President’s Column

Annual Report 2018

The last year has been an interesting but quiet one for the Association.

Highlights were:

Meetings: The election year ‘Meet the Candidates’ meetings organised by the Committee for the candidates for political parties to show their wares to our members. These were held at the Rita Angus and Malvina Major Retirement villages and elicited good attendance and thoughtful questions from the floor.

We also sponsored a meeting which explored the state of our health system in depth.

The Committee organised a Christmas Lunch for members at the Grand Restaurant on Courtenay Place

In the coming year the Committee has agreed to try and organise more meetings with a view to a more involving the membership.

Zone Meetings: Attendance at zone meetings. This has involved the President and Vice President meeting with other Associations in the lower half of the North Island once every 3 months for updates from our representatives on the Federation Board. These have proven to be very interesting and an opportunity to have our input from Wellington heard.

Election of Federation President. This year saw the retirement of Tom O’Connor as Federation President. There were three candidates for the role. Mr Mac Welch, Ms Jo Millar and myself. Mr Welch won narrowly after a somewhat tumultuous campaign which included failure to advise candidates of the details of the election campaign, and a mysterious email campaign. We will work with Mr Welch and endeavour to liaise with the Government and Opposition to return to our role with Grey Power the leading advocate for seniors.

Committee Activities: Your committee has decided to meet more regularly and promote more events for the membership. Plans for this will follow the election of a new Committee.

This year marks the retirement of Ray Markham from the committee. Ray has been very active over the past years and his efforts and assistance will be sorely missed.

Bruce McLachlan, Caroline Hubbard, Pat Hubbard, Terry and Elaine Scoble, Bernadine Pool, Owen Watson and I have indicated a willingness to continue as members of the committee for the next year. We would of course welcome new members to the committee’s ranks.

Our Next Members Meetings:

  • Saturday 29 September: With guest Speaker
    Hon Chris Finlayson, at Wellington City Library, Mezzanine Room, at 2pm.
  • Saturday 13 October: With Guest Speaker
    Hon Dame Annette King, at Wellington City Library, Mezzanine Room, at 2pm,.

Parking in the basement of the Library.
See you all there!

Lloyd Falck
President, Grey Power Wellington Central

 

Memory Walk at Zealandia

You can visit the Zealandia eco-sanctuary in Wellington for free on Sunday 23 September, including an option for a free guided tour by the Zealandia guides. This offer is only available to those registered for the Memory Walk being held by Alzheimers NZ, one of 20 throughout NZ.

Memories are precious. That’s why this September, thousands of Kiwis will be walking to show their support for all those living with dementia. Let’s walk to rememberLet’s walk for dementia.

Come along and walk to show your support for people with dementia and their families, friends and care partners. Memory Walks are a great activity for people of all ages and abilities.

Register at http://www.alzheimers.org.nz/memorywalk

At 9.00am there will be free guided walks of 1.5 hours taken by the Zealandia guides. Ending up at the start of the Memory Walk. Learn about NZ conservation, fauna and flora and the history and future of Zealandia. Places are limited and are booked separately from the Memory Walk. To book email memorywalk@alzheimers.org.nz . You also need to register for the Memory Walk at the link above.

The Memory Walk starts at 10.30 just inside the entrance and follows a flat path for about 1km. Arrive early Rata cafe will be open.

There are no admission charges from Memory Walkers. Register through the Memory Walk web page shown above.

Any queries write to Ken c/o memorywalk@alzheimers.org.nz

Disability allowance

If you find that your income is insufficient to meet your costs, you may be eligible for extra benefit assistance for your medical expenses by way of a Disability Allowance. This is a discretionary allowance paid under Section 69C of the Social Security Act if the other forms of assistance are insufficient to meet the need.
It is not that you have to be “disabled” to qualify. In this context, disability means an ongoing health condition. It is normal for people in their senior years to experience a decline in health with the associated costs arising from that.
The Disability Allowance is subject to an income test. There is no assets test. Interest earned on savings counts as income. Here’s a very clear article by Noel Ellis on how to find out whether you are eligible, and how to get it.

