Welcome to issue #13 of our monthly newsletter, which aims to help keep you close to what's going on in the Lively community. May went by in a flash of activity - we've been humming on all cylinders behind the scenes, putting things in place to allow for more programs, more Member reach, and to strengthen our Helper program. We've been particularly excited about several projects that are creating new opportunities for Helpers to get involved in the running of Lively.
Grab a cuppa and get cosy for a foray into the latest happenings in the Lively community!
We hear so many stories from our Members and Helpers about what they get up to in their sessions and how they are benefiting. 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. Here are a few excerpts from our Buds Program, which is currently running in partnership with Darebin City Council:
"Vona and I had a really relaxed session today! We focused on just doing the lawn where we had dug up all the weeds a couple of weeks ago. We prepared the soil, sowed the seeds and then placed some knitting needles with material around them around the patch to scare the birds away. She definitely taught me a lot, which was really amazing! Then we headed inside to watch one of her favourite shows and have a discussion about old Hollywood and actresses and actors she grew up watching. She always has many amazing stories and things to share with me. We got to chatting about the new Lively pilot program and she was very happy to join and have a bit more of a sense of community :)" - Helper Chloe
"Veronica is very good, has been planting and weeding. She puts the mulch, all the heavy jobs. The weeding because I can’t bend or kneel. I give her the kneeling pad with handles so that she can easily get up and down. We get through a lot in one session. She’ll be weeding whilst I am trimming bushes. It’s good progress." - Member Marjorie
Left: Lively Member Laxmi shared this photo of some of her many bromeliads that she has been planting and caring for with her Helper Temby, who she says helped her gain confidence gardening.
"My Helper Carl has helped me quite a lot. I have 2 outdoor speakers which I couldn't get to work. It had been worrying me for a few months, and Carl fixed it in about 5 mins."
- Member Adrian
"Jean is a terrific help and full of energy. Having my gardening done for me has made me feel so very tidy and organised. Darebin is a lovely council to deal with. I am so glad that I moved to Darebin. Jeanne has been such a tremendous help and tech support too, that is magic!" - Member Jacqualine
"Today Soozah needed help with her outlook emails. The folders weren’t displaying the emails that had been moved into them. After a while of playing around and research we finally figured it out! We then worked out some other issues on Outlook before moving on to reframing an artwork to attach the little description box that came with it. To finish off we went outside and potted some little plants." - Helper Rebekah
"Alex is excellent, we get in there and work together which I enjoy. I am very happy with him. Top marks." - Member Pamela
"I enjoy Alex's presence, as a friend, as we are friends now. I listen and take things in and give my 2 pence worth. He tells me what he has been up to. He ran a marathon recently. We like to have joke around, I supply all the jokes. (Editor-a joke from Mick to Alex.) We have done a lot in my garden and I am pleased to share the photos with you. I am a bit of an artist. Can you see the face that I made in pottery class in the garden bed? I like to be creative in the garden. We have a coffee break during the morning. I’ll get Alex to help me with some tech support on my iPad when it’s wet weather." - Member Mick
Above: Helper Alex (left) working with Member Mick (right) in his garden.
Lively community tech help sessions are now running in partnership with the City of Melbourne, City of Maribyrnong and Stonnington City Council. We have drop-in and bookable sessions in Kensington, North Melbourne, Carlton, Footscray and South Yarra.
We usually have a pair of Helpers go along to the library or community centre and provide 1:1 tech for individual needs. It's a great way for older residents to get friendly tech help in a social community setting.
"Shaun and I helped 8 Members. The questions were about how to use google translate, Wechat, and bank apps. Shaun printed the instructions and the members love it a lot."
- Helper Xinran
"We covered about social media platforms and how to stay safe using them. We had a very meaningful conversation about younger generations."- Helper Jeanne
"5 Members came today and I helped Diane with forwarding messages, creating a group in text, sending photos, and adding contacts. I assisted Jessica in sending text messages and showed another lady how to switch keyboard language, send photos and forward messages via WeChat."- Helper Riley
"We touched on how to use Google Maps and Google Drive. We discussed and showed examples of useful websites for travelling and restaurant searching."- Helper Jeanne
"Help with transferring pictures from tablets to USB, help with video editing - downloading app from Play Store.- Helper Anh
Right: Helper Xinran helping out a Member in North Melbourne with some health forms.
We also support Members who have a Home Care Package with another aged care provider, and who engage a Lively Helper to come to their home for individual tech help sessions. This is what has been going on for some of these Members this month:
"Helped Moya with learning how to better navigate Messenger, and how to send Photos via Email and Messenger. We plan for me to continue teaching Moya how to learn the basic features of the iPad, so we can build a better foundation for her to learn more that she can do with the device!" - Helper Carl
" I helped Mark with adding streaming apps to his iPad so that he can airplay to his TV. Helped set up eBooks on Mark's device and showed Mark how to use audio books."
- Helper Will
"We worked on navigating her new phone; putting contacts in, how to find apps etc.
She also wanted to navigate google and how to use incognito. Notes were taken for all of the things she learnt today so that she can practice them for the next session.
We also had a lovely catch up as it’s been awhile since we last saw each other."
- Helper Lillian
Lively Members, have you thought about doing any of the following activities with your Helper?
