The reality is that there is a huge variety of options available that meet the diverse requirements for an older generation which is increasingly wanting to remain independent in their later years. If you have never had to previously think about “the next step”, chances are you might find it difficult to know what option is best for you. What can be confusing is the difference between the types of care available and the corresponding terms used to describe them.
Some levels of care need assessments before you can access the options of care, this is especially true if you are wanting to access a subsidy. Assessments are conducted by your local Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) team or the Care Coordination Centre (CCC). For more information about who to contact in your area, click here.
Rest Home – People who require this level of care usually have some ability to get about on their own or with someone helping them. They require some assistance with personal care and general day to day activities. Many have a degree of memory loss. Some people who have dementia may be able to be safely and appropriately supported in a rest home.
Hospital – Hospital care is provided for those who have significant disability and medical concerns (and may include cognitive decline) which requires oversight and support from registered nurses. Most require the assistance of two people to move about.
Dementia – Dementia care services provide a secure home for those with dementia and for whom there are concerns about risk of harm to themselves or others.
Psychogeriatric care/Specialist Hospital – This type of care is designed for people with a mental health or dementia disorder who require a high level of nursing care and management of behavior that challenges. They need a secure environment and the skills of specialty trained staff.
Respite – Short stays in an aged residential care facility so that carers are able to have a break. This service is allocated via NASC or CCC teams.
Day Programme – Offered by aged care facilities or other stand-alone providers and community groups, some are free, some have a DHB Age Related Contract (subsidized service) where you will need to be assessed, others you can pay privately. These are places where you can get out of the house and your carer also can have a small break. Many provide activities, outings and meals and snacks.
Home Care – There are a range of private and DHB funded providers, you will need to be assessed for DHB subsidized services. Many offer help with personal care (showering/bathing and dressing etc.), household management and domestic tasks (cleaning, laundry, etc.).
Retirement Village – Two or more residential units providing services or facilities for people predominantly of retirement age. These facilities must be registered under the Retirement Villages Act 2003. Although the terms ‘buy and purchase’ are used, you are usually only paying for the right to living in the village; the terms and conditions of which are explained in an Occupation Right Agreement (ORA). This is a legally binding agreement that must be given to intending residents.
Because ‘buying’ into a retirement village is such a complex legal arrangement you must get specialized, independent legal advice before ‘purchasing’.
Lifestyle Village – These are ‘village like’ complexes operating under different ownership and governance structures than Retirement Villages. They have houses designed specifically for older people.
Serviced Apartment – a range of services can be purchased from the village operator. Contact the individual provider to see what they offer.
Care Apartments – A room/unit that you ‘buy’ (ORA or LTO) but is also MOH certified for a level of care (i.e. Rest Home, Hospital). This means that you can live independently but have the knowledge that you could receive a higher level of care without moving out of your home. If the service also has a DHB contract for the level of care you need, a subsidy may be available if required.
Rental – Under a tenancy agreement.
Supported Living/Boarding – There are often family/whanau type homes (e.g. Abbeyfieled homes) where each resident is independent and has their own room/unit. There are often shared communal areas. There may be help with some tasks, such as housework or meals. A boarding or weekly rental usually applies.
If you would like further information on the varying options available to you or a family member, or you want to see which facilities in your area offer what levels of care you can head to www.eldernet.co.nz or order a “Where from Here” handbook for your region.