Check out a selection of links to interesting news and articles from New Zealand and abroad.

Rates rebate scheme

The Rates Rebates Scheme provides a rebate for eligible applicants.Ratepayers can apply for a rebate on their rates bill for the current rating year from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024. To apply for a rebate for the current rating year, you need to:
• provide the total household income, before tax
• complete the rates rebate application form
• if applicable, complete the retirement village or company-share declaration form
• You must return your application to the council by 30 June 2024.
Find out if you are eligible to apply for the current rating year.

Keep pension at 65, young ones might need it

In a review of NZ superannuation (NZS) the group (RIIG) refutes arguments that the country can’t afford to keep the retirement age at 65 and says means-testing would be too complicated. Instead it hangs its hat on KiwiSaver but not under the current policy settings and public saving behaviour.

Māori come up clean in squalor survey

A new study has found elderly Māori are less likely to live in squalor than their Pākeha contemporaries. “Māori are more likely to be living in rental properties, which means that the landlord would have moved them on when it got that bad;. there are not so many elderly compared with Pākeha; perhaps tikanga, being brought up in te ao Māori and tikanga and tapu and noa meant it was less likely that people would live in these sorts of conditions,” he says.

Age Concern on large number of older NZers living in squalor

A retired public health medicine specialist says there could be hundreds of people living in severe squalor across the country. A new study lead by Jonathan Jarman shows 92 percent of all Age Concerns clients have lived in these conditions in the last year. This involves homes cluttered in rubbish, infested by vermin, with decomposing food and stench.

Covid-19: Complacency, waning immunity contribute to fifth wave - epidemiologist

"People should do everything they can to avoid getting infected over and over again and that's regardless of your age." Older people and people who were immuno suppressed were vulnerable to serious illness with Covid, he said. "These are the people who are going to hospital, particularly people over 75 years of age and unfortunately dying every day." Older, more vulnerable people will likely need to get a vaccination booster annually, he said.

Cutting the cost of death

Much has been made of late about the cost of living, but have you ever considered the cost of dying? The average price tag of a burial in this country is $10,000, and even cremation will set a grieving family back $7500, Funeral Directors Association figures show. But it can be done for a fraction of that price, one man says, by bypassing the funeral industry altogether - as difficult as that is.

Many putting off discussing their will with family, research finds

There is a need for many of us to be more proactive when planning their legacy, with research finding many people are waiting to reach their 70s before discussing their will with loved ones. The research for insurance specialist New Zealand Seniors by CoreData found that more than half of Kiwis aged 50-70 have given their legacy only some or very little thought, with this being more common among Gen X (69%).

New programme to help NZ’s ageing population get out and about

Age Concern is teaming up with driving companion service Driving Miss Daisy to launch a new booklet, 'Life Without a Car', encouraging older drivers to plan ahead for a time when they can't drive. "The tips are very much thinking about the things that you do and how you will keep doing them when you can no longer drive.

Older Kiwis urged to make an effort to make friends this summer

The aged care commissioner is urging elderly New Zealanders to get out and about this summer. Carolyn Cooper said social isolation and loneliness had a range of mental and physical impacts. "A substantial increase in the likelihood of dementia, coronary artery disease, and strokes. "We really have to take it into consideration in Aotearoa, because our older people are precious and we need to ensure that they're looked after."

Renting In Retirement – A Growing Challenge For Older People

A growing number of retirees are facing the challenge of renting as they age. Suitable affordable properties are rare, and often only offer short term tenancies resulting in uncertainty and stress. For those retirees with limited financial resources trying to survive on the single NZ Superannuation weekly payment of $477.52, rental payments can easily exceed 60% of their income. This leaves very little for energy, food, and other basics. Our older citizens deserve to live in dignity when they can no longer work, and for a growing number this is no longer the case in New Zealand

More than a third of people with dementia don’t know they have it – what to do if you suspect your partner has the condition

Around 36% of people in England with dementia are unaware they have the condition, according to a new report from the Dementia Commission. The report suggests things health and care professionals can do to improve spotting early signs of dementia. But what can you do if you think your partner has the condition? And how can you broach the topic with them? If you are worried about your partner having dementia, here are some useful things to know

Manaaki te katoa | Be kind to all