Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Gore District New Zealand
The Gore District is located in the south of the South Island with a population of around 12,400. Gore is a service town for the surrounding farm communities. Gore is well known for its connection with country music, Brown Trout fishing and visual arts in the southern South Island.
Ageing populations is a worldwide issue and the Gore District is no exception, with 33% of our population projected to be aged 65+ by 2038. In response to this, a feasibility study was commissioned with the brief to undertake local research, understand perceptions of retirement, and explore the Gore District’s capacity for supporting an ageing population, now and into the future. It has two broad and inter-related intents:
- Active Ageing encouraging older people to contribute to the community, economically and socially, for the benefit of the Gore District community and each other
- Age-friendly shaping the Gore District physical and social environment in such a way that supports older people and enables them to be active.
Six areas were identified to explore:
- Employment and volunteerism
- Social participation
From this work the ‘Ready for Living’ initiative was established, a 17 year action plan was developed, funding sourced and a person employed to focus on delivering the work in collaboration with the community and older population.
1 year in a wide variety of policies and initiatives for older people already exist, locally and nationally. Nationally these include superannuation at age 65 and discount Gold Card (for those 65+). Our plans are to continue, enhance and establish new initiatives. Some of what Ready for Living does includes: advocates for older peoples issues in the community including around health and housing, consults on infrastructure, assists with welfare needs (during our short Covid lockdown), promotes social participation opportunities, assists groups where required, runs accredited falls prevention exercise classes, assists with Seniors technology classes, ensure there are refresher training for older drivers, assists with Kaumatua days (Maori older people) and helps with transport solutions.
Ready for Living (with support from NZ Office for Seniors) produced a framework for ‘Age friendly business’ in consultation with the older community. The work aims to ensure that as a district our businesses, retailers and professional service providers have a clear understanding of how to meet the needs and expectations of an ageing community. Guidelines and an Action plan were developed for businesses aspiring to be age friendly.
Ready for Living will continue to make Gore a more conscious age-friendly community into the future working towards the WHO age friendly cities and communities guidelines.