The Labour Party says it would set up a working group for
aged care within its first 100 days in office, which would be
tasked with a raft of changes including better pay for
Labour leader David Cunliffe outlined the party's senior
citizens policy at an Upper Hutt Grey Power today, which
included the previously announced free healthcare for
The Aged Care Working Group would develop a "continuum of
care" model which created individualised plans for the
elderly from home to hospital to respite and palliative care.
It would establish minimum staffing levels at rest homes and
other aged care facilities.
And it would ensure that elder abuse and neglect prevention
services were consistent across the country.
The working group would have to advise on timeframes for
these changes and funding to implement them.
Mr Cunliffe said: "Our elderly - our grandparents, our mums
and dads - deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, as
do the people who look after them."
"We need to support older New Zealanders to stay in their own
homes longer with quality home-based care and, where there is
a need for residential care, look at how we can deliver a
less institutionalised approach that puts the individual and
their needs first."
He said National had under-funded aged care hospitals and
Labour would ensure pay parity for nurses and caregivers
working in the Aged Care sector - both residential and home
support. They currently earned less than workers employed by
District Health Boards.
The working group would also introduce minimum qualification
standards for aged care workers and fair compensation for
An Aged Care Commissioner would be established to oversee
implementation of the working group's plan.
- By Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald