Age Concern offers an Accredited Visiting Service (AVS), in which a volunteer visits an older person who would like company for around one hour a week. To be eligible, individuals must be aged 65 or over, at risk of isolation and able to contribute to a friendship. Couples who are feeling isolated may also qualify, especially if one of them is in a carer role. For more information, see: www.ageconcern.org.nz/ACNZ_Public/Loneliness_and_Social_Isolation.aspx#company or phone the Age Concern national office on 04 801 9338.The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army offers HomeCare, a Health and Disability Auditing New Zealand (HDANZ) certified visiting service that matches volunteers with individuals who are wanting basic help or companionship. In some locations, they also offer a Senior Services Programme, which matches older people with volunteers of a similar age who provide friendship and support. For information about HomeCare, see: http://homecare.org.nz/services/volunteer-visiting or phone 0800 222 040. For information about the Senior Services Programme, see: www.salvationarmy.org.nz/need-assistance/seniors/friendship-programmeSt John
St John runs a Caring Callers programme, where volunteers regularly phone to check in on individuals who live alone or feel isolated. See: www.stjohn.org.nz/What-we-do/Community-programmes/Caring-Caller/ or phone 0800 000 606.Libraries
Public libraries in most locations offer a home book and music delivery service for individuals who are unable to get to the library.Other community services
Some church and community groups may also offer companion services for older people. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will be able to advise you on programmes that exist in your area. To contact them, see: www.cab.org.nz or phone 0800 367 222.
There are also a number of organisations that provide in-home visits and companionship for older people for a fee. These include but are by no means limited to: