40 July 2021
LEARNING AT ALL AGES VOLUNTEERING CHANGES LIVES FOR BETTER BUILDING COMMITMENT TO RESIDENTS ‘THE TELLING TIME’ TELLS STORY LINKED TO KNOX CHARACTER
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All action stations I am writing this on the shortest day, winter solstice (or the start of Winter!) and eleven days from Matariki, the Māori New Year. We are looking with enthusiasm to the year ahead and the wonderful longer days.
Jill Woodward CEO
Getting our COVID-19 and Flu vaccinations To keep ourselves and our community safe, all residents and team members have been strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against the Influenza and COVID-19 viruses.
We have a great deal happening at Knox with continued development of our site. The commencement of the new Puka Home had been delayed due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Residents received their flu vaccines in early May and on June 3 a team of 12 vaccinators set up two clinics at Knox to deliver the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
We are also encouraged and enthusiastic about the wonderful collaboration happening with the wider community, meaning residents will again be active in the schools we support and in other community settings.
Within four hours, over 95% of residents and many staff and contractors had received their dose and life at Knox quickly returned to normal. The vaccination team returned to Knox on Tuesday June 29.
Please do not visit Knox at all if you have ANY flu or cold-like symptoms as we must be meticulously careful about ALL infections. When you are taking your family members on outings it is wise to keep track of where you have been by scanning the QR code.
Successful Certification and Accreditation Audit In early April we had an extremely successful Certification and Accreditation Audit visit. Thanks to those families and residents who so generously gave time to be interviewed by the auditors. And take a moment to read the ‘High praise for food at Knox’ article on this spread.
Next Residents’ Family Meeting The Residents’ Family meeting is to be held on Monday 9 August 2021 at 5:30pm - 6:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. This meeting is an opportunity for us to have a chat about Knox and our commitment to the Eden Alternative and the next stages of Knox Development, the review of our Mission and Values. And it’s also a great way to get to know each other better.
New Puka Home construction well underway The Puka development is progressing well and it is anticipated we will move residents into the new homes in early October. We will have a better idea of the date in several months. It is hoped that as soon as Totara and Puka are vacated the demolition of the old building will be completed. Read the story behind it all on page 8.
The support of others New Puka building being delivered onsite.
Knox Home has many friends and supporters who are not always visible
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Chef Amrik and his team are creating great meals.
or recognised. They are a wide range of individuals, charities, trusts, foundations and companies who go above and beyond and in some cases discount or donate to us. Knox Home is extremely grateful for the long-standing support of Martha-Louise Amus from Manning Funeral Cottage in Newmarket. On occasion, we are required to make funeral arrangements for residents without family. Our dear friend MarthaLouise provides us with invaluable advice and support in a cost-effective manner. Her personal commitment to family and wha-nau and the celebration of human stories with dignity, demonstrates great sensitivity and authenticity. Thank you Martha-Louise and Manning Funeral Cottage, we truly appreciate you.
High praise for food at Knox There is almost no more contentious issue than food in homes like ours. Inevitable when there are more than 200 residents, each with their own preferences. But we’re proud to say that food is a key focus for Knox. A continuing improvement method along with the energy of our resident-driven
Food for Thought group, sees us with menus that most are very happy with.
highest level of achievement and evidence of ongoing improvement.
Our recent annual audit process gave us some welcome feedback from outsiders:
Knox receives many written messages of thanks and commendation for the love and care they experience in the home. In the excerpts, below the quality of the food was specifically mentioned.
