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Grave Concerns For Elderly

21 April 2005

Grave Concerns For Elderly

New Zealand First senior citizens spokesperson Barbara Stewart has grave concerns for the future of elderly care as rest homes are being forced to close down at an unprecedented rate.

“These closures are a result of the Government’s failure to help meet the costs of running rest homes and hospitals for those in need,” said Mrs Stewart.

“In November 2004 we saw the Salvation Army put its 13 rest homes up for sale because of a massive shortfall between costs and Government funding. Many others are following suit because they cannot survive and cannot wait any longer to receive the meager 3 percent increase in funding promised by the Government last year.

“With an ageing population and the rate of rest homes and hospitals for the elderly being sold, are we going to see a rise of five-star facilities springing up in the place of traditional rest homes?

“It would be worrying if retirement villages became solely money making ventures for wealthy property developers rather than as providers of affordable care for the elderly.

“The Government has a responsibility to intervene on this issue of national concern and ensure safe communities are provided for those unable to care for themselves,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS


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