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Goodhew: Elderly couples should not be split up

Jo Goodhew MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman (Aged Care)

17 October 2006

Goodhew: Elderly couples should not be split up

National will put forward amendments to the Social Security (Long-term Residential Care) Amendment Bill that would stop couples in aged-care facilities being unnecessarily split up, says National's Associate Health spokeswoman (Aged Care), Jo Goodhew.

HealthCare Providers NZ says DHBs are refusing to give the residential care subsidy to elderly couples who choose to buy an apartment attached to a rest home so they can live together.

"This is yet another example of hard-nosed laws that disadvantage the elderly," says Mrs Goodhew.

"No one would dispute the amount of stress that elderly men and women feel when they are parted from their lifelong partner.

"When a couple choose to make their home in an apartment attached to a rest home they should be able to expect government assistance if either is assessed as needing rest-home care."
Mrs Goodhew says such a move is consistent with National's five principles for aged care, announced by National Leader Don Brash:

* Independence and choice, so users of aged-care services have a choice of providers who meet nationally set standards of care.

* Continuum of care to ensure that access to health and social care services, including respite care, is seamless and professional.

* Sustainable funding partnerships to improve our capacity to meet the growth in demand for residential-care services.

* A trained and skilled workforce to ensure the delivery of safe, quality care.

* Use of new technologies for dealing with aged-care issues in the decades ahead.

ENDS

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