Aged Care

It is UnitedFuture policy to:

Improve the community care sector by:

  • Ensuring there are sufficient community nurses and other welfare agencies so that people can be treated at home where possible;
  • Providing better incentives for the nursing, rehabilitation and treatment of the elderly in non-medical institutions, such as rest homes, at home and in retirement villages;
  • Supporting pay parity between nursing staff across all nursing sectors;
  • Developing apprenticeship-style training for caregivers, allowing them to acquire qualifications while working in residential or home care environments, to ensure that they can develop a career path in this field;
  • Ensuring that funding for the aged care sector covers staffing costs in both residential services and in-home care, to improve certainty and transparency, and quality of care;
  • Investigating the introduction of a carer’s allowance for those who stay at home to look after elderly relatives, from the starting point of providing a limited period of paid leave for those who take time off work to care for their parents in the final stages of their life.
  • Re-assessing the way in which the government funds aged care services, as part of a broader inquiry into future health care costs;

Making the health system more responsive by:

  • Introducing a free annual health check-up to all over 65s;
  • Ensuring that older people are fully consulted about their health care and are empowered to make informed choices;
  • Guaranteeing that resources focused on the acute health needs of the elderly are balanced by attention to those ailments that impact on their quality of life;
  • Ensure that hospices are properly funded so that high quality compassionate palliative care is available;
  • Investigate the feasibility of a national health insurance scheme, as an extension of the existing ACC scheme, for non-trauma based disability such as elective surgery for the elderly;
  • Target infant health by concentrating on the appropriate support for parents before and after birth and ensuring high-quality extended care and support, including home visits, by lead maternity carers and Plunket;
  • Treat child obesity as a parenting issue and use parent education as the first line of attack to reduce obesity rates;
  • Develop and fund programmes focussing on better nutrition, particularly for children and youth;
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