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Kilmarnock Heights Home becomes like family

Kilmarnock Heights Home becomes like family

Kilmarnock Heights Home kitchen hand Daniel Harris.
Kilmarnock Heights Home kitchen hand Daniel Harris.

For 18-year-old Daniel Harris, working as a kitchen hand at Enliven’s Kilmarnock Heights Home in Berhampore has taught him a thing or two about his elders.

After starting work at Kilmarnock Heights Home two years ago, Daniel says his perception of rest homes has completely changed. Kilmarnock Heights Home is a rest home with a difference, he says.

“At first I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it’s a relaxing place and there’s always something going on. Bowls, bingo and all sorts,” Daniel explains.

“The residents aren’t sitting around doing nothing all day – they’re keeping active and being social. It gives Kilmarnock Heights a real homely feel. It’s like a big family.”

Over the time he has worked there, Daniel says it feels like he’s adopted a few extra grandparents.

“We [the staff] all really get to know the residents, they’re real characters here and I think I bring a bit of youth to their lives – I tell jokes and love to make them laugh,” says Daniel.

“Working here makes you realise just how much of a difference five minutes of your time can make to their day. Even if they’re not feeling the best that day they still enjoy having a good yarn.”

When he isn’t working at Kilmarnock Heights Home, Daniel says he’s usually playing hockey.

“I’ve played hockey since I was three years old. I like hockey because it’s always fast and moving – I just love it.”

Next month Daniel will take up a once in a lifetime opportunity as he heads to Belgium to play for Braxgata Hockey Club for six months, as well as coach one of the junior teams.

Despite being about to embark on this exciting adventure, Daniel says he will always remember the residents of Kilmarnock Heights Home.

“I’ll be sad to leave but I’m glad I chose to work at Kilmarnock Heights Home; the residents have taught me so much,” says Daniel.

“One of them gave me a greenstone necklace for good luck and another resident here had it blessed for me, so I have that to remember them by. I’ll definitely miss the residents.”

Kilmarnock Heights Home is operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central. To find out more about rest home and respite care at Kilmarnock Heights Home, located at 20 Morton Street in Berhampore, call 04 380 2034 email kilmarnockheights@psc.org.nz or click here.

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