Independent Registered Dietitian, Ms Varsha Arsrani (NZRD) writes in her opening summary statement of the Winter Menu Appraisal in May 2021: “Congratulations on having a fantastic menu plan. It is amazing to see that both normal meal and vegetarian meal have two options for residents to choose. Great details have been provided on the main meal of the day (lunch), which illustrates that a lot of effort has been put into the menu design of the main meal. Desserts and snacks for morning and afternoon tea have also provided the resident with a range of options to complement the main meal of the day to meet their nutritional requirements such as adequate dietary fibre and adequate dairy products. In addition, this menu rarely uses convenience foods. It is also great to see that the pureed diet at each meal and snack time has been specified and closely resemble the normal texture meal or snacks.” Ministry of Health Certification Audit Report, May 2021: When auditing the standard relating to “Food, Fluid and Nutrition” the independent auditors awarded Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital a “Continuous Improvement” rating signifying the
“Yesterday’s lunch was great, beautifully cooked chicken with vegetables, mashed potatoes and a really nice gravy – yum! This was followed by a delicious chocolate pudding and fruit.” A resident wrote a note commenting that the meals over the past three days were “beautiful” and the presentation “perfect – on par with any of the local cafes I frequent.” He asked that his commendation be passed on to the new chef. And in the Food for Thought Group a meal service forum for residents directed by residents, the following comments appear in the meeting minutes: “Residents commended the chef and expressed thanks to the catering team for their efforts and for the way they listen to feedback.” “The quiches are very good.” “I like the vegetarian curries.” “(Name of Resident) enjoys the butter bean vegetable option. This was noted by the chef and will be offered more frequently in the summer menu.” 40 | 3
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HEALTH & WELLBEING
Learning at all ages You know what they say: use it or lose it. Well, that’s the case with our brains at any age. Researchers tell us that healthy older men and women can generate new brain cells in the same way younger people do. And we absolutely agree with them. Continual learning and what is basically brain exercise, is a vital part of healthy and meaningful living – regardless of our age or stage. The more we exercise our brains by learning new things, the more adaptable we make our brains. Neuroscientists call that neuroplasticity. Neuro refers to neurons, the nerve cells that are the building blocks of the brain and nervous system, and plasticity refers to the brain’s elasticity. About 100 billion neurons form a complex and interconnected network in each of our brains, allowing us to generate complex thought patterns and actions. Keeping and developing those connections is the vital bit, as we progress through life.
Positive experiences and activity make a difference A study of 460 participants (aged 22-35) from the Human Connectome Project found an amazing difference in the way human brains were connected based on levels of positivity or negativity in their lives.
Gretta teaching English at Epsom Library: To encourage residents participation in their wider community, we initiated a programme encouraging them to train as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) tutors.
Researchers compared the MRI brain scans of behavioural, demographic, and psychometric traits including age, history of drug use, socioeconomic status and personality traits, as well as intelligence tests performance. They found that positive traits and conditions greatly improved brain connectivity and functioning. So the more you foster positive attitudes and personality traits, and stimulating your brain in positive ways, the stronger your brain’s connections and communications will likely become.
Creating opportunities for lifelong learning, development and pleasure It’s our job to encourage Knox residents to reap the countless rewards of indulging in lifelong learning. We’re always excited to find and offer opportunities that make their lives (and brains) stimulated, bodies more active and souls satisfied.
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Continual learning happens when we keep challenging ourselves.
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That connection between mind, body and spirit is critical to getting the most out of our lives at all ages. Lifelong learning can help strengthen those connections and there are many ways we try to present. Whether it is the weekly computer lessons to learn new skills or our Tikanga Māori sessions where residents and staff deepen their understanding of Māori customs and traditions, the opportunities to learn at Knox are diverse.
Activities to boost connectivity • Read complex works • Learn to play a musical instrument • Learn to speak a foreign language • Memorise poetry, song lyrics or numerical figures • Take up a new hobby involving thinking and physical coordination • Play new card or board games • Get out to have new experiences • Exercise regularly for 30 minutes at a time • Volunteer for civic service
Neil is a passionate gardener and has been growing tomatoes in Knox vegetable beds for many years. He shared his green-finger expertise during our compost workshop with the Compost Collective.
