With the release of the latest Where from Here He Ara whakamua handbook – which covers the Upper North Island – The Eldernet Group marks more than 30 years of what is commonly referred to as the ‘older person’s bible.’ The latest edition provides essential information for older people living in Auckland, Northland, Waitematā, Hokianga and Counties Manukau.
The Eldernet Group director, Eleanor Bodger, says the past two years have highlighted the importance for older kiwis to have strong support networks.
“While Covid-19 has been hard for everyone, it has been particularly tough for older people – especially those who are isolated from friends and whānau. Where from here helps older people find and access support services that suit their needs – whether it’s a hot meal, assistance around the home or simply a friendly voice on the end of a phone.”
The latest Where from here handbook has also coincided with some major challenges in the aged care sector. While the new health system aims to improve the quality and consistency of health care for all New Zealanders, the reality is that the sector is still under huge strain.
“There is a lack of clinical staff around the country and many services continue to work beyond capacity, often with limited funding. This is resulting in longer wait lists and wait times for some health services,” says Eleanor.
“The cost of living is making life tougher for many older people too, and issues such as access to affordable housing, loneliness and social isolation continue to affect people in a multitude of ways. And as New Zealand’s population continues to age, these issues are going to affect more and more of us.
Where from here is all about empowering people to journey through this stage of life by giving them the tools needed to make decisions that are right for them.”
The Where from here handbook focuses on providing older people and their support networks with the information needed to make informed decisions about their future. Its pages are full of essential information including looking after your mental and physical wellbeing, getting help at home and how to care for carers, setting up enduring powers of attorney, accessing financial assistance and staying safe from scams, and details about retirement facilities.
It lists all residential homes in the region and specifies the level of care each one provides, and also highlights home help providers, kaumātua services and day programmes throughout the region.
Specific editions of Where from here have been created to cover every area in New Zealand and editions are updated every 12 months to ensure all information remains relevant.
It is available free of charge via health professionals such as social workers and older person’s service teams at public hospitals. You may also be able to get a copy at your local GP, library, Age Concern, Grey Power or Citizens Advice Bureau.
Books can also be ordered online at www.wherefromhere.co.nz or by phoning 0800 162 706.