13 Dec 2016

Newsletter | December 2016 | Dignity Champion

Become an Age Concern Dignity Champion

All of us are growing older every day. Age Concern New Zealand want a New Zealand that is a great place to age and where older Kiwis are valued and respected. You can play a part in changing attitudes by pledging to be an Age Concern Dignity Champion.

An Age Concern Dignity Champion pledges to:

  • reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual;
  • speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old;
  • have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people;
  • not patronise older people;
  • be patient, polite and friendly;
  • have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect; and,
  • build relationships – they combat isolation and loneliness by getting to know the older people in their lives.

What else can you do?

One easy first step you can take is to make regular contact with your own older family members and also greet and chat with older people in your neighbourhood or workplace. Social isolation is a very real problem amongst older people – a simple smile and hello could make a difference to someone’s day.

Older people have a lot of knowledge and experience. Asking about their memories or asking their advice is a way of acknowledging this and showing respect.

You could also get involved in your community by volunteering.

Age Concern Chief Executive, Stephanie Clare says, “We want you to celebrate all the older people in your life, whether it be yourself, your friends or your family. Take time to tell stories to each other, record family memories and reflect on lives well lived”.

You can sign up to become an Age Concern Dignity Champion on their website: On their website you can also donate to Age Concern to support the vital work they do providing social connection groups and elder abuse/neglect prevention services in New Zealand.

Martin Reynecke, Timaru Client Manager, took up the Dignity Champion pledge
Martin Reynecke, Timaru Client Manager, took up the Dignity Champion pledge

“I recently became an Age Concern Dignity Champion after hearing about it at work. I went to the Age Concern website where I followed a few easy steps to sign up. I’ve since received their information brochure and display the pledge proudly.

I get to talk with a lot of older people through my work and enjoy listening to all those intriguing life stories and experiences. It is heart-warming to know that organisations like Age Concern make such a difference in our communities.”

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