11 Nov 2016

DHB threatens to cut off 96-year-old's home help in Levin

From Checkpoint, 5:44 pm on 11 November 2016

A 96-year-old Horowhenua woman - whose home-help services have been cut by the MidCentral District Health Board - says the move has taken away her individuality.

Trixie Cottingham, who has lived alone for the past 31 years, still cooks and showers independently.

But Ms Cottingham can't handle physically demanding tasks such as cleaning and vaccuuming.

Until recently, Ms Cottingham received help for those tasks, but the DHB has told her she's no longer eligible for help to clean her house because she doesn't require personal care for things like bathing.

Ms Cottingham told Checkpoint With John Campbell that the cuts had threatened her way of life.

"They're taking away all my individuality, and I've thought that I've got to do something. I don't know how many people are in the same position as I am, and perhaps I'm fighting for them as well."

In a statement, mid-central DHB said it was spending more money than ever on services for older people, and had to prioritise their resources, given the area's increasing elderly population.