KnoxLife 42

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KnoxLife42 June 2022


Seasons of change “Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year”


Jill Woodward

A fond farewell to Brother Henry Spinks


4/6/1942 - 23/3/2022

We have enjoyed the long summer and mild autumn; the trees are now looking autumnal and recent rains and leaves have tested the local storm water drains.

New visitor booking system As Auckland is now in the “Orange Traffic Light” of the COVID-19 Protection Framework at Knox we have modified visiting restrictions and residents are able to have one visit per day, up to two people. Appointments are self-arranged via the Knox website – Immediately prior to visiting you are required to RAT test and photograph the result and this is shown on arrival. Information is regularly updated on our website.

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Remembering and honouring Brother Henry Spinks – a valued member of the Knox community. Brother Henry carried with him a sense of calm, confidence and gentle reassurance. He was dedicated to Knox and the Eden Alternative, completing his Eden Associate training early in his stay at Knox. As Brother Henry would walk through the hallways of our home, he gently greeted those he would pass, expressing sincere appreciation for the care he received. As the community around him would wake up, you could catch Brother Henry patiently waiting in the reception lounge, greeting staff, families and visitors who came in. His presence subtle, yet affirming of the guardianship of his home. He acted as a wise leader and a mentor to many of us. He was well respected and carried with him a high degree of

mana. This was especially witnessed after his passing; his Tangihanga at Knox represented the respect we all have towards him. He is greatly acknowledged for his responsibilities for guiding our community as well as many others. As a Marist Brother, he was a man of strong faith and persistent service. He was a steadfast leader through challenging periods and was key to Knox’s perseverance through the recent pandemic. He embedded a spirit of hope through this adversity, leading daily prayer and daily singing of our national anthem. Brother Henry, so colourful is the canvas you have left behind. So beautiful is your impact on the fabric of Knox. Your memory will live on.

Knox community giving and receiving care Being part of our wider community has always been important to Knox whether it was agreeing to care for sick or wounded soldiers returning from WW1, visiting the local Working Men’s Club in the 1950s or helping students at local schools more recently. We are always on the look out for ways in which we can be active and valuable members of


Thank you, thank you We’re grateful for the generous support of the following organisations:

Te Pou

Medical equipment donated by Knox Home bound for Tonga being loaded for it's first part of the journey.

our community both as individuals and as an organisation. When Tonga was devastated by the volcanic eruption and resulting tsunami and ash fall in January this year, we looked for ways that we could support. Through a partnership with Ellerslie Sunrise Rotary and honorary member Bob Stubbs, it was determined that there was a need for hospital equipment in Tonga. The Knox team identified healthcare equipment that had been well used at Knox but no longer met our needs. This equipment is being shipped to hospitals in Tonga where they will support and help locals there. We are excited to see

We'd love your unused toys We're welcoming back families and children, so we would welcome any donations of toys, puzzles, books and games. They don't have to be new but toys in complete and in good condition would be appreciated. Drop them into Reception at any time.

that equipment that has served us well can go on to serve and support another community. The process of sorting equipment for Tonga also helped us identify further items such unclaimed and unwanted clothing. These have been tagged to go to the Middlemore Foundation who do amazing work supporting families in South Auckland. Partnering with these established community organisations such as Rotary and Middlemore Foundation has ensured that our efforts have been targeted and effective. As a charity ourselves, we know how important community support is and are thrilled we have been able to give care to our community.

Generously funding a Tikanga programme for residents.

Lottery Community Funds Funded operational costs of our Volunteer Programme as we advance it once again.

Grassroots Trust Funded vital healthcare equipment that improves the quality of residents’ lives.

Catholic seminarians join our volunteer ranks From now until November, we have two Catholic seminarians joining us on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings! Mark Bond is a fourth-year seminarian for the Diocese of Auckland, and Linh Cao a third-year seminarian for the Diocese of Christchurch. Both are studying to be priests, and part of their study involves going out into the community to take on a variety of volunteer roles. Mark and Linh are grateful for the opportunity to help out at Knox, and look forward to joining and sharing with the Knox community. Mark appears fourth from right in the cover photo.

The Trusts Community Foundation Funding operational costs for our Community Partnerships Programme.

One Foundation Funded healthcare equipment that enables residents to safely and efficiently engage in a life well-lived. 42 | 3

Nurses deserve much better This sector currently has 1000 Registered Nurse vacancies and usually employs around 20,000 staff. If standalone care homes not affiliated to a retirement village hope to retain RNs we will need to match DHB rates and somehow find a way to fund this.

