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Community Care For Elderly Urged

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rod Oram
Rod Oram

Wellington, Sept 3 NZPA - The elderly should be cared for in the community as a way of reducing "rocketing" healthcare costs, business journalist and commentator Rod Oram says.

Oram's comments were delivered to the New Zealand Home Health Association (NZHHA) conference in Wellington, which represents more than 60 organisations providing healthcare, personal care and support for sick, elderly and disabled people living in their own homes.

As budgets tightened and the proportion of elderly increased, it would become unsustainable to fund care from taxes, he told delegates.

The key was promoting healthier lifestyles, and families and communities looking after older people, as they used to.

"We need a lot more emphasis on preventing devastating diseases, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease, and we have to try and keep our elderly in the community, where they undoubtedly do better," Oram said.

"The key is to start rebuilding communities that value older citizens and work together to solve social and economic problems."

NZHHA chief executive Julie Haggie said many older and disabled New Zealanders could live in their homes, as long as they received regular visits from home support workers.

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