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The Lively Gazette- February 2022

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Welcome to issue #10 of our monthly newsletter, to keep you close to what's going on in the Lively community. This month we are trying something new and housing the Gazette on our website rather than through email. We hope this makes it an easier read!

We are also inviting you to join the conversation in our new section, 'The Talking Point'.

We're hoping that this will be a monthly forum where the many voices in our diverse community can pipe up, get a juicy conversation going, and give us all a chance to learn from different perspectives. Some seeds might be sown for improving our programs, or some new ways to connect our community might sprout.

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.

At Lively, sessions in the Buds Program are far from mundane. Read on to see what kinds of things are possible to achieve together.

This month one of our Lively Buds Member/Helper Duos created a functional work of art!

Helper Temby recorded in her session notes:

"Today Erica and I did some weeding in the backyard and chatted over some tea. We also planned our summer project. We’re making a mosaic bird bath! I’m really excited about it and we’ve decided how to source our materials and we’ll design the mosaic once we know which colours we are working with."

And when Erica spoke to Sophia from the Gazette, she recounted: "We just had fun; we didn't really have a plan. We just started on it, putting things down whilst talking. I nearly gave up when Temby put all the grout on and it looked like mud but Temby told me that it would turn out. We just kept going, chatting all the time and enjoying ourselves. It wasn't until we were in the middle of it that we started to see it come together as we each took turns placing pieces and the colours started to look good. We were both surprised and delighted to see how it turned out. Temby is fabulous. We have a lot of things to chat about and she's fun to have around. She is always cheerful. We chat about dogs, (as she dog sits), politics* and so many things. We really enjoy our time together. Temby told me, "This is the best job ever!" And I agree, it has to be fun, otherwise it's not worth it."

(*Note: Due to all our Helpers and Members agreeing to abide by our Lively Community Code we can discuss potentially divisive topics in an open, respectful manner. You can read our Community Code here.)

Left: Buds Member/Helper Duo Erica and Temby's mosaic birdbath created over several sessions.

If you're a Helper or Member with a Lively Tale to tell, send it over to - there are gratitude gifts each month for both Helper and Member!"

The Lively Buds program pairs Members with a young person to provide companionship and support to pursue activities that are personally enriching, and that bring more colour and variety to life.

Lively's Buds program includes:

  • Maintaining involvement in and upkeep of your garden

  • Getting familiar/confident with technology and devices

  • Socialising or pursuing a hobby/personal project

If you, or an older person you know in Darebin is interested in joining the Lively Buds Program, please contact the Supported and Connected Living Team at Darebin Council on 8470 8828 and ask about their Individual Social Support service. Read on to get a bit of an idea of what goes on in a Buds session:

"Had a great gardening session with Alice on Wednesday afternoon, got a ton of stuff ticked off Alice's garden to do list! I was able to help trim back an overhanging tree in the front and weed/turn her front garden beds, then put down a layer of gypsum to help break up the clay soil! We also transplanted some plants from the neighbours yard into hers and hopefully they like their new home!" -Helper Alex

"Had a lovely but very hot evening with Miranda tonight, we pruned the peach trees which had got a bit out of hand and pruned back some of the front shrubs, trying to neaten them up. It was a very hot evening and the sun was still beating down, so we made sure to take many icy water breaks and pop into the shade. Had a lovely chat with Miranda after as we took some time to cool down." - Helper Honey

"Michelle is really lovely and so helpful. She has been helping me with the weeding, and she has me out with her working. We'll do some work together and then have a cuppa. I always make biscuits and we enjoy them with some tea. I always look forward to her coming." -Buds Member Ruth

Left: We're very excited to be extending the reach of our Buds program in the north of Melbourne, as we expand our team! We're delighted to welcome Veronica (back left) and Rebekah (middle) as Helpers - they'll be getting out into the garden with Members within the coming weeks, as they have now completed their Lively training program. We know these two stars will get on famously with our Members in the Darebin area!

