As the General Election approaches, key organisations involved in promoting healthy and respectful ageing and the wellbeing of older people in Aotearoa New Zealand are calling on all political parties to commit to the principles of the United Nation’s Decade of Healthy Ageing and to work collaboratively towards a society where all people can live long and healthy lives.
In the week which started off with the UN International Day of Older Persons (1 October) and closes with Ageism Awareness Day (7 October), registered charity The Selwyn Foundation has hosted an inaugural hui in association with Age Concern New Zealand. This brought together many of the influential organisations from across the sector, with a view to collaborating to bring about transformational change, combat ageism and enable New Zealand to become a better place for all of us to grow older.
Drawing together government agencies, charitable trusts, academics and providers of housing, healthcare and social services for older people, the think-tank focussed on how it might promote, develop and deliver on an Aotearoa New Zealand Decade of Healthy Ageing Action Plan for the long-term benefit of individuals and communities.
The UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) encourages all parts of the system (including governments, businesses, the community and voluntary sector, universities, philanthropy and the media) to join together to contribute to ten years of concerted action to improve the lives of older people, their families and their communities. The four main areas for action over the decade are:
- Change how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing;
- Foster the abilities of older people;
- Deliver integrated care and primary health services responsive to the needs of older people; and
- Provide access to long-term care for older people who need it.
Cutting across these action areas is the need to reduce social isolation and loneliness and to prevent the abuse of older people.