Positive Ageing


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Positive Ageing

Marlborough's Ageing Population

Older people represent a significant and growing proportion of the Marlborough population. In the 2006 census, 16% of the total population was aged 65 or over; a total of 6,876 people.

Growth in the 65+ demographic has consistently outstripped total population growth: between 2001 and 2006 the Marlborough population increase by 8% compared to 12% in the 65+ age group. For the period 1991 to 2006, where the total population increased by 21%, the group aged 65+ increased by 47%.

There are three principal drivers of the increasing age profile. One is transition of the 'boomer' generation of people born between 1945 and 1960 into older age. The effects of this are only beginning to be fully registered - apart from the very significant increase in numbers that the boomer generation represents, this generation has had quite different lifestyle experiences (compared to the current cohort of older people) and it will affect their lifestyle choices, concerns and behaviours over the remainder of their lives.

A second factor is the improvement in both population health and medical care. These improvements enable people to live longer, and to remain active for longer. The implications of this trend are also only beginning to show, with, for example, more people continuing to live independently, providing that they have access to suitable support and with some enhancements to their home.

Both these factors are being experienced internationally. Benchmarked against national statistics, Marlborough is, however, at the leading edge of these population changes; amongst regional councils, our median age is the highest in the country (although several district councils have a higher median age). This is partly a result of the underlying population base, but also the impact of the third factor - the migration of older people and middle-aged people into the district. The net effect of these factors is to create not only an increased number of older people in the community, but a group of people for whom the experience of being aged will present quite differently from previous cohorts. These differences are likely to include higher rates of physical and economic activity, greater average affluence (but likely including greater inequalities of wealth and poverty), and higher expectations of service.

At the older edge of the cohort, distinct gender differences are also beginning to emerge. Women in the group 75+ significantly outnumber men and are more likely to present their own set of needs and aspirations. Council has a number of programmes and services that are aimed at responding to the needs of older people, including Council's Older Persons Forum. The forum requested that Council consider developing a policy that would align with the National Positive Ageing Strategy administered by the Office of Senior Citizens within the Ministry of Social Development.

View the Positive Ageing resources below:

Do you have difficulty getting to medical appointments in Nelson

If so, the Marlborough Sounds Community Vehicle Trust has been created just for you. The above trust has been created to carry people to Nelson for medical appointments.

Should you require this service, you will need to be a member of the trust and that costs $15 per annum. The return trip will cost $40 per passenger.

If you live in the Picton area the pick up will be from your home but beyond that we will pick up anywhere along Queen Charlotte Drive and State Highway 6.

To join the trust and get more details, please phone: 03 574 1311 or email: soundsvehicle@gmail.com.

National Positive Ageing Strategy

The aim of the National Positive Ageing Strategy is to improve opportunities for older people to participate in the community in the ways that they choose. It incorporates broad principles to guide the development of policies and services from a wide range of government and non-government agencies and identifies key areas that contribute to positive ageing.

The strategy states that it strives for:

"A society where people can age positively, where older people are highly valued and where they are recognised as an integral part of families and communities. New Zealand will be a positive place in which to age when older people say that they live in a society that values them, acknowledges their contributions and encourages their participation."

This vision is directly reflected in the community outcome identified in the 2009 Long Term Council Community Plan of Marlborough: "A community where people can age positively, where older people are valued for their experience, wisdom and character, and where they are recognised as an integral part of families and communities."