Welcome to issue #14 of our Lively newsletter, to update you on what's going on within the Lively community. We blinked and June flew by! The Lively Teams (Board, HQ and Helpers) have all been busily shaping our ways of working together as we evolve as an organisation, whilst taking on more Members and partner organisations.
Changes to the minimum shift length under the SCHADS Award came in this month, requiring us to adapt our service model to remain compliant with our employment obligations. We took this as an opportunity to consult with Helpers and Members and to redefine 'Lively Helper Services' - ensuring that we can meet the diverse individual needs of our Members, whilst providing value to our partner organisations in an evolving service landscape.
We also continued to develop and offer various new employment pathways for Helpers. We now have Helpers working on Matching and Support Coordination, Recruitment, Social Media and from next month, the Lively Gazette!
Our Helper Crew Pilot Team also organised and facilitated a Member/Helper gathering with huge success, and we have a rather thought provoking topic of conversation for our Talking Point in this Gazette. (See below)
We really hope that you enjoy the read, cuppa in hand, and feel close to the Lively community! As always, we invite your ideas and feedback in the comments section below.
We hear so many wonderful stories from our Members and Helpers about what they get up to together. We hope that reading these may spark some ideas for other Member/Helper duos, as well as for those who may be thinking about hiring a Lively Helper.
"Last year Cecilia and I won movie tickets through our joint Lively Tale submission into the Gazette. As I no longer support Cecilia (now that she is able to get out and about and can regularly visit her son since returning from Italy), Cecilia and I made a promise that we would still check in and keep in touch. It had been at least 6 months since we saw each other, so we grabbed dinner and watched Elvis in cinema and had an absolute hoot, as always! We both shed a tear at the close of the movie. You’re never short of a laugh and a good time when with Cecilia." - Helper Michelle
Above: Lively Helper Michelle with her past Member Cecilia on a movie date. (Whilst this was a social, 'non work' outing, we also have Helpers who are trained in safe transport who could go to a movie during a paid Member's session.)
Our Community Guide Sophia had a chat to these two at our recent Helper-led get together for Members and Helpers:
Right: Member Val with her Helper Nate at our recent Helper/Member gathering
"From our first phone call we just knew that we'd hit it off in person. I knew that we were going to be friends. We just get along so well. We think in the same way. When Val told me that she was vision impaired I told her about Siri. We thought of it together. Now she sends me fully fledged messages. We're always having a laugh together."
"Before Nate's help I was paying elsewhere for tech support but I gave that up once I worked with Nate. He's been brilliant. I can do so many things that I couldn't before. And this has been a truly magnificent morning today."
Val also wanted to send in some words about the event:
"WOW! Thanks so much to the wonderful staff and supporters of the “Lively” organisation for the great event you put together on Tuesday 19th July at SPAN Community House in Thornbury.
What a clever way the Helpers organised the activities to casually encourage everyone to comfortably “mix and mingle” over a cup of tea or coffee upon arrival. The big highlight for me was when the Helpers set up the outer and inner circles in the room. Members were warmly encouraged to seat themselves to sit around the outer circle and the Helpers seated themselves facing them. After introductions the Members were asked some varied questions for 5 minutes before the “Lively” Helpers moved to another chair. This was repeated several times. What an interesting and informative way of “breaking the ice” so that we all got to meet so many different interesting “Lively” people.
This was followed by delicious platefuls of food and hot drinks. There was even a loaded table as we exited with many varied goods and plants offered to all to take home free of charge. “Hats off” to the Helpers who so enthusiastically and excellently put together this lovely morning. I am so happy to have been introduced to this great “Lively” organisation – for many reasons. It has given me the chance to learn with confidence, much needed technical skills (thanks Nate!) and shown me that by seeking it out, there is so much support in so many different areas.
My Motto to others – By reaching out we can alleviate much of our loneliness and boredom – and help and meet so many others just like us. It only takes ONE phone call!"
Lively Helper Services
After gathering feedback from both Members and Helpers on our service offerings over the last few months, and holding a couple of co-design workshops in June with Darebin Council staff, Members and Helpers, we have refined our service mix! Our hope is that the updated range of activities on offer from our Helpers is flexible enough to be useful and relevant to the varied needs of our Members, while focusing on the things that Lively and our Helpers do best. These services fill some gaps in the broader service system, and provide plenty of opportunity for social connection and ongoing employment for our Helpers. We hope that this is a win win win for everybody!
Lively Helper sessions are as unique and individual as the person participating in them.
When you engage a Lively Helper, you're signing up for a person who can support you over time in various ways - not just to get a specific job done.
If you find that you hit it off, Lively Helpers become a trusted friend who supports their Members with different things as their needs and circumstances change. And if it doesn't feel like a good match, we help to find a better one.
Our Helpers are trained in basic home and garden safety, tech help and safe transport. We also have several Helpers who have attained their Mental Health First Aid certificate. Lively HQ supports Helpers to feel confident and comfortable in handling different situations, and we have protocols in place to support and guide both Helpers and Members if they hit an uncomfortable challenge.
