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NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2016

It’s mind boggling to think that as we go to print it will already be December! Where has the year gone?! It may have gone in a flash, but this year has had a few milestones for all of us at QCCN; we obtained a brand new logo and web page, launched our new online Volunteer Management System (Get in touch if you haven’t accessed your Volgistics profile yet!), hosted the bi-annual conference for CVS coordinators, we bid a fond farewell to our Resident Irish Debra and a warm welcome to our little ray of sunshine Suzanne. Speaking of warm welcomes, our volunteering family have also seen quite a few new additions thanks in part to a few recruitment drives we have launched. If you are one of these new volunteers, we hope you are enjoying your volunteering! The Christmas period can be a tricky time for Community Visitors; we often have volunteers who want to give their resident a Christmas Gift and this can prove challenging. If you want to give something homemade, does the resident have any food allergies or a special diet; if you want to give something purchased, will the resident be embarrassed if they can’t return the sentiment? At QCCN, we often advise volunteers to check with the Aged Care Home’s DT or Volunteer Coordinator as every resident is different and they will be able to give personalised advice. If you are going away for the holidays, you do not need to inform QCCN unless you will not be visiting for more than 4 weeks, however we definitely recommend telling your resident and the Aged Care Home staff, so they know not to expect your visit. We have a great newsletter for you this month, with our Volunteer Profile on the wonderful Kali and we sit down and have a chat with Garth from the team. Don’t forget to check out the crossword too! From everyone here at QCCN, have a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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4th November 2016 – Our 100+ Club Hits a World Record!! Here at QCCN, we have a wonderful social club called The 100+ Club. With every member aged at 100 years or over, we strive to promote, celebrate and connect our Centenarians. Until now, the World Record for the Largest Number of Centenarians at a Social gathering was 31 – set in 2013 in the United States. On the 4th November, alongside the Queensland Premier The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk, we hosted a luncheon at the Parliamentary Annexe that saw a whopping total of 45 members attend. We couldn’t be more thrilled! To check out photos of the event, visit ‘100+ Club’ on Facebook!

Monday 5th December – United Nations International Volunteer Day Each year on 5th December, we celebrate the UN International Volunteers Day. Mandated by the UN General Assembly, it is a day for both volunteers and volunteer based organisations to celebrate the efforts of service commitment, to share our values, and to showcase the difference that volunteers make within the community. We know that we wouldn’t be able to do this important work without our volunteer force!

QCCN Christmas/New Years Opening Hours The Queensland Community Care Network office will be closed Monday 26th December 2016 to Sunday 1st December We will re-open with normal office hours from Monday 2nd January 2017.

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Want to know more about the wonderful team at QCCN? For the next few issues, we are going to share a Team Member Profile. This month, we sat down with a cuppa and had a chat with our resident ‘bushy’, Garth. What are some of your interests? I love being outdoors exploring natural areas (hiking, camping, four-wheel driving and boating). I'm also a huge fan of mixed martial arts (MMA) and have previously trained in Muay Thai (kickboxing). What is something interesting about you? When playing with my band "Quark" in the early 2000's, we had several of our songs played on a local radio station while we were interviewed in the studio. What would you do if you won the lottery? I would move to a large acreage in a rural area where I would be surrounded by animals and could work towards self-sustainable living. I would also like to protect large areas of natural environment through private land holdings and have organisations re-introduce threatened native species in these areas. What skills would you like to develop? I would like the opportunity to develop more bushcraft skills and have the opportunity to practice them in different climates/environments. What do you enjoy most about your role at QCCN? Meeting new volunteers!!! Having the opportunity to speak with such a diverse range of people, all of whom are united by a common cause, is wonderful. We are constantly inundated by messages of fear, division and negativity from the media, so it is a pleasure and a privilege to meet with people who want to volunteer their time to enhance the life of another human being. It leaves me with a great sense of hope for the future of human kind.

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We are thrilled to introduce CVS Volunteer Kali! Since starting with Queensland Community Care Network in May this year, Kali has made a significant positive change to the resident she has been visiting. We are so excited to have her as part of our volunteer family! We wanted to ask her a few questions about her volunteering role with QCCN, and how she has been finding the Community Visitor experience so far. What inspires you to volunteer? A sense of community is really important to me so volunteering is a way to be more involved. It is very rewarding to be part of something that has a positive impact on the lives of others. Growing up my Grandmother was a significant role model for me and she spent a large portion of her life volunteering. I want to make sure that my children grow up seeing that volunteering and being part of a community is normal. What inspired you to apply for the role with Qld Community Care Network? I spent a lot of time with my grandparents later in their life and have always reflected on how much I have learnt from them. I was always rewarded with the happiness that my visits brought to them and recognised how lonely the elderly can become and how important it is for people to feel that there is someone who cares and enjoys spending time with them. I also wanted to find a volunteering role that was suitable to do with my baby in tow‌ he is certainly a hit at the aged care home and loves all the attention he gets!

