Parent to Parent Christmas 2015

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parent to parent MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015

Care matters Art from another world

Stress-busters Chill-out getaways

Connecting parents Parent to Parent is a nationwide not-for-profit organisation formed in 1983 by parents and professionals to support the families of children with disabilities and health impairments.


Thirty two years later, its 11 branches nationwide help families get through tough times, and encourage and empower them to think big, have hope and create meaningful everyday lives for the whole family.

The festive season has already started with the promise of warmer weather, planning holidays, catching up with loved ones, and some relaxation. We hope you all manage to take time out with your families to enjoy the pleasures that summer and the festive season can bring. It is also a time to remember that others might not be as fortunate, and reach out to offer a hand of kindness.

Free and confidential, its two main services are the Support Parents connection and providing information. Support parents: Having contact with another parent who has ‘been there’ can make all the difference. Parent to Parent supports families/ whanau by connecting parents with trained Support Parents who have a child with the same or similar condition, or who have experienced similar issues. More than 600 trained Support Parents nationwide can offer practical ideas, solutions and lend a listening ear. This service is unique to Parent to Parent; by supporting parents through their challenges, they are better equipped to focus on the gifts, skills and strengths of their child, and not let the disability block the pathway to a bright future. Information: Parent to Parent’s researchers offer free information on over 3600 conditions; easy to understand information tailor-made for each child – for the child’s whole family, early childcare learning centres, schools, workplaces and any organisation that works with, and for, people with disabilities and health impairments. Conditions range from the common to the rare, and could be a result of a birth injury, car accident, medical misadventure, autoimmune disease or long-term medical conditions; from behavioural to physical, sensory, mental or intellectual.

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2015 has certainly been a busy year! Our Awareness Week in August saw staff and volunteers out in force, as well as information displays and donation boxes in shopping malls, libraries, doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. Activities in our communities such as organised family days, movie nights, pampering events for mums and fitness groups, all help connect our families. We must not lose sight of these valuable networks, and the board thanks everyone involved for their part in contributing to the success of these activities. Our social media presence has grown this year with an ongoing increase of ‘likes’ on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Parent to Parent is committed to using social media as a tool for finding new ways to communicate and network with families. I am personally surprised at how often I have had the opportunity to recommend Parent to Parent programmes and workshops through social media interactions. The board continues to keep informed about new initiatives and programmes that impact on the sector. There are exciting changes happening, and Parent to Parent has a valuable role in the process. Care Matters, a new programme launched in November by SAMS and Parent to Parent, will provide empowering resources and avenues for further learning for all people who care for a person with a disability. Our support and information service is essential in providing information to families. Over the year the board has enjoyed visiting regional offices, learning of new initiatives and engaging with our Support Parents. The visits also provide an opportunity to strengthen relationships with funders. The board appreciates the relationship building done by Support Parents and regional coordinators – we thank you all for your efforts. On behalf of the board we trust that you have felt supported and that you will continue to network with your wider community so they can, in turn, benefit from Parent to Parent, Altogether Autism and Care Matters’ services. We rely on your networking and information-gathering to help us set the direction of the organisation. We love to hear your personal good news stories. I would also like to recognise the work and dedication of all our staff in the regions and at national office. Keep well, safe and take some time for family over the festive season. Helen Johnson Parent to Parent national president



free phone 0508 236 236


Manager Sue Pairaudeau Editor Glenn Lambert-Vickers Graphic designer Te Reo Hughes ISSN 2463-3631 (Print) ISSN 2463-3585 (Online) All rights reserved. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the columnists and not necessarily those of Parent to Parent.