-Researching your family history online
-Going on an outing with your Helper to get supplies for your garden or an art/craft project
-Going for a walk in a local park
-Researching different gardening ideas and methods or planning for spring planting
-Organising all your emails into different folders
-Making photo albums online
-Sharing a family recipe with your Helper and cooking it together
-Having a 'double-date' with another Lively Member and Helper duo. This could be to meet another Member and Helper for a cuppa and to have a chat about the kinds of things you are getting up to together. (Ask you Helper about setting this up.)
Your imagination is the only limit on how you can work together with your Helper... as long as you both agree to the activity, it is safe, and it doesn't require any specialist skills or training (or power tools!) We look forward to hearing what you get up to!
Helper Crew Pilot Update
A small group of our Helpers who work with our Lively Home Care Members are currently running an experiment - working together to provide a community of care around a small group of Members in this pilot.
Update from Helper Michelle:
"We’ve worked our way through Member introductions and have begun to shift the conversation into how we as Helpers can better collaborate with one another through a quick and informal portal. We feel like it would be incredibly useful and helpful to maximise our collective intelligence by integrating a forum/chat function on the Lively app where we can cross-pollinate ideas/questions/resources. We think it would also be great to have a chat function between Helpers and HQ where we can quickly and easily reach out to one another. We could use this platform to raise questions about Member care and wellbeing (with respect to their confidentiality), organise Helper meet-ups, organise shift-swaps, promote opportunities to train and up-skill, etc.
We are now discussing potential future meet-ups between Members."
Lively App Update!
Our In-house Tech Crew have been tinkering away on the Lively App and adding new features to improve user-friendliness.
Here is a peek into Helper Chloe's experience:
"Being able to join Paul and Robin in developing the Lively App has been monumental in developing my role within Lively and strengthening fundamental career development skills. Paul has welcomed me into the world of no-code app development and helped me understand what it means to create a purposeful app. I went through a range of emotions to begin with - from curious, to overwhelmed, and then with the helping hand of Paul, excited! There are so many intricacies in developing every little text field, button, and tile in the app.
EVERYTHING has to have a PURPOSE. Prior to developing any app features, we first must take a deep dive into the reasons why we are developing it and ensure that it will serve a purpose (it can't just be cool lol). This has helped me immensely with further strengthening my critical thinking skills in a really fun and collaborative way.
So far, I have had been able to develop the 'Wellbeing Check' that is now published and live on the app. The wellbeing check is (hopefully) an excellent addition to how Lively provides outstanding support for all our Members by allowing Helpers to keep track of their Members' overall wellbeing. It comes with 5 cute emojis accompanied by very Lively names, including "Out of this world!". This rating system allows quick and succinct note taking for our Helpers. I had so much fun getting to work with Paul and Robin to create something so simple that has such a significant impact on how Lively Helpers can continue to provide out of this world support. I aim to continue to develop my wellbeing check and other app ideas focused on providing the Lively team with tools to provide excellent support.
I am excited to continue developing the app features with Paul and Robin and getting to flex my creativity and problem solving skills!"
Paul, Chloe and Robin are leading the development of this project, so please reach out if you want to share anything or take part (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lively's way of working:
At Lively, our service is a bit different to other aged care providers, and so is how we run our organisation. We aim to operate in a way that enables all members of the Lively community to shape what we do and where we're heading. We also encourage autonomy and self-leadership within our Helper cohort, and take an iterative approach to developing, sense-checking and recalibrating our strategies. This means that we tune into what we're sensing in our services and the environment around us, and we implement new systems and processes in small steps - checking how they are being received and engaged with, and continuing to build and improve from there. We listen keenly to feedback from Members, Helpers and partners, and then take another step in response to what we're learning.
This excerpt below sums up our way of sense-checking and re-calibrating to our purpose pretty well!
One of our partner organisations, MerriHealth, recently made us aware of an upcoming webinar to be held on June 17th for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).
WHEN: 10:00-11am, Friday 17th June, 2022 Register HERE
Community call out for help
Nina is the daughter of one of Lively's Home Care Members Maria. Maria has been living with Nina since her health declined and Nina knows some of our Helpers very well. Nina recently asked our Helper Michelle if we could mention her efforts in the Lively Gazette to raise funds to buy blankets and food to support the local Ukranian families that have arrived to her neighbourhood in Strathmore. Nina is a known and trusted member of the Lively community.
Here are details for the Ukrainian fund bank account. No pressure, any help is appreciated. If even 10 people put in $2 it makes a difference: Name: STRATHMORE 3041 COMMUNITY HELP BSB: 633000 Account number: 192930246
"At the moment we deliver a full car of food, sometimes two per week. We need to raise some additional funds to buy blankets as the Ukrainians were hardly given any in the student accommodation, and what were given were just too small for the bed. I have been buying blankets from Kmart which they will take with them to their permanent accommodation, however we still need more for new families that come in. Thanking you." - Nina.
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 :)
In last month's Gazette, we shared some resources to counter age discrimination through Age Discrimination Comissioner, Hon Dr Kay Patterson's article. This month, we dip into the internalised ageist attitudes that we may have taken on (often subconsciously) through our culture's view on ageing.
Read this essay by retired LA therapist Connie Zweig, Ph.D, adapted from her latest book, “The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul.”
CLICK HERE to read.
Lively Community: What are your thoughts? Do you have an inner ageist? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section down below.
CLICK HERE to read Miriam-Rose's full reflection on 'dadirri '(Inner deep listening and quiet still awareness.)
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: