Now well into her 70’s, Kokiri has known Mary for many years. Over the years we have admired her resilience. One of the most important things for Mary has always been her independence. This was fine when she was younger but as she began to age, Mary began to use our services more and more.
Our kaumatua services provided Mary with the much needed support for her asthma and often despite the fact that Mary continued to want to live alone and maintain her independence.
Whai Oranga Health Centre’s Outreach nurses would visit her weekly to provide much needed health checks and Kokiri Marae would pick Mary up, take her shopping, pay her bills and take her to diabetes appointments.
Mary still continued to maintain that she wanted to live on her own, in her flat. However, one day Mary became very ill and ended up in hospital. Our community health workers visited her daily and checked her flat. After a few weeks in hospital is was recommended that Mary be placed in a community facility that had a medical wing attached.
Mary was very very, sick and we all hoped that now she would consent to residing permanently in a supported living environment. Not Mary, she told all of us that she was going home and no matter what anyone said, she did.
I have never seen anyone as determined as Mary, she made a full recovery and with the support of Kokiri Hauora whose community nurses stayed over with her for a week, Mary by now in her 70’s remains in her flat, living her way.