Karamea Community Public Forum

Well-Being for Elder Citizens Forum - Notes

Submitted by Rick Lucas on Fri, 05/02/2010 - 1:38pm

Feb 4, 201 2-4 pm Karamea Bowling Club 

Notes by Rick Lucas, K.C.D.C. 

Invited Speakers in Attendance:
Jenny Roumieu (Rural Nurse), Bryan Jamieson (WCDHB), Pam Milligan (Carelink), Rosie McGrath (CDHB,WCDHB)
( 20 in attendance, 5 apologies) 

Rick Lucas and Hamish Macbeth gave brief greeting and introduced the afternoon’s agenda items.
Jenny Roumieu, as meeting facilitator, introduced herself and the other guest speakers.
Pam Milligan explained how Carelink works and her availability to our senior citizens.
Bryan Jamieson explained his role with the DHB as communications person for communities.
Bryan also discussed the evening health forum agenda topics briefly.
Rosie McGrath discussed her investigations into older people’s health needs.
She presented data from a 300+survey of senior citizens on their health perspectives.
-Arthritis is an issue for 50% of elderly people
-Need for more exercise an issue
-Weight management an issue (not keeping weight on-sometimes a signal of illness)
-Heart illness is down - diabetes is up - only15% are smokers
-Nutrition is an issue – contributing factors being:
-not eating from healthy food groups
-cost of food
- cooking for 1
-Best practice for good health= more physical activity and better eating.
-Senior Chef – Recipes for Seniors diet recommended
-Some men lack proper cooking knowledge/skills. 

Physical activity and proper exercise:
- Jenny introduces Fabienne regarding Tai Chi classes.
-Present/previous community exercise class attendance waning-from 15 down to 1 or 2 participants
-It is mentioned that walking group participation has also dwindled away.
-Recommendation that Tai Chi could revive participation in all exercise regimes.
-Jenny suggests consultation to determine potential interest for Tai Chi classes
(refer to Cheryl Mawson’s comments at end of notes) 

-Rosie advises that there is no problem having multiple, competing exercise activities, 
the more the better.
-An indicator of poor fitness is not being able to walk 400 metres in 15 minutes -Rosie reiterates that physical activity is key to bodily health AND psychological well-being.
-Exercise reduces incidence of heart disease, strokes, overweight-ness, insomnia, blood pressure.
-Mention of the pool, including whether it could be covered to provide more use for exercise classes
-Rosie demonstrates Tai-Chi exercise to the group and explains that many communities offer it.
-A survey is recommended to gain information about enthusiasm for Tai Chi and other activities.


Current housing and housing needs. There was acknowledgement of the high quality of existing pensioner flats and the value to the community of that project. Questions raised about whether more housing was needed. Hands went up to say that they had asked to be considered for elderly housing but didn’t think that their desires were registered or recorded.

-Some attendees not clear on procedure for registering interest in future housing options.

-Many requested the ‘referral form’ and a follow-up.

-Is there a referral form and where is it obtained?

Two people asked about the motels on Bridge Street as a possible solution.

Others mention that this idea is always discussed but never goes anywhere.

Bryan Jamieson says that potential Government funding has dried up for the building of two more pensioner flats. He shares the DHB strategy that people live-in-their-homes and upgrading of people’s homes to suit their age needs. Staying at home is a healthy option, says Bryan Jamieson.

Discussion of benefits of elderly ‘share-flatting’, food sharing, car-pooling, cost-economics

Rosie strongly recommends bringing Torfrida Wainwright (DHB-Carelink) up from Greymouth to meet with key stakeholders in the community on this issue. Tor, says Rosie, has a wealth of knowledge on housing for the elderly.

Mention that older people are still leaving the community because there are no housing options.

Mention that Little Wanganui has been discussing building pensioner flats there.

(refer to Rosalie Sampson’s comments at end of notes)


Meals on Wheels was discussed. They are frozen and some people don’t have micro-waves.

Discussion about food costs in Karamea-generally agreed that costs were not so bad.

Rosie said she and Torfrida are in discussions about the merits of meals-on-wheels- due to the distance they are shipped and the amount of petrol used for the shipping process.

Independence and Social Interaction.

-Over 60’s social group explained by Nova Scarlett

-Good networking and communication in place.

-Also, a separate monthly luncheon event always scheduled.

-Rick asks if there is a network for the senior community.

-Rosie suggests a senior community news letter AND a welcome pack of

information/etc for incoming people to the community. She can assist with printing.

-No hearing or visual barriers from living in the community, according to attendees.

-Mention that there are no more hearing test given in the community

and that people must now travel to Westport.

Transportation and Mobility

-Much discussion about the expense of a trip to Westport

and the few options for getting there.

-A cheaper form of public transport very much desired by older community.

-Mention that caregivers can no longer provide taxi service for their clients.

-Can petrol vouchers be deployed to offset travel costs?

-Bryan Jamieson advises looking in the Karamea Profile for a DHB response to this item.

-Bryan also mentions Gold card/Community Card as possibly offsetting costs.

-One person said that it could not be applied in Karamea.

-Rosie mentions total mobility subsidies and said she would look into it.

-Need for less expensive alternative Transport Service was clearly voiced.

-A person reminds all that Older = Pride = Too reserved to ask for help

(refer to Dave Higgs’ comments and other information at end of notes)

End of the Waka Bus service.

-There use to be cheap-free health-medical services on the Waka Bus.

-People enjoyed the privacy of the Waka Bus and answers were more immediate.

-Bus has been mothballed due to service issues and cost.

One person mentioned that travel cost re-imbursements for health care-givers was low and that Karamea always seemed to be on the back-burner when it came to health care support.

Meeting ended at approximately 4:40 PM.

Everyone expressed thanks for the opportunity to speak, share thoughts and ask questions.

Follow-up discussions from the forum:

*Cheryl Mawson has advised that exercise course numbers have waned as of late due to illness.

She is working with our senior citizens to increase enthusiasm and participation.

*Rosalie Sampson has advised that the BDC long-term plan still contains plans for the development of 2 more pensioner flats in Karamea. As well, if anyone needs clarification

about registering interest in future flats they may contact Cheryl or Rosalie directly.

*David Higgs advises that the return fare from Westport is discounted for our senior citizens. Dave also suggests the possibility that, if our seniors could organise to all go to Westport on same day, some additional form of cost saving could be arranged. Contact Dave Higgs for details.

Action points from the forum are:

1) A meeting should be planned inviting Karamea Medic al Trust Association, Torfrida Wainwright (WCDHB-Carelink), Rosie McGrath (CDHB-WCDHB), the Buller District Council, the Karamea Community Development Coordinator, and other key community stake-holders to discuss and clarify needs and possibilities for elderly housing for the Karamea/Little Wanganui community.

2) A survey to clarify issues and processes surrounding

-accommodation needs

-exercise and social activities needs

-transport needs and options

Rick to pursue with Rosie and others

3) A newsletter be developed to keep senior citizens informed about items of interest.

(this could possibly be a question on the survey as well)

Rick to pursue

4) Development of a welcome pack for new residents of Karamea. Rick to pursue

5) Rick to follow-up with Rosie about Meals on Wheels discussions

6) Rick to follow up with Rosie about making ‘Senior Chef: Recipes for Seniors’ available

7) Rick to discuss travel and total mobility subsidies with Bryan Jamieson and Rosie McGrath

Findings to appear in Chronicle

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