Kapiti Observer : January 17th 2013
5 KAPITI OBSERVER, JANUARY 17, 2013 Enliven Positive Ageing Services are provided by Presbyterian Support Central to support older people in their own home or in one of ours. At Enliven, we encourage our clients to keep enjoying the things they love. We believe that having something to work towards matters at any age. At Enliven we are committed to providing quality care. We value our staff and invest in training and development to ensure high standards of care. Enliven Community Support - (04) 439 4980 * Personal Care Home Help Rehabilitation Nursing Care Continence Tai Chi * also available privately. Enliven Kapiti Cottage - (04) 298 8060 Day Activity Programme for people who fnd it hard to remember things. Call 0800 ENLIVEN (0800 36 54 83) to fnd out how we can help. www.psc.org.nz Enliven Positive Ageing Services 5106397AA PR costs jump from 'scrutiny' By JOEL MAXWELL SPIN SPEND Snapshots of Kapiti Coast District Council public relations spending in the past decade 2001/2002, $68,531 2006/2007, $85,738 2011/2012, $168,442 A near-doubling of public rela- tions spending by Kapiti s council during the last five years is a response to media scrutiny and heavy staff workloads, its com- munications manager says. As reported this week by Fair- faxNZ, Kapiti Coast District Council increased its budget from $85,738 in 2007 to $168,442 in 2012. Communications manager Roger Foley said the figures released under an official infor- mation request covered 11 years, not just the five in media reports. They cover the cost of staff and overheads. The latter includes transport, telephones, ACC and superannuation, etc. The council now has three fulltime-equivalent staff dealing with communications -- one on a fixed-term contract to help with the current workload. The council employs a person to maintain its website as well, he said. Mr Foley said communications staff are involved in tasks that include handling up to eight media inquiries daily, and gener- ating press statements. As you are aware there is con- siderable media interest in the council at Kapiti from three local newspapers, the Dominion-Post, at least four radio stations and at least one web site. This intensity of media coverage is unusual and demands considerable time and effort. Communications staff also prepare newsletters such as Kapiti Update, sustainability newsletter On to It, the staff newsletter Inside Out, Otaki Update, and the Water Project newsletter, he said. Previously staff responded to many media inquiries directly, but Mr Foley said key council staff are extremely busy. Mr Foley pointed to comments reported in FairfaxNZ by Local Government New Zealand presi- dent Lawrence Yule saying com- munications staff are now a necessary part of councils. Mr Yule said local government coverage has been crowded out of newspapers, so local authorities have to put their own messages out. As reported, Wellington City Council spent $639,652 last year on public relations -- up from $258,813 in 2006-2007. In the past five years spending on public relations almost doubled at Rotorua District Council, with a population of about 68,000 -- jumping from $106,410 to $202,448 last year. Supportive: Waikanae's Sandra Forsyth is keen to set up a support group for people with Sjogrens syndrome. Woman with rare disorder looks to support others By JOEL MAXWELL A Kapiti woman with an auto- immune disorder that leaves her constantly exhausted and could even rob her of the ability to cry is launching a regional support group. Waikanae s Sandra Forsyth is keen to connect with people with Sjogrens syndrome. People with Sjogrens are attacked by their own immune system, with tear-producing glands in the eyes, and salivary glands in the mouth most affected. Most sufferers experi- ence chronic fatigue and constant flu-like achiness. Some develop rheumatoid arthritis. Ms Forsyth was formally diag- nosed with Sjogrens last June after a painful biopsy of a salivary gland in her mouth. It was a relief; it clarified everything and enabled me to speak to my medical team with some authority because I had a formal diagnosis, because some- times they re a bit skeptical. Her Sjogrens symptoms include incessant dryness of the mouth and mouth ulcers, constant exhaustion, muscle weakness and brain fog from decreased blood volume. Now she wants to create an informal support and knowledge- sharing group for people in the Wellington region. She discovered how helpful sup- port groups and networks are after diagnosis with the serious blood disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome in 2010. This causes low blood cell counts and can develop into a form of leukemia within months or years. It requires regular moni- toring of her blood count. Ms Forsyth gained huge help from Cancer Society support networks after an initial morbid tailspin following the diagnosis. She faced similar problems after her diagnosis with the rare Sjogrens last year -- something she wants to help others avoid. If I had trouble finding stuff about Sjogrens and getting the support, then people who are star- ting off afresh in the medical field, they re not going to have a snow- ball s chance . . . because there s no clear pathway. She wanted to bring her story into the public arena and see who else is out there . Check out Ms Forsyth's blog sjogrens.sandra@gmail, or contact her on 021 024 76595.
January 14th 2013
January 21st 2013