Government launches plan to tackle elderly loneliness, employment issues

The Government has launched a plan to "ensure New Zealand is prepared for and makes the most of our ageing population". 

An elderly couple walks along the beach.

Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said part of the plan was looking at how to support and encourage recruitment of seniors in the workforce. 

"It is also important as a country that we have policies and initiatives that help people to keep connections throughout their lives and stop them being isolated or lonely," she said. 

The 'Better Later Life' plan focuses on financial security, health, housing, social connections and accessibility for the elderly. An 'action plan' is also to be developed. 

"We’re also actively looking at what it takes to allow older people to remain in paid work," Mrs Martin said. "We want to make sure that older people can work, if they wish or need to."

"Current trends show that some older workers who lose their jobs take longer to re-enter the workforce, which impacts on their wellbeing and their income.

"Ageism, discrimination, negative stereotypes and attitudes towards older people all impact on the quality of later working lives and are considered in the strategy."

The full plan can be viewed on the Ministry of Social Development website here.