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Holistic care vital for elder-centred community

Kandahar Home chaplain, Reverend Merv Jones.


Enliven’s Kandahar Home is highlighting the importance of holistic care when it comes to supporting the region’s elders.

Kandahar Home and Kandahar Court manager Peter Newman says the strong, positive links between the emotional wellbeing and physical health of older people are now well-established, although physical health is still often the focus of care.

“Clinical or medical care is clearly a very important part of providing high-quality care, and we work hard to provide that to all residents. But true wellbeing is about going above and beyond the medical side of things.”

Peter says staff at the Masterton rest home, and other Enliven homes across the lower North Island, are trained to consider elders’ spiritual and emotional wellbeing as part of their overall care plan.

“One way we support residents to look after their wellbeing is by valuing what spirituality means to them, whether that involves spending time in nature or with friends and family, maintaining cultural practices or enjoying a favourite pastime.”

For residents who are religious or possess a more traditional approach to spirituality, Kandahar’s chaplain, Reverend Merv Jones, is on hand to offer a friendly ear. He says many residents turn to him not simply for religious advice, but for help to reflect on their lives and the things which give it meaning.

“Here at Kandahar, the most important part of my role is to be someone the residents and staff can trust and with whom they can feel comfortable discussing anything.”

“Many of the people who speak with me tell me straight away that they aren’t religious, but that doesn’t matter. If I can help them feel happy, safe, and connected to themselves, then that’s what counts. It’s really validating when a resident shares aspects of his or her life with me.”

The home’s emphasis on elders’ holistic wellbeing aligns with Enliven’s unique philosophy, which is based on the internationally-recognised Eden Alternative care model.

The Enliven philosophy encourages elders to maintain their independence, stay connected to who they are and the people they love and continue enjoying the activities and hobbies which are meaningful to them.

To learn more about Enliven’s holistic approach to wellbeing, visit www.enlivencentral.org.nz. To find out more about rest home or hospital care at Kandahar Home on Roberts Road in Masterton call the friendly team on 06 370 0447.