Next Tuesday 11th April 2017, Methven’s Residential Aged Care Facility will celebrate 40 years in operation. The public open day at Methven House welcomes young and old to drop in for a chat, with entertainment from local schools staged throughout the day.
The official opening of Methven House took place on April 3rd 1977 after the formation of the Methven Aged Care Welfare Committee and a successful fundraising effort to purchase and convert the old Methven Cottage Hospital that closed in 1968. As the home established itself through the 80s, two flats were built on nearby land designed for residents to live independently but with the reassurance that care was at hand close by. This successful development resulted in an extension of two more flats and in 1999 a service was introduced for residents to have the option to obtain meals, house keeping, personal care and medication. By the millennium Methven House had expanded to accommodate a much broader range of aged care, with a qualified staff of 15.
Over the years Methven House stood strong under the pressure of meeting new regulations within the aged care industry and did so through the enormous amount of work (paid and unpaid) put in by all the people involved; far too many to mention here.
Long time committee member and ex Chairman of Methven House, Derek Glass, remembered the sorts of traditions that formed early and some that have stayed to this day.
“In the early days there was a farmer who used to provide all the meat: he’d simply kill a steer, and a couple of others would provide all the potatoes. It was this sort of thing that kept the place going, but soon regulations put a stop to that. A volunteer group formed very early on that called themselves Friends of the Methven House. They used to help out cleaning the grounds and doing the flower arranging and things like that and still now make sure that each resident gets a birthday card on their birthday. Not only that but organise outings and weekly entertainment at the home.”
Methven House has a unique footprint in an industry that is fast becoming too big for it’s boots, operating as a registered charity on behalf of the people of the surrounding area. Day to day management is carried out by Nurse Manager, Elizabeth Heybrook, with support from Assistant Manager Jo Molyneux, caregivers, domestic staff and Office Administrator Heather Mackenzie.
Methven House still has a strong contingent of volunteers involved including a Meals on Wheels service delivered Monday to Friday by community members to many elderly people in their own homes ensuring they have a nutritious meal. As already mentioned, the days of killing a steer for Methven House have gone, however many donations of vegetables, fruit and baking still make regular appearances at the door and are always welcomed with a smile.
Photo: Methven House Care Giver, Amy Patterson with resident, Josie Maw. Photo credit: Hazel Redmond