Aged-care program proves value in Christchurch

Elderly-care application proves useful in quake aftermath

An aged-care assessment program called InterRAI proved its value after the Christchurch earthquake.

InterRAI provides evidence-based clinical assessment and care-planning tools. It was developed by a collaborative network of researchers in more than 30 countries, and is being implemented here within every district health board as part of a national project.

Canterbury has implemented the “home care” tool, which is primarily focused on the care of elderly people living at home, and it has been piloting a “residential care” tool. The database has two versions running continuously, one in Canterbury and the other in Taranaki.

The incident controller for vulnerable people, Stella Ward, says the tool proved of great help. “After the earthquake, the team in the North Island was able to work with international support to review the database and to find the older people who may have been at the greatest risk. It provided a summary for the emergency response team in Christchurch, which enabled our team to prioritise their work and to target support and help.”

Being part of an international collaboration brought an immediate response from offshore to assist in planning and extracting the data.

In addition to supporting people at risk, frail, elderly people in rest homes were transferred to safe accommodation, both within Christchurch and to other locations throughout New Zealand.

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