Seniors Festival 2017

Seniors Festival 2017 is running from March 3 to March 12. Join the Courier in this special feature that outlines Narrabri Shire's festival events and our local businesses that support our Seniors. The Courier encourages our readers to support local events and businesses during the Seniors Festival in 2017.

Seniors Festival 2017

From a week to a festival

The popularity of the annual Seniors Festival is probably best evidenced by the fact it has had a change of name in recent years.

Initially it was called Seniors Week, with activities for seniors taking place over a seven-day period.

But as the senior segment of society continues to grow, more and more activities have been put on for the event.

The NSW Seniors Festival, now 59 years old, is billed as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

A couple of years ago it was decided that it needed to change its name to fit all these events in more than seven days were needed.

And it is no different in Narrabri Shire. As can be seen on these pages (pages 8-12) there is plenty on for local seniors from March 3-12.

There is sure to be something no matter where you live in this widespread and diverse shire. But not only that, there are some great deals on these pages especially for seniors, offered by local businesses.

Make sure you take advantage of them in what is sure to be another memorable festival celebrating the most experienced members of our society.

A jam-packed program

Whiddon Narrabri will celebrate the 2017 NSW Seniors Festival with a jam-packed program of events, and is inviting the community to join in the celebrations.

The events, held during NSW Seniors Festival, will celebrate the valuable contributions of older people and encourage social and community connections for residents and clients.

Whiddon Narrabri director of care Alison Hogan said she was excited to celebrate 2017 NSW Seniors Festival with a huge line-up of engaging events.

New Whiddon Narrabri director
of care services Alison Hogan with her predecessor Maree Taylor and deputy
director Kylie Finlay.

“We’ve got some great activities planned and are inviting the community along to be part of the celebrations.

“At our Jessie Hunt home, we’re holding an Open Day on Thursday, March 9, where the community can visit, join us for a cuppa and a chat and find out more about our award winning services and programs through a series of talks and displays.

“Our Robert Young home will host a church service, followed by morning tea and entertainment on Friday, March 10, and everyone is welcome to attend and join us for refreshments.

“As an aged care provider and an employer, we are often at the heart of our communities.

“We are delighted to sponsor the Narrabri Shire Senior of the Year Award this year which will be announced during the festival.

“The NSW Seniors Festival is a great celebration of older people in our community, and a way that we can pay tribute to them. I’m looking forward to celebrating with our community, who are really important to us.”

Whiddon Narrabri will also be offering events for residents including a dancing, entertainment and concerts.

Visit, contact 1300 738 388 or see the advertisement on this page to find out more.

The team that’s here to help you

How well prepared are you for your future? When was the last time you made a Will? Do you have a Power of Attorney? How about an Appointment of Enduring Guardian? Do you know the difference between these documents?

If your answer is “no” to any of the above questions, don’t panic - Lorraine Boyce Solicitors is here to help you.

The team at Lorraine Boyce Solicitors - Marie Collyer, Lorraine Boyce and Ibolya Little.

It has the right answers to all your questions, and over 30 years’ experience to ensure your protection and security. Its friendly team will nurture you through the process so you and your loved ones won’t have to stress about what happens when you die or become incapacitated.

It has offices in Narrabri and Gunnedah so an appointment can be made at a location convenient to you.

Do you know what other benefit it gives? It offers a 25 per cent discount for Senior Card holders for preparing Wills, Power of Attorneys and Appointments of Enduring Guardians. A ‘bulk document discount’ is offered to anyone who decides to obtain all three documents at the same time.

So what are you waiting for? Give yourself peace of mind and call Lorraine Boyce Solicitors today.

Wee Waa and much more for Seniors Festival

Local Seniors across NSW are being encouraged to enjoy new experiences, continue learning, impart their skills and have fun in the lead up to the 2017 Seniors Festival.

With the theme "Let's do more together", the Festival promotes inclusive communities and provides an opportunity for seniors to try new things, contribute and remain active and engaged in their local community.

The NSW Seniors Festival is the largest festival for people over 60 in the Southern hemisphere, attracting up to 500,000 Seniors across the state to events and online.

Formerly NSW Seniors Week, the NSW Seniors Festival has continued to grow each year since it began 59 years ago. Seniors in Wee Waa, Gwabegar and Pilliga have been coming together to celebrate for over 20 years.