World in 10 years will look very different As I write this, I’ve just returned from Exult’s 2015 Tonic Conference in Upper Hutt with our business development manager Sue Pairaudeau. The conference provided an opportunity for people working in the community sector to connect and keep up-todate with developments. There was a wide cross-section of people from disparate organisations in attendance, and it was interesting discovering more about the variety of services and innovative ideas developing in the sector. The sessions on future trends were particularly enlightening, showing how quickly our world is changing in terms of technology and the need to keep up to date. The world in 10 years’ time will likely look very different to what we’re used to, with technology providing many new innovations. Another powerful factor is changing demographics as a generation reaches adulthood that never knew a world where items like mobile phones and social media weren’t commonplace. At the same time, older generations are staying involved with work and community organisations. It is important to recognise people of different generations may have diverse ways of connecting and a range of motivations for being involved. The traditional committee approach may not work as people are time-poor and reluctant to commit on a regular basis. We have initiated a new approach this year called Friends of Parent to Parent, which allows people to be involved on an ‘as available’ basis, without the requirement to commit on an ongoing basis. If you would like to join Friends of Parent to Parent please contact your local coordinator. As a communications professional, I found the sessions on demographics and technology particularly inspiring. There are many different ways that people like to communicate, receive information and stay in touch, so it’s vital that all these channels are managed effectively. Parent to Parent’s social media presence has grown considerably over this year, at both national and regional level – it is a great way of staying in touch and providing thought leadership. Our magazine is undergoing a revamp to ensure it provides relevant and interesting stories for readers. At the same time, traditional methods of communication such as face-to-face and phone conversations, remain as important as ever. I look forward to using the inspiration gained at Tonic going forward into 2016 in helping ensure all our communication channels remain relevant and useful in delivering information to you.

Contents 4 greetings and looking ahead to 2016 Wintec journalism student Mike Pulman

6 aaron fleming’s long road of challenges Glenn Lambert-Vickers

8 new service care matters

10 finding others on the same journey Lynne Hansen

12 bethany hughes: art from another world Glenn Lambert-Vickers

14 christmas stress-busters Sue Pairaudeau

16 disaster preparedness for people with disabilities Matthew Pryor

Glenn Lambert-Vickers Editor and communications advisor, Parent to Parent

18 disability friendly getaways




and a look ahead to


By MICHAEL PULMAN Greetings to all the wonderful families Parent to Parent supports, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. The festive season is a special time of year, so make sure to enjoy it – because it goes by fast! Wintec journalism student, public speaker and rugby enthusiast Mike Pulman

My name is Mike Pulman, and I’m a 23-year-old journalism student living in Hamilton. I’m half-way through my degree, and over that time I’ve been very lucky to gain regular work experience as a freelance journalist at the rugby covering both the Chiefs and the Mooloos. I then secured work part-time for CCS Disability Action as a communications intern, and have been in that role since June this year. I also work as a public speaker, and in the past year I’ve had the joy of being invited to speak at some important events in the sector. I spoke at the Waikato launch of Enabling Good Lives, and the 80th birthday celebrations for CCS Disability Action where Prime Minister John Key was in attendance. My latest speaking engagement was for Parent to Parent at its AGM weekend conference in Auckland. I spoke on the Saturday, and I just want to express my gratitude for all the wonderful feedback that I have received since. It was an absolute honour to have my dad, Lewis Pulman, introduce me and begin the speech by hitting on the importance of “normal” approaches to parenting a child with a disability. As a proud member of the Parent to Parent community, this organisation has given me a lot over the years, so to be able to speak for you all was a proud moment of my very short time as a speaker so far. Thank you. It has almost become somewhat a cliché, but the disability sector is changing around us. 2015 was the year of discussion, and over the next 12 months we are going to begin hearing feedback on initiatives like Enabling Good Lives. The core values behind all the changes being implemented in the sector are aimed at giving more choice and control to the person. The sad truth for



Mike Pulman with Sonny Bill Williams at the Chiefs Super Rugby headquarters in Hamilton January 2015

a lot of disabled people is that they don’t have this choice or control in their lives; everything is decided for them by support workers and family, with the general assumption that everything is ticking along smoothly. Is this the actual case though? The bigger thing to consider here is that each disabled person, particularly the younger ones, is an individual – or at least they are trying to be.


The thing to consider here is that

each disabled person, particularly the younger ones, is an individual – or at least they are trying to be.

