Welcome to issue #12 of our monthly newsletter to keep you close to what's going on in the Lively community. And what a month April was! Revving with momentum!
Our Lively App went live, and two Helpers stepped into new Support Coordination roles - overseeing our new Matching Board (similar to a jobs board), and monitoring Light Support Services. In doing so, we reduced support coordination time by around 30 hours in the month - freeing up valuable time for some exciting new partnership development!
We finally had an in-person event with Members, Helpers, Board Members and HQ!
Ahh.. so much goodness from coming together IN PERSON.
We have an article on aphasia shared by one of our Members, and a keynote address from Age Commissioner, The Hon Kay Patterson, on the role of local governments in promoting active ageing and wellbeing. We'd love to hear from you in the comments at the very bottom of the blog if this sparks any thoughts from you! We're keen for 'The Talking Point' to be a forum for discussion and perspective-sharing from across our diverse community.
Again, we also have a few excerpts from Helpers' session notes across our programs (shared with Members' permission) to give you insight into the everyday magic that continues to occur between our Helpers and Members.
This month, Sophia heard from one of our Tech Help Members, Glenda, about her experience with her Helper, Hannah.
Member Glenda: "What I have enjoyed about working with Hannah? Oh, so much! Hannah is intuitive. She knows so much and she has helped me so much. Hannah has taught me how to send off emails and add photos, to add attachments on my iPad. She seems to know what I need and she is just so helpful. She is lovely. She is polite and so so helpful."
From Helper, Hannah:
"I’ve really loved working with Glenda over the past couple of months! I’ve been able to develop my skills in teaching and working through some tricky problems that I might not face as a young person, and I’m learning to see and explain things differently. It’s been wonderful watching Glenda’s confidence grow and seeing her pick up some new skills that she can use in this exciting, but at times confusing, tech-based world. We often have a chat while working on our tasks for the day, and I’ve loved getting to know more about Glenda’s life and talking about the things we have in common (like a love of dancing and Kath & Kim!) I am so grateful to have this kind of opportunity, and that I even get to call it my job!"
Left: Member Glenda (left) with her Helper Hannah (right).
If you're a Helper or Member with a Lively Tale to tell, send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org - there are gratitude gifts each month for both Helper and Member!"
Our Lively Helpers are very busy working with their Members across Melbourne. Read on to see how the 'typical' Lively sessions are as unique as the individuals involved!
"We sorted out the problem with Barbara's email - turned out that it was temporarily blocked due to an influx of scam emails she was receiving. So we called Optus and sorted out the problem. Then had a tea and a chat and headed to the front garden for some light weeding and pruning a part of a tree that was overgrown." - Helper Chloe
"We did heaps of stuff in our last session! Rebekah helped me with locating emails, and then getting them onto my mobile phone, then we re-framed a picture and then re-potted some cyclamens. A very productive session! I love the variety." - Member Soozah
"Great morning with Peter, I got stuck into pruning back the side vine and lowering it and getting back from the house, it’s a big job! So will try and finish it next session. Peter seemed well and happy, he was getting ready to go out and looked very sharp! We had a nice catch up and check in after I did the gardening."- Helper Honey
Right: "Our natives patch is complete! We dug up a bunch of taro roots, added compost to the soil, and spread mulch all over Adrian’s garden to help improve the soil structure." - Helper Temby
"In today's lesson, I helped Val with printing a PDF from her emails. I also provided a short tutorial on deleting a file from Word. Val appeared eager to further her computer knowledge. Next visit we plan on revising our tutorials and working on any new computer/phone problems that may have arisen, in the meantime." - Helper Lachlan
"Today Beverley needed help with ordering groceries from Woolworths. We navigated the app and she ended up purchasing some groceries. She also needed help calling Woolworths customer service as she had a dispute with them."-Helper Lillian
"I had a successful session with Frank and he was very happy finally be able to access YouTube. We talked a lot about Italy and his favorite Opera singers. We practiced a lot on how to open and use his iPad. Frank mentioned he will practice more when I am away. He is more than happy to have more sessions."- Helper Jeanne
Community tech group workshops and 1:1 sessions are going strong in Braybrook, Footscray, Maribyrnong, Kensington and South Yarra.
