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An Oldie but a Goodie


Being well beyond 60

Geoff Annals

Geoff AnnalsGeoff is a young man enjoying his sixth decade.

He was raised on a small Waikato dairy farm with aspirations of becoming a farmer or perhaps a sailor or an architect. Instead, after several years of farm labouring (in the Mackenzie High Country and on Mid-Canterbury cropping and Waikato dairy farms), three years at Massey University and getting married, he eventually “settled down” to nursing at Waikato Hospital.

After working in a range of positions from Staff Nurse to General Manager. he left Waikato in 2001 to become the first male Chief Executive of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.

In 2013, seeking new challenges, he became Chief Executive of a lively health insurance fund.

Geoff retains an abiding interest in health and well-being for all and will address the subject of being well beyond sixty.

An Oldie but a Goodie

By David Pine

If you were to go back 60 years to 1954, and survey a group of children who were then aged 10, you would find that just 40% of them had all four grandparents still alive. If you surveyed a group of 10 year olds today, you would find that 80% of them have all 4 grandparents alive. According to Geoff Annals of Accuro Health, this had to be very positive for society as a whole, as the accumulated wisdom of older generations was being shared more and more with younger generations.

Geoff about to speakSpeaking at Plimmerton Rotary on 4 March, Mr Annals noted that life expectancy generally continued to increase and there seemed to be no upper limit in sight. For example, for someone born in the year 2000, they could expect to live to age 76 if a male or 81 if a female, whereas for someone born this year, 2014, those ages were 80 and 88 respectively.

Mr Annals explained some interesting trends affecting people over age 60, many of whom were increasingly worried about their health. He called them “the worried well”. There was a major shift towards alternative medicines. Also, many over 60’s seemed to believe that whatever health issue they had would be fixed by their doctor prescribing something, and once that was done they could just get on with their lives.

The question those over 60 needed to ask themselves was: is it better to look after ourselves through (a) keeping active both mentally and physically (b) getting adequate sleep and (c) eating and drinking sensibly; or should we not worry about any of that stuff and just get the doctor to fix whatever ailments we have?

On older people in the work force, Mr Annals noted that despite popular myths to the contrary, those over 60 had fewer accidents and less illness that younger workers, were less likely to “throw a sickie”, and were not in the least doddery, unreliable or unhealthy. They tended to be more loyal and reliable than younger workers. The only negative was that it took older people longer to learn new procedures, but once they had done so, they were highly effective in the work place.


• Pathway Working Bee at Ration Point on Saturday 15 March, 9.30 – 12.30. More details and info nearer the time.
• The annual visit to Whitby Bowling Club is on Tuesday 18 March. Les Austing urged everyone to attend so that the club's selectors could choose their top teams for next year.
• Gwyn Akeroyd provided everyone with eight flyers and asked members to distribute them everywhere possible to spread the word far and wide.
• Easter 2014 at Ruapehu. A lovely long weekend away with the opportunity of bringing along some grandchildren. Contact Peter Lillico - ph 233 1281 or email

An Oldie but a Goodie

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