As part of our on-going education sessions, Aphasia NZ recently delivered an interactive workshop to help us to better support fellow residents experiencing aphasia, a comprehension and communication disorder common in people who have experienced a stroke. The Compost Collective has helped kick start our environmental campaign with a compost workshop which encouraged us to consider our impact on the environment. Connect the Dots Charitable Trust is running art sessions here in our homes which are both a wonderful creative and learning opportunity.
and developing. Our nurses and care leaders recently graduated from the Creative Leadership Course run at Knox over six weeks by Languages International. The learning and insight gained will undoubtedly have a direct impact on the care that our residents receive. Our thanks and congratulations to everyone committed to learning and to the fabulous community groups and individuals who deliver such valuable programmes. Let’s keep those neurons connecting!
Learning is not just limited to residents of course. Staff are constantly learning Principal 9 of the Eden Alternative is constantly in action in the Knox community:
“Human growth must never be separated from human life.” 6 | unique and loving it
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Residents making a difference through volunteering As you may know, Knox has an awardwinning volunteer programme that we are both grateful for, and proud of. Volunteers from the community give their time to join us here at Knox to provide meaningful companionship, help run activities and enable us to be involved in the broader community events. We are so thankful to our many volunteers who help make Knox the vibrant and diverse place it is.
and experienced fisherman, Neil. Whether you are a part of the Knox community or a member of our broader community, we encourage you to think
about how you can make a difference in your community through volunteering your skills and time. You will reap the considerable rewards.
What you may be less aware of is the fact that our residents also volunteer. Through our Cultivate programme, residents share their skills, knowledge and time with the wider community too. We know that a healthy community needs the active participation of all its members. Right now, our residents are making a difference through delivering English Conversation Classes at our local Epsom library and are being trained to provide quality remedial reading support to students at Bailey Rd School in Mt Wellington.
We are looking forward to supporting more community initiatives in our broader community We also know that volunteering is a mutually rewarding experience – we often receive more than we give. This was the case recently when young men from St Peter’s College kindly volunteered to support a fishing trip. While their support made the trip possible, they also gained a great deal of new fishing knowledge from resident
Volunteering often has a two-way action as happened when St Peter’s College students helped to facilitate a fishing expedition under the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Resident Neil was able to share his considerable fishing experience with the boys.
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Building commitment to residents When the Knox Home Board of Trustees contemplated the redevelopment of Totara, Puka and Rimu Homes they knew that getting to the end goal of a bigger, better home would be highly disruptive for residents. Of course they say you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs. But their first consideration was to develop a plan that would continue to provide a home for existing residents. Any thought of terminating contracts with residents was never a consideration. The Knox Home Trust Board has always been committed to the century-old values of Elizabeth Knox and the Eden Alternative.
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“The majority of Knox residents require hospital-level care and today; there aren’t nearly enough beds available to them elsewhere. Any residents with disabilities find it even harder to find a suitable place to call home. Residents at other care homes may have been asked to leave, but our focus has always been to find a solution, a creative solution like the new Puka Home,” says Trust Board Chairman, Alastair MacCormick, “Not only does it give us accommodation but a superbly enhanced home for residents while the new Totara Home is built over the next couple of years.” The new 64-bed Totara Home will replace the current Totara and Puka Homes and part of Rimu Home on the same site as part of our continuing improvement of resident homes. One project has become two intertwined projects when a decision to build interim accommodation for residents currently in those homes was made. On property owned by Knox between the main carpark and Griffin Avenue, a new 37-bed Puka Home is being built before demolition of the old homes on the original site.
The roof has now been installed and the final fitout with fire protection, kitchens, electronics and furnishings follows. Puka Home includes two homes within, and continues our promotion of an open plan household model. Bedrooms open onto two living spaces which include lounge, dining and kitchen for each home, so we’ve paid particular attention to acoustics. Both homes share the nurses Care Base and support spaces including cleaning utility and laundry. “It’s our opportunity to continue the wha-nau-based multi-generational home concept that has worked so well in the recent Puriri Home. Residents can choose less activity or more living – it’s up to them! The open plan spaces certainly encourage a very sociable community, but they always have the choice to be involved or
not; join a group for coffee and fresh scones or catch up on a favourite TV show in their own room,” says CEO, Jill Woodward. Perhaps one of the most outstanding features of the new Puka Home is that every bedroom will have ranchslider access to a large deck that surrounds the building enabling the internal and external home environments to blend. Jill adds, “We plan to be incorporating more outside living with the inside. We’ll have raised planter boxes and outdoor furnishings. Creating easy access to the outdoors and nature is a positive thing. And it builds greater independence and enjoyment.” As long as supply chains hold up in all the right places, Puka Home will be ready for residents to move into during October 2021.
