Retirement villages in perspective : a study of service provision for older people in the Waitakere Region : a thesis submitted to fulfil the requirements of the degree of MAster of Philosophy in Public Policy, Massey University
This research was prompted by over a decade of personal experience in dealing with older people in hospitals, rest homes, in Retirement Villages and in the community. The focus of the study was about people living in Retirement Villages. This research has been contextualised within the available literature by discussing some prior research regarding informal service provision in New Zealand and by referring to prior international research regarding the role that information dissemination has on service provision for older people. Service provision by the New Zealand Government and others is well documented throughout the literature. A qualitative method of research: observation, discursive interviews and a focus group discussion, was used to determine what older people know of health and other government services that are available to them. The research was conducted in three Retirement Villages in the Waitakere Region of Auckland, New Zealand. The results of the individual interviews were confirmed after a focus group discussion. Generally all the residents were very happy with life in a Retirement Village and felt empowered to express their views and requests to the manager of the Retirement Village in which they resided. A few of the respondents (all women) said that although they knew that they had the right to, they did not venture to communicate their needs to management because they had been raised in an era when women had no 'voice'. The research confirmed that there is a need for information dissemination to older people about support services that are available to assist them to live independently to facilitate optimum use of these services. The respondents who were solely dependent on financial support from the government were better informed about available services and how to access it than were the respondents who were financially independent.