In this issue:

  • CEO Update
  • Profile on Alex Kane
  • Neighbour Aid Client Survey
  • Group Outings are Back!
  • Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Who are you wearing Red for?

CEO Update – February 2021

A Happy New Year to you all!

Let me start by saying how very proud I am of the Northern Beaches community and how well we all pitched in to deal with the Avalon COVID outbreak in December. It demonstrates the strong and dedicated community spirit present in our community.

Due to the outbreak in December, we did immediately halt all social outings and non-essential individual services. We are now optimistically, though cautiously, looking to resume our social outings in accordance with COVID-safe guidelines. We know our social outings are in high demand and are an important way of keeping people connected. We look forward to advising you very soon on the resumption of our social outings which we anticipate will take place from February. We also look forward to announcing other new and innovative services we are planning on launching this year.

Listening to our clients and responding to their needs is key to fulfilling our mission of care in the community. As such, we will be undertaking a survey with our clients throughout February and March. The goal of the survey is to connect with our clients, understand their needs and respond with relevant services. We plan for our phone surveys to be an important aspect of an ongoing dialogue with our clients which takes place periodically each year.

The New Year is a great time to spruce up your home and ensure it is safe and properly maintained. MWP Care’s Building Services team is on hand and are more than happy to assist with any modifications or maintenance work our clients may need. We are here to help so please don’t hesitate to call us on ph. 9913 2133.

Thank you to our valued clients and to our amazing volunteers. We look forward to supporting you and working with you throughout the year.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2021.

Grant Simpson

Profile on Alex Kane – Client Experience Manager

I joined MWP Care in November last year following a lengthy career in the disability sector, most of which was with Cerebral Palsy Alliance. I’ve always liked going into bat for life’s underdogs so it was a natural fit working for an organisation where my endeavours resulted in an improved quality of life for people with disability.

I am also very passionate about leadership and running businesses so I’m really happy being Neighbour Aid’s Client Experience Manager. I am learning more and more about our clients and am excited about delivering services in line with their needs.

On a personal note, I am married with two young sons and this keeps me very busy. Apart from family life I love sport, cooking (especially on the BBQ!), reading and keeping up to date with politics and current affairs. I also enjoy being creative and have developed a couple of board games. They’re both great games and one day I might be successful in selling them to a mass audience but in the meantime this is just a hobby for me.

Neighbour Aid Client Survey

As some of our Neighbour Aid clients would already be aware we are currently conducting a client survey. The word “survey” may be a misnomer because it’s really more a get-to-know-you type questionnaire. There are a few questions relating to client satisfaction however the majority of the survey is designed to get to know our clients better as people and also to understand their current skills and interests so we can develop suitable programs into the future.

COVID-19 has really put a big dent into many of our services and this has prompted us to think differently. Would our clients enjoy engaging with us, and others, online? This may be through things such as regular trivia competitions, online bingo or even things such as virtual travel or virtual art galleries. And if there is interest, are our clients set up for such things? If not, but they would like to be, we will explore options to assist. Ultimately we are keen to help our clients remain connected and engaged regardless of any restrictions that may be in place.

Surveys can be conducted over the phone or face to face. So if you receive a call but would prefer to conduct it face to face please just let the caller know.

Group Outings are Back!

We are very pleased to announce that group outings are currently being organised for resumption in February.

What can be revealed is that the outings are being planned in line with feedback from clients so they will involve a mixture of clubs (both local and more distant), picnics (including mystery ones) and visits to places of interest. By the time you are reading this the calendar for February and March will be finalised and this will be posted to anyone interested in outings. If you’re not one of our regulars but are interested in joining the fun please call the office so we can invite you along.

Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart

Prevention is the best medicine. 8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease & stroke are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Cardiologist Dr Edward Barin has established a wonderful new approach to keeping your heart healthy. He calls it the 4-M approach.

Keep moving at any age and at any level of fitness.
Exercise has many benefits beyond simple fitness and flexibility. It stimulates the body’s immune system, reduces blood thickening so it clots less easily, improves brain function and lowers blood pressure. Exercise can even prevent some forms of cancer.
Research in older patients with age-related muscle wasting (also called sarcopenia) has shown that strength training was found to prevent disability, slow down dementia and reduce the risk of accidental falls.
Independence and good health in later life are closely related to physical fitness.

Eat intelligently.
Good nutrition extends beyond just controlling your intake of cholesterol, calories and chocolate. There is also great benefit in understanding, for example, the important effects of trans fats (bad for you), polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (good for you). How the body metabolises different carbohydrates (sugars) and the impact this has on weight, diabetes and body fat deposits.
Research consistently shows that the right balance between food intake and exercise is vital for optimum weight, fitness and health.
Improved nutritional knowledge truly leads to improved health.

Keep track of your health measurements.
This includes cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, sugar levels, waist circumference and exercise capacity.
For years health workers have understood the value of monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol levels, sugar level and body weight. To this we can now add the importance of measuring heart pump function (ejection fraction), exercise capacity (6 minute walk test), waist circumference, and kidney function, among many others.
A close relationship between the family doctor and subject will optimise the way good health is measured and monitored.
Managing health without measurements is like ocean racing without a compass.

Mental Approach
Stay optimistic.
Many studies show your state of mind can protect, as well as damage heart health. Important risk factors that may lead to heart disease include stress, anger and depression.
They can be as damaging as high cholesterol levels in causing heart disease. Unaccustomed stress such as the loss of a family member can trigger heart attacks in an otherwise well individual. Conversely, a positive state of mind, a supportive community and personal happiness may help reduce the risk of a bad cardiovascular event.

In Summary
Movement and exercise, intelligent choice of Meals, Measurement of health indicators and maintaining an optimistic Mental attitude (the 4-M approach) form a concise and effective approach to achieving heart health before and after serious illness, at any age.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century.

By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Who are you wearing Red for?

This coming February (or REDFEB as we like to call it), we invite you to wear RED for someone close to your heart to help keep families together for longer. Whether it’s a family member, wife, husband, or that special friend who means the world to you, or in memory of someone you loved who sadly passed away due to heart disease.

Honour those close to your heart.  Raise money for life-saving research, raise awareness for heart disease and help keep families together for longer. Getting involved is as simple as wearing red and donating. #wearredanddonate

Share your RED on Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtags #wearredanddonate #redfeb #HROz #researchsaveslives #heartdiseaseawareness. We can’t wait to see all your amazing ideas and get togethers.  Don’t forget to tag us!! @heartresearchaustralia Have a private profile? We’d hate to miss seeing your images! Email them to

However you chose to shine in RED we are so incredibly grateful and thankful for your support. Thank you for helping us raise awareness for the devastating statistics of heart disease and much needed funds for life-saving heart research.

Join the conversation.

Like Heart Research Australia on Facebook and Instagram to get healthy living tips, inspiration, heart disease news, photos, quotes, inspiration and more. Better yet, like and share our posts with your friends or be a part of the conversation by sharing who you are wearing red for by tagging @HeartResearchAustralia #wearredanddonate #redfeb