VIVA Mutual 2023 December eNews

VIVA welcomes you to the start of December. It’s time to plan for 2024!

Being at the start of December is a good time to sit back and reflect on 2023, and start
to think about what we want to do in 2024.

At VIVA Mutual, we’re planning for another busy and rewarding year ahead and we
really value your lived experience and advice to guide this process, so you receive the
support you most want from us in the future.

When we know what you’re seeking from VIVA, we will do our best to provide it or
source it for you. That’s why it’s so important that we hear from everyone we serve in
the VIVA Community, including our clients, their families and carers, Plan Managers,
Support Coordinators and other agencies, partners and referrers.

The VIVA Support Centre or your VIVA Support Worker will be in contact with you about completing a survey (professionally and ethically managed by Torrens University Australia) to gather your opinions about our services, their quality and suggestions for improvement.

The VIVA Team thanks you in advance for responding to the survey and providing your feedback. Without it, we can’t keep on doing more good things and fixing up any issues you identify.

We’re here for you 24/7 over the holidays 

Just because the shops are closed, it doesn’t mean that VIVA is! We’re operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week throughout the December/January period.  

This applies to all of our services and supports, and we encourage you to think about what you may need over this time, so you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about support for you, a loved one or a client. 

Connect to your VIVA Team to learn more about, or book our services over the holiday period: 

Connect now via our form or phone us anytime on 08 8877 8000 and we’ll get back to you during Office Hours. 

 

VIVA Staff Spotlight 

Meet Lisa G: Our newest VIVA Home Nursing Specialist 

Each month we’re going to share the story of our latest members of the VIVA workforce, and today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Garret. 

When did you decide you were going to have a career in nursing and why? 

I decided to study nursing after having a premature baby. It was a stressful time and my experience inspired me to seek further education to help others who find themselves in a similar situation overwhelmed by trying to find the right health care services.

Can you share a memorable moment where you felt you made a significant difference in the life of a client living with a disability? 

I feel that I made a difference in a young man’s life when I prevented two other healthcare professionals from calling a code black(ie personal threat, or concern for the safety of others). The young man was swearing and agitated. I approached him and asked him if he was feeling stressed. He said yes i don’t want to be here I want to go home. I explained he has the right to say no but if he would like to proceed we would go through the procedure and show him the room, I went through the process with him and he agreed to give it a try.

 

How do you stay updated with the latest in health and disability care, and why is this important to you? 

I maintain my knowledge and skills through continuous professional development. I research topics and liaise with other healthcare professionals. The Australian College of Nursing, Ausmed and the ANMF provide education on a wide range of topics.

In your experience, what’s the most important aspect of providing home care for someone with lived experience of disability? 

Home care provides a safe and familiar environment for people living with a disability. It reduces the stress and anxiety related to a prolonged hospital stay.

If you were given a choice between spending a day watching Netflix, attending an opera, doing housework or being tattooed, which would you choose … and why? 

I think I would like to choose  Netflix but outside theatre style by the beach.  I would subcontract the housework.

 

Thank you, Lisa, we welcome you and wish you a long and satisfying career within the VIVA Mutual community. 

VIVA Community Member Spotlight 

Meet Robyn a Client and member of our supportive and inclusive VIVA Mutual community. 

 

What has been your favourite – or most memorable – experience with the support provided by our team so far? 

Well, there are two that come to mind – my trip to Brisbane which Viva supported and the possibility of progressing with my artwork, again with Viva’s support!

 

Would you share how our services have helped you achieve something that’s important to you? 

Viva is more assertive when trying to make things work for their clients. They show interest in clients’ lifestyles and interests whereas other companies are not as proactive. I went to Brisbane recently for a friend’s 100th birthday. She was my late mother’s closest friend and has known me since I was one. To say we were elated to see each other would be an understatement. I’m extremely thankful that Viva could organise a carer and all the other ‘necessities’ required when travelling as a disabled person.

What types of support do you find most valuable in your day-to-day life? 

Support around the home e.g. cleaning, cooking, gardening etc.

 

Looking ahead, what’s one thing you’re excited about in the coming month? 

Viva’s support with my artwork.

 

If you were given a choice between spending a day watching Netflix, attending an opera, doing housework or being tattooed, which would you choose … and why? 

Definitely watch Netflix because I have the opportunity to watch a good movie and sleep in my chair!

Thank You

Thriving and surviving during the Festive season 

 

While we’re definitely not “wowsers” at VIVA Mutual our collective experience (mostly Guy’s many mistakes growing up 😊) has shown us that we all need to practice additional self-care over this next month. Here are 10 tips for making the most of the season (or just getting through it) and if you have more suggestions, please send them to Arthur via arthur@vivamutual.org.au so he can share them around our VIVA community: 

 

  1. Plan Ahead: Outline your activities for the holiday season, considering your energy levels and accessibility needs to avoid last-minute stress

    

  1. Stay Hydrated: With the Australian heat, it’s essential to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during the hustle and bustle of the festive season

 

  1. Set Boundaries: It’s okay to say no to events or activities that feel overwhelming. Your comfort and well-being come first

 

  1. Rest and Recharge: Schedule downtime to rest and recharge, ensuring you’re not overextending yourself, particularly if you’re doing things out of obligation or tradition, rather than because you want to!

 

  1. Seek Support: Reach out to your support network, coordinator or Services Provider if you need help with personal or social preparations or activities

 

  1. Watch Your Eating: Enjoy festive treats but also try to maintain a balanced diet to keep your energy levels stable and the guilt at bay!

 

  1. Stay Cool: There are rumours of a hot summer ahead so make use of cooling aids like fans, mist sprays, and air conditioning during heatwaves

 

  1. Keep Medications in Check: Ensure you have enough medication to last for the holiday period when pharmacies may have reduced hours

 

  1. Enjoy Nature: Spend time in nature if possible. The Australian outdoors can be therapeutic and a great place for quiet away from the festive noise (if it’s not too hot!)

 

  1. Practice Ways to Handle Difficult Moments: Not everyone enjoys the festive season, and many of us find it a difficult time for a host of different reasons. Practice identifying what you’re feeling and ways to change the situation. If you’re lonely, reach out to someone; if you’re triggered by family members, remove yourself from the situation; and don’t forget to take time to centre yourself amidst the holiday chaos.

 

Here are some important contacts in the event of an emergency over the coming weeks:

  • For all ambulance, police, and fire emergencies Call 000
  • Mental health emergencies Call 14 14 65
  • Lifeline Call 13 11 14
  • Health Direct Hotline (for free advice from clinicians) Call 1800 022 222
  • Poison information Call 13 11 26
  • Flood or storm emergency assistance (SES) Call 13 25 00
  • Non-urgent Police matters Call 13 14 44
  • Electricity faults & emergencies Call 13 13 66
  • SA Water for mains issues Call 1300 650 950

Sign up and stay informed

Subscribe and receive the latest news and updates from VIVA Mutual