A group of concerned people from Wellington’s Kapiti Coast is in the process of establishing a lobby group in support of residents with dementia in New Zealand care facilities.

The founding members of the group all have family members in a Level 5 (psycho-geriatric) dementia care facility. Their aim in establishing the lobby group is to address “any and all issues affecting the safety, security and treatment of dementia patients”.

One of the founders, Trevor Wilson says the group is concerned with how recent policy and funding decisions are affecting care providers’ abilities to deliver quality dementia care. He points to the issues surrounding the flawed introduction of the Care and Support Workers’ Equal Pay Settlement as an example.

The group also views the recently tightened immigration policies as having an adverse effect on migrant aged care workers with the potential to lower the quality of care.

The group is also pushing for a relaxation in the assessment criteria that currently forces some dementia sufferers to remain at home, cared for by a relative, longer than is fair or reasonable.

Wilson says people’s concerns for their loved ones in care tend to get lost due to the sheer size of the aged care sector. He hopes the lobby group will help advocate to the Government, district health boards and other relevant political bodies.

The group is keen to support care facility operators.

“We can bring the human cost factor into focus in a way they can’t.”

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