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Can you help us create a diabetes support community?

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health are building a diabetes support community and are going straight to the source for help with planning.

“We are inviting local people of all ages who are living with all types of diabetes to help us create a supportive community by being part of our initial planning process,” said Sophie Brown diabetes educator and chronic condition nurse at GLCH.

“Many people who have diabetes have never talked to anyone else with the same condition and that can be very isolating,” Ms Brown explained. “With that in mind we want to build safe and helpful spaces where people can come together in person and online to share knowledge, experiences, and support with others juggling the same condition.”

Targeting local residents, GLCH aim to create a peer facilitated support group for people living with diabetes where they can make new connections and friendships. 

Post planning process, the support group will be managed exclusively by the group members and independently from GLCH.  “GLCH’s role is to improve health outcomes for people with all types of diabetes by bringing them together to create a successful and lasting alliance.”

If you’re interested in sharing your experiences, thoughts and ideas to assist with start-up, or would just like to be an important member of this group get in contact with Sophie Brown at GLCH today.

Opportunity

Expressions of Interest: Supply of financial system software

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from suitably qualified and experienced companies for the proposed replacement our current financial software system.

Copies of the EOI documentation and information specific to requirements will be provided upon request.

We will evaluate the EOI submissions received and shortlist. Registration of interest does not imply inclusion on the tender list.

Initial enquiries regarding the EOI or requests for project details should be directed to Jeremy Stewart, IT Operations manager on 5155 8328 or jeremys@glch.org.au

EOI submissions close at 5.00pm Friday 15 September 2017

FREE healthy lifestyle program starting soon…

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We’re excited to offer you a FREE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE PROGRAM in Sept –Oct! The Life! Program will teach you how to reduce your risk of chronic disease by making small changes to your lifestyle.

The friendly group environment will support you every step of the way in achieving and maintaining your healthy lifestyle goals over a six session program, running every second Thursday from 9.00 -11.00am at GLCH in Lakes Entrance.

The first session will be a one on one appointment with the nurse facilitator at GLCH, and will go for around an hour, working with you to set some personal health goals.

The next four group sessions will be about 2 hours every second week. These sessions include interactive presentations with a diabetes educator, chronic condition nurse, dietician, mindfulness meditation facilitator and an exercise physiologist.

The last group session is held four months after the completion of the course and is a great opportunity to gain further support from the group in achieving your health goals. A fantastic drumming workshop will also help to boost your motivation!

Call Sophie Brown or Kate Hanckel NOW on 5155 8300.

Purple and blue watercolor stains

Let go of the chaos with art therapy

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We’re getting ready to deliver their next eight week art therapy program in Lakes Entrance starting later this month and are putting a call out for participants.

“Art therapy offers a way to unblock emotional expression without having to sit and talk about feelings,” said Andrea Farley, qualified Art Therapist at GLCH.  “Our sessions provide people with a safe place to express and release emotions – a place where stress levels go down and feelings of confidence and happiness grow.

The Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as, a creative process in which the resulting artwork is used to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviour and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

Ms Farley facilitates the art therapy sessions which gently support participants to create, explore and find insight into their creations helping participants understand certain aspects of themselves that maybe they didn’t know existed. “Art work is seen as a reflection or extension of its creator, it is used as a means of communication,” Andrea explained. “Interesting trends can appear as you let go of the chaos and let your creative flag fly.”

You don’t have to have any artistic skills to benefit from art therapy because it’s not the finished product that matters – it’s the process!  “Our program includes a variety of exciting activities that are non-threatening, self-explorative and fun – being ‘arty’ is definitely not essential.”

Our art therapy program is open to all adults residing in East Gippsland.  Places are limited so contact Andrea today on 5155 8320 to register your interest.  Click HERE to view flyer.

Portrait of happy senior woman

Dementia, a growing health concern

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Dementia describes a group of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Dementia affects peoples thinking, their behaviour and their ability to perform everyday tasks.

Last year there was were 1,089 people living with dementia in East Gippsland.  This figure is expected to rise to over 4,000 by 2050 representing an annual growth of 4.1%.

In 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) created a Dementia Plan for Gippsland.  Two important roles were created from the 2014 plan, including a specialised nursing position to support general practitioners with early dementia diagnosis. 

