New car for support service

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New vehicle for safe service . . . Alzheimers Otago has upgraded its vehicle, with support from Cooke Howlison Toyota. Pictured are (from left) Cooke Howlison Toyota chief executive Adrienne Ensor, vehicle sales consultant Aaron Jenner, Alzheimers Otago manager Liz Harburg, and community educator Shona Johnsen. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

As Alzheimers Otago makes plans to resume face-to-face support services for clients, staff are delighted to have a new car to drive.

Alzheimers Otago manager Liz Harburg was pleased with the upgrade to a new Toyota Corolla, with the support of Cooke Howlison Toyota.

“We provide support to people with dementia and their families across all of Otago, so the new vehicle ensures our staff can provide this important service safely,” Mrs Harburg said.

Cooke Howlison had supported Alzheimers Otago since 2008, supplying and maintaining its first vehicle, and was happy to help with buying the car.

Grants from the Otago Community Trust and Margaret Begg Trust also assisted.

Cooke Howlison Toyota chief executive Adrienne Ensor said it was celebrating its community involvement in its 125th year.

“Supporting our community is an important part of our business, and we are looking forward to continuing that relationship,” Ms Ensor said.

Mrs Harburg said Alzheimers Otago, which works with about 500 families, had been classed as an essential service during Covid-19 Alert Levels 4 and 3.

Staff provided support to people with dementia and their families by phone and via Zoom.

Clients had demonstrated resilience and a willingness to learn during the lockdown.

“So many clients embraced new technology, which has shifted perceptions of what older people and people with dementia can do online.”

The organisation was looking at how it could reintroduce face-to-face services under Level 2, but was prioritising the safety of clients and taking a cautious approach, Mrs Harburg said.