Plans afoot for elderly

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 13:48 23/01/2013

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For Wendy Reynolds the first seven months of running Elder Care in Blenheim has been some of the most rewarding of her working life, and she is promising even more engaging seminars this year.

She plans to start the year with a pamper day on February 21, complete with foot spas, massages and an exercise area.

"I really want to get some schoolgirls involved to help pamper the old folk," said Wendy.

A podiatrist will be the guest speaker on the day.

A cellphone training seminar held in late June last year with the help of boys from Marlborough Boys' College was a resounding success.

Many of the boys who helped at that session said that they would be keen to do a computer literacy seminar, said Wendy, who is keen to take them up on their offer.

Computer literacy and getting the older residents of Marlborough to use computers on a day to day basis will be one of her focuses this year.

She will be encouraging elderly residents to buy computers or access them through friends or at the library.

"I found out that a lot of 60 and 70-year-olds in Blenheim don't even have computers.

"Technology is here and it is such a great tool for everyone so I really want to get them using it," said Wendy, who believes that one is never to old to learn to how to use new gadgets.

The former mail contractor and real estate agent said that she was blown away by her first year in the role as an Elder Care worker.

"It has been an unbelievable year."

The demand for informative seminars was also greater than expected with just three seminars initially planned, but one being run each month, as well as a Christmas party for 70 people in December.

"There are still a lot of older people who I want to reach and that was something I focussed on last year, doing a lot of door knocking, trying to get those folk who sit at home alone and don't really have much contact with others to come to the seminars."

Beyond arranging and running the seminars Wendy also put in many hours following up with phone calls.

"Often it is the only call they get for days so we will have a good chat - I love to connect with them.

"I really encourage anyone who knows an older person to give them a call on a regular basis."

All the seminars as well as the meals that go with them are free, with just a voluntary donation being accepted.

Help, said Wendy, has never been difficult to find with members of the St Christopher's Church congregation always on hand to lend a hand.

For more information on the seminars and to make contact with Wendy call her on 03 579 4446, 03 579 1133 or 021 223 0160.

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- Marlborough

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