B42 - In-home Visiting and Companion Services

A variety of organisations provide companionship and visiting services for older people. Some of these services are run by volunteers and are available for free. Others charge a fee.

Free Services

Age Concern

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/Public/Info/Services/Accredited_Volunteer _Service.aspx?hkey=61ebe758-e631-4f21-8325-49930496dff8 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, contact your local Salvation Army office. For information about the Senior Services Programme, see: www.salvationarmy.org.nz/get-help/seniors/senior-services-programme

St 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.


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.

Commercial organisations

There are also a number of organisations that provide in-home visits and companionship for older people for a fee. Your local CAB may be able to help with information about those.



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