Creating a truly age-friendly Aotearoa

One of the complaints we hear most from senior citizens in Aotearoa is a sense of social isolation from their communities. This is especially true for Kiwis who live in their own homes, rather than in retirement and lifestyle villages or aged care facilities. These complaints are reflected in a recent report released by Auckland Council which delved into the needs of older residents of Tāmaki Makaurau. Based on consultation with more than 3,000 Aucklanders, the Community Engagement Findings Report showed that seniors wish for greater social participation in their communities, more information around what’s happening in their area, and the opportunity to form new friendships.


Skillet’s purpose – in addition to amplifying the voices, choices and visibility of Kiwis with disabilities – is to improve the experience of aging in New Zealand. We do this by maintaining a marketplace of accessible and inclusive events, services and activities around the country. One of the strengths of this marketplace is that members aren’t confined to finding and booking activities in just their area. Our members are able to find activities that meet their interests and accessibility requirements anywhere in Aotearoa.


Take the example of 70-year old Millie who lives in Auckland. Millie plans to visit Rotorua later this year and has her accommodation sorted. The only thing that’s left to do? To plan the activities that are going to fill her day and create fun, lasting memories. All Millie needs to do is log into her Skillet account, check out the Rotorua activities that are available on the days she’ll be there, and book in. From start to finish, the process takes less than 30 seconds to do. Too easy.


A lady seated in a cafe, holding a coffee cup

Another of Skillet’s strengths is how it meets the needs of our older members and Kiwis with disabilities. Rather than simply identifying if an activity is ‘accessible’ or ‘inaccessible’, our partners go to efforts to confirm whether an activity, event or venue is specifically suitable for Kiwis with blindness or low vision, who use mobility aids, who have a service animal, or who are neurodiverse. This approach means that our community is practically accessible and age-friendly, providing peace of mind for all members.


Accounting for a variety of interests and needs is particularly impactful given New Zealand’s shift toward Individualised Funding. Summarised, Individualised Funding helps New Zealanders with disabilities to manage their support expenses in ways that work best for them. Given that 76% of Kiwis aged 80+ have one or multiple forms of disability, Individualised Funding is a powerful way to empower our community with the choice, resource and means to live their best life. By taking part in accessible group and individual activities through Skillet, Individualised Funding recipients can also capture and easily review progress toward their Needs Assessment and Service Coordination goals.


As we get closer to summer, more of our members will be looking into the events and activities that’ll help them close out 2021 and usher in the new year. If you’re a business owner, activity coordinator or a member of a community group who wants to join Skillet, get in touch! We’d love to have you on board to help us create a truly age-friendly New Zealand.


PRO TIP: Scroll to the bottom of our homepage to see if you qualify for a free trial using the link [www.skillet.co.nz], or call our team at 09 801 1121


A man wearing glasses, smiling at the camera

21 September 2021