TERRY Wood, Gordon Beattie, George Wilson and Doogie Crosswell keep themselves busy and hard at work out in the shed. Photos James Sandbrook OB4648-04

WITHIN coming years, affordable accommodation will be available for elderly Opotiki residents, thanks to renovations at Peria House.

Current plans for the facility show 13 single-bedroom units built into the old wards, available to self-sufficient elderly renters.

“They’ve got to be able to look after themselves, but their carers can still come in,” Peria House manager Shelley Kerr said.

It is planned that each unit will have its own bathroom and kitchenette, as well as ramp access for mobility scooters and walkers.

“We will also be able to offer meals from the kitchen,” Mrs Kerr said.

Following the coming renovations, the facilities – kitchen, lounge, laundry and office areas will remain intact and available for renters to use.

In May last year, the kitchen was fully overhauled to meet new inspection standards, as well as the facility’s generator.

Mrs Kerr said the kitchen and generator had been utilised throughout the year, hosting lunches during full-day power cuts, as well as supplying food for the weekly blokes’ shed and ladies’ group hosted onsite.

Over the past year, Peria House has also overseen upgrades and renovations to nine of its Chatfield Road properties, including supplying vegetable boxes for residents.

“The residents are really into them,” said Mrs Kerr.

The retirement village has also been the subject of upgrades, recently receiving some fresh coats of paint.

Mrs Kerr said the plans were currently being worked on by an architect and would hopefully be acted on within the next two years.

“It’s an important part of the town.”

Social groups in full swing

LYN Barker and Dorothy Lusty get stuck into a puzzle. OB4648-01

BACK in full swing, Peria House’s Blokes’ Shed and Ladies’ Group are still proving to be a hit with Opotiki elders.

The groups meet each week, with attendees socialising and enjoying activities over the day.

“The idea is to get them out of their homes and to socialise,” Mrs Kerr said.

While the groups are both well attended, Mrs Kerr said she was hoping to see more people coming along.

“We really want to build up the numbers now,” she said.

This hope is not just extended to Opotiki’s elders, but also to younger people in the community looking to pick up new skills and pass their own along at the weekly gatherings.

“I really want to get it going. It would be terrible if it had to close,” she said.

The groups meet each Wednesday from 9.30am, with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea covered by $10.

Peria House also offers a pick-up and drop-off service, which is provided for an additional $2.

“I would absolutely love more people to come along.”