If you find it difficult to live independently but do not want to move out of your home, you may benefit from home help. There are a wide range of services and health workers that can support you to continue living in your own home. To access many of these services and funding, you will need a Needs Assessment.
Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC)
If you are needing support, you will need to talk to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) service. These are organisations that assess your abilities, resources, and needs to understand what services you may benefit from. NASC organisations are contracted by the Ministry of Health, your local DHB, and ACC. You will need a referral to get a needs assessment, and you can refer yourself or have another person or doctor refer you. The Ministry will fund services for people who have an impairment or disability that will last for more than 6 months and that reduces your ability to function independently. If you are not eligible for Ministry of Health-funded support services, they can help you find other support services. For more information on NASCs, check the Ministry of Health.
After a needs assessment, you are also allowed to make private arrangements for support if you want to. Some home support services may not be covered by Ministry of Health funding, including housework such as cleaning. If you are a Community Services Card holder you may receive funding for these services. More information on being supported at home can be found from page 68 in this book.
You are protected by the Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights 1996, which gives you the right to the support that you need. This means that if your support services are not up to standard or if you have any complaints, you are entitled to tell the organisation or another advocacy service. If you are unhappy with the support you are receiving for any reason, you can contact the organisation directly or speak to your local Age Concern who can represent you. More information on your rights with health care services can be found here.
If you want to find your own support, there are many directories that can help you. You can use the Eldernet site to help you find services in your region.
links registered care workers with people needing support through their website.
You can also contact your local Age Concern for more information on support agencies in your area.
Websites of interest