Kia ora and welcome to this edition of The Old Times. I hope you are well, warm and dry after the soaking we've had these past couple of days!

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, our end of year function is fast approaching and we'd love for you to join us at the Celebrating Age Centre on Friday 4th December 2020 from 10am - midday. Our annual quiz will be played, as well as live entertainment from Christope of Cafe Cruize. If you would like to come along, please rsvp to or ring 07 838 2266 to confirm your attendance and any dietary requirements you might have. There is no charge as this is our thank you to you.

Best wishes

Lucy Willard
Leader Volunteer Services


A wide range of activities take place weekly and monthly at the Celebrating Age Centre, see below and contact us on 07 838 2266 for more details:
9.30-10.15: Zumba Gold
10.00-11.30: Greypower Seminar (no charge)
10.30 -11.30: Chinwag Cafe (no charge)

9.30-10.30: Sit and Be Fit

10.00-11.00: Upright and Active
1.00-3.00: U3A French

9.30-11.00: Age Concern Connection Central

Nov 27 - Operating the Managed and Isolation Quarantine facilities in Hamilton

Dec 4 - End of year Function for Age Concern Members and Volunteers - 10am - midday (no charge)

Feb 12 - What 2021 Involves for us all?
Feb 19 - Betty Peck, Author and Poet
Feb 26 - Intergenerational Event

March 5 - The e-bike Revolution
(Most activities have a small cost component)
An Invitation to Sing
(no previous experience necessary)
We are a Community Music Therapy (CoMT) singing group and we love to get together, catch up with each other and sing!  All of these things makes us feel happy and connected in our community.  We next meet on Tuesday 1st December at 10.30am – 11.30am with a cuppa afterwards, at the Celebrating Age Centre, 30 Victoria Street Hamilton. There is a $5 entry fee for this session.

Shona How, who is a NZ trained and registered music therapist facilitates the session(s) with the support of a competent and talented musician, Maria Mo, as the piano accompanist.

CoMT is a model of music therapy facilitated by music therapists throughout various communities in New Zealand (and the world) and as Even Ruud, author and Norwegian Musicologist states “it is about building identities as a means to empower and install agency.  It is about humanizing communities and institutions and it is concerned with health promotion and mutual caring.” Do come along and see/sing for yourself!
Donation funds Age Concern exercise video

Since 2003, Age Concern NZ has set up over 230 Steady As You Go© groups, and over 4,400 people take part weekly in the classes across Aotearoa. However, during the COVID-19 restrictions, the classes had to be paused due to lockdowns, limits on events and the risks associated with social gatherings.

Now, thanks to an unexpected $10,000 donation from AA Insurance, Age Concern NZ will produce a video of one of its fitness classes, to be used to run ‘virtual’ Steady As You Go© sessions in case of more lockdowns. It can also be used by people based rurally, those who are away from their usual home, or by those wanting to exercise between face-to-face classes. 

The video will also be provided to volunteer peer leaders to learn the routines, so they can deliver them in smaller communities where Age Concern NZ has not yet started classes. Read more

Kiwis encouraged to 'Unite against loneliness' this Christmas

Loneliness is increasingly an issue being faced by many in New Zealand. Christmas is when most people are surrounded by loved ones, unfortunately for some they will spend this time alone. Our elderly are particularly vulnerable to loneliness with many already living on their own, the holidays can prove to be a tough time.

A newly launched campaign #UniteAgainstLoneliness is focusing on raising awareness around the issue of loneliness which has become more prevalent due to the global pandemic. The campaign is encouraging people to create and send a personalised Christmas card which will then be distributed to elderly members in the community. Mental health charity Voices of Hope have teamed up with Age Concern to deliver the campaign.

