Healthy Ageing Strategy - Implementing the strategy

Achieving the vision and goals set out in the Healthy Ageing Strategy requires the commitment and participation of many people working across and throughtout the health and social system, in partnership with NGOs, communities, older people and their families and whanau.

The video below features some of these people talking about what the Strategy means for them, and their involvement in making it happen.

Video title: Implementing the Healthy Ageing Strategy

[Nicky Wagner - Associate Minister of Health to camera]

The Healthy Ageing Strategy is all about supporting our ageing population and it’s growing. What we wanted to do is bring the policies, the funding, the planning and the services together to make sure that older people really had the opportunity to live a really good life.

[Image of the Healthy Ageing Strategy publication cover]

Well healthy ageing is not just about health services actually. It’s about being independent. It’s about being connected. It’s about being in the community.

[Image of 3 woman. Daughter, Mother, Grandmother]

It’s all about one team and this team is health professionals, but it’s also in the community, it’s families. Everybody working together to support older people.

[Graphic - 'Turning the Strategy into action']

[Carolyn Gullery, GM Canterbury/West Coast DHB to camera]

I think this is a really important step for the future.

The Healthy Ageing Strategy is an exciting new way of looking at how do we make sure our population ages well and healthy and stays in their own homes and communities, which is what we need them to do for the future. And what this strategy has described is how we can take a whole-of-government approach to that.

[Shot of Carolyn speaking at a workshop]

It’s about changing the expectations for people about how they can age and what they can expect from their lives and then giving them the tools to make sure it works out for the best possible way for them.

In health we tend to start from people being unwell and in this case we’re trying to say how we can support people to stay well, which is why it needs that whole-of-government approach. So there’ll be quite a few things we’ll have to change. The most important thing we’ll have to change is people’s expectations. Expectations about what support they can get but also their expectations about what life they can live.

[Graphic - in both Te Reo and English. 'Older people live well, age well and have a respecful end of life in age-friendly communities']

[Rangimahora Reddy, CEO Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust]

Some of the things that our kaumatua have said around the Healthy Ageing Strategy is one, that it’s good to see a government strategy that is purely focused on them. Two, that it’s really good to see something that identifies Maori as a priority population because our kaumatua in particular have, I guess an extra burden in that they die earlier and that’s something we are trying to address and I believe the Health Ageing Strategy just gives a little bit more emphasis to their voice.

[Footage of elderly in the marae]

The best outcome for me would be kaumatua being respected, so that their dignity is maintained and that as a health system and as a nation that we have systems that demonstrate that they are valued.

Footage of elderly in the marae exercising]

I think the actual implementation requires everybody to be part of that process for it to work really well.

[Stewart Jessmine, Director, Ministry of Health to camera]

People work better when they’re connected to their community and they’re connected to each other. And really the action strategy is about delivering in those things, getting people engaged in planning, town planning, planning about exercise and footpaths and location of shops and the location of other services – it’s about trying to make sure that the services that people need are built around the people who need them and the best advocates for that are the people who are in their own community.

[Image of two men in the garden]

It just requires people to be interested and want to be engaged and supported when they make those decisions. And that’s the key in a lot of that healthy ageing strategy.

[Image of an woman helping a young boy knitting]

[Stephanie Clare, CEO Age Concern NZ to camera]

My involvement in the Strategy and our organisation’s involvement in the Strategy, is being the voice of the people, being included in the conversations, looking at what the needs are at local community level, looking at how we could put in some protection and support.

[Image of a family sitting around the dinner table]

In terms of this Strategy, it actually, is for everyone. It’s from the tip to the tail of New Zealand, it’s for every New Zealander.

It’s a living document that can influence how we do things. It can influence how we get involved in local communities. It gives us permission to have a start of a conversation. It gives us the mandate.

[Image of three woman laughing, sitting at a dining table]

Palliative and respectful end of life care is a key part of living and a key part of this document.

[Footage of the Healthy Ageing Strategy - Respectful end of life section]

This Strategy enables us to shift, to own, to be part of the decision-making as well.

[Rachel Haggerty, Director Capital & Coast DHB to camera]

Importance of a social movement, the importance of New Zealand understanding that we want people to live really well into older age and to feel really supported in their community.

[Footage of Rachel facilitating a workshop, wider shot of the workshop]

The more people that we have involved, and not just the people who provide services but also the communities where people live, the more likely we are to be successful because we know that the things that really affect your wellbeing as you age are about things like loneliness, what you call social inclusion - being part of your community, and you need to get everyone involved.

[Image of a young boy and girl with their grandfather in the garden]

It’s the having that how conversation is really about unpacking the detail of who takes what responsibility but also who’s got what opportunities to make this really successful.

[Phil Wood, Chief Advisor - Healthy Ageing, Ministry of Health to camera]

As clinicians, we’re a prime target for implementing this strategy, and we have a very experienced and dedicated workforce, both in the regulated – that’s doctors and nurses, and so forth… allied staff, as well as long term care workers and community workers – very dedicated, very skilled and very capable.

[Footage - closeup shots of from the Healthy Ageing Strategy document]

Without a strategy it’s very hard to know your direction and if we don’t have a common goal, we’re likely to drift off.  So for my mind, it’s… you know, join in, participate, produce the actions, we can model off good examples, and propagate that around the community as we need it to be.

[Image of the Healthy Ageing Strategy publication cover]

So all clinicians, with an enthusiasm for doing more with what we’ve got.

I would expect that those who don’t get involved to be sadly disappointed that they’re not on the leading edge of growth and development.

Download snapshots of the Strategy that show its connection with the overall Health Strategy, and the focus areas for the first two years of implementing the Healthy Ageing Strategy. 

The Strategy itself was launched by the Associate Minister of Health in December 2016 with the priority being to develop an implementation plan to detail how the Strategy’s 48 priority actions will actually be rolled out over the first two years.


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