2009-03-11 09:46:00Free transport a success for seniors - Age Concern
SuperGold Card holders have made over two and a half million
bus, rail and ferry journeys since the free off-peak public transport
scheme began last October.
Age Concern says the scheme has been a great success â€“ in areas
where it's available â€“ and rejects any suggestion that the
scheme is being used to fund jaunts.
"Building community involvement has real health and welfare benefits,"
Age Concern's Alistair Stewart says.
"Free off-peak transport is win/win. It's good for older people;
it's good for public transport as it uses spare off-peak capacity,
and it's good for the environment as it replaces car journeys.
"People aged over 65 are using free public transport to get to
work (paid or voluntary), visit friends, do their shopping and
generally keep engaged with their communities.
"The average fare subsidy is just $2.19 â€“ that's a great investment.
$18 million per year is available so $5.5 million for the first
four months of the scheme is within budget."
Age Concern welcomes Prime Minister John Key's support for the
scheme and his commitment to "fund the increase" if it becomes
more popular than budgeted.
But Age Concern warns that not all older people are benefiting.
For example, Auckland transport operators received over $2.8
million and senior Aucklanders can travel for free any time in
the day after 9am. On the other hand, Age Concern points out
that Gisborne and Marlborough got just $4000 each and the West
Coast got nothing.
"Some areas with significant senior populations don't have off-peak
public transport. Families, communities and community organisations
like Age Concern are having to fill in gaps in services if we're
going to help older people make the most out of life," Alistair
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2008-10-08 16:58:00Protection for older people through the Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008, out this afternoon, is welcome and it has been a long time coming, Age Concern National President Liz Baxendine says.
"We're pleased to finally have it, but it's still one year away from taking effect and some provisions are a step backwards from the earlier Code of Practice."
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2008-09-08 12:04:00Thousands unaware of risk from high Blood Pressure
The NZ Stroke Foundation urges New Zealanders to have a blood pressure test and reduce the risk of becoming a statistic of this countrys second single biggest killer and the leading cause of disability. Statistics show that thousands of kiwis are unknowingly suffering from undiagnosed high blood pressure
- the single biggest risk factor for stroke.
The figures also reveal that this risk varies greatly across ethnicities, with Maori/Pacific and Asian ethnicities at much higher risk of some strokes at a younger age than NZ/Europeans.
To counteract this trend, the Stroke Foundation - working in partnership with Lions International has launched a blood pressure campaign with a series of testing days throughout the country. As part of the Take the Pressure Off Stroke blood pressure awareness campaign, testing sites successfully took place on Saturday 6 September, with hundreds of kiwis getting blood pressure checks and advice. A further testing day will take place on Saturday 13 September. Testing days will offer free blood pressure checks, and advice on stroke and its prevention to people of all ages. Stroke does not discriminate and can happen to anyone at any time: one in four strokes occur amongst those under retirement age.
According to Stroke Foundation CEO, Mark Vivian: People lead busy lives but getting your blood pressure checked is quick, simple and could change your life for the better. There is no doubt that blood pressure testing really can save lives. Nearly every hour someone in NZ has a stroke - thats around 7,600 people every year. But nearly one of every three strokes could be prevented by the control of high blood pressure.
We also know that thousands of kiwis are unaware of their blood pressure levels. These people have no idea they have high blood pressure and that their risk of having a stroke is therefore massively increased. High blood pressure can be reduced through medication and controlled by changes in diet and lifestyle. Take action, get tested and change your lifestyle - you may prevent a stroke.
Most people can be treated effectively and benefit greatly from small but significant lifestyle changes. Cutting down on alcohol and salt, stopping smoking, reducing stress levels and leading a healthier lifestyle can all help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.
To find a blood pressure testing site near you, go to www.stroke.org.nz to see the latest list of sites.
Notes to Editor:
1. A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain, causing brain cell damage. Basically, it is a brain attack.
