Video Transcript: Older person's health

Read the transcript for our 'Older person's health' video.

COVID-19 had a significant impact on lives in Aotearoa New Zealand, and presented unique challenges for ethnic communities.

The Ministry for Ethnic Communities partnered with Manatū Hauora - Minsitry of Health to both educate and vaccinate throughout the pandemic. To further support our communities, we are releasing a series of videos to increase awareness of the available health services you can access.

In this video we’ll share general health information for older people.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, you can get free or subsidised healthcare services. To find out if you’re eligible, please visit You can also speak to your local health service about eligibility and what vaccines you might be due for at any age.

If you are eligible for publicly funded health services, the following vaccines are free:

  • shingles (2 doses at age 65)
  • tetanus (booster at age 65)
  • and an influenza vaccine is free every winter (for those aged 65 plus).

As we get older, our risk of becoming very sick from illness increases, so it is important to protect yourself against disease by checking your immunisations are up to date.

People aged 60 and older are also at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infections, so it’s important to remain vigilant in case of another outbreak in the community.

You’re encouraged to maintain healthy habits, so make sure to see your doctor regularly or if you notice a change in your health, and stay up to date with immunisations.

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world, and people aged between 60 and 74 are at the highest risk.

The National Bowel Screening Programme aims to save lives by finding bowel cancer in the early stages when it can often be successfully treated. The bowel screening programme is free for eligible people aged 60 to 74 years old, and you’ll be invited to join around the time you turn 60.  However, no matter what age group you’re in, if you have concerns about your bowel health, please talk to your doctor.

If you need more information or need help in another language you can give the National Bowel Screening Programme a call on their freephone number 0800 924 432 or visit their website. 

For any other health needs call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Interpreting services will be available if you need them.

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