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Loved ones of dementia patients call for help

Natasha Payne
Elizabeth Thomson
Dementia rising within New Zealand   Nick Youngson, Alpha Stock Images

Families of dementia patients want more support, while the District Health Board struggles with the rising number of cases.

With the rise of dementia in New Zealand, health facilities have struggled with the influx of patients.

Available spaces have reached maximum capacity, which has left children of elders to become their full time carers. 

In New Zealand, more than 1000 private and public dementia providers already exist.

A Ryman Healthcare spokesperson said their company provided dementia care units in most of their 32 villages across the country, and beds were nearly always full. 

Kathleen Cowan, the daughter of a dementia patient, believed the District Health Board was under strain and struggling with the sudden rise of the condition. 

"There are too many layers in the DHB to get help," she said. 

Cowan believed dealing with the DHB was too much stress, on top of seeing loved ones deteriorate. 

"When you've got a sick parent with dementia, you are battling with your parent who has changed in their personality as well. So you already have all that on your plate," she said. 

Cowan said the DHB could make the process easier for families, instead of adding more stress to the situation.