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Most older New Zealanders have good support

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Associate Minister of Health

Hon Maggie Barry
Minister for Senior Citizens

22 September 2015 Media Statement

Most older New Zealanders have good support

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says he is pleased by a new report which shows most elderly people enjoy good relationships with friends and family and have someone to give them emotional support.

The report, by the University of Auckland, is one in a series commissioned by the Ministry of Health on the health and wellbeing of older people.

“It is important that people at this stage of their lives have a strong support network around them and maintain their relationships with friends and family,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“This report suggests that the majority of our elderly population are very much part of groups who provide the emotional support we all need to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

“With a growing ageing population, it is important that we have a good understanding of issues affecting the health and wellbeing of older New Zealanders.”

The number of New Zealanders aged 65 and over is expected to increase from 675,000 in 2015 to around 900,000 by 2025.

“One of the major pieces of work underway in this area is an updated Health of Older People Strategy, which is being developed alongside the Health Strategy,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Senior Citizens Minister Maggie Barry says the findings are encouraging and highlight the importance of maintaining social connections in old age.

“Older people who keep up close connections with their community are more likely to lead happy and meaningful lives as they age.

“It is important for the government to continue to support projects which promote social opportunities for seniors, and for us to spread the word about them through the new SuperSeniors website and social media pages,” Ms Barry says.

The report can be found here:

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