Enliven day programme helps John maintain zest for life

For Paraparaumu’s John Gilbert, staying active, engaged and connected is the key to living a meaningful life.

As a retired sports enthusiast with limited mobility, John credits Enliven’s Kapiti Day Programme for helping him to keep his inner spark alive.

“My life is so much better for being part of the day programme here,” says John.

“Before I started coming, I was basically just watching television all the time as my mobility really isn’t that great anymore and my partner works full-time. But there’s always something happening at Kapiti [day programme]. 

“It’s a very positive space and the staff are great, they’re always thinking of new things for us to do. All of us share a lot of laughs together, it’s a lot of fun.” 

Kapiti Day Programme is designed to ensure elders like John who live in the community have opportunities to regularly socialise with others, keep their minds and bodies active, and enjoy variety and spontaneity in their lives.

On any given day, attendees might find themselves playing bowls together, taking part in quizzes and games, doing arts and crafts, enjoying themed parties or gentle exercises, says diversional therapist and day programme manager, Dorothy Todd.

“We always do our best to keep things interesting for attendees and tailor all our activities to make sure all attendees can take part in a way that’s right for them. 

“Some attendees come to us with limited mobility, others with mild dementia, so it can be a challenge sometimes…but it’s amazing what people can do when they get the right support and encouragement.”

The programme doesn’t just benefit attendees, but their family carers too, as John knows first-hand. 

“It’s made my partner a lot happier knowing I’m enjoying myself here,” he says.

“She would worry when I was sitting at home and it would interfere with her work too because she’d always be popping home to see if I was okay. 

“I know she feels freer now, and we both feel really lucky to have come across the programme.”

To learn more about Enliven’s Kapiti Day Programme, visit www.enlivencentral.org.nz or call 04 298 8060.

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