February 5 - 11 2023: Issue 570

VALE Bill Hardman OAM
April 27th, 1945- January 12th 2023

Bill Hardman OAM at Avalon Beach RSL in 2015: PON photo

Former President at Forestville RSL Club Ltd
A Service was held on January 25th to celebrate the life of William (Bill) Hardman.

An article which ran on March 21st 2022 in RSL NSW News provides a short overview of his Service to our community even after serving in our Defence Forces. 

Mr. Hardman, along with Graham  Sloper, was one of the residents behind the ANZAC Centenary held at Warriewood in 2016, served as Honorary Treasurer for the NSW State Branch of the RSL commencing in 2015. 

He was awareded an OAM in the Queen's Birthday 2016 Honours List 'For service to veterans and their families'.

Bill was a Life Member at RSL NSW, also served as a Director until mid 2022 at Forestville RSL.

Outside of his roles in serving Veterans Bill  was an Elected Councillor to HCF Australia from 2011, was a former finance executive with senior management experience in major construction projects as a joint venture partner. Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Risk Management, Fundraising, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Marketing Strategy. He was a strong business development professional with formal qualifications as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants, and a Diploma in Law through the Legal Profession Admission Board.
Our sincere Condolences to his wife Judy and family members.

A Hardman to stop
Anyone familiar with the Returned and Services League knows that sub-Branches are its heart and members are its lifeblood.

Building on the common bond of military service, it’s at this level that veterans band together to serve those who need it most among the veteran community.

An Award recently given at the Forestville RSL sub-Branch in Sydney’s north provides insight into the calibre of leadership and demonstration of excellence that is replicated among the RSL NSW membership.

In February, Bill Hardman OAM was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation “for distinguished service and outstanding leadership to RSL NSW” by Forestville sub-Branch Patron and World War II veteran Don Kennedy OAM.

Bill, who is a Life Member of the League, was recognised for leadership at the sub-Branch, District and State level where he has been:
  • Committee Member, Secretary (2003-2004) and President (2004-17) of Forestville RSL sub-Branch
  • President (2008-2011 & 2014-2022) and Vice President (2011-2014) of Northern Beaches District Council
  • State Councillor of RSL NSW (2008-2011 & 2014-2016)
  • State Treasurer of RSL NSW (2016-2017)
Commenting on the Award, Forestville sub-Branch President Bob Lunnon said Bill has always had an unwavering focus on the welfare of veterans whether it be meeting their needs in terms of advocacy, pensions advice, assistance with welfare issues or other practical help.

A veteran of the Borneo and Malaya campaigns, Bill joined the League in 1978 and played an important role in developing the 2019 RSL NSW Constitution and introduction of Standard Operating Procedures.

In October 2020 Bill underwent an esophagectomy which continued to have an effect on his health. Bill accepted the Certificate of Appreciation with his wife Judy, a member of the RSL Auxiliary Forestville, who was presented with a Letter of Appreciation. At the District Council AGM on 15 March 2022, Bill announced his retirement from office.

Using big data to find the best health care for older Australians

February 1, 2023: Federal Department of Health and Aged Care
Combining data to improve health care for older Australians
Professor Maria Inacio is Director of the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. Maria helped set up ROSA in 2017. The registry combines health care and aged care data from around Australia. This combined data gives a whole picture of Australia’s ageing pathways for the first time.

‘I’m a technical person. I love the challenge of working with data to learn new things,’ Maria says. ‘I'm passionate about how we can use this information to improve care for older people.’

Evidence on aged care quality and safety
In the past, Maria used data from ROSA to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. ‘Our data influenced the Royal Commission’s recommendations. It helped drive reforms to aged care,’ Maria recalls.

‘For example, our data showed that when older people entered aged care facilities they received more psychotropic drugs. That evidence supported a recommendation to reduce the use of psychotropic drugs in aged care facilities.

‘Since the Royal Commission, there has been better quality and safety monitoring and a better data strategy to evaluate aged care quality,’ Maria says.

Finding the best health care for older Australians
Maria is now leading the first comprehensive nation-wide evaluation of older people’s use of primary health care and the effectiveness of this care in aged care settings.

Older people have more frailty, falls, chronic conditions and co-existing diseases. This means they have a high risk of emergency department presentations and hospital admissions.

These events often have poor health results including decline in function and quality of life. ‘Better primary health care could improve older people’s health and wellbeing,’ Maria says.

‘We want to find out how much primary health care older people get. We also want to know how care changes when people enter aged care facilities.’

Which health care services are best?
'93% of people in aged care facilities visit a GP about 25 times a year,’ Maria reports. ‘But we don’t know the results of these visits or if they meet older people’s needs.’

To answer that question, Maria is examining the relationship of primary health care services with:
  • hospitalisations
  • subsequent health encounters
  • the length of stay at home or in residential care.
‘I want to be able to find the services or best combination of services that an older person can get to do the best they can. So, it's better for them, better for the system and less expensive,’ Maria explains.

The positive effect of preventive health care
In early results, Maria found there are 3 health care pathways for older people in aged care facilities. They have different mortality results:

  • Older people who have preventive or multidisciplinary health care have the lowest mortality. This includes:
    • health assessments
    • chronic disease management plans or multidisciplinary care plans
    • medication reviews
    • allied health services
  • People who see a GP a few times a year and receive minimal other services have mid-level mortality. Maria says this is likely due to them having less health issues.
  • People who see a GP frequently, including urgent, after-hours consultations have the highest mortality. Maria says this may be because they have declining health, but it also may be because their health care is not well managed. She is trying to work through this question now.
‘It is reassuring to know that preventive health care can have a positive impact. We need to give people in aged care the best quality of life and the best experience they can have,’ Maria concludes.

How much preventive health care do older people get?
But Maria’s study shows that older people do not get as much preventive health care as they should.

‘They should have chronic disease management plans and a health assessment and medication review every year. They should get more mental health and allied health services. ‘This may be enough to keep older people healthy with a stable level of functional capacity and prevent cognitive decline.

‘But only about half of the people who are eligible for chronic disease management plans get them. The use of other services is even lower.  This doesn't change much or gets worse once they enter aged care settings, which is unfortunate.’

Maria’s research indicates more coordinated and comprehensive primary health care could improve the health of older people. This could translate into lower risk of hospitalisations and other health events. ‘This approach could also make immense cost savings,’ Maria notes.

A community of stakeholders
Stakeholders who deliver primary health care to older people in aged care settings guide Maria’s research. ‘That community will also help put our findings into practice,’ Maria says.

Maria’s project ‘Using Big Data to Create Evidence-based Primary Health Care Service Delivery and Policy for the Australian Aged Care Sector—A Nationwide Study’ received a $1.435 million grant from the MRFF. In 2021 the MRFF contributed to supporting ROSA with a grant of $2 million.

Roll Back the clock

Are you over 65 or know someone who is? Do you want to start feeling young and healthy again?
AVALON BOWLO is delighted to announce the “ROLL BACK THE CLOCK” Wellness and Fitness Program is starting on FRIDAY 10th FEBRUARY 2023.

The highly popular program is a Bowls Australia initiative, in partnership with Sport Australia, that aims to boost physical activity rates among Australians aged 65 and over.