Being disabled is just a small part of a young person’s life, but it impacts all the other phases of social and physical development. The topic of sexuality has been an “elephant in the room” for a long time that needs to be addressed. Sex and experiencing the highs and lows of human-to-human relationships was one of my biggest challenges, and I didn’t experience it until well after my peers did. I did feel isolated to a certain extent. The most important thing that the current sector changes need to do is enable confidence and the sense that while we are disabled and our barriers

are physical, we still have feelings and we still have goals that we want to achieve. Isolation occurs all too often for disabled people – not at the fault of the families, but due to the complications of the system. Financially the changes that the government is proposing don’t actually inject more funding, but they implement new strategies, new ways of approach and new values within the current allocation of funding available. Not only do I work in the disability sector, I also live in it, and if there is one thing that service providers need to implement immediately is disability values training for support workers. A lot of service providers are changing their method of service delivery to the Enabling Good Lives approach but, honestly, if a lot of attitudes don’t change towards supporting disabled people with aspects of their life, like personal care or home help, only more frustration among disabled New Zealanders is going to occur. I think the reality is that a lot of disabled people and their families are frustrated and won’t approach many of these changes out of fear of more frustration. This is where organisations like Parent to Parent and providers that deliver these services must work harder than ever, as minimising that sense of frustration is only the beginning. The disability sector is attempting to simplify itself, this is long overdue, but it is important that we as advocates continue to look deeper than just the sector and how we can improve it. We also need to acknowledge that each disabled person is an individual, disability affects each person differently, and that each situation, good or bad, will have its own uniqueness. PARENT TO PARENT MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015


Long road of challenges and goals By GLENN LAMBERT-VICKERS Aaron Fleming’s life story is an inspirational example of overcoming adversity to achieve a goal through determination and support. Aaron beat a lifethreatening lung condition to reach his dream of becoming an Ironman. Sharing his stories as a motivational speaker, Parent to Parent was lucky to have Aaron as a guest presenter at our 2015 Annual General Meeting. At 16 Aaron was an active teenager, representing the Waikato in gymnastics and hoping to represent New Zealand at the Olympics. Aaron’s world was shattered when his right lung spontaneously collapsed (a condition known as spontaneous pneumothorax) in December 1999 and collapsed a further two times by the end of the following January. He underwent surgery which normally has a 99 per cent success rate, however, the painful procedure failed. As Aaron’s health deteriorated, he required further surgery and his surgeon advised that he would not be able to physically exert himself again. Aaron developed an addiction to painkillers, leading to depression and suicidal thoughts. He spent the next few years recovering from postsurgery pain and getting his life back on track. Following four years’ recovery, Aaron was free from pain and living the life of a typical student. A Christmas card from a family friend – who had completed four Taupo endurance events that year after overcoming 6


cancer and being told she could never run a marathon – provided Aaron with inspiration to set his own goals. He set a goal of competing in the New Zealand Ironman and raising money for cystic fibrosis, a lifethreatening genetic lung condition. The Ironman is a punishing triathlon involving a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.4km run within a 17-hour time limit. Aaron competed in the 2006 Ironman but bad weather forced the cancellation of half the event. Determined to reach his goal, he entered the 2007 event, completing it in 15 hours 46 minutes, despite battling nerves, nausea and cramps. He has since completed the New Zealand Ironman four times, Ironman USA and The Asia Pacific Championship in Melbourne. Aaron’s inspiring Ironman achievements saw him chosen as a local community hero to be New Zealand’s representative at the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in Canberra. He is currently training for Ironman Malaysia 2016 as part of his goal of completing an Ironman on every continent. The power of family in overcoming adversity and helping people reach their goals resonates strongly with Aaron. The support of his family has been a crucial factor in his success, especially his mum Denise, who he calls his number one fan. Denise was there alongside Aaron during his initial gruelling training programme, always ready with a protein shake and encouragement. When Aaron entered Ironman USA at Lake Placid, Denise was on hand as he struggled through dehydration and vomiting to complete the event in 16 hours and 14 minutes. A whole new challenge for Aaron was coming out as gay to his family and friends. For his family this came as

a surprise and it was challenging to accept the change from the life that they had envisioned for him. “My family had to learn who I was,” Aaron says, “versus who they thought I was.” The adjustment period was difficult, as he’d been used to having his family with him on his journey, and in this instance had to allow them time to come to terms with his changed life script. Aaron spent time with his parents to help them see that he was not a different person; that he was still the same. Today his parents have a good relationship with Aaron’s partner, with the four recently completing a holiday together. Aaron feels that having an aim or setting a goal is a great way for helping people grow and achieve what they want in life. “Everyone has challenges, but with the right attitude and support it is possible to reach our goals, no matter how impossible they might seem.”

