13 practices visited in “Windy Welly”

Wellington New Zealand is an interesting collection of neighborhoods nestled into a hilly topography connected by bays and tunnels in some places.  The weather has been great for walking but I’m considering getting a new haircut that will look good no matter which way the wind blows.  “Windy Welly” has been appropriately named.  A sturdy hat or the perfect haircut is necessary to avoid looking like my dog with his head out the car window when I introduce myself at a each new practice.

Nevertheless, I have made my introduction at 13 primary care offices.  Some were follow ups to letters, emails and postcards that I had sent. Most visits involve a brief introduction, handing over the research information sheet, and a request for the GPs or nurses to be interviewed about dementia care.  Most practices have Practice Managers that can be very helpful saying for example “my dad and grandfather have dementia”; or can be strict gatekeepers of access to the providers.  I love when I get invited into a nurse’s consultation room.  These are usually a well set-up exam rooms with a computer and telephone included in this work space.  I promise I will take some pictures.  The nurses I have met have a big help in securing an interview with a GP, often recommending the best one in their practice. I have done 2 interviews so far which have confirmed that I came to the right place to study different models of Alzheimer’s care.   I have 2 more interviews on my schedule and at least 5 more new practices to visit before circling back to the ones that I have already contacted.  It’s exciting work for me and each new waiting room helps me understand New Zealand’s health care system a little better.

See the circled neighborhoods that I have visited so far
Each office has added to my collection of elder services

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