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Support services for the elderly

Written by Ryman Healthcare
on May 10, 2024

Support services for the elderly in New Zealand

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At Ryman, we believe a full life can get richer with age. That’s why our villages have a culture of inclusivity and friendliness, where our residents can challenge the expectations of ageing while we support them by providing a range of services.


Community support services

In New Zealand, there are a number of community support services available to assist older people. These services are designed to improve comfort, safety, and quality of life, and play an important role in helping to enhance the well-being of older New Zealanders. 

Support services that may be available to you include

1. Personal care support: Personal care services can help you with daily activities such as assisting with morning routines, showering, dressing, and managing medications.

2. Household support: Household tasks can sometimes become challenging as we age. Support services for the elderly may include cleaning, meal preparation, and other practical assistance to help maintain a safe and comfortable home environment.

3. Carer support: Carer support provides respite for caregivers who are looking after a loved one. For example, respite care in a Ryman village care centre allows caregivers to take breaks to recharge while ensuring the continued well-being of their loved one.

4. Safety Equipment: Some services offer equipment to increase safety at home for the elderly. This may include aids like handrails, mobility devices, or emergency call systems.

Find out if you’re eligible for community support services

To access these support services, you or your loved one will need to undergo a needs assessment. 

If you are a citizen or resident of Aotearoa New Zealand eligible for publicly funded health or disability services, you can refer yourself to a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC). They will work with you to identify your needs and to outline what support services are available for you to access. 

Step-by-step guide to care at Ryman

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to care to help you navigate the journey from your initial needs assessment through to settling into the lifestyle at a Ryman care centre.

Counselling and support services

Counselling services provide emotional and psychological support to the elderly. They can help with issues such as grief, depression, anxiety, and adjustment to significant life changes. 

Trained professionals offer these services in various settings, including retirement villages, community centres, and even the comfort of the senior’s home. Some resources are listed below.

Age Concern New Zealand

Age Concern New Zealand is a charity dedicated to people over 65, their friends, and whānau.

As part of their work, they provide expert information about support services available for older people, and have a number of local branches throughout New Zealand to support older people in their communities. 

To contact Age Concern New Zealand, call 0800 652 105, or search for your local branch on this location map.


Seniorline is an information service to help older people and their whānau navigate the health system. Seniorline provides information to assist older people to make decisions about staying at home, support for carers and residential care. To contact Seniorline, visit their website or call 0800 725 463.


WellElder provides specialist counselling for older people living in the Wellington region. 

Counselling Services Centre

Counselling Services Centre is a registered charity in the Counties Manukau region, offering counselling and practical support for emotional healing and well-being. 

Social support services

Sometimes elderly people can feel as if they are now outside society and are becoming increasingly invisible. However, having social support, purpose, and community is important for people of all ages, and older New Zealanders are no different. We all want to be seen.

At Ryman, we recognise how important it is for you to feel welcomed within a caring community. This doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party – feeling included and connected looks different for everyone, and it’s all about finding the people you click with.

Ryman villages regularly provide activities, events, and social outings to suit a wide range of preferences, and make it easier for you to meet new friends. We welcome you to come along to some of our events or drop in for lunch at one of our village cafés to get a taste of life in a Ryman village.


HOME Support services 

Home support services enable the elderly to live independently in their homes for longer. These services can include: 

  • personal care such as help with bathing and dressing

  • home maintenance

  • meals

  • medical care

It is also possible to receive this support by living independently in an assisted living apartment. Many older people say that they feel safer within a retirement village community where help is available at the press of a call button.

If you have higher medical needs, living in a care centre is the best way to ensure you get the support and care you need. Ryman Healthcare offer a range of care options. Care options vary between villages, so please check with your local village.

What are support services in aged care?

Support services in aged care are designed to assist the elderly and enhance your quality of life. These services offer a wide range of support to older people in New Zealand, including assistance with health requirements, rehabilitation, emotional and social needs, and the tasks of daily living.

At Ryman Healthcare our assisted living apartments come with built-in services to make life easier, such as housekeeping and a chef-prepared meal every day. Nurses and caregivers and nurses can assist with medication, provide showering assistance and more, which helps you to safely maintain your independence for longer.

One of the most life-enhancing aspects about serviced apartment living is becoming part of the village community and making new friends. Ryman villages offer a wide range of activities, events and opportunities to get to know other residents.

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Which programmes provide assistance to elderly people?

There are a number of programmes in New Zealand that can assist older people. Below are some helpful links.

  • Residential Care Subsidy can help pay your care costs if you need long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home. It's paid directly to the hospital or rest home by Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora.

  • Disability Allowance is a payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs due to a disability. These could be visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel.

  • SuperGold Card has thousands of discounts and special offers across New Zealand and in Australia. It gives seniors instant savings on everyday essentials such as electricity, insurance, food, healthcare, entertainment, travel, high value special offers and free off-peak public transport.

What are the three main categories of assistance in aged care?

Aged care assistance falls into three main categories, each including a range of services designed to meet the practical, medical and wellbeing needs of older people.

  • Personal care: This can include assistance with daily tasks which support you to maintain your independence and feel comfortable, such as help with showering, mobility support, meals and housekeeping.

  • Medical care: Assistance with medical needs, medication management, wound care, pain management, rehabilitative services, and a range of care options depending on your requirements.

  • Lifestyle services: These services are designed to enhance the social and psychological well-being of older people and can include things such as social activities and outings, emotional support, and assistance with transportation.

Click here to find out how Ryman can support you or a loved one.

How can we give support to the elderly?

A big part of supporting the elderly involves understanding their needs and ensuring they have access to the services they require.

Every elderly individual has unique needs and preferences. The goal is to provide support that respects their autonomy and enhances their quality of life. 

This can be achieved by providing them with information about available resources, assisting them in accessing these services, and offering emotional support and companionship.

You can do this by spending time with them regularly and listening to their stories, concerns, and experiences. You can also encourage social interaction by arranging visits with family and friends or taking them to an outing or event.

Access a range of support services at Ryman Healthcare

As a leading retirement village provider in New Zealand, Ryman is committed to offering a range of personalised support services to our residents.

Contact us today on 0800 588 222 or fill in this form to learn more about our thriving communities or book a personalised tour. 

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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