Seasons greetings and a very happy New Year

Kia ora and welcome to the last Old Times for 2020; what a year it has been! Covid-19 turned our lives upside down, however, we as a team of five million, remained strong and committed to keeping Aotearoa and ourselves as safe as possible. Friends and family stepped in to help our vulnerable older people whilst our volunteers were stood down, and for this, we were very grateful.  Age Concern would not be able to deliver the services that we do without our precious volunteers; to all of you, we applaud and thank you. 

My wish for you, is that the year ahead will be filled with more long walks, sunsets, creativity, hugs, dreaming, road trips, good friends, time with family and most importantly, love. Take care over the holiday season and I will look forward to being in touch when Age Concern re-opens on Monday 11th January 2021.

Warmest regards

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 - 12.00pm - Craft and Conversation (beginning 19th Jan 2021) - An opportunity for people with mental health conditions and/or disabilities to share their creative skills

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

9.30-11.00: Age Concern Connection Central

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)
Covid: Students and retirees form long-distance friendships

Millie Jacoby met her new "French grandma" for the first time last week via video call.

The 21-year-old British student signed up to a scheme pairing language students with elderly French people, some of whom have been left isolated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I thought it would be a great way to improve my language skills and get to know somebody who was possibly lonely," Millie said.

"My French grandma, as we call them, is in a retirement home and might not be having too much social interaction because of the pandemic so I thought it was the perfect time to do something like this."

Despite the 70-year age gap between the Warwick University student and the senior citizen living near Paris, they instantly hit it off.

"She was just so lovely from the first few sentences," Millie told the BBC.

"We talked about travelling. We spoke about the times I've been to France and what I thought of it. We spoke about the differences between what her life was like as a young person compared to mine."  Read more

Christmas bus tours, complete with tinsel and carols, combating seniors' loneliness during festive season

It has tinsel, four wheels, and is proving wildly popular among retirees.

Meant to get older people out and about at what can be sad time of years for some, the free Christmas Light Night Rider tours around Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua or Wellington stop off at properties with Christmas light displays.

Loot bags with lollies, biscuits, Christmas cake and other goodies are handed out by on-board Santas, and singers entertain passengers in while they are on the road.

Organiser Al O’Connor​ says the outtings, for people 65-years-old and over, have been so popular, he and his volunteers have had to add extra dates and add more buses.

“Some of the older people don’t get out too often. It’s not just about seeing the lights, but having company and getting to see their communities,” O’Connor says. Read more

Dogs bringing smiles to lonely elderly

Loneliness and isolation are known to have a profound impact on people's wellbeing, particularly for the elderly, and around the country, there are many home visiting services, but Age Concern Canterbury is offering something a bit different: visits from dogs. 

Lewis, six-year-old Shih Tzu,  was meant to be a show dog. He wasn't any good at being a show dog so his owner kept him stuck in a cage until he was given up at around age two, and then he was taken in as a rescue dog by Linda Cowan. Now Lewis has a new role as a visiting dog with Age Concern Canterbury.
The dog visiting service started in February this year as a trial and Lewis was the first dog to be matched up with a person wanting a visit. Now each week he spends half an hour with 88-year-old Margaret.

Lewis' owner Cowan said the two have a ritual. 

"Margaret sits in her La-Z-Boy, puts her sheepskin on her lap; Lewis jumps up and he gets patted for 30 minutes on a good day and he thinks all his Christmases have come at once," Cowan said. 

"Margaret talks to Lewis, its lovely actually. She absolutely loves him."  

Margaret's daughter Karen said her mother became profoundly deaf about six years ago and was unable to lip read, and had become very socially isolated. Read more

Ambulance at the top of the cliff: the tech making paramedics fast and smarter

Technology has the potential to save the lives of communities with health issues, as long as it isn’t to hard to use. Ben Fahy learns how St John is using the Internet of Things to respond faster and better to emergencies.

In March this year, the day before Aotearoa first went into Covid-19 lockdown, St John New Zealand deputy chief executive Pete Loveridge was regaling an audience with tales of his organisation’s experience with the Internet of Things (IoT). After recounting an entertaining story about the time his smart toothbrush told him he had poor brushing technique – an example of the ‘Internet of Pointless Things’, in his words – he played a video featuring a man named Terry, this time illustrating what Loveridge calls the ‘Internet of People’s Things’.

Tears welled in Terry’s eyes as he talked about the time he fell over in his kitchen and was unable to reach the phone to call anyone for help. According to Loveridge, 93% of elderly people don’t want to move out of their own homes. Terry was among that number, but after that accident, he wasn’t sure he could remain there. He needed to feel safe, and his loved ones needed to know he could get help if he needed it. A St John medical alarm was the thing that gave everyone the confidence required for him to stay – and the thing that gives the organisation’s team the opportunity to ask the question that matters most to them: are you OK?  Read more

Online car sellers warned about scammers on Facebook marketplace

The public have been warned to be aware of a common scam involving the purchase of vehicles on Facebook marketplace.

Police have received more than 50 reports over the last year from vehicle owners who have been scammed after listing vehicles on this online platform.

The reports have led to nine people being charged with dishonesty offences as police continue to investigate these complaints across Auckland.

In the scam, a person buys the vehicle after it has been listed on Facebook marketplace. The buyer pays by cheque, with the funds showing as “pending” in the seller’s bank account before the cheques are subsequently dishonoured or reversed due to insufficient funds three to six days later, when the vehicle is already in possession of the scammer. Read more


RECIPE:  Old Fashioned Lemondad

A chilled glass of homemade lemonade is bliss on a hot day. If you have loads of lemons to use up, this is the drink for you! Recipe

Read the latest issues of Senior Watch for articles on topics including:

Elderly living alone more likely to fall, be hospitalised - Read more

Police investigating death of elderly man after fall at Christchurch dementia unit - Read more

New Zealand to offer free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone from mid-2021 - Read more

Contact Age Concern Hamilton

Phone: 07 838 226