Expo highlights services available to seniors | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
Marlborough Mayor John Leggett cuddles up at the Seniors Expo with Crystal, Pearl, Ruby and Jasper (Toy Poodles – Canine Therapy)
An expo highlighting the variety of health and well-being support available to older people in the community drew more than 40 exhibitors at the Marlborough Convention Centre on Tuesday.
The Seniors Expo has been running biennially for many years, and is hosted by the Marlborough District Council. It was attended by close to 500 senior citizens.
“For council, older people are really important. We’ve got a very high older population in Marlborough, so it’s a really big chunk of our community, and we need to ensure they’re getting their needs met,” said council’s community partnerships advisor Jodie Griffiths.
Griffiths said council were currently reviewing the positive ageing strategy for Marlborough, and would be putting surveys out shortly in focus groups.
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The surveys would be asking questions such as ‘what works well for you in Marlborough as an older person?’, or ‘what could be improved or would make your life better?’.
“Then we’ll develop a 10-year strategic plan that we’ll work off,” said Griffiths.
She said the expo not only provided an opportunity to gather information about services offered to the elderly, but was also a social occasion for the senior members of the community to meet others.
A total of seven demonstrations occurred during the course of the expo, ranging from exercise classes to a demonstration by first-time exhibitors Canine Therapy.
Canine Therapy has trained dogs available for visits to rest homes, and to offer comfort and warmth to the elderly when they feel poorly. Numerous visitors took the opportunity to stop for a little cuddle with them as they made their way around the tables.
A reduced number of health checks were available at this year’s expo due to the impacts of Covid-19, with a number of health professionals being otherwise committed.
Every attendant received an information bag, which included two publications produced by the council for the event, ‘Positive Ageing’ and ‘Get Connected’.
“It’s a brilliant resource,” said Griffiths. “We always make sure that it’s completely reviewed and updated, and we get great feedback on it.”
“It contains everything from what exists locally, to advice on housing, finances, keeping safe at home, and scams. All the government departments are listed, how to get in touch with IRD, how to use superannuation, etc.”
“It’s a bit of a handbook. It’s a transition for people when they retire and they step into a different world, or they need to downsize, and they don’t know where to get support,” said Griffiths.
She added that for those who missed the expo, the books are available year round from the council, and can also be found at libraries and many of the organisations that support the elderly.