Hawke's Bay DHB backtracks on decision to cut housework to elderly clients

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board (DHB) has backtracked on its decision to cut housework help to elderly clients.

A letter was sent out to more than 600 clients earlier this week advising that those with only housework help would have the service axed.

For Taeko Braid daily chores like vacuuming can be a struggle.

"I couldn't do very well now because of my age," she told Newshub.

The 88-year-old has arthritis in one of her knees and poor eyesight, and for the past eight years an in-home carer has visited her once a week.

But the family found out by letter earlier this week the DHB was going to end the service.

The letter read, "If you are only receiving housework help - your eligibility for this service will cease.

"While housework may seem a chore it is also a great way to maintain a good level of health and well-being at any age."

Braid's daughter Jacky said she understood there were funding issues at DHBs.

"To be honest it was the patronising tone of the letter that really upset me," she told Newshub.

On Friday afternoon the DHB backtracked, admitting the assessment process was not robust enough.

"It was not our intention to be disrespectful in any way," said executive director of planning and funding Chris Ash.

"Disappointingly some of the people who have received the letter clearly have an ongoing need for that support and I apologise for that."

Taeko was brought up in Japan and survived the Hiroshima Bombings before moving to New Zealand.

"It's very important for her to stay here and enjoy the remaining years of her life," Jacky said.

The DHB says all affected clients will be contacted and services restored for now, so those who need some help can get it.