The 60 events and activities happening around the capital range from a ukulele jam, spin poi classes, a tour of Government House, healthy kai cooking classes, and how to chair dance – most of which are free with a gold card.
Video call support is a new addition to the programme, with one-on-one training on how to stay in touch with loved ones through programmes like Zoom. This is a sign of the times says Mayor Andy Foster.
“One of the many challenges during COVID-19 alert level lockdowns was ensuring our vulnerable older community members had access to support and information – especially when so much of it is online.
“Providing seniors with the skills and tools to access the many online resources and to stay in touch with distant whānau is crucial in these uncertain times. Seniors' Week is a brilliant opportunity to enjoy new experiences and lifelong learning.”
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for enjoying good health and mental wellbeing, so this event couldn’t come at a better time, says Seniors portfolio lead, Councillor Rebecca Matthews.
“This year has really highlighted the importance of being connected, active, and being able to communicate with friends, whānau, and neighbours for our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
“With so many events and activities happening around the city this Seniors’ Week, there is really something for everybody to get out and about and do, build relationships, build confidence, and most importantly, to socialise and have some fun.”
Wellington City Council has a valuable partnership with Age Concern Wellington, and the Wellington region CEO Stephen Opie reiterates the importance of this event this year.
“Participating in Seniors’ Week is a great way for our city’s seniors to get together and reconnect after what has been a very stressful year. We will all remember 2020, but for seniors especially, the importance of building strong communities through social connection has been highlighted strongly during the pandemic.
“We know that connection builds resilience, and so we hope to see many seniors supporting this year’s Seniors’ Week.
“There are plenty of opportunities to take part in something new or learn a new skill. Seniors’ Week is not only about getting together, but about keeping our brains active and healthy, a key to positive ageing.”
Free event booklets are available from local libraries or community centres, or a digital version can be downloaded from the Council website at wellington.govt.nz/seniorsweek.