New strategy to drive healthy ageing
New Zealand’s first strategy to focus on healthy ageing has been launched today by Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.
“We all age differently and our needs change at different times of our lives. We each need to build and maintain our physical and mental abilities. That is healthy ageing. It is a life-long task.” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“We have changed the name and the focus. The re-named ‘Healthy Ageing Strategy’ has a strong emphasis on prevention, wellness and support for independent living.”
“There is also greater focus on the most vulnerable, including people with high and complex needs and those in the final stages of life. And there is a stronger focus on better integration of health and social responses.”
‘These are things people have been telling us they want for themselves and their loved ones as they age.”
The Ministry of Health led the refresh of the strategy for the health of older people
“New Zealand has an ageing population which is also more diverse. This has significant implications for the way we design and deliver services,” Minister Lotu-Iiga says
“Nearly 3,000 people were involved in the development of the Healthy Ageing Strategy. They included older people, their families and carers, health professionals, aged care providers, district health boards and primary care providers.”
“There have been significant improvements to the health and disability support system for older people in recent years. More older people with long-term health conditions and disabilities are being supported to remain in their homes for longer.”
“Their needs are being better assessed and there have been improvements in the quality of home and community services and residential care. Access to elective surgery has also improved.”
“This new Healthy Ageing Strategy will build on that progress. I will be taking a keen interest in the Strategy’s implementation and how it helps New Zealanders to age well.”
The Health Ageing Strategy is available on the Ministry of Health’s website www.health.govt.nz