularly refer their patients to the highly respected clinic as they know they will be in good hands.

What is a migraine? Migraine is a neurological disorder that can be very distressing and disabling. Typically, it is a one-sided throbbing or pulsating headache that is at least moderately intense and can be aggravated by physical activity. It is very often associated with nausea and vomiting, as well as increased sensitivity to light, sound and even some types of smell. In contrast, tension headache, another headache type, is usually felt on both sides of the head. It is a pressing B.H.Sc (comp medicine) B.A., N.D., Dip. Nut, D.R.M. or tightening sensation rather than a throbbing headache and is not made worse by activity or accompanied by nausea. Located at Unit 1, 25 Amsterdam Circuit, North Wyong (Wadalba) in a state-of-the-art facility with full scale rehabilitation gym on site, Physio Connex Performance Clinic is known Don’t let headaches or migraines hold as a preferred clinic for local athletes you back book in today to the Physio and non athletes wanting to achieve Connex Headache and Migraine Clinic. optimum performance in sport and in 0410 465 900 Find out more: life. The team of highly experienced and avocanaturopath.com.au www.physioconnex.com.au skilled physios, exercise physiologists avocanaturopath.com.au | naturopathdiana@gmail.com nutrition and wellness | herbal medicine | fertility | children’s health naturopathdiana@gmail.com Phone 02465 4314 and strength and conditioning experts 118 Avoca Drive, Kincumber NSW 2251 | 0410 9005183 B.H.Sc (comp medicine) B.A., N.D, Dip. Nut, D.R.M. Resources; use the latest techniques, technology 118 Avoca Drive, Kincumber www.headacheaustralia.org.au and equipment combined with evidence

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How to give a positive end of life care experience Did you know that 75% of Australians would prefer to die in their own home, however only 14% get the chance to? Every end of life journey is different, but many people have one thing in common – the wish to spend their final days at home. In our experience, Australians undergoing palliative care want to live in the comfort of their own home. However, they do not want to put a burden on their loved ones. Home Instead’s trained team of CAREGivers can provide you with the utmost care, and help make living at home as comfortable as can be. “In our experience in caring for seniors in their own homes who wish to die at home, the biggest challenge is often for the family members who are trying to support this wish. Our CAREGivers are trained to provide respite and care for the family as well as our client. It is often the ‘burnout’ of the family that is the main reason people end up dying in hospital. With our support our clients and their families have experienced more peaceful end of life experiences at home.” Jasmine Hopcraft, Owner and Director of Home Instead on the Central Coast and Newcastle. Our team of Care Managers and specialised Palliative Care trained CAREGivers can support you and your family to design an end-of-life care plan specifically suited to your individual needs and preferences.

This often includes: Personal care: Including any help you may need dressing, toileting or bathing. Emotional support: At any time of day or night, your supportive CAREGiver will be by your side when needed. Companionship: From trips to the shops to puzzles at home, our CAREGivers would love to spend time with you. Meal Preparation & Housekeeping: Let us take this off everyone’s hands. Linen changes: We’ll have fresh sheets and towels ready for you. Respite for family carers: It’s important to give your caring family members breaks every now and again, and to keep your relationship with them as positive as possible. Social interaction: Whether you’d love to chat about recent current affairs or simply enjoy some silence as you read,

About Home Instead Established in 2013, Home Instead is a locally based in-home care and companionship service on the Central Coast. We are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of local seniors and their families and we take pride in every aspect of their care to ensure they have access to the best quality care services and support they need to continue living, safely, independently, and happily in the comfort of their own home​.

your personal CAREGiver will offer you the kind of social interaction you prefer. Home Instead firmly believe in making life at home as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. That’s why, with our palliative care services, you’ll have: A Palliative Care trained CAREGiver team personally matched with you, who will stay with you as long as needed. Strong companionship from your regular CAREGivers. Control over the days, times and services you receive (from occasional visits to 24/7 in-home care). 24/7 telephone support provided by our local care team. The comfort that your friendly CAREGiver can help with whatever is needed around the house. We believe that understanding your options helps you to make an informed choice about your palliative care journey. For more information on our 24-hour palliative care services and support in establishing an end of life care plan that is right for you and your family, please contact our local Home Instead office on 02 4342 3477 | homeinstead.com.au




Local choice FOR IN-HOME CARE

We’ve had a long association with Home Instead through the care you provided for my Mum and Dad. I want to thank you for the amazing life-changing help you gave to them and to all my family”. Alice

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✓ Personal Care

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✓ Trained and consistent CAREGivers

✓ Your choice of service times

Call today for a no-obligation care consultation

HomeInstead.com.au | 02 4342 3477 Each Home Instead® franchise is independently owned and operated. ©M&S Warner 2021.