8 Feb 2010

Phone assessment of elderly needs 'inaccurate'

7:30 pm on 8 February 2010

The Grey Power lobby group says the assessment of elderly people's home-help needs should be conducted in person rather than over the telephone.

Grey Power says that about 35 people it surveyed on the Kapiti Coast had had their home-help service cut by half after telephone assessments by the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

Spokesperson Peter Sander says the telephone assessments were inaccurate because people were too proud to answer honestly. They made out they were capable of looking after themselves when in fact they were not.

Mr Sander says the assessments should be conducted face to face in people's homes - and their doctors should also be consulted.

The DHB was unavailable for comment.

Board cost-cutting blamed for help reduction

The nephew of an elderly Hutt Valley woman whose home help was reduced after a phone assessment says the decision was the result of cost-cutting by the district health board.

Brian Langham says his aunt got six hours' home help a fortnight after she had a stroke, but that was cut to two hours. Yet she can't move about without a walking frame, he says, and can't clean her own house.

Mr Langham says the board has denied that home-help reduction is the result of cost-cutting.