Many New Zealanders view their 60s and 70s as a time to relax, travel, pursue hobbies or volunteer work. Others continue working and/or become engaged in community and political affairs – many local and national politicians are aged 65+!
Some retirees from paid work opt to relocate into low-maintenance retirement villages or live in “granny flats” on relatives’ properties; others rely on family and community support systems.
1. Shop local.
One top tip to help strengthen our communities and create vibrant retail environments is shopping locally when possible, be it online or visiting physical shops and cafes. Your custom is vital for their survival as local shops add character and vibrancy to our neighborhoods and suburbs.
New Zealand has long provided community support for older adults, leading to the creation of various advocacy groups including Grey Power, Age Concern and local old age welfare councils. These advocacy groups specialize in topics like superannuation, health awareness campaigns and crisis support for elderly New Zealanders.
New Zealand stands out when it comes to providing technology for older adults. A number of NGOs provide training courses on digital devices and apps designed to keep seniors connected with family and friends while others develop skills needed to reenter the workforce or volunteer within their local community. Furthermore, New Zealand’s health care system has made significant strides toward adapting itself to this ageing population population.
2. Eat local.
New Zealand is home to an abundance of history and culture, which has fostered an atmosphere that celebrates older adults in society – this can be seen through respect shown to older people at all levels ranging from government bodies to nongovernmental organisations.
Alongside its universal pension scheme, Japan also features public health care and social service systems that have developed through community involvement over time. Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are now creating innovative services that support an aging population.
Most older New Zealanders continue working post-retirement, either as paid workers or volunteers for organizations such as the National Museum or local libraries. Furthermore, they take advantage of any opportunities presented to travel around the country.
Many non-profit organisations emphasize the value of staying engaged with one’s community. Age Concern’s Accredited Visiting Service matches elderly with volunteers carefully selected by Age Concern in order to ensure compatibility, while ACC’s Nymbl app helps older people reduce falls and fractures – something it was designed to do because falls are the leading cause of ACC claims filed by those over 65 years old.
3. Stay local.
New Zealand offers the ideal environment and culture for older people, from its pleasant climate and welcoming society, to easy accessibility across its islands and an abundance of cultural activities such as natural wonders and historical museums and galleries.
Many older New Zealanders rely on income from state pension, rent, savings interest and private superannuation – the vast majority being home owners – as sources of income. On top of these sources of income they may also receive disability allowance or become eligible for the SuperGold card which offers discounted public transport, discounts at many businesses and concessions for local government services.
Many elderly New Zealanders reside in retirement villages that provide low maintenance living and access to support services, while some move into family homes with self-contained ‘granny flats’ or onto marae grounds with kaumatua flats. New Zealand is among the first nations to develop and implement an age-friendly strategy with local government and stakeholders identifying key areas of action within communities.
4. Stay active.
New Zealand may attract adventure-seeking young adventurers and backpackers, yet its tranquil terrain also make it the ideal retreat for older adults seeking peace and solitude. Dubbed “God’s Own Country,” its landscape boasts volcanic hot springs and geysers, lush mountain ranges and bodies of water as well as warm and friendly inhabitants who provide ample opportunity for rejuvenation and renewal.
New Zealanders live among the longest healthy lives worldwide. Established in 1938, its medical system has provided tailored care according to local needs. A government-funded push to narrow the digital divide supports technological literacy among older adults while non-governmental organizations offer training programs supplementary training programs.
Many older New Zealanders play an active role in their communities both as volunteers and elected representatives, both through volunteerism and elected office positions. Many not-for-profit organizations focusing on older people are run by volunteers – providing essential services while simultaneously offering seniors social activities and the chance to develop new skills alongside their peers – for instance SeniorNet has provided courses on topics like online shopping and airline ticket reservation.
5. Stay connected.
New Zealand boasts an hospitable culture and easy accessibility that make it the ideal destination for senior travel. Grocery stores and clothing brands often provide discounts of 10%-25% for seniors when purchasing goods; InterCity bus tickets and trains offer reduced rates to cardholders!
New Zealand’s small size and welcoming culture has fostered an environment of mutual trust that extends to older citizens. From exploring North Island’s geothermal sites to discovering Maori culture and their ancient traditions, a visit to NZ provides a relaxing yet thrilling travel experience!
Diane Turner of the Office for Seniors observes that successful aging requires financial security, health services, strong social connections and physical activity. To address the various issues affecting seniors, her office also offers support through SeniorNet – a digital literacy initiative offering free training courses at community centers. These classes teach older adults the fundamentals of internet banking and online shopping as well as ways of staying connected with family and friends through free digital literacy training courses offered through SeniorNet.