21st Feb '18

The ins and outs of LiveBetter 4 Seniors with Gabrielle McDonell

Are you a senior or a carer wishing to stay connected in your community?

Would you like to know more about what you can do to maintain your health or learn how to budget and reduce costs on household goods? If so why not come along to one of our LiveBetter 4 Seniors sessions?

LiveBetter 4 Seniors is a program that has been developed by LiveBetter, specifically for seniors and carers in regional communities. The program is designed to provide participants with valuable information that is relevant to them. Our sessions are a great place for participants to catch up with old friends and to make new connections in a comfortable and safe environment.

LiveBetter 4 Senior’s Project Officer Gabrielle McDonell has been running the program for more than 14 months. Sessions are held throughout the year in Orange, Grenfell and Lithgow, with plans afoot to potentially expand into other locations.

One of Gabrielle’s favourite aspects of running the sessions is the interaction with the attendees.

“I love catching up with regular and new attendees that come to our sessions and it is wonderful to get to know people in the community. I get a lot of enjoyment and fulfilment out of seeing the participants attend and hearing their feedback. It is truly wonderful that these sessions put a smile on their face.”

Presentation numbers are continually increasing which Gabrielle believes is due to the variety of topics that are of interest to participants.

“Participants love that they get to interact with the other attendees and that they are all personally asked what topics they would like to hear about in future sessions,” Gabrielle said.

Subjects discussed in these sessions are usually generated from participants interests and topical issues. Gabrielle also does a lot of research into special awareness days and months to include in future sessions.

For example, October 2017 was Mental Health awareness month and the focus topic for that month’s session was about grief and loss. Gabrielle highlighted the amount of positive feedback she received from this presentation as it is relevant for all participants.

“Many of our participants had recently lost love ones and found it was quite beneficial to listen to a presentation about the different stages of grief and be able to ask questions in an open and safe environment.”

The upcoming LiveBetter 4 Seniors session in mid-February in Lithgow and Orange, and early March in Grenfell, will focus on Importance of Friendship. Friendship is a wonderful part of life, some of which are fostered and cherished for an entire life. The importance of friendship for seniors and carers is vital for remaining connected to the community.

“Regular socialisation is important for our attendees and this often becomes apparent to me when we re-group after a break between sessions. A lot of participants live on their own so it’s vital for their well-being that they feel they are part of a social network – something our sessions can help provide,” said Gabrielle.

For more information about the LiveBetter 4 Seniors program or to register for the next session give us a call on 1800 580 580 and ask for Gabrielle McDonnell.