Timely admission and plenty of capacity in aged residential care in the Lakes DH
16/04/2018 12:09:06 p.m.

Monday 16 April 2018

Timely admission and plenty of capacity in aged residential care in the Lakes DHB area

Lakes District Health Board says people in its district needing to be in an aged residential care facility usually can be admitted within a week, if they need that level of care.

Portfolio Manager for Health of Older People, Vanessa Russell says a report released this week by the New Zealand Aged Care Association does not provide the full picture, and takes almost no account of the wide range of community based support services available that can support a person to remain at home, rather than moving into an institutional setting.

Vanessa Russell says Lakes DHB has used the interRAI comprehensive geriatric assessment tool to assess the support needs and clinical risk for older people for more than 10 years.

She stresses that InterRAI is NOT a decision making tool to decide when a person needs to leave their home and move into a residential care service and everyone’s circumstances are different.

“Lakes DHB’s approach has always been to respect the right of the client to remain at home, coupled with a commitment to ensure home based services are put in place to enable the client to continue to live independently,” she said.

Not everyone does well moving into a residential care setting, some can become depressed, are lonely and grieve for the loss of their home and possessions and their ability to do what they want to, when they want to do it.

Vanessa Russell says the approach of the new report does not respect client choice to remain at home or the willingness of families to support the person to remain at home.

The health professionals within the Lakes Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination (NASC) team work in consultation with the older person / their carer and family / whanau and are able to make referrals to a number of organisations that will:

• Review medications taken for side effects
• Let general practitioners know the outcome of the assessment and whether it has identified conditions that need medical attention
• Arrange support from district nursing, continence services or physiotherapists/occupational therapists
• Assess the older person’s risk of falling and their need for aids and equipment, modifications to the home, promote activities that improve mobility, strength and balance
• Provide home based support services multiple times a day, seven days per week
• Provider access to day activity programmes, respite services, support for carers and meaningful day activities for people with dementia
• Provide social interaction and opportunities to engage with community activities.
• Ensure the person is seen by geriatricians or psycho-geriatricians if needed

Our current occupancy levels for providing residential care for older people is 70 percent of capacity, with about 602 residents.

In the Lakes DHB area, once a person is assessed as needing to move into residential care, then as soon as person has advised which facility they would like to go to and there is an appropriate vacancy at the level of care the person needs, the needs assessors can arrange with the provider for admission. This process can be done within a week.