Facing up to an age old problem

The music is pounding. Women in sequins sip something sparkling from flute glasses. Men in dinner suits dance in a conga-line. But this is more Tuesday Afternoon Foxtrot than Saturday Night Fever. The dancers are all pensioners, it’s daylight outside and they are hoovering up jam-and-scones, not class A drugs.

“I just don’t want to sit and play bingo,” one grey-haired lady in diamante earrings tells the camera. “I come out here and I just feel smashing.” This is one of London’s nightclubs for the elderly – part of a campaign to curb loneliness – and a movement that first started in South Korea. And it’s an idea that tickled Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin so much, that she shared a video of the event with her Facebook followers.

“They were having a blast, you should see this video, mate. It’s just awesome,” she said. “Now, we assume that all our older people want to do small, quiet things. But just because you are 80 doesn’t mean you don’t like dancing.”

But while those day-time disco goers are looking to escape some of the problems of old age, Martin is facing them head on.

New Zealand’s population is ageing rapidly. Within 20 years, about a quarter of the population will be over 65. But they will be healthier, live longer, be more educated and skilled – and will want to remain in the workforce well into their 60s and 70s.

Read more: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105064304/facing-up-to-an-age-old-problem

Andrea Vance – Stuff politics

Play spaces for big kids: Auckland Council backs play for the elderly

Auckland Council is considering creating play spaces for big kids, on the back of a document highlighting the benefits play holds for pensioners. The Council discussion document, Tākaro – Investing in Play, looks at benefits, demand and challenges to play, ahead of an investment plan for spending on recreational areas. The document said play into adulthood and old age supported the continued development and maintenance of cognitive and behavioural functions gained as a child.

“It is also thought to help reverse cognitive decline in seniors with dementia,” the report read. Despite this, a gap was identified in the provision of play spaces designed to engage seniors. Play was also found to be a “low priority” for both adults and children.

The document specifically looked at the benefits of play for the elderly, and how demand for play spaces built for adults and seniors could benefit an ageing population. Examples used are swings in bus-stops in Montreal, and sand pits spread sporadically along sidewalks in Vauban, Germany.

Read more: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12088738
NZ Herald

Glimmer of hope after years of pain for Kiwis sold faulty hip replacements

Dozens of Kiwis sold a dangerously faulty hip implant, may have a new avenue to seek justice, after years of pain and frustration.

Around 400 New Zealanders were given a metal on metal hip replacement called the ASR between 2004 and 2011, and according to ACC a quarter of that number reported injuries relating to the device.

These injuries stemmed from a design flaw in the artificial joint which caused metal flakes to enter the patient’s blood and surrounding tissue.

One such Kiwi is Joy Palaskas, who says she still lives with the effects of the ASR, even after having the faulty device replaced.

“I am quite slow walking, older people pass me and they’re on zimmer frames,” she told Newshub Nation. “People on zimmer frames walk past me; that is how slow I am with a limp.”

The ASR was produced by the American company Depuy, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.

Read more: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2018/07/glimmer-of-hope-after-years-of-pain-for-kiwis-sold-faulty-hip-replacements.html

Mike Wesley-Smith – NewsHub

Govt’s Families package: the Winter Energy Payment

The second part of the Government’s Families Package, (which aims to improve incomes for low and middle income families with children), took effect from 1 July. The Winter Energy Payment is paid automatically to everyone who’s eligible. No one needs to apply. This year it is being paid from 1 July to 29 September.

NZ Super/Veteran’s Pension couples who have separate bank accounts get the full amount ($31.82 a week) paid into one of their accounts. Unfortunately we can’t split the payment.

Timing of Families Package payments:
The first July payment didn’t include the full increase as 1 July falls part way through a payment period. That’s because we pay for the week (or fortnight for NZ Super/Veteran’s Pension clients) that’s just been.

For people getting NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension:

10 July – people got 10 days of Winter Energy Payment
24 July – people got their full new fortnightly amount.

We know the timing of payments is potentially confusing for people so we’d really appreciate this message to get out. We’ve explained it in our letters to clients, in recorded messages on the phone, in information on our website and on MyMSD.

Ngā mihi

Diane Turner, Director, Office for Seniors

Northland Grey Power medicinal cannabis campaigner pleased with support

A Northland Grey Power leader and medicinal cannabis law advocate has welcomed a new poll showing the vast majority of Kiwis support her views.