The program will run once a week every Friday 11:30am - 12:30pm.

Sessions include a short wellness talk followed fun, safe “functional” exercises to music to help you improve your fitness, flexibility, muscle strength, balance & posture.
Each program is 8 x sessions, for a total fee of $80 for the program.

To register for the program, either pop into the Avalon Bowlo and fill out an enrolment form.
OR register ONLINE at :
If you want to know more you can have a look online at: bowls.com.au/rollbacktheclock

OR contact our trainer : Rachel Cohen on 0409.241.297 or email her at rachel@xperteze.com.au
Look forward to helping you all “ROLL BACK THE CLOCK”.

Free Seniors Festival event at newport: online safety in a changing world

Avalon Computer Pals (AvPals) is holding a lecture on a very important subject – Online safety in a changing world.  Specifically, it’s about how to spot, and therefore avoid the latest scams.

We will show you the red flags to look for when you get suspicious activity on your home or smartphone, computer or other online devices. We analyse and examine how scams work and we’ll show you where to get help if you, family or friends have been scammed.

Come along on Tuesday 7 February at 1.30pm to the Newport Community Centre, at 11-13 The Boulevarde, Newport. There will be free refreshments provided by Northern Beaches Council.

Safer Internet Day 2023

Safer Internet Day is a global event that brings together communities, families, schools and organisations from more than 200 countries to help create safer online spaces.
This worldwide initiative is celebrating 20 years in 2023, making it a great time to reflect as well as look forward. This year SiD will be on Tuesday February 7th.

Technology has evolved dramatically in the past two decades and the benefits have been huge. These developments have also exposed us to many risks with real-world impacts, making online safety awareness even more important.  
That's why we are calling on Australians to Connect. Reflect. Protect. 
Connect safely and with purpose – by keeping apps and devices secure and using social media in positive ways. 

Reflect before we act – by taking a moment to consider how what we do and say online may affect others. 

Protect ourselves and others by taking action – by telling family, friends or colleagues about eSafety and how we can help.  
By doing these simple things, we can work towards making every day a Safer Internet Day.

AvPals One to One training at Avalon 2023: register now or in person + term 1 at newport 

Register Online
Add your name to the list of others interested in one-to-one training at Avalon for future school terms. Please complete the form at the link below. 

Remember to click the Submit button after completing the form. You will not be enrolled or be required to pay until you hear from our coordinator.

Register in Person
ONE TO ONE registration mornings at the Avpal training rooms beneath the Maria Regina Catholic Church in Central Road, Avalon.

Dates - Times
  • Friday January 20th, 2023, 9.30am-11am
  • Friday April 14th, 2023, 9.30am-11am
  • Friday July 7th, 2023, 9.30am-11am
  • Friday 29th September 2023, 8.30am-11am

Let’s dance! How dance classes can lift your mood and help boost your social life

Tamara Borovica, RMIT University and Renata Kokanovic, RMIT University

If your new year’s resolutions include getting healthier, exercising more and lifting your mood, dance might be for you.

By dance, we don’t mean watching other people dance on TikTok, as much fun as this can be. We mean taking a dance class, or even better, a few.

A growing body of research shows the benefits of dance, regardless of the type (for example, classes or social dancing) or the style (hip hop, ballroom, ballet). Dance boosts our wellbeing as it improves our emotional and physical health, makes us feel less stressed and more socially connected.

Here’s what to consider if you think dance might be for you.

The benefits of dance

Dance is an engaging and fun way of exercising, learning and meeting people. A review of the evidence shows taking part in dance classes or dancing socially improves your health and wellbeing regardless of your age, gender or fitness.

Another review focuses more specifically on benefits of dance across the lifespan. It shows dance classes and dancing socially at any age improves participants’ sense of self, confidence and creativity.

Older woman in group dance class
It’s never too late to start a dance class. Wellness Gallery Catalyst Foundation/Pexels

Researchers have also looked at specific dance programs.

One UK-based dance program for young people aged 14 shows one class a week for three months increased students’ fitness level and self-esteem. This was due to a combination of factors including physical exercise, a stimulating learning environment, positive engagement with peers, and creativity.

Another community-based program for adults in hospital shows weekly dance sessions led to positive feelings, enriches social engagement and reduced stress related to being in hospital.

If you want to know how much dance is needed to develop some of these positive effects, we have good news for you.

A useful hint comes from a study that looked exactly at how much creative or arts engagement is needed for good mental health – 100 or more hours a year, or two or more hours a week, in most cases.

Dance is social

But dance is more than physical activity. It is also a community ritual. Humans have always danced. We still do so to mark and celebrate transitory periods in life. Think of how weddings prompt non-dancers to move rhythmically to music. Some cultures dance to celebrate childbirth. Many dance to celebrate religious and cultural holidays.

This is what inspired French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) to explore how dance affects societies and cultures.

Durkheim described how dancing with others cultivated ‘collective effervescence’ – dynamism, vitality and community. (Aeon Video)

Durkheim saw collective dance as a societal glue – a social practice that cultivates what he called “collective effervescence”, a feeling of dynamism, vitality and community.

He observed how dance held cultures together by creating communal feelings that were difficult to cultivate otherwise, for example a feeling of uplifting togetherness or powerful unity.

It’s that uplifting feeling you might experience when dancing at a concert and even for a brief moment forgetting yourself while moving in synchrony with the rest of the crowd.

People dancing with arms in air at club
That uplifting feeling: when dancing together helps you forget yourself as you move in synchrony with the rest of the crowd. Shutterstock

Synchronous collective activities, such as dance, provide a pleasurable way to foster social bonding. This is due to feelings Durkheim noticed that we now know as transcendental emotions – such as joy, awe and temporary dissolution of a sense of self (“losing yourself”). These can lead to feeling a part of something bigger than ourselves and help us experience social connectedness.

For those of us still experiencing social anxiety or feelings of loneliness due to the COVID pandemic, dance can be a way of (re)building social connections and belonging.

Whether you join an online dance program and invite a few friends, go to an in-person dance class, or go to a concert or dance club, dance can give temporary respite from the everyday and help lift your mood.

Keen to try out dance?

Here’s what to consider:

  • if you have not exercised for a while, start with a program tailored to beginners or the specific fitness level that suits you

  • if you have physical injuries, check in with your GP first

  • if public dance classes are unappealing, consider joining an online dance program, or going to a dance-friendly venue or concert

  • to make the most of social aspect of dance, invite your friends and family to join you

  • social dance classes are a better choice for meeting new people

  • beginner performance dance classes will improve your physical health, dance skills and self-esteem

  • most importantly, remember, it is not so much about how good your dancing is, dance is more about joy, fun and social connectedness.

In the words of one participant in our (yet-to-be published) research on dance and wellbeing, dance for adults is a rare gateway into fun:

There’s so much joy, there’s so much play in dancing. And play isn’t always that easy to access as an adult; and yet, it’s just such a joyful experience. I feel so happy to be able to dance.The Conversation

Tamara Borovica, Research assistant and early career researcher, Critical Mental Health research group, RMIT University and Renata Kokanovic, Professor and Lead of Critical Mental Health, Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Avalon Scottish Country Dancing

Avalon Rec. Centre
Thursday 3pm to 5pm
Most Saturdays 2pm to 4pm
(contact Margot Fenelon 0419 122 455 to confirm Saturday class)
COST:  $5 - first visit free
WHAT TO WEAR: Casual clothes and soft soled shoes

2023 Seniors Card Discount Directory

Seniors right across the state can now pick up the latest copy of the NSW Seniors Card Directory from hundreds of locations across the state or access it online.

Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said the directory details more than 2,000 businesses providing significant discounts off products and services available through the NSW Seniors Card program.

“This directory lists all the savings that can be accessed, from supermarkets, retail and boutique stores, health and fitness, travel, utilities and professional services,” Mr Coure said.

“The Seniors Card is the largest program of its kind in Australia, and has been helping keep more money in seniors pockets and easing the cost of living for 30 years.”

The 2023 Seniors Card Directory is available in five regional areas, including Sydney and Surrounds, Central Coast and Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

Mr Coure encouraged more businesses to sign up to the NSW Seniors Program and join the more than 6,000 businesses that have opened their door to more than 1.9 million seniors across the state.

“The more businesses that sign up can potentially get more people through their door and seniors have more choice to shop and use services, so it is a win-win,” Mr Coure said.

Seniors Cards are available for permanent NSW residents who are 60 years of age or over and are working no more than 20 hours per week in paid employment.

NSW Seniors Card is pleased to provide members with the 2023 Seniors Card Directory, your guide to the best discounts and special offers from thousands of participating businesses across the state.

Each year five directories are released, one for each region in NSW. The regions are: Sydney & Surrounds, Central Coast & Hunter, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Western NSW.

To download your copy, please click the link below:
Copies of the 2023 directory are also available for pickup from Australia Post Outlets, Service NSW Centres, MP Offices as well as participating local Councils and Libraries across the state. Please click here to find a location near you.

Also available:
  • Central Coast & Hunter
  • Northern NSW
  • Southern NSW
  • Western NSW

Have your say: National Dementia Action Plan

The Federal Government are seeking feedback on the draft National Dementia Action Plan.

The plan is a 10-year initiative between the Australian Government and state and territory governments. It will mean
  • a coordinated approach to risk reduction
  • early diagnosis
  • better support for carers
It is designed to:
  • provide a national vision – for greater inclusion of people living with dementia, their carers and families
  • guide action by governments – so health, acute and aged care systems work more seamlessly and broader policies and programs consider dementia
  • drive mainstream services and systems – to improve outcomes for people living with dementia, their carers and families
  • develop an accountability framework – so we can measure progress
  • engage, inform and involve the whole community – to achieve a society that’s more understanding and more inclusive of people living with dementia.
The government want the voices of people with lived experience of dementia reflected in Australia’s priorities for action on dementia over the next 10 years. This includes:
  • people living with dementia
  • their carers, families and friends
  • people who work in primary care, health, acute or aged care
  • researchers and academics.

Have your say
Email your feedback to dementiaplan@health.gov.au.
Post your feedback to National Dementia Action Plan, MDP 765, GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601.
Call 1800 565 789 to provide feedback over the phone or request a hard copy.

Consultation is open until 31 January 2023.

Pittwater-Narrabeen Parkinson’s Support Group

The purpose of our group is to support seniors (55yrs +) living with Parkinson’s, their carers, relatives and those who have lost a partner to Parkinson’s, who live on the northern beaches of Sydney.

This support Group has been meeting for around 30 years on the Northern Beaches. Our meetings aim to help reduce the social isolation, and increase community connectedness for our members. Through guest speakers, discussions, and group activities, our meetings will support and promote mental health, healthy lifestyles and well-being.

Our Facebook webpage will be used to store resources and links, and provide another way to safely keep in touch, for those who want to use Facebook. We also have a website that is regularly updated https://wheresdot.wixsite.com/nbpdsupportgroup

We meet regularly and due to Covid we have been meeting at Jamieson Park, The Esplanade, Narrabeen.

Give Dot a call for more information: 0418 640 086 and join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1063258404504502

Bilgola Probus Club

The Bilgola Probus Club is now on a membership drive to secure interested people to join our club.  Membership is open to males and females who are currently retired or semi-retired.

We meet on the first Friday of each month at 10am at the Newport Bowling Club; 2 Palm Road Newport.

To find out more, please contact our President, Patricia Ryan on 0438 281 573. 

Pensioner's Concessions: Council Rates

Did you know that Pensioners are entitled to concessions on their Council Rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Government. You can only claim a concession on the property if it is the sole or principal place you live.

If you are eligible, you are entitled to:
  • Half of the total of your ordinary rates and domestic waste management service charge, up to a maximum of $250.
  • Half of your water rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
  • Half of your sewerage rates or charges, up to a maximum of $87.50.
To apply, you need to complete a pensioner concession application form. You can obtain these forms from your council - download our area's one HERE

Home Instead Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches

We are a provider of quality home care and companionship services for seniors in the Northern suburbs of Sydney. 

To you, it’s about finding trustworthy care for your ageing loved one. To us, it’s about providing the highest-quality in-home care services to fit you and your family’s needs.
To Us, It's Personal.

We provide services to all areas and suburbs in the North Shore and Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Telephone: (02) 9144 2322

council has a Home Library Service Available for Seniors

For those unable to visit the library because of age or disability, the Home Library Service maintains a vital connection with all that the library offers. Your Home Library Service Officer will help you select items for reading or listening. Volunteers or staff will then deliver and collect your library items on a regular basis.

Register for the Home Library Service
If you or the person you care for is unable to visit the library or carry library items home due to age, frailty or disability, please complete Council's Home Library Service Application Form or call us on 9942 2393. 

A medical certificate or statement signed by a doctor may be required to assess eligibility.

What happens next?
After staff receive your completed application form, a Home Library Service Officer will contact you to arrange a time to meet and discuss the service details with you.

Staff or volunteers will then select your items according to your borrowing preferences and then deliver them to you. During this visit you can return any items that you have finished with.

 COTA – NSW - cotansw.com.au


The Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) is the peak organisation for people over 50 in our state. We’re an independent, non-partisan, consumer-based non-government organisation. We work with politicians, policy makers, and service providers as well as media representatives to make sure your views are heard and your needs are met. COTA NSW works to empower and engage people over 50. For decades, we’ve shaped the policies and programs that change lives.

Since our beginning in 1956, COTA NSW has introduced policies and programs that make a real difference to peoples’ lives. We have proud record, having created: ■Meals on Wheels, ■Retirement Village Residents Association, ■Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, ■Seniors Clubs, ■Seniors Information Service, ■OM:NI – Older Men: New Ideas, ■Grandfriends, ■Grandparents, Relatives and Kinship Care Alliance, ■Medication Management for Older People, and the ■Mature Employment Line

Tech Savvy Seniors

Tech Savvy Seniors provides free or low cost digital skills training on how to use computers, tablets and smartphones to keep in touch with family and friends, access essential services, conducting personal business and discover more about the things you are interested in.

Join the thousands of people over 60 who have already completed this fun, practical training and made new friends in the process.

