Friendly People

Charlotte Brynn and her father Don.

I got to meet my second Kiwi octogenarian; what a wonderful man Don is.  He told me a little story to illustrate how well he thinks elders are cared for in New Zealand.  His brother is 94 years old and received home health services because he lived alone until recently.  Don explained that one person would come in the AM and put his bedding into the wash, the next person would come and hang his sheets out to dry, and third person would come later that day to take down the sheets and make his bed. Don felt that it was all seamlessly coordinated.  What a great idea to spread care throughout the day and give more opportunities for conversation.  I have included a picture of Don and his daughter, a healthy and active family for sure. 
So far, I have visited 3 primary care practices and have about 20 on my list.  I have also learned that the “navigators” referred to in the NZ Framework for Dementia Care are social workers who are district based.  I hope to meet some soon.  The primary care  or “GP” offices seemed to be in each neighborhood in Wellington.  Staff are friendly and the waiting rooms are full of health information. Although New Zealand has a universal healthcare system, there are fees associated with each visit.  Nurse visits have been available in all the offices that I have visited so far.  Can’t wait to learn more about that.  I did note on one practice’s website that the nurse’s bio included “smear collector.”  I’ll let you ponder that one.   

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