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Access Community Health And Heartland Bank Join Forces To Enable Ageing Kiwis To Keep Independence

Access Community Health and Heartland Bank join forces to enable ageing New Zealanders to maintain independence in their homes for longer

A new initiative between Access Community Health and Heartland Bank has launched today, designed to enable New Zealand’s ageing population to remain living independently and comfortably in their own homes and communities for longer.

The collaboration has been established on the back of a desire from New Zealand’s over-60 age group to ‘age in place’, where seniors choose to remain living in their homes and communities. The initiative offers eligible homeowners the option to use a portion of the equity in their properties to fund in-home care and support through Access Community Health.

Alison van Wyk, CEO of Access Community Health, says this initiative will help enable those who require additional dedicated care and support to take control of their own health and make the right choices around the type of in-home care they want to receive, and be able to pay for it.

“We are all too aware that there is a desire among New Zealand’s ageing population to live at home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level, for as long as reasonably possible. However, there is no one size fits all approach for aged care, and this collaboration simply provides another option for people to live life on their own terms. We’ve found that a portion of Access Community Health clients already choose to pay for additional private in-home care, and we’re proud to make this journey easier for homeowners through our collaboration with Heartland Bank,” says van Wyk.

A growing ageing population

The collaboration could also provide relief to New Zealand’s health service. With the over-60 age group steadily climbing, research published by the Ministry of Social Development in 2017 suggested that number was expected to exceed 1.3-1.5 million in the next 20 years.[1]

Added to that, with a steadily increasing retired population, estimates suggest that if public health funding continues at its current rate, the care of older people will account for 50 per cent of DHB expenditure by 2025, up from 42 percent in 2016.[2]

Andrew Ford, Head of Retail at Heartland Bank, says reverse mortgages can enable some people to gain financial freedom and independence in old age.

“Our collaboration with Access Community Health has been designed to offer people over the age of 60 greater options and choice. We’re pleased to work with Access Community Health to enable healthy ageing in the home, with access to top quality in-home care and support,” says Ford.

Heartland Bank is an expert in reverse mortgages, helping over 17,000 Kiwis release the equity from their property. And as New Zealand’s ageing population grows, so too does the desire to age in place, with some 12.5 per cent of Heartland Bank customers having used a portion of a reverse mortgage arrangement for medical purposes in the year 2018-2019, with an increase to 19 per cent this year alone.

Find out more about the collaboration between Access Community Health and Heartland Bank here:

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