News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Care Shortage Makes Christmas A Hard Time

26 December 2006

Respite Care Shortage Makes Christmas A Hard Time For Many

Families seeking respite care for their elderly parents are being turned away because of an ongoing shortage of beds, HealthCare Providers NZ said today.

“The Christmas New Year break can be very stressful for families with an elderly relative who needs full-time care,” Chief Executive Martin Taylor said. An ongoing shortage in respite care beds and other short stay options means many family caregivers and their elderly parents or grandparents will have no break these Christmas/New Year holidays.

“Many elderly will not get the care they need when they need it and the people who look after them at home won’t get the break that many desperately need over the holiday period,” Mr Taylor said.

“Our members have been reporting numbers of enquires over the last few months from families trying to organise short stays for elderly family members over the holiday period. Unfortunately, in many cases they are being turned away.”

The shortage of respite care beds has not been helped by the problems in the Homecare sector, which also struggles to maintain service levels over holiday periods.

“District Health Boards believe that providing respite care is just a matter of allocating one or two week entitlements, regardless of the availability,” Mr Taylor said. “What they don’t understand is that this leads to a situation where the elderly have the funding for respite care but can’t get any because there are no available beds.”

Mr Taylor said this problem would only get worse as population-driven demand increases. “Right now, there are no new beds being built in the sector, meaning respite care bed numbers are decreasing in real terms.”

HealthCare Providers believes the Government needs to accept the problem and provide a measured response when the “Sustainability Report into Aged Care” is released. “We have been told this report will measure current demand and model future usage, and then propose viable solutions,” he said.

“The Government’s Ageing in Place strategy relies on the availability of short-term stays in aged residential care facilities. As such, the whole issue of respite care availability needs to be looked at on a national basis and addressed.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>