Otamatea Grey Power member Beverley Aldridge has been campaigning for more than two years for people in extreme pain or terminally ill to be able to have easy access to medicinal cannabis. Since then some other Grey Power groups have joined the campaign.

And public support for cannabis law reform has soared in the past year – especially for medicinal use of cannabis, a poll commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation has found. The Government is planning a referendum on personal use before or at the next election.

Support to decriminalise or legalise cannabis for the use of pain relief has increased from 78 per cent last year to 87 per cent this year in what has become an annual survey. Using cannabis for pain relief for terminal conditions has even higher support, at 89 per cent.

Support for personal possession is up to 67 per cent from 65 per cent and support for personal growing of cannabis is up to 61 per cent from 55 per cent. There is far less support for selling cannabis from a store, only 38 per cent, although that is up from 34 per cent last year.

Read more: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=12094463

Over 50? Employers don’t want you

Liz has applied for hundreds of jobs in the past six years – without a single bite, she says.

The now 51-year-old is tertiary qualified and has worked for a range of employers over her career, including the Government.

But Liz (not her real name) believes her age is now holding her back. “People say don’t put your age on your CV but people are not stupid – you can tell from my CV I have had a lot of experience. It is the stereotype of the older worker.” Liz is not alone.

When the Herald ran a story about a 65-year-old Whanganui woman applying for 32 jobs in six months and being unable to secure work, it was flooded with others in similar situations. It all comes as no surprise to Paul Jarvie, employment relations and safety manager at the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

Jarvie says research shows people who are out of work and looking for a job find it incredibly difficult to get a foot in the door if they are over 48 years of age.

“The code is: ‘we will call you back’.”

Read more: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=12091474

Tamsyn Parker – NZ Herald – Business

New Zealand joins WHO network

New Zealand has been accepted as an affiliate member of the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly cities and Communities. Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin made this announcement during the inaugural National Age-friendly Communities Forum in Wellington in June.

Close to 150 people came together for the forum including local council representatives, community groups, organisations and academics.

The Age-friendly Cities and Communities model was developed by the World Health Organisation in 2005 to help address the issue of ageing populations. It is a community-driven model with older people a critical voice and key partner along the way.

The key-note speaker at the forum was Christine Young, Director of Community Development for the City of Melville Council, who discussed how age-friendly is being implemented in Western Australia.

Presentations from the event are available on the SuperSeniors website for people interested in age-friendly. For more information, go to www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/age-friendly-communities.

NZ Super isn’t enough for ‘no frills’ lifestyle, but Kiwis are bridging the gap

The gap between NZ Super and the cost of living even a “no frills” lifestyle has widened, research from Massey University shows. Fortunately, many retiring Kiwis seem to be bridging the gap from their own savings, while others keep afloat by continuing to work beyond the age 65.

The Westpac-Massey Fin-Ed Centre’s annual Retirement Expenditure Guidelines show that for a two-person household of over 65 year-olds the cost of a “no-frills” lifestyle in a city was $872.22 at the end of June last year. That was $271.92 more than NZ Super paid to a couple.

Life was easier for a couple on the provinces, who had a shortfall of $21.18 a week to make up. People managing on their own generally had a harder go of it in retirement than couples.

Read more: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/105754878/NZ-Super-isn-t-enough-for-no-frills-lifestyle-but-Kiwis-are-bridging-the-gap?cid=edm:stuff:dailyheadlines&bid=823527945

ROB STOCK – Stuff Business

Grey Power lobby visit To Wellington

The new President Mac Welch, and Jan Pentecost, National Secretary of Grey Power Federation, came to Wellington on 18th June to meet various MPs and Government Departments and discuss matters of interest with them. They were joined by Roy Reid, Federation Treasurer, for some of the meetings.

They met:

  • Hon Simon Bridges, Leader of the National Party;
  • Commerce Commission (also attended by Roy Reid)
  • Banking Ombudsman
  • Rt Hon Winston Peters (Acting Prime Minister)
  • Matt McPherson – KiwiBank

If you would like any further information about subjects of discussion and comments, please contact us.

Grey Power quarterly magazine now available to sight impaired people

Please be advised that I have concluded an agreement with The Blind Foundation that means the Grey Power Quarterly Magazine will be available via the Foundation to sight impaired readers as at the next Issue September.

The contact at the Blind Foundation is:

Gail Vipond, 09 355 6965 ext.6965.

Mac Welch

National President, Grey Power NZ FED INC.

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