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Attitudes towards Ageing report released

New Zealanders continue to have a great respect for older people according to a new report released today.

The Office for Seniors has published its second Attitudes towards Ageing report, which surveyed people on how they feel about older people and feelings about getting older.

It found that most respondents (81%) have great respect for older people while 50% of respondents considered older people to be an asset to society. That is in contrast to only 10% who see older people more as a burden.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact for some respondents with 23% saying the pandemic had a positive impact on their attitude towards older people, and 16% said the pandemic had a positive impact on their attitude towards getting older.

The report also found that concerns about ageing decrease as we age. Those
in younger age groups (18 to 49) worry more about what life will be like when they
reach later life than people in older age groups. The main concerns about ageing are
becoming physically ill or disabled, and becoming mentally ill or getting dementia.

Overall, respondents are mostly optimistic about the future. When asked, 4 in 10 said their life in 5 years will be better than it is now. Those aged 18 to 34 were more likely to think this way. Only 1 in 10 thought their life in 5 years would be worse than it is now.

Office for Seniors Director, Diane Turner, welcomed the report findings.

“Older New Zealanders play a crucial part in our community and it’s important to recognise the significant contribution they have made and continue to make to New Zealand,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to see that people have an increasing amount of confidence that New Zealand will be well prepared for an ageing population- up to 49% from 38% in 2016.

Read the full report here.