An affordability problem that National remains in denial of.
Past and future growth of the elderly population
Between 1901 and 1951, the number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over increased almost six-fold, from 31,000 to 177,000. Over the next 48 years, it grew by another 151 percent to reach 446,000 in 1999. This was much faster than for the rest of the population: for instance the number of children under 15 years and those in the working ages (15-64 years), increased by 54 and 109 percent respectively.
Between 1950-52 and 1995-97, the expectation of life at age 65 years increased by 2.7 years for males and 4.2 years for females, to 15.5 and 19.0 years, respectively (Statistics New Zealand, 1998).
The elderly’s share of New Zealand’s population has trebled from 4 percent in 1901 to over 12 percent in 1999 (see Figure 1).
Latest projections indicate that the population aged 65 years and over is expected to grow by about 100,000 during the current decade, to reach 552,000 by 2011. The pace of increase is projected to pick up after the year 2011, when the large baby boom generation begins to enter this age group. For instance, between 2011 and 2021 the elderly population is projected to grow by about 200,000 and in the following ten years by 230,000.
By 2051, there will be over 1.14 million people aged 65 years and over in New Zealand. This represents an increase of 715,000 or 166 percent over the base (1996) population. They are expected to make up 25.5 percent (or 1 in every 4) of all New Zealanders (4.49 million). At present there are about half as many elderly New Zealanders as children. By 2051, there are projected to be at least 60 percent more elderly than children.
Is our mental health sector in crisis, and is an inquiry needed?
This is a serious issue. Time and resources would be better directed at remedies rather than yet another inquiry. The term crisis is confusing.
If you are personally in crisis:
- If this is an emergency phone 111
- Or go to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED)
Or phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team) or ring Healthline 0800 611 116
- Or if you need to talk to someone else:
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999
Suicide Prevention Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
Youthline – 0800 376 633
Samaritans – 800 726 666
Is Scientology a religion or a rort? We talk to
@SteveCannane about his new book “Fair Game”.