I've visited a number of rest homes, retirement villages and care units while out on the campaign trail. It's clear to me that aged residential care services play an important role in supporting older New Zealanders who can no longer live at home.
National has announced today a $40 million funding boost over the next four years for aged residential care and dementia services. This will bring New Zealand's annual investment in aged residential care to over $985 million and will ensure we continue to provide older New Zealanders with the best possible care in the future.
Over the next 20 years the number of New Zealanders over the age of 65 will double to 1.2 million people. We will increase rest home bed subsidies by 5% from 1 October – this equates to an extra $7.5 million for aged care this year and $10 million extra for subsequent years.
The remaining $2.5 million will be one-off funding towards implementation of dementia care pathways across district health board and communities. While it will be up to providers to decide how this extra money is spent, National expects many will choose to use it to increase staff wages. As our aging population grows, demand for aged care services will also grow
· Despite tight financial times, which have seen many countries freezing or even reducing funding for health services, the National-led government has increased funding to aged residential care by over $240 million.
National is committed to ensuring older New Zealanders have the care, security, wellbeing, and respect they deserve.