December 12, 2023

A smile from Tacito brightens everyone’s day

Moving thousands of kilometres across the world to be closer to their daughters ushered a new life chapter for ECH residents Tacito and his wife Glacy. Originally from Brazil, the couple moved to Australia in March 2012, following their daughters who had settled in Adelaide some years before. “When we started planning our move to Australia, our eldest daughter, who at the time worked with ECH, told us about independent living in retirement villages. We saw it as a great opportunity to meet people and to live our retirement years to the full, and with less worry. And so, while still in Brazil we put our name down with ECH to buy a unit in one of their villages, and by December 2013 we had moved into our unit.” “My wife and I were both retired when we came to Australia, and after learning that around a third of the Australian population did some volunteering work, I really wanted to become a volunteer in some capacity. My personal drive for this was to contribute, and to turn my gratitude for the good life we were building in Australia into action.” As soon as they arrived in Adelaide, Tacito started volunteering in a Nursing Home, which was then part of ECH. More than a decade later, he continues as a volunteer in the same home, as well as in many others. He found great joy in visiting and supporting the elderly. “I started helping with the card game group and…

December 12, 2023

Summer in the Adelaide Botanic Garden

Every season there is something special to see at the Adelaide Botanic Garden – your very own natural wonderland in the heart of the city. In summer, the lush green surrounds, shady lawns, colourful blooms and botanic scents provide a cool haven on a hot day. There are 50 hectares of pristine plants to enjoy, here are some must see summer delights: LOVELY LOTUS FLOWERS The Nelumbo Pond springs to life with its sacred lotus flowers (Nelumbo nucifera) stopping crowds in their tracks. In beautiful shades of pink, these flowers are sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, and are seen as an example of divine beauty. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, but they are also used for medicine in some cultures, and their leaves, stalks and flowers can be eaten as vegetables. They will be in bloom until the end of February. DECORATIVE DAHLIAS The Dahlia Garden hits its peak in February, when these decorative flowers are in full bloom. These much-loved perennials originally came from Central and South America where the Dahlia imperialis species was an important food and medicinal crop to the Aztec people. Today, Dahlias are grown for their decorative flowers. Over the past three centuries hybridisation (combining different varieties) has given rise to a range of fascinating flower types. They will bloom until late March so there is plenty of time to visit. INTERNATIONAL ROSE GARDEN The International Rose Garden won a Garden of Global Excellence award in 2022 and takes visitors on…

December 12, 2023

Hot tips for staying cool and fit in the summer heat

When the summer sun blazes overhead, staying active and maintaining your fitness routine can be a challenge. However, with the right strategies, you can exercise and keep cool during scorching hot weather. ECH Exercise Physiologist Bridget shares her tips for staying cool and fit this summer. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME Opt to exercise earlier in the morning or later at night when it’s cooler and the sun is not at its peak. You can also break your exercise into smaller chunks throughout the day to avoid overexertion and overheating. TAKE IT INDOORS Exercise indoors in air conditioning when possible and use a cooling neck towel or handheld fan to stay cool during exercise sessions. SLIP SLOP SLAP Remember to stay sun smart with a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and appropriate clothing when doing activity outside. STAY HYDRATED Maintain water intake throughout the day not just after exercise, aiming for at least 1.5L (6 cups) per day. If you struggle to drink enough water, try: having a drink with each meal and snack, whether you feel thirsty or not. keeping a drink bottle with you and sip from it regularly throughout the putting a glass of water nearby where it is in view BE WARY OF INDOOR POOLS Indoor pools carry increased risks in hot weather including dehydration because of the humid environment. Hydrotherapy programs should be discussed with a GP or Exercise Physiologist on an individual basis before beginning. MEET BRIDGET Bridget is an accredited Exercise Physiologist by Exercise and…

December 12, 2023

Writing helps Annie feel visible

For ECH resident Annie, writing has been her constant companion for as long as she can remember. Over the decades, their relationship has taken different forms – from competitive when she was a speech writer, creative when she was writing short stories, nurturing when crafting inspirational quotes for a daily calendar, and professional when compiling pamphlets when working as a counsellor in Sydney. To Annie, a pivotal point in her relationship with writing came when she was awarded a mentoring grant in poetry from Arts SA. She was inspired to write and publish in 2017 her first book, A Slide into the Invisible – a collection of poetry and photography. “When you’re meant to be visible as an artist you do it. That is what art is – showing up for ourselves,” Annie explains. A recent opportunity to hear from and meet one of Adelaide’s most successful contemporary authors at an ECH Book Club event was ideal for Annie. The evening at Dymocks, Rundle Mall, was hosted by Jane Doyle, who interviewed Pip Williams, whose first novel, the global best seller The Dictionary of Lost Words, was recently adapted to the stage by the State Theatre Company South Australia. “It was a joy to meet the author Pip, she was humble yet truthful, she’s inspiring and the whole evening was a delight,” Annie says. “For ECH to be involved with arts and culture really shows what is important to the organisation. “The arts help us understand each other as people…