Closing soon: submissions on ageing strategy

Developing a strategy for an ageing population

From the Ministry of Social Development

Our population is getting older. We need a plan to address this, not just for today’s seniors but for the seniors of tomorrow.

The Positive Ageing Strategy was released in 2001. Since then our population has grown by over a million, and the number of people aged 65+ has increased by almost two thirds.

Today, around 750,000 New Zealanders have had their 65th birthday.

By 2038 this is likely to be over 1.3 million people.

The next generation of older people will live longer, be healthier, more skilled and more educated. They are much more likely to remain in the workforce – and to want to.

Our country will be much more diverse, with an increasing proportion of older people who are Maori, Pacific or Asian.

In our regions, communities will need to anticipate not only a growing older population, but fewer younger people.
That’s why we need a new strategy.

But we need more than a “whole- of- government approach”. We need everyone – government, local government, non-governmental organisations, communities, whanau, family, individuals, and businesses – to work together.

We need a new strategy to assist us to respond effectively to our ageing population; a strategy that will help us to achieve better outcomes for older New Zealanders.

Check out the discussion document and other resources at www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz

New Zealand’s ageing workforce – the elephant in the room for many companies

Julie Iles – Business Day – Stuff

With more New Zealanders working into their retirement and an ageing population, companies need to figure out how they can keep their older workers happy, or risk bearing the brunt of an oncoming skills shortage.

Growing numbers of superannuitants are working in supermarkets, driving buses or staying longer in the construction and agricultural sector.

At Countdown, where the oldest employee is 83, 1600 of its 18,000 staff are over the age of 60. General manager of people and culture Lauren Voyce said older workers offered a lot of value through their “institutional knowledge”. “A lot of companies are concerned with how to recruit and retain millennials when in fact, New Zealand’s population is aging and we’re living longer than ever before … “By 2050 there’s predicted to be 1.1 million people over the age of 65, so while many companies are focused on millennials I think it’s important to think beyond that.”

Yet research suggests many companies are being short-sighted on the matter. Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said a survey done last year by the Commission for Financial Capability found that of 500 organisations, 83 per cent had no policies or strategies in place for workers aged over 50.

Read more: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/100998151/newzealands- ageing-workforce–the-elephant-in-the-roomfor- many-companies

Reprinted from 50s Forward News & Views – by Helen MacDiamid. With thanks

Put your hand out for your $700 . .

if you’re a pensioner . . . . We need to do nothing at all to qualify for this pay-out. For 2018 it won’t be the whole amount though, as this year it will be from July to September. However, in 2019 it will come in from May to September. Should you need to call the “NZ Superannuation line”, their ONLY number is 0800 552 002

(With thanks to Wainuiomata Grey Power newsletter “Grey Natter”)

From the President

Hello there everyone. Welcome to our new year for Wellington Central Grey Power.

This year the new Government has addressed the issue of access to cannabis for the chronically ill. There is good evidence however to show that, properly administered, it is an effective sedative and pain inhibitor without many of the nasty side effects of conventional medications.

On that basis the Grey Power Federation Board established a policy, in November 2016, to support open access to cannabis-based pharmaceuticals on prescription from a GP but not to support home grown cannabis for self-medication.

As it turned out the Government Bill to be considered, is far too restrictive and does not go anywhere near far enough. The Government Bill would provide a defence against criminal prosecution for terminally ill people, within a year of dying, using cannabis. It would still be an offence to grow and supply cannabis. That is clearly a nonsense as there are many people with chronic, debilitating pain who would benefit from having access to cannabisbased medicines. Grey Power intends to continue to advocate on this throughout 2018.

The other news has been my decision enter the race for the national Presidency of Grey Power New Zealand. I believe I would bring to the role a set of skills based around my past that would serve Grey Power in the future

Lloyd Falck

President, Grey Power Wellington Central

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