It can be hard to find the motivation to cook for one, especially for people who have few skills in the kitchen, but it is very important to keep up good nutrition.
To inspire the elderly to cook and to encourage good nutrition, Presbyterian Support runs eight-week practical Senior Chef programmes through its Enliven Positive Aging Service.
Hastings District Council is again supporting the initiative, donating $6000 from this year’s Contestable Grants Fund. The fund is distributed annually to groups developing or delivering a community service or project which fits with Council’s aim of “building a safe, liveable, sustainable community”. Council is profiling successful applicants from this year’s grants round.
The Senior Chef programme has a number of benefits – not least among them giving people who may never have had to cook for themselves the skills to make tasty, nutritious meals, says Rebekah Charlton the Enliven Community Service Manager.
“If you are living on your own and perhaps have lost your partner who was the main cook, it can be very difficult to know where to start. A lot of it is about fostering confidence in the kitchen. “And even those who do have the skills can find it hard to find the motivation to cook for one and instead skip cooking and just have toast.’
The programme focuses on easy to prepare meals made from fresh ingredients that provide good nutrition. “Inadequate nutrition is a major problem for older people. Senior Chef teaches the importance of eating well, highlighting the risk factors such as low fruit, vegetable and meat intake,” says Rebekah.
“Maintaining good nutrition is vital for healthy ageing but of equal importance is the fun and company our ‘students’ get out of these classes. In the four years we have been running the course a lot of new and lasting friendships have started from the classes.”
Enliven is a Presbyterian Support service designed to enable elderly people to live independently at home for as long as possible. In Hawke’s Bay, the programmes are run from The Enliven Centre on Pakowhai Rd in Hastings, focusing on socialising, activities, health and fitness. Enliven also has plans in place to again run programmes in Waipawa and Porangahau in the future.
For more information and notice of the next programme see: www.psec.org.nz/learn-more/enliven
For more information on Hastings District Council Annual Contestable Grants see: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/contestable-grants-fund
24 October 2017
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