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Paula Bennett - Calls to elderly people essential

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development, Employment & Youth Affairs
24 February 2011

Media Statement

Calls to elderly people essential

Work and Income staff continue to make contact with elderly people living alone in Christchurch and in some cases it’s proving vital says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

So far 10,234 calls have been made and 3,311 people have answered those calls.

“We’ve needed to send emergency help and home visits to a small number of people, though most are actually coping very well,” says Ms Bennett.

“Clearly, whether people need immediate assistance, a home visit later, information about what to do or just a friendly voice to talk to, it’s vital we continue checking on those elderly living alone,” says Ms Bennett.

Around 50 elderly people have been referred to welfare centres.

Welfare centres are operating in Burnside High School, Cowles Stadium, Pioneer Stadium and Rangiora Baptist Church.

“People who have been displaced can go to these centres where they will find food, water and a bed if they need it,” says Ms Bennett.

Currently the welfare centres are coping well with the numbers of people needing assistance.


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