With over 150 training locations across NSW as well as resources online it has never been easier to build your digital skills and confidence, with training available in a range of languages. To find out more about training sessions available near you, visit the Tech Savvy Seniors website to find your local library or community college provider.

For here: 
  • Northern Beaches Council Library at Glen Street, Mona Vale, Warringah Mall 02 9976 1720 
  • Northern Beaches Community College Inc at Narrabeen, Brookvale, Mosman (02) 9970 1000 enquiries@nbcc.nsw.edu.au
The Tech Savvy Seniors website also contains a great range of ‘self-teach’ videos and free digital literacy training resources available to make it easy to learn at your own pace to develop your digital skills from the comfort of your home.

Tech Savvy Seniors is a NSW Government initiative in partnership with Telstra.

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.
Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE


Northern Beaches Concert Band is looking for flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba and trombone adult players.  We cater for players from beginner to advanced and have a varied and exciting repertoire.  Come and join us during school term time at 7.30pm, Pittwater High School, Mona Street, Mona Vale. 
Details 9970 7131 or 0414 560 263.

NSW Spectacles Program

The NSW Spectacles Program provides glasses and visual aids to eligible recipients who might be at risk of a preventable decline in their eye health.

If you're eligible, you can receive free of charge in any 2-year period:
  • one pair of single vision glasses, or
  • one pair of bifocal glasses.
Contact lenses, tinted lenses or low vision aids may be provided in certain circumstances.

You are eligible if you:
  • receive a full Centrelink pension/benefit
  • have no other income other than the Centrelink payments
  • have financial assets less than $500 (if single) or $1000 (if married/partnered or parent/guardian)
  • are a low-wage earner who earns less than:
  • the JobSeeker Payment if you're under 65, or
  • the aged pension if you're over 65.
People living in regional/remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may also qualify for the subsidy. At your appointment, your provider will use the program’s online portal to check your eligibility using the information you've supplied.

Visit Vision Australia for more details on the program, your eligibility and how to apply, at:

RSPCA's Community Aged Care Program

RSPCA NSW understands that to an elderly owner, a pet can mean everything. Our Aged Care program aims to keep pets and their elderly owners happy, healthy and together in their own homes for as long as possible. To do this, we assist elderly pet owners over the age of 65, Indigenous pet owners over the age of 50 and palliative care patients of any age.
  • services our Aged Care program offers include: temporary foster accommodation and/or emergency pet boarding if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
  • assistance with veterinary treatment
  • home visits to assist the elderly with basic pet care
  • assistance with pet grooming
  • assistance with transport to and from the local veterinarian
  • a volunteer network to assist with dog walking and short periods of in-home care if the owner requires medical treatment, respite or other assistance
Please note that due to high demand for this program, we ask that pet owners first ask family and friends whether they are able to assist with their pet’s care.

This community program was previously known as Pets of Older Persons (POOPs).

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555
Aged Care Program FAQs

Seniors Toy Repair Group needs your help

Volunteers are sought to help out on Wednesday mornings (7.30am to midday) at the group's workshed in Ingleside. Volunteers need their own transport and be willing to sort and clean toys that are picked up at different collection points on the Northern Beaches. 

Prospective volunteers can email Mary Kitchen to arrange a visit to the workshed. To arrange a donation pickup please call Terry Cook on 0410 597 327 or email himFind out more about this great community group HERE

MWP Care

We've been supporting the community for over 50 years! 
Our Neighbour Aid staff and volunteers are able to provide crucial support to vulnerable elderly residents during the lockdown. 

Help with going to the supermarket or shopping on your behalf from a list as well as transport to medical appointments. Please get in touch via our website for more information 

MWP Care is a not-for-profit organisation that assists frail aged and younger people with disabilities and their carer’s in the Manly, Warringah, Pittwater area to remain independent members of our community.

MWP Care provides support to people who cannot manage alone by providing a range of services. Many of Community Aid’s activities are made possible by the generous work of our wonderful volunteers. Please contact us for more information.

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 

 Australian Ageing Agenda

Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) is an independent and authoritative bi-monthly publication for people who work in or around the aged care and retirement sectors in Australia. It provides a broad range of news, education and opinion with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and research translation.

Each issue also contains regular updates on relevant business and financial issues along with a selection of well researched features on crucial systems and operations, clinical care, technology, built environment and other issues relevant to the ‘ageing sector’. AAA leads the way with the industry’s most comprehensive conference details and remains Australia’s number one source of news and information about ageing issues and aged care.

Have a look at their comprehensive website HERE

Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards pilot program

January 30, 2023: the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Revision of the Quality Standards was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. 

The Department of Health and Aged Care is in the process of finalising its review and advising Government of the outcomes including a strengthened set of Quality Standards. The Commission is contributing to the revision of the Quality Standards in our role as the national regulator of aged care services. 

In early 2023, the Commission will be conducting a pilot program to test how the strengthened Standards will apply in practice. 

About the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
Our purpose
To protect and improve the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving Australian funded aged care.

Our vision
Older Australians trust and have confidence that aged care services protect and enhance their safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Our role
We are the national end-to-end regulator of aged care services and are focused on delivering a world class sector that safeguards the welfare and rights of consumers.

We are invested in engagement and education to:
  • build confidence and trust in aged care
  • empower consumers
  • support providers to comply with quality standards
  • promote best practice service provision.
Our responsibilities
We are also responsible for:
  • granting approval for providers to deliver aged care services
  • administering the Serious Incidents Response Scheme
  • reducing the use of restrictive practices.
We independently accredit, assess and monitor aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government, conduct home care investigations and determine provider compliance including whether any requirements or sanctions need to be imposed.

We also resolve complaints about services.

Our values
We undertake our work so it is consistent with the Australian Public Service (APS) Values which are set out in section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999.

We are apolitical and provide the Australian Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Committed to service
We are professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and work collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.

We are open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of the ministerial responsibility.

We respect all people, including their rights and their heritage.

We demonstrate leadership, are trustworthy, and act with integrity, in all that we do.

Hugh Mackay a hit at COTA NSW AGM

AGMs can tend to be dry, but not when your guest speaker is the wonderful Hugh Mackay!Hugh spoke on Kindness – the antidote to loneliness

He said that kindness is about meeting people’s deepest psychological need – to be noticed and appreciated. This can counter the current epidemic of loneliness, where 25% of Australians have reported that they feel lonely most of the time. And this was in 2019, before the pandemic.

Hugh said there are six main social trends that have led to an increasingly fragmented world, where everyone, and particularly older people, is more vulnerable to loneliness. They include shrinking households, relationship breakdown, a falling birth rate, increased mobility, busyness and the technology revolution.

According to Hugh, the recent pandemic and other disasters have brought people closer together again and reminded us what it means to be human. But will we keep pulling together or will we revert to our previous behaviour once the worst is over?

He says those of us who are not lonely must continue to reach out to those who may be. ‘Let’s keep dreaming of the kind of society we become when we have to face a crisis!’.COTA NSW’s 66th annual general meeting was attended by 65 people both in person and online, the largest attendance ever at one of our AGMs.

As well as Hugh’s presentation, COTA NSW President Joan Hughes spoke about the diversity of the over 50s population and the opportunity this presents to COTA NSW in representing them. We are committed to finding new and creative ways to engage with all people over 50 in NSW in 2023 and beyond.

