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A life with purpose at Kandahar

A life with purpose at Kandahar

Kandahar resident Keith Neal teaches fellow residents how to make paper mache.

The ‘recreation programme’ at Enliven’s Kandahar Home and Kandahar Court isn’t just about entertainment; it’s about providing meaning, purpose and igniting the spirit of residents.

That’s from Kandahar recreation team leader Diane McCuish, who says Kandahar Home and Kandahar Court’s recreation programme runs seven days, meaning there’s always something going on at the Masterton homes.

“It’s important for Elders to be supported and encouraged to continue with their hobbies and try new things. That’s why we offer activities every day, not just from Monday to Friday,” Diane explains.

She says the main role of Enliven recreation officers is to support residents to pursue their interests, maintain connections with their community, foster companionship, and take part in activities that are fun and meaningful.

“It isn’t about providing entertainment for the residents – every activity we do has purpose. The residents are involved in planning and deciding what we do, so it’s about variety, spontaneity, fun and meaningful activity, rather than having set structure and telling them what to do,” Diane explains.

“Now much of the time the residents take over the activities. Recently one of our residents, Keith Neal, who is a fantastic artist and has his own studio here, ran a paper maché making session for the residents and they absolutely loved it!”

Mike Keyworth, manager of Kandahar Home and Kandahar Court, says what makes the two homes so different lies within their shared model of care.

“We embrace the Eden Alternative, which is an elder-directed model of care,” Mike explains.

“The philosophy focuses on creating elder-centred communities and encourages variety, spontaneity, companionship, contact with children and animals, continuing hobbies and meaningful activity.”

Mike says the team at Kandahar recognises that people’s abilities may change as they get older, but instead of focusing on what they can’t do they focus on finding ways to support elders to continue doing the things they’ve always done.

“Our interests, hobbies and passions make us unique whatever our age, and the ability to be independent, to continue doing things for ourselves and doing the things we love, is so important to living a fulfilling life,” Mike explains.

“That’s why our recreation programme is so important. It helps to give life meaning and purpose.”

Kandahar Home and Kandahar Court are operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and provide a full spectrum of rest home support including, rest home, hospital, and dementia care. Both homes are also able to offer short-term respite and health recovery care.

For more information call 06 370 0447 or click here.

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