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Future challenges facing older Aucklanders

Auckland's fastest-growing age group

Published: 28 June 2019

Like many cities around the world, Auckland is facing the challenges of a rapidly ageing population with those over 65 years growing faster than any other age group.

Globally, a combination of falling fertility rates and longer life expectancy is sharpening focus on how cities will adapt to meet the needs of older people and the economic resources required.

More people over 65 are choosing to work longer, worrying whether they have sufficient funds to meet their needs. But the nature of employment is changing rapidly with technology replacing the jobs they are familiar with.

Auckland Council is leading work on how the city will meet the complex demand for services knowing that insufficient planning could mean the challenges worsen as the number of older people grows significantly over the next 20 years.

Already the city is home to a quarter of all people in New Zealand over 65, with about 25 per cent of older Aucklanders still in full or part-time employment, one of the highest rates in OECD countries.

The council is calling on organisations and agencies working with older people to help in developing an Age-Friendly Auckland Action Plan.

It will also apply to join the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities to share ideas.

“Generally, most older Aucklanders are doing well, many contribute to the economy or volunteer in the community. But looking forward, the challenges the city faces are immense,” said Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the Environment and Community Committee.

“As people age, a growing percentage will require a high level of services ranging from such things as access to public transport, expert healthcare, and accommodation that meets their individual needs.

“Above all, they will want to feel they belong, are respected, and have a place in the community.”

You can have your say on future needs for older Aucklanders on the Auckland Council website.

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