Home helper database mooted

A volunteer database has been mooted to help elderly people who are struggling with housework after medical treatment.

Otago Daily Times readers suggested there was enough community support in Dunedin to ensure nobody was left to fend for themselves, as Cliff Rodger feels he has been.

''I think it's appalling that anyone is sent home from hospital like that. It makes me very sad,'' Kate Croy, of Maori Hill, said.

''I'd like to see a contact for help for people who come out of hospital in the same situation.''

Opoho resident Sue Harvey, who spent yesterday afternoon doing Mr Rodger's laundry, also believes community care can be an important part of healing.

''Cliff is so hurt at how he's been treated. But he is not saying 'poor me'. He is saying that this is a huge thing and an important issue for so many people,'' she said yesterday.

''I can't stand seeing people suffer and I know so many other people also want to help. There is a distribution of people all around Dunedin who would help. The health board could let the network know when someone who needs help is being discharged into their community.

''Surely, the health system should be doing something about this. Someone like Presbyterian Support could run a database of volunteers.''

Mrs Harvey recently nursed her own 91-year-old father as he recovered from surgery.

''Our family have encountered the failings of the system,'' Mrs Harvey said.

''I think the Southern District Health Board just aren't getting the funding they need. The cake is not being sliced fairly.

''But, if the hospital board aren't getting the funding, why aren't they lobbying and getting the public behind them?''

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