“Dementia can present in many different ways making it difficult to diagnose,” said Amanda Crombie, dementia nurse practitioner candidate based at Gippsland Lakes Community Health.  “Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, however as we age and particularly after the age of 75, the chances of developing dementia certainly increases.  There are younger people, sometimes in their 30’s and 40’s who can be impacted by dementia and these situations can be particularly difficult to diagnose.” 

“My role offers help to East Gippsland GP’s and their patients including people at home when required,” Ms Crombie added.

Amanda stresses that not everybody who is experiencing thinking, memory or behavioural changes receive a dementia diagnosis.  “Some treatable medical conditions share similar symptoms and it is important to investigate. I can help people and their GP’s take steps to find out what may be causing these changes.”

A dementia access and support worker position was also created to address the impacts dementia has on a person and their loved ones.  Jenny Robinson was appointed to this position and provides people living with dementia, their families and carers with the knowledge and support to access the services they need.  Based at Latrobe Community Health Services in Bairnsdale, Jenny says, “At different points in time, people living with dementia may require help to access support so they can continue to live well in their own homes. Everyone wants to be able to live in their home as long as is safely possible and I like helping make that happen.”

Both Amanda and Jenny work in partnership with Diane Scott, a counsellor at Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria.  For ten years now, Diane has provided counselling and support throughout Gippsland to people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends.  “To have Amanda and Jenny in their roles is a bonus for the people in this region,” said Ms Scott.  They have improved a collaborative approach to supporting and enabling people to access diagnostic services and access ongoing supports alongside many other support services in this region.”

To remain responsive to the changing needs of Gippslanders living with dementia, their families and carers, the DHHS recently updated their 2014 Dementia Plan for Gippsland in consultation with representatives from a number of local health and aged related services and organisations. 

Close up of little four year old brunette girl smiling on a white background

Kindergym update

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NOTE TO PARENTS: All GLCH Kindergyms have ceased for the rest of the school term.  We’ll be back in action on the week commencing  July 17.  Our Bairnsdale Kindergym will only running one session next term at 72 Lucknow Street, from 10.00 – 11.00am due to the cooler weather.  Please bring piece of Fruit to share

beach

Our Children’s Centre is creating Eco Warriors!

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Gippsland Lakes Community Health’s Children’s Centre in Lakes Entrance is producing our next generation of ecological warriors via weekly Coastal Kinder outings – a unique part of their four-year-old Kindergarten program.

“Coastal Kinder promotes ecological sustainability and provides opportunities for children to discover and explore their environment,” said Child Care Coordinator, Jodie Jarvis.  “It aims to connect children to their world by getting involved in practical experiences, and in this case, in their unique and special back yard.” 

Each term the children explore several different coastal elements including our local waterways, beaches and tides; land animals and marine life; and weather patterns and events.  Recently the children visited Red Bluff, where they discovered crabs and sandworms and learnt the environmental impact that waste and litter has on our waterways, marine animals and their environments.    

The experienced team of educators at GLCH’s children centre believe that teaching environmental awareness to children at a young age is important for future growth. “Studies show that children who are exposed to a diverse range of natural settings are more creative, have increased physical activity, are more respectful to one another and are more aware of health and good nutrition,” explained Qualified Early Childhood Teacher, Angela Lina.  “It also helps shape relationship skills and critical thinking skills like analysing, questioning, investigating, interpreting data, forming theories, solving problems and developing conclusions.”

Every week the children enjoy taking the bus to beach or the bush. “We get to play with our friends and learn how to look after animals,” said one very enthusiastic participant.

“We’re thrilled by how the children and their parents have embraced our Coastal Kinder program,” Ms Jarvis said.  Many parents tell us that they look forward to their child’s stories and reliving their experiences, and are amazed by the things they’ve learnt.” 

Other Coastal Kinder outings the young eco warriors have undertaken this year include Koala spotting and tree planting on Raymond Island and exploring the Buchan Caves and Ferry Dell, and the educators are looking forward to taking the children on a tour of the Fisherman’s Co-op and a boat safari on the lake to spot marine life.

Find out more about their Children’s Centre’s four-year-old kindergarten program by contacting GLCH or call in and meet their team of early childhood educators at the Children’s Centre open afternoon on 20 June.

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