Alzheimer’s diagnosis leads to successful card game

ABC Mid West and Wheatbelt

By

Natasha Harradine

Posted

September 06, 2018 07:06:06

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Students participate in Numero competitions to boost their mental maths. (ABC Geraldton: Natasha Harradine)
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New blood test detects Alzheimer's disease up to 20 years before symptoms begin
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Perth 6000
(ABC Geraldton: Natasha Harradine)
Mr Drysdale family took turns to play games to keep him mentally stimulated.”One day after two of my nephews had been there playing cards with him, when they left he just said to my mum ‘You know what, I’ve got an idea for the kids, a game that they might like playing’,” she said.”He literally just made it up, wrote it up on the back of an old deck of playing cards and created it for them to play. Photo:
Julie Richards runs Numero competitions for students. It was never intended to do what it’s done but it was just so good we couldn’t let it go.”Dad called Numero his gift from God.”The game of Numero consists of numbered cards and wildcards that bring in multipliers, fractions, percentages and decimals. “It’s overseas, it’s national … we have a distributor in Canada, it’s being played in Singapore and Malaysia, and I’m still getting emails from different parts of the United States, England and New Zealand ordering packs,” Ms Richards said.Students engaged in learningAllendale Primary School in Geraldton has mandated the game as part of its curriculum and it is used in every grade from kindergarten to Year 6. “It’s allowing our students to develop use of basic facts and through the game they are challenged to try and improve mathematical understanding and recall,” she said.”It’s a quick game, students at any level of their mathematical understanding can participate, so this is the beauty of the wildcards.”The wildcards allow students to scaffold the level of their participation by the level of the wildcards that are introduced, and there’s an oral language component.”Students are totally engaged from the moment the game starts to the finish.”Funds raised benefit others with Alzheimer’s As well as the learning benefits, the funds raised from its sale help people and their families living with Alzheimer’s disease.”My family has never made money from Numero,” Ms Richards said. A maths-based game created by a man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease has been used by teachers across Western Australia for years and now is gaining attention across the globe. “As soon as it sold enough packs to pay off the money Dad had borrowed to get started, he donated the game to Alzheimer’s WA and so they have owned it for the last 19 years, so royalties from every product go to them and that is very important to me.”Alzheimer’s WA said royalties from the game raise about $10,000 a year to support their programs including advocacy and public awareness.Mr Drysdale is no longer alive, but through the game and the passion of his family to share it with others, his legacy lives on in classrooms and in the care provided to others through the funds it raises. Photo:
Students enjoy the hands-on nature of the game. (Natasha Harradine: ABC Geraldton)
Teacher Martine Thurkle said students play the game in the classroom, as well as school and statewide competitions, to boost their number knowledge and mental maths. Former sports teacher Frank ‘Jock’ Drysdale was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 1989.”He was actually told to go home, get his affairs together and wait to die, and if anybody knows my dad that just doesn’t sit with him,” his daughter Julie Richards said.
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Outback ‘meals on wheels’ is changing the lives of young and old in this remote community

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Meet the people who make Meals on Wheels go round
ABC North West Qld

By

Lucy Murray

Updated

September 06, 2018 08:27:44

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Breakfast and lunch is hand-delivered to clients at the Alpurrurulam aged care centre. (ABC News: Lucy Murray)
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As she goes she picks up dirty laundry from clients, which she will wash and return later that day. (ABC News: Lucy Murray)
For client George Anderson any food is welcome.”It’s really great,” he said.”I like bacon and eggs, steak and damper, curry and rice.”The Alpurrurulam aged care centre has about 20 clients, mostly older residents, but also a few people with disabilities. (ABC News: Lucy Murray)
Training opportunitiesAfter the breakfast run, she makes herself an instant coffee and toast, ensures her six children are on their way to school, and helps her partner finish off the lunches.It is Ms Nemo’s first job and she loves the routine.”It has changed my life, because I had six children and I had to take time to grow all my kids up,” she said. Photo:
The aged care centre only operates on weekdays, so hampers are delivered to clients on a Friday to get residents through the weekend. (ABC News: Lucy Murray)
The old cattlemen are always requesting steak and damper.They tell stories about their droving days, spent under the stars with a fire and a hot loaf baking in the coals — and their tastes reflect that.”They are old stockmen, they like corn beef, rib bones, steaks,” Mr Long said.”The old driving foods.”They just say it [healthy food] is not going to fill our guts up.”Despite the challenges, Cameron Long enjoys sparring with the old fellas.”It is good, because working with elders, you get more experience from the elders,” he said.”Learning more about our culture, learning more about how life is and how they ended up living that long.”

