NZACA chief executive Martin Taylor’s claim that the association’s new website findaresthome.co.nz is the only website in New Zealand that collates information around aged residential care into one place is disputed by Eldernet director Eleanor Bodger.
The new website was launched last month by NZACA, and aims to address the public’s common queries and concerns about aged care in New Zealand.
The site provides information about rest home, hospital, and dementia care, as well as a nine step process to help people navigate the aged care process in New Zealand. Among other things, the site includes information about how to apply for a care assessment, who to engage with at one’s district health board, how much one’s parent would be expected to pay and the different types of care available. It also includes a geographical search function to allow users to find the nearest aged care facility, which then gives a description of each rest home showing the services they offer, contact information, the number of rooms and their vacancies.
However, Bodger claims that Eldernet is the market leader with regard to providing information about all services for older people and strongly disagrees with the assertion that findaresthome is the only website of its kind in New Zealand.
“All the information on [findaresthome] can be found on Eldernet. We also offer additional information on many other aspects of support for the older person.”
Bodger takes issue with the fact that the findaresthome site does not represent all aged care providers, as Eldernet does.
Taylor says the site is free for all NZACA members.
“We have not been approached by non-members to join but will consider that question when/if it arises.”
Bodger says Eldernet has had queries from people about how the site is funded, with NZACA members having concerns that annual membership fees to the association will be directed from what members perceived as core functions, toward a website with currently unknown benefits.
However, Taylor says they have had “nothing but positive feedback from members about the site”.
He sees the website, in addition to providing information to the public, as providing a free service to members so they could get some benefit from the exercise.
Bodger also raises concerns about the why NZACA appears to have distanced themselves from the site.
“Many interest-based organisations proudly list their membership on their own website and if NZACA were responding to requests from the public … for more information then surely their own website would have been the ideal place to have provided this. Why the secrecy?”
Taylor responds that the association felt their own NZACA branding would add confusion to what was supposed to be “a standalone information resource”.
Despite her concerns about the site, Bodger is optimistic that there is room for them both.
“We welcome the addition of the NZACA website to the marketplace, as any work done to raise the profile of the sector is so important. Competition is healthy.
“We are always prepared to work closely with the association and believe that we have demonstrated in many ways how we wish to support the wider aged care sector and older people and their families to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone.”