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Laban: Elderly Bear Brunt Of Cost Cutting

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Winnie Laban
Winnie Laban

Capital and Coast DHB's decision to cut home help for elderly people without a community services card is a disaster for the region, says Labour spokesperson for Aged Care Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

"Home help will be cut for elderly that do not require personal hygiene assistance, or who do not have a community services card. This means up to 500 older people in the Wellington region will now be without home help.

"Not only will this be very difficult for the people involved, but the wider effects will be disastrous," Winnie Laban said .

"For the past four months, Green MP Sue Kedgley and I have toured New Zealand hearing older New Zealanders talk about their experiences with aged care, and one thing which has come through very strongly is agreement that a good level of home care is essential for keeping people in their homes longer.

"Without home help to assist with chores around the house, and support for elderly people who wish to be independent, there will be more accidents, leading to a greater number of people needing residential or hospital level care. It makes no economic sense.

"Added to this, the DHB seems to have made this decision without consulting major stakeholders. Grey Power in the region was told only the day before the DHB announced the changes," Winnie Laban said.

"This drastic action shows the level of cost cutting Capital and Coast DHB is required to do, despite the Government's insistence that money is going to frontline services. There isn't a more frontline service than visiting elderly in their homes and giving them assistance.

"Government cost cutting is now requiring 500 elderly in the Wellington region to go without home help. This Government can find it in their hearts to bail out finance companies but finds this small level of service to people who have been paying taxes their whole lives a bit too much to ask," said Winnie Laban.

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