Imagine this scenario - you are an ex-pat living overseas when you get a call to say your mother is struggling to care
for herself, she is struggling to get in and out of the shower and prepare her meals, she needs help at home. Or that a
parent needs residential care accommodation found urgently. Another scenario may be, you live in Auckland and your
parent/s are in Wellington, and while they are ok, for peace of mind you would like someone to regularly check in on
them and then let you know how they are. Or your parent is arriving home alone from hospital to an empty, cold house
with no groceries or prepared meals or your parent needs a prescription collected and they cannot do it.
Where do you start? Who do you call – what services are out there and what questions do you need to ask? This is where
Wellington’s Hayley Roche comes in. Hayley formed Dignity First after her family was thrown into a situation involving
an unexpected illness.
“All of a sudden you are thrust into this world of aged care and you don’t know anything about it” Hayley says. “Even if
it’s gradual, it’s not a world you know “.
There is a lot of information out there, but it is difficult and time consuming to navigate through it all. Hayley also
identified gaps in care which she aims to fill by looking at the whole person and what they need. Hayley says many
people spend countless hours on the internet and phone searching for people to answer questions about funding, home
help, hospital and aged care facilities, and other resources that are available.
A lot of people don’t know where to start and many of the agencies are only available during work hours, a problem if
the person trying to contact them is working. “There are several helpful websites, but you still have to ring around
yourself, and take time off work to do so.”
Dignity First offers a range of services from drawing up a list of possible options for care, to calling around on
someone’s behalf to arranging visits to retirement villages. She offers a home check in service, she will organise what
someone needs when they arrive home from hospital and run errands for you if you are unable to.
Hayley says her aim is to take much of the stress out of a stressful situation. By doing the work for you and helping
you to navigate the system, the process is much easier enabling you to spend time with your loved one instead of
spending time organising their care.