A superbly enhanced home for residents while the new Totara Home is built.
Construction has been underway this year using a unique prefabricated system not used before in our sector. Bedrooms and shared bathrooms are prefabricated units which lock up to their neighbouring rooms. Delivered onto site one-by-one by crane, they come with electrical and plumbing services and most finishes fitted.
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The importance of real people when writing fiction Sućuraj is a small fishermen’s town and port on the island of Hvar in Croatia – formerly Yugoslavia. PIP MCKAY AUTHOR
I feel so lucky to know Tonka Marinovich and her family. If you don’t know it already, Tonka is infectious; she can light up the room with her smile and she always has a great story to tell. For me, as a novelist, her stories were like gold. I felt honoured to join Elizabeth Knox’s newly-formed book group last week to read from the opening chapter of my debut novel, The Telling Time. Published in August last year, the story has at its heart a young Croatian woman, Gabrijela, who is exiled to New Zealand in the late 1950’s holding close a secret. I told the group that when crafting the story, some of Tonka’s tales were inspirational. Tonka was born in Sućuraj, a small town on the Dalmatian coastline. At the tender age of 19, she travelled to New Zealand to work in her uncle’s restaurant in Warkworth. It was 1959, and it surprised me that Tonka had travelled by plane to New Zealand
– departing from Belgrade. She described touching down in Athens, Cairo, Bombay, and Sydney, before finally flying into Whenuapai, Auckland. I decided that Gabrijela would also come out to New Zealand in 1959, via that same route. When writing about Gabrijela’s arrival, I thought about Tonka and what it would have been like for her arriving in this strange country. I imagined her reactions, her emotions. How frightened she might have been. Somehow knowing that Tonka had made this trip, made it easier for me to step into Gabrijela’s shoes.
my homeland’s stark limestone mountains that rise from the sea like giant monoliths.” Tonka often told the story about working, like many of the other young women, at a sardine factory. She described it as tough work, hot and relentless. Once again my imagination was captured and the opening for my novel was born. “Sardines. We reeked of them – me and all the other women working at the Jadranka fish factory.
“To me this country seemed ironed out, flattened, and in that moment, I would have given anything to see
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Their stinking oil greased up our hair and our skin, and their flesh got wedged under our fingernails. I could taste them at the back of my throat.” Tonka was born during World War II. I learnt how towards the end of the war she was evacuated, along with her mother and siblings, to El Shatt, a refugee camp in Egypt. Tonka lived there for a couple of years until the war was over. Through further research I learned that this was an important marker in history for those living along the Dalmatian coastline and so I threaded this fact through the novel. Of course when they returned to Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito was in power and Tonka was able to tell me a little about growing up under his socialist regime. I used to laugh when Tonka complained about the men holding all the power. “No point in crying,’
she would say, “tears are for the dead people!” Gabrijela also found this difficult – “Men rule the roost in Yugoslavia, girls are second best, and throughout my childhood I’d been conditioned not to challenge this order.” Gabrijela is not Tonka. Their stories are very different. But as a novelist, being able to draw on settings that provide context for an era was enriching. For me, inspiration often comes from stories like Tonka’s, especially ones from the heart. And I can’t help smiling at the latest exciting development for The Telling Time, in some ways the perfect ending for this story. Late in June the translation rights were sold to the Croatian publisher, Znanje. How exciting that some of Tonka’s stories will now make their way back to her homeland.
Thank you, thank you We’re grateful for the generous support of the following organisations:
Te Pou Workforce Grant Funded nurse Creative Leadership Course.
Trillian Trust Funded Gutter Frames.
Milestone Foundation Funded healthcare equipment.
