This strategy will help ensure we create opportunities for everybody to participate, contribute and be valued as we age. Many older people are living well, but the number who are not is likely to increase in the future.
Much was achieved through the previous strategy. The Positive Ageing Strategy 2001 used a wide range of indicators that were intended to identify key issues and where action was needed. In 2001 the changing demographic profile was still in the future, whereas in 2019 it is upon us. What we need now are actions supported by targeted indicators that measure progress and drive performance.
The number of people aged 65+ is increasing, and this trend will continue. The ways we live are changing. Our population is more diverse, with many different ethnicities and family structures. Technological developments will continue to affect our lives and provide opportunities as we age.
Our ageing population also reflects increased longevity, which is an achievement offering opportunities for all people irrespective of their age. Many of us will continue working as we age, supporting families and whānau, passing on knowledge, volunteering and contributing to society. However, growing numbers of older people are not doing so well. Things like lifelong disability, health issues, job losses and relationship breakdown can impact how we live our later life. These factors may result in complex needs, poorer outcomes and challenges accessing services.
We need to pay particular attention to the interests of Māori and be guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document of our country. We will work with iwi, hapū and whānau to ensure that these commitments guide the development and implementation of the strategy, and that the needs and aspirations of kaumātua are reflected in it.
Key areas for action:
- Achieving financial security and economic participation
- Promoting healthy ageing and improving access to services
- Creating diverse housing choices and options
- Enhancing opportunities for social connection
- Making environments accessible