Porirua is ‘perfect’
A public meeting will be held this Thursday evening to gauge interest in a housing project signalled for Porirua – a 10-bedroom Abbeyfield house shared by older peoplelooking to give each other support and companionship.
Abbeyfield is a volunteer-based organisation that provides familystyle housing for healthy, independent seniors, its Porirua spokesperson Stephen Cross says.
The concept was created in Eng- land in the 1950s by a major in the Coldstream Guards. Abbeyfield now has 16 ‘‘member’’ countries, with 6000 residents in 850 houses.
Operating in New Zealand since the early 1990s, there are 12 homes from Whangarei to Dunedin, offering a communal, secure alternative for elderly residents.
‘‘It’s not a rest home,’’ Mr Cross insists.
‘‘It’s a lot like flatting for older people. There’s support and the house has a committee which makes sure everything runs smoothly, getting the right meals for example. If you want to move in, you actually have to stay in the guest room for a few days to make sure you’re comfortable, then the committee decides if that person should move in. It’s another way of making sure people are being looked after in the community.’’
Mr Cross says Porirua is perfect for an Abbeyfield house, with its strong Housing New Zealand and church presence, whom they might seek partnerships with. The ‘‘when’’ and the ‘‘where’’ have not been addressed yet, the company first wanting to measure the public’s interest.
A public meeting will be held in the meeting room on the ground floor of Pember House, October 21, from 7pm. For more information: abbeyfield.co.nz. New way of living: An example of an Abbeyfield home, near Nelson. Its popularity is such that a second is being built.