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The Aged Care Centre also works with NDIS clients. Every morning, just before seven o’clock, Nevenka Nemo and Cameron Long unlock the gate to the Alpurrurulam aged care centre and start preparing breakfast for the Indigenous community’s older residents.Winter mornings are freezing in the desert town, on the Northern Territory-Queensland border, so porridge is on the menu.It is made on the stove with milk and separated into containers, before being packed into a large insulated bag for delivery.Ms Nemo hauls the bag, which is almost the same size as her, into the back on the minivan and climbs up into the drivers seat. “Working is a good thing to do, getting up every morning and working,” she said.Nevanka Nemo greets all the older residents on the morning round.She often wakes them up as she knocks on the door with breakfast in hand, but they are happy to see her. Photo:
Cameron Long cooking bacon and eggs for two older men who come in to the centre each morning. (ABC News: Lucy Murray)
Growing up in Mount Isa, Ms Nemo looked up to an aunty who was working.”My aunty used to get up every day and go to work,” she said.”She was doing bookkeeping and office working.”Now I am showing that to my kids.”Her family moved to the community, commonly known as Lake Nash, after they heard about the training opportunities.Through the Barkly Regional Council she is working towards a Certificate III in Hospitality and Food Handling, as well as a Certificate II in Management.”I can’t wait to get my first certificates,” Ms Nemo said.”If we start getting our certificates we can get a job anywhere, wherever we go.”If we want to move out from here, want to go to the city, we can get a job anywhere then.”What’s on the menu?For Cameron Long, cooking in the community is a balance between healthy and traditional meals. “Now they are grown up and I’m learning.”

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Cameron Long tries to keep the meals healthy, but tasty.

Not keen on walking around the block, septuagenarian treks 3,200km on Burke and Wills’ trail

Family retraces Burke and Wills expedition, telling story through theatre
Debate over Burke and Wills Dig Tree location

(Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald) ABC Far North

By Sharnie Kim and Adam Stephen

Updated

September 06, 2018 13:48:06

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Phil McDonald averaged about 30 kilometres on foot every day for four months.
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Karumba 4891
(Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
The Burke and Wills expedition was blighted by poor timing, bad luck and dwindling supplies, but Mr McDonald described his journey as a “fantastic holiday”. Just go for it.”

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Mr McDonald said he lives by the philosophy: “Explore the unknown, risk failure and fame, share your energy and friendship because nothing stays the same.” (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald) (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
Mr McDonald said he would be driving back home, not walking.”Oh, no no, a tragic ending there, so I get to Karumba and then have a swim in the bay there and I know there’s crocs there and I’ll be in and out like a shot, and that will be the finish for me,” he said. Video: Phil McDonald's epic penny farthing adventure

(ABC News)
He made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for riding 15,000 kilometres around Australia on a penny farthing in 1988.Mr McDonald also ran from St Kilda to Mount Kosciuszko to celebrate his 50th birthday.A keen student of history, he said he had been fascinated by the story of explorers Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills ever since he read a book about their expedition when he was 15.Burke and Wills were the first Europeans to cross Australia from south to north, but died in the outback on their return journey in 1861. (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
Mr McDonald started each day’s walk with a banana, ended it with a hot chocolate, and had meals prepared by his wife.He walked during winter, while the 1860 expedition attempted to cross the northern outback during the hot summer months.”The Dig Tree is in the middle of the desert, it would’ve been about 40, 45 degrees those days,” he said. Photo:
Phil McDonald’s body held up better than his walking boots. Photo:
Phil McDonald crossing the border into Queensland. Photo:
“I thought it was an amazing adventure, tragic ending of course, but it really stirred me,” Phil McDonald said of the Burke and Wills expedition. Photo:
A big truck passing Phil McDonald on the Eyre Development Road on the way to Bedourie. “And they (Burke and Wills) got up to … Normanton on 11th of February, wet season, very very hot, very very humid. Photo:
Susan McDonald was busy everyday being her husband’s support crew. “They had camels with them and camels can’t walk in wet sand and so on, so it was very, very difficult.”It was very unfortunate, very tragic but they were very, very tough men.”

