Wellness chairs believed to be a first for New Zealand rest home

Brightwater Home resident Mary Farrell relaxes in the Nordic Wellness Chair.

Enliven’s Coombrae Home and Brightwater Home are already finding immense value in new state-of-the-art Nordic Wellness Chairs since receiving them earlier in the year.

It’s believed the Manawatu homes are the first rest homes in New Zealand to invest in the technology. A grant of more than $32,000 from the AR & TI Harper Charitable Trust allowed Enliven to purchase two of the chairs for residents of the homes in Feilding and Palmerston North.

The state-of-the-art technology uses soothing music, gentle movement, tactile stimulation and a weighted blanket to relax, calm and soothe those feeling anxious, angry or agitated. 

Brightwater Home clinical coordinator Pinky Thomas says they have had fantastic results using the chair for residents who require dementia-level care.

“We have one resident who used to be really unsettled at night, and in the chair she actually relaxes.”

Before they had the chair, Pinky says a member of staff would usually have to stay near the resident at night in case she got out of bed and started pacing around.

“The music, the swaying and the weighted blanket all help to settle her,” she says.

Presbyterian Support Central chief executive Pat Waite says the donation has allowed Coombrae and Brightwater homes to have access to valuable resources.

“This incredible technology is not available in any other elder care facility in New Zealand, and we are extremely grateful to the AR & TI Harper Charitable Trust for partnering with us to support our elders in this way.”

Enliven is now seeking further funding so that it can offer the wellness chair technology to all residents at its dementia and hospital care facilities across the lower North Island. 

Brightwater Home and Village and Coombrae Home and Village are operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central. The two sites offer independent retirement living, rest home, hospital, dementia and palliative care.  To learn more, call Brightwater Home on 06 356 4190 or Coombrae Home on 06 323 4491.

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