Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin has signalled that promoting housing options for older people will be one of two key areas focus for a new Positive Ageing Strategy to be developed this year.
The current Positive Ageing Strategy was written in 2001 and needs to be updated to reflect the continuing changes as our population ages. Minister Martin says that it is “great news in that more of us are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. But it also means there are some things we have to consider as a country.”
Much of policy that affects older people is based on the assumption that most of them own their own homes and will be mortgage free in retirement. With home ownership rates among older people dropping, new thinking is needed.
Supporting seniors in the workforce and how businesses can better recruit and retain older people will be another area the new strategy will be asked to focus on, with the proportion of the total workforce who are seniors expected to exceed 10% in 15 years’ time.
Public consultation is planned to begin in June and run through to late August and involve workshops around the country. Keep an eye on the Office for Seniors website for more information: http://www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/.