Our Helpers Shaun and Xinran captured some quotes from their pop-up tech session in Kensington recently, where they were very busy helping 6 participants:
"We helped some of the members from the community centre with their issues on their phones. Such as how to use a translation app, how to set up emergency contacts and how to use the SOS function." - Helper Shaun
"Thank you for helping me today. It means a lot. I really don't know how to use all these technologies by myself and have no one to help me out." - Tech participant
"You were here last year right? I'm so glad you're back. I've been looking forward to seeing you again." - Tech participant
"I helped some people with their devices, such as how to make video calls using Skype and downloading translation apps. I also helped a lady filling her procedure form about an upcoming operation." - Helper Shaun
"It's pretty cold today and we did the session outdoors. I kept rubbing my hands together to keep them warm. One of the Members must have seen that so he went back home without saying a word and brought me a jacket. It's so warm." - Helper Xinran
Above: Helper Xinran braving the crisp Autumn day with a participant at the Kensington Pop-Up tech help. Photo by Helper Shaun. "It was a little busy today so we only took one photo (Shaun was too busy to be the photographer hahaha)."
We're thrilled to welcome three Helpers, Carl, Wayne and Jeanne into our Darebin Team - working with our Buds Members in the garden and on their tech devices.
"I am very happy overall interacting with my Members. I found working in the garden while listening to podcasts is so much fun. My Member and I usually have a chat over coffee and her homemade cookies. We like to talk about her reflection on life the last 15 minutes of the session. I am living my dream right now. I hope this opportunity comes by again and again." - Helper Jeanne
Helper Crew Pilot Update
Our Helper Crew pilot to surround Members with a small community of Helpers is underway and one month in. Helpers Dani, Alyssa, Chloe, Alex and Michelle have engaged some of their Members by personally inviting them into the pilot, gaining the Members' permission to share their support notes with the other Helpers in the pilot team. The Helpers are running regular meetings to discuss ways to provide continuity of care and share ideas about what they can get up to with their Members. Helper Coordinator Robin and Home Care Manager John have been listening in and enabling the Helpers to drive this project. Robin was delighted to report back to the HQ team that the Helpers booted him and John out of the meeting last night! We are so excited to see what comes out of this!
At Lively, we are proud of the tech help service we offer to older people. Recently we have been taking a sip of our own medicine and administering some internal tech help to assist with day-to-day Lively life 💊.
Paul has been toiling away on the tech side of things, in collaboration with our Helper Coordinator Robin, and one of our Helpers Chloe, to develop a user-friendly Lively app that gives Helpers everything they need for their sessions with Members in the one place.
Readers of the March Lively Gazette issue will know that we recently launched our 'Matching Board' as a tool for Helpers to view new service requests and take up matches with new Members. In April, we launched our very own Lively app, which (for now) is being used just by Helpers.
All Lively Helpers have the app downloaded on their phone for their day-to-day work. They use it to view up-to-date info about the Members they are supporting, including the person's story, support plan, preferences, notes from recent sessions and their schedule. Importantly, all Helpers working with that Member can share and access the full picture of the Member's support, so that they can work together to ensure personalised and continuous assistance. Helpers also use the app to schedule in sessions, check-in to confirm they have arrived, record what they did together in the session, note any plans for next time, and flag any important observations for follow-up.
We're really excited about the possibilities that this tech tool brings our Lively Community - especially the potential for Helpers to work together around the care and support of our Lively Members. And yes, we will be inviting other members of the Lively community to be users in the not-too-distant future - think case managers and family members who are also playing important roles in our Members' care.
Paul, Chloe and Robin are leading the development of this project, so please reach out if you want to share anything or take part (email@example.com).
We'll keep you 'updated' 😉.
New Support Coordinators:
We are so excited to have employed two of our Helpers, Hannah and Xinran, as Support Coordinators - collaborating with Paul and Sophia to develop our Helper-run support coordination process.
As Lively Helper in-person sessions picked up again after the many disruptions of lockdowns, we found ourselves with resourcing available for some part-time support coordination in our team. We also recognised that in order to expand our service reach, we needed to free up capacity of some of our HQers (namely Sophia and Paul) who had taken on the support coordination of Lively Helper services alongside their principal roles at Lively. When faced with a decision of whether to hire someone new to the HQ team, or to engage current Helpers in piloting an evolved coordination model, we were all very excited to bring in Helpers and create some new employment pathway possibilities.
Apart from their regular sessions as Lively Helpers, these two are now working additional shifts each week to monitor our Matching Board (ensuring that matches are filled, and liaising with Case Managers, Helpers and Members around any challenges or hiccups) and to oversee Lively Helper Services (keeping an eye on when service requests are up for renewal, and updating the status of where different services are up to.) They are gaining experience in support coordination, further insight into how Lively operates, and skills in supporting co-workers through what can at times be challenging situations.
