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Seniors Newsletter
 
 
 
 
  Te Tari Kaumatua | Office for Seniors
 
 
 
 
From Minister for Seniors Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Welcome to the last issue of the Seniors newsletter for 2022. I want to wish everyone a very festive Christmas and a happy New Year.

It’s been another challenging year as we’ve worked to contain the impacts of COVID-19. I know for many of you it has continued to impact your sense of community and connection. I want to thank you for doing your bit.


In February this year I was pleased to appoint our first Aged Care Commissioner, Carolyn Cooper, to provide oversight of the aged care sector and lead much needed systematic change. It’s an important watchdog role to monitor the quality of care and health and disability services for older people in New Zealand. It’s meaningful to have a dedicated role to champion the rights of older people to the best and most appropriate health care services where and when they need it.
 
It was also great to launch the Older Workers Employment Action Plan in April this year. The plan acts as a blueprint on how the Government can help support and encourage older people to stay in the workforce if they want or need to. The plan focuses on training and upskilling, finding and staying in work, supporting employers to be more inclusive, and planning for the effects and opportunities of an ageing workforce.
 
Do you have a Community Services Card or know someone who does? From 1 February 2023 Community Services Card holders are eligible for a continued 50% discount on public transport. You can read more in this issue.
 
This newsletter also includes some good advice on how to keep up your hydration and stay safe and cool this summer.

I hope you all enjoy reading this final newsletter for 2022, and we will see you in the New Year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Repair Café Aotearoa: fix rather than throw
 
 
From local beginnings in Lyttleton in 2013, there are now over 40 repair cafés across the motu (country), all aiming to foster a culture of repair and save money and prevent household items going to landfill.  
 
Locals can bring broken bikes, toys, toasters - any household device that can be carried into the café for a free repair. They'll sit down with a local volunteer who will do their best to fix the item while teaching the skills for attendees to fix things themselves in the future. Some cafés also have volunteers who make sewing repairs.

Sue Harris has just helped set up a repair café in Raumati South on the Kāpiti Coast. “Many skills of fixing have been lost so our volunteers want to teach these skills to younger people” says Sue. “It’s also a great place to bring the community together as we provide a café to use while you wait. At our first repair café in September this year, 110 items were brought in and 92 were repaired”. 

Repair cafés are a wonderful example of bringing together the strengths of local people to help face a global challenge – and building social cohesion too!

If you are keen to get involved as a volunteer ‘fixer’, or have broken items for repair, check out the Repair Café map on the Repair Café website.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
#ShopSafeNZ this holiday season
 
 
Now is a great time to shop online but also to look out for some of the risks. Netsafe and the Domain Name Commission have pulled together some tips for safer online shopping this holiday season. 
   
Keep these 6 handy tips top of mind for a safer online shopping experience and share them with whānau (family) and friends.

The 6 tips are: 
  • Does the site’s name match the goods? Does the site’s name match the goods? If the website’s name refers to boats, but it’s selling makeup, it’s probably fake.
  • Check the look and feel on a site. Keep an eye out for inconsistent style and grammar.
  • What payment options are available? The website should offer more than one payment option.
  • Research the seller or company.
  • Check for contact details and return policies.
  • Check the WHOIS information and a company’s social media presence. 
 
For more detail on these tips, read the #ShopSafeNZ fact sheet on the Netsafe website.

Netsafe is available to help all New Zealanders stay safe online and is free to call on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723) - 7 days a week 8am to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm weekends and public holidays. 
 
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Half priced travel for Community Services cardholders
 
 
 
Do you have a Community Services Card or know someone who does? From 1 February 2023 Community Services Card holders are eligible for a continued 50% discount on public transport. 
 
The discount is part of the Community Connect programme announced by the Government in Budget 2022.
 
More information will be available in the New Year, including how you can apply for the discount on prepaid travel cards.
 
Free off-peak public transport continues to apply for all SuperGold cardholders.
 
Learn More
 
 
 
 
 
Te Reo for the festive season
 
 
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou (Seasons greetings for Christmas and the New Year).
 
Celebrate our unique culture with these Te Reo Māori phrases and kupu (words) for the Christmas Season.

To hear the correct pronunciation, you can search the kupu on Te Aka, the Māori Dictionary, and click on the speaker icon to the right of the word.      
 
  • meri kirihimete - merry christmas
  • ngā mihi o te tau hou - happy new year
  • kia pai tō wā whakatā - have a great holiday
  • me te aroha - with love
  • rākau kirihimete - christmas tree
  • anahera - angel
  • koha - gift, present
  • tōkena kirihimete - christmas stocking
  • hana kōkō - Santa Claus
  • mārama kirihimete - christmas lights
  • hīmene kirihimete - christmas carol
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Disability Allowance – medical alarm service changes
 
 
On 1 December 2022, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) introduced 'anywhere' medical alarm services. Until then, only ‘in-home’ medical alarm costs were included in the Disability Allowance.
 
