New community respite care programme starts next month

Press Release – Westcoast DHB

A service giving older people the opportunity to have respite care in a homely and comfortable setting is starting on the West Coast next month. The West Coast DHB, in partnership with Presbyterian Support’s Enliven Services will be offering a …New community respite care programme starts next month

A service giving older people the opportunity to have respite care in a homely and comfortable setting is starting on the West Coast next month. The West Coast DHB, in partnership with Presbyterian Support’s Enliven Services will be offering a respite care programme for elderly people for up to 14 days.

Presbyterian Support and the DHB currently provide day care support for older people through their HomeShare programme.

West Coast DHB CE David Meates said the new service was a great step forward in elderly care on the Coast “and a further demonstration of us working in partnership with other health providers to improve health services for the elderly”.

“It is also an example of us working to provide better, more convenient health care close to people’s homes, and getting the right services to the right people in the right place,” he said.

Peter Clarke, Enliven’s team leader on the Coast, says, “Carers who will provide the respite care service in their own homes are already part of HomeShare and are experienced in providing services to older people.

“Hosts tend to be retired professional or semi-professional people who have a level of training already and are able to care for older people who may have mobility and other issues. And because they are part of the HomeShare service, their homes already meet safety and other physical requirements.”

Potential clients for the respite care would come from a range of backgrounds, Mr Clarke said.

“They may be receiving care from a family member or spouse who becomes ill or needs a break. They could be living on their own and have a health issue and need support or even a social issue and need some companionship.”

Referrals for the service , for example from a GP, will go through a process which looks at a client’s needs whether, for example, they be dietary, mobility or overnight needs. The client then visits and meets the care-giver.

“It is important that the match is compatible since the situation will be very new for the client.”

Mr Clarke said there was a lot of pressure on respite care beds in rest-homes “and sometimes people end up in those beds when they don’t actually need that level of care.

“That’s where community respite care can provide a positive, more appropriate experience for clients, while taking some pressure off the system and freeing up respite care beds for those who do need that higher level of care.”

The service will start with three or four existing HomeShare providers in the Greymouth and Westport areas, with the plan being to gradually bring more providers on board. The aim is to grow the service to provide 450 respite days over the next 18 months.

ENDS

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