December 12, 2023

Finding Your Voice

According to a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, increasing numbers of older migrants tend to revert to their birth language as they age. This is known as language attrition. The study found, for example, that 73% of migrants aged 65-74 spoke their birth language at home, increasing to 82% among migrants aged 85 and over. ECH client Joanna, who migrated to South Australia from her native Greece more than 50 years ago, has benefitted greatly in the past year since she has been connected with a Greek-speaking Home Support Team Member. When Joanna started receiving some extra support including cleaning, gardening and social outings through her Level 2 Home Care Package last year, she felt self- conscious about her limited English skills. While Joanna learnt and spoke enough English to get by in her jobs throughout her early years in Australia, her daughter Litsa says she had noticed her mum’s English skills dwindling. “As mum has gotten older, and more isolated, she doesn’t really use English – if you don’t use it, you lose it,” Litsa says. For the past 20 – 30 years that mum and dad haven’t worked, they’ve lost a lot of English and as a result, lost that confidence. Litsa, while happy with the services her mum was receiving, wondered if more could be done to put her mum at ease. “The ladies who came out to help mum were lovely, but mum felt self-conscious not being able to speak English…

December 12, 2023

Joanna’s Kourambiethes Recipe

ECH client Joanna shares her kourambiethes recipe, a traditional Greek holiday biscuit. Serves approx. 12-15 biscuits Prep time 15 minutes INGREDIENTS Approximately 400g self- raising flour 250g unsalted butter 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup icing sugar ½ tsp vanilla sugar (although you cannot have too much) Optional: a small handful of slivered almonds Optional: dry anise – flavoured aperitif Ouzo METHOD In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter with the egg yolk, icing sugar and vanilla Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Add the self-raising flour slowly (as much as will be needed) to form a soft pliable. If choosing to include almonds, add after all ingredients are folded. Allow to rest. Take the rested dough and roll it out to about an inch in thickness and cut into shapes of your choice. Place on a baking tray and bake at 160 – 170°C (depending on oven) for 15 – 20 minutes. Leave the baked kourambiethes to cool on a tray (they will crumble if too hot to transfer). Optional: sprinkle them with a dry anise – flavoured aperitif Ouzo when warm. Dust them with plenty of icing sugar. Enjoy!  …

December 12, 2023

RECIPE | Festive Trifle

RHUBARB, STRAWBERRY AND GINGERBREAD TRIFLES Preparation time: 15 minutes + cooling time Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 6 TIP: To create less serves, simply half the ingredients! INGREDIENTS 300g rhubarb, cut into 2 cm chunks 375g strawberries, hulled and halved ¼ cup (60ml) ginger cordial 200g box gingerbread babies (eg. Perryman’s), reserving 16 and roughly chopping 100g 700g thick vanilla yoghurt 200g brioche, cut into cubes ¼ cup (60ml) Cointreau (optional) ¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted METHOD For the stewed rhubarb, combine rhubarb, 250g strawberries and 2 tablespoons ginger cordial together in a medium mixing bowl, tossing until well coated. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add rhubarb mixture, cover and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, before stirring gently. Cover and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes or until rhubarb softens and collapses. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. To assemble trifles, evenly divide half of the cooled rhubarb between six tumblers, spooning roughly 1 tablespoon into the bottom of each tumbler. Repeat process with yoghurt, placing a third on top of the rhubarb. Evenly divide half the brioche between the tumblers, placing on top of the yoghurt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of Cointreau over the brioche, in each glass and evenly divide chopped gingerbread, sprinkling on top of the brioche. Repeat this process with remaining rhubarb and a third of the yoghurt, creating two layers of each component. To finish, place 4 gingerbread babies around the…

December 12, 2023

Welcome to the Summer issue of Keep Connected

You may have noticed that over this past year, while establishing our new long-term plan for our nearly 60-year-old South Australian organisation, we have welcomed more and more people to the ECH community. We look forward to celebrating our 60 year milestone with you all next year! In the meantime, we have also celebrated our residents who hold a long-standing commitment to ECH. Held annually, our 20 Plus luncheon is a celebration and our way of simply saying thanks. The 20 Plus Club now has 106 members with our longest member of 41 years being Patricia, who lives with us in Bowden Towers (Adelaide). On the day, we celebrated other milestones as follows: 20 years – 15 residents 25 years – 10 residents 30 years – 2 residents See below for more photos from the lunch. To help foster connections, we have provided our community with exclusive theatre experiences, interactive workshops, discounted theatre tickets and free footy tickets in collaboration with our partners Adelaide Festival, State Theatre Company and SANFL. Next year we will have more events, which will once again be a wonderful opportunity to meet other clients and residents. If you would like to keep up to date with future events and activities, please provide your email and contact details to us by emailing At this time of year, it is our time to reflect and rejoice in the moments we have shared with you. The smiles and support we have been able to…