Everyone has challenges, but

his story Aaron has been humbled by the number of people who have contacted him to share how his story has inspired their own journey. “My story cemented something in their brains and they’ve achieved amazing things. The best part is these people are now inspiring others with their own stories.” Aaron says he believes strongly in what Parent to Parent seeks to do towards improving the lives of people with disabilities and their families, and that our mission strongly aligns with Aaron’s own values. Aaron says he is inspired by every person involved with Parent to Parent, as they are making a difference in the community and should be congratulated for their contribution. Parent to Parent in association with Aaron Fleming has 10 copies of his book Purpose to give away. Simply like our Facebook page Parent to Parent New Zealand, leave a comment mentioning this article and you’ll go into the draw for a copy of Purpose.

right attitude and support it is possible to reach our goals, no matter with the

how impossible they might seem.

Informing others of goals or aims can help keep the plan on track and ensure support is available as needed. Learn from misses or unexpected obstacles, Aaron says, as setbacks can teach us as much as success about our strengths and increase determination. The mental and emotional strength gained through reaching a goal, as well as getting through tough times, is then transferred to other areas of life and makes us better equipped for getting the most out of life. When Aaron wrote his autobiography at age 25, publishing companies were impressed with his story, but believed he was too young to be writing an autobiography. He disagreed with this viewpoint and decided to self-publish the book, as he felt young Kiwi males needed to see someone they could relate to overcoming obstacles and reaching goals. Aaron feels there’s an attitude that young males just need to harden up and that it’s not acceptable to ask for help to get through. Since publishing


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Caring for the carers Two new national services to support family carers have been launched by the Ministry of Health for delivery by not-for-profits SAMS (Standards and Monitoring Services) in partnership with Parent to Parent, and Carers New Zealand. The services, developed by carers for carers, will assist people who support people with disabilities nationwide. SAMS’ and Parent to Parent’s Care Matters learning and wellbeing service is available online at carematters. with support from a free phone service. The website, which went live on November 6, pulls together clear, constructive, up-to-date information to assist carers, while the learning and training will be available face-to-face and online. The resources will cater to people who have visual impairments and be accessible via online desktop and mobile devices. The Care Matters freephone 0508 236 236, operated by Parent to Parent, connects callers to its existing network of local knowledge and support, and its



facilitators keen to ensure face-to-face learning opportunities relevant to local interests and needs. Many are carers who have walked in the same shoes. Care Matters will equip carers to not just obtain information/skills that assist today and make it easier to navigate the current system, but help carers use a more flexible approach to supports and services. Resources and face-to-face learning opportunities provide carers with the opportunity to examine possibilities, consider alternatives, be strategic, and have a say. The freephone will also direct carers to sources of respite care at Carers NZ’s new National Relief Care Matching Service. Often family carers struggle to find relief carers so they can have time out. This service matches disabled people and family carers with relief carers in their area, online and through its 0800 777 797 number. Carers NZ has partnered with MyCare Ltd to provide free access to a national pool of relief carer profiles, connecting people with disabilities and their families with people and services whose skills match their relief care needs.

Both services are now live and can be accessed at no cost via Needs Assessment and Service Coordination services (NASCs). •

SAMS is a 35-year-old service well known in New Zealand, Australia, and North America for its pioneering work at the forefront of developing carer/family education and leadership. At grass roots level it has annual face-to-face contact with more than 700 carers in New Zealand. Information about SAMS is on Parent to Parent is a 32-year-old organisation involved with the day-to-day support of family/ whanau, while also understanding and influencing current and emerging policies that impact on carers. It has more than 600 volunteer parents/carers providing peer support nationwide, researchers providing information, and workshops for families of people with disabilities including siblings. Information about Parent to Parent is on

Carers NZ is New Zealand’s peak body supporting family carers of all ages. It acts as the ongoing Secretariat for the NZ Carers Alliance of more than 45 national not-for-profits, including SAMS and Parent to Parent. Information about Carers NZ is on


