Rest home stim­u­lates young and old

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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