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Progress made on healthy ageing

The Ministry of Health has announced the next stage of its Healthy Ageing Strategy, with the focus to move to the provision of better integrated services for older New Zealanders.

Deputy Director-General Health System Improvement and Innovation at the Ministry, Keriana Brooking said the strategy had prioritised 48 actions for implementation in the first two years.

“These include a national framework for the Home and Community Support Service to ensure services for older people are delivered on a nationally consistent basis, and improved training and conditions of employment for the Home and Community Support Service Workforce,” Ms Brooking said.

Also included was a national rollout of a program led by the Accident Compensation Corporation involving strength and balance initiatives for people at risk of falls.

Ms Brooking said ownership of the actions was spread across the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, other Government Agencies and health sector groups.

“The overarching priorities are monitoring and measuring progress; maintaining sector involvement and commitment, and achieving greater equity for population groups,” she said.

“This particularly applies to Māori, Pacific and ethnic and migrant communities, isolated and rural communities and those with low socioeconomic status.”

Ms Brooking said the focus of this next stage of the strategy’s implementation was to ensure the systems to deliver support to older people were more integrated and accessible to all who needed it.

“This is very much focused on creating supportive environments which are person-centred, have prevention at the heart, and include closer to home rehabilitation when that’s required,” she said.