In 2017 the festival will run for 10-days from Friday, March 3, to Sunday, March 12, across NSW.

During this annual festival there are hundreds of free and discounted events around NSW to inspire seniors to eat well, stay active and connect with their local community.

This NSW Seniors Festival, seniors will be inspired to try new things, socialise, share skills and keep doing the things they enjoy, together.

Some of the events being held in Wee Waa include:

Bus trip to visit historic sites in Bingara on Monday, with Seniors from across the Shire welcomed ;

Get Up and Get Active at Wee Waa Community Care Service on Tuesday; and

Seniors Luncheon on Thursday in Wee Waa.

Please contact Wee Waa Community Care Service for a copy of the full program, for further information or to RSVP for these events.

See the advertisement on page 8 for further details.

Transport to the Seniors event at The Crossing Theatre on Wednesday is also available from North West Community Transport.

Please contact the Narrabri office on 6792 3431 if you are interested in going to that.

Seniors can do more together, with old friends and new at Seniors Festival events across the Shire next week.

Here to help you hear

Jeanette Mouatt and Michelle Arnold of Arnold Mouatt Hearing Services are getting ready to celebrate one year of their partnership in regional NSW.

“We are so happy with the support we have had so far”,” said Ms Mouatt.

She knows the area and clients well, having previously consulted in the area for 22 years.

As part of Seniors week they are able to offer exceptional pricing on the new Oticon OPN1 hearing aid.

“We only have 20 pairs of this cutting edge hearing aid at the price of $7999,” Ms Mouatt said.

She urged people to take the opportunity to consider this top of the range package.

Released mid last year, it’s the first hearing aid to offer 360 degree hearing.

The device is so fast that it’s able to scan the wearer’s environment more than 100 times a second, enabling them to hear in all directions, not just what’s in front.

Jeanette Mouatt and Michelle Arnold have a wealth of hearing knowledge

Ms Mouatt and Ms Arnold are including, professional testing, fitting, programming and support as part of the package.

If you think family or friends are struggling with their hearing we are happy to talk to them and see if there’s something we can do to improve their hearing and make life a little easier.

Ms Mouatt also urged the public to contact her staff if they are unhappy with, or don’t feel they are getting optimum use of, their current aids.

Concession card and Veterans Affairs cardholders qualify for free Hearing Services.

“We urge people to check whether they qualify for this marvellous service that is provided by the Office of Hearing Services, you just need to hold a current pension
concession card, or a DVA card, often people don’t know that their included spouses also qualify,” said Ms Mouatt.

Ms Mouatt and Ms Arnold regularly visit the Narrabri Community Health Centre.

If it’s time for a hearing test, or you’re ready to upgrade, call Arnold Mouatt Hearing Services on 1800 706 661 (free call) or visit

Exercises to improve balance

The risks associated with falls can lead to impaired mobility and loss of confidence. But the team at Narrabri Physiotherapy is here to help with balance and strength exercises for seniors.

Before reading further, have a look at the advertisement below and try the balance test.

If you are at a risk of falls, the following exercises will help.

For all exercises hold onto a stable bench with both hands if required. Once you are able, try one hand then try without holding on.

Heel Raises

Place your feet apart (shoulder width).

Slowly rise up onto your toes, hold for one second, then lower down onto your heels.

Half Squats

Stand with feet apart (shoulder width).

Lean slightly forward, keeping back straight.

Slowly bend both legs, knees pointing forward.

Return to upright position, squeezing your buttocks together.

Knee Lift

Face bench.

Lift leg to hip height or as able, lower leg to floor, then lift right leg to hip height and lower to floor.

Progress to slow marching on the spot ( spend up to 10 seconds on each leg).

Walking sideways

First make sure the floor area is free of obstacles – no mats or objects in the way.

Take four steps to the left, stop, take four steps to the right.

General information - risks associated with falls

Impaired balance or mobility – see Narrabri Physiotherapy.

Cognitive impairment – dementia or delirium.

Incontinence – consult with your doctor and see Alison at Narrabri Physiotherapy.

Feet and footwear – change footwear and consult a podiatrist.

Syncope – fainting or passing out – see your doctor.

Dizziness – see your doctor.

Medications – see your doctor and talk to your pharmacist.

Vision – see your optometrist.

Environment – too much clutter or objects on floor or mats that are slippery.

