In this issue:

  • CEO Update
  • Bus Outings Calendar
  • Client Profile: Sandra Comber
  • Focus On Men’s Health Week
  • Staff Profile: Frank Riggio
  • Focus On Home Modifications
  • Recent Events Photos
  • Volunteer Profile: Svetlana Boiarkina


CEO Update

Welcome to our July edition of Care Matters!

Over the past year, MWP Care has gone through a significant regeneration process to ensure the organisation is better able to meet the changing needs of the people we support. We’ve filled key roles in the team, recruited more of our amazing volunteers and been fortunate to welcome more clients into the MWP care family.

We have also been more actively promoting our services to the broader community. This has included building content on our website and launching a social media footprint.

An important element of this regeneration process has been taking stock of what it is that makes MWP Care special and different from other organisations. We conducted research to discover more about this from a group of our clients, to better understand what is at the heart of our brand, and what this means to our clients.

From our research it became clear that MWP Care provides two broad areas of support that are very important to those we serve.

These two areas can be summarised as:

Building independence – helping people live as independently as possible by making their homes safer. This is the work our Building Services department does.

Creating connections – building relationships between people who become increasingly more isolated as they age. How we do this is by facilitating close one-on-one relationships between our volunteers and clients as well as staging social events which bring people together.

This is how we express the new tagline on our brand:

We are excited about this new tagline and hope you feel this captures what MWP Care means to you.

We plan to roll this message out in our new promotional and marketing materials over the coming weeks and months.

On a staff front, I’m delighted to announce the appointment of key new member of the team. Frank Riggio joins MWP Care as our new Project Manager, working with the Building Services team.

Frank joined MWP Care in May, and is responsible for managing major building modifications in our clients’ homes. Frank is a qualified builder and brings a wealth of building experience having worked in the aged care and disability sector as well as the commercial building arena.

Frank and the Building Services team are ready and keen to help manage any major modification projects our clients might require, such as bathroom or kitchen renovations. An Occupational Therapist’s report is required before the building work can commence, but please don’t hesitate to contact Frank on 9913 3244 if we can be of help in making your, or someone you might know, home safer.

I look forward to speaking with you again soon.

In the meantime stay safe and stay connected.

Best wishes,

Grant Simpson


Bus Outings Calendar

Christmas in July at the Waterview Restaurant

Girl Power Of The 60’s – Presented by the Starliner at Bankstown Sports Club

Massey Park Golf Club lunch at The Family Brasseri

Madame Tussauds, Darling Harbour & lunch at Bayshores Bistro, Balgowlah RSL

Lunch at Club Palm Beach & Scenic drive

Lunch at Dee Why Pub & Light (seated) Exercise Class – Active Seniors Health Centre, Dee Why

Yum Cha or 2-course lunch at Zen, Ramsgate RSL

Lunch at Vic On The Park, Marrickville & visit

Blue Mountains Day Trip

Mystery Destination


Client Profile: Sandra Comber

For this month’s client profile I had the pleasure of meeting Sandra Comber in the delightful Freshwater home in which she grew up. A lovely and very welcoming house, it was built by her father, with the assistance of her mum, Muriel (who cleaned 52,000 bricks whilst 6-months pregnant). And young people think they know all about recycling! Sandra is one of our more long-standing clients.

How long have you been receiving MWP Care’s services?
Probably since around 2008. Then mum (Muriel) came on board later. I wasn’t getting funded services so I paid out of my pocket for services. I can’t fault anybody at MWP Care. They’ve been so good and supportive.

What services are you receiving?
I get transport services. I used to get shopping services too but I stopped that.

What do the services mean for you?
I get one on one services. These are especially important because of Charlie (Sandra’s guide dog). The friendship, security and support are very, very important for me. That’s why I love the volunteer drivers.

Tell us a little bit about Charlie
He’s seven and a half. I’ve had him for six and a half years. The training is generally for one year although it depends on the dog; if the dog is going good at his training, and they do put them through a lot of test, they can take the dog out. When I got him my right eye was totally gone and I was losing sight in the left eye.

What is the cause of your vision impairment?
Devic’s disease. Otherwise known as Neuromyelitis optica or NMO. It’s a rare condition that the research suggests comes from a virus. I had to give up my nursing career when I got it.

Would you recommend MWP Care to others?
I would definitely recommend MWP Care. I know no other company that does one-on-one transport. This is where I want to stay.

Alex Kane – Neighbour Aid Manager


Focus On Men’s Health Week

What is Men’s Health Week? Why is Australian male health so in need of attention? Why work on men’s health?

Men’s Health Week was started in the United States by the US Congress in 1994 to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

In Australia, there were small and localised Men’s Health Week events in Victoria and then in New South Wales from about 2000 onwards.

In Australia, Men’s Health Week provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men’s health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country each June.

The Men’s Health Week website has lots of valuable resources to improve men’s health. The below comes from research that looked at loneliness in ageing men. At MWP Care, our social programs focus on creating connections and this can be very valuable in combating loneliness. Call our office to find out more.

Three ways to beat loneliness

The men we spoke to had lots of tips for how they tackle feeling lonely and isolated. These are their top three.