December 8, 2023

2023 Christmas Day Companionship

We acknowledge that the “festive season”, and Christmas time, isn’t always the joyous occasion shared by the media. Therefore, we extend our understanding and support to those who may be finding this time of year challenging. Whether you are on your own, or part of a large family with lots of social events, this time of year can be a stressful time for many reasons. We have written about this previously – and this article still holds great information: tips-for-beating-christmas-stress/ Importantly, remember to treat yourself to special meals and some nice gifts, and plan activities you love, like going for a walk or starting an activity you’ve always wanted to do. We at ECH, also understand the importance of companionship during this time. If you’re feeling lonely during the holiday season and are seeking a warm, festive atmosphere on Christmas Day, we have compiled a list of places hosting free or low-cost Christmas lunches below. Sharing a meal with others can be a wonderful way to find connection and celebrate the spirit of togetherness during the holidays. The list has been compiled by our Community Engagement Team, with these services and events spanning the Adelaide Metropolitan area, as well as the South Australian regional areas across the festive season. Send us a message if we have missed one that you know of, to include in our list: E: CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCHES ADELAIDE CITY Baptist Care SA (WESTCARE) Meals for people experiencing homelessness…

November 24, 2023

ECH recognised nationally in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards

Voted by Australian consumers, ECH has been recognised nationally to have the highest quality of service provided to its 15,000 clients across 110 villages in South Australia, four Wellness Centres, four Day Programs and Care Hotel.   QSA 2024 AU Gold Home Care Services SA NT   DSC1088 311 DSC1089 312 DSC1090 313 Each year Reader’s Digest conducts the Quality Service Awards survey, with the aim of uncovering Australians’ attitudes towards services from businesses and companies across different industries. At the ceremony held in Sydney, ECH was announced as the winner of the Home Care Services SA/NT category. Attended by our CE Claire Scapinello, she expressed her thanks to the entire ECH team for the dedication shown in the work they do every day to enable older South Australians to get more out of life. “This award recognition truly reflects ECH’s unwavering commitment to ensure people are able to live life well, no matter their age or stage in life’s journey, and for this I am immensely proud,” Ms Scapinello said.   “We understand it takes a special person to work in aged care – someone who is caring and passionate about making a real difference. Staff are continually trained in their respective fields so they can provide care and services that help clients live independently and confidently.” As ECH embarks on a new long-term strategy to transform the discourse, mindset, and actions…

November 15, 2023

Growing the ECH and Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Partnership

ECH is proud to continue our commitment to fostering social connections through our ongoing sponsorship of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium (BGSH) in 2024. Through the sponsorship, ECH clients and employees continue to enjoy and experience events, workshops, and community activities, bringing people together and promoting a sense of community. ECH Chief Executive Claire Scapinello says the partnership serves great significance in raising awareness of a healthy wellbeing. “We are delighted to be working closely with the Botanic Garden and State Herbarium,” she says. “Community gardening and engaging with nature has proven to be physically and psychologically beneficial and reduces the risk of social isolation. At ECH we want to inspire our clients and our employees to nurture their wellbeing; it is so important.   On Friday 17 November, a group of ECH staff will be taking part in ‘Nature Based Wellbeing’ at the Botanic Garden and State Herbarium. It will be an indulgent and unforgettable experience for the soul and senses and will equip individuals with life-long skills to nourish their wellbeing and relationship with nature.

November 7, 2023

Des’ tools come in handy

Once Des Milne retired, he didn’t think his collection of hammers and drills would be the tools to get him off the couch and engaged in a social activity. When Des and his wife downsized and moved into the ECH Encore Apartments in Modbury two years ago, he brought with him his collection of tools he had built over the years from being a tradesman. They are stored in ECH Encore Community Workshop. “I spoke to Tina from Echoes Montessori, which is part of the complex, asking her if I could help with any projects,” he says. “Through ECH, we were able to get some peg boards and work benches, and I got all my tools tagged and tested.” “Then one day, Tina asked if I would be interested in helping to assemble some pieces and do some handywork as part of the men’s shed.” And from then on, Des alongside his fellow resident Barry, have been kept busy building, fixing and assembling pieces for the Montessori as well as for residents of the complex. A men’s shed is community-based and provides a space for men to come together for various activities, socialisation and personal projects. Its primary goals are to promote social interaction, combat social isolation, improve mental health and offer a sense of purpose and camaraderie to participants. Since his involvement in the men’s shed, Des and the other three gentlemen, have come together and help build not only items and toys, but friendships too. “We’ve built a…