If you are looking to assist someone considering moving to a care home, here is a quick guide to the process.
The number of New Zealanders requiring residential care is steadily increasing and will continue to do so. It's estimated that the number of beds utilised in aged care is 37,030, and is expected to rise to up to 52,000 by 2026. Whether you require an aged care home, hospital care or home help, there are certain ways to help decide which is best for you, here is a quick summary.
Step one: Have an assessment
According to the New Zealand Aged Care Association, the person requiring care "will need to see a Needs Assessor from the District Health Board (DHB) to determine their care level. A DHB Needs Assessor evaluates how much help a person needs in their daily life."
The home visit interview will take about two hours. The DHB assessor will then decide what type of assistance is needed: either home help or admittance to an aged care facility or hospital.
Your GP can request an assessment or you can discuss a visit with your Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service (NASC). A pre-assessment can also be made via a telephone interview, which takes about 30 minutes.
Step two: Have your interview
During the home visit the DHB will interview you and the person requiring the care and ask questions to help them determine:
- What the person can do around the home.
- Whether they need help with everyday tasks.
- What help is needed
- What help and resources do they currently have?
Step three: a decision is made
Following the interview, the DHB assessor, along with you and the person requiring care will decide which level of care or services best meets their needs.
"If your parent has low to medium needs, they may receive home care," says the New Zealand Aged Care Association. "If he or she has high needs, they may be able to enter a rest home or hospital." The NZ Aged Care Association says that it's important to "advocate strongly for the option your parent prefers."
Around a week later, you will receive a letter from the DHB assessor detailing which support services are eligible to receive or an eligibility letter for residential aged care.
For more information or if you're concerned about a loved one, speak to their GP for more information or visit the New Zealand Aged Care Association’s website. Find out more about our Bupa Care Homes.