Aged Care Advances

Kāpiti Coast gets new respite centre for elderly

By Alan and Helen Tristram

A new aged care respite centre – the Nikau Club — opens its doors on Monday to provide vital ‘respite care’ for up to 15 people a day on the Kāpiti Coast.

Built and run by the Kāpiti Retirement Trust, the Nikau Club on the Sevenoaks complex, provides an interesting day’s activities for elderly who have conditions such as alzheimers.

But just as vital, it provides some free time for family and carers who otherwise may be looking after a relative for 24/7.

The facility was opened by Mayor Jenny Rowan in a short ceremony with Trust chair, John Aburn.

The Maytor paid tribute to the vital role the not-for-profit Trust plays on the Coast, which she said will soon have 30% of its population in the elderly age group.

The Nikau Club is housed in a specially-renovated former two-bedroom villa, which was generously vacated by the former owners, Doris and Cliff Couch.

They now live in an apartment on the Sevenoaks complex off Kāpiti Road.

The Club is staffed by up to four highly-trained and motivated staff and cares for its ‘members’ for a half or full day, with lunch served on the site.

At the opening, Trust chairman John Aburn, said the new unit is ‘another cog in the wheel’ of providing good elderly care on the Kāpiti Coast.

He said the non-profit Trust has a strong balance sheet despite getting little government support.

And, he said, “If we decide we want to do something, we go ahead and do it!”

CEO Wendy Huston said the Nikau Club is the latest in a comprehensive range of elderly care services provided by the Kāpiti Retirement Trust, which runs Sevenoaks, Midlands Gardens and Muriwai Court, accommodating about 400 residents (including those in the hospital unit).

She said it’s all part of meeting the charitable purposes of the Trust.

And, with 120 full and part-time staff, she said, the Trust is now one of the biggest employers on the Coast.

But why the name Nikau Club?

Well, of course the villa has a club atmosphere. And, as one of the carers said, ‘How much nicer to be able to say ‘I’m dropping Mum off at the club’ when you organise a badly-needed day off for yourself.