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How have you found your volunteering journey so far? Extremely rewarding! What sort of activities are you enjoying with your resident? We mainly sit in Charlotte’s room and chat with her, due to her health she is not really mobile. Charlotte has also enjoyed watching my little boy learning to crawl as well as taking some of his first steps in her room! What have you enjoyed the most about your role volunteering with QCCN? Throughout the year we have come to know Charlotte quite well, the smile on her face when we walk through the door is a wonderful feeling. I feel very privileged to have learnt so much about Charlotte’s life. At the age of 94 she has certainly seen a lot! I struggle to put it into words, but it really has been a wonderful experience making friends with Charlotte. She is a beautiful and caring person with a great sense of humour. When you’re not volunteering, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Spending time with my kids and husband, we love camping, beach days and travelling. I also enjoy anything related to food! Growing it, cooking it and eating it! When I manage to get the time away I love taking yoga classes.

Would You Like To Be Our Next

As a QCCN CVS volunteer, you make a huge difference in people’s lives - and we love to celebrate our volunteers!! If you would like to be featured in our next edition of ‘Full Circle’, just send us an email to volunteer@qccn.org.au

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Pet therapy, or ‘animal-assisted therapy’, is a type of therapy involving animals as a form of treatment. The goal may be to improve a patient’s social, emotional or cognitive functioning. The benefits? Well, research suggests that there are many, some of which include:   

Decreased blood pressure and stress Improved communication and memory Many people who are normally unresponsive to other therapies may ‘brighten up’ and with a pet Pets can motivate and encourage the elderly to stay healthy and exercise, giving them a feeling of being ‘needed’ and creating a sense of meaning. Recently, residents at Mercy Place Aged Care were treated to a day of Pet Therapy, as part of the Alzheimer’s Australia dementia awareness month. The sound of the 10 dogs arriving at the East Melbourne home — French bulldogs, ‘cavoodles’ and pomeranians all straining in anticipation of the awaiting attention — stirred patients with dementia from their seats. They opened their eyes, they smiled, and they extended their hands. Mercy Place regional manager Marg Alexander said for the 50 residents with dementia, visits from dogs allowed them to connect with happy memories and express their emotions. “We had a male resident who would get a bit agitated at four o’clock each day, and looking into their history that’s because he always took the dog for a walk at that time,” Ms Alexander said. “If there is a dog available at four o’clock and you can give that resident the lead and take them out to the courtyard, they’re happy. “Research shows interaction with animals really increases the quality of life by reducing their tensions, helping with fatigue and confusion. “It increases their enthusiasm. They might be sitting on a chair just looking at the wall, but as soon as the animals come in they sit up, their eyes open and they smile.” Image: Herald Sun [Online]

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We couldn’t have a ‘Games Corner' World Search in December that didn’t involve CHRISTMAS! Can you find all twelve words below?

Do you have a suggested Word Search theme for the Jan-Feb edition of Full Circle? Contact us and we’ll feature it in the next Newsletter!

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We are urgently recruiting fantastic Community Visitors in the following areas. Do you know anyone who might like to get involved? Let them know to contact us today! Forest Lake Tweed Heads South Benowa, Gold Coast Southport, Gold Coast

The Queensland Community Care Network office will be closed for one week over the Festive Season. Our last working day will be Friday 23rd December, reopening Monday 2nd January 2017. We look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!

Do You Need To Contact Queensland Community Care Network?

We understand that everyone is becoming busier, including all of our volunteers! For this reason, QCCN staff make ourselves available online, so you can send through updated details, enquiries, questions or comments when you have time. Leave us a message using any of the methods listed below and we will try to get to you as soon as we can! Facebook- www.facebook.com/qccn.org.au Twitter - www.twitter.com/QCCN Also, our entire office is available through e-mail and we check our emails on a regular basis Kieran – kieran@qccn.org.au Garth – garth@qccn.org.au Suzanne – suzanne@qccn.org.au Rebecca (Dalby) – rebecca@qccn.org.au David (Roma) – david@qccn.org.au 8


Full circle - November ~ December 2016