Information for Carers

We provide a high-quality work environment and recognise and respond to the needs of our staff and students, including those with Carer responsibilities.

Eldercare seminar summary and slides

Recent studies have shown that the number of New Zealanders over the age of 80 is expected to increase eightfold by 2050, making them the fastest growing sector of the population.

To support the wellbeing of this growing group, as well as their Carers, Professor Ngaire Kerse (head of the School of Population Health) and Director of Staff Equity Prue Toft last week presented an Eldercare seminar for University staff.

During the well-attended seminar, Ngaire outlined findings from her longitudinal study LiLACS NZ, which follows the lives of around 1000 Māori and non Māori participants over the age of 80.

She dismissed the idea that all elderly are on a steady decline:

“Their levels of function can improve over time, so it’s not necessarily a one way snake - there are ladders as well”.

Her results also found that a blend of informal Caregivers (family and friends) and formal care for the elderly led to the best quality of life. The elderly also benefit from their Carers focusing on their strengths and encouraging positive external engagement.

There are many services to assist informal Carers with the elderly, including personal care, transportation and meals.

Staff Equity Director Prue Toft said the University recognises that caring for the elderly is a time of transition for both the Carer and the person they are supporting. To help, the Equity Office has a range of supports to assist staff who are Carers.

Read or download the Toolkit for Staff who are Carers

View the slides from the seminar below.

For more information about upcoming equity events, please email to join our mailing list.

Toolkit for staff Carers

This is designed to provide practical information and resources for staff with Carer responsibilities and their colleagues and managers.

Staff carers video

Director of Staff Equity, Prue Toft, discusses what a Carer is and how staff and their managers have used equity policies such as the Flexible Work Policy to combine both work and Carer responsibilities.

Toolkit for student Carers

This is designed to provide practical information and resources for students with Carer responsibilities. It also provides advice based on the direct experience of Carers at the University of Auckland.

Young Carers video

Lauren Hitchin (Donnan) describes herself as a “young Carer” and says “I didn’t even discover that I was one until last year.” This is a significant issue with young Carers because their responsibilities can be “invisible” and even hidden from the young Carers themselves. Lauren says that if the role is hidden it can be a barrier to accessing the services and resources that they need for support. Caring for her brother was something that she had done “naturally” since she was 14 years of age.

Caring responsibilities can not only affect a young Carer’s education, social activities and working life, but it can also be challenging having to explain these personal circumstances. At times this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. However, Lauren sees huge benefits in taking on a caring role. “You can achieve something to be proud of.” It gives a greater maturity, can enhance family relationships, and can be a very rewarding experience, providing there is the right support and services.

Equity policies relevant to Carers

Resources for Carers

Carers NZ

A national not-for-profit supporting a network of approximately 50,000 individual Carers and supporting organisations. Its website is a one-stop information resource for New Zealand carers featuring carer services, community information and a free carer infopack. Subscribe to the Carers NZ Newsletter by emailing them.

Phone: 0800 777 797

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing

Carers NZ has secured a Consumer Leadership Development Grant to support carers who wish to gain recognition for their skills, and study to improve the support they provide. It is working in partnership with Careerforce to help carers achieve NZ-industry-recognised qualifications at no financial cost. There are 10 places available. For more information, phone Carers NZ, 0800 777 797.

Young Carers

Young Carers Facebook page – Help for Kiwi kids and young people who support ill, elderly, or disabled loved ones.

Plans, reports and guides

New Zealand Carers Strategy Action Plan 2014-2018

Ministry for Social Development