Here you will find helpful information and articles on a wide range of topics relating to community care, health and home support as well as current sector news and offers.
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It is mandatory to have a smoke alarm in every household where people sleep. Statistics shows that a person is twice as likely to die in a fire at home where a fire alarm is not installed, however the risk factor if they are unable to hear a standard alarm. Although the Deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing are in need of special fire alarm those with flashing lights and vibrating under-pillow pads to supplement the sound of the alarms can rise to as much as $450 more than a standard alarm
Therefore, the NSW Government has invested $2 million for the scheme, which aims to give people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing the same protections as smoke alarms do for others. This lifesaving program will see 3500 high-tech smoke alarms go to people in our community who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing,” Commissioner Mullins said. “For those eligible, fire-fighters from your local fire station can come out and help install them.”
“The subsidy gives deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people in NSW the right to make the same choices as everyone else about their home fire safety.”
Applications for the subsidy can be made to the Deaf Society of NSW, which provides information and services to people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing and their families. For information and application forms visit this website:
Elderly people are prone to increased health risks as we head into the warmer months, so here are some useful tips for staying safe and beating the summer heat….
Anyone can be affected by heat stroke and other heat related illness, but those over the age of 65 is more likely to be effected and need to be particularly careful as the weather heats up. Heat stress happens when the body isn’t able to regulate a healthy temperature and has trouble cooling itself.
Side effects to look for include:
• Mild rashes
• Hot and dry skin
• Rapid heart rate
• Disorientation and confusion
To avoid these types of health issues it is recommended to;
• Stay indoors, with a fan and/or air-conditioning on
• Avoid strenuous activity.
• Wear light clothing and
• Sip on cool drinks throughout the day.
Friends, family and carers can also help by keeping track of weather reports as temperatures of 30 degrees place vulnerable people at higher risk and check on them frequently.
If you have any further questions or queries talk to your GP
If you think to may be suffering from heat related illness you should call a health professional immediately for assistance.
Here at Lifestyle Home Services we believe it’s never too early or too late to start exercising!
Getting regular exercise helps you to stay fit and also has tremendous health benefits.
I recently heard about an American Woman, Gladys “Gladyator” Burrill, who is living proof that it is never to late to enjoy the benefits of exercise
Gladys Burrill earned the nickname ‘Gladyator’ after she successfully completed the Honolulu Marathon in 2010 at the ripe old age of 92!
Gladys walked and jogged the better half of the 42 kilometer course and finished at the amazing time of 9 hours and 53 minutes.
Gladys’s passion for running began when she was 86 and since then she has completed the Honolulu marathon five times and walked a total of 400 kilometers!
Whilst Gladys’s approach to exercise may be a little extreme there are alternative ways of staying fit and plenty of senior-friendly activities available to try.
Fitness centers and gyms now run classes that cater to the needs of the elderly across Australia. Lawn bowls, aquatic aerobics and walking are just a few of the sports more and more older people are taking part in.
Aquatic aerobics and other water based sports, like swimming, are highly recommended for older people as they ease tension in the joints and tendons compared to higher impact activities.
Before starting any form of exercise please remember to consult your Doctor to assess your current physical well-being and give you the right fitness plan.
At Lifestyle Home Services we support many of our clients to keep up with a regular fitness regime as part of their aged care support. Sometimes this means our staff help by going for a walk with the client or driving them to a fitness class. We also have some our staff trained in allied health assistance which means they can support a person with a physiotherapy regime under the guidance of the client’s physiotherapist.
It is now even easier to access information about aged care in Australia with the introduction of National info Line!
Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre in Dubbo
The new Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre number is 1800 200 422
This number replaces all of the old numbers for the centres although the old numbers will still work until their deactivation at some point in the future.
Mark Butler, the minister for Mental Health and Aged, says that the new number will “act as the new single point of entry for people seeking information and access to aged care services”.
With the Australian population set to go through a period of demographic ageing, this is timely news indeed. Already 1.2 million older Australians rely on some form of care and with population ageing we can expect this number to significantly increase.
In addition to the new info line, the federal government has also made improvements to the aged care website to make it easier to navigate.
This reform is just one step in the direction of a consistent, national and integrated system of aged care. It is hoped that such a single point of entry will take some of the confusion out of the aged care system.