  1. Keep busy, with lots of plans throughout the week.
    Make sure you’re getting out of the house, if you’re able to, and try to be with other people. Setting yourself small tasks throughout the day, which include leaving the house at least once, can be really helpful.
  2. Spend time on solo hobbies such as reading, painting, photography or gardening. Watching the television can be a short-term distraction, but keep in mind that regularly watching TV on your own can sometimes make you feel more cut off.
  3. Go along to group activities and events.
    Local groups can be a great way of doing things you enjoy in the company of others. Going along to a group can be daunting. Lots of people worry they’ll feel the ‘odd one out’, for example they might feel nervous about going to a group alone where lots of other people attending are in couples or already know each other. Others might be concerned about getting to the group or needing to bring a loved one they care for with them. Don’t be discouraged. The men we spoke to really valued getting involved in groups they attended, saying it gave them a sense of purpose and helped them meet new people like them.


Staff Profile: Frank Riggio

Frank Riggio has over 10 years’ experience in providing home modifications and has worked state wide within the disability / aged care sector as well as iCare and Lifetime Care, ranging from transitional to major complex modifications.

Frank is a representative on the Advisory Committee for Home Modifications Information Clearance House, UNSW Sydney and is experienced in internal and external modifications, extensions, new builds and conversions. In addition to working with other primary care funding bodies, Frank collaborates with Occupational Therapists, tradesmen, clients and families.

When did you start with MWP Care?
10th May 2021

What is your role?
Building Services and Project Manager

Why do you do what you do?
I find it rewarding to utilise my skills and experience to support and assist participants to live independently and to have an improved quality of life.

What do you enjoy most about working here?
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to help grow MWP Care and to be working as part of team to improve the lives of people in the community.

What do you like to do outside of work?
My hobbies include boating, fishing, and spending time with my family and motorbike riding.

Is there something unique or different you have done that many people wouldn’t know?
I spent 17 years as a farm owner farming fat lambs, Lucene and growing a variety of crops.

During my time living in rural NSW, I was a member of NSW Rural Fire Service and was involved with training of volunteer off road driver training courses.


Focus On Home Modifications

Among the suite of services MWP Care provides is Home Modifications. As with other MWP Care Services this is funded under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and by the Home Care Package scheme.

The objective to provide home modifications that increase or maintain levels of independence, safety, accessibility and wellbeing. Modification services can also assist in creating a home environment that supports reablement and restorative practices.

Home modifications provide changes to a client’s home that may include structural changes to increase or maintain the person’s functional independence so that they can continue to live and move safely about the house.

Examples of home modification activities include:

  • Grab rails in the shower
  • Ramps (permanent and temporary)
  • Step modifications
  • Bathroom renovations
  • Access and egress pathways through a property
  • Internal and external hand rails next to steps
  • Installation and fitting of emergency alarms and other
    safety aids and assistive technology

Effective Home Modifications have been shown to have the capacity to improve wellbeing and reduce the need for waged care services for people with disability. However, Home Modifications that do not meet the functional needs of the resident, do not comply with best building practices, are difficult to implement and maintain, or are not cost effective, can do more harm than good. Issues with Home Modifications are complex and varied.

  • The Home Modification skill base varies among service providers, including occupational therapists, builders and architects. Inexperience and lack of suitable information and resources can lead to poor work standards and inefficiency.
  • The numerous design guidelines available can be contradictory, internally inconsistent and incomplete, which limits the ability of Home Modification providers to ensure consistency and achievement of the best outcomes from Home Modifications.
  • Home Modification decisions depend on the skill of individual service providers in assessing the resident’s functioning and care requirements, alongside their household and home environment. Inexperience and lack of suitable information and resources can lead to inappropriate home modification specification, especially if the resident has multiple disabilities, general frailty and mental impairments.
  • Although older people prefer living at home as they age, most existing housing stock (despite newer housing approaches such as ‘Adaptable Housing’ and ‘Liveable Housing’) is still not suitable for people with disability. People wanting to make their home safer and more suitable for their future needs, need access to information and resources to undertake DIY Home Modifications at the time of their choosing.

Whether it’s home maintenance, a major renovation project, or anything in between, the MWP Care Building Services team is ready and willing to help make our clients homes safer.

Please call us on 9913 3244 to enquire about our services.


Home Modification Examples


Volunteer Profile: Svetlana Boiarkina

When did you start with MWP Care?
May 2021

What is your role?
Digital Experience Volunteer – I’m helping spread the MWP word on social media.

What do you enjoy most about working here?
I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and hearing their stories. I also like being part of a non-profit that makes a difference in the community, it feels great to be a part of it.

What do you do outside of work?
My partner and I are renovating a house in the Blue Mountains, we love the great outdoors so we make an effort to spend as much time in nature as possible. I also love the beach so living on the Northern Beaches doesn’t hurt!!

Have you had any funny/interesting experiences?
I’m obsessed with climbing and travel so I’ve climbed in some fun places over North and South America. Yosemite is a pretty special place and I’ve gone there multiple times. Nothing compares to feeling so small in a big place. Most people who don’t climb but know about Yosemite are curious about big wall climbing.

When I climbed El Capitan it’s over 900m of climbing on granite polished by ancient glaciers. I spent two nights sleeping on the wall in a portaledge, which most people think is a huge obstacle but honestly I was so tired by the end of the day I could sleep anywhere.

The real obstacle is “hauling” supplies including three days of water for baking hot days for two people, it’s exhausting.


Recent Events Photos