SAMS chief executive Mark Benjamin • 0274 345 001

SAMS development manager Rebecca Walton • 0274 260 150

Parent to Parent chief executive Anne Wilkinson • 027 244 6805

Carers NZ’s relief care matching service manager - Jude Dodson • 0800 777 797



on the same journey

By LYNNE HANSEN I was a 37-year-old, self-employed financial advisor when I gave birth to our lovely little daughter Amy eight years ago. I was a career woman, so to find out I was going to be a mum was exciting. I thought I was ready for all the challenges and rewards it would bring. I can say it has been a huge learning experience for me, and great growth as a person. Amy presented with quite challenging behaviors at a young age, and often appeared to be in her own little world, doing her own thing. She could not cope with unexpected change or absolutes such as the word “no”. Often it would result in major tantrums when the no word was used – it seemed too much of a stretch for her to cope with. On the outside, from someone else’s perspective, it may of appeared she was just a naughty child needing more discipline, but strategies didn’t work as expected and just resulted in intensifying the behavior. Amy would talk at you without looking at you, and seemed to have no filters or clues on how a conversation works – in fact she still does this. She was not a very affectionate child, and being a first time mum not knowing why we had such extremes of behavior, and repetitive behaviours, was hard. The first five years were very challenging, and I questioned my skills 10 PARENT TO PARENT MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015

as a mum, not knowing how to help her or why this was happening. My self-esteem was depleted, especially when I would engage in conversation with parents of children presenting with typical ageappropriate behavior.

understand the specifics around these disorders to support Amy to negotiate life and relationships, as clearly she wasn’t able to do this alone. I also realised I had an obligation as a parent to teach her and guide her through her journey in a way that she understood.

We went to several specialists and counsellors who could shed no light on what was happening; we were told maybe we should go to family counselling and do a parenting course, which we did. There were still no answers and we were no further along in understanding our beautiful little girl’s mind. As parents we both felt we were failing.

In 2014 I took on the role of Northland regional coordinator for Parent to Parent and Altogether Autism. I have learned so much, and I think working with other families on a similar journey has made me realise that I am not alone. I can help others on their journey and be that connection that makes all the difference.

At five years old Amy attended school; it was a very difficult year – she was almost stood down several times for extreme outbursts of behaviour and hurting others. She had no friends, and the children were scared of her. In the middle of this I was studying a management qualification, which I think was a good distraction keeping me focused and feeling in control. Amy was a very troubled little girl and it was difficult to watch this unfold. We had her assessed over that year for autism and ADHD with a private specialist. She was assessed as having autistic traits and ADHD – confirmed after seeing another specialist. I knew very little about both disorders in the beginning, and I was in denial really. I soon realised I needed to

If I had known about Parent to Parent myself, and had the support of other parents and specific information early on in the piece, I know the lows we went through would not have been so low. The feeling of isolation may not have been there – to be able to talk to someone who “gets it”, who really gets it as part of their own personal journey, helps parents get through each day, to the next and the next. I believe in being a part of my community and having local conversations to build awareness of Parent to Parent and Altogether Autism. I am a firm believer in supporting others in their roles, with an holistic approach to caring and supporting families in Northland.





Bethany Hughes is a 14-yearold Invercargill artist who has Aspergers syndrome. Bethany embraces Aspergers as an advantage, not a disability, which has contributed much to her creativity. She is very interested in birds, dragons and other creatures inspiring her artwork. Bethany talks to Glenn Lambert-Vickers about her art and inspiration. Hi Bethany, can you please tell us about your picture? The character featured is named Aleyris and she is a member of a race of very intelligent bird-like creatures who live in another world, from a fantasy story I am writing. I did the drawing in my art class at school with a handy artist ink pen. However, I often do more drawing at home than at school! What do you think of when you draw? When I draw, I focus on the subject and what I'm doing, but also what I want to represent and the mood and theme of the artwork. I also see from other peoples' perspectives by thinking about what they would like about my art (in a positive way). You’ve recently had work in art exhibitions – can you tell us about your entries and what it was like being part of an exhibition? This year I have had my two of my art works in local art exhibitions. The most recent one was at South Alive Artspace with a drawing of a barn owl (Silver Moon Owl) done with colouring pencils on black paper. It sold and won a Highly Commended award on the first night! That was really exciting, because I knew other people loved my art enough to buy it. It's a big step forward for me in the area of art in my life. Do you have any favourite artists that inspire your work? There are many artists that inspire me through their art. Some artists which I think have the most inspiring and incredible art are Jennifer Miller, Anne Stokes, Raymond Ching and Rebecca Gilmore. What material do you like to work with? I have used mostly pencils, colouring pencils, and a black artist pen so far, but I am learning about and experimenting with acrylic paints and oil pastels. Is there anything else you’d like to say about your artwork or would like our readers to know?

