Services for Older People 

Care of the elderly is provided by a team of professionals including Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Dietitians, Rehabilitation Assistants, Social Workers, Needs Assessors and Psychologists who specialise in conditions that affect older people. As people age they are more likely to have one or more medical illnesses and to have other difficulties as a result of these illnesses.  

Counties Manukau DHB Services for Older People are located at Middlemore Hospital, Manukau SuperClinic™, Botany SuperClinicPukekohe Hospital, Franklin Memorial Hospital 


The Team

Geriatricians are specialist doctors who are trained in the conditions that commonly affect older people as well as how the aging body’s needs change with respect to all illnesses.
 
Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function.  They review what you need to assist with walking and provide equipment if needed as well as exercises aimed to improve movement, pain, weakness or balance.
 
Occupational Therapists are experts in function.  They look at what you do during the day and what might help you to achieve things you are struggling with.  They often will see you in your home environment to look at how you manage.
 
Speech Therapists are experts in problems with speech and communication.  They are also experts in swallowing.

Rehabilitation Assistants work alongside therapy staff to carry out therapeutic interventions.
 
Dietitians are experts in nutrition and can give advice about diets to gain or lose weight as well as diets that help with certain illnesses.
 
Needs Assessors are experts in arranging support for you.  They organise funding for help in the home or going to a rest home.  They are able to advise you on what sort of help you may qualify for or benefit from.
 
Social Workers provide support for you and your family.  They are able to provide counselling to get through difficult times as well as advice about your rights as a patient.
Nurses in this team are specially trained in conditions affecting older people and may be involved in your follow up to provide practical advice at home and provide feedback to your specialist or GP.

Clinical Psychologists in Health of Older People are trained to understand the emotions, thoughts, and behaviours of people at all life stages and utilise this to help older patients and their family/whaanau or caregivers adjust optimally following illness or injury. The most likely issues that you would work on are cognitive deficits and emotional/coping difficulties due to dementia, memory problems, strokes, injuries, and illnesses that limit your adjustment, independence, or general welfare.

Psychologists include your opinions, culture, and lifestyle and try to work with your strengths towards your goals and values. They can provide you with information to educate you and your family/whaanau about what is happening psychologically, draw up a treatment plan with you, and start therapeutic interventions likely to help you cope better during hospitalisation and afterwards.

Psychologists can also help the rehabilitation team better understand a patient’s experiences.

More Information

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