COVID-19: Q & A with Enliven Older People Services

Hawke’s Bay Foundation asked some local charities how COVID-19 affected them, especially during level 4 lockdown, and how they adapted to ensure their services remained available to their communities. Read below about Enliven Older People Service’s unique response.

Enliven Older People Services

Enliven Older People Services Enliven Older People Services is a provision of Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC). Enliven enables older people to live independently at home by providing home support and day programmes at the Enliven Centre.

What did your organisation do to help in Level 4 lock down?
Enliven Older People Services continued to deliver essential support to our clients at home: medication support, showering, nursing, support and shopping. We organised urgent non-contact shopping and food parcel deliveries where necessary.
Enliven Day Programmes shifted to welfare checks by phone for older people, keeping in touch as and when our clients requested.
We delivered exercise classes online, promoting the need to keep active alongside ACC. Older people need to keep moving and connect with others, and indeed the feedback from our clients is they want to get back together with their friends safely. In the meantime, we are working with them one-on-one.

How has COVID-19 affected your organisation?
All our staff have continued in their roles. Some provided direct support to clients as essential workers during lockdown.
Some worked from home either because they were vulnerable themselves, or to carry out essential team support. Enliven has moved services online where possible.
Staff have been flexible and innovative, stepping up to meet technical and logistical challenges.Clients have been very understanding through these changes.
More widely, PSEC has always made up the roughly 25 percent shortfall between government funding and the actual cost of delivering services to the community. We do this in various ways, including fundraising, donation programmes including bequests, and income from our three charity shops.
Although our government contracts continue, we have seen a decline in donations and charity shop income due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, community need has increased. Making up this gap will be the key challenge for PSEC and its services, Enliven and Family Works.

Do you anticipate a change in the way you provide your service?
It’s proved vitally important to work with other services to coordinate our responses. The Civil Defence network has helped us to coordinate more effectively and learn from each other. A staff member was seconded from PSEC to the Civil Defence Older Persons Network to identify people in need and rapidly connect them with support.