Rest home stimulates young and old
A Putaruru rest home is mixing age and experience with youthful exuberance.
Rangiura Rest Home in Matai Cres has just launched its Baby Buddies programme which is addressing the social needs of residents, young parents and their children.
The programme sees local parents bring their babies and preschoolers in for an hour every Wednesday so they can have morning tea and engage in fun activities with the elderly residents.
Diversional therapist coordinator Marlene Fisher said they had heard of other rest homes doing a similar thing, so decided to try it here.
‘‘It’s not just about the elderly though, it’s also about mums, as some mums might be suffering from the likes of postnatal depression.
‘‘Through the programme they may come across a resident who is an ex-nurse or mother. It gives them the chance to chat about the little things that may be worrying them at home,’’ Fisher said.
She said children were given the chance to play with each other and with the residents, which was good for those children who did not have grandparents.
‘‘Each resident is interacting with the children by sharing games and activities and they’ve been saying it’s like having their own grandchildren come in and brings back memories of their own childhoods,’’ she said.
Toddlers take plates of morning tea around for the residents.
‘‘They think themselves quite privileged to be able to do that.’’
Resident Pat Newton, who is in her 90s, said she always looked forward to the day.
‘‘I think it is enjoyable watching the young ones. They are so different from our day,’’ she said.
Fellow resident Sally Thornett said it was a great initiative.
‘‘It is just wonderful to be able to see the children react to one another. We never had anything like this when we were little,’’ she said.
Fisher said she hopes to see the programme grow and encouraged others to get involved.
‘‘When children first come they are usually very shy and don’t get involved but after a few visits they go up and actually talk to the residents. It’s great,’’ she said.
The free programme takes place from 11am until 12pm on Wednesdays and anyone can attend.