As part of ongoing advocacy and following the two unsatisfactory price increase offers from Health New Zealand, the NZACA and Care Association New Zealand (CANZ) have teamed up to raise public awareness of the crisis facing the aged care sector.
There are more than 650 care homes in Aotearoa New Zealand which are home to 35,000 older Kiwis. Care home residents receive daily care and support depending on their needs – from assistance with day-to-day activities through to 24-hour nursing care at hospital level and specialised dementia services.
When a person can no longer live independently and safely in their own home, moving to a care home not only meets their physical health needs but also improves mental and emotional wellbeing.
A care home is a community, it is familiar and comfortable, it is a home.
Right now, the places where tens of thousands of Kiwis call home are under threat. Instead of growing to meet demand from the next generation, over 900 beds in care homes across the country have closed to admissions due to Government underfunding and a nursing workforce crisis.
Without care homes, older Kiwis would be forced to stay in the community for longer to the detriment of their health, or end up in a public hospital, which given the current demand and wait lists, would be disastrous for the wider health system.
Yet under current funding levels, this is an increasingly possible future.
Our call to Health New Zealand
Right now, Aotearoa New Zealand’s aged residential care sector is facing severe staffing shortages and is not being funded equitably compared with the public sector. This essential branch of the health system is under threat.
Join aged care providers, staff, residents and their whānau in calling on Health New Zealand to:
- show it values older Kiwis by investing in aged care
- adequately fund all Aotearoa New Zealand’s aged care providers for the health services they provide, to ensure the survival of care homes for future generations
- live up to its mission of equitable access to health services for all Kiwis – who you are or where you live should not determine the range and quality of services you receive.
The future of health is now. By 2030, it is estimated another 12,000 – 16,000 aged care beds will be needed to keep up with demand. That is around as many beds as there is in the entire public hospital network. At current funding levels, providers will not be able to meet this demand.
Care homes are full of Kiwis who have contributed to Aotearoa New Zealand over many decades through living and working here and raising families. How we treat our older Kiwis reflects on our values as a nation.
We need Health New Zealand to invest in aged care to ensure care homes, and the expert team of health professionals who run them, are around to continue to care for older Kiwis for decades to come.
There are many benefits to living in a care home:
- Professional and personalised care is available 24/7 from a team of registered nurses and healthcare assistants.
- Specialised nursing services provided by registered nurses who are in charge of complex clinical conditions and able to work without the support of expert clinical teams available in hospitals.
- Medical and health services are managed by the care home, taking stress away from the residents or their families, and helping avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
- Increased social connection results in a decrease in loneliness and depression. After often being lonely and isolated in the community, care homes introduce residents to new people and help build new friendships.
- Comfortable accommodation is available in a range of settings, from large facilities co-located within retirement villages, to small family-run or religious care homes.
- Dignity, privacy and independence are valued and respected.
Take it from us, when the time comes, a care home is the best place to be.