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Phil and Susan McDonald’s friends buried their favourite sparkling mineral water and ginger under their very own “dig tree”, near the iconic Dig Tree where the Burke and Wills party buried provisions for each other. So here we are.”Mr McDonald left Melbourne on May 6 with his wife, Susan, driving a four-wheel-drive support vehicle. (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
“They started charging, running right at me,” he said.”I took my hat off and yelled and screamed and carried on and luckily they just veered off to the right and I was saved.”Mr McDonald said his body coped surprisingly well with walking about 30 kilometres a day on average.”Many times when I’m walking I get a strain in my knee or my calf, lots of parts in my body they get pushed to the limit and I just push through,” he said.”I suppose I’ve trained my brain over the years to push myself to certain limits … and surprisingly I’m still here and I feel as fit as ever.”I thought I could do this but it was a big ask, and I just have a lot of confidence in myself and people can do the same if they want to.”Age is really no barrier. A Victorian septuagenarian who recently had heart surgery has bested charging bulls and flooded roads to trek 3,200 kilometres in the footsteps of ill-fated explorers, Burke and Wills, and reach Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria. (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
Mr McDonald followed Burke and Wills’ path as closely as possible without trespassing on private property, but had to change course at one stage due to flooding at Innamincka in north-eastern South Australia.He was startled to find a dingo right at his heels one morning, but his most frightening encounter was with two bulls near the Wills River in north-western Queensland. Phil McDonald, 73, had a stent put in his coronary artery two years ago, and decided to embark on the expedition after his doctor ordered him to walk every day.”I thought, well I’m not going to walk around the block every day,” he said.”So I said to [my wife], ‘hey, what if I walk the Burke and Wills route right up to Karumba, would you support me’?””And she said ‘yeah I’d love to’. (Supplied: Phil and Susan McDonald)
He reached Karumba this week after walking for 123 days.Mr McDonald, who described himself as “a bit of a nutter”, has a penchant for feats of endurance.
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As these seniors hit the high beam, do you think you’ll be this fit in your 80s?

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Netta Obst turned 86 this week and she gets around the gym like someone half her age. Photo:
In his late 80s, Ken Orford is still a master on the rope. (ABC Southern Queensland: Nathan Morris)
“I think they’re amazed — a lot of them are doing things that they never thought they could do.””We’ve got one fellow who’s about 88 and he swings on a rope — a lot of us now walk on beams and we couldn’t do it before.”Ms Obst said the classes were about maintenance, not muscles.”It’s not as if we’re trying for big muscles or anything — we’re just trying to keep the mobility that we’ve got for as long as we can.” (ABC Southern Queensland: Nathan Morris)
For Ms Obst, staying active was a top priority.”As we get older, we need to keep ourselves fit — if you don’t use it you lose it,” she said.”I’d just like to stay as mobile and fit as I am right now.”Fitter and sleeping betterNot everyone can take on the high beam like Mr Bence, preferring instead to look on as he confidently crosses back and forth, tucking one foot behind the other.”I think I’m a little bit fitter, I sleep a lot better — I think all of us just enjoy the company and the exercise that we do,” he said. They are all over 80, but their inner gymnast is still young at heart.For the past three years, Tom Bence and about 40 of his octogenarian peers have been taking gymnastics classes in Toowoomba.”We were all members of Probus Club, or we were originally — now we’ve got a few other people here and we all decided we needed a little bit of exercise,” he said.”Our balance wasn’t what it ought to be — we’re all over 80, well most of us are anyway.”The classes are helping to return confidence in aging bodies.”We’re increasing their balance, strength, coordination and their vestibular system,” said exercise scientist, Frankie Devitt.”When they first come, absolutely, they don’t think they can do any of it.”However once we integrate them slowly and they build up — they tend to have a go at it all.”This week, Netta Obst turned 86, but she moves around the sprung floor of the gym better than some half her age.”I don’t know if I found any of it very hard,” she said.
ABC Southern Qld

By

Belinda Sanders

and

Nathan Morris

Updated

September 06, 2018 13:48:06

Video: Senior gymnasts balance aging and life

(ABC News)
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