Media Release - 08/10/09
The Canterbury District Health Board has not reduced the amount it is spending on home-based support services for older people and is in fact investing in programmes to help them stay in their own homes for longer.
Chief Executive David Meates said the CDHB had taken the responsible step of re-assessing all older people receiving domestic assistance to determine their ongoing need for it using an internationally validated assessment tool.
“So far, we have identified people whose level of support needs to be increased but we have also found a number of people who do not have a health-related need for domestic assistance as they are otherwise socially active and well. This is a responsible use of precious taxpayer money by ensuring that these services are being allocated to those with the highest need,” Mr Meates said.
In line with its increased focus on helping older people to stay in their homes for longer, the CDHB has also introduced an initiative where support workers work with older people who are assessed as needing extra help to improve their mobility, to help them resume daily activities and to be more socially independent. Under another initiative, older people with dementia are supported to stay at home.
Unless an older person has been allocated short term domestic assistance only, their GP will be informed before an assessment so any health concerns can be raised.
All older people currently being assessed over the telephone are spoken to by a health professional who uses a tool specifically designed to be used in telephone assessment.
Only people identified as having non-complex needs, which means they do not have an ongoing serious health condition, are being assessed by telephone. Those who are found to have complex needs during the assessment will be followed up face-to-face.
All older people are contacted by telephone to discuss the proposed outcome of their assessment then they and their General Practice teams are informed of the final outcome by letter. Older people can appeal any decision made by the CDHB about their need for domestic assistance by contacting their General Practice.