Singer helps brighten day for resthome residents

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

For years, Lindsay Henare has been volunteering his free time to visit kuia and kaumātua that are in rest homes in Gisborne.  He takes his ukelele with him and sings to them to help ease their loneliness. 

"There are so many people out there that are struggling to live at the moment and so if you can put a bit of kaha and energy just through music- well, let it be- and I'll carry on doing it," he says.

At 73-years-old he is a full-time bus driver while also hosting The Whānau Show which is now broadcast on Turanga FM in Gisborne.

"He's got a really good singing voice as well as you saw.  The residents absolutely love it and Kura especially, she loves his singing," says Dunbane Business and Care Manager Mike West.

Research conducted in December last year by the University of Otago found that one in five elderly were lonely, equating to around 15,000 elderly New Zealanders.

"I just want them to feel that manaakitanga, the warmth, so that they're stable.  Stablisation is the best so that they can have a good day because of the music- and once you do that I think you've achieved your goal by doing this job," says Henare.

His good deeds saw him nominated as a 2018 New Zealander of the Year but he says all he wants to do is leave the elderly with renewed energy.