We have compiled a comprehensive list of the many services for senior citizens available in New Zealand - centralised here as a resource you can bookmark.
Whether for health, finances, downsizing or getting company from Age Concern's Accredited befriending service, this page has everything you need to know about the impressive range of help and support available for senior citizens in New Zealand.
Senior Citizens Support Services
Age Concern NZ is often the first port of call for any questions regarding the needs of people aged over 65. Local groups are located throughout New Zealand and can direct people to any services they might need. Age Concern is a non-profit organisation which advocates for the rights, quality of life and well-being of older people, and also holds a variety of workshops, seminars, and health promotion programmes and provides information and resources on wellbeing, housing and finances.
Eldernet New Zealand is an online service established to provide comprehensive information on issues concerning older people in New Zealand. Eldernet says it provides impartial information for older people, their families and professionals who work in the sector so they can make informed decisions. It has up-to-date info on services such as home help, respite care, residential care, retirement villages, dementia care and community groups.
Citizens Advice Bureau provides information on a wide range of topics as well as specialist consumer advocacy services and free legal and budget advice. It can be a good first port of call for any and every query about where to find answers to your questions.
Help for carers and senior dementia sufferers
Carers NZ is a national information centre for family carers who support frail aged family members or friends. The website has a broad range of information including how carers can look after themselves, support others and plan. It has respite strategies and resources and is a gateway to services and support.
Alzheimers NZ represents people affected by dementia at a national level by raising awareness, providing information and resources, advocating and promoting research. The website has information about symptoms, prevention and an 0800 number for dementia support. Alzheimers NZ also advocates for carers, family, whānau and community.
Govt info on depression, dementia and disabilities
Dementia: The Ministry of Health also has a range of information on dementia including symptoms, treatment, prevention, living with dementia and related website links.
Depression: The Ministry of Health website has depression information including signs, management, 0800 help line numbers and links to depression related websites such as the Mental Health Foundation.
Disability organisations: For links to a range of disability organisations such as Balance (mental health) and support services for Maori and whanau, see the Ministry of Health website. This page has links to Government agencies including ACC and the Health and Disability Commissioner.
Home Care services and help assessment
New Zealand Home & Community Health Association represents home and community health services in New Zealand. The website is a resource for providers and also for those using and funding the services. It has a list of providers throughout New Zealand and its vision is that people have access to safe, compassionate and quality home care services.
Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Association provides contact details if you need to organise a needs assessment. NASC services are contracted by the Ministry of Health or district health boards and its role is to assess whether people meet the criteria to be eligible for services. NASC identifies which services or support people are eligible for, and which are funded.
Social wellbeing and friendship for seniors
Needing company/visitors? Age Concern has information about its Accredited Visiting Service which it describes as a befriending service providing regular visits to senior citizens who would like more company. The volunteers are keen to spend time with an older person for about an hour each week to enjoy conversation and shared interests and activities.
CommunityNet Aotearoa is an information sharing resource for NZ community and voluntary groups, providing guides and news of local clubs, groups, charities, trusts, hapū and iwi. Community organisations can contribute online to the resource which includes how-to guides, stories and case studies, information and advice, tools and templates and shared links - all colour-coded for easy reference.
Greypower NZ is an advocacy group for people in the 50+ age group. The website has links to benefits like the Grey Power Electricity Scheme and an online discussion panel. There are also links to its policies, Grey Power manuals, submissions and latest media comment.
Friendship NZ, (formerly Probus) is a social organisation for people who are retired, semi-retired or soon-to-retire. It aims to stimulate thought, interest and participation in activities at a time of life when it is easy to lose interest and engagement. Members typically come from business and professional walks of life, but not exclusively.
Seniornet.co.nz runs classes for people over 50 as a means of bringing older adults and technology together in a friendly, fun and stress-free way. Volunteer tutors of a similar age to their students provide introductions to computers and surfing the net along with a vast range of subjects. Go here for a list of learning centres throughout New Zealand.
Changes to the Retirement age
The Retirement Commissioner has rejected the idea of raising the retirement age saying the cost of the universal payments to retirees was sustainable for the next 30 years.
Financial well-being for NZ Seniors
MSD Seniors Website (Ministry of Social Development) provides senior citizens with information relating to superannuation, entitlements, work and income, financial means assessment and gold cards. This page also links through to Work and Income where online application tools are based.
SuperGold Card is a discounts and concessions card issued free to all eligible seniors and veterans. The scheme includes discounts and offers from a range of businesses, government concessions (including free off-peak public transport) and discounted services from your local council.
Financial Investments: Be cautious about any financial investment of your hard earned cash. Consumer NZ has researched key issues and shares advice about what the issues (risks for you) are and how you can prevent them and provides advice from the Financial Markets Authority about what entitlements you have. Share this information with your friends and family, it might save them a fortune!
Becoming a guarantor: Thinking of being a guarantor for your off-spring? This article about a 'son' who deserted and left his Dad with $25 per week to live on might help you to re-think. At the very least get legal advice from a Property Lawyer near you.
Retirement living, downsizing and rest homes
Wise Up NZ has a wealth of information for senior citizens wanting to downsize and shift to a smaller property or retirement village. See:
Retirement villages: Thinking of living in a retirement village? The Commission for Financial Capability has a downloadable PDF booklet Thinking of Living in a Retirement Village? covering such topics and Making the Right Choice and Knowing the Costs. Buying into a retirement village is different from buying a house. It can be complex, and villages vary in what they offer. This comprehensive booklet is a good guide.
Seniorline provides information for older people and their family/whānau or carers to make decisions about staying at home, retirement villages, homecare, day care and rest homes. Besides an 0800 number, the website covers services at home, support for carers and rest homes and hospitals, along with sections on positive aging and local services.
The Retirement Villages Association is a voluntary, nationally-based membership association representing operators, developers and managers of retirement villages throughout New Zealand. It includes national village-finder help and information for intending residents on the benefits of retirement villages.
The NZ Aged Care Association represents over 570 members, representing 90 per cent or about 33,000 beds from New Zealand’s aged residential care sector. The services they provide include rest home, hospital, dementia and psychogeriatric care, as well as short-term care.
Rest homes: The Ministry of Health has a page to help people find rest homes in their area.
Sorted provides information on managing your money and moving into a rest home or retirement village. Living in retirement provides you with financial advice for living in your semi-retired/retired years and how best to manage your nest egg.
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Article updated 25 November 2020 | About