El­derly care in good hands

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Those who go out of their way to care and sup­port older peo­ple in the Waikato have been recog­nised for their work and Mata­mata peo­ple were rep­re­sented among the win­ners.

Pohlen Foun­da­tion Trust and Grace Knauf, a vol­un­teer flower lady, were both win­ners at last Fri­day’s Waikato Times Make a Dif­fer­ence awards.

The awards, held at the Kings­gate Ho­tel, cel­e­brated the peo­ple and pro­grammes in­volved in car­ing for older peo­ple.



Trust won the BNZ Top Team award and $500.

This award aimed to show that work­ing as a team could solve prob­lems and cre­ate a pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, which Pohlen had done.

Grace Knauf won for her ser­vice in the Pak ’n Save Lift­ing Our Spir­its award.

This was given to an in­di­vid­ual whose warmth, good hu­mour and abil­ity to keep things in per­spec­tive helped keep peo­ple mo­ti­vated through tough times.

Pro­ject man­ager and awards or­gan­iser Bee Pears said pub­lic per­cep­tion of the aged care sec­tor was some­times based on out­dated stereo­types but the re­al­ity was quite dif­fer­ent.

‘‘It’s a sec­tor that is full of in­spir­ing peo­ple – vol­un­teers, staff, man­agers and the clients them­selves,’’ she said.

‘‘In fact work­ing with older peo­ple is an in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing job or ca­reer for peo­ple with the right skills and at­ti­tudes.’’

‘‘You can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence to their qual­ity of life.’’

Ms Pears said that through the Make a Dif­fer­ence awards or­gan­is­ers hoped to in­spire peo­ple to see op­por­tu­ni­ties for jobs and ca­reer paths that were skilled, chal­leng­ing, in­ter­est­ing and fo­cused on the fu­ture.

Pohlen Hos­pi­tal’s out­door ex­er­cise and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion area was also one of the 19 fi­nal­ists.

It was in the run­ning for the Com­mu­nity Con­nec­tions award which ac­knowl­edged those who showed in­ter­ac­tion be­tween older peo­ple and their com­mu­nity.

Guest speak­ers on the night were Waikato District Health Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Climo and Waikato Times edi­tor Jonathan MacKen­zie.

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