Here we are nearing the end of winter and I hope you are weathering it well.
I know spring is nearly here because we have an orphan lamb living beside our log fire, baaing deafeningly (you would be surprised how loud a very small woolly animal can be) about every three hours, night and day and sucking humongous amounts of special milk from its bottle as we get it ready for adoption by our grandson and his 10-month-old daughter.
Before the spring lambs appeared, I chaired the turbulent-free Grey Power NZ Federation AGM in June and I believe we all gained a lot when many members from throughout the country gave us their great ideas on how to improve older peoples’ lives.
Isn’t that what we are here for? And we can continue to do this with your help especially by increasing your local Grey Power membership.
For many reasons Grey Power membership has been declining over the past few years and our future looks a little bleaker than it was.
The Federation board, as the two quotes below imply, has done the best with what we have had and we will continue to do this and if associations, you their members and compassionate others work together with us to increase our membership I know we will make it.
Some highlights from the AGM were a willingness by delegates to provide more expertise from members and an invitation for the board to work more closely with Zones and associations and their members; and to include younger people where we can.
Working together on advocacy
I believe that our core business, advocacy, is one area where we can all work together. So, I would be very grateful if you could please send me your stories, experiences, and ideas on our current issues. You can get on to this right now especially on the issues we spoke to the politicians about during our May lobby visit.
They included the shortage of aged care facility staff, beds, the current shortage of carers and home help support and insufficient funding for the health system in general. Please also see our election discussion in this magazine.
Our main aim, especially in this election year is to convince politicians and others of the value and worth, in so many ways, of all you older people. Thank you so much. Did you know that older volunteers spend about $31 billion per year, pay tax totalling $9.7 billion, contribute through unpaid work $14-$15 billion per year? Currently one-third of the New Zealand workforce is 50 and over and almost half of those are aged 65 – 69 years old.
As Diane Turner, Director of the Office of Seniors says: “Often the ageing population is seen as a burden, but we need to reframe this thinking and highlight that older people are crucial as workers, taxpayers, volunteers and consumers.” (www.officeforseniors.govt.nz/our-work/ageing-research)
To everyone please enjoy the warmer weather when it arrives and take the best care you can.