Kerikeri Village

COVID-19 Update: the Village is operating under modified Public Health Alert Level Three conditions. Please click here to read about visiting and our other Level Three protocols. 

Thoughts from our CEO

Family of 400 pulls out all stops to help deal to lock-down blues  

So how is/was your lock-down? We’ll all have different takes on the good, the bad and the ugly but for us here at Kerikeri Retirement Village it’s been a bit of a revelation.

You know that old saying ‘tough times bring out the best in us’? That’s certainly held true for us here. 

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Pressure on Care beds has passed critical, now reaching terminal

This month we reached a wretched milestone at Kerikeri Retirement Village. The waiting list for a bed in our 66-person Care facility has now reached an all-time high of 122.

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Companion animals and the elderly: a marvelous match

One of the many interesting findings arising from the COVID-19 lockdown experience in our little community here at Kerikeri Retirement Village was how companion animals made the experience so much more bearable for those with them.

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Health reforms must comprise ongoing and wider engagement

It’s no secret that the primary healthcare infrastructure in the Mid and Far North is in a parlous state. Overworked GPs are not taking on new patients, despite unprecedented levels of population growth across the region, while people needing more than basic attention face long drives to Kawakawa or Whangarei.

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Dementia - urgent government action needed more than ever

Back in August 2019 I wrote about how we in New Zealand needed to re-think the way we treat people with dementia. I spoke about the systems I had seen in Europe where people are enabled to ‘live with’ dementia rather than ‘suffer from it’.

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Mulling career choices? Considering a change? Read this!

Arguably one of the better outcomes from the global COVID-19 pandemic is that it has thrown a spotlight on the importance of the work done by carers and other healthcare workers – both in the community and in our public and private healthcare system.

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Retirement village contracts; be clear about what you pay for

Consumer NZ called recently for changes to be made to retirement village contracts. It reviewed the contracts offered by six major retirement village operators and concluded that some of the terms were unfair or unreasonable.

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Advance care planning will speak for you when you can’t

Kerikeri Retirement Village has a Care Facility and, from time to time, we find ourselves faced with a situation where a seriously ill resident decides that he or she doesn’t wish to be moved to hospital for advanced care or treatment that we can’t provide here.

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Spare a thought for the elderly; help fight loneliness this Christmas

Elderly folk are often heard to say that they feel invisible. This phenomenon is magnified several times at Christmas when loneliness can be a crippling burden for many. As you prepare to spend time with your family this Christmas, please spare a thought for those who will have to spend this time on their own.

 

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Funding shortfall for aged-care nursing will hurt older New Zealanders

Not long ago our clinical manager came to me with an all-too-familiar story. One of our registered nurses wouldn’t be returning from maternity leave.  She loved her job, the place where she worked and the people she worked with but she could earn $10,000 a year more by working in a public hospital and she needed the money.

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Kerikeri Retirement Village says response to lock-down was heroic

This is the last of these columns for a while. I thought I’d use it to reflect on what my team and I have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firstly, we knew that the people who call this place home were tough but now we know how tough. Being completely physically-divorced from the outside world, they have endured some of the toughest lock-down anywhere in the country

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Cheer, community support and team spirit; coping with lockdown

Life goes on here at Kerikeri Retirement Village, but not as usual. We’re doing our best to maintain a semblance of normality but, despite this, many of our residents don’t understand at all what’s going on.

For family members on the ‘outside’, there’s the ache of not being able to visit. Many were coming to stand outside windows to talk to their loved ones but now, with full lockdown, this is no longer possible. 

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National level coping strategy needed for aged-care sector

Aged care operators are pressing the Ministry of Health for a co-ordinated, national-level plan on how it will enable the aged-care sector to deal effectively with a national outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.

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Retirement apartments selling well; Village doubles down on Care pledge

I’m delighted to be able to report that we’re seeing really strong interest in the 30 new one and two-bedroom apartments we’re building on Kerikeri Road. Construction is coming along in leaps and bounds and we’ve now sold ‘off plan’ the Occupational Rights Agreements (ORAs) for 12 of them

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103 glorious years for Kerikeri Retirement Village’s Nell Graveson

1917 is the name of a movie everyone seems to be talking about this month, set in the trenches of the First World War. It also happens to be the birth year of our most senior Village resident, Nell Graveson. This month she reached the ripe old age of 103. The first powered flight had taken place just 14 years previously. The Titanic had sunk just five years before. Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather was King. And Pavlova had not yet been created!

