Survey suggests older people want to stay put

Where to? Many in the survey are happy to be in Central Otago. Photo: Getty Images
Where to? Many in the survey are happy to be in Central Otago. Photo: Getty Images
Where to spend your golden years in Central Otago? Most want to stay put.

That was the response from seniors in the region.

As part of a community needs project funded by the Office for Seniors, Alexandra Community House, in partnership with Central Otago District Council, sought feedback from people looking towards the next chapter in their lives and who wanted to spend that time in the Alexandra basin.

The purpose of the survey, carried out from August 18 to October 5, was to understand the needs of people in the community as they entered retirement.

It was completed predominantly online, with about 30% done in hard copy which was then entered into the online system.

A total of 395 responses were received from people in Alexandra, Omakau and Maniototo. The majority of respondents were aged over 66.

Respondents were asked about their living arrangements, what they believed their future living requirements might be and what things might cause them to leave.

The majority of respondents lived in family homes with sections, with some living rurally or on lifestyle blocks and fewer in townhouses or self-managed apartments.

"Other" living arrangements described by respondents included flats, family orchards, council houses, alone in their own home, one of two units, the back of a truck, and historic precinct.

Ninety-five percent owned their own home or property; only 13 respondents rented their homes.

Five respondents selected "other" regarding ownership; four of these stated their properties were owned by a family trust and one lived at Ranui Village.

The majority of respondents in each age bracket lived in a family home with a section.

Seventy-two respondents up to the age of 85 still lived rurally or on a lifestyle block.

As people had aged, they had potentially downsized, the survey suggested, as it found a higher proportion people aged 66 and above lived in townhouses/apartments they managed by themselves.

Most respondents (261) lived with someone else, a partner or spouse, as a family unit, with family member/or close friend or with flatmates, and 99 respondents lived alone.

Respondents were asked to indicate what they saw as their next step for accommodation and what options they considered for accommodation through the stages of their retirement.

More than half of respondents indicated that they would likely stay where they were.

Twenty-two percent said their next step would be to downsize their properties but continue living independently.

Eight percent had not thought about the next step yet, and another 8% felt a retirement village without healthcare support would be their next step.

"Stay where you are" was selected the most, followed by downsized independent living and "haven’t thought about it yet".

The fourth most popular option for this group was retirement village without healthcare support.


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