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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Supporting the elderly in Tweed

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Stretch Your Mind is one of the programs on offer, designed to be fun and stimulate memory, concentration and creativity. Photo supplied.

Supporting people living longer in their homes as they age not only costs less but allows people to live their lives independently and with dignity.

Twee Shire Council is running eight programs to assist people to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes more safely and for longer. The programs are offering both face-to-face and online options depending on peoples needs. They are available for people 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), or 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being home.

Council’s Coordinator Community Services Joanne Watters said many seniors in the Tweed live alone and are more vulnerable to feelings of isolation. 

‘Providing opportunities for seniors to connect with other people in their own communities can be invaluable and these programs aim to give participants a number of active, educational, physical or creative programs to get involved in,’ Ms Watters said. 

The programs will be held across a number locations around the Tweed, including the Tweed Heads South Community Centre, Tweed Heads Civic and Cultural Centre, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres (Kingscliff and Murwillumbah) and the Tweed Regional Museum. Details about each program are listed below:

  • Shop Don’t Drop – Engages participants with technology to learn skills to shop, pay bills and socially engage online. 
  • Stand Together – Guides participants in simple exercises which increases understanding of the risks of falls and how to prevent them.
  • MisterChef – This program is for men who have little or no cooking experience and have recently started cooking for themselves and in some cases, their partner.
  • Dementia Music Therapy – Dementia music therapy is for people with dementia and their carers to engage in musical activities designed to improve balance and walking speed, as well as reducing social withdrawal, anxiety or aggression.
  • Art and Dementia Friends – This educational and social program aspires to reconnect people living with dementia to their sense of identity, and raise awareness of and reduce the social stigma associated with dementia.
  • Stretch Your Mind – Designed to be fun and stimulate memory, concentration and creativity. Participants learn that by challenging your brain as you age, your brain can become more powerful.
  • Mature and Determined – Introduction to movement and gentle exercise in the pool. A new program that uses stretching, breathing and Tai Chai moves that will help with relaxation, body awareness, stress and mobility of mind and body.
  • Cultural Connection – Provides participants an opportunity to be included in interpreted/interactive tours of the Tweed Regional Museum’s collection to provoke memories and story sharing and social connection. Commencing April/May 2020.

The programs are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

All programs are either free or at a subsidised cost and include morning or afternoon tea. More information and details for how to register for each program are available at www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/HomeSupportPrograms or if you don’t have computer access, call (02) 6670 2400. 

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  1. Something that may be helpful is the issue of advocacy Sometimes people living alone may need someone to support them in situations that are daunting or difficult Some elderly live alone and do not have family on hand to stand by them or even speak for them in such situations.

  2. What a great initiative or response to senior citizens’ needs….Perhaps they should contact me regarding my serious movie: Snow in The Pocket (yes The Pocket near Mullumbimby ) which details my experience with complaining about a Taree Nursing Home… all the way to and from the Aged Care Royal Commission. They can contact me [email protected] or by mobile on: 041 229 5124.

  3. The section above
    “MisterChef – This program is for men who have little or no cooking experience and have recently started cooking for themselves and in some cases, their partner.” as I was reading it, it reminded me of a senior citizen I know. Her wonderful daughter, that morning had just been and had given her mum Dee a new Automatic electric jug. Her daughter had said to Dee, I have rinsed the new jug a few times and when she wants a cuppa just fill it up with water. Dee asked me if I would join her in a cuppa, sure no worries. I replied. Dee went into the kitchen and I could hear the water tap turn on and fill the jug. Dee calls for me to get the Teabags down as her daughter has put them on the higher shelf. Whilst in there I notice the jugs power point was off, and I asked Dee if it was OK for me to turn it on at the wall, to which Dee replied, and showing me the box it is an Automatic jug and as long as it was full of water and on its stand it would automatically do its thing! Perhaps change the course name to Untapped Chef within.


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