Covid-19 information for participants

Email to participants in the Health, Work and Retirement (HWR) longitudinal study of ageing from Primary Investigator, Professor Christine Stephens on behalf of the Health and Ageing Research Team:

We hope that all is well with you and your family as we settle into this new situation.  The members of the Health and Ageing Research Team (HART), at Massey University are all now working from home but keeping in touch with each other and all our participants as best we can electronically.  Vicki Beagley is keen to continue to receive your calls on 0800 100 0134 (freephone).

At present one of our main jobs is working toward the posting of our next HWR questionnaire in June this year.  Of course, given the current circumstances, there may be delays in our planned posting due to social distancing measures and the prioritisation of activities for essential services.  Nevertheless, we will be ready to go when the Level 4 restrictions are eased. 

2020 Survey photo winner Thank you very much to those of you who submitted a photograph for our 2020 questionnaire cover competition advertised in our 2019 newsletter.  Our three judges had great difficulty choosing a winner, such was the calibre of the entries.  The winning photograph was submitted by Linda from the Tasman Region.  As evident in her entry, Linda told us that she loves the outdoors and all that it has to offer.  This winning photograph was taken at St. Arnaud on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, one crisp winter morning, and features the serene image of the jetty covered in snow, capturing the footprints of the day’s early visitors.

Linda has been a participant in our study since 2014.  So, congratulations once again Linda, it was lovely to be able to call you with the good news, and to advise that your photo will grace the 2020 cover.  

For many older people in our community, technology such as email and other internet-based services are not available, leaving some older people particularly vulnerable to loneliness or anxiety in the present situation.  If you have any concerns about your own or an older person’s situation, do not hesitate to ask for help.  

Age Concern are well situated, with branches across the country to provide assistance in many ways.  The most recent message from Stephanie Clare the Chief Executive of Age Concern says:

“This is not a time to sit in silence, if you are worried about anything from your medication and food supplies through to your mental wellbeing you should call us.  Too often we hear of people not wanting to be a burden or make a fuss, please make a fuss!  We have amazing staff and volunteers who can help direct you to the support or information you need.  We know that social isolation is already a huge issue for some of our older Kiwis so we are adapting some of our services from face to face to other forms of connection so that no one feels alone during this time.  We are also encouraging friends, family and communities to find new ways to keep connected, from Skype calls, delivering a meal and phoning each other to leaving notes of kindness in mail boxes.  We all have the power to connect in a safe way and help each other through this scary time”.

Age Concern New Zealand plays an important role in delivering support, services and infrastructure to support older Kiwis across New Zealand.  They are here to help and ask you to please get in touch.  Age Concern has local branches across the country and you can find your nearest Age Concern contact details on their website: www.ageconcern.org.nz

I would like to encourage you to contact the Health and Ageing Research Team if you have any questions about the Health, Work and Retirement study or if you wish to update your contact details with.  You can call Vicki Beagley on our freephone no. 0800 100 134.  she will put you in touch with any member of the Health and Ageing Research Team who can answer your queries.

Noho ora mai

Christine Stephens PhD, on behalf of the Health and Ageing Research Team

Principal Investigator
Health, Work and Retirement study, Massey University