There are many age-friendly initiatives happening in communities around New Zealand. Here are some examples of the different types of activities.
Just Cook 4 Health Eating – New Zealand Nutrition Foundation
JUST COOK 4 Healthy Ageing is a fun, practical, 4 session “hands-on” cooking and nutrition course for seniors. It’s designed for older people who want to learn to cook, find themselves cooking for someone else or who want to rekindle interest in cooking.
Seniors living alone tend to be less motivated to cook. A recent study by Massey University which looked at older people found almost a quarter of participants were malnourished and another 35 per cent were considered at high risk.
The Office for Seniors, provided funding from the Community Connects Fund to develop the JUST COOK 4 Healthy Ageing programme. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation is currently piloting the course with the Selwyn Foundation from a number of Auckland locations.
Chief Executive of the Nutrition Foundation Sarah Hanrahan says, "there are a large number of people who are struggling to put healthy food on the table day after day. These classes give seniors a bit of inspiration and confidence to cook nourishing meals. The prgramme supports older New Zealanders to live healthy lifestyles and eat well on a budget."
Find out more at: Age Well Eat Well
Get Moving Nelson - Nelson City Council/Te Kaunihera ō Whakatū
Nelson City Council has spent many years building a wonderful walk/cycle network to promote active transport.
To ensure older residents can enjoy and benefit from this investment, Nelson City has been working with neighbouring Tasman District Council to build the confidence of older riders. The region’s Get Moving project provides skills and maintenance classes and then follows up with social riding opportunities to get older residents out and about on their bikes; making friends and cycling buddies.
CarFit - Wellington City Council
CarFit is a free community education service that helps older drivers make the best use of their vehicle so that they can continue to drive safely and retain independent mobility for as long as possible.
Trained volunteer technicians and health professionals work with each driver to make sure they ‘fit’ their vehicle properly. Cars are set up so that drivers are in the best position physically, have the greatest range of vision, and can access all controls.
Celebrating older people with Seniors Week - Wellington City Council
Wellington City Council’s week-long events programme is a way to celebrate its older residents. Timed to coincide with 1 October – International Day of Older Persons – the Council hosted a range of activities around the city for older people.
Tours, events, and exhibitions are all designed for older residents to get out and about, get active, and get engaged.
Recording caravan for the Great War Exhibition - Wellington City Council
A recording booth housed in a yellow retro caravan captured family war-time stories. Set up in conjunction with the Great War Exhibition, stories were shared from descendants of soldiers who fought in WWI and WWII, the Māori contingent of the Pioneer Battalion, and the 28th Māori Battalion.
The #wellynext door recording caravan is regularly used to capture and share the stories of everyday Wellingtonians.
Find out more at: Welly Next Door
Beach access and coastal views for everyone - Tauranga City Council
Time at the beach is now possible for people in Tauranga who can’t get onto, or move across, the sand. A portable rollout mat creates a sturdy and visible path on the sand, allowing people who use wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters or strollers to have beach access. Initiated by the Council’s Community Development team, fundraising by local businesses and Council has made the project possible.
People with mobility challenges can now also enjoy the sea views by using a wheelchair-friendly picnic table, and mobility parking. Initiated by a disabled person in the community, the table is a collaboration between Council, the disabled community, and the private sector.
Hamilton City Libraries, Adult Learners week – Digital Roadshow -Hamilton City Council
Learning about the benefits, and kinds, of different e-readers was fun for residents of five rest homes in Hamilton. Providing a safe and non-threatening environment made it easier for those who usually shy away from technology. Participants explored e-reading options and learnt about Hamilton City Libraries eCollections, databases, and housebound service.
The roadshow is now an annual event. The Lifelong Learning Librarian and volunteer technology experts run the event, which is supported by PB Technologies who lent a tablet, eReader, iPad, smartphone and a laptop.
For those wanting to use the latest technology but not sure where to start, the SeniorNet programme is run throughout New Zealand at very little (if any) cost to participants.
SeniorNet is a community training network that supports and motivates people aged 50-plus to enjoy and use technology in their everyday lives.
Classes cover everything from simple word-processing to sending emails and searching the internet.
People gain the skills and confidence needed to get the most out of information technology.
More information can be found at www.seniornet.co.nz