Carolyn Cooper appointed PSSC chief exec

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Ensuring aged-care organisations are ready to meet the needs of the growing number of elderly will be a focus for Presbyterian Support South Canterbury’s new chief executive.

Carolyn Cooper has been appointed chief executive of the organisation, replacing Michael Parker who took up the same role with Presbyterian Support Otago in March.

Mrs Cooper has worked for the organisation for the past 15 years as general manager, services for older people.

As chief executive, she would focus on growth, sustainability and using the technology now available to enhance the care that the organisation delivered to the community, Mrs Cooper said.

In tandem with this would be a review of the services available to older people and the community at present to determine areas of need.

“The number of older people within New Zealand has been growing rapidly. Therefore, we need to ensure that we are all ready to accommodate this growth.

“One in five elderly New Zealanders are deemed to be lonely, which can impact negatively on an older person’s wellbeing, according to a study conducted by the University of Otago in 2017.

“It is sad to think that there are so many lonely older people in our community, so continuing to make sure our services are readily available to all of those who need it is one of the most important parts of our work.”

PSSC turns 100 this year. A centenary book would be published in June and the milestone would be marked in various ways throughout the year, Mrs Cooper said.