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Welcome to the July edition of In the Loop
Each month we will bring you articles, updates and events of interest to keep you in the loop with what is happening in Canberra.
In this edition:
Need assistance exploring your housing options or navigating aged care?
We can help!
COTA ACT can provide you with free, individual advice and assistance on:
Contact COTA ACT on 6282 3777 and make an appointment with our Housing Options Advisor or a volunteer aged care navigator.
Protect yourself and your family from the flu
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect you and your family from getting the flu this winter.
The vaccine is free in the ACT for people 65 years of age and older. The free vaccine is available at:
Note: While the vaccine is government-funded, some GPs, pharmacists and other immunisation providers may charge a consultation fee for administering the vaccine. You should check this at the time of booking.
Know the facts about the flu vaccine
It’s important to get vaccinated every year. The flu vaccine changes each year to cover the different strains that are expected to circulate in the community.
The flu vaccine cannot give you influenza. The normal side effects of the vaccine sometimes feel like early flu symptoms. The side effects are a sign the vaccine is triggering an immune response, which is what it’s designed to do.
Even healthy people can get the flu. The flu can also be very serious for some people, and if you get it, you can spread it to others. Protect yourself and the people around you by getting vaccinated.
Stay home if you are sick
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow, put used tissues in the bin, and wash your hands often.
If you or anyone in your family has flu-like symptoms and needs medical care:
Learn more about influenza and where to get your vaccination at health.act.gov.au/flu.
What caused my cough?
ABC News has published an informative article giving information about your cough, when and how coughs should be treated and when to be concerned about your cough.
COTA ACT / U3A lunchtime forums
The U3A / COTA ACT lunch time forums are now into their 20th year of operation.
The forum presentations are on a range of interesting topics from subject matter experts. More recently presentations have been made by Mark Kenny, a former Fairfax journalist on recent federal election outcomes and a talk on Brexit by Anne McNaughton from ANU.
There have also been speakers who addressed some of the bigger issues facing Australia including climate change, counter terrorism/security issues, the immigration policy and procedures and planning in the ACT for future growth of the city of Canberra.
You can see the upcoming forums on the U3A website: https://www.u3acanberra.org.au/forums.html.
Next week (30 July) the topic is: Why are people disengaged with politics and what do the numbers indicate? What are possible solutions? by Dr Jill Sheppard Lecturer, School of Politics & International Relations at ANU.
Tuesday Lunchtime forums are held each Tuesday from 12:30pm. Entry fee is $2. Tea and coffee available but please bring your own cup.
Please note: Tuesday lunchtime forums have seen unprecedented demand in 2019. Seating is first in best dressed and we recommend to arrive early. Due to fire regulations, we are unable to allow access beyond the stated capacity (140 people). If, in the unfortunate case, you are turned away, please be respectful to staff and volunteers.
Free bus tour - Summerfield Estate Braidwood
COTA ACT has partnered with Summerfield Over 55s Estate in Braidwood to put on a free bus tour to visit the estate and see what Braidwood has to offer.
Get the free bus from the Hughes Community Centre and travel to Braidwood where you can visit the local farmers markets and explore the town before being taken up to Summerfield Estate for a site tour, free sausage sizzle and refreshments and find out information about the Estate.
When: Saturday 28 September, pick up 10am
Matters of the heart; risk factors, warning signs and management of cardiac events
Heart Support Australia and COTA ACT are hosting a free seminar with Senior Clinical Scientist Shoukat Khan.
With over 35 years' experience in the health sector and a passion for cardiovascular pathology testing and research, Shoukat has been working with Heart Support Australia to better educate the public on heart health through the Healthy Heart Program.
In this seminar you can expect to learn about the risk factors and warning signs associated with cardiac events. Shoukat will also explore concepts of self-management and how individuals can improve their long-term health outcomes after experiencing a cardiac event.
Light refreshments will be provided
Please register your attendance and outline any dietary requirements
When: Wednesday 14 August, 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Where: Hughes Community Centre, 2 Wisdom Street, Hughes
Dying to Know Day: Talking about death won’t kill you
A free forum to discuss, plan and take charge of end-of-life care.
Advance Care Planning Program, ACT Government Canberra Health Services and Health Care Consumers Association will guide table conversations and stalls with government and community agencies. All questions are welcome.
When: Thursday 8 August, 1:00-2:30pm
Where: Hughes Community Centre, Wisdom St, Hughes
Interested in getting financial support or counseling?
