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All elderly need greater support, not just those in rest-homes - Alzheimers NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Alzheimers New Zealand says any rest-home sector shake-up must focus on how to provide greater and better support to all New Zealand’s elderly, many of whom are living with dementia.

Chief executive, Catherine Hall, said most older people, including those affected by dementia, need two things.

"They high-quality, targeted, in-community support services, and they need to live independently at home for as long as possible in a supportive and caring environment."

Nearly 70,000 New Zealanders are living with dementia and that number is expected to almost triple by 2050.

"Sadly, nothing has been done to put the necessary support initiatives in place, particularly for the dementia community, which means the quality of life for many older New Zealanders is suffering."

Ms Hall said many specialist services for the elderly are under pressure due to a lack of resources.

More effort is needed to ensure care and support services are better integrated and easier to navigate, both in residential care and at home.

"If the government wishes to improve the wellbeing of our older people tomorrow, then they need to act today."

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