Alzheimers Otago has changed the way it does things in North Otago. Oamaru Mail reporter Kayla Hodge meets new North Otago community educator Kim Ross, who will visit Oamaru once a month from Dunedin to assist those who need support.
Q Tell me a bit about yourself, Kim.
I am originally from Balclutha and will always call it home. However, I have spent the majority of my adult life in Dunedin. I trained as a counsellor and have a strong passion for working with people and their families. I enjoy people-focused roles and most of my employment and volunteering roles have been working alongside people.
Q Do you have any connections to Waitaki?
I love visiting the beautiful Waitaki with my family and enjoying the wonderful beaches and outdoor activities available.
Q How long have you been with Alzheimers Otago, and what is your role?
I have been at Alzheimers Otago for three months and my role is community educator.
Q What will your role in North Otago involve, and what is the importance of it?
My role in North Otago is community educator. I will facilitate the support carer groups once a month and also provide one-on-one support to those caring for a person with dementia.
Q How often will you be in North Otago?
I will physically be up one day a month, however, I will be in contact via phone regularly when needed and people can always contact me this way also or email/text if they prefer.
Q What are you looking forward to about helping the North Otago community?
I am looking forward to meeting everyone and being a part of the North Otago community. I also look forward to being able to contribute to the community.
Q What sort of support does Alzheimers Otago offer in North Otago?
We provide one-on-one support for carers, and support group for carers. We are currently recruiting for a new position, cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). They will work directly with the person with dementia, we are also looking at other activities for people with dementia. This position will be based in the Oamaru office.
Q Why is it important for people to receive this kind of support?
We understand that having dementia can be very challenging and also for all the people surrounding that person. By supporting the carers and the person with dementia through specialised support, both parties can feel supported and understood and this is the best possible outcome.
Q What do you like to do in your spare time?