Care Inc is a community organisation that provides:
Did you know - aged pensioners are entitled to a rebate on land rates?
Are you aware of the ACT Government's Rates Deferral (Pensioner) Scheme? The Government also offers a broader Rates Deferral (Aged) Scheme which is available for people over 65 who have at least 75% equity in their home
Care Financial can also assist if gambling is an issue for you (or someone close to you), if you are in public or community housing or experiencing homelessness.
If you have traffic fines they have a program where you can work off your debt - attendance at financial counselling can reduce your fines by $50 per hour. Voluntary work at St Vinnies also earns money off fines.
The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) provides loans up to $1,500 for people on low income for household appliances, car repair, electronic goods and medical aids. (You must have a Health Care or Pension Card or earn less than $60,000 to be eligible).
The Consumer Law Centre of the ACT is a community legal centre providing free legal advice and representation in the areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, banking, contracts, fair trading and consumer protection.
If you feel like any Care services may be useful to you, contact them on 6257 1788.
Looking for work? The Canberra Labor Club is hiring across multiple venues
You will work in many areas of the club including bar, gaming, functions and reception.
What you need:
*If you do not have an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate, you can go online and obtain one before commencing work (cost is approx. $70). You do not need an RSA certificate to apply.
Weekend bus service update
Transport Canberra acknowledge they are experiencing some teething issues on weekends due to the need to recruit more bus drivers.
Recruitment is currently underway but in the meantime some bus services will be disrupted this weekend as they work to recruit more drivers to enable us to cover all timetabled services.
Information on weekend services is available and we urge passengers to look at the NXTBUS website which provides real time service information (within a 90 minute window), or contact us on 13 17 10 where Transport Canberra can help plan weekend trips as operators have information on what services run.
Free Information Sessions - Neighbourhood Disputes
Legal Aid is holding a series of free information sessions at Neighbourhood Disputes.
This session is targeted directly at people experiencing a dispute with a neighbour, however you are more than welcome to attend. It will be presented by the Environmental Defenders' Office. The first three sessions will focus on specific areas of law around neighbourhood disputes as well as the process for going to ACAT to resolve a dispute. The final sessions will cover multiple areas such as privacy, trespass, tress, noise, fences etc. and ACAT.
Where: Legal Aid ACT 2 Allsop Street Canberra City
Gambling support study
ANU is currently recruiting participants for a new project called the Gambling Support Study. The study is seeking to understand how women who have partners (or a close family member) with a gambling problem may experience indirect harms, and to further understandings of why partners of gamblers rarely seek formal help. This qualitative study will involve interviewing approx. 30 women in the ACT and NSW.
Here are links to the project:
Switching to the NBN
With much of Canberra connected to, or being in the process of connecting to the NBN, now is a good time to think about switching over (if you haven't already).
COTA ACT has put together an information sheet with some useful issues to consider before switching. Download the information sheet here.
A reminder that you should ignore any calls or door knockers who tell you you must immediately connect to the NBN or you will be disconnected. Scammers are increasingly taking the opportunity to impersonate NBN Co and take advantage of consumers, including those living in retirement villages.
NBN Co will never make unsolicited calls or door knock to sell broadband services. NBN Co may make calls to individuals registered on our Medical Alarm or Fire and Lift registers but will never request payment or bank account details during these calls.
Advice from NBN Co:
Tips to avoid scammers:
Save the date
COTA ACT will be hosting a free public information session on:
Connecting to the nbn network
When: Wednesday 11 September, 1.00pm to 3.00pm
Where: Hughes Community Centre, 2 Wisdom St, Hughes
The session will focus on issues you should consider before connecting to the nbn network. Participants will also be able to discuss individual issues with nbn representatives after the presentation.
Light refreshments will be provided.
You can register for the information session:
BIG Book Fair
It’s that time of the year again and Woden Seniors’ BIG Book Fair is just around the corner. Whether you are a fiction fanatic, an avid baker in search of some recipe books, a history enthusiast, a music aficionado, a lover of romance novels, looking for children’s books, or a serious collector, be sure to save the date.
The Club will be filled with a huge range of quality books, as well as magazines, games, puzzles, vinyl records, CDs and DVDs and beautiful water colour paintings – all for sale at our usual very low prices. In fact all DVDs, CDs and children’s books will only be $1 each.
Entry is by gold coin donation.
There is limited free parking at the Club
When: 9,10,11 August, 10am-4pm
Where: 12 Corinna St Woden
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