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Local Groups & Clubs

Kaumata/seniors morning tea and community conversation

The Kaumata/Seniors Morning Tea and Community Conversation was held at the Crossroads Church on Wednesday morning, Wednesday, 6 March. The meeting was a collaboration between the Mercury Bay Medical Centre, Te Korowhai, and Whitianga Social Services. The aim of the meeting was to offer a gathering place to talk about ageing well and the support and resources available to seniors in the Mercury Bay community.
 |  Verna Carr  | 

Dan Asquith, Mel Asquith, and Lorraine MacAllister, all professionals from The Mercury Bay Medical Centre, realised that 30% of the Whitianga population was made up of older community members, some of whom struggle with daily life and feel unsupported and/or isolated.

A review panel was formed to discuss the dynamics of ageing well and what this entails.  The matters they considered were health and well-being, physical support, welfare, and social connections; what resources and support networks are available for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of elderly people? Where are these resources, and how do people access them? How do we create links across different organisations and service providers?

The open invitation to this morning tea held at Crossroads Community Church Centre meant a  packed auditorium, keen for connection and information. Following the karakia led by Raimata from Te Korowhai, were a range of thought-provoking speakers representing organisations and groups that assist the senior community. Mercury Bay Medical Centre and Te Korowhai spoke about health care and medical services. Whitianga Social Services talked about some of the resources available, such as transport to hospitals, disability aides, and community  projects funded by the social services Op Shop.

The other speakers provided awareness and information on a number of speciality topics;   St. John – the importance of having a personal alarm; Dementia Waikato – declining mental health in an ageing population, Disability Support resources; Mercury Bay Cancer Support Trust; How issues with hearing  impact mental health; Monday Meal services available from St Andrew’s By The Sea church; MenZ Shed Whitianga and its benefits for retired men –  socialising and working together.

The organisers realise the importance and consequences of having continuing support and resources for our seniors, so this event was not a one-off. The team will create other events. People in the community are welcome to fill out a questionnaire as to what their needs are and/or what they want to know or learn about with regard  to ageing well and thriving in the Whitianga community.