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Councils must heed warning about critical shortage of care beds

Spare a thought this Christmas for the hundreds of elderly in our district who desperately need access to long-term, bed-based care but who simply can’t access it.

Two months ago I wrote about the dangerous shortage of care beds for elderly across our region. I suggested that the Ministry of Health should look at some ‘outside the box’ solutions to address this.

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Village chaplain Jan Gough takes final bow after nearly 30 years of care

We’re sad to see the departure from Kerikeri Retirement Village this month of our chaplain and long-time friend Jan Gough. When we say “long-time” we really mean it; Jan has been our chaplain for the past twenty years but also worked here as a diversional therapist for 17 years from October 1991. All in all, that’s 28 years of dedication wrapped up in one magnificent lady.

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“You build it, we’ll run it”: care bed shortage merits fresh thinking

There is a dangerous and entirely inappropriate shortage of care beds for elderly across our region.

We have 66 beds in our Care unit at Kerikeri Retirement Village. These are occupied by 21 people in the ‘rest home’ wing, 30 in hospital care and 15 in dementia care.

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Retirement Village CEO calls for a new approach to dementia care

Are we doing right by our seniors when it comes to dementia care? Institutionalisation is the norm when it comes to caring for people with dementia. It’s a fancy word but the reality isn’t fancy at all. Basically, it means ‘locking them up.’

Earlier this year I visited the Netherlands as part of a study tour into the way dementia is dealt with elsewhere. I was stunned.

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Local communities ‘make magic happen’ in Mid-North aged care

When I speak about Kerikeri Retirement Village it’s frequently from the perspective of our residents and the people we look after in our Care Facility. We don’t speak enough about the people who actually make the magic happen - our amazing staff.

 

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Tech update boosts Village care

When families select rest homes or aged-care providers for their loved ones, one of their biggest concerns is whether that person will be treated as an individual or just a number.

Kerikeri Retirement Village is a community organisation. It’s a non-profitable charitable company run by our local community for our local community. As a result most of the people we look after have been members of our community for donkeys years and would never become ‘just a number’.

 

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Village turning to new model of care for dementia patients

Dementia care is challenging yet hugely rewarding work. It’s a significant part of aged care but there is a chronic shortage of dementia care facilities in Northland. Astoundingly, Kerikeri Retirement Village is one of the main providers of dementia care in the Mid North.

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Village launches bequests appeal to help fund more care beds

Bequests - the process of leaving money in your will to an organisation or cause. Such a loaded topic because it combines ‘death’ with ‘asking for money’. That said, bequests are vital for community-based organisations like Kerikeri Retirement Village, that are charitable in purpose.

 

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Village’s Sustainability Award for work to change ‘the little things’

We’ve kicked off an annual ‘Sustainabilty Award’ for our staff, where they get to submit ideas about how we at the Village can enhance the environmental impact of what we do here on a daily basis. An entry is selected each year for trial in a real-life setting and, if it proves workable, it earns its submitter the $100 Sustainability Award.

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Warm welcome for Village’s new Clinical Manager

We at Kerikeri Retirement Village have been remiss in not yet welcoming publicly our new clinical manager, Kathy Renner. She is responsible for delivery of all the clinical care we provide to the 66 people in our rest home, total care and dementia care units.

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Demand proving strong for new Kerikeri apartments

Construction started last month on our new retirement living apartments at Kerikeri Retirement Village. Reservations for the new units are already starting to come in. Enquiries and interest levels are high, particularly from people in the Mid North and surrounding areas.  We will start issuing Occupational Rights Agreements from April this year.

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Kerikeri Retirement Village extends call for volunteer companions

When Kerikeri High School’s IT Ninjas team arrive at Kerikeri Retirement Village to help residents fix their computer problems, they bring more than their know-how. They bring their sparkle and their company. And they contribute to the bond that exists between the Village and the wider Kerikeri community.

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Spare a thought for the elderly; help fight loneliness this Christmas

Elderly folk are often heard to say that they feel invisible. This phenomenon is magnified several times over Christmas when loneliness can be a crippling burden for many. As you prepare to spend time with your family this Christmas, please spare a thought for those who will have to spend this time on their own.

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Skills shortage threatens aged care at precisely the wrong moment.

