To say New Zealanders love to DIY would be a small understatement. In most other countries DIY refers to doing your own house maintenance. In New Zealand pretty much nothing is off limits to attempt to DIY, even if we know a trained professional would probably save a lot of stress, hassle and money (even though we hate to admit it!). We are constantly bombarded with advertising pitched perfectly at our seemingly inherent need to be able to do everything ourselves and praise anyone who is a “jack of all trades.”
This DIY attitude is great for many things, it has allowed us to become a creative and inventive society. However, one massive downfall is that it makes us feel it is nearly impossible to ask for help. This can have serious consequences when either you or a loved one is no longer in a position to do everything themselves. To rely on others is often equivocal to losing your independence or becoming a burden. This is where the DIY attitude becomes harmful rather than helpful.
Having the understanding that you or a loved one has entered a new stage of life and that they might require assistance from now on doesn’t show weakness, it shows an understanding that there is an option to remain independent whilst receiving assistance. For some, home based support services bridge the gap between the need for independence and the coming to terms with their changing needs and situation. Of course, this still requires a period of adjustment, however home support professionals highly encourage older people to do whatever they can themselves and they are merely there to assist you in the areas where extra help is needed.
There are a large number of home support providers, both public and privately funded, too many to list here so head to Eldernet to check them out. They provide a wide range of services that you or a loved one could benefit from including companionship, housework, shopping assistance, transport assistance, live in care, personal care, overnight stayer, and many more.
How to get the help
The first step is asking for the assistance. WINZ is a great place to start to enquire about funding for home based support. Staff at your doctors or Care Coordination also will have information relating to this and may be able to support you in choosing the right service. Remember speak up! No one knows your needs better than yourself so it pays to be honest and upfront so these services can help you to the best of their ability.
Talking about funding
Many services have subsidized funding or are fully funded by the DHB. You will need to go through an assessment to determine what you might benefit from. This service is operated through Care Coordination Centers/SPOE, Adult Community Referral Centres or Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Centers depending on what DHB you are in. The assessment can take place in your home, an in-patient ward or rest home, clinic or another place of your choice. Once that is completed you will receive a ‘Care Plan’ that will outline you needs, goals and recommended support. While the goal is for you to live independently and safely sometimes this is not possible and residential care may be considered. It is all about what works best for you or your loved one, which is the most important thing.