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1st October is International Day of Older Persons, when we celebrate all the amazing older women and men in our community and those who help them thrive. International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the value of older people in our communities and to promote dignity and respect. It’s a time for us all, including families and organisations to acknowledge and say thank you for the huge contribution older people make to our communities.

Jennie Rissetto, one of our wonderful Case Managers, captured this little piece of magic. On the guitar is Lorraine Vercoe, and singing “Pearly Shells” as made famous by Connie Francis, is our Homecare Worker Kayla Fletcher.

This video is a wonderful way to highlight how talented our clients are but also the strong bonds and relationships they hold with their homecare and support workers. It shows the immense amount of trust and respect Kayla and Lorraine have with each other and is a heart warming example of the relationships our carers hold out in the community with older women and men.

Rob Gill, Lifewise’s Health and Disability Service Manager says, “This video shows us why our home and community support workers must not be described as people who provide household management and personal cares services. It’s clear from this video that our Homecare Workers are providing deeply meaningful support to a valued member of the Lifewise whānau. This demonstrates how the work being done is way less important that the role being performed.”

Click here to find out more about our Homecare and Health & Disability Service.

Digital Equity for All Ages

The 2021 theme for International Day of Older Persons is “Digital Equity for All Ages”, affirming the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older women and men.

Over the past week, some of our Homecare Worker clients have been contacted to talk about the theme of digital equity for themselves and find out a bit about them and their relationship with Lifewise services. Here are some of their stories:

Carol is quite familiar with the work of Lifewise as she too used to be a Homecare Worker for 17 years. Now Carol has retired and needs a little help, she uses the support workers herself to help with her grocery shopping and look after her home, but that’s not all. It’s the relationships that matter. Carol says, “The workers are really important in the community. They build relationships and you get used to your support worker. Rose helps me and it is nice to see her every Wednesday. I look forward to catching up with her.” Carol is not too familiar with the Internet, but she has been using FaceTime and calls her family every night which has helped during the lockdown.

Osvant doesn’t feel the need to learn anything more digitally; he can WhatsApp his family and his daughters overseas and he is happy with that. Osvant welcomes his support workers commenting that they are “very good at supporting him, and really nice and helpful.” 

Moana, who likes to be known as Bobby, is 70 years old. During COVID-19 she has been living with her granddaughter whose school is close by while her daughter goes to work. Bobby has not left the house since this latest outbreak as she’s worried about COVID. She is not very familiar with technology but has been taught how to use Zoom and would like to learn how to shop online. Bobby is looking forward to Level 2 when a support worker will be able to start helping her with her grocery shopping again. She’s thankful for how kind her support workers are.

Digital access is vital for all communities, especially during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Digital access is especially important for our clients whose support workers cannot visit them during the lockdowns. This is because it is not just the household and personal work that they provide but the relationship and connections that bring laughter, engagement and support into someone’s day.