Wellington, we have a problem I am writing this on International Nurses Day – 12 May which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Our residents celebrated by sharing the contribution nurses make to their wellbeing, baking very special biscuits, lovingly wrapped and delivered to every nurse.

It's obvious why we don't have enough nurses As a nurse I believe that the current worldwide crisis in nursing indicates it is time for a review of nurse education, the way our profession regulates itself, the remuneration model and the need for consistent recognition of post graduate education. Perhaps it’s also time for the community to reflect on why nurses leave the profession in such eye-watering numbers. At this time of year we are working on annual budget setting, a difficult task in an environment of under-funding, severe competition for Registered Nurses (RNs) and the total explosion of costs affecting New Zealand currently. The health of the New Zealand aged residential care sector was summed up by Simon Wallace (CEO of the NZ Aged Care Association) as “being on life support ahead of Budget Day”. RN shortages and other factors have resulted in nearly 500 care home beds around New Zealand being closed, forcing some elders to be moved to other towns to receive care. In Auckland a number of care homes 4 | here for each other

have permanently closed. Staff shortages, historic and continued sector under-funding, excessive compliance costs, public expectations coupled with escalating costs to maintain facilities often leave owners with no other choice. Current funding is inadequate to fund renovations and rebuilding.

Not all aged care providers are the same I am frequently quizzed as to why we need more money when the retirement village sector posts sound profits. In explaining the difference in the two sectors I emphasise the “independent resident” nature of one (retirement villages) with the increasingly “subacute” nature of the others (like Knox). Over 90% of our residents require hospital level care – not spa pools and resort-style facilities. The growth in corporate-owned retirement villages has simply highlighted the two distinctly different animals. One is a property with limited care model, the other a medically-driven total care model.

A question of balance and fairness Increasing cost shifting poses considerable risk to the aged retirement care sector (ARC) as it is impossible to manage and it enables DHBs and other government-funded services to prescribe treatment that the ARC sector is left to ultimately fund.

Past government undertakings to fund this sector for RN pay parity have not been honoured, instead the DHB / ARC pay gap has possibly enabled DHBs to recruit RNs from the aged care sector.

There are sound reasons we do what we do For the past 10 years the Knox Board has focussed on replacing inadequate, old and inappropriate facilities to ensure residents have a pleasant environment

Residents and families won't like where this is heading.

which supports wellbeing and maximises independence which also enables maximum occupancy, ease of care and a pleasant work environment. Our redevelopment is not a luxury nor is it at the expense of staff pay, rather it reflects wise governance and a history of over 110 years serving some of the community’s most vulnerable people. Failure to maintain buildings in our sector inevitably results in a drop in occupancy, creates issues around rigorous compliance and quality and also negatively impacts staff recruitment and retention. The aged residential care sector requires base funding that reflects what it costs to care for people and this has not been the case for a number of years. We ask that the wider community lends support to the understanding of the current environment for the aged care sector and Knox will continue to advocate for improved funding and lend support to NZACA as they pursue fairer funding for the care of elders. Jill Woodward, CEO

other home in New Zealand.

Family living concept success in new Puka Home Six months since we opened our Puka Homes, Kawakawa and Harakeke, we have proven that a well-designed building significantly impacts the way that our residents live. Mornings start with breakfast out on

the deck with pots of tea and coffee on each table and the chance to welcome the day in their own time and way. Many wear PJs and read the newspaper or have a chat over their morning cuppa… a picture that would be much like any

Internal and external open plan living has created a hub of activity that draws people out of their rooms to participate. The decks have been the site of everything from outdoor lunches to activities such as reading groups and art activities. With rooms opening out onto the decks, residents who often hadn’t planned to join in find themselves drawn to the activity, energy and most importantly the company. The accessible kitchens mean that more residents are taking on roles and responsibilities – making cups of tea for each other, setting the tables and tidying up. With the support of staff, residents bake treats and delicious smells waft through to rooms, once again encouraging members of the Puka home to join in. Our care team note a positive trend towards reduced demand for mobility equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs as the home design and layout encourages improved functional movement. We can’t wait to have the opportunity to enjoy sharing this space with more families and friends.