Poor nutrition – see a dietician and consider Meals on Wheels.

Loss of confidence, fear of falling – see Narrabri Physiotherapy.

Do your eyes a big favour at Vision Splendid

Narrabri Vision Splendid is urging those over 65 to book in for an eye examination to receive a comprehensive ocular health assessment - including a thorough check of your macular in support of Macular Degeneration Awareness Week from March 4-10.

Some of the Narrabri Vision Splendid team: Kelsie Banker, Rod Strong, Ros Thorn and Ashlee Worley

Are you at risk of Macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness.

Macular degeneration affects more than 1.15 million Australians over 50.

Without appropriate prevention and treatment measures, this number is set to increase to 1.7 million by 2030, given the rapidly ageing population.

We’ve all heard about macular degeneration, but what exactly is the macular, and where is it found in our eyes?

You are using your macula to read this article.

The macula is the very centre of the retina, which is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

The macula is responsible for your central, fine detailed vision.

It is responsible for your ability to read all text, see colours clearly, distinguish faces, drive a car and any other activities that require sharp vision.

Macular degeneration is the name given to a group of degenerative diseases of the macular that cause progressive, painless loss of central vision.

At Narrabri Vision Splendid, a macular check constitutes part of the optometrist’s routine eye examination on patients of all ages.

Patients aged 65 and older should attend for a routine eye examination yearly for assessment of their vision and ocular health.

Patients below the age of 65 should attend for an eye examination every two-three years or sooner if they have any concerns about their vision.

In support of Macular Degeneration Awareness Week, Narrabri Vision Splendid is offering a $25 gift voucher to patient’s aged 65 and over who attend for comprehensive eye examination between March 4-10.

For more information, you can call Narrabri Vision Splendid on 02 6792 1342

Who will be our Seniors of the Year?

One of the highlights of the annual Seniors Festival will be the announcement of the 2017 Narrabri Senior of the Year.

The announcement will take place at the Seniors Festival lunch, to be held at The Crossing Theatre on Wednesday, March 8, from 11am.

The Wee Waa Lions Senior of the Year award will be announced at the annual Wee Waa and District Seniors Festival lunch on Thursday, February 9.

Safeguarding a power

A report due to be completed by the Australian Law Reform Commission by May 2017 will likely propose sweeping changes to the use of Enduring Powers of Attorney, said Bell and Johnson principal solicitor Russell Booby.

Mr Booby said in 2016 the ALRC commenced an inquiry into the use and/or abuse of Enduring Power of Attorney appointments which the ALRC suggested were, in some cases, a “licence to steal from elderly parents”.

Mr Booby said the changes which have been suggested included:

A national register of powers of attorney;

That enduring powers of attorney must be witnessed by two people;

That the Code of Banking Practice requires banks try to prevent financial elder abuse;

A new national employment screening process for Australian Government aged care workers;

A reportable incidents scheme in aged care that requires staff to report to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner; and

That the Law Council of Australia review the guidelines for the preparation and execution of wills.

Mr Booby said the ALRC identified cases where children or family members who were appointed as the Attorneys to their elderly parents or relatives, had misused the Power of Attorney to remove sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank accounts of the elderly parents.

In one case reported by the ALRC, two nephews who had been appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney had withdrawn and spent in excess of $300,000 from the bank accounts of their elderly uncle.

Mr Booby said Enduring Powers of Attorney were documents which appoint a family member or other trusted person to stand in your shoes when dealing with your finances – in effect they empowered someone to operate your bank account.

He said along with an Enduring Guardianship appointment (health related matters) and a Will, the Enduring Power of Attorney appointment was a very worthwhile document provided it is drafted in a way which prevents fraud – the proper drafting is not too difficult, but it does need careful consideration.

Mr Booby said one safeguard when drafting an Enduring Power of Attorney was to ensure that the
involvement of the appointed person or persons cannot commence until a doctor has certified in writing that the doctor considers you are no longer able to manage your own affairs.

The other safeguard was to appoint more than one Attorney, and also to specify that the signature of all appointed Attorneys was required before any funds can be withdrawn – it was unusual that both attorneys would be willing to be involved in fraud.

Mr Booby said people concerned about an existing Enduring Power of Attorney or an Enduring Guardianship appointment could contact him for a confidential Power of Attorney/Enduring Guardianship review.