We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age
Cashmere Heights Home resident Marie Kingsford says after a lifetime of independence, coming to terms with moving into a rest home can be difficult at first, but life is what you make it.
Marie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was three years old, but she says the word ‘cannot’ was never in her vocabulary.
“I didn’t want my illness to hold me back in life and if I set my mind to doing something then I’d do it,” Marie explains.
“I was a person that had to try and do things for myself and having to move to a rest home made me feel like I wasn’t independent anymore. People take their independence for granted.”
But Marie moved to Enliven’s Cashmere Heights Home, a hospital level aged care facility in Johnsonville, just over a year ago and hasn’t looked back.
“I was living by myself and I had caregivers, but one day I fell backwards and broke my collar bone and that was the last straw for my daughter and my doctor,” says Marie.
“It was hard coming to terms with being here. I’m not even 65 yet so I thought it was just a dream and I would wake up at home.”
She says being able to bring her much loved cat Sylvester to live with her is what made Cashmere Heights feel like home.
“When I found out I could bring my cat with me I was very happy. He’s happy here and so I am too.”
That’s because Cashmere Heights Home embraces the Eden Alternative, an elder-directed model of care that encourages contact with animals, plants, children, participating in meaningful activity and being independent.
“I’ve learned to ask for help rather than trying to do everything for myself, but while they help me they also allow me to be independent, which is important to me.”
One year on, Marie says Cashmere Heights is her home.
“This place is home now and my room is my own space. I look after the home’s vegetable patch and I’ve taken it over. I feel satisfaction from having my own project.”
Enliven’s Cashmere Heights Home, owned by the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, provides hospital-level care. The organisation offers a full range of positive ageing services throughout the lower North Island. This includes boutique retirement villages, vibrant rest homes and hospitals, in-home support, day activity programmes as well as respite and convalescent care.