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Research on ageing handed to Minister

The findings of a Government-funded research project, assessing the factors that help older people live independently, have been handed onto the Minister for Senior Citizens David Carter.

The $50,000 research project was commissioned as part of the Government's celebration of International Year of Older Persons.

"Coming at the close of International Year of Older Persons, the report's suggestions are very timely. This year was all about celebrating older age, and this report does that by way of practical suggestions on how we can help older people live independently."

"The report identifies several critical areas for improving the lives of older people. I'll be asking officials from the Ministry for Social Policy to consider the research and come back with ways the report's ideas can be incorporated into policy."

The research project features the old-age experiences of more than 100 people between the ages of 50 and 90.

Using information collected from older people in towns as diverse as Nelson and Taihape, the report focuses on the social and community services that help older people live independently. Experts in ageing were also consulted for their views.

"The things that are critical for older people include positive attitudes in the community to ageing, sufficient income, and support for personal health needs and needs arising from disability."

"Older people also need good housing and are concerned about their security. They need access to transport and leisure pursuits, to enable them to remain active in their communities."

Mr Carter said the report is being externally peer reviewed, before being released publicly early next year.

"This research will enable the aims of International Year of Older Persons to continue into the new millennium. This year was dedicated to creating a society for all ages. To do that, we need to keep improving society's understanding and appreciation of our senior citizens."

ENDS

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