New Chief Executive Officer Marika Kontellis was introduced and spoke our main achievements during the year, including the research that informs our policy and advocacy work, resulting in this year’s landmark report What Older People Think and also our recommendations to the NSW government on the NSW Seniors Strategy.

Marika also highlighted the diverse ways in which COTA NSW provides information beyond “just google it”, including our Community Speakers program, COTA Conversations webinars, our monthly e-newsletters, social media, and our Legal Pathways and Aged Care Navigator programs. She also mentioned the great success of Living Longer Living Stronger, which now has 33 providers operating 44 affordable exercise programs across the state.

COTA NSW’s Treasurer Geoff Banting reported by proxy that COTA NSW finished 2021-22 in a healthy financial position with total equity of $487,314. Losses in some programs were offset by savings in salaries, but a decision was taken to close the Legal Pathways program when no new funding source could be found after extensive efforts.

Watch Hugh’s presentation below

Update on in-home aged care payment reform

February 2, 2023
Reforms to the aged care sector are underway as the government focuses on quality, safety, sustainability, how consumers pay for their care and how they can more easily move between care providers.

In designing a new in-home aged care program, the Department of Health and Aged Care has been exploring establishing a new payment platform.

While this is currently a discussion between government and care providers, recent information from the department provides consumers and their families with an insight into how the reforms may impact financial arrangements.

But after receiving feedback from 248 providers who deliver Home Care Packages (HCP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), the department is now looking at how existing systems could be improved without a new payment platform.

According to the department’s feedback published last month, concerns were raised about:
  • enhancing integrations with current government portals
  • the impact of subcontracting and brokered services on invoices and payments
  • the perceived need to increase administrative staff to help manage the service delivery data requirements
  • poor uptake by care recipients of the digital offerings
The most common response to a question on the features of a new government invoicing platform was that any new system should integrate with an organisation’s current system.

“It would be difficult for many providers to take up a new system because their existing systems are rooted in how their business operates,” according to the feedback.

For almost three-quarters of respondents, providers received payment of subsidies from Services Australia within five business days, while the most popular methods for collecting client contributions are direct debit and credit/debit card or cheque. 

The department responded: 
“We have heard your concerns and feedback and we are now considering how the existing systems could be enhanced to facilitate payments under in-home aged care reforms without the need for a new payment platform.” 

Let us change aged care together
Every Australian should feel confident about accessing high-quality and safe aged care when and where they need it.

The changes mean older Australians will have more choice and control, services that respect and meet their needs, and support to stay independent as they age. For more information and to help design the changes, visit the Federal Health department Get Involved page or call 1800 318 209.

Wellbeing Plus 

The Wellbeing Plus Course is a free, online treatment course for Australian’s aged 60 years+  
The course includes 5 lessons delivered over 8 weeks, with optional weekly support from a therapist via email or phone. It aims to help us understand symptoms of anxiety and depression, and practice helpful skills.    

Over 95% of people said they would recommend the Wellbeing Plus Course.  

If you're interested in learning more, visit www.mindspot.org.au/course/wellbeing-plus  

Possible link between Alzheimer’s disease and gut microbiome found in mice – new study

Catherine Purse, Quadram Institute

Researchers may have found an unlikely contributor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease: the bacteria in your gut. Their study, published in the journal Science, suggested that certain gut bacteria increase the brain damage seen in mice with an Alzheimer’s-like disease.

In Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – proteins build up abnormally in the brain. One of these proteins is called tau, and its build-up causes the death of brain cells that are involved in memory, causing forgetfulness and eventually permanent memory loss.

The researchers were working with a group of mice with a genetic mutation that causes the accumulation of tau protein in the brain. The mice were split into two groups: one group had a healthy gut microbiome (the collection of bacteria, viruses and fungi which live in the gut), while the other lacked a gut microbiome completely (these mice are nicknamed “germ free”). By the time they reached old age, the germ-free mice had significantly less brain damage caused by tau.

The germ-free mice also had a lower level of tau-associated inflammation in their brains. High levels of inflammation are seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, contributing to brain damage. So the lower level of brain inflammation could be one of the reasons less brain damage was seen in these mice.

One of the main causes of Alzheimer’s-associated brain inflammation is the activation of a certain type of immune cell, known as microglia. Microglia are known to be regulated by the gut microbiome, which might explain why germ-free mice had lower levels of active microglia.

Removing the gut microbiome is not the solution

If you’ve heard of the gut microbiome, you might know that it is usually thought of as being important for our overall health. So the suggestion that not having a microbiome could reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s is surprising. However, if you’re wondering whether removing your gut microbiome might reduce your chances of developing the disease, you might be disappointed.

Everyone has a unique gut microbiome, which is home to millions of different types of bacteria, some of which are beneficial and some of which can be damaging to our health. One explanation for the study’s findings is that only a certain type of bacteria is involved in increasing brain inflammation and brain-cell death caused by tau.

The researchers tested this idea by dosing a third group of mice, which had a healthy gut microbiome, with antibiotics. The antibiotics reduced the level of inflammation in the brain, as well as the activation of microglia, although only in male mice. What’s interesting is that only certain types of gut bacteria were reduced by the antibiotics, so it might have been one of these bacteria that was helping cause brain damage in the mice.

It’s unclear why antibiotics only improved outcomes in male mice, but not females. In humans, Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women. It’s not clear why, but research suggests that one reason women are at greater risk of Alzheimer’s could be the impact of hormone changes that occurs during menopause.

That the gut microbiome can affect the brain is unsurprising. Over a decade of research has revealed that there are strong communication links between the two, known as the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis helps regulate multiple bodily processes, including the immune system and, therefore, inflammation.

This is not the first study to have pointed to the role that the gut microbiome may have in developing Alzheimer’s disease in mice. There’s also evidence that the gut microbiome is different in people with Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who are healthy.

While the idea that the gut microbiome is linked to Alzheimer’s is compelling, it’s important to interpret the results of the study with caution. Mice, especially those with genetic mutations, are very different to humans. Their immune system, their genetics and, critically, their gut microbiome all have differences.

Germ-free mice also have an underdeveloped immune system. Their gut-brain axis is affected too, with research in germ-free mice showing changes to their behaviour and brain signalling compared with normal mice. These differences could also be a reason the germ-free mice in the study didn’t develop such severe Alzheimer’s.

Based on current research, it can’t be claimed that bacteria in the gut microbiome contribute to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Instead, the research points to the possibility that there are specific bacteria within the gut microbiome that could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If it can be shown that there are similar bacteria in humans that have similar effects, the possibility that targeting them might form a new basis for treating Alzheimer’s is an exciting prospect.The Conversation

Catherine Purse, PhD Candidate, Quadram Institute

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Macular diseases cause blindness and treatment costs millions. Here is how to look after yours

Justine R. Smith, Flinders University

The single most expensive drug for the Australian government today, costing more than A$400 million per year, is one called aflibercept. It stops the growth and “leakiness” of blood vessels, and is given to treat a range of different eye diseases. These diseases have one thing in common: they all affect a piece of tissue inside the eye called the macula.

