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More independence for disabled New Zealanders

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health

16 January 2014       Media Statement       

More independence for disabled New Zealanders

New Zealanders who have a long-term disability that isn’t covered by ACC may be eligible to receive funding for housing modifications through the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says in the last financial year more than 3,300 disabled New Zealanders received over $9 million worth of housing modifications, giving them more control and confidence in their living arrangements.

Modifications include handrails in bathrooms or on stairs, wheelchair access ramps, and easy access showers so clients can wash themselves safely. 

“Housing modifications are one of the ways this government is supporting disabled New Zealanders and their families to have more choice, control and flexibility over the lives they lead,” says Mr Ryall.

“I’ve been told about a 49-year-old man, who after having a stroke required a wheel chair to get around, and was unable to get in and out of his house. Living alone, the man was almost completely reliant on caregivers three times a day, seven days a week.

“After having an assessment with an occupational therapist, the man received a small wheelchair lift to help him in and out of his house.

“When a health professional visited him at his house to check how he was getting on, the man was sitting out on his porch in the sun – a spot he had been unable to reach by himself for over a year.

“A lack of mobility can limit a person’s quality of life. This government is committed to helping disabled people live independently in our communities,” says Mr Ryall.
More information on housing modifications is available on the Ministry of Health websitewww.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/disability-services

ENDS

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