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Aged Care Funding Better Spent On Prevention

Aged Care Funding Would Be Better Spent On Prevention

The additional $11 million that the Ministry of Health has announced it is allocating to rest homes and dementia care homes each year would be better spent elsewhere says Gordon Sanderson, Chairman of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Board of Trustees.

"It's abhorrent that the Government is willing to put 11 million into aged care homes but is unwilling to help fund preventative services," says Gordon Sanderson.

"It would make much more sense to put taxpayer money towards preventative measures, which would help to keep thousands of New Zealanders out of aged care facilities each year."

Thousands of New Zealanders are in aged care facilities as a result of preventable health problems and accidents. Gordon Sanderson believes that the level of funding that the Ministry of Health is proposing, would go a long way in providing much needed services for these older people with deteriorating or low vision and other vision impairments.

"Government funding would allow the Foundation to identify the people in most need and help prevent falls, broken hips and other common accidents that can be caused by vision impairments. Funding would also be used to assist older people to remain living as independently as possible for as long as possible, which would help ease the burden on taxpayer funding," says Gordon Sanderson.

"With the aging population and the increasing number of people requiring care in their latter years the Government needs to act now."

The Foundation's proposed low vision services aims to increases people's confidence and independence and, as a consequence, reduce their sense of isolation.

The RNZFB currently receives no funding for these services.

ENDS

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