Challenging Arthritis is a new self management program developed by Arthritis NSW to assist you in managing your arthritis and improving your health. Challenging Arthritis helps you to make informed choices about your treatment and includes practical easy tips that can be incorporated into daily life to improve your health and quality of life. The program is suitable for people of all ages and can be completed at your own pace. Challenging Arthritis consists of 8 modules covering topics like: healthy eating, managing pain, exercise, relaxation and working with health professions. The program consists of a workbook and for those that have access to the internet it can also be completed by logging onto the Arthritis NSW website, Health Educators are available by telephone to provide additional support.
The Australian Investments and Securities Commission (ASIC) has launched a new website to help people make good financial decisions; www.moneysmart.gov.au
The Website provides “free independent and unbiased information, tools and motivation”.
If you log on to the site you will notice that it is jam packed with information. There are sections on; managing money, borrowing money, retirement & superannuation, Investing and scams. There are numerous calculators to help you figure out everything from how long it will take you to pay off your home or credit card to how much money you could receive upon retirement by changing your superannuation payments. This could help you budget for potential future home care needs. There is also a section of quizzes where you can test your knowledge on a range of financial topics.
The site has information for major life events; such as having a baby, losing a job, getting married and … etc. You can also find specific information for young people and over 55s. There’s something for everyone so, go on and have a look!
For many people aging is equated with the loss of health and independence. People who choose to remain in their own homes are often faced with still needing to rely on others to do the things they once did for themselves. Loosing this independence is very hard. Lifestyle Home Services, and its parent organisation; Catholic Community Services have been working hard to develop ways in which people living at home can be assisted to regain their independence.
Our approach to care is based on an Enabling philosophy. This means that we aim to ‘do with’ rather then ‘do for’. We believe that you are never “too old” to do things for yourself.
Sometimes people can lose confidence in their own abilities after having a fall or a serious illness. Our approach allows for a gradual re-introduction of tasks with support to ensure you are safe while you build your skills up again.
Mary’s story highlights this process:
Mary*(name changed) was 83 when she slipped on her front step on a rainy afternoon. She fractured her hip and spent several weeks in hospital recovering. Mary was introduced to our service when she decided that she wanted to return home to live. While in hospital, Mary had nurses to help her shower and did not have to cook or clean. She was worried about how she would do these things when she returned home as she lives alone. Mary’s children all lived far away and she did not want to burden her friends. Mary was frightened that she would fall again and have to move into a nursing home.
Mary met with our care manager- David and together they arranged services to help her with her daily activities and confidence. Mary’s goal was to be fully independent again. She was introduced to her community worker , Joan. Joan would pop around every morning to help Mary have a shower, do some housework and any shopping Mary needed. Initially Mary wanted to Joan to help quite a bit- Mary was worried she would fall over in the shower. David organized a chair for her in the shower and Mary was able to shower herself with Joan standing by in case she needed any help. After a just few month of support Mary had built up her strength and confidence and was able to withdraw the home care services as she no longer needed them. Should Mary need some support again in the future she knows she can always call on Lifestyle Home Services.
Would you like to have more information about staying at home as you age? We are putting on a special seminar event at Horsnby RSL on Wednesday the 2nd of March at 10am. Guest speakers will be discussing issues including; financial considerations, wellbeing, and home care support. This event is part of the Seniors Week Festival sponsored by Horsnby Shire Council. For a calendar of events please click here.
If you would like to come along please RSVP to Jodie at 1800 225 474. Spaces are limited so be quick!
The first draft report on aged care in Australian was released by the Productivity Commission on January 21st. One of the key points of this report was increased choice for older Australians; “Older Australians told the Commission that they did not want to be passive recipients of services, dependent on funded providers. Rather, they wanted to be independent and be able to choose where they live, which provider they would use and whether to purchase additional services or a higher standard of accommodation” Increased choice and control over services or rather, consumer-directed care has been shown to lead to better outcomes for older people.
So what does this mean for those receiving community care services? Well at the moment there’s no immediate changes, however in the next few years there is likely to be significant changes. Currently, people who receive a community aged care package are allocated to a provider and often have limited choice of community workers – although this does vary between providers. Under a system that allows an older person to choose between many providers, competition will in theory drive the sector to better meet the preferences of older people. There are also proposed changes to the contributions that users will make to their care to include both income and assets tests by Centrelink to determine a users capacity to pay. Under these proposals, the worth of the family home could impact on what is paid for services. In a nutshell, there could be increased choice and control but potentially at a higher cost for some.
Question for comments – What changes would you like to see in Australian Aged Care?