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Key Issues To Promote NZers Ageing Well

12 JULY 2002

Age Concern believes New Zealand can have a fabulous future. The World Health Organisation says 'Ageing is a privilege and a societal achievement. It is also a challenge which will impact on all aspects of 21st century society.'

Political parties need to address these challenges in the election campaign. Five key issues Age Concern is highlighting are:

Income - Everyone needs an adequate income, decent housing and access to good health services when they need them.

Transport - Public transport should be cheap, efficient and easy to use. Older people should not be isolated at home because they don't have their own transport.

Home support - Older people should be enabled to keep living independently, and be supported by good home care services.

Asset testing - Asset testing of long stay, residential care is unfair and must be abolished.

Partnerships - Government must work in partnership with the community sector - listening and heeding the voices in the communities.

"We need to harness the potential benefits of an ageing population, making sure older people have every opportunity to participate, contribute and be involved in whatever ways they choose," says Garth Taylor, Age Concern chief executive.

"Positive attitudes to ageing and older people are vital, and we must eliminate all forms of age discrimination. We know what's good for a person of any age is good for an older person!

"It is our collective task to make sure New Zealand takes care of all its citizens, young and old, so that everybody reaches and enjoys older age in the very best health possible."

Age Concern believes all sectors of society are responsible for making sure this happens. There should be strong partnerships between not-for-profit organisations, central and local Government, and the business sector in meeting the needs of our ageing population.

Mr Taylor says, "Age Concern wants an inclusive society, caring for people of all ages and cultures. Life needs to be good for older people. If it isn't, then what can younger people today look forward to. We want a government who will work effectively with organisations like ours, and listen to the voices of our community. Its our future. We can work together to make it a fabulous one."

ENDS

About Age Concern - Age Concern New Zealand is a federation of 29 local Age Concern Councils, with over 4,000 volunteers and paid workers providing services to over 7,500 people each week. The first Age Concern started in 1948. - Age Concern holds the vision of an inclusive society, where people of all ages and cultures, as they grow older, have opportunities to make choices which lead to quality of life and personal fulfillment. - Age Concern is dedicated to working together in communities around the country, in the provision of core services: information, health promotion, advocacy, and support services.

http://www.ageconcern.org.nz


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