Liam Butler interviews Diane Matheson about



Liam: How does promote health for older people in New Zealand?



Diane Matheson Communications Co-ordinator Age Concern North Shore:

Health Promotion aims to help people increase control over and improve their health.

Agewell is a Health Promotion website that helps achieve this by enabling older people to have up-to-date information on key health topics from both New Zealand and overseas with links to many of the major health promotion and injury prevention sites from around the world. It also has an events and activities notice board that allows users to see what may be happening in their area and gives them an opportunity to post notices of events or activities of interest to older people/koroua and kuia.

Through agewell we are able to address several of the Positive Ageing Principles included in the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy (April 2001):

·         Empower older people to make choices that enable them to live a satisfying life and lead a healthy lifestyle

·         Provide opportunities for older people to participate in and contribute to family, whanau and community

·         Reflect positive attitudes to older people

·         Enable older people to take responsibility for their personal growth and development through changing circumstances

Agewell also fulfils one of the eight objectives identified by The New Zealand Health of Older People Strategy: “that older people, their families and wh?nau are able to make well-informed choices about options for healthy living, health care and/or disability support needs”.  

With the increasing use of the internet by older people and their family/wh?nau and carers it is very important the information is readily available for them online.

The website is administered by Age Concern North Shore on behalf of Age Concern New Zealand and is funded by the Ministry of Health as a health promotion initiative for older people. Advocating positive, healthy ageing is a major objective of Age Concerns around New Zealand.

We recently undertook a survey to find the level of satisfaction with the agewell website and were very proud of the results.  96% of respondents found that it met or exceeded their expectations and 64% were very likely to continue using the website.

Age Concern North Shore is part of a national network of Age Concern regional councils. We act as an information and resource agency linking older people with groups and organisations offering practical help, advice and support to those over sixty years of age.  We are a charitable, non-profit organisation working to promote quality of life and well being for older people. 

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