“Form and function are a unity, two sides of one coin. In order to enhance function, appropriate form must exist or be created”. Ida Pauline Rolf

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Charity begins at home

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Our story begins early last century 114 years ago, Mrs. Elizabeth Knox made the powerful decision to gift part of her estate to the establishment of a home to care for the people of Auckland. Today as a charity, we exist through the hard work of our team, prudent financial management from the Knox Home Trust Board and the support of our community. We are funded under a model set by the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB). This funding model does not consider the need to invest and improve in buildings to ensure that they meet the current needs of our residents. As an Eden Alternative home, we believe that we all need the opportunity to grow, develop, participate in the community and engage in meaningful ways and the DHB model does not account for these associated costs.

Genuine care for elders and the needy takes commitment and resources

While it was Mrs. Knox’s bequest that established Knox Home, it has been the additional generosity of many others over the decades that has ensured that, despite challenges, Knox has prevailed as a provider of choice.

thought of as large donations made by the rich and famous but that is not the case and Paul was the perfect example of this.

An annual gift from the estate of a Miss Thompson supported the growth of the home in the early years while today we are extremely grateful for various grants and funders for their support to purchase new physiotherapy equipment or support operational costs for those areas that are not funded under the DHB model such as Physiotherapy and OT, Lifestyle and Leisure and Volunteering.

In New Zealand, it is becoming increasingly common to leave a gift in your Will for a charity such as Knox. There was a 24% increase in bequeathed gifts between 2014 and 2018 and by 2018 New Zealand charities received $194m in bequest gifts (NZ Support Report 2018; JBWere and Philanthropy NZ).

Auckland needs more of the kind of hospital-level care that Knox provides, not less

In recent years you may have noted that many rest homes throughout Auckland have permanently shut their doors; often after running at a loss of millions of dollars per year for many years.

As a charity, we are always extremely grateful to our community who support us and ensure that we continue to be the provider of choice for so many. Some of our families choose to acknowledge the care and love shown to their family member through donating to Knox while other residents have left a gift in their will.

Corporate-run retirement villages are popping up in their place but generally do not provide the level of affordable care that over 90% of our rest home and hospital-level residents require. For Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital to continue to provide the highest level of care for another 100 years, we must look to the community for support.

Recently, long-time resident Paul gifted funds to purchase new physiotherapy equipment. He saw the impact of good equipment on the health and wellbeing of residents and knew that he could make a difference. His legacy will impact residents for many years to come and we are honored that he remembered us in his Will.

Community support is not new to Knox.

Bequest, or gifts in Wills, are often

You can make a difference

Leaving gifts in our Wills is something that we kiwis do. Just like Elizabeth Knox, we know that we can make a huge difference from a small gift. We are often asked how best to donate or leave a thank you gift. Some families ask as they would like to have friends and families donate to Knox in lieu of flowers.

In response to these requests, we are adding a Donate button to our website which provides a simple way of supporting the work of Knox. As a registered charity, all donations over $5 receive a receipt and are entitled to a 33% tax rebate.

Wealth, well used Back in 1914 at the opening of our home, the mayor of Auckland, Mr. Parr noted that “Knox home was evidence of wealth well used”. We believe that today this still holds true but is also evidence of prudence, resilience and generosity of spirit. Thank you to our community for supporting us to ensure that we can continue to be the provider of choice for another 120 years. It takes a community to care for a community. 42 | 7


Careerforce Apprenticeships a lesson in collective benefit Rachelle and Ritika are two of our physiotherapy assistants who have both completed Careerforce Apprenticeships resulting in Level 4 qualifications. We spoke to them to find out how they found the experience. Rachelle was initially motivated to gain new qualifications for herself while knowing that she was also setting an example for her son who is currently completing NCEA. Ritika knows that education is an important part of life where we are continuously learning – no matter what age or life stage we are in.

educational experience. The ladies had real life application of their learnings throughout the course, seeing the fruition of their efforts. For example, one resident received value from the exploration into a stroke club which resulted in a noticeable increase in the resident's confidence.

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Rachelle felt that the self-reflection component in particular, was inspiring. There was also a four-month selfimprovement diary which Rachelle and Ritika found related well to the Knox resident's 90-Day Plans. Other Knox team members were helpful with attestation and observation and the supported study days which assisted them to be present in their work. The mentorship and support has been a real community effort contributing to these apprenticeships, which has strengthened the collective.

This example highlighted how they could enhance their current role with the new perspectives they were learning.

Rachelle and Ritika said there were certainly challenges along the way; competing with the demands of busy lives, as well as mental challenges such as the units that required comprehensive internal reflection.

