Nicky’s top 10 tips

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Nicky’s top 10 tips

for caring for someone, either family or friend, who is living with Dementia.

  1. Maintain your sense of humour. Use humour whenever possible, though not at the person’s expense. People with dementia tend to retain their social skills and are usually delighted to laugh along with you.
  2. Communication is key. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart.
  3. When the going gets tough, distract and redirect. Eg You might say, “I see you’re feeling sad – I’m sorry you’re upset. Let’s go get something to eat.”
  4. Respond with affection and reassurance.
  5. Ask simple, answerable questions. Ask one question at a time; those with yes or no answers work best. Refrain from asking open-ended questions or giving too many choices.
  6. Avoid asking questions that rely on short-term memory, such as asking the person what they had for lunch. Instead, try asking general questions about the person’s distant past – this information is more likely to be retained.
  7. Break down activities into a series of steps. This makes many tasks much more manageable. You can encourage your loved one to do what they can, gently remind them of steps they tend to forget, and assist with steps they’re no longer able to accomplish on their own.
  8. Caring for yourself is one of the most important – and one of the most often forgotten – things you can do as a caregiver. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit too. Take time out for yourself. This includes getting enough rest and sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise.
  9. When offers of help are made – accept these offers of help from friends and family. Having a break for an hour or two each week could be enough to assist you to maintain your caring role for that much longer.
  10. Gather as much information from health professionals about dementia and the diagnosis of the person you are caring for. Each person’s dementia diagnosis and symptoms are very specific and as unique as that person is.

Jubilee Community Care can assist you to register yourself and the older person you are caring for with My Aged Care so that you can access government subsidised care. This will assist you to arrange for more formal supports for both you and your loved one such as In Home Respite Care for a few hours per week or you may prefer for your family member to attend a Dementia specific Day Respite Centre and Activities program.

Nicky Panagopoulos is a Registered Nurse and Jubilee Community Care’s Client Support Manager. Call 07 3871 3220 to speak to Nicky.

Meet Support Worker Linda

by volunteer Jess.

Linda has been working for Jubilee Community Care, part-time for almost six years now. Linda loves working at Jubilee just as much as she loves being outdoors with her gorgeous German Shepherd…her husband is ok too, she jokes.

What do you love about working at Jubilee?
I love the variety! Every day there is always something new and different about my day. I also enjoy getting to know clients and at times being a special part of their lives. I always hope to make a difference.

What’s something that makes you smile?
If you didn’t laugh you’d cry. So I just go with the flow. Life’s short so enjoy everything you can!

What’s something you’ve learned working for Jubilee?
My clients often say “do it while you can!”; take that holiday, climb that mountain, treat yourself to something special now and then.

What do you like more, sweet or savoury?
Basically I love food. There isn’t much I don’t like, but chocolate is always good anytime.

Our Client Ray received the Australia Day Achievement Award

by volunteer Lauren.

Australia Day this year, saw Ray (pictured with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk) recognised with an Australia Day achievement award from the Brisbane City Council.

For over 25 years, Ray has tirelessly volunteered to record and promote awareness of the state of West Brisbane’s waterways. He’s reported to government bodies and held public presentations as well as mentoring other members of catchment groups in assessing water quality.

Ray is a very busy man but we caught up with him to ask him a few questions about his passion.

In his working career, Ray worked hard in land and catchment management in central Queensland. His area of expertise was in compiling the results of tests on local creeks and rivers into reports for company and industrial bodies. After retiring, Ray kept his passion alive with WaterWatch, a program that started up in the early 90s to protect local waterways across the country. Using his expertise, he was involved in designing the program for the local catchments of Western Brisbane. For the next 25 years, Ray collected data on Cubberla and Witton Creeks, analysing the results and providing reports to the relevant government bodies.

“It was a good opportunity to put on the shoes of the chemists of the company laboratories… I did this in my retirement to continue to promote public awareness that all changes, both beneficial and degrading, are reflected in the product of a catchment – the chemistry and quality of the water.”

For many people, a passion like this might be enough to fill the days but Ray is also a keen orienteer. He loves the sport, saying it combines thought, map reading and physical ability. Ray has competed across Australia and also in Europe, finding his way through the countryside with little more than a map and a compass. He’s also really good at it; Ray currently holds the Men’s 85 Australian Sprint Championship and the Queensland Championships in Bush and Sprint events. His love for adventure extends to his palate as well. As a member of the Probus club of Brisbane West, Ray regularly joins the Bushwhackers (a subgroup within the club) for culinary delights such as rabbit, crocodile or even camel! Photography is also one of Ray’s passions. While he doesn’t get to take as many photos as he used to, he enjoys helping the Probus club with their photos for records and newsletters.

Ray and his wife, Joy, are relatively new to the Jubilee family but are already loving it. “…we are so glad that we decided to join. The service and assistance we receive is excellent and has enabled us to relax in our own home.”
We’re happy to have such a vibrant member in our community as well, and can’t wait to catch up with him at an activity soon.
For anyone inspired by Ray, he says local catchment groups are always happy to have help. “There are many Groups along the local creeks that work tirelessly to eradicate weeds and pest shrubs that have infested the stream
environments. These groups will welcome any help by local interested helpers.” If you would like to find out more about how you could get involved, please visit the Brisbane Catchment Network online at

Support when Ann needed it

After a couple of injuries leading up to Christmas, I could no longer drive my car. I asked Jubilee Community Care (local not-for-profit aged care service provider) for help with my shopping. Without a car, I could not have walked loaded up to the nearest bus stop or get to the shopping centre. I found their support absolutely indispensable. They were beautiful people, their compassion and concern were enormous as was their efficiency. What impressed me most was that whoever was selecting and organising them must have been a “super dooper” staff selector for I can speak extremely highly of their staff and whoever chooses and organises them.
Thank you one and all. I hope in similar cicumstances to use Jubilee Community Care again. – Ann, 74, Taringa

Meet Volunteer Jess

by Volunteer Lauren

Jess has been volunteering for Jubilee for over 8 months now and has become an integral part of the Marketing team working with Nathalie. Jess’ help is absolutely invaluable and we’re very lucky that she donates two mornings a week to us.

Jess is studying Business, Creative Industries, Marketing Management and Interactive and Visual Design at QUT full time and also works as a fully qualified gymnastics coach.

What do you love about volunteering with Jubilee?
I have absolutely loved volunteering with Nathalie at Jubilee. What I have been able to do with Jubilee in the last 8 months has been so valuable, especially because I have been able to relate it all to my University degree. The company is more like a family and I love being able to work with everyone and always feel welcomed and comfortable.
What’s something that makes you smile?
The passion everyone at Jubilee has for helping their clients and wanting to do the absolute best job they can to get everyone what they need. I love my dogs, their unconditional love and cute, fluffy cuddles makes me feel so happy! They always know if I need some company and always love my scratches.
What’s something you’ve learned volunteering with Jubilee?
I have had so many invaluable experiences throughout my time with Jubilee. I have been fascinated to learn more about Marketing and Design and how important it is that they work together in Business. I also love that I have learnt so much about the ageing community in Brisbane and how much Jubilee does to suport and care for the older generations.
What do you like more, sweet or savoury?
I love sweet! Especially ice-cream and chocolate, yum!

Would you like to volunteer? Email us today, we would love to hear from you!