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Seniors Minister Maggie Barry has marked the UN’s International Day of Older Persons with the release of a newly updated Guide for Carers – He Aratohu mä ngä Kaitiaki.

“The theme of this year’s International Day is taking a stand against ageism, something all New Zealanders can do by recognising the important role seniors have in our society and treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve,” Ms Barry says.

“Our seniors contribute in so many different ways to their communities, as parents, grandparents, friends, employees, employers, campaigners, artists, volunteers, and, very importantly, as carers.

“Many seniors are unpaid carers who give up their time to help other people live with dignity. It is vital for their own wellbeing they are able to get the support they need to look after themselves and the people who rely on them.”

Guide for Carers – He Aratohu mä ngä Kaitiaki has been developed by Carers NZ and many government agencies. First published in 2009, it was last updated in 2013.

“It is an invaluable source of information on the government-funded services and support available for carers of all ages with a range of practical tips, including how to schedule regular breaks, organise relief care, develop a plan for emergencies and connect with other carers.”

The new Guide is available for free on the Ministry of Social Development website: and in hard copy from Work & Income, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Grey Power offices.

For more information on International Day of Older Persons visit

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