Rachelle and Ritika found the on-the-job apprenticeship model more helpful than traditional study given it complemented

It was also challenging in the sense that they had to find proof or evidence that they were faithfully undertaking

HR Administrator Sophie (left) with Rachelle at the presentation of her Careerforce Apprenticeship Certificate.

Rachelle and Ritika were both encouraged by each other to start the apprenticeship knowing they would support one another through. Their ‘buddy culture’ acted as an inbuilt accountability which really helped them to work through the apprenticeship. They could brainstorm the approach to their papers and provided each other the motivation to keep going. They both enjoyed how much easier it was to have someone alongside to share the

The modules for Self-care, Interpersonal Relationships and Leadership were of the most value.

the work they were already doing. Residents were willing to help along the way too. They were open to interviews and supporting the study process. Residents were checking both apprentice’s progress and encouraging them along in their efforts. This created budding care relationships of giving and receiving care and strengthened Rachelle and Ritika's obligations to keep going even when it felt tough.

Ritika – proud of her achievement.

course work. They could not resort to google, and therefore required a lot of intellectual application. Both Rachelle and Ritika finished within 12 months of starting – finishing six months ahead of the 18-month assigned course time. A big congratulations to both Rachelle and Ritika for being the very first apprentices to complete their course at Knox. You're an inspiration to us all.

Great Knox days over the past few months Games days, visitors days, buddy days, painting days, day out days, chicken on your shoulder days, Mother's Day and let's go for a blast in my classic car days. The beautiful Mark 2 Zephyr of resident Darius was driven in by a friend so that he could continue to enjoy his pride and joy.

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Lives well-lived The Lifestyle and Leisure team aim to help residents live their life well and with meaning. For each of us that looks different but what remains constant is the need for connection as well as the opportunity to engage in moments we find meaningful. Residents continue to share the things they enjoy doing with each other from walking group, Rummikub and jigsaw puzzles to podcast group and art sessions. These activities provide not just the opportunity to engage in an enjoyable activity but, perhaps more importantly, to develop friendships. Morning walks for a number of our residents is the best way to start their day; fresh air, exercise and good company. We have a number of regular walkers who walk as far as Cornwall Park, a good 2.5km brisk walk away. Accompanied by Millie, the dog, as well as Liz, our Lifestyle and Leisure staff member, our walkers get to know the neighbourhood and develop their strength and fitness as well as their friendships. We continue to encourage residents to take the lead on engagement opportunities and activities. Fee, our resident librarian, has taken it upon herself to sort and organise our many bookshelves which now look amazing and has gotten our Book Club up and running. Our first book shared was by our very own Charlotte Peirce who read from her recently published memoir 'Here Goes… My Life'. Scrabble, Podcast and Rummikub groups meet weekly and as with so many activities here, the by-product becomes the reason for the gathering; friendships develop through shared interests. In the past few months we have celebrated days such as St Patricks Day, Mothers’ Day and Earth Day with Barmbrack competitions and Guinness, high tea and planting of edibles respectively. ANZAC Day was commemorated with a gathering to remember all those who served; bagpipes were played by a generous and talented volunteer and residents led us in readings and song as we took time to stop and remember together. New Zealand Music Month has not gone unnoticed either.

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Volunteers are welcome back Volunteers are once again playing a vital role in supporting our residents to live their best lives. Volunteer opportunities range from joining residents in activities, participating in outings or learning alongside residents in our Tikanga programme. We welcome volunteers of all ages who are looking to get involved in by sharing their time and their interests; either as a one-off micro-volunteering opportunity such as joining our men on a fishing trip or in an on-going capacity such as supporting a craft group. If anyone is interested; give us a call or email volunteer@

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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.

Happy Birthday Gretta! How is it possible that Gretta has recently celebrated her 99th birthday? With the way Gretta gets about Knox with many interests and such a positive and lively disposition, we could only assume you are much, much younger. Congratulations on fooling us all!

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. 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.

Knox Home Trust Board Members Dr Alastair MacCormick Chairman

Ms Marika Eastwick-Field Dr Bruce Foggo Mr Bal Matheson (DEPUTY CHAIR) Mr Warwick Peacock Mr Andrew Smith Ms Kim Wright


10 Ranfurly Road Epsom Auckland 1023 Telephone 09 523 3119

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

more exercise or less Knox Physiotherapy: More opportunities for a better life here... or less if you prefer.

Knox Home Trust Not-for-Profit Charity GIVING MORE SINCE 1911