With the release of the latest Where from Here He Ara Whakamua handbook – which covers the Lower South Island – The Eldernet Group marks more than 30 years of what is commonly referred to as the ‘older person’s bible.’ The latest edition provides essential information for older people living in Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes, Southland, Waitaki, Dunedin and surrounding regions.
The Eldernet Group director, Eleanor Bodger, says the most recent nationwide lockdown has highlighted the importance for older kiwis to have strong support networks.
“While situations such as lockdowns can be hard for everyone, they are particularly tough for older people – especially those who are isolated from friends and whānau. Where from Here helps older people find and access support services that suit their needs – whether it’s a hot meal, assistance around the home or simply a friendly voice on the end of a phone.”
The latest Where from Here handbook has also coincided with some major developments in the aged care sector.
“In April, the Government announced major reforms to the health system which will come into effect from next year, while New Zealand’s 2021 budget has promised significant changes to health funding,” says Eleanor Bodger.
“Aside from anxieties around COVID-19, some older people are also navigating the closure of banks and posts offices across the country, the removal of cheques and the shutting down of the copper phone and broadband network. Where from Here is all about empowering people to journey through this stage of life by giving them the tools needed to make decisions that are right for them.”
While the Where from Here handbook has gone through several name changes since its creation by a team of social workers way back in 1989, its focus on providing older people and their support networks with the information needed to make informed decisions about their future has never wavered. Its pages are full of essential information including looking after your mental and physical wellbeing, getting help at home and how to care for carers, setting up enduring powers of attorney, accessing financial assistance and staying safe from scams, and details about retirement facilities. It lists all residential homes in the region and specifies the level of care each one provides, and also highlights home help providers, kaumātua services and day programmes throughout the region.
Specific editions of Where from Here have been created to cover every area in New Zealand and editions are updated regularly to ensure all information remains relevant. It is available free of charge via health professionals such as social workers, NASC and Care Coordination Centre teams at public hospitals. You may also be able to get a copy at your local GP, library, Age Concern, Grey Power or Citizens Advice Bureau (dependent on alert level restrictions). Books can also be ordered online at www.carepublications.co.nz or by phoning 0800 162 706.
The Where from Here handbook is developed by the team behind www.eldernet.co.nz (New Zealand’s leading online information source for older people and their whānau) and www.retirementvillages.co.nz (which has the largest selection of retirement village properties in New Zealand).