Artist Bethany Hughes from Invercargill with her two dogs Taffy and Lily

series, the Legend of Spyro video games, dinosaurs, plants, and nature in general are all things that I love and provide inspiration. Now, as you are reading this article you might think “How does she do that?”. It takes a lot of hard work (more than just talent!), experimentation, patience, focus, taking risks and, most importantly, being passionate about art. A tip for drawing is to sketch quickly and loosely what you want to draw first. It doesn’t have to look exactly like the subject you're drawing; sketching is about getting a creative representation of the subject rather than an exact reproduction of it. After that, you can rub out unwanted details with a kneadable eraser and add details, or trace the sketch onto another piece of paper and improve it. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about your art Bethany. I feel honoured to have this article written about me! If you would like to see more of my art and writing, including my latest updates, email my mum MaryAnn Hughes (Parent to Parent Southland coordinator) at

I am also a writer and I enjoy bushwalking, baking, and reading. Harry Potter, the Guardians of Ga'Hoole book PARENT TO PARENT MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015



s s e tr


By SUE PAIRAUDEAU Because we are each unique, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for stress, but here are some starters to get your heart rate down and relax the muscles. Interestingly, you will see that what cures, also prevents. Be aware that adrenaline from stress remains in your bloodstream for up to 48 hours, so you could be hypersensitive and on edge for two days – unless you use that adrenaline up. Physiologists have proven that only exercise or body movement reduces excess adrenaline immediately.

1. Meditate or learn to breathe slowly and deeply. 2. Get a decent sleep of at least seven hours a night, get up at the same time every morning (even weekends), and eat a healthy breakfast.

10. Anger management counselling will help you to consciously practice letting go of negativity and things that make you angry or anxious. 11. Slow down your speech to help you think clearly.

3. Drink lots of water and eliminate drinks containing sugar or artificial sweeteners. Don’t self-medicate with alcohol as it is a depressant.

12. Singing regulates breath, reduces tension and stress, improves posture and transports oxygen to the brain. Whistling works the same way.

4. Burn essential oil such as lavender to help calm the mind. There are over a dozen oils beneficial to calming and relaxation, plus they work on children and pets.

13. Learn to play an instrument; listen and move to new music you do not associate with anything that causes stress (like an ex-partner).

5. Remove yourself from the stressful situation, if it is appropriate. 6. Laugh and smile. It not only lowers blood pressure, but triggers the brain to release endorphins, natural painkillers and serotonin, plus it boosts the immune system. As much as you might hate doing it, even faking a smile tricks the brain into releasing “feel good” natural drugs. However, best not to laugh in the face of someone upset with you! 7. Watching flames is calming. Fire up the fireplace, an outdoor brazier, pizza oven, BBQ, or just light candles. 8. Sneak one or two pieces of dark chocolate a day. 9. Pre-empt stressful situations. Christmas comes every year whether you like it or not. Fill the car with gas before you have to worry about running out. 14


14. Start a rhythmic hand-eye movement interest such as hoola-hoop, fire poi, or knitting. 15. Create a hobby that requires attention to detail, such as building a replica or stained glass, or knitting. 16. Straighten up your posture. 17. Consider your spiritual needs and explore within a like-minded group. 18. Start a time management strategy to help you plan, and reserve “chill out” time. 19. Take a hard look at your diet and ensure a good intake of fresh, healthy foods that contain B group vitamins, the minerals magnesium and potassium, and omega 3. Include lean meat and fish, raw green vegetables, fruit, raw nuts and whole grains.

