Twilight’s Traditional Brandy Custard

By 13th January, 2020 News, Recipes No Comments

Is the Christmas season over? Yes.

Does that mean we have to stop eating delicious, custard-covered food? Absolutely not!

This recipe is perfect for those wanting to keep the Christmas spirit going for that little bit longer.

It’s a resident favourite from the Twilight kitchen and is often prepared by Ramina, one of the chefs who works in each of our four homes. It’s a treat you can enjoy all year round.

Ingredients

  • 185 thickened cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 60ml brandy

Let’s get started!

Method

  • Step 1

Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat.

  • Step 2

Use a balloon whisk to whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in milk mixture. Return to pan.

  • Step 3

Place over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens and coats back of spoon. Make sure that it does not boil or else it will curdle the mixture. Remove from heat. Stir in the brandy. Serve warm on top of your favourite pudding.

The elderly and sexuality: Keeping it sexy.

Sexuality is a crucial part of ageing.

There are a lot of stereotypes about the elderly being beyond sexuality and the need to feel attractive. But this could not be further from the truth.

Sexuality is a large part of who we are as people, and this doesn’t stop as we get older.

Reinforcing someone’s sexuality in their later years is very important. It is crucial to give women the option to feel pretty, and men to feel handsome. Make sure that they feel seductive and desirable. And allow them to become the silver foxes and vixens that they truly are.

However, in carer situations, the ability for older people to express themselves in these ways become limited. It is up to carers and family members to acknowledge the elderly as people who should have the opportunity to have a sexual identity.

WHY BEING SEXY IS IMPORTANT

Sexuality is critical for people to retain a positive sense of identity and self-value. It is a basic human need to feel good about ourselves. It is important to look and feel glamorous – to be a little bit sensuous.

Many elderly people are single. Some with partners who have passed on, and a large percentage of those entering aged care who do not have a partner. Many older Australians are seeking a romantic interest within their local community or care facility.

So a nice hair cut now and then, or a good shave, shows that they are still out there and looking for love. Ensure people have the option to put on nice jewelry. Buy a tailored outfit. Go shopping. Let them choose their own clothing for an expression of style.

Simple activities like this allow the elderly a better quality of life, a better sense of personal identity and healthier interpersonal relationships.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEXUALITY

As odd as it sounds, it is important to talk to older people about their sex life and sexuality. Having an open communication about their wants and needs will help you address anything troubling them or look at things that they could be missing. It shows that you are respecting them. Recognise sex and sexuality as something meaningful and important in their lives.


Ensure the elderly have means to show their sexuality.

Discuss it with other people – like friends and family – to normalise the conversation and create a greater awareness.

Some quick tips for talking with residents about sexiness and their sex lives:

  • Start on general topics and process gently to specific subjects of sexuality
  • Use open ended questions which encourage responses
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Respect responses
  • Be receptive to clues

Yes. We do have to acknowledge that it will be a little strange at first. But starting these conversations like these will have a big impact on their everyday lives.

The ability for the elderly to present themselves sexually in their day-to-day life is an essential part of people’s identity but is often ignored.

If you want to read more about this topic, then I would recommend the following by HelloCare and Mental Health.org.

Fundraiser Run by Residents a Huge Success!

By 20th November, 2019 News No Comments
One attendee is very excited to have won a raffle prize given away on the night.

Twilight Aged Cares own residents were behind the success of the company’s 2nd Annual Art Exhibition and Cocktail Party. The exhibition displayed a large collection of works include oil paintings and smaller watercolours that were auctioned off silently during the night. Gregory and Carr kindly donated the raffle prizes on the night. All of the proceeds from the evening went to support creative programs and art therapy held for those living in the residential homes. The exhibition itself solely featured art from the Twilight community, including those living at Hunters Hill and Horton House. The residents hosted and organised the event, and raised $3,730 – the most successful art auction yet!

Liz Matthews, a resident at Glades Bay Gardens and one of the Art Committee members, spoke on the evening. Liz said that she, “always looked forward to it every morning”. The morning art therapy program provides a place of self-expression for the residents as well as providing an opportunity to challenge them cognitively and technically.

The Twilight Art Committee pictured here in all their glory!

Numerous members of the local community attended the night, as well as friends and families of the residents. It created a great community atmosphere with volunteers from local schools and as well as students from the University of NSW coming in and supporting the event.

So many fabulous art pieces on display in the exhibition

According to Julianne Walker, Twilight’s volunteer and project coordinator, the annual art exhibition brought the Twilight family together. The exhibition was the combined efforts of all the Twilight homes, so it provided a “sense of community” for everyone involved.

Select artworks from the exhibition are now proudly decorating the homes in a permanent in-house collection.

We look forward to seeing where this exhibition will go in 2020!

The Importance of Nutrition for Older Australians

By 7th October, 2019 Community, Health, Helpful Information Comments Off

A look into how nutrition for older Australians guarantees better health in aged care and how to promote this.

