Most older New Zealanders living in rest homes and long-term aged care facilities around the country find meaning in their day-to-day lives, interRAI New Zealand says.

Most old people living in aged care homes have strong and supportive family relationships, a consistently positive outlook on life, and spend some or most of their time doing activities.

interRAI New Zealand works with District Health Boards and health services agencies to assess and compile data on the health and wellbeing of older New Zealanders.

Data collected about people 85 years and older living at home and in care is made available to inform better care decisions and support. It is summarised the interRAI annual report released today.

“Data from interRAI assessments helps our health, disability and aged care sectors plan, allocate resources and monitor effectiveness of care services based on need,” interRAI New Zealand Governance Board Chair Cathy Cooney said today. “You can’t do good planning unless you know the needs of the community.

Cathy Cooney, Chair, interRAI New Zealand Governance Board

“Across New Zealand we have very competent teams of health professionals who assess the needs of older people, and how they can be supported to meet those needs,” Cathy Cooney said. “Last year 127,000 interRAI assessments were completed. That is a very rich source of information.”

“interRAI data allows us to see trends clearly. For example, feeling lonely is clearly linked to depression. People with poor oral health have a higher risk of suffering from poor general health.

interRAI New Zealand analysis of data highlights some key findings about older people living in aged residential care:

  • Most older people (92 percent) in care have strong supportive relationships with their family
  • Most (76 percent) people in residential care facilities find meaning in their daily life
  • Most (71 percent) have a consistent positive outlook
  • Most (71 percent) spend some or most of their time involved in activities

People living in the 667 aged residential care facilities across the country are on average 85 years old – about half of them (49%) have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Nearly three quarters (73 percent) aged care residents use a walking stick, walking frame, wheelchair or scooter to get around. And 44 percent of people found it difficult to make decisions, such as what to wear.

Read the latests interRAI New Zealand Annual Report www.interrai.co.nz

Read about the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board members here.

About interRAI

interRAI is the internationally recognised, evidence-based system for assessing older adults to ensure they receive appropriate care.

It is collaborative of clinicians and researchers in more than 35 countries responsible for developing comprehensive clinical assessment systems, and the suite of clinical assessment tools available.

interRAI International has a royalty free licence with New Zealand through the Director-General of Health. interRAI New Zealand is the not-for-profit national provider of interRAI services funded by the Ministry of Health.

interRAI Services is a business group within the health services agency TAS. interRAI Services provides education and support to health professionals, data analysis and reporting, software services, and secretariat services to the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board.

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