20. Get off the couch and exercise. The worst thing you can do is sit still (with tense muscles) when stressed. Movement releases tension. Regular exercise keeps life’s little stressors from building up, plus you benefit from the endorphins immediately, not to mention longer-term weight loss and improved energy. 21. Take a break from rushing around as the family taxi driver/cleaner/cook. Just like jumping up and down flapping your arms, it will burn calories, but it is not planned, balanced, conscious exercise. 22. Get out in nature, even if it’s hanging out in a hammock under a tree in the back garden. Any time outdoors, rain or shine, will help, but walking in nature is exercise as well. Gazing at the stars often helps put worries in perspective. 23. Start a garden and nurture plants you can graze on later (grapes, berries, cocktail tomatoes, peas, etc). 24. Fix what you can (a soured relationship?), focus on the important things (family), and forget the rest. 25. Yoga or tai chi. Amazing for body and mind balance. 26. Play with your kids and pets. 27. Practice gratitude by giving thanks (meditation, prayer or write a list) for all the things you are thankful for.

28. Hugs and touching - heal. Loved ones and pets. Also try a visit to the hairdresser, a back massage or pedicure. 29. Create something through drawing, painting, sculpture or recycling. 30. Sex increases endorphins, so if your other half is willing and able, it might also help with sleep. 31. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. 32. Write your worries down – with a view to disposing of it one day. 33. Avoid going to bed angry, or carrying stress over into the next day, sleep in a dark room with fresh air if possible, and remove the TV. 34. Swimming can be great exercise and relaxing at the same time. 35. Practice giving your time or expertise. Volunteering is extremely satisfying. 36. If you live central city, you may be unconsciously claustrophobic and lack long-distance vision. Head to a high building or hill to get a view. Sue Pairaudeau is Parent to Parent’s business development manager, and an advocate of preventive health for over 30 years.



preparedness By MATTHEW PRYOR New Zealand is a very beautiful country that we are lucky to live in, but what many of us do not realise is that New Zealand is very vulnerable to a broad range of natural disasters.

Civil Defence in New Zealand is here to respond as quickly as possible during a disaster, and spends a lot of time planning and practising how it is going to respond – but it cannot be everywhere at once. You, your family, friends, and flatmates, need to be able to take care of yourselves for at least three days after a disaster strikes.

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir Geoffrey Palmer famously said: ‘Sometimes it does us a power of good to remind ourselves that we live ... where two tectonic plates meet, in a somewhat lonely stretch of windswept ocean just about the roaring forties. If you want drama – you’ve come to the right place.”

For people with disabilities, a disaster can be especially challenging because specialist medicines, equipment, and communication channels may not be available. Families need to make a plan now to ensure that their loved one gets the support they need during an emergency event.



If your family member with a disability hasn’t prepared for a disaster already, a few simple steps now will help them cope when a disaster hits. It is a good idea to consider: • Organising a support network of at least three people who will let them know when a Civil Defence warning has been issued. • Ensuring your family member has an emergency plan before a disaster hits, and practises it with their support networks. They should plan for a number of disasters and situations that they could encounter. Think about where your family member needs to go to access life-sustaining equipment or treatments. • Preparing a survival kit for your family member that contains food, water, first aid, clothing, essential medicines, and any other specialised items they need. • Following your local Civil Defence Facebook and Twitter channels – these are often the quickest way to receive Civil Defence warnings.

Civil Defence has prepared a comprehensive guide called Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities that contains loads of information to assist families to make sure their loved ones are ready for a disaster. The guide is free, and can be obtained from your local Civil Defence emergency management professionals (usually based at your local district or city council). A few moments planning today could save your family member’s life when a disaster hits. Your local Civil Defence emergency management team are there to help, and can provide information on the hazards that affect your region, and specialist advice on disaster preparedness and planning. Matthew Pryor is Emergency Management Coordinator – Community Resilience, with the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.