Some examples of what our Lively Helper Services can include, and some of the ways in which our existing Members have been using the time with their Helper, are shown below.
"We started the shift off with sewing together. Vona did some embroidery and I sewed buttons on some childrens' knitted jumpers she had made. Then we watched a show she wanted to show me and practiced navigating the DVD player."- Helper Chloe
"Before it started to rain, I assisted Jacqualine with tying the grapefruit vine to the fence. Then we went inside and chatted about the trip to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. I assisted her with importing photos she took from the museum into her laptop. I helped her organize a few stuff around the bedroom." - Helper Jeanne
"Today during our session, Bernice wanted to recap on previous notes. We worked on how to send text messages to people in and not in her contacts. We also did a recap on how to use google maps. We then moved on to how to delete emails, move emails to other folders, how to print emails etc. We took lots of notes today and caught up with what’s been happening in each other’s lives." - Helper Lillian
"Laxmi and I made a visit to Bunnings today. We bought lots of potting mix, compost and other garden ingredients. Laxmi was very thankful, as she said she would’ve struggled on her own lugging around so much stuff in the trolley. I helped to transfer the soil into her soil containers. We attempted to add a hose extension to her front hose but didn’t have much luck so she will seek help from Bunnings. We finished with a cuppa." - Helper Michelle
"Started the day off with a tea each and some biscuits. Then we rang up Rita’s energy company to cancel her energy and gas from the 4th. Then headed over to Vinnies to take some of her old items. We had a really lovely session." - Helper Chloe
"Had a great session with Mick, we tucked straight into the garden as Mick had some plans to rearrange his plants, he is super impressed with how the side garden bed is coming along. We also stopped for a coffee and a chat and finished off the session with some weeding." - Helper Alex
Helper Crew Pilot Update
Our Helper Crew, who are working together to provide a community of care around a small group of Lively Home Care Members, recently initiated and facilitated a Helper/Member gathering with great success. Alyssa, Chloe, Michelle and Alex invited Members from the Northern Melbourne metro area, as well as Helpers, to the event. The Helper Crew were natural and engaging facilitators, and it's fair to say that everyone came away feeling uplifted and with an extra spring in their step! Several Members asked when the next Lively get together will be, so we'll look at running another one in the next few months. Stay tuned if you would like to come along!
Some comments from the day:
"I certainly left with a beaming smile, and felt very touched and warm and fuzzy from the event. Our slow-dating activity took off with a rapid-fire of conversation as the room was buzzing with lively talk. I enjoyed learning of Soozah’s passion for singing and Val’s efforts to support the accessibility community. Frances is an inspiration as she was telling me she studies at the Third Age Uni and spends a fair bit of time pumping weights at the gym. It was lovely meeting new faces and connecting the Lively dots." - Helper Michelle
"Lively's get together was such a success, and I thank every single person for coming and taking part in in it, from Members who bought a plant cutting, baked goods and even just an amazing burst of energy and kindness to the room! I was able to exchange a couple of recipes from a few people, as well as amazing conversations from each individual. I left with a little extra hop in my step and warmness. I look forward to doing something like this again!" -Helper Alyssa
"The slow dating questions, chatting with different people really makes your brain work. Engages you with the person as you think back through 50 years of life." -Member Frances
"It was welcoming and warm! Everyone is kind and warm-hearted; I enjoyed meeting everyone!" - new Helper Chau
"It was absolutely wonderful. Looking at other faces, having a chat and a laugh. Everyone was so happy." - Member Maree
"I loved it. I learned so much about everyone I spoke to. The questions Alyssa gave us for the 'slow-dating' were fantastic for the conversations." - Helper Nate
"Thanks you for a very friendly and welcoming group."- Member's Mum, Jan
This month, we've spotted a few upcoming events that might be of interest to our community.
Firstly, on Tues 2nd Aug from 12.30-1.30pm, an online panel event will be discussing the challenges and opportunities of scaling up intergenerational programs in Australia. This is in support of the ABC's upcoming factual series Old People's Home for Teenagers.
You can CLICK HERE for more info and to register for the FREE event. And look out for the new show when it airs on ABC!
ACCPA's National Future Leaders virtual forum is also running on the 25th of August. New and emerging leaders in the aged care sector will come together to discuss bold ideas and exciting possibilities for the future of aged services in Australia. Our Founder, Anna, will be speaking on one of the day's panels, focused on 'Purposeful Impact: The Reality of Taking a Great Idea and Turning it into a Successful Business'. Find out more, or register to tune in 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 :)
Recently a new Lively Member, Michelle shared an article with us on 'random acts of kindness' being perceived as benevolent ageism. She was not suggesting that Lively Helpers are ageist, but thought that it would be of interest for us to read and think about.
CLICK HERE to read the article from The Conversation.
Lively Community: What are your thoughts? Do you participate in 'benevolent ageism' or have you experienced it towards you? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section down below.
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: