Service for elderly gives opportunities

On target . . . Mosgiel Elderly Care Trust client Rita Wright (91) plays a game with diversional therapists Melissa Henderson and Brian Jowett. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A service providing recreational and social opportunities to housebound elderly on the Taieri deserves to be noticed, the Mosgiel Elderly Care Trust says.

Trust vice-chairman Kevin Dale, of Mosgiel, said a diversional therapist picked up 13 clients on weekdays from their homes and brought them back to its base in Gordon Rd for a range of activities.

“It’s a good organisation – which not many people know about.”

The service was launched in 1982, and had been run out of several different places including a Methodist Hall meeting room and a state house.

The trust began renting its current premises in Gordon Rd in 2007 and raised funds to buy a van in the same year.

The van was used to pick up clients and take them on monthly excursions.

Clients had a needs assessment and were referred by the Southern District Health Board, which paid the trust.

Trust chairman Ken Whitcombe, of Mosgiel, said the organisation was “stand-alone” and people often incorrectly assumed the organisation was part of the neighbouring Taieri Court Rest Home.

The trust employed a manager and two diversional therapists and had capacity for some casual clients.

Diversional therapist Melissa Henderson, of Momona, said she was born and raised in the district and first learned of the trust when she applied for the job about six years ago.

Diversional therapist Brian Jowett (69), of Caversham, said he had worked for the trust for four years.

Being older allowed him to relate to clients, he said.

Client Rita Wright, of Mosgiel, said she had used the service for 19 years and enjoyed playing games with clients and the therapists.

“I enjoy everything they do.”