"The art of sending a card to someone at Christmas seems to have been lost over the years, we are encouraging people to revive the tradition of sending someone a nice card in the mail. This could be a family member, neighbour, someone you know of or mail it to us, and we can make sure it gets out to someone in need of a bit of cheer. Hopefully this will help someone feel a bit less lonely this Christmas." says Voices of Hope co-founder Genevieve Mora. Read more

Once a dancer, forever a dancer!

A video that purports to show a former ballet dancer with Alzheimer's gracefully moving to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is touching hearts around the world.

Since it was uploaded online on October 30 by Asociacion Musica para Despertar, a Spanish organisation that promotes music therapy, the clip been viewed more than 1.2 million times to date.

The dancer, Marta C Gonzalez, suffers from memory loss which makes her dance all the more poignant, as she remembers decades-old choreography thanks to the power of music.

Música para Despertar is a team of psychologists and music therapists who strive to show and extend the benefits of music in the ALZHEIMER and other dementias, as musical memory and emotions are among the last capacities to be lost. Their mission: to raise awareness, sensitize, train and expand MUSIC as a tool and LOVE as a path, for the management of behaviors (agitation, aggression, isolation ...) that accompany dementia. Music and Love to live with Alzheimer's. Watch here

The Harsh Reality Of Dementia In New Zealand

“The number of New Zealanders with dementia and the health care costs of the condition are both expected to triple in coming years as our population ages, effectively swamping the health system’s ability to cope.”

Alzheimers NZ has urged new Health Minister Andrew Little to act on Labour’s pre-election promise to ‘work with the (dementia) sector to implement the Dementia Action Plan’.

Labour said it would focus on prevention of dementia, support for whānau to navigate support services, building community acceptance, and strengthening capability in the sector.

“The harsh reality is that dementia affects nearly every New Zealand family at some point and in some way. The many tens of thousands of New Zealanders with dementia, their care partners and their families are desperate for Labour to keep its promise now it’s in a position to do so,” Ms Hall said. Read more

Your gut microbiome may be linked to dementia, Parkinson’s disease and MS

Within our body and on our skin, trillions of bacteria and viruses exist as part of complex ecosystems called microbiomes. Microbiomes play an important role in human health and disease – and even help us maintain a healthy metabolism and immune system. One of the most important microbiomes in our body is our gut microbiome. It helps us maintain overall wellbeing by helping us to absorb all the vitamins and minerals from the food we eat.

But when our gut microbiome’s balance becomes disrupted (from things like stress, illness, or poor diet), it can not only result in digestion and gut problems, but has even been linked to obesitydiabetes, and surprisingly, brain disorders. This shows us that it might be time to look outside the skull to understand the cause of some brain conditions.  Read more 

We'll be going cheque-free after 25 June 2021

What's happening?

Most of our customers now prefer the speed, safety and convenience of making and receiving payments digitally, and as a result we have seen a large decline in the use of cheques. That’s why we’ve decided to end the use of cheques as a method of payment after 25 June 2021.

We know some customers may be worried about adapting to the new ways to pay. Rest assured, we’ll be here to support you as we make these changes over the next few months. This means you'll have some time to get used to other quicker and more secure ways to pay.

What's changing?

  • 16 November 2020 - Foreign cheques under $500 no longer accepted.
  • 27 November 2020 - Last day cheque books will be automatically issued. And last day to open new cheque facilities.
  • 26 March 2021 - Last day you'll be able to manually order cheque books or bank cheques.
  • 25 June 2021 - Last day Westpac will accept cheques, and Westpac cheques no longer accepted at other banks.
If you need help, please call 0800 288 101 


RECIPE:  Christmas Cake
This Christmas cake is quick and easy to make and tastes great! - Recipe
Read the latest issues of Senior Watch for articles on topics including:

Aged care worker deported after stealing and using stroke patient's credit card - read more

Sexuality and aged care: Research reveals 'unspoken' blurred boundaries of consent - read more

Retirement incomes review finds problems more super won’t solve
 - read more

Contact Age Concern Hamilton

Phone: 07 838 226