Te Pou – Working with older people

With the Baby Boomer generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) comes greater diversity in gender identity, relationships and sexuality compared to their parents and grandparents’ generations (Department of Health, 2015; Westwood et al., 2015) . There is also increasing religious and spiritual diversity among older people, due in part to greater religious freedom and openness among Baby Boomers, as well as immigration into New Zealand of people from a range of nonChristian religions, many of whose primary spoken language is not English (ChangeMakers Refugee Forum, 2011).


Older people are often invisible in conversations about mental health and substance use, just as mental health and substance use are often not discussed in the context of older people’s health.

While older people may experience such problems differently to younger adults, their needs are equally as important.

Indeed, the World Health Organization emphasises access to services that can mitigate harm and suffering is a fundamental human right, regardless of people’s age and health status.

Te Pou has begun a 3-year project to identify and undertake workforce development to grow the workforce for older people who have problems with mental health or substances.

Read our first-year project report to the Ministry of Health. This identifies ten workforce development priorities across the five domains of workforce development.

We will be adding more links to useful information and resources for health workers, service managers and leaders and others.

For further information contact Jo Richdale.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://betterblokes.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Working-with-older-people-report_Final.pdf” title=”Working with older people report_Final”]