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Project manager and awards organiser Bee Pears said public perception of the aged care sector was sometimes based on outdated stereotypes but the reality was quite different.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