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Elderly Set To Miss Out as Demand Exceeds Supply

10 May 2005

Elderly Set To Miss Out as Demand Exceeds Supply

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is worried that it will not be able to provide care to the elderly in rural areas after discovering occupancy in two districts is above 98%. This means demand for residential care services is poised to exceed supply. Furthermore, CDHB are concerned that they will not be able to provide respite care in these districts which means the Governments aging in place strategy will fail.

"What this situation shows is there is a direct correlation between the lack of funding, the lack of residential care beds and lack of respite care. This is what happens when resthomes and geriatric hospitals close".

"What we are seeing in Canterbury is the tip of the iceberg where demand begins to exceed supply. This means our elderly will not be able to receive the care they need or they will have to move away from their communities to access respite care or residential care".

"I think CDHB is dreaming if it thinks a provider is going to go to the expense of building a resthome in rural Canterbury when funding is so low - the reality is rural rest homes are closing not being built."

"What is really worrying is that demand for respite care and residential care increases over winter as DHB hospitals use residential care facilities to look after the elderly who get the flu and need rehabilitation - but where will they go this year?", said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ

ENDS

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