This article will talk about:

  • 1. Nutrition & Dementia
  • 2. Nutrition & Dignity
  • 3. Nutrition & Mental Health
  • 4. Nutrition & Weight Loss + Injury Prevention
  • BONUS! Quick Summary
Nutrition in aged care is an essential part of ensuring a healthy mind and body for older Australians.

Eating right is a fundamental part of our health, and it becomes even more important so as we grow older. It takes up a large portion of our day and has a huge influence on our physical and mental health.

So, here are the ways in which food can affect the lives of older Australians and ways to promote it.

1. Nutrition & Dementia

As they say – healthy body, healthy mind!

General health is becoming a critical part of tackling dementia, and that includes what people are eating as well.

Avoiding fatty or sugary foods that cause high cholesterol levels or blood pressure is very important to maintaining a healthy heart and mind and reducing the chances of strokes and heart attacks that can deteriorate brain health.

Older Australians with dementia or other diagnoses can also be at risk of becoming malnourished. It is vital to be aware of issues that may occur when looking after them. People living with dementia at home can often forget mealtimes, and what they have eaten before. They can develop problems chewing or swallowing their food and even be unable to recognise food and drinks they are given. These factors can lead to further deterioration of health and mental functioning.

However, aged care facilities are able to recognise the extra care needed to support residents with dementia.

  • There plenty of training programs – like Dementia training Australian – available to educate staff and carers about what they should expect and know to watch out for.

2. Nutrition & Dignity

Food (while being delicious and nutritious!) presents an opportunity to promote the dignity and independence of older Australians.

Older Australians in carer situations can suffer loss of independence during meal times with carers scheduling strict eating times, serving food that people need assistance eating or simply cooking something they do not like.

However, food provides opportunities for celebration and socialization that contributes to a lot to how we live our lives. There are plenty of ways to do this for residents in carer situations.

  • Make mealtimes more warm and casual by allowing people the time and space they want during their meals.
  • Creating a friendly eating environment means that people are likely to sit for longer and eat more. This will help avoid issues like malnourishment
  • Do not restrict food to set meal times, and have food available at all times. Small snacks like fruit, muesli bars, and yoghurt should be made accessible for whenever people are hungry (and avoid older residents becoming irritable and ‘hangry’).
  • Promote independence at mealtimes by providing finger food for those who are struggling with cutlery. This will give people the ability to feed themselves instead of needing their carers to assist them. It is important that people have the option to do things for themselves for as long as possible

Use these times to ensure dignity and choice so mealtimes can become empowering for those involved.

Good nutrition and simple food choices can be empowering for older Australians in aged care and care situations.

3. Nutrition & Mental Health

Malnourishment can often lead to lower energy levels in older Australians, causing less engagement with daily activities and social interaction. All of this can affect overall mental health, including links to anxiety and depression.

 However, the solution can be as simple as having a nice meal with friends and family.

  • Have special ‘food events’ at home that spice up routine meal plans. This can be for a birthday or even national food-themed nights and is an excellent way to encourage eating. It establishes a festival mood and creates a more enthusiastic kitchen.
  • Buffet food is an exciting way to offer people freedom of choice with what they want to eat.

4. Nutrition & Weight Loss + Injury Prevention

It is very common for older Australians to lose weight when aging in a carer situation. Unfortunately, there is a cultural belief that this weight loss is normal – or even desired – for older Australians.

However, once an older person becomes malnourished it becomes more difficult for them to recover to a state of health.

Malnourishment can severally impact the everyday lives of residents. It increases the risks of falls, pressure ulcers, and even delirium. It slows down the healing process for injury recovery. And it can further degrade the lifestyle of residents already living with disabilities and dementia.

There needs to be an overall culture change when caring for the aged in order to tackle the issue.

  • Watch and become familiar with the amounts people in your care are eating and see if this is enough to ensure their health. Pay attention to make sure that they are receiving proper nutrition and food intake.
  • Consult the older person, other members of family or dieticians. Decide the best approach to take together and create a strategy that works for everyone involved.

At no point should anyone be ‘force-feed’ or pressured to eat more. It is vital that you make sure to always respect the independence of residents.

This creates a non-invasive way to approach the issue and steer behaviour towards more beneficial ones, not just tackling the issue superficially, but getting the support of family and friends for a better solution.

Promoting nutrition within aged care will involve a culture change within the kitchen.

BONUS! Quick Summary

For those who are time-poor (or skim reading), here is a quick summary of what carers can do to promote nutrition.

