Horowhenua Masonic Village Club for elderly awarded for innovation

Bert Swney, front, and members of Club HMV, which has been recognised for its innovative programme.
Karoline Tuckey

Bert Swney, front, and members of Club HMV, which has been recognised for its innovative programme.

An groundbreaking day programme for the elderly based in Levin has received a national award.

Club HMV at the Horowhenua Masonic Village is designed for participants from outside the retirement village with health problems who might otherwise be socially isolated.

Programme manager and occupational therapist Adrienne Court said it was unique because it was tailored to the needs of each person who attended, with a rehabilitation and wellbeing focus, and run by health professionals. 

Most funding comes from DHB funds for patients' support plans.

"It's quite individualised, we do an initial assessment, and talk about goals and what they want to work on."

Each day includes physical exercises, cognitive stimulation activities, meals and plenty of time for socialising. Wellness checks are carried out every six weeks, and the groups go on regular outings.

"We have lots of brain activities and discussions about international and national news topics, lots of quizzes and topics talking about their past, like schooling and family lives.

"The reminiscing really pushes the brains, and these guys just chew the fat and talk a lot like anyone else will do."

The programme started in October last year when HMV was not able to recruit a physiotherapist for their rehabilitation unit.

It began two days a week, now runs for three days a week, and a fourth is likely to be added soon due to demand. There are 12 places on each day – a men's day, women's day and mixed day, and most places are full, Court said. 

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Club HMV was awarded the 2015 Innovative Delivery Award, by the New Zealand Aged Care Association last month.

Probably due to it being "genuinely different", HMV manager Sue Maney said.

"Club HMV was created as a specialist service to support participants so they can remain living in their own homes and engaged in the community.

"Carers, spouses and whanau are involved, so they feel supported to."

Participant Bert Swney, who is rehabilitating from a stroke, said the camaraderie among the group had been meaningful during a challenging time.

"We're in the same boat, us guys … so we can talk , and it gives you confidence in yourself. 

"We're all friends, all mates, and we see each other every week and have these wonderful discussions." 

 - Stuff

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