It’s true – cats really DO talk to us!

In fact, research from the University of Georgia found that cats are just as expressive as dogs.  It’s just that most of us have no idea what they’re trying to say.  So, here’s a quick lesson in cat communication:

According to the researchers, purring means “Please stay!”  Because cats purr when they’re happy, AND when they’re sick or injured.

So what is your cat trying to say when you get home and they rub against your leg?  That’s your cat’s way of saying, “Welcome home friend!” It’s a behaviour cats exhibit in the wild. After a hunt and feeding, cats will come back together and rub against each other as a way of saying, “Ah yes, we are reunited at last!”  And they’ve translated that behaviour from something within their own species to a way to relate with humans.

Finally, if your cat meows – he’s trying to get your attention.  Because other studies show that adult cats ONLY meow around humans. They don’t meow to communicate with their fellow felines – unless they’re feral and in heat or fighting.

A supergold reminder

A friendly reminder to check for updated discounts and concessions on your valid SuperGold Card. Use this link , then click the region on the map where you live to find where you can use your SuperGold Card.


President’s Column Nov 2018

The last few months have been busy for Grey Power here in Wellington.

Your committee has been organising meetings and talking with people frustrated by the rearrangements to our city bus services.

Our one public meeting was led by Hon Chris Finlayson (former Attorney General), where he outlined his views on the current kerfuffle around the appointment of a Justice to the US Supreme Court.  Chris laid out the ways in which the American appointment process differed from that here in New Zealand and why we seem to have a better process.

Chris also asked for some feedback on the local problems with the bus routes and the management of the issues by the Wellington Regional Council (WRC).

On this issue I have been invited by the WRC to join their Reference Group, which will monitor their performance and progress on bringing an end to the chaos currently reigning since the roll-out of the new routes and new providers etc.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the meeting at which Dame Annette King was due to speak, owing to her being way-laid in Australia on Government business.

Our final event for the year is our Member’s Xmas Luncheon which be held on Thursday 22nd November starting at 12.30pm.  As in past years this will be held at The Grand, 69 Courtenay Place.

Finally on behalf of the Committee of the Association I would like to wish you a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

See you all in 2019.

Lloyd Falck.  
President,   Grey Power Wellington Central

Companion Volunteers needed

Do you have a spare 2-4 hours per week and live in Wellington, Porirua or Kapiti?  Mary Potter Hospice has many patients and carers who need your support to live in their homes in their community. You will help to promote and support their quality of life. Companionship can include ;

  • Sitting and talking
  • Reading to the person
  • Playing cards, board games, jigsaw puzzles
  • Writing cards or letters for the person
  • Going out for coffee, library, movie etc

And any other activities you both enjoy. If you have excellent interpersonal skills, maturity and common sense, a non judgmental and open mind and are able to maintain personal boundaries, conventionality and privacy you could be who we are looking for No medical or personal care is required We provide excellent ongoing support and training For more information or application details please contact Karen Roberts Ph 042372307

Interislander: Grey Power discounts

Group Booking Reference: FA5477

The below rates are based on prices to date, inclusive of GST and subject to availability.

Fares: Peak Each Way

Adult $52.00

Child $25.00

Motorcycle $50.00

Campervan/Motorhome up to 5.5mt $170.00

Additional half metre $42.00

Car/Ute/Van/4WD/trailer up to 5.5mt $137.00 each

Additional half Metre $22.00

Premium Lounge (Kaitaki & Aratere) $45.00 18yrs plus

Peak Dates:

01-28 February 18

29 March – 03 April 18

Fares: Off Peak Each Way

Adult $47.00

Child $25.00

Motorcycle $40.00

Campervan/Motorhome up to 5.5mt $145.00

Additional half metre $37.00

Car/Ute/Van/4WD/trailer up to 5.5mt $124.00 each

Additional half Metre $20.00

Premium Lounge (Kaitaki & Aratere $45.00 18yrs plus

Off Peak Dates:

01 March 28 March 18

04 April – 18 December 18


Group Booking conditions and instructions for members are:

  • Reservations to be made direct with Interislander online at by entering FA5477 into the group discount code box.

  • Space is subject to availability at the time of the booking request.

  • Bookings are 90% refundable if cancelled up to 1 hour before departure.

  • Date and time changes allowed up to 1 hour before departure without penalty, subject to availability.

  • Greypower membership card to be shown at check-in or full retail fare will be charged.

  • Fares subject to change with notification.

  • If booking from outside NZ you will need to request your booking be made via email to

Downsizing: eight tips for home unfurnishing

What can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Start mobilizing while your parents are around. Every single person, if their parents are still alive, needs to go back and collect the stories of their stuff. That will help sell the stuff. Or it might help you decide to hold onto it.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make. Of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties.

3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal. If there is, see if an auction house might be interested in trying to sell things for you on consignment. It’s a little bit of a wing and a prayer.