The macula is a structure that distinguishes us humans, as well as some other primates including apes and monkeys. It is a part of the retina that lets us recognise people’s faces, navigate a car and read the newspaper. Our eye is built to focus images onto the macula to achieve this level of vision.

Like the rest of the retina, the macula consists of cells that detect light – photoreceptors – plus nerve cells and other supporting cells, but they are arranged differently to ensure images are seen in high resolution. The macula also contains the highest body concentration of yellow carotenoid pigments – protective antioxidants which filter out blue light to hone vision.

Scientists are working to understand why so many diseases and conditions, including diabetes, inflammation and parasitic infection, affect the macula. This is likely due to a host of factors: from the special anatomy of cells, to blood supply, the need for carotenoid pigments and a high metabolic rate.

The many causes of macular disease

When a person’s macula becomes diseased, they often experience changes in vision. However, because the macula is just one part of the retina, even severe macular disease generally does not cause complete loss of sight.

Dame Judi Dench has talked about her macular disease – macular degeneration – including how friends help her learn lines by repeating them over and over to her, and how fellow performers help her know where to face when she is acting. Having this condition might mean she no longer drives a car, but she continues to live a full life.

Macular degeneration affects about one in seven people over 50 years of age, and can occur as an overgrowth of blood vessels or as a loss of tissue.

Diabetes causes an accumulation of fluid in the macula, called macular oedema; around one in 15 people with diabetes develop this condition. Other causes of macular oedema include a blocked blood vessel or inflammation inside the eye. It can also be a complication after cataract surgery.

older woman with short hair poses for photo on red carpet
Dame Judi Dench has spoken about how macular degeneration has limited her eyesight. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

There are many more macular diseases.

Toxoplasmosis – a parasite infection – often affects the macula.

Macular disease is a side effect of some drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine used to treat inflammatory diseases like lupus, and the new immunotherapy drugs for cancers including melanoma.

Central serous chorioretinopathy is a macular disease that affects younger adults and is associated with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Rare inherited conditions can affect the macula even earlier in life.

woman shields her eyes from sun on beach
Sun protection isn’t just about your skin. Shutterstock

Treatments and prevention: 5 ways

Treatments depend on the type of macular disease. Most drugs are given by injection with a fine needle into the back part of the eye, called the vitreous. This quick procedure may be done in the doctor’s office.

But understanding what the causes of disease have in common points to lifestyle changes that can protect the macula or slow the damage of diseases.

1. Diet

Researchers at the United States National Eye Institute have shown the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, heavy in legumes and other vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains, and favouring fish over red meat, for protection against macular degeneration. A supplement combining vitamin C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin, zinc and copper is also recommended to limit progression of certain types of degeneration.

2. Avoiding smoking

Not taking up smoking or quitting if you are already a smoker safeguards your macula. Smoking has been linked to a number of macular diseases, including macular oedema and central serous chorioretinopathy, as well as macular degeneration.

3. Sun smarts

Wearing a sunhat and sunglasses from childhood may have benefits beyond skin safety. Some studies suggest sunlight exposure is a risk factor for macular degeneration. Physical activity can also protect against this condition, although there is debate about whether vigorous exercise is protective or potentially dangerous.

4. Shut eye

Quality sleep protects the macula. Sleep apnoea is associated with several macular diseases, including macular degeneration, macular oedema and central serous chorioretinopathy. Moreover, people with these diseases and untreated sleep apnoea may need more frequent drug injections for their condition.

5. Busting stress if possible

Limiting stress in life is difficult, but stress is a well-established risk factor for central serous chorioretinopathy. One group of US researchers reported an unusually high number of people with the disease at their local health network early in the COVID pandemic, which was a highly stressful time.

woman waking up and reaching for glasses
Getting enough good quality sleep protects eye health. Shutterstock

Controlling other aspects of diseases that affect the macula can be important too. For example, the macula benefits from: keeping blood pressure well-controlled, stabilising blood sugars in people with diabetes, and reducing inflammation in people with uveitis.

Check it and see

You can monitor your own macula using a simple test called the Amsler grid, available for free online.

Testing with an Amsler grid picks up changes in the vision caused by macular diseases.

Self-testing doesn’t take the place of regular checks with your eye health practitioner. They can examine your macula directly, usually after dilating the pupils, and may employ a powerful technology – optical coherence tomography – to scan through it.The Conversation

Justine R. Smith, Professor of Eye & Vision Health, Flinders University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Concession car parking at NSW Health public hospitals

Patients and carers may be eligible for concession rates on parking at NSW Health public hospitals. 

To be eligible you need to be:
  • requiring treatment over an extended period
  • attending hospital more than twice a week (including carers of long term patients who visit frequently). 
  • ongoing cancer treatment
  • treatment more than twice weekly
  • daily dressing changes
  • cardiac rehabilitation or health promotion classes
Concessions are also available for holders of a: 
  • Transport for NSW Mobility Parking Scheme permit
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card
  • Health Care Card.
Hospitals provide communication to patients, carers and visitors about the availability of concessional car parking rates, this includes:
  • clearly displaying and publicising concessional rates
  • streamlining the concession application process with designated points of access
  • validating concessional parking for the duration of a course of treatment. 
For detailed information on eligibility and concession fees, visit NSW Health webpage:

Active and Healthy at any age

Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to stay fit and independent, as you get older. Age is no barrier, research shows that exercise, at any age, is worth the effort. If you are in any doubt about exercise, please talk to your doctor.

This website (https://www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au/) can help you find an exercise program in your local area and provides information and tools that can assist you to increase your physical activity.

Join Healthy and Active for Life Online!

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a FREE 10-week healthy lifestyle program for adults aged 60 years* and over.

The program will help you learn how to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle to improve your health.

The program covers lots of topics including healthy eating and physical activity.
No prior knowledge or exercise experience is required!
*Aboriginal people aged 45+ years can register. 

Healthy and Active for Life Online will help you to be active by:
  • Providing online exercise programs for you to complete in the comfort of your home
  • Providing you with an exercise manual and log to keep you on track
  • Helping you to create realistic goals and increase your fitness

Learn Something New: Australia MOOCs And Free Online Courses

There is a full range of everything your heart, mind and body wants to learn more about, presented and conducted by Australia's best universities.

Apply for the $200 Seniors Energy Rebate

A new rebate for independent retirees who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to help with electricity costs. The Seniors Energy Rebate is available for eligible independent retirees to help cover the cost of their electricity.

To be eligible you need to hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
CSHCs are means-tested concession cards issued by Services Australia and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). 

The Seniors Energy Rebate is $200 per household, per financial year.
If your application is successful, the rebate will be paid directly into your nominated bank or Credit Union account.

Note: Gas accounts are not eligible for the rebate.

What you need
  • your valid CSHC from Centrelink or the DVA
  • the most recent electricity bill for your current primary place of residence
  • your contact details
  • your bank or Credit Union account details
How to apply
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Select the 'Apply online' button.
  • Enter the required details.
  • Submit the application.
If you're unable to apply online, visit a service centre or call us on 13 77 88.
If your application is successful, you'll receive payment within 5 working days into your nominated bank/Credit Union account. Service NSW will contact you if there are problems issuing your payment. 

assistance to pay your aged care costs

It’s now easier to get help if you need assistance to pay your aged care costs.
Services Australia have improved their Aged Care Claim for financial hardship assistance form and made changes to some evidence requirements. They’ve made these changes so it’s easier for you to get help.