Right: Buds Member Frances' garden after session with Helper Temby, where they weeded the borders and put in garden edging. They also dug out all of the compost from the tumblers, dug it into the soil, and mulched the ground!

Our Light Support program has Lively Helpers visiting Members' homes to help out on their digital devices in a friendly, relaxed session.

"Today Charlie learnt how to delete saved bookmarks. He learnt how to do it two different ways and we practised it quite a bit so that he could get the hang of it. We also went through how to save attachments and photos from his email. He also learnt how to open them up and find them once it’s been downloaded or closed. We also went through navigating the different application on his laptop."- Helper Lillian

"Lillian explains something first and then gets me to do it, and then says, "Do it again." to make sure I really get it. She is very helpful and so patient." - Light Support Member Honorene

At Lively, Home Care is not just about providing comfort of daily living, but about enabling our Members to continue to do the things that bring them joy (or in some cases, returning to those activities after letting them fall by the wayside for years). Our Home Care sessions are as individual as the Members and Helpers.

Read below for an example of a Lively Home Care session:

"Today Maria and I started with some breakfast and had a nice catch up. I assisted Maria with her shower, then did the allocated housework. After that Maria and I went to Ceres community park and looked at all of the gardens and plants. We also stopped for a coffee before returning home and putting on a Netflix movie." - Home Care Helper Alyssa

After an eventful few months, it was wonderful to finally have our first in-person HQ team meeting with all of us there since our Founder and CEO Anna, left for her maternity leave in September! So wonderful, in fact, that we forgot to get a photo - despite talking about it! We later gathered in the office for a group selfie and Anna sent in a selfie from the car (see image below).

(By the way... any Members aspiring to this kind of high-tech subterfuge could ask their tech savvy Helper to help them edit themselves into all kinds of locations! Think tricking family or friends into thinking that they are on holiday somewhere, or other hijinks!)

Left: From back left clockwise: Home Care Manager John, Operations Manager Paul, CEO Anna, Community Guide/Light Support Coordinator Sophia and Helper Coordinator, Robin.

Let's talk! We'd love you to join the conversation 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 and we'll all have a good time!

Click below to read an alarming article about the workforce crisis in our aged care sector, and add your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the Gazette. We invite you to answer the question: "What broader changes are needed in our society to address the underpinning issues mentioned in the article?"

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:


Robin Parkin
Robin Parkin
Mar 08, 2022

So inspiring to hear the tales of Lively's Helpers building meaningful connections with older community members, but extremely concerning to hear about the disastrous outlook for the aged care workforce in the coming years. There are so many issues at play here—the devaluing of care work as a whole, the lack of resources to support older community members, and the unsustainable work practices of many providers that dehumanise the practice of caring. I'd like to see Lively and other providers maintaining a work environment that encourages healthy and sustainable work rhythms for carers, that gives them autonomy and agency in their work, and supports them to form stable, caring relationships with their clients that are ultimately more nourishing for workers…


Feb 25, 2022

This is so bleak. Who wants to work in such an unsupported environment? I am sure that many support workers who enter into employment in residential aged care facilities do so as they want to make a difference, yet when the conditions wear them down it becomes a case of preserving their personal mental health and quality of life. It's really sad. I think that whilst some folk might plan ahead for their parents or older family members to end up in residential aged care, most would prefer their loved ones to enjoy their latter years at home. I believe that the approach Lively is taking in engaging older people in activities and relationships that bring them joy in their…


Feb 25, 2022

What an alarming article about the current situation in the aged care workforce. While there's obviously a need for some immediate responses, it seems to me that we can't expect to make meaningful or sustained change to the 'workforce crisis' without looking more deeply at the ageist attitudes and stereotypes in our community that shape people's perceptions of the aged care industry, and that prevent people from considering this work as a potential career path. In my opinion, we need a cultural reckoning around how we view, value and care for our older community members - and fast! I'm proud to be involved in the work that Lively is doing to contribute to that change. Thanks for sharing and kicking…

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