Self-direction and home care in New Zealand

When my parents were in their later years, they downsized from the family home and made the move into a local retirement village. As their health declined, we realised they needed additional support to continue living comfortably in their home. With regular home care, that goal was made more realistic. But if they could have chosen their care workers, it would have been so much better.

Smiling female working at homeAt the end of the day, everyone is different. Everyone has their own needs and desires, and when it comes to living comfortably in your golden years, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Whether you want to move into a rest home or find the right in-home support for your needs, it’s important that you’re able to make the choice yourself.

Technology is making it easier to make your own choice about where you live, who provides your support, what they do for you, at what times, and how they are paid.

These options have come just in time, because it’s no secret the world’s population is aging. Advances in modern medicine, a dramatic decrease in life threatening disease and illnesses, and generally better living conditions globally are all leading to people living healthier, longer lives.

As the average age of nations continues to trend upwards, the number of people looking for home care solutions will also expand rapidly.

New Zealand is moving towards a more open and free system that gives people the chance to create their own home care solutions. People will be able to manage their own support budgets, choose their own helpers, and directly control the funding they need to live at home if they have health or disability support needs.

While not everyone will need hands-on medical support, care comes in many forms – early support with physical activities like cleaning and gardening, or help with day-to-day errands that makes it easier for people to live life in their own way.

And building a relationship with the same person, rather than cycling through appointed carers, can have a profound and positive impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing.

As a country, we’re well equipped to take advantage of these emerging healthcare models using tools like smartphones, which more than 70 per cent of New Zealanders use. Almost 90 per cent of New Zealanders also have access to the Internet in their home.

mark-jeffries-mycareUsing the technology available and giving the power back to consumers and their families is the name of the game, with services like Mycare tapping into a growing desire for self-direction and choice.

It’s all about making the right decision for you, your health and safety, and your family. They’re called the golden years for a reason, and taking advantage of everything at your fingertips is essential to helping you live your best life.


by Mark Jeffries, Mycare managing director and co-founder