Elder Care Groups
One way we support parishes wanting to address the issue of social isolation experienced by older people is through setting up Elder Care Groups. These groups are based on a successful model already established in Auckland by the Selwyn Foundation.
The groups aim to address social isolation among older people and have a strong emphasis on all aspects of health and well-being including spiritual. They offer programmes (usually half day) of exercise, social and other activities focussed on well-being and friendship. The staff and volunteers are trained in the particular needs of older people and alert to the challenges faced by people in this post-earthquake environment. Their work is supported by health professionals who are available to the groups as required. Elder Care Groups operate as a partnership between the diocese of Christchurch and the parishes, and have ongoing support from the Selwyn Foundation.
There are currently six groups operating in parishes in the Christchurch area and we have focused on small groups – 12-18 guests – so that a high level of individual care can be offered.