Quakes make life tough for elderly

Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012

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The earthquakes have created "so much uncertainty", particularly for older people, Wayne Budd says.

Budd, 66, suffered anxiety throughout the earthquakes and now the thing he struggled with most was not being able to prepare for retirement.

"Our house [in Hillsborough] is damaged and the insurance company keeps changing their minds and we don't know when it's going to be fixed."

The Hagley Community College teacher said people who were close to retirement wanted to feel like "everything was sorted into nice little compartments".

"You want to know that you're ready and that everything is secure . . . the earthquakes have created so much uncertainty."

Budd's health has also taken a hit this year after a large muscle in his leg split and he was unable to walk for weeks. "Then, about six weeks ago, I had a heart attack . . . doctors said one of the aggravating factors could be stress, but who knows."

Budd said next year "had to be better", because there would be more progress.

"Hopefully the feeling of uncertainty will start fading . . . I think older people are more vulnerable and we're just fortunate that we have a house when some people have been in temporary accommodation for nearly two years."

He felt less anxious since the aftershocks had stopped, and said he was not at all surprised that people in Christchurch were the most stressed in the country.

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- The Press

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