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Older people give and receive support

One-third of people aged 65 years or over (65+) said they, or their partner, provided support to family members aged under 18 who didn’t live with them, according to the 2012 New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS).

And 15 percent of older people provided support to 18 to 24-year-old family members who didn’t live with them.

By contrast, 27 percent of people under 65 years said they or their partner supported a family member aged 65+ who didn’t live with them. The main types of support these older family members received were help around the house with tasks (eg cleaning or gardening), providing transport (eg driving them places or lending a car), and caring for them due to illness, disability, or old age.

People aged 65+ provided money, a place to stay, and help with childcare to younger family members who didn’t live with them (excluding their own children). Money provided to those under 18 was usually spending money or an allowance, while for 18–24-year-olds it included educational costs or text books. For family members aged 25–64 money was given for bills or debt.

Just over one-fifth (21 percent) of people aged 65+ provided help with childcare to family members aged under 18 years; 12 percent gave this help to family members aged 25–64.

Of all people aged 65+, 6 percent allowed their 18 to 24-year-old family members to stay in their home some of the time; 16 percent provided a place to stay for those under 18.

The NZGSS interviewed over 8,000 New Zealanders aged 15 years or over. See well-being for more results from the survey.

Published 1 October 2013

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