Heart patient says follow-up lacking

Dunedin man Clifford Rodger is disgusted at the lack of follow-up support after his discharge...
Dunedin man Clifford Rodger is disgusted at the lack of follow-up support after his discharge from hospital. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
An elderly man discharged from Dunedin Hospital last week says the lack of follow-up support for him at home is ''crazy''.

Clifford Rodger, who had a heart attack a month ago, broke down in tears yesterday describing the lack of support since his discharge a week ago.

Mr Rodger (86), of Dunedin, has declined Southern District Health Board's offer of one hour's housework a week, saying it was not enough and did not include essentials such as clothes washing.

He needed about three hours a week for about three weeks, after which he felt he could cope again without support.

''Once I get back on my feet I can manage myself.''

He said a hospital specialist had said he should receive all the home help he needed, and must avoid exerting himself.

Yesterday, his kitchen was full of dirty dishes, and he said he would have to use all of his clean dishes and cutlery.

He had been told home support did not include clothes washing, which he could not understand.

The system was nothing like it was a few years ago when he needed and received appropriate support.

Now it was a ''crazy'' system, and was surely adversely affecting many older people, he said.

Southern District Health Board communications director Steve Addison said there appeared to have been a ''misunderstanding''.

The board would work with Mr Rodger to resolve the situation.

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