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Poll: Kiwis don't know what their parents aged care wishes are

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 February 2019, 8:16p.m.
Eight of 10 Kiwis don't know what their parents want. (Photo / Getty)

A new Colmar Brunton poll shows eight in ten kiwis with ageing parents have no clear idea of their parents' wishes when it comes to aged care arrangements.

Questions around what would happen if the parents became ill or were injured, who would look after them, or whether they would want to go into a home, are amongst those that cause issues.

Miranda Smith, who runs her own homecare company, told Larry Williams that it is a very hard conversation to have with parents when they are well.

She says we tend to put it off rather than have the awkward conversation.

Smith says that people need to plant the seeds and spark the conversation, but let it develop over time rather than pushing parents into making decisions.

“There can be some really cost-effective respite care that could be all you need, but when you start talking about long-term care, that’s when you need to think about it.”

Smith says that the ‘sandwich generation’, those with children still at home while looking after their parents as well, are the ones dealing with this more and more.

“Quite often, the parents could even be part of their childcare solution, so it can really tip this generation because they weren’t expecting it.”

Research shows it’s evenly split between those who want to stay at home or move into rest home care.

Smith says most of the people who she sees have parents who have thought about it, but the children need to start the conversations.

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