Minimum staffing levels needed to prevent rest home distress

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Minimum staffing levels in all New Zealand rest homes would help prevent the horrifying experiences faced by many older Kiwis, Labour’s Aged Care spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.Kris Faafoi Spokesperson for Aged Care

15 February 2012

Minimum staffing levels needed to prevent further rest home distress

Minimum staffing levels in all New Zealand rest homes would help prevent the horrifying experiences faced by many older Kiwis, Labour’s Aged Care spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.

“A report on the death of a 90 year old woman who was not adequately cared for during a brief stay at an Auckland rest home in 2009, released today, makes sad reading.

“It highlights the on-going issue of inadequate staffing levels in our rest homes and the continued undervaluing of the sector,” Kris Faafoi said.

“In the report the Health and Disability Commissioner notes that the rest home was dealing with a norovirus outbreak at the time, but that it was under such pressure it did not have adequate safety nets to ensure the woman was being monitored properly.

“Labour campaigned on minimum staffing levels for nurses and caregivers at all residential care facilities. We will continue to call for adequate staffing while horror stories continue to make the headlines.

“Just last month 15 substantiated complaints in the Waikato region alone highlighted neglect, poor food standards and substandard medical treatment at rest homes.

“Our elderly population is set to skyrocket over the next 14 years, with over 65s tipped to increase by 84 per cent to 944,000 by 2026, hence the number of them needing rest home care will also increase.

“Care of our older citizens is hugely undervalued. We need to need to ensure every facility has a safe number of quality trained staff. In turn they can then provide a level of care we would all expect and that older New Zealanders deserve,” Kris Faafoi said.

ENDS

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