Such happy times!

Kia ora and welcome to this edition of The Old Times. On Sunday, it will be a year since my darling Mum passed away. This photo is a reminder of the beautiful, wonderful, fun and generous soul that she was. I'm not sure where this past year has gone, however, I do know that I miss her every day; she was my best friend and my role model, and I'm so grateful and proud to have been able to call her Mum!

On Waitangi Day, it will be the start of year 20 for my children and me since emigrating to Aotearoa. We truly feel like the most blessed people in the world and are humbled to call ourselves Kiwis. For those in doubt, yes we support the All Blacks and have our New Zealand citizenship; a privilege many people long for; thank you for embracing us.

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)

9.30-10.30: Sit and Be Fit

10.00 - 12.00pm - Craft and Conversation 
13.00 - 15.00 - Mindful Cafe 
(An opportunity for people with mental health conditions and/or disabilities to share their creative skills and socialise)

10.00-11.00: Upright and Active

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
March 12 - Life Without Cheques - Banking Update
March 19 - Job Talk - Life of a Train Driver
March 26 - Hamilton City Council - Long Term Plan

(Most activities have a small cost component)
Older Kiwis turn to house-sharing for company and support 

All Eileen Bell wanted was to remain in her Whakatāne home of 22 years, but at 98 she was slowing down.

Her short-term memory isn’t what it once was, and her children were growing concerned about her twice-weekly drives to the local RSA where she caught up with friends.

Bell didn’t need a carer; just someone to help a bit around the house.

At the same time Andrea Hall, 69, was looking for somewhere to live after returning to New Zealand from overseas.

Hall's Trade Me search in July last year found an advert for home-sharing with seniors, and turned two strangers into friends. Read more

NZ Exercise Industry Appeals For Older Kiwis To Get Fitter, Before The Covid Vaccine

New Zealand’s exercise industry is supporting the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine and protecting the people most vulnerable, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

He was commenting on the very latest Trinity College Dublin research which found adults aged 60 and older should exercise, such as a brisk walk, at least two to three times per week before being vaccinated.

Exercise is a preventative effort to battle many health conditions and in the case of covid, the latest research shows it has benefits there too. So, it is clear medical experts, as in the Irish research report from Dublin, are supporting the message to increase cardiovascular activity prior to vaccination, Beddie says.  Read more

First Covid-19 vaccine approved for NZ: How did we get here and what comes next?

The medicines safety authority has approved the first Covid-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand.

On Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been given provisional approval, a green light for the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out to begin.

What does this mean and what happens next?

The journey from identifying the need for a vaccine to getting a licensed product is a massive undertaking – one that typically takes years, if not decades, and costs billions of dollars.

But the rulebook was rewritten in the face of the pandemic, with vaccine candidates bounding through steps in a matter of months.

New Zealand has pre-purchase agreements for four Covid-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Novavax.  Read more 

Judi Dench: 'In my mind's eye I'm six foot and willowy and about 39'

At 86 and in lockdown, the actor finds herself in the rare position of not working. Instead, she talks about theatrical ghosts, her friendship with Harvey Weinstein and definitely not being a national treasure

It’s all go for Judi Dench, stuck at her house in deepest Surrey. What a freewheeling week; she is beside herself with excitement. Yesterday, she explains, she received her Covid vaccine. This required a trip to the village and was the first time she had left home since she can’t remember when. Then today it’s a phone interview, the thing she is doing right now. Her cup runneth over. Her world has turned Technicolor. “I’m not even joking,” she says with a sigh. “It’s nice to actually have something to do.”

Lockdown, I fear, is not the life Dench was born to. She used to practically eat and drink on the stage, but the theatres have closed, who knows for how long. She used to bounce from one film set to the next, but now production is mothballed and the industry has gone to ground. All of which means that she is confined to the house, an 86-year-old actor shoved into what she hopes is a partial and temporary retirement. She gets up each morning determined to keep herself busy. She crawls back to bed with most of the tasks left undone. After a while, she admits, the time starts to drag. Read more 

Banks are phasing out cheques too soon for rural communities

2021 is the year that cheques go the way of the dinosaurs but banks have failed to work with those people most likely to be affected by the change, says Massey University banking Professor David Tripe.

Older people without access to the internet and rural people that live in areas where there is either no access to the internet or where service is unreliable, were the most badly affected, he said.

“The work hasn’t been done to prepare those portions of the community that are going to be significantly affected.

“If you went to a retirement village and asked them, a good proportion [of residents] would have no idea what they are going to do about it,” he said.  Read more

Reverse mortgage approvals increase 20 per cent as retirees seek cash

Retirees are increasingly taking out reverse mortgages on their homes to free up cash and top up superannuation payments, providers say.

Heartland Bank – the primary provider of the financial product in New Zealand – has reported a 20 per cent increase in mortgage approvals during the six months to December 31 compared to the same period in 2019.

Reverse mortgages allow owners to borrow against their home without the requirement to make repayments until the house is sold.

Interest rates on reverse mortgages are variable and the total sum continues to accrue interest, meaning the final repayment has the potential to be far larger than the amount originally borrowed. Read more

Spark implements new process for Vulnerable Consumers

About the 111 Contact Code

The Commerce Commission's 111 Contact Code was created to make sure that vulnerable consumers have reasonable access to an appropriate means of calling 111 emergency services in the event of a power outage.

The Code supports consumers who can no longer call 111 emergency services in a power outage because they have moved to new home phone technologies like a Fibre or Wireless Landline service. These technologies need a power supply in the home to work, meaning they will not work in a power cut, without an independent power source.

Under the Code, telecommunications service providers must tell new customers, and remind existing customers at least once a year, that their home phone may not work in a power cut. Providers must also tell their customers how they can protect themselves and where to go for further support.  Read more


RECIPE:  Fruit Smoothie

A great breakfast drink but can be served any time of the day - recipe
Read the latest issues of Senior Watch for articles on topics including:

WHO chief lambasts vaccine profits, demands elderly go first - Read more

Migrant community fight 'inhumane' plan to move NZ Super goalposts - Read more

Climate Commission report: What you need to know - Read more

Contact Age Concern Hamilton

Phone: 07 838 226