The Trusts Community Foundation Generously supported our Volunteering programme with funding towards operational costs.
Freemasons Foundation Knox resident, Tonka Marinovich played a part in inspiring a character in the award-winning novel, The Telling Time by Pip McKay.
Funded a valuable piece of physio equipment – the MotoMed. 40 | 11
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New 100Hour Club Members Special thanks to all of our incredible volunteers. A few below have recently joined the 100-Hour Club. We couldn't do everything we do without you.
Will McKenzie on the hustings prior to the Albert-Eden Board By-election. Ashley Ng
Raising our voices A healthy community needs the involvement of all its members. This is especially true in politics where the wisdom and experience of our elders are vital and the perspective of our young people with disabilities are often under-represented. Earlier this year, a By-election was held for our local Albert-Eden Board and Knox residents made sure that their voices were heard not only by voting but through an evening Q&A session with candidates Jose Fowler and Will McKenzie here at Knox.
Bonnie Liu and resident, Max
Our politically active residents put forward some great questions and shared their perspectives on issues relevant to them. Thanks to both candidates for their time. We look forward to having Will return to Knox as a board member having won the By-election by just 33 votes! That result certainly drives home the point that each and every vote counts!
Developing Knox Team Leaders Congratulations to our fantastic team of nurses and clinical leaders who recently graduated from the six-week Creative Leadership Course. Generously funded by Te Pou Workforce Grant and facilitated by Languages International, the focus was on the practical skills needed to effectively lead teams in order to provide outstanding care and support to our residents. Dyanelly and resident, Max
We are thrilled by the feedback and the fact that the team were able to implement many of their news skills and practices immediately in their day-to-day work.
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Mums celebrate mums Left / Below left: The girls celebrated Mother’s Day with High Tea and high spirits.
Tikanga Ma-ori classes
Below right: Hana Seddon sharing a deeper understanding of Māori customs and traditions with residents and staff.
It’s raining cats, dogs and ping pong balls Left: Puriri residents love new kitten, Lizzie. Right: Elaine and Frankie hit the Housie table outside. Below left: Meg and Sandra make a mean table tennis team. Below right: The laughter’s more important than the winning for Tonka and Leanne.
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Rejuvenating partnerships with our community As the risk of COVID lockdowns reduces and more of our community becomes vaccinated, we are excited to be rejuvenating our partnerships with other community organisations and supporting our residents to increase their visibility and influence in the broader community. As part of our Cultivate programme, we look for diverse ways in which we can enable our residents to share their skills, knowledge and experience to help build richer, stronger communities. We are thrilled to have embarked on a partnership with Bailey Rd School in Mt Wellington, where our residents are being trained up to provide effective reading support for their students, with weekly reading support kicking off in Term 3. See the Looking for Volunteers story on the next page. Epsom Community Library is once again hosting English Conversation Classes led by our very own Knox residents providing non-native speakers the opportunity to practice their English over a cup of tea. We are loving reconnecting with our local schools and businesses and are thrilled to meet new groups such as the recently formed Greenwoods Corner Business Association. We look forward to growing old
partnerships and developing new ones over the coming months.
Looking for volunteers from Knox community to assist primary schools
Knox Home residents and family members will soon have the opportunity to volunteer at Mt Wellington’s Bailey Road School helping groups of children to improve their reading skills, games, building or gardening. The opportunity arose through Jill Woodward being a member of the Ellerslie Rotary Club, a club that works closely with Bailey Road School and other nearby schools.
voluntary assistance in Panmure District School, Mt Wellington, Stanhope Road and Ellerslie Primary Schools in Ellerslie. Knox families are invited to complement the number of adults volunteering in these schools for 1 or 2 hours per week. They will be assisting primary school age-groups learn by doing. Over-arching all of the volunteer tasks is for the small groups of children to have an adult they can spend regular time with, who will be someone they can look forward to seeing each week encouraging their progress. All volunteers are required to be Police Vetted for working with children under 16 years – Knox will obtain consent and action this process with all volunteers. If you or an adult member of your family would like to volunteer in one of these schools, please advise Stacey Mowbray as soon as possible. STACEY MOWBRAY COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the learning progress of children in these schools. School Term 3 commences on 26 July 2021. Ellerslie Rotary Club is also providing
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Let’s Keep Safe Guys! • Please leave bikes, including children’s bikes, and mobility scooters parked outside the front entrance. • Please do not allow children to ride scooters indoors. • We love dogs visiting, but please keep them on a lead in communal spaces. • Access to the front door must be maintained at all times for emergency services. • Please do not leave any cars unattended under the portico.
