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Presbyterian Support Southland receives Age friendly Fund grant

Enhancing Māori traditions and wellbeing in aged care residents is the aim of the Poi Rere project, thanks to an Age friendly Fund grant.

Presbyterian Support Southland (PSS) is one of 13 organisations to receive the Age friendly Fund grant from the Office for Seniors. The fund offers up to $15,000 for projects that promote the inclusion of older people and help cities and communities prepare for their ageing populations.

The Poi Rere project will involve residents in four care homes and the Iona dementia care unit, their whānau, staff and the wider community coming together to learn about the whakapapa (history), tikanga (customs and traditional values) and the kawa (Maōri protocol and etiquette) of poi.

PSS Pou Tohutohu Ahurea Māori Cultural Advisor Michelle Ryland says they are very excited about the funding.

“There is a big benefit of the poi. It’s not just twirling it around, there’s genuine research. It’s an excellent tool for keeping stimulated, and physically helps residents with their wrist strength and balance.

“It’s also about the connection between hinengaroa (mind) and hauora tinana (body), and with their whānau. When they’re connected, that is huge and gives them a wider sense of wairua.”

“Many of our residents experience loneliness. When we bring the community, they get to know each other’s family, realise that ‘oh my granddaughter is at the same school as yours’, suddenly they feel more connected.”

Office for Seniors Director, Diane Turner says: “Bringing different generations together, ensures older people remain connected and not socially isolated and with the confidence to continue to actively participate in their community.

“With the right planning and support, we can create age-friendly environments where everyone, regardless of age, feels valued, connected and able to actively participate in the community.”

For more information on the projects, the recipients and the Age friendly Fund go to: Funding for age friendly communities | Te Tari Kaumātua (officeforseniors.govt.nz)


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