28 September, 2012
Celebrating longevity: the shape of the future
The International Day of Older Persons next Monday (1 October) is a chance to consider the benefits our society gains from people living longer, says Senior Citizens Minister Jo Goodhew.
The day, which is dedicated to the celebration of older people throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world, will feature a wide range of events, including intergenerational activities and events focusing on positive ageing.
“Nationally, the celebrations have already begun. There is a huge range of exciting things happening to recognise the valuable contribution older people make to our lives, our neighbourhoods, our workplaces and our communities” said Mrs Goodhew.
“This year’s international theme is Longevity: Shaping the Future. New Zealanders are living longer and healthier and it is important for individuals, employers, service providers and the Government to think about the implications and opportunities increased longevity brings. Planning is key – take a minute or two to think about what you want your future to look like.
“Our attitudes about ageing need to change because older New Zealanders are changing. Older Kiwis are a diverse group – the majority are looking to keep active and enjoy life – you only need to look at the number of older people still competing in sports events like New Zealand’s coast-to-coast. Older people keep volunteer organisations afloat and contribute to our communities in many ways.
“By valuing and using the skills, knowledge and experience of older people, by caring for those who need it in a respectful manner, we will continue to build a great country to live in.
“I encourage you to find out what is happening in your area and join me in celebrating older people. I will be attending events around the country from Christchurch to Whangarei during the week.”