2. Stroke is the second single largest killer in New Zealand (more than 2000 people every year).
3. Stroke is the major cause of adult disability in New Zealand.
4. Every day, 20 New Zealanders have a stroke that is about 7,600 people each year.
5. The Stroke Foundation has created a leaflet on blood pressure and the steps you can take to control it called Take the pressure off stroke Fact Sheet.
6. Be blood pressure aware
It is vital that everyone has their blood pressure levels tested regularly as a healthy blood pressure level is important in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Blood pressure is a measure of the force blood exerts on the arteries as it is pumped around the body. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). There are two measures of blood pressure and the optimal level is below 120/80 mmHg:
Systolic blood pressure - this is the pressure the blood exerts on the arteries when the heart beats Diastolic blood pressure - this is the pressure the blood exerts on the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats
Causes of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is often caused by lifestyle and diet factors including smoking, stress, lack of exercise and poor diet. The risk of high blood pressure increases as you get older and is also above average in minority ethnic groups, especially in African Caribbean and South-Asian communities.
Controlling blood pressure
Blood pressure can be controlled via diet and lifestyle, for
- Limit your salt intake - eat less than 6g of salt each day
- Stop smoking
- Aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
- Reduce your fat intake, especially saturated fat
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Get active - aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity
- Watch your weight
7. The Stroke Foundation is New Zealands only organisation solely dedicated to reducing the risks of stroke, and improving outcomes for the stroke- affected.
8. Lions International is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Members carry out this work in their community and/or overseas by giving their time and their expertise. A Lions Club is open to men and women who are business, professional or community leaders who want to use their experience for the benefit of others.
Stroke Foundation: Reducing risk improving outcomes.
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2008-08-12 13:22:00Aged residential care providers are expecting fireworks at a conference session tomorrow at 11:45 am when the current Minister of Health, Hon David Cunliffe, squares off against his aspiring successor, National Health spokesperson Tony Ryall.
The debate will be hosted by respected journalist Linda Clark, and is part of the HealthCare Providers NZ Conference, Balancing Expectations, being held at Auckland's Sky City Convention Centre.
HealthCare Providers New Zealand CEO Martin Taylor said he had asked both parties to lay out what they would commit to aged care from 2009 to 2011, and was expecting strong commitments to be unveiled.
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2008-08-11 11:23:00Aged residential care providers are anticipating policy promises to be announced at their annual conference, which will be opened by the NZ First Leader, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, at 1:45pm today.
The HealthCare Providers NZ Conference, Balancing Expectations, is being held at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland, and brings together hundreds of providers from across the aged care sector, as well as policy makers, lobbyists and funders.
HealthCare Providers New Zealand CEO Martin Taylor said that he was expecting policy promises from Labour, National and NZ First to be unveiled at the Conference.
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2008-07-29 13:30:00Community-based and rural aged care providers could become a thing of the past unless they themselves are treated with care, says the industry organisation that represents them - HealthCare Providers of New Zealand.
The warning from HealthCare Providers follows the recent closure of the Belhaven Rest Home in Parnell and the introduction of District Health Board managers into three rest homes in Waitemata, Levin and Christchurch.
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2008-07-25 16:58:00There is no evidence of a systemic problem among the aged residential care sector, HealthCare Providers New Zealand said today.
HealthCare Providers represents 80 percent of New Zealand's aged residential care sector.
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2008-07-02 17:16:00A new statutory Code of Practice for retirement villages, a document setting out the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators, is currently open for public consultation.
Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones is urging retirement village residents, intending residents, operators of retirement villages, statutory supervisors, lawyers and anyone else with an interest in retirement villages to have their say about the proposed code.
The proposed Code of Practice 2008, sets out the minimum requirements that a resident can expect to receive in a retirement village known as an occupational right agreement.
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2008-06-16 15:07:00"Grey Power strongly supports the Sensible Sentencing Trusts stand for the removal of Parole for anyone convicted of violent crimes. We deplore the continued increase in violent attacks on defenceless Elderly citizens. Government must take urgent steps to make sure that the sentences given by our Judges are served in full."
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