Recent media coverage about staffing shortages threatening the operation and viability of one of our district’s much-loved and respected aged care providers, Kaitaia’s Claude Switzer Home, was right on the mark.

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Village Chairman: Long-term planning needed for Kerikeri 2040

We Kiwis are not well known for long-term planning. Perhaps this is a function of our thee-year parliamentary cycle. Possibly it’s to do with our adaptable, Number Eight Wire ‘fix it on the run’ approach to life. Or maybe it stems from our seemingly inherent belief that we’re a small isolated land, fated to remain that way forever.

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Rocketing demand prompts Village to outline plans for growth

Kerikeri Retirement Village has unveiled plans to buy as many as 42 neighbouring properties to build retirement accommodation for the growing number of elderly in the area. It wants to build 200 more independent living units for up to approximately 250 retirees and expand the number of beds in its care facility from 66 to 100.

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Silver tsunami offers the Far North a golden opportunity

Globally, demand for aged care and retirement accommodation is sky-rocketing. Our own District Council’s demographic statistics say there will be a 52 percent growth in over-65s living in the Far North in the next 10 years, with a quadrupling of those over 85 in the next 20 years.

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Kerikeri seniors leading the way in local electric vehicle adoption

Back in January we unveiled plans to create Kerikeri’s first fleet of electric vehicles (EVs). Now, in what we believe is a first for the aged care sector in New Zealand, these plans have come to fruition. I’m delighted to let you know that KEVNS, or the Kerikeri Electric Vehicle Network for Seniors, is a happening thing.

Earlier this month our residents completed training on how to book and use the vehicles; three Nissan Leafs. These will be known, perhaps inevitably, as our ‘Kevins’.

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Our Village facilities are available to the community

We are always keen to encourage community involvement in life at Kerikeri Retirement Village and one of the ways we do this is to make some of our facilities available to the communit, such as our Chapel, Social Centre and Meeting Rooms

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Rave reviews for ‘Crumbs!’ set the stage for more movie making

We knew it was good; we just weren’t prepared for the degree of merriment and mirth caused by our video about a sneaky cake-napper stealing food from our kitchen at Kerikeri Retirement Village.

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Advance Care Planning will speak for you when you can’t

I lost my father recently and it brought home to me the vital importance of putting arrangements in place that will ease the bereavement process for friends and loved ones. My father hadn’t, and it made his final days and his eventual passing so much tougher than it should have been.

 

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Local carers & health professionals help to keep our elderly mobile

After surviving a stroke last year, Bev Douglas was told that she would never walk again. But after a little TLC in our hospital wing, some personal physiotherapy, unstinting encouragement from husband Bob and sheer determination on her own part, Bev is now mobile again.

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Dedicated locals still set the agenda for Kerikeri Retirement Village

Ever wondered who owns Kerikeri Retirement Village, how it’s run and how decisions are made? Many people aren’t aware of the close ties that have existed for decades between the Village and the Kerikeri community.

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Kerikeri Retirement Village extends call for volunteer companions

When Kerikeri High School’s IT Ninjas team arrive at Kerikeri Retirement Village to help residents fix their computer problems, they bring more than their know-how. They bring their sparkle and their company. And they contribute to the bond that exists between the Village and the wider Kerikeri community.

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Augmented Intelligence now a reality in aged care

Augmented Intelligence (AI) is enhancing the lives of the elderly through technology and enabling them to maintain their independence for longer.

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A busy August

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the almost spring-like days we’ve had through the month. Leanna and the gardening team have been flat out getting ready for the new season.

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Keeping in touch

As some of you may recall, we thought it might be a good idea if I sent a short missive round to everyone in the Village on a monthly basis as a way of staying connected and keeping everyone up to date. So here we go with number one.

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Stopping the round of ‘musical beds’ in aged care

Anyone who’s moved a loved one from independent living into a rest home, and then into total care, will understand the trauma of shifting that person’s life from place to place.

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Official audits open rest homes to scrutiny

There was some quiet celebration at Kerikeri Retirement Village earlier this month. Our Ministry of Health Rest Home Certification has been extended for a further four years following an outstanding audit with no corrective actions required.

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Retirement trends drive change

Here’s a startling fact. Far North District Council demographic statistics tell us that within 20 years the number of people living in Kerikeri aged 80-plus will have quadrupled.

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