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Brought to you by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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Preparing to return home

From planning your meals while you are recovering at home to ensuring you have the support you need, it is worth thinking ahead before you go into hospital, to make sure everything is in place when you need it.

Your GP or home support provider will be able to assist with this. The Home Team at Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora - Southern specialises in ensuring your discharge from hospital goes as smoothly as possible.


It is quite possible that on your return from hospital, you won't feel much like cooking, and it may not even be possible. You can make and freeze simple meals, buy frozen meals from the supermarket and stock up on easy to cook items such as soup, toast, spaghetti, baked beans.

Meals on Wheels can be arranged through the Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora - Southern. These are only available for the patient who is having the operation and has no one else that may be able to help with cooking.

You can also purchase Meals on Wheels privately from other providers. These can be purchased for both patient and loved ones.

Domestic Support  

If, because of your condition, you are unable to carry out basic household tasks such as changing the bed, cleaning the bathroom or kitchen or doing the laundry AND there is no one over 16 in the home or they have a significant medical condition or disability, you may be able to access domestic support to help with these tasks. This normally enables care for up to one hour a week, for a maximum of six weeks.

Personal Cares

If you find you are unable to take care of personal tasks such as showering/bathing, dressing or managing medications, we may be able to arrange for a caregiver to come and see you to help with these tasks. We can provide support for a maximum of three showers weekly. Other supports are depending on your health condition and age.

Other care options after your operation

If you think that you will not cope at home after your operation, it is important to discuss the options that are available to you and where possible, make arrangements in advance.

Please talk with family, friends and your GP to see what support they are able to offer.

If you have a long non weight-bearing period and feel that you cannot go home, options will be discussed with you which could include spending time in regional hospitals outside of Dunedin.

You can also arrange respite care in a rest home facility in your area. You will need to pay for this care; Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora - Southern does not fund respite care after your operation. Costs vary but are usually between $800-$1000 a week.