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Having fun key to healthy ageing

Elaine Cooper (left) celebrating the royal wedding last month with fellow attendee Lesley Goldworthy at Enliven’s Kapiti Day Programme in Paraparaumu.


Taking time to laugh with friends, go for walks and play games are the kinds of simple joys which make life worth living.

As we age, the health benefits which stem from such activities only grow more important, says Kapiti Day Programme manager Dorothy Todd.

“Although we often focus on physical health when we talk about elders, emotional wellbeing is every bit as important,” she says.

“Doing things which challenge you, stimulate you and connect you with the community isn’t just great for keeping your mind sharp, it also makes any other issues, health-related or otherwise, much easier to deal with.

“At the end of the day, healthy ageing is not just about who has the best eyesight – it’s also about how well you maintain your zest for life and how much you look forward to each day,” she says.

Friendship, fun and activities are in no short supply at Kapiti Day Programme, where attendees take part together in a varied calendar of tailored activities ranging from arts and crafts to themed parties.

For attendee Elaine Cooper, those activities form the highlight of her week.

“Although it was actually my daughter who initially pushed for me to come, I’m really glad she did. I’ve made so many friends here and all the activities, quizzes and things help really me keep my brain occupied,” says Elaine.

“We always have a lot of fun together and all the people, including the volunteers and staff, are so nice!”

Kapiti Day Programme’s emphasis on holistic wellbeing reflects its commitment to Enliven’s elder-centred philosophy, which stresses the importance of meaningful activity, fun and spontaneity in elders’ lives.

“We’re passionate about helping elders to keep thriving, keep doing the things they enjoy and just make the most of every day. Ultimately if they’re happy, we’re happy,” says Dorothy.

Enliven’s Kapiti Day Programme is located on 14 Tongariro St, Paraparaumu. To learn more, visit www.enlivencentral.org.nz or call 04 298 8060.