You may get help if you can’t pay your aged care costs and you’re either:
  • in residential or respite care
  • getting a home care package.
You can claim for financial hardship assistance if all of the following apply:
If you get a Home Care Package, your care must have started on or after 1 July 2014.

Before you claim, you should update your income and asset details as well as your partners if you have one. You may also be eligible for other payments and services.

Next steps

Media Releases concerning Seniors this week from National Seniors Australia

With around a quarter of a million members, National Seniors is Australia’s largest consumer organisation for the over 50s and fourth largest group of its kind in the world.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket: NSW Public Transport

Parents missing out on REAL face time? If they have a Pension Card, sign them up & they could get unlimited $2.50 Country Pensioner Excursion tickets*.
Call 13 22 32 to sign up.

Country Pensioner Excursion ticket (CPE)
A Country Pensioner Excursion (CPE) ticket is an affordable ticket for eligible pensioners and seniors to travel by train in regional NSW and the ACT.

For $2.50 you can book an economy class seat on a NSW TrainLink 

Regional train service. You will need to book 7 days or less in advance

NSW Seniors Card program: Translated Resources

If you're from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, and would like more information about the NSW Seniors Card program, translated versions of the Membership Guide brochure are available here:
Available for download in 13 different languages.

Pensioner water rebate

If you receive a pension, you may qualify for a rebate on your water bill. 

To be eligible, you’ll need a:
  • Pensioner Concession Card from Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs, or
  • gold Health Card (also known as a gold card) that shows:
  • war widow
  • war widower
  • extreme disablement adjustment (EDA)
  • totally and temporarily incapacitated (TTI)
  • totally and permanently incapacitated (TPI).
You’ll also need to be the owner and occupier of one of the following:
  • single dwelling
  • dual occupancy
  • strata or company title unit
  • unit in a retirement village with a life term lease.
If you own the property with someone who isn't a pensioner, you may still get a rebate. This depends on your relationship with the other owner(s) and your eligibility.

Rebates are applied to each bill. 

You can claim your pensioner rebate by selecting your water supplier from the following list:


Contact Community Care Northern Beaches HERE

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview
Website: www.byra.org.au

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!

 Keep your Wits About You

A regular contributor suggests we all look at Lumosity to see if will suit keeping active mentally. Their website states: "improve Brain Health and performance. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. Dozens of research collaborations help improve the Lumosity training program and its effectiveness." You can visit their website to decide for yourself  at: www.lumosity.com/app/v4/personalization

Heartmoves is a low-moderate intensity exercise program. Regular participation in Heartmoves will help to: Better manage weight, blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol; Improve fitness, balance, co-ordination and flexibility; Enhance your quality of life and meet other people. Ingrid Davey is a qualified Older Adult Instructor and accredited Heartmoves Leader who will guide you through an exercise program that is fun, safe and modified to suit you. Tuesday 9.30am and Thursday 10.30am at Nelson Heather Centre, 4 Jackson Road Warriewood.  The cost per class is $10.00 casual now and $17.00 for two classes. Phone Ingrid to secure your spot on 0405 457 063. www.heartfoundation.org.au


Avalon Computer Pals (AVPALS) helps Seniors learn and improve their computer skills. It is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers. 

Started in 2000 it now has 20+ trainers and many hundreds of students. At a really low cost (about $50 a school term) they can provide one-to-one training on most matters connected with computing and related technologies like mobile phones and digital cameras. From the smallest problem (how to hold the mouse!) to much more serious matters, there is a trainer who can help.

We offer “one to one” personal tuition or special short courses in the training rooms under the Catholic Church in Avalon. Training is conducted Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For more information visit AVPALS web site www.avpals.com or phone 02 8064 3574

Keep up to date on our Facebook page

Find out more at: www.avpals.com


EasyLink (formerly Easy Transport Manly Warringah Pittwater) - medical appointments, shopping trips, mystery tours and Saturday Lunch - this great non-profit organisation offers great ideas and solutions.

Visit: https://easylink.com.au

Keep on Dancing is what the science says!

ABC Catalyst is presenting a 2 part special studying the many benefits of dance for the over 65s. Improvements in memory, movement and the creation of new neural pathways in the brain are some of the benefits found in recent studies.

Nia is a combination of 52 moves drawn from dance arts, martial arts and healing arts. Within one class we combine flexibility, agility, mobility, strength and stability (FAMMS) in order to improve balance and fitness. By incorporating FAMMS within the movements, Nia is an integrated way to condition the entire body. People who regularly practice Nia open to a new awareness of their bodies, their internal energies, and their feelings – all of which help them move more efficiently, effectively, and safely in their workouts and in life.

Come along and give it a try. There's no performance pressure. Avalon Nia Classes are held at the Recreation Centre.
6pm Thursdays Classic Nia
9.30am Fridays Gentle Nia
Call or text Mandy Loveday 0411 645 389 - Profile

Nia’s 9 movement forms embrace the 5 Sensations of Fitness:
  • Flexibility
  • Agility
  • Mobility
  • Strength
  • Stability
Dance for health. Avalon Recreation Centre Thursdays 6pm and Fridays 9.30am. 

Australian Government Dept. of Health: Hearing Devices for Seniors

Australian Government's Hearing Services Program (the program), offers the option of being fitted with a hearing device if a hearing assessment identifies you have a hearing loss and a hearing device may assist you. 

You will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device. These devices have been approved by the Office of Hearing Services.

You can find out more about this program on the Australian Government's Department of Health webpage on the program here
Peninsula Bridge Club - Founded in 1967, we are a key community hub on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We contribute strongly to our community: with both social connectedness for those who need it and opportunities to learn and train for those with competitive sporting goals. 

The Club is a vibrant organisation hosting up to three bridge sessions a day. We have 37 permanently set tables – that’s 148 players. We host over 30,000 player sessions every year. This includes prominent tournaments and education events attracting players from across the region. 

We pride ourselves on the friendliness of the club and our strong community spirit. We support local charities but even more importantly we support community members by providing them with social connection and mental stimulus – irrespective of age and mobility.

Our clubhouse is at Warriewood.

We have a new Beginners Course starting the end of September.

Each 2-hour lesson focuses on learning by playing, with a break for tea and chocolate biscuits mid-way. The course runs for 6 weeks and costs $100, which includes text book and support materials.

After the lessons we offer “Help with Play” sessions to practise what you’ve learned; Mondays 7-9pm; Tuesdays 2.15-4.30; Fridays 9.15-11.30. ($7 for members & $12 for visitors – membership

We also offer more advanced lessons each month so you can continue to improve your game if you want. 

If you are keen to learn this great game, please call or email Cath Whiddon (Director of Bridge Ed at PBC): 9979 5752 or cwhiddon@live.com.

If you already know how to play, take a look at our website to see what’s on offer this month: peninsulabridgeclub.org.au

Peninsula Bridge Club Facebook page: www.facebook.com/peninsulabridgeclub

NSW Seniors Website: Crosswords, Puzzles & Games

Did you know that the NSW Seniors website has a range of games and puzzles for you to exercise that great grey matter upstairs?