The Disability Allowance is a financial support that’s available at a weekly rate of up to $70.04 a week. It’s paid to eligible clients to help with ongoing health and disability-related costs. You can read more about the Disability Allowance including whether you are eligible here.
 
If you currently get or need a medical alarm, you may have the option to get a medical alarm that works outside of the home as well as in-home. MSD may be able to cover the costs as part of your Disability Allowance.
 
You’ll need to apply if you want to include an in-home or an anywhere medical alarm service in your Disability Allowance. This process includes seeing a medical practitioner and contacting one of our accredited medical alarm suppliers.
 
Find out more about the changes by visiting the Medical alarms page on the Work and Income website.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Census Day is 7 March 2023
 
 
The next census will be held in early 2023, with Census Day being Tuesday 7 March 2023.
 
The census is a nationwide survey that happens every five years to understand more about life in Aotearoa New Zealand and how it is changing.
 
Stats NZ is aiming to make the 2023 Census the most inclusive census yet. There will be more options for completing the census – you can complete your census answers in English or Te Reo Māori and choose whether to complete the census online or on paper.
 
Paper census forms will be available in a range of accessible formats, including a Large Print version that can be printed on demand. Information to help people complete the census will also be available in alternate formats such as New Zealand Sign Language, Braille-ready files, audio, and Easy Read.
 
Stats NZ will deliver instructions about how to do the 2023 Census to every place where people live or stay. Look out for these instructions from February 2023.
 
Stats NZ are currently looking for census collectors to work for 8 weeks from January/February 2023, through to April 2023, with options to work part-time 20 hours a week available. It could be a great way to meet more people in your community and get your steps up! For more information and links to apply, please click on the Learn More button below.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Changes to dental assistance
 
 
From 1 December 2022, the Ministry of Social Development updated the Special Needs Grant for dental treatment.
 
The key changes include:
  • up to $1,000 through a Special Needs Grant can be used for dental treatment in a 52-week period. This is an increase from the previous amount of $300 in a 52-week period.
  • criteria for treatment through the Special Needs Grant is expanding from ‘emergency’ to ‘immediate and essential need’. An outline of what is and isn’t considered immediate and essential is on this dental treatment page.
  • you can get more than one payment within a 52-week period, up to a total of $1,000.
As an example, if you got help with a $300 Special Needs Grant for dental treatment in July 2022 and you had an immediate need for essential dental treatment you could apply to receive up to $700 from 1 December 2022. From July 2023 you would once again be entitled to up to $1,000 for an immediate need for essential dental treatment
 
For more information, visit the dental treatment page on the Work and Income website.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Change to residence criteria for NZ Super and Veteran's Pension
 
 
 
The residence criteria for NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension will change in July 2024. The minimum number of years you must have been resident and present in New Zealand will be gradually increasing from 10 years to 20 years. 
 
If you have family or friends living overseas or planning to move abroad, it’s important they understand the changes. 
 
For New Zealanders living abroad, this could mean changing their plans to make sure they’re eligible for NZ Super or Veterans Pension when they turn 65.
 
While not coming into effect immediately, we want to raise awareness early to help people plan for their future - if they wish to receive NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension when they turn 65.
 
For more information on these changes, visit the Work and Income website.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Know your bones
 
 
 
Did you know one third of women and one fifth of men over the age of 50 years will suffer a fracture from a fall or trip from a standing height?
 
The most common parts of the body to sustain fractures from falls like these are the hip, wrist, upper arm, pelvis, or spine. The good news is treatment for these types of fractures will reduce the likelihood of a patient refracturing by 30 to 70 percent.
 
Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) operate across New Zealand and aim to make the first fracture the last. Funded by the ACC, FLS are teams of clinical nurse specialists who identify patients over the age of 50 years who have sustained a fracture and work with them to start treatment as soon as possible.
 
“We want to help people live healthier lives by improving their bone health. Once you’ve had one fracture, you are much more likely to have another, so we put steps in place to help prevent that from happening,” says FLS Canterbury clinical nurse specialist Cushla Parker.
 
Once a patient has been identified, a bone health assessment is made, and the team liaises with GPs on treatment. Patients are contacted via telephone at 16- and 52-weeks post fracture to see how they are managing.
 
Other interventions include ordering bone density scans, referring patients to the Falls Prevention programme and strength and balance classes, and providing nurse-led clinics and education sessions to people over the age of 50 years in the community.
 