That’s true. But you might get lucky. I did. My sister and I were pleasantly surprised — no, flabbergasted — when the auctioneer we hired sold our parents’ enormous, turn-of-the-20th-century portrait of an unknown woman by an obscure painter to an art dealer for a tidy sum. (We expected to get a dim sum, if anything.) Apparently, the frame was part of the attraction.

4. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

5. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Or, perhaps, a liquidation firm.

6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. Dad had some tools that looked interesting. A farmer gave $25 for them. Pick out five shelters and give them a list of all the kitchen items you wound up with. “By the fifth one, everything was gone. That kind of thing makes your heart feel good.”

7. Get advice about downsizing. Search on “Tips for Seniors Downsize Your Home nz” – heaps of suggestions will come up. .

8. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously: the boomers’ parents (sometimes, the final downsizing) and the boomers themselves. A 90-year-old parent wants to pass on stuff, or my siblings and I will have to clean up the house. And my siblings and I are 60 to 70 and we’re downsizing.

This, it seems, is 21st-century life — and death. Is there a future for the possessions of our parents’ generation? It’s a different world.

What the ‘retirement village effect’ brings to a neighbourhood

If you wander the streets of Orewa any weekday, you will see cafes full to bursting and shoppers browsing racks of expensive clothing.

One thing they might all have in common? Grey hair.

Orewa is one of Auckland’s major retirement village hubs, with half-a-dozen of the developments within its borders. Units, townhouses and villas sit on the hills overlooking the suburb, looking down on their own bowling greens, swimming pools and gardens.

Local business association manager Helen Wilkins says the local businesspeople do well from them. While the younger residents are at work, cafes do a brisk trade with retirees. The residents in these villages, some of whom have paid more than a million dollars for the rights to their homes, are active, eating out often and not afraid to drop $300 on a shirt, she says.

That’s reflected in the make-up of the shops. If you wanted cheap clothes for a trendy teenager, you’d be out of luck,

“It used to be that people said you went to Orewa to die but that’s not so.”

Read more:

Susan Edmunds – Stuff

Facing up to an age old problem

The music is pounding. Women in sequins sip something sparkling from flute glasses. Men in dinner suits dance in a conga-line. But this is more Tuesday Afternoon Foxtrot than Saturday Night Fever. The dancers are all pensioners, it’s daylight outside and they are hoovering up jam-and-scones, not class A drugs.

“I just don’t want to sit and play bingo,” one grey-haired lady in diamante earrings tells the camera. “I come out here and I just feel smashing.” This is one of London’s nightclubs for the elderly – part of a campaign to curb loneliness – and a movement that first started in South Korea. And it’s an idea that tickled Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin so much, that she shared a video of the event with her Facebook followers.

“They were having a blast, you should see this video, mate. It’s just awesome,” she said. “Now, we assume that all our older people want to do small, quiet things. But just because you are 80 doesn’t mean you don’t like dancing.”

But while those day-time disco goers are looking to escape some of the problems of old age, Martin is facing them head on.

New Zealand’s population is ageing rapidly. Within 20 years, about a quarter of the population will be over 65. But they will be healthier, live longer, be more educated and skilled – and will want to remain in the workforce well into their 60s and 70s.

Read more:

Andrea Vance – Stuff politics

Play spaces for big kids: Auckland Council backs play for the elderly

Auckland Council is considering creating play spaces for big kids, on the back of a document highlighting the benefits play holds for pensioners. The Council discussion document, Tākaro – Investing in Play, looks at benefits, demand and challenges to play, ahead of an investment plan for spending on recreational areas. The document said play into adulthood and old age supported the continued development and maintenance of cognitive and behavioural functions gained as a child.

“It is also thought to help reverse cognitive decline in seniors with dementia,” the report read. Despite this, a gap was identified in the provision of play spaces designed to engage seniors. Play was also found to be a “low priority” for both adults and children.

The document specifically looked at the benefits of play for the elderly, and how demand for play spaces built for adults and seniors could benefit an ageing population. Examples used are swings in bus-stops in Montreal, and sand pits spread sporadically along sidewalks in Vauban, Germany.

Read more:
NZ Herald

Glimmer of hope after years of pain for Kiwis sold faulty hip replacements

Dozens of Kiwis sold a dangerously faulty hip implant, may have a new avenue to seek justice, after years of pain and frustration.

Around 400 New Zealanders were given a metal on metal hip replacement called the ASR between 2004 and 2011, and according to ACC a quarter of that number reported injuries relating to the device.

These injuries stemmed from a design flaw in the artificial joint which caused metal flakes to enter the patient’s blood and surrounding tissue.

One such Kiwi is Joy Palaskas, who says she still lives with the effects of the ASR, even after having the faulty device replaced.

“I am quite slow walking, older people pass me and they’re on zimmer frames,” she told Newshub Nation. “People on zimmer frames walk past me; that is how slow I am with a limp.”

The ASR was produced by the American company Depuy, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.

Read more:

Mike Wesley-Smith – NewsHub

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