Recently new items have been added in and now the list is:

Just click on the links we've embedded next time it's too cold out for a stroll and exercise that other great asset you have - your mind!

Meals on Wheels 

Meal preparation and delivery: Benevolent Society
Our food services include meal preparation, and delivery of hot, frozen or chilled meals as part of the Meals on Wheels NSW program. This service is currently provided in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney.

Assistance to prepare food at home is available as an activity to help stay active and independent.
To find out if you or someone you know is eligible for this service, call our friendly staff. 
Call 1800 236 762

Pittwater; 6 Jackson Road, WARRIEWOOD, NSW 2102
Phone: 02 9457 3900

Manly & Warringah; Manly Seniors Centre, 275 Pittwater Road, MANLY, NSW 2095
Phone: 02 9976 1469

Know Your Bones

CEO of Osteoporosis Australia, Greg Lyubomirsky says “bone health is an important part of your general health and anyone with risks for osteoporosis should be investigated.”

He has urged people to try the online self-assessment, Know Your Bones developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. 

"Simply visit the website, complete the assessment in your own time and a personal report is generated which will outline potential risks and can be taken to your doctor if required.”

You can take the assessment here:  www.knowyourbones.org.au

Community Connect

Need help on where to go to find the community information and assistance you need?

At Community Connect Northern Beaches, our professional staff and trained volunteers are knowledgeable, friendly and approachable and we will be only too pleased to help you find the service you want. We provide information and support, as well as advocacy and referral to other non profit community services and government agencies.

If we can’t help you we will get you someone who can. If you are newly arrived or do not have an English speaking background we can offer individual advice and support. Or Why not come to Specialist Community Support Workshops: Family Law, Power of Attorney plus Wills and Executors; Domestic Violence Support and Prevention; Positive Community Integration ; Crime Prevention; Or  Our Free English Classes. 

We also provide information on: Family Services: Child Care, Personal Support & Counselling; Health (Including Mental Health) ;  Material and Practical Assistance ; Advocacy to access state and federal MP assistance; Accommodation and Tenancy (help with form filling); Legal and Financial Matters ; Consumer Affairs ; Multicultural Issues; Conservation and the Environment ; Employment and Education; Accessing Community Facilities  -You are welcome to call in for: Brochures, booklets and fact sheets on a range of topics; Service Directories e.g. Council Guides and Migrant Directories; Publications e.g. The Senior newspaper and Nova.

Access to our community information data base, internet, email, fax and photocopying.(Please note there is a small charge for photocopying and use of the fax to cover the cost of paper, toner and fax call).  We also offer: A Legal Referral Program - Monday 1pm to 2pm at our 30 Fisher Road, Dee Why office.  Taxation Assistance for low income earners and pensioners from July to October. 

What does it cost?: Our services are free, however we are always grateful for a small donation where possible. The program is supported by NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS). CONTACT US: Phone: 02 99317777.

Computer Pals for Seniors: Northern Beaches

In line with the current Coronavirus conditions we cannot access the Tramshed or continue face to face, one on one training. That is a shame but will not stop us providing you with training online.  

Online learning can take several forms - for Apple users there is Face-Time and for PC/Windows users (and Apple users too) Zoom, Skype,  WhatsApp and other similar programmes. Our intention is to support both Trainers and Students learning, where needed, to navigate through these apps to reach a comfortable situation for both parties. New students wanting to learn how to use their Smartphone, Tablet, iPad, PC, Mac or any other current piece of technology should contact our Training Co-ordinator: Anne Matthews 9984 0604 or anne.computerpals@gmail.com

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

Older Persons Advocacy Network offer free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth funded aged care services.

Older Persons Advocacy Network  seek to ensure that aged care consumers understand and exercise their rights and participate, to the maximum degree possible, in the decisions affecting their care.

Older Persons Advocacy Network achieve this through the delivery of individual advocacy support, information and consumer and service provider education.

Nine State and Territory based organisations form the OPAN network. Older Persons Advocacy Network is funded by the Australian Government to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP), providing a national voice for aged care advocacy.

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations provide free information about aged care service provision, referrals and the rights and responsibilities of consumers

Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations offer free information and education sessions to consumers and providers of Commonwealth funded aged care services

My Aged Care

If you need some help around the house or think it’s time to look into aged care homes, My Aged Care is here to help.
My Aged Care is the Australian Government's starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need.

Learn about different types of care
If you are just starting out on your aged care journey, this is your first step. You can see what services are available to help you stay in your own home, or what to expect in an aged care home.

Get assessed
If you’ve had a look at what services might be available and you want to know if you are eligible, this is your next step. Read about how to apply and what’s involved in the assessment process.

Find a provider
If you’ve been assessed and are ready to find a provider and set up your new services, start here. Find out what to consider and get information about service providers near you.

Manage your services
If you are receiving services and want to check what you’ve got in place or make some changes, head to this section.

Need some help?
If you need some help, the My Aged Care team can answer most of your questions over the phone. Call 1800 200 422

 MWP CARE (previously known as MWP Community Aid) is a local not for profit organisation that was founded by Daphne Elsworthy, a Collaroy resident, 52 years ago and we are still going strong! 

In 2022 our programs focus on assisting older people aged 65 years and older, we also assist younger people with a disability and their carers.  We are funded by the Australian Government Dept. of Health through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (known as CHSP). Pittwater Online News PROFILE

These services may be eligible for government subsidies. Call us on (02) 9913 3244 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively you may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to discuss your needs. To access our services (and all other CHSP provider services) you must be registered with My Aged Care – the portal for all things related to Aged Care Services 

We provide services aimed at helping people to stay independently living in their own homes.

Our programs cover:

  • Transport – to medical and social appointments
  • Shopping – Escorted Shopping, Shop By List, Group Social Shopping
  • Visiting – a volunteer visits a client in their own home for social support
  • Individual Activities – visit a friend, the library, the beach, local garden, and nursery, go for a coffee & chat, attend community activities etc.
  • Social Group Bus Outings – our mini bus and experienced staff coordinate a calendar of bus outings to interesting venues
  • CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) social groups/outings  – Chinese, Italian, Korean , Filipino, Serbian
  • Home Maintenance Modification Service – provided to individual home owners at reasonable cost. Services provided by trusted tradespeople can include Plumbing, Carpentry, Handyman, Electrical, Modifications (ramps, rails etc.)

Visit our website for more at: www.mwpcommunityaid.com.au  and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mwpcarelimited

Aged Care Complaints Commissioner 

Any person can make a complaint to the Commissioner, including care recipients, family members, friends, staff, volunteers, or professionals.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of services including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment. The 1800 550 552 helpline is staffed 9am to 5pm (AEDST) Monday to Friday.

Out of hours callers can leave a message, or contact the Commissioner at anytime through the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.


In 2014-15, there were 10,924 contacts to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. 3,725 were assessed as a complaint, 3,812 ‘other’ contacts includes non-compulsory notifications, own motion investigations and compliance referrals. There were also 3,387 out of scope contacts which were not related to an approved provider or an approved provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.

The Senior Newspaper Online 


On facebook

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.