In this issue:

  • CEO Update
  • Farewell to volunteer – Jon Williams
  • Dementia Action Week 2020
  • Client Profile
  • New Vehicle Signage
  • Social Outings News

CEO Update

Today, dementia affects half a million Australians, a number which is sadly predicted to double by 2050.

September is Dementia Awareness Month, and MWP Care is dedicated to providing the support that people living with dementia and their families need in order to live an active, rich and independent life.

MWP Care services such as assisted shopping, accompanied medical appointments, social support and home modifications are all designed to enable people living with dementia to maintain their independence and dignity. We are very proud of this legacy of care and support, which is only made possible by our dedicated volunteers.    

This September, our thoughts are with the people in our community and their families living with dementia and we want to let you know, you are not alone.

Recently I was touched by a heart-warming story about one of our clients, Ben. Ben is 96 years old, clinically blind and loves to sing, especially when accompanied by piano. Ben has mentioned to our Neighbour Aid team on a number of occasions how much he would love to be able to sing again with a pianist. The MWP Care team responded to the challenge and located Cathy, a trained pianist and asked if she would mind playing for Ben at his home. Cathy gladly agreed and the photo below shows how delighted Ben was by this experience.

A wonderful reminder of how privileged we are to work in this sector. Great stuff!

I would like to acknowledge the service of Jon Williams, an MWP Care volunteer and one-time Board Director who is retiring from volunteer service after 12 years with MWP Care. Jon is a MWP Care Life Member, a Rotary Community Service Award winner and leaves a wonderful legacy of dedicated care and service to the community.

We wish Jon, his wife Laurel and their family all the very best and extend a heartfelt thank you for all John has done for MWP Care and his community.

Kind regards,

Grant Simpson
CEO, MWP Care

Farewell to volunteer – Jon Williams

Jon started with us in 2008 as a driver who would assist our clients by accompanying them to appointments that they otherwise struggle to get too, offering a sympathetic ear and support. He also assisted in our Group Outings Program that involved assisting our socially isolated clients.

Jon also served as a MWP Care Board member. He was always incredibly dedicated, putting in many long hours in board meetings and committees.  Jon was a recipient of the Rotary Club of Belrose Community Service Awards in 2014.

Jon is retiring after serving our clients and organization for 14 years – we Thank him and wish him well for the future.

Dementia Action Week 2020

Dementia Australia is pleased to announce its annual awareness week – Dementia Action Week – will be held from 21-27 September 2020 and is encouraging people to ‘save the date’ and register online for more information.

The national awareness week will begin on 21 September, which is World Alzheimer’s Day.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe has encouraged all Australians to get behind our national awareness week activities and save the date in your calendar.

“Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people living with dementia is expected to grow from 447,000 Australians today to almost 1.1 million by 2058, with many more families, friends and carers impacted”, Ms McCabe said.

“That’s why it’s so important we use this week to raise awareness, across all of Australia, of this disease and the discrimination we know people with dementia face every day.

“We know many community organisations and health care professionals use this week to raise awareness in their local groups and communities, so we invite people to ‘save the date’ and register their interest to receive resources closer to Dementia Action Week.”

Over the coming months, Dementia Australia will release more information about Dementia Action Week, including resources for community organisations. Interested individuals and groups can register their interest in these resources at https://www.dementia.org.au/dementia-action-week.

Dementia & Loneliness

People with dementia are almost twice as likely to have high rates of loneliness compared to the rest of the population, a new survey has found, and people with dementia and carers are significantly more lonely than the general public.

The research, released at the start of Dementia Awareness Month, has sparked calls for greater awareness and understanding of dementia by the community so people living with the condition feel less isolated and alone. There is an estimated 115,000 people with dementia in NSW, which is expected to grow to 128,500 people by 2020 and 272,000 by 2050.

For a copy of the survey and tips on how to support a person living with dementia to remain socially engaged, head to https://www.fightdementia.org.au/dementia-and-loneliness.

Dementia Awareness Month 2016 is supported by financial assistance from the Australian Government and the NSW Government.

Dementia prevention

Source Health Direct.com.au

Scientific research suggests that leading a brain-healthy life may reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life. However, there are no guarantees. As yet, dementia can’t be prevented or cured but there is evidence that people can reduce their risk of dementia and other chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer by adopting healthy lifestyles.

Leading a brain-healthy life means looking after your brain, your body and your heart. The earlier you do this the better, but it is particularly important once you reach middle age when changes start to occur in the brain.

There are a number of ways to keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of developing dementia later in life.

1. Look after your heart

What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain.

Your chances of developing dementia seem to increase if you have problems that affect your heart or blood vessels.

2. Be physically active

Exercise gives your brain a boost. There is strong evidence that people who do regular physical activity have healthier brains and a lower risk of dementia.

3. Mentally challenge your brain

Your brain benefits every time you learn something new. Learning may maximise your cognition (understanding things) and ability to maintain a level of good brain power. So, take up a new language or a new sport, and mentally challenge yourself as much as possible.

4. Follow a healthy diet

Feed your brain well by maintaining a healthy diet. You can find tips about what to eat in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

5. Enjoy social activity

Socialise with people whose company you enjoy. If possible, try some activities that involve both mental and physical activity such as dancing or a team sport.

Two more strategies that may reduce your risk of developing dementia are:

• Avoiding injury: Be safety-conscious and reduce falls or accidents — people who have had serious head injuries have a higher risk of dementia.

• Managing depression: People who have had depression have a higher risk of dementia.

Client Profile

Meet Ben, he is a 96 year old gentleman enjoying life in his independent living unit within a local retirement village. Ben has limited sight and has some difficulty getting out and about these days.  Ben needs a little bit of social support so MWP Care has organised for two volunteers to visit him at home twice a week for a chat.  Our volunteers appreciate his lively wit and his wisdom. 

Ben enjoys singing and made a special request – he wanted a volunteer who could accompany him on the piano – our Neighbour Aid staff put out the call and he now has a very special volunteer to play piano for him.  The volunteer enjoys Ben’s company also!!!

New Vehicle Signage

MWP Care has recently upgraded it’s Home Maintenance & Modification fleet – you may see us out on the road!!!!

Social Outings News

Our wonderful Social Group Outings have been temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements however our team is working hard to provide a safe alternative program.  We will keep you updated!!!!