First Pub Quiz gets us thinking
• Please report all spills or breakages. • No appliances including heaters or toasters to be in residents rooms.
Competition was intense for the Inaugural Knox Pub Quiz held in May as groups of residents, staff and family members competed to take out the highly sought after title of “Knox Quiz Masters”. Questions around New Zealand Music Month, geography, sports, literature and baking were mulled over – and at times debated over – by each team. The diversity and depth of the shared knowledge of the Knox community was impressive and led to close results.
Special ANZAC commemoration with St Peter’s College Congratulations to the winning team, and to all teams who competed with such enthusiasm and good humour. We look forward to the next Knox Pub Quiz. Word on the street is that some teams are already swatting up!
This year, the young men of the St Peter’s College helped us commemorate ANZAC Day here at Knox with an itinerant concert and ANZAC service. As part of their service to the community, the talented musicians visit rest homes for the purpose of giving back to the community and specifically to seniors of the community. The diverse repertoire ranged from Bach, Webber to Israeli folk songs and we were amazed by the professionalism of the performance and the outstanding talent on display. The concert was followed by an ANZAC commemoration service involving readings and prayers from our residents supported by music from St Peters. It was a moving and memorable event for an important occasion. “St. Peter’s students from the Edmund Rice group and the members of Musique Mon Ami group were very happy and humble to come and play for the residents of Knox Home. The atmosphere was great, especially because of the celebration of the ANZAC Day. We promise that we will come back very soon, with a new repertoire. Thank you for having us. Mr. Dumitrache and the SPC boys!” 40 | 15
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New volunteers always welcome Members of our wider community are always welcome to join our Volunteer Team. Just like our volunteers, the opportunities are diverse and interesting and can be tailored to suit your interests and availability. Contact us today to have a chat. email@example.com
The Eden Alternative 10 Principles 1. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering among our Elders. 2. An Elder-centred community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with people of all ages and abilities, as well as plants and animals. It is these relationships that provide the young and old alike, with a pathway to a life worth living. 3. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship. 4. An Elder-centred community creates opportunity to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness. 5. An Elder-centred community imbues daily life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings can take place. This is the antidote to boredom. 6. Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health. 7. Medical treatment should be the servant of genuine human caring, never its master.
Keep up-to-date with all that’s happening at Knox facebook.com/ ElizabethKnoxHome
Knox Home Trust Board Members Dr Alastair MacCormick Chairman
Ms Marika Eastwick-Field Dr Bruce Foggo Mr Bal Matheson Mr Warwick Peacock Mr Andrew Smith Ms Kim Wright
8. An Elder-centred community honours its Elders by de-emphasising top-down bureaucratic authority, seeking instead to place the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or into the hands of those closest to them. 9. Creating an Elder-centred community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life. 10. Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute. The core concept of the Eden Alternative™ is simple: Care environments are habitats for human beings that should promote health, wellbeing and growth rather than facilities where the frail and elderly stagnate and decline. The Eden Alternative™ shows us how companion animals, children and plants help in providing an opportunity for meaningful contribution and care, and how the Eden Alternative works at preventing and eliminating the aged care plagues of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. For more information on the Eden Alternative, please visit edenalt.org
more café culture or less 10 Ranfurly Road Epsom Auckland 1023 Telephone 09 523 3119
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Knox Olive Café: More opportunities for a better life here... or less if you prefer.
Knox Home Trust Not-for-Profit Charity GIVING MORE SINCE 1911
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Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital Newsletter July 2021