Restrictions are continuing to ease gradually around the state which is a welcome boost for workers and the NSW economy. From the start of June people can travel to regional NSW, and restrictions on cafes, pubs and restaurants will be relaxed to allow up to 50 patrons at one time.
However, the health advice for seniors remains the same – we recommend you stay at home and avoid non-essential travel as much as possible.
This is especially important for seniors over 70 years old or over 65 years old with a chronic illness. These groups have a greater risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. I urge you to exercise caution and read the Commonwealth Government’s guidelines on this.
As current advice continues to evolve, it can be especially difficult for seniors who mainly speak a language other than English to access information on COVID-19. A new mobile phone app is available to help multicultural members of the community learn about COVID-19 in Australia in 25 different languages. You can download the app for iPhones and Android phones.
Recently we commemorated a significant day in history – the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe and the beginning of the end of the Second World War. WWII veterans living in NSW were interviewed about their experiences, to ensure their stories are heard and not lost. Please take a moment to watch the video or read their stories.
Stay safe and take care.
Geoff Lee MP
Acting Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans
Things to do in social isolation
Check out the art at the Australian National Portrait Gallery – Art lovers may also like to visit The Australian National Portrait Gallery. Memorable paintings include Howard Arkley’s portrait of musician Nick Cave.
Listen to podcasts – Let your ears do the walking and delve into the world of podcasts. There’s everything from great brain teasers like the All Aussie Mystery Hour where true crime buffs Josie and Mel present unsolved mysteries, to The Australia Institute explaining the nation’s economy and busting fiscal myths in everyday language. The Feedspot blog lists 50 top podcasts for Australians to follow this year with news and views from across the nation. Or check out these recommended sustainability podcasts, to help you up your green credentials from the comfort of your couch.
Start a vegie patch or herb garden – Whether you have a big backyard or just an apartment balcony, you can go green. As well as being enjoyable, the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel says gardening has many health benefits. It recommends growing edible plants, but that doesn’t mean just vegetables and fruits – flowers like carnations, honeysuckles and nasturtiums can add colour to your dinner plate too. Mix it up with home-grown herbs like rosemary, basil, chives, sage, mint, oregano, parsley and thyme.
Sustainable Gardening Australia says people with hard clay or pure sand can use raised beds and bring in soil. Very Edible Gardens believes no-dig gardens that use layers of rich organic matter to form a planting base are great for vegie patches. It says they are quick and easy to make and the decomposing organic matter quickly becomes rich black compost and attracts beneficial micro-organisms.
If you’re limited to a balcony, keep your space versatile and uncluttered and using self-watering pots. You can make a kitchen garden of herbs or even espalier a fruit tree along a wall.
Take a free renovation class – Learn how to plan, design and style your dream home with a free online module through The Reno School, from mastering kitchens and bathrooms to nailing the basics of interior decorating.
Tech Savvy Seniors – The Tech Savvy Seniors (TSS) website has a number of ‘self-teach’ videos designed to make it easy to learn at your own pace. The TSS website also contains a range of interactive free digital literacy training resources. Please visit the TSS website to find out more.
Pen Pals @ Home Instead – The well-being of seniors is so important right now. But with social distancing and self-isolation in place, it’s hard to know how you can help. So we are encouraging you to write to a senior. By sharing your messages, we can make seniors feel connected with their community and overcome any feelings of loneliness they may be experiencing. Record or write a hopeful message or get creative by sharing a favourite poem or funny story. Everyone can get involved, and we even have some fun templates for the kids too!
Contribute to the latest fall prevention research from home
Neuroscience Research Australia has developed a home-based balance and brain-training exercise program, Standing Tall-Plus. The research team is investigating its effectiveness in improving physical and cognitive functions and reducing the number of falls in older adults.
The Standing Tall-Plus program is:
- An engaging and evidence-based way to train your balance and cognitive function
- Easily used at home using an iPad (provided to you during the study if required)
Half of all participants will receive the StandingTall-Plus exercise program to use at home (exercise group), while the other half will be asked to continue with their usual activities (health education group). As a participant, you have a 50% chance of being placed in either group.
Personal help to understand aged care
Do you need help to stay living safely at home, or are you looking into residential care, for yourself or for a family member or friend? COTA NSW (Council on the Ageing NSW)’s Aged Care Navigator service may be able to assist you find your way around the aged care system.
Our service was available at Information Hubs in various locations, but these are closed at present because of COVID-19. However, the good news is that we are still offering help by phone and video link, and we welcome anyone who is seeking help with understanding the aged care system or navigating the process to contact us.
Did you know about our Seniors Card NSW Facebook page? Join our community of thousands and stay up to date with news, things to do during isolation, offers and stories. Visit our page and hit the like button today!