HOPE Foundation Newsletter May 2018

Posted by on 18 May 2018

Periodically the media focus on the care of older people in residential care.

While poor care is never acceptable, the media, NZ society and decision makers need to reflect on the wider context in which residential care is provided in New Zealand before laying the blame on individuals or “greedy providers.”

Dr Maree Todd,
Clinical Director,
Older People’s Health,
Auckland District Health Board.
Chair of the Foundation

maree todd

It is all too easy to focus on the “shock horror” story from one perspective and in my opinion this stops a proper review of what might have gone wrong, and how to improve care.

It can cause fear in older people currently in care or considering it and in the staff working in this sector. A better question when things go wrong might be “did we set up our residential care providers to fail?”

Another question might be “where are the good news stories” as every day the vast majority of residents are getting good care. There are many providers providing exemplary care and innovation.

Encouraging research

So what does this have to do with the HOPE Foundation? We can pose some questions and encourage research!

Residential care is vital for some of our sickest, most disabled and vulnerable members of our communities, most of whom are older people. But are we ensuring they get the care they need in these highly pressured times?

Acute hospitals are under increased pressure to avoid admissions and discharge rapidly. Are we expecting residential care facilities to admit people who are too sick and unstable without providing them with appropriate resources? They are not de facto acute hospitals on the cheap.

Is there enough skilled medical resource to provide care? The aged care contract clause guiding GP care has not changed for over 20 years or more and yet residents are older, more complex, and unstable.

Are we forcing our GPs to provide reactive rather than proactive care? Is there adequate medical care to cope with the increasing proportion of short stay residents who are often admitted due to medical instability and a crisis?

Do they have enough time to help support the nursing staff? Is there enough specialist medical staff to provide support to the care homes and GPs? What about other health staff – social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and diversional therapists? Where are the palliative care nurses? 

What about our nursing training? How well are our nursing schools equipping our new graduates to care for frail older people in any setting? (Or any of the other health professional training schools). What priority is given to this specialty? It is no secret that care in this area is not highly valued and yet the skills and responsibility required of a registered nurse leading a team of caregivers is very high indeed.

Highly rewarding work

I hear complaints there are too many overseas nurses. I say “THANK YOU VERY MUCH” for the love and care you give to our people – and welcome you. I say to the complainers “have you encouraged any of your family or friends or acquaintances to work in this area?” Do you volunteer in this area? It is highly rewarding when done well.

And then there are all the clinical questions. What is the relationship of the design of the facilities to falls rates? If a person is very unsteady on their feet and needs help to walk they need very close observation.

Does the design of modern care homes with a focus on single rooms and ensuites increase the risk of falls and injuries and make it harder for staff to provide good care? Just consider the extra footsteps staff need to take to look after four people in individual rooms compared to four in a shared room.

I am not supporting a move to the past, just asking have we accounted for the extra time all these cumulative changes have on nursing and carer availability? Conversely when one’s world has become very small due to severe dependence, is spending a lot of time in a single room more isolating or is it more interesting sharing in the activities of your room companions - the actual social contact is quadrupled!

There are many more questions, in many more areas! As you can read our scholars are answering questions in a wide range of areas. Every one of their research programmes will answer some questions and raise many more.So our work is not done. Thank you all for your continuing support. Please spread the word, encourage new Friends to join us and share this newsletter.

As always comments welcomed.

Hope-Selwyn Scholarships 2018

We are fortunate this year, due to the generosity of our sponsors and the Friends’ of HOPE, to once again be able to award ten $6000 University scholarships for research into ageing related study. All these scholars are PhD candidates, which involves at least 3 years of postgraduate full time study, so they are very appreciative of this financial support and encouragement. READ ABOUT THE 2018 HOPE-SELWYN SCHOLARS

Save the dates

Karen Andersen Yates,
Friends of the Foundation,

karen andersen yates

The Friends Committee are organising two very different fundraising events in the middle of the year and confidently commend these to you for your interest and enjoyment.

Sunday 22 July – Mama Mia

Sunday afternoon (time to be advised) at Berkley Theatre, Mission Bay, showing the film Mamma Mia! Here we go again.

This is a sequel to the 2008 musical comedy and stars Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and others. This will be a fun film for supporters and their friends. Bookings will be as usual through our executive officer.

Sunday 12 August - Piano and Violin Soiree

A very special quality event where Mikhail Tablis, piano and Dr John Thomson, violin will entertain us at the JR Fletcher Centre, Kings School, Remuera. We are grateful to the Headmaster,

Mr Tony Sission, for granting The HOPE Foundation the use of the auditorium, for this event.

We would love you and your friends to join us at these fundraising events. Details of both events will be available soon.

Please be in touch with our Executive Officer, Dr Jill Waters to receive emailed information. 

New Committee member

The Friends Committee welcome Annette Wilson as a new member of this group. Annette is a retired teacher and is still involved in education now in a voluntary capacity.

Her passion is education for children and older people and this guides her present life’s contribution to a number of groups in the community. We look forward to working with you in the future, Annette.

The Jazzy Summer Soiree

What could be better on a summer evening, than enjoying a drink and delicious finger foods while the sun sets over Mt Eden, in a beautiful garden, all for a good cause?

The Jazzy Summer Soiree organised by the Friends of the HOPE, was a great success; friendly, relaxed with live jazz creating a wonderful atmosphere.

Thank you to those supporting the event and those that made donations, contributing to yet another scholarship for The HOPE Foundation. Thank you to Shane Foreman, who provided the wonderful setting of her house and garden for all to enjoy.

The Committee of Friends is passionate about organising interesting events to raise funds for student scholarships for research into ageing.

To be informed of the Friends’ events please ensure that you are on our mailing list. Just contact our Executive Officer, Dr Jill Waters. We only advertise through email to keep cost to an absolute minimum.

Thanks to Our Sponsors . . .


The Selwyn Foundation is our cornerstone sponsor and currently funds 80% of our activities.

Other sponsors include:

  • The June Gray Charitable Trust
  • The Maclean Trust
  • The Monty Fairbrother Charitable Trust
  • St Joans Trust
  • TM Hoskings Charitable Trust
  • The BW and SW Picot Trust
  • Glenice & John Gallagher Foundation
  • W Crighton Charitable Company Ltd
  • JM Butland Charitable Trust
  • The Friends of the HOPE Foundation
  • John & Wendy Norwood Trust
  • Walker & Hall Trust
  • The Agnes Hope Day Trust
  • Alexander Harold Watson Trust
  • Joan Fernie Trust
  • Lois McFarlane Charitable Trust
  • Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust
  • St Andrews Village
  • James Russell Lewis Trust
  • Lawrance & Stephanie Russell Charitable Trust
  • KSC Wellington Charitable Trust
  • JOGIA Charitable Trust

You can also help by

  • Spreading the word about what we do / share this newsletter
  • Donating your time to the Friends Supporters to help with fundraising and committee work
  • Encouraging your children and grandchildren to invest in their futures by donating time and money (a baby girl born today has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100 , a boy 1 in 4 and is likely to be fitter and healthier–think about the implications of that)
  • Consider a bequest