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People most at risk will bear the brunt of funding cuts

Media Release Age Concern New Zealand

29 April 2013

People most at risk will bear the brunt of the Government’s planned Community Response funding cuts

Greater numbers of older people risk being the subject of abuse when the Government cuts its Community Response Funding in July, according to Age Concern New Zealand.

President Evelyn Weir says this is “very regrettable”.

Age Concern already provides professional help each year to 1500 older people who are abused, including physical, emotional and financial abuse, and Mrs Weir said lives and health can be destroyed as a result.

Age Concern has 24 dedicated services throughout New Zealand, but Government funding cuts will force these services in Kaitaia, Rodney, Rotorua, Wairoa and Marlborough to cease.

Mrs Weir says this means that older people in these areas will be “at the mercy of abusers”.

Elder abuse is a serious national issue and Age Concern has developed a professional and responsive intervention service to help abused elders.

“Our intervention service is an essential community service which needs proper Government recognition and support,” Mrs Weir said.

“Demand for these services is immense. We need all the services we have, including the new services which were established with community response funding.”

“I would have thought Government would have given high priority to abused elderly people. However, its actions, which will cut our intervention services, shows its low level of regard. When the need for intervention services was raised with MSD, we were told to apply to a fund which expressly excluded funding client services.”

Mrs Weir urged the Government to reallocate some of its funding to these essential services .

“Already, too many older people in New Zealand are abused. They need intervention support which Age Concern New Zealand provides.”


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