Older People's Research Providing Food For Thought For Government

  • David Carter
Senior Citizens

The old age experiences of more than 100 people will feature in a Government-funded research project assessing the factors that help older people live independently, says Senior Citizens Minister, Hon David Carter.

Gray Matter Research recently reported back to Mr Carter on their interim findings six months into the $50,000 research project, which is one of the Government's International Year of Older Persons commitments.

"Older people have jumped at the opportunity this project has given them to talk about living on their own. The research has started to uncover the services they rely on and the services older people want to see more of."

More than 100 people between the ages of 60 and 93 have been interviewed for the study, and experts in ageing have been spoken to, in communities as diverse as Taranaki, Nelson, Kapiti Coast, Auckland, Christchurch and Taihape.

Personal life stories also came from older people prompted to write to the researchers, following advertisements in community newspapers nationwide.

"What comes through loud and clear is the resilient nature of older people. I'm confident when we get the final research results in September, we will have some positive stories to tell New Zealand."

"More importantly, we can look forward to research which identifies clearly the real needs of older people. This has got to be a better basis for policy-making where older people are concerned."

The Government expects to announce the results of the research during celebrations for the closure of International Year of Older Persons in October.