De­tec­tion of de­men­tia is key

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - MIKE BAIN

As New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion ages, West­pac is work­ing hard to en­sure se­cu­rity for its more se­nior cus­tomers.

West­pac’s aim is to help peo­ple plan ahead, to ac­cess fi­nan­cial ser­vices and get help to re­main in­de­pen­dent as long as pos­si­ble.

Dan­gers of fi­nan­cial abuse has prompted the bank to train its staff to recog­nise signs of the on­set of de­men­tia.

Mata­mata branch manger Mi­randa Thom­son said the train­ing has sub­stance.

‘‘In or­der to pro­tect our cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the on­set of de­men­tia, we sug­gest they talk through their money man­age­ment with fam­ily.

‘‘Then make an ap­point­ment at the branch and let us know this way we can no­tate their con­di­tion on file. All our staff are aware of dif­fer­ent be­havioural pat­terns where clients maybe with­draw­ing large or small amounts of cash to pay ac­counts they may have al­ready paid.’’

She said by hav­ing staff aware of a cus­tomer’s con­di­tion, it could as­sist in preven­tion.

West­pac en­cour­ages fam­i­lies to choose some­one who could have en­dur­ing power of at­tor­ney.

The bank sug­gests all im­por­tant pa­pers are in or­der and some­one knows where they are stored.

‘‘Fam­i­lies should talk through fi­nan­cial op­tions as soon as de­men­tia is di­ag­nosed,’’ said Thom­son.


West­pac staffers Hester Morkel and Mi­randa Thom­son share cup­cakes with Mar­garet Jag­ger and Trevor Mudg­way.

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