COTA ACT E-NEWS (December 2018)

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December 2018
  COTA ACT Christmas shutdown

There are very few sleeps until Christmas. The COTA ACT office will close from 5pm, 21 December and will re-open at 9am, 2 January. Remember that there may well be older people in your neighbourhood without family and friends – please look out for them and include them if you can.

We will be back in 2019 with our batteries recharged. In the meantime have a wonderful holiday period full of good fun.


Seniors and Opal Card registrations over the Christmas period

The holiday season sees many people travelling. Did you know ACT Seniors Card holders can apply for a Gold Opal card which gives concessional travel on the NSW Opal Network?

ACT seniors do not have to apply using paper-based application forms for a Gold Opal card. Apply by visiting: or call Opal on 13 67 25.

You should apply for your Opal card at least two weeks before you intend to travel.

If you are applying for an Opal card over the COTA ACT Christmas shutdown period (21 Dec-2 Jan) and encounter issues you should contact Transport Canberra on 13 17 10 for assistance. 


HAVE YOUR SAY – Moving Canberra: Integrated Transport Strategy

The ACT Government is seeking your views on the draft Moving Canberra: Integrated Transport Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy outlines the ACT Government’s vision for an integrated transport network that provides genuine alternatives to the car. This means that people will have more ways to travel to work, school or the shops. The consultation process will particularly focus on:

  • active travel
  • future transport
  • safety
  • accessibility.

The Strategy looks at the drivers for change and identifies the principles, policies, infrastructure, programs and services needed to meet customers’ needs and expectations, now and in the future.  Importantly, the Strategy outlines a wide range of possible actions to achieve the Government’s vision of an integrated network.

To have your say on the Strategy you can:

  • Complete a quick survey of your transport priorities and suggestions on the ACT Government Your Say website at
  • Participate in a workshop seeking your views on the Strategy to be conducted by the ACT Government (details are not currently available)
  • Email your comments on the Strategy to COTA ACT at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 18 February 2019 to inform the COTA ACT response to the ACT Government.

You can find more information and obtain a copy of the Moving Canberra: Integrated Transport Strategy at the ACT Government Your Say website at The community consultation process closes on 8 March 2019.


Emergency Relief Providers and Community Services -holiday guides

Volunteering and Contact ACT produce a range of information guides containing essential details for community connections and list affordable prices. You can download and print a pdf ( or pop into their shopfront (Genge St, Canberra City) to pick up a free copy. 

Each year around Christmas, they produce a free meal guide and opening hours guide for community services:


Keep a look out for others this Christmas period

Christmas is a festive time for most people, but for some it can be incredibly lonely. Amid the lunches, presents and family catch ups - Christmas can be a harsh reminder for some people that they are alone, struggling or grieving for a lost loved one.

We would urge you to check on your neighbours, or family members you may not have a chance to catch up with.

If you are struggling this Christmas you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Positive Ageing Awards - nominations are open!
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond in the community? Why not nominate them for a Positive Ageing Award?
There are a number of award categories that recognise the contribution of older people in the community and the individuals and groups that work with older people.

Best of all - it is quick and easy to nominate (and finalists get a free ticket to the Positive Ageing Awards ceremony during Seniors Week in March 2019). 
For more information, or to nominate, visit our website:

Volunteers wanted - Red Cross Social Support program

Red Cross Community Visiting Social Support program offers a friendly volunteer (with a current WWVP card) to visit a socially isolated older person living in an Aged Care Facility OR in their own home, purely for the purpose of friendship and companionship.

Have a cup of coffee, read a book or letters, reminisce over some photos, talk about old times and newer times, go out for a coffee …If you feel you could spend an hour each week with a new friend just look at the Red Cross website and look for ‘ volunteer’ and simply fill in an application. It’s that easy!

For more info contact the CVS Coordinator on 62347623 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Social Support Coordinator on 62347628 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thought about Tai Chi?
Tai Chi can deliver a powerful workout for body and mind and can help with a range of health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart conditions, spinal problems, pain management, joint stiffness, parkinsons, MP and more!
The Taoist Tai Society offer classes across Canberra.  View the available classes here
Information Sheet 2019 draft

Young carers appeal - Give A Young Carer A Brighter Future

Imagine how hard it is for a child to every day look after a parent living with a long-term illness or disability. Carers ACT is calling on your community to donate to its young carer appeal to give young people a break from caring these holidays and help them through school next year. Instead of doing schoolwork and hanging out with friends, many young carers spend their time instead caring, cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, looking after younger siblings. They often struggle at school, have little time to themselves and are more likely to have mental health issues. Please give them a brighter future. To donate visit or call 6296 9900. Or why not give someone a meaningful gift this Christmas with a donation gift card and help make a lasting difference to a young carer in need.

Look out for heat stress this summer

Heat stress may affect older people more than others. Some people aged 65 years and over may be at increased risk of heat-related illnesses and need special care in hot weather. Risk factors include living alone, chronic medical problems and certain medications.

It’s important to be sensible in hot weather, for example, stay indoors, avoid strenuous activity, wear lightweight clothing, and drink cool water regularly throughout the day.

Other simple measures that can reduce your risk of heat stress include:

  • Pay attention to weather reports – temperatures above 37 °C are particularly dangerous. Act to prevent heat stress on days when the temperature is predicted to rise above 30 °C. Take note of humidity levels too, because sweating is not as effective at cooling you down when the weather is very humid.
  • Review medications with your doctor – if you take medications, ask your doctor if you are at increased risk of heat stress in hot weather. The doctor may advise that you avoid certain medications or adjust the dosage during the summer months.
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol – caffeinated and alcoholic drinks have a mild diuretic action. Limit tea, coffee and alcohol in hot weather.
  • Take note of the colour of your urine – brown or dark yellow urine suggests dehydration.
  • Stay cool – draw your blinds and curtains, and turn on your air conditioner and set it to ‘cool’. If you do not have an air conditioner, try cool showers or use wet towels and sit in front of an electric fan.