So­cia­ble golden years

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

When Lyn Welling­ton, the man­ager of Rawhiti Lodge Care asked me to write an ar­ti­cle about this spe­cial rest home, I said I would be de­lighted to do so.

My mother, Pixie Dale, has been a res­i­dent at Rawhiti for a num­ber of years and she con­sid­ers it home. She is very fond of the 21 staff there who take care of all the res­i­dents.

Rawhiti is home to only 22 el­derly peo­ple. It can take up to 24, but this is a small fam­ily-type rest home where ev­ery­body knows ev­ery­body. In fact, most peo­ple know ev­ery­body’s ex­tended fam­ily too.

I breeze in and out of Rawhiti most days to visit my mother and I al­ways get a cheery hello from oth­ers sit­ting in the sunny lounge.

My daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren visit of­ten as well. The lit­tle kids run ea­gerly down the pas­sage to find GG in her room. The grounds are big with beau­ti­ful gar­dens and trees.

Al­though Pixie calls Rawhiti home, she is of­ten taken out by my broth­ers or me to our homes or to spe­cial events around town.

She cer­tainly doesn’t feel caged in.

It makes me laugh when Mum’s re­sponse to ‘‘why don’t you read a book?’’ is ‘‘I don’t re­ally have time – there are too many things go­ing on around here.’’ And in­deed there are. On a weekly ba­sis there is Friend­ship Cir­cle held at the Bap­tist Church. The hair­dresser also comes on Wed­nes­days. More of­ten than not some­one at Rawhiti is cel­e­brat­ing a birth­day which of course is an ex­cuse for a party. Ac­tiv­i­ties co-or­di­na­tor Sandy Orr ar­ranges bingo, golf and spe­cial out­ings.

One day a van load ap­peared at our farm to see the new­born calves, and I know many peo­ple who live at Rawhiti en­joy driv­ing the streets to look at spring flow­ers or Christ­mas lights.

Rawhiti in­ter­acts with other rest homes in Mata­mata too. They have games, com­pe­ti­tions and plenty of laugh­ter when they get to­gether.

I like to pop in on them when it’s St Pa­trick’s Day and ev­ery­one’s in green or Melbourne Cup Day when ev­ery­one is dressed up to the nines with fancy hats. They all en­ter in the sweep­stake too. I love be­ing part of the fun.

Each month they hold a church ser­vice for those who wish to join in and to­wards the end of the month there is a happy hour.

As a for­mer mu­sic teacher, I know Rawhiti is a favourite place for chil­dren to per­form. The kids know they will be greeted with en­thu­si­asm and made to feel tal­ented and spe­cial. Jan Mott, the res­i­dents’ ad­vo­cate, also per­forms fort­nightly.

Be­cause the res­i­dents at Rawhiti are one big fam­ily, there is a re­laxed, happy at­mos­phere in their home. They hold res­i­dents meet­ings, their meals are all home cooked – morn­ing and af­ter­noon tea as well and they are treated re­spect­fully as val­ued in­di­vid­u­als.

If there are mi­nor prob­lems, one just needs to speak up and things are qui­etly put to rights.

When I be­come too old to live by my­self, I hope to choose a place like Rawhiti to spend my golden years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.