“These fractures can be really debilitating so the work we do creates a huge positive impact for people, helping them to remain active. Our FLS is growing and in Canterbury this year we are on track to have around 1,200 patients - the largest number of patients we’ve ever had” says Cushla. 
 
If you’ve recently fallen or tripped from a standing height and think you would benefit from visiting a FLS, ask your GP or search to see if there is one in your area.

Good bone health begins with knowing your bones. Click on the Learn More button below to complete a free, online self-assessment test called ‘Know your Bones’
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
Stay stronger for longer 
 
 
Another great way to prevent trips and falls is to work on your strength and balance. Exercise that focuses on strength and balance is an excellent way to increase your movement and confidence.
 
Community strength and balance classes are a great opportunity to get in regular exercise whilst socialising and having fun with like-minded people. Some classes are fully funded so are free to attend, while others are under $10 a class.
 
These classes specifically incorporate exercises that reduce falls and meet a set of nine assessment criteria. This is what gives them their ACC strength and balance “tick”. So, don’t worry about keeping up – although these classes may make you breathe a little harder, they won’t involve any exercises that could do you harm.
 
You don’t need exercise clothes unless you want to of course! Classes are run by people in your community, for the people in your community. Comfortable clothes that you can move in, and flat, comfortable shoes should be the only pre-requisite.
 
All New Zealanders who are 65 or older and at risk of falling, or have a history of falling, can give it a go.
 
To find a community group strength and balance class near you, visit the ACC website.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
How to beat the heat
 
 
Tips for staying hydrated this summer
 
Water plays a major role in the body for eliminating toxins, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature as well as keeping us happy and healthy overall. In fact, your body is made up of 60% water.
 
With summer fast approaching, it is vitally important to stay hydrated:
  • Sip water throughout the day: don’t wait until you’re thirsty! Drink water throughout the day to prevent dehydration or over exhaustion.
  • Eat foods with a high-water content: Summer is the perfect time to enjoy chilled fruit and vegetables on a hot day. Opting to eat food with a high-water content such as watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, lettuce, or celery will also help to keep you hydrated and can be added to foods like smoothies or salads.
  • Mix up your water with natural flavours: Try adding a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber, or peppermint to flavour your water.
 What to wear in the heat:
  • A loose white linen shirt isn’t just fashionably conscious - it’s also intelligent for hot, sunny days. Dark clothing absorbs more heat, and tight clothes don’t let sweat, your body’s natural cooling system, evaporate.
  • Cotton is another good fabric to opt for in the heat.
  • Choose light colours over darker ones if your primary goal is staying cool.
 
Be SunSmart
 
 
 
 
 
Kiwi Access Card: now taking online applications
 
 
 
The Kiwi Access Card is an easy and convenient way to help you access goods and services, especially if you do not hold a driver licence and/or passport. The card has been specifically designed with New Zealanders over 60s in mind, to ensure you have a reliable and secure evidence of identity card.
 
If you do not have a New Zealand driver license or passport, you need someone who can prove you are over 18 and some other form of identification, like your birth certificate.
 
If you want to apply for a Kiwi Access Card but struggle to get to your nearest or NZ Post shop or AA Centre, you can now apply online. The digital application process provides a secure and innovative platform. All new card applications cost $60.
 
You can pick up a Kiwi Access Card application from your local NZ Post shop or AA Centre. If you’d like to apply online visit the Kiwi Access website.
 
Learn More
 
 
 
 
 
SuperGold offers
 
 
 
SuperGold December image - Click here for more offers in December
 
 
 
The Warehouse - get 5% off on the first Tuesday of the month
 
 
 
Noel leeming
 
 
 
Genesis Energy - Join and get $50 credit and 100 hours of free power
 
 
 
 
 
 
The lost king giveaway - win 1 of 20 double passes - click to enter
 
 
 
10% off online orders from zoom pharmacy using code gold at checkout
 
 
 
Gold Health - up to 50% off SuperGold special
 
 
 
nuzest - 20% off using code GOLD at checkout
 
 
 
My Food Bag - Get 30% off use code GOLDMFB
 
 
 
25% off 3 month subscription country TVOnline
 
 
 
Wild earth travel - 10% off on selected North Island cruises
 
 
 
BrandPost - up to 20% off Ink and Toner
 
 
 
Laithwaites wine
 
 
 
Vesta life insurance- discounted Health and Life Insurance Premiums for Christmas
 
 
 
Cover togs - 15% off
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flip the switch - 30% off one to one transformational session
 
 
 
SuperGold offers in December - click her for more offers
 
 
 
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