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More agencies embrace positive ageing

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Senior Citizens

2 September 2005 Media Statement

More agencies embrace positive ageing


More government agencies than ever before are incorporating positive ageing principles into their policies and services, Senior Citizens Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Releasing the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy’s 2004/05 annual report and 2005/06 action plan, Ms Dyson said 56 agencies were included in this year’s plan - including 17 local government authorities, up from four last year.

“Local body issues such as housing, transport, parking and access to services have a huge impact on the ability of older people to participate in society. I want to congratulate the 17 local authorities who are developing practical initiatives that value older people’s contribution to our communities.”

The 2005/2006 plan includes commitments from:

- Hamilton City Council to install smoke alarms in all council units;

- Dunedin City Council to increase access to free parking for people aged 75 and over; and

- Banks Peninsula District Council to distribute information to older residents on keeping safe in the home and community.

Ruth Dyson said the Labour-led government had made good progress across the board in implementing the strategy’s 10 goals.

“Key achievements in the last year include the phased removal of asset testing for older people in residential care; introduction of the state sector retirement savings scheme; better coordinated delivery of community-based services for veterans and their families; a review of the Total Mobility subsidised taxi scheme; and better coverage and effectiveness of Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services.”

Ms Dyson said the government’s future commitments to positive ageing included:

- a rates rebate of up to $500 a year for low income earners;

- payment of the single living alone rate, worth nearly $20 extra per week, to all superannuitants living alone whose partners are in care;

- 7,500 extra cataract operations and 10,000 extra hip and knee operations;

- development and implementation of training for home-based support workers for older people in the community and in residential care; and

- removal of the mandatory driving test for over 80-year-olds.”

ENDS

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