The Silver Tsunami, New Zealand must compete to protect our people

Kelly Storey,


As many people around the world are aware a Tsunami can be catastrophic, affecting not only those immediately impacted but also those associated with those people and the regions involved. The problems associated with the ageing population have been described as a Silver Tsunami which to me implies that the consequences of the issue can very well be catastrophic and yet who around the world are responding to this?

By 2030 over 20% of the worlds population will be classified as aged, many of these people with multiple health issues, requiring extensive support and support means people to care for them and the funds to enable this. Many of these people will live in very deprived areas, relying on their children to provide this care, however their children have also got to support their young family and thus we are seeing an increasing number of aged becoming homeless. In these countries the conditions associated with ageing such as Dementia are often not understood and thus much of the care that is provided is based on intuition and fallacy only, neglect and abuse also becoming common.

Education and training is essential in providing skills to the care givers, whether they be family members or paid care givers. With such a rise in this population the number of care givers required to assist is going to substantially increase with the Health Care Assistant being the second fastest growing role in the United States. Countries will soon be competing for the skilled Health Care Assistant and what was once looked down upon as a rather lowly job will become one of huge significance. New Zealand has got to up its game if we wish to play on the world stage and attract enough care givers to look after our vulnerable and incredibly deserving older people.

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