y l y d t i n l i e i b r f a Dis

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NELSON NOEL OXNAM REST COTTAGES Two cottages providing the opportunity for short stays for people with medical, social or family issues who are otherwise unable to get a break away. Self-contained accommodation for up to eight people, and one cottage is wheelchairfriendly. The cottages are free to stay in, however, donations are gratefully received. CONTACT The Lake Rotoiti Chapel Trust C/- The Secretary 3177 Korere Tophouse Road RD2 Nelson, 7072 P • 03 5211137 E •


SE t S HOU unit tha ADAM m o o r d d, two wo-be e is a t h a queen be d in s u o H be ams , wit The Ad to six people t double sofa sible u p -o u ces d a pull heelchair-ac sleeps n a s d sa w be s well a re is a a single e , h m T o . o e thr ng the lou nd shower ba h chair. a ig t h toile cot and ch istchur r h C , n carto oad, Ric ht R i u n e ar nig $60 a 18B Wh oast CT CONTA erbury West C ant ction C 06 A y it il b 15 isa PO Box CCS D 140 r u h ch 8 Christc 61 365 56 P • 03 it il ya csdisab c @ y r u terb E • can

THE TIMPSON HOLIDAY HOUSE PEEL FOREST A retreat for carers who care at home for people with disabilities and illnesses. The house has three bedrooms (queen bed and four single beds including an electric bed, a sofa double bed, a cot and a fold-out bed), and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom including a wheeled toilet chair. The house is five minutes’ walk from the Peel Forest store. Confirmation that guests are supported/ registered with an umbrella organisation is required. Bookings essential and limited to a maximum of five nights. CONTACT Rosa Allan P • 03 6963886 E • Hilary McDonald P • 03 696 3851 E • 18 18


Raw chocolate dip recipe for your picnic basket Plump strawberries deserve this dip, which only has four ingredients: fresh dates (about 2 cups), 2 avocados, 1 tsp or pure vanilla, and about a cup of raw cacao powder. Just whizz it all up and serve.

Summer is a great time to get away, rest and recharge the batteries for the coming year. Parent to Parent has started compiling a list of disability friendly options for day excursions and nights away from around New Zealand.

DAY EXCURSIONS Waikato WAIRĒINGA /BRIDAL VEIL FALLS The track to Wairēinga/Bridal Veil Falls follows the Pakoka River to two viewing platforms, with stunning views of the falls and is accessible for assisted wheelchairs. The track beyond this point contains steep steps and is not suitable for wheelchair users. Time: 20 minutes Location: Kawhia Road, near Raglan.


CCS Disability Actio n South Canterbur y has two units at Lake Teka po. The area offer s a wide range of activities such as trout fishing, boatin g, scenic flights, golf and a sa lmon farm. Locate d close to Mt Dobson, Roundh ill ski fields, Mount Cook and the McKenzie Cou ntry hydro scheme. Bo th units can sleep up to fiv e people each and ha ve a wheelchair-accessi ble toilet and show er. Unit 1 has an electri c bed that tilts, is he ig ht adjustable and ha s side rails CCS Disability Actio n, South Canterbur y CONTACT PO Box 585, Timar u 7940 P • 03 684 7151 E • admin.southcan terbury@ccsdisabi

Rotorua LAKE OKAREKA WALKWAY The walkway starts in a wetland and is accessible for wheelchairs to Silver Beach, which is two kilometres return. The wetland features a wide range of aquatic birdlife. Time: 1 hour 30 minutes one way (for full 2.5 km track) Location: Acacia Road, Rotorua.

Gisborne GISBORNE RIVERBANK AND WAIKANAE BEACH WALK The walkway starts at the meeting point of the Taruheru, Turanganui and Waimata rivers. The track is suitable for wheelchairs, with multiple entrances and is 1.5 kilometres each way.

Time: 10-30 minutes Location: Entry points along Reads Quay. To add to this list please contact Parent to Parent business development manager Sue Pairaudeau or 07 853 8491. PARENT TO PARENT MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015 PARENT TO PARENT MAGAZINE • CHRISTMAS 2015 19 19

Merry Christmas Parent to Parent New Zealand would like to acknowledge the support of the following organisations who have provided funding this year.

Gallagher Charitable Trust

Tidd Foundation

North Taranaki


If undeliverable please return to Parent to Parent, PO Box 234, Hamilton 3214