Having Helpers working in this role is invaluable, as they have personal insight into the Helper experience. Two Helpers sharing this role also assists in our intention to dissolve any sense of hierarchy in communications between Support Coordinators and Helpers, and means that we are not solely relying on one person to handle the role. Our idea is to develop this role in collaboration with Xinran and Hannah, and then rotate every few months to allow other Helpers the opportunity to experience it. From there, we hope to replicate the role in different locations as we expand!
So far these two are going great guns, and we are looking forward to shaping the role further with them over the next couple of months.
Lively Sensing and Visioning Day
On Saturday the 30th of April, we were so excited to host a ‘Sensing and Visioning Day’ – an opportunity for Lively Helpers, Members, HQers and Board members to come together and reflect on how Lively is travelling, and where we’re headed next. In the past, similar reflection and planning days have been attended by Lively HQers and Board members only, so it was a significant step forward to have Helpers and Members attending on the day. Their perspectives added extra richness to the conversations, while keeping us grounded in the real experiences, needs and aspirations of the young and older people that we exist to serve. As an organisation, it’s so important to us that our Helpers and Members are at the forefront of decision-making and direction-setting, so we’re really looking forward to building further on this important step forward, and to finding even more meaningful ways for Helpers and Members to take ownership of what Lively does, and how we do it.
Over the course of the day, which was held in the beautiful Make it Better Lab space at Donkey Wheel House, we collectively sensed where Lively is at, and where our focus and energy might be drawn in the year to come. Some key themes included:
Building on the current momentum in our Helper program to further engage our Helpers in ‘running’ Lively.
Fostering a richer sense of community between Helpers and Members – including work to build Member to Member relationships (not just Helper to Member!).
Honing the articulation of our offer and value proposition so that it can be understood and shared more broadly in the community.
Pursuing an organic, grounded and human approach to growth that preserves Helper and Member experience, and avoids undue strain on our people.
We also discussed some tangible ideas to get Helpers and Members more involved in the running of the organisation. Look out for updates on Board membership, Helper/Member 'Double Dates', Helper comms channels and other ideas that came out of the workshop, which we’ll be working to action in the coming months!
Coming away from the day, we were reminded of just how wonderful it is to connect in person with people from across the organisation, and are committed to making more regular spaces for this type of engagement going forward. If you’d like to come along to future gatherings, please contact Sophia (firstname.lastname@example.org) to put your name on the list! And if you missed the opportunity to come along on the day, and have views about Lively’s future that you’d like to share, please reach out any time to Anna – email@example.com. Our deepest thanks to those who came along and participated on the day, and we’re excited about what’s yet to come!
Above: Helpers, Members, HQers and Board Members together sharing ideas and listening.
'I know that you know' - 5 ways to help people with aphasia to communicate. Read the article below for tips on how to support someone through an aphasia episode.
Recently one of our Members shared an article with us about a condition that she has been living with following a series of strokes: aphasia. Bobbie mentioned that sharing this article with friends and family has been really helpful to her so she was happy to share it with our community to spread awareness about aphasia and other communication related conditions. Click the link to read: Read here
Let's talk! We'd love you to join the conversation below with an open, curious mind - seeking to understand other perspectives, and to share your own - as we bring our community together. Please keep your comments in line with our Lively Community Code :)
On March 31st Lively was invited by Darebin City Council to attend the LGPro Active Ageing and Wellbeing Awards for outstanding contributions by local governments in the areas of active ageing and wellbeing. We were thrilled that Lively's work featured in two of the four finalist submissions - for our Buds program with Darebin City Council, and Community Tech Help with the City of Melbourne.
The whole room was moved and inspired by the evening's keynote speaker, Age Discrimination Commissioner, The Hon Kay Patterson, who spoke of local government's role in promoting active ageing and wellbeing amongst residents. There was a sense of camaraderie amongst the different councils in the room to inspire each other to do more for our older residents.
We thought that Gazette readers might like to read The Hon Kay Patterson's keynote address for her points on:
the importance of supporting multigenerational workforces
social isolation and elder abuse
granny flats and CGT
older women at risk of homeslessness.
You will also find some very useful resources to counter age discrimination in your own daily life. CLICK HERE to read the article
Lively Community: What are your thoughts? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section down below.
Click here to read '103 Bits of Advice I wish I had known'- written by Kevin Kelly on his 70th birthday. Some pearlers in there!
Are you a Member, Helper or Friend of Lively with a pearl of wisdom, or any content ideas for the Lively Gazette that you’d like to share with us? Please! We'd love your contribution: