agencies have tended to work in isolation with little understanding of each other’s operations. However, at the time of writing, there is a strong desire in Tauranga to develop more mechanisms for co-ordinated action.
Meetings to action police reports (pol400s) now happen weekly, and Pohutukawa Cards (cards for public distribution which list the family violence services available locally) are being reprinted. Two new initiatives are also underway. A collaboration network has been developed and is currently seeking financial support. The network, known as TMAPS (Tauranga Moana Abuse Prevention Strategy), hopes to have a funded co-ordinator and to work on developing a holistic approach to changing the patterns of family violence in Tauranga. Secondly, there is considerable interest in developing a Family Violence Safety Team – this case-management system was successfully piloted in Hamilton during 2005.
These activities by local providers, together with a government focus on family violence, provide a real hope tangible change can be made over the next few years to improve the safety of Tauranga families within their homes.
Priority 3: Families caring for older family members
What Service Providers say:
Our rapidly ageing population will have a huge impact on Tauranga, but nobody seems to be planning for it.
Advocate for older people
I visited an elderly couple in their home, both confined to wheelchairs trying to shower each other. It was so sad – the home-care had not turned up again.
I go to local community development meetings, and there are heaps of government departments and agencies providing services to children and young people, but nobody advocating for older people. It’s like we are an invisible section of the community.
Older people’s advocate
I visit people at home who have had their partner discharged from hospital. They are lost – they don’t know what is going to happen next, or where to go, or who is going to help them.
Mental health support worker
So often an elderly carer, exhausted from having to support their partner, collapses. We end up with two people in hospital when with more investment in support services, you could have had two people managing in the community.
The social context
Tauranga’s population is older than the national average. The district has considerably more people aged 60 years and over, and fewer young people – especially in the 15-29 years age group.
The number of older residents is likely to keep climbing. Statistics from the Bay of Plenty DHB statistic show not only has the number of older people in each age group risen steadily in the past decade, but growth will accelerate over the next 10 years. The number of people in Tauranga aged 85 years and over is expected to nearly double in the next decade.