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Frequently asked questions


What is a needs assessment?

A needs assessment is a discussion with the older person to help identify their needs and what disability support services are available. It may be useful to have another family member present at the assessment visit. The Needs Assessor contracted by the District Health Board allocates publicly-funded services and should have a good knowledge of other local supports.
I have concerns about an older person  
If you are worried about how an older person is managing, talk first with them. If this does not allay your concerns, then other people you could talk with are family members, the doctor, Age Concern, Seniorline or the local Needs Assessment service.
If you are needing support to care for an older person at home
There are a range of supports available to help carers looking after an older person at home; these include home care, day care, support groups and short-term relief care. Talk to your local Needs Assessment service for more information.
Can I be paid to look after my mother?
To qualify for the Supported Living Payment you need to be caring full-time for someone at home who isn't your husband, wife or partner. The person you’re caring for must otherwise require hospital or residential-level care. If you are a full-time carer and you have a partner, their income is taken into account. Contact your local Work and Income office.
How do I apply for a subsidy to pay for my parents care?
Before applying for subsidy the older person must first have an assessment by a District Health Board contracted Needs Assessor. The assessor confirms the assessment has been completed by filling in one page of the application form before giving it to the older person or their family. If you need help in answering questions in the application, phone Work and Income on 0800 999 727. Photocopy the application and any documents so you have a complete set for yourself before posting the originals to Work and Income at Private Bag 9032, Whangarei 0148. You will next receive a letter from Work and Income notifying eligibility status.
I think my parents need care - can I find a facility and put them in?  
Most rest homes and hospitals require a clinical assessment. It also ensures that you take appropriate action; it is possible that your parents’ health status can be improved. Ask your GP to send a referral to your local District Health Board requesting assessment for long term care; this should help clarify appropriate next steps. 
What help is available at home?
There is a range of help available to older people at home; this can include publicly-funded help with showers, dressing, housework, advice and equipment.  It can also include referral to private providers who offer useful services such as medical alarms, frozen meals and ambulance subscriptions. Non-government organisations such as Alzheimers, Arthritis, Parkinsons and others have knowledgeable fieldworkers able offer help and advice. Contact your nearest Needs Assessment service to help you identify local resources.

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