In this issue:
- National Volunteer week
- Photo gallery
- Infoshare comings & goings
- Volunteer reminders
- Dementia friendly Communities
At this uncertain time it is more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge Australia’s volunteers and therefore National Volunteer Week 2020 will be held as scheduled on Monday 18 May – Sunday 24′′ May 2020.
MWP CARE regrets that we cannot hold our usual celebration of our volunteers but look forward to hosting you as soon as the pandemic danger has passed.
Volunteering Australia is working on providing some online activities to recognise Volunteers across Australia and we will keep you updated with any developments.
Gallery – COVID times
images courtesy of AAP
Grandkids visiting their Grand-parents
Cellist performing concert for her neighbours
Meals on horseback!
Trying mindfulness to cope better with the coronavirus pandemic Source: ABC LIFE/Carol Raabas
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t concentrate at the moment.
My attention span disappeared around mid-March when COVID-19 started to really directly impact everyone in Australia.
Meditation, so the ads on social media tell me, can help by bringing me peace and calmness and teaching me to focus my attention.
Those ads telling me to breathe and clear my mind make me want to scream. I can’t clear my mind, that’s the whole problem.
But it turns out you don’t have to sit with your legs crossed and an empty head after all. Instead you can combine some simple mindfulness practices while doing your usual daily activities.
“Mindfulness and meditation are often used synonymously,” says mindfulness teacher Paul Bibby.
“Essentially they’re doing the same thing. “Be more present and less wrapped up in your thoughts’” It’s normal for us to worry about what might happen, says Michaela Pascoe, a neuroscientist and postdoctoral research fellow at Victoria University. In fact, our thoughts are so often focused on the future or reliving the past, the parts of the brain it uses are called “the default mode network”.
But Dr Pascoe warns “very high levels of activity in that area of the brain are associated with mental illness”.
“We can’t stop thoughts from happening; that’s what our minds do,” says Mr Bibby.
“But by bringing some awareness to those thoughts, and noticing them, we don’t get as caught up in the thoughts.”
Here’s an exercise Mr Bibby suggests trying when you feel you need to stop your thoughts spiralling (or just want a break).
Go into your garden, your balcony or to a window. Look around and notice what you can see. You can write them down if it helps you stay in the pre- sent. Now what can you hear? How does the ground/floor feel on your feet? Is it warm, cool, is there’s a breeze on your skin? What can you smell? Notice your breath entering your lungs and leaving your body again.
Paying attention to where you are right here and now is a great way to bring your stress levels down a bit, says Mr Bibby. You don’t have to stop what you’re doing to practise this either. “Anything that you are doing can be practised mindfully,”
You can do this mindfulness exercise while doing the dish- es, cooking a meal, going for a walk.
And just like physical exercise, short, daily exercises in mindfulness or meditation are better than trying an hour- long burst once a month.. “Ten minutes a day has been scientifically proven to make a difference”
Become a good friend to yourself over a cup of tea
Janette Dines is a mindfulness facilitator with a particular interest in mindful eating.
“Just putting a moment of pause between the stimulus of wanting to eat [and the act of eating] … it helps you to slow down a bit and make choices,” Ms Dines says.
Mindful eating simply means putting all your focus on the food while eating, instead of mindlessly shoving food in your face while watching TV or scrolling on your phone. Ms Dines recommends practising it with snacks or short meal breaks.
Try this mindful eating technique:
Make yourself a drink of your choice.
What does the glass or mug look like? What col- our is the liquid? How does it feel to hold?
Is it hot or cold? How does it feel in your mouth? What can you taste? Does it have a smell?
Doing this with food can help you slow down and notice when you’ve eaten enough. It may also help with feelings of guilt and anxiety around food if you also pay attention to why you’re eating.
Comings & Goings
Welcome to New Volunteers!!!
ALEX CLONDA, CRAIG DOCTOR, JULIE BYRNE & VICTOR KONIJN
We hope you enjoy your volunteering journey with MWP Care.
SPECIAL VOLUNTEER REMINDERS RE: COVID-19
We need to restrict visitors to the office at this time. If you wish to submit your Client Contribution & Reimbursement Form the direct deposit option is available.
Just direct deposit to our account number provided on the form and scan & email or post the contribution form.
You can drop contributions & forms into our letterbox during office hours (9am-4pm) if you wish.
If you need more Shop By List forms or Contribution Forms please let us know and we will post some out to you.
If you manage to buy any hand sanitiser or anti – bacterial wipes (not baby wipes) please keep the receipt as MWP CARE will reimburse you.
There is a supply of Personal Protection Equipment available in basket out front of our office (including small bottles of hand sanitiser) for those volunteers who have jobs – please come and help yourself!!
Please remember that we are not permitted to use any clients ATM/Credit/Debit card and/or their PIN number to pay for shop- ping or to assist them get cash out. If a client is asking for this type of help please let us know in the office so we can follow up and make other arrangements for them. Many Thanks!
The Dementia-Friendly Northern Beaches Project is working to- wards becoming a Dementia-friendly Community in the Northern Beaches. Your Side are working in collaboration with the Northern Beaches Council, advocacy groups, community organisations, service providers, local community members, people living with dementia and carers to achieve this goal.
Dementia Friendly Communities is an initiative of Dementia Australia where local communities are empowered to make a difference. A Dementia-Friendly Community is “a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.” (Dementia Australia, 2019).
The Northern Beaches project objectives are:
- Increase dementia awareness so people living with dementia feel understood and supported
- Create safer physical and social environments for people living with dementia
- Provide opportunities for social participation for people living with dementia and their carers to reduce social participation
- Influence social change, community cohesion and collective action
COVID-19 Fact Sheets
Dementia Australia has developed several fact sheets for people living with dementia, their family and carers to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. These can be accessed via the website or call the helpline.
COVID-19 hotline for older people
A new COVID-19 hotline will help older Australians get the information they need to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic, providing access to personal support and guidelines. Older people and carers are encouraged to call 1800 171 866 to speak with specially trained staff.