  • Talk to the person, ask them what type of food they want to eat and when they want to eat it. This will help establish their independence and exercise their freedom of choice which will improve their lifestyle as a whole.
  • Talk to friends and families, this is a good way of establishing what their old eating habits were like and detecting any major changes.
  • Consult dieticians, sometimes a professional voice is best when it comes to health. This is especially true if there are any dietary requirements or if injury recovery is involved.
  • Include buffet food, this does not have to be an everyday thing, but an occasion buffet selection allows older persons ultimate freedom in the food they are eating.
  • Make meals more social, by making mealtimes more friendly and engaging people are more likely to sit for longer and eat more. Consider having carers, family or friends join and sit with the person to build relationships and create a friendly eating environment.
  • Include finger foods, for those living with dementia and other cognitive disabilities, this is a way to retain independence when tools like knives and forks can’t be used
  • Celebrate birthdays and festivals with food, a nice way to ensure that food becomes something fun for older Australians and those cooking. Party occasions also are a nice way to diversify food menus and mix up routine menus.

If you want any more information, there are some great tips for promoting health and dignity with food from the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Join the Community Art Exhibition Fighting Dementia

By 29th September, 2019 News No Comments

With over half of the residential aged care population living with dementia, Twilight Aged Care is fighting back and building support for cognitive therapy with their 2019 Art Exhibition.

The 2019 Art Exhibition and Cocktail Party will be featuring canvas paintings from aged care residents from across the Twilight Aged Care homes, some of whom themselves, are living with dementia. The event aims to raise donations and display the artistic prowess of the North Sydney Residents.

The event will include catering, raffles, and live music on the night, with a chance to talk to the artists and purchase paintings.

This is the 2nd Annual Exhibition following the success of last year’s art show. Artworks this year will be more diverse in style and size and include large scale oil paintings, watercolours, smaller acrylic pieces, and even gold leaf.

Julianne Walker, the volunteer coordinator, and event organiser, says that community support for the art program is very important. These events help show support for older Australians and aged care residents living with dementia.

Julianne says, “Art Therapy sessions have countless benefits for older Australians. It allows the expression of complex thoughts and emotions, helps alleviate anxiety and depression, improves motor skills and cognitive functioning, and reduces social isolation”.

Dementia is currently the single largest cause of disability for Australian’s over 65 years old, and is a serious threat to the older Australian population, a large majority of this who live in aged care. Art therapy participants are technically stimulated during the program, which helps in slowing down the symptoms of dementia and cognitive decline.

The exhibition is being held on the 29th of October at 16 Punt Rd, Gladesville 6 pm-8 pm.

100th Birthday for Tom!

By 26th September, 2019 News No Comments

Tom’s 100th Birthday never stops!

After being visited by his fellow Navy officers, Glades Bay Gardens threw an afternoon treat for him last Friday.

It was a wonderful event, with family and friends visiting as well. Ramina, and the Glades Bay Gardens cooks, were in the kitchen at 5 o’clock in the morning getting ready for the celebration. And Julianne lost count of the number of balloons she had blown up.

Sai, our facility manager, gave a small speech about Tom’s life in the military and his life now as a kind and engaging presence within the Glades Bay community.

Special highlights included Ramina’s delectable blueberry cake and the mini curry puffs.

Happy Birthday, Tom.

Intergenerational Success with Montessori

The children from the Montessori School and their grand-friends enjoyed a Mad Hatters Tea Party; celebrating the end of their busy 6-month research project, focusing on the benefits of an Intergenerational Program.

The Children’s House of Montessori wearing their crazy hats and socks for the Intergenerational Program.

For the party, the Children’s House of Montessori and the staff dressed up with crazy hats and socks. And the children played games and held performances for the residents.

The project was based off international studies showing the benefits of multigenerational activities and paired this with Montessori principles. The program saw many positive improvements since it began in April, including a reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social isolation.

One of the Twilight residents, Elisabeth, with one of the children of Montessori House for the Intergenerational Program

The research component of the intergenerational program is now complete. But the strong connection formed between the children and their grand-friends has resulted in the program being extended for the near future.

Beecroft Women’s Shelter House Soft Opening

By 16th August, 2019 News No Comments
The Twilight Board, and representatives from Link Housing, Women’s Community Shelter and Hornsby-Shire Council at the soft opening for the Beecroft Women’s Shelter.

We are delighted to have seen Jamieson House transform into Beecroft House with a lot of love and effort.

The home will provide accommodation and support services for 20 women over 55 who are suffering homelessness. This is a major issue within the Sydney area. A recent report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has observed an increasing population of homelessness in older women. And Sunrise reported on the importance of shelters like Beecroft to help aid these women in need.

This project would not have been possible without the partnership of local organisations and the surrounding community. Groups like Link Housing, the Generous and the Grateful, National Projects and Maintenance, Pymble Ladies College, the Goodwin Brothers, and many more, have volunteered their time and resources to make this happen.

The charity and spirit of all those involved has amazed us at Twilight. We are very excited to see this project come to fruition.

Homeless Women Crisis

Homelessness can affect anybody – and now women over 55 are the fastest growing demographic of homeless people.We spoke to experts to understand why, and if anything is being done to help.

Posted by Sunrise on Saturday, 10 August 2019