Accredited Visiting Service (AVS)

Accredited Visiting Service interview
Clients from our Accredited Visiting Service tell us what a difference the service has made in their lives


Would you like more company?
What our clients tell us
Do you have time for older people?
What our visitors tell us
Do you know an older person who needs more company?
Research into loneliness and social isolation

Would you like more company?

If you are feeling lonely, or would just like more social contact, it’s important to do something about it, and Age Concern can help. Our Accredited Visiting Service is a befriending service that provides regular visits to older people who would like more company. Our visitors are volunteers who are keen to spend time with an older person for about an hour each week to enjoy conversation and shared interests and activities.

Our clients tell us


That they feel happier and less lonely because of having a visitor, and that the service makes a positive difference in their lives. Here are some of the things our clients have told us:

  • I am not so lonely and feel I have a friend.
  • Having a conversation with him makes me feel happier, because he is a very interesting and friendly man.
  • I was lonely; feeling isolated, with no light at the end of the tunnel, and didn't want to be here. Completely alone; no family. My visitor is a good listener, and we have become good friends and I look forward to her visits.
  • I have someone of my own.

If you would like to know more about the Accredited Visiting Service please click the link to "Would you like more company" pamphlet in the right-hand sidebar.

Most local Age Concerns have a visiting service, and all Age Concerns can tell you about social activities and services for older people in your area. Find contact details for your nearest Age Concern.

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Do you have time for older people?


Regular visits can make a real difference to an older person’s health and happiness, and our volunteers tell us that they really enjoy and benefit from, their role. If you would like to spend time with an older person, and have an hour or so a week to spare, we want to hear from you.


Our visitors tell us

  • It has helped me to have a greater understanding for those who are lonely, have physical difficulties and do not have family close by.
  • I see each visit the smile / warm welcome and know I make a difference.
  • I enjoy it immensely. The person I visit is wise, shares his experiences and makes it obvious that he enjoys what we do.
  • It has made me think of who I am as a person and how I treat people.

Please click the link "Do you have time for older people" in the right-hand side bar to find out more about being an AVS visitor. If you would like to volunteer please contact the Age Concern national office.


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Do you know an older person who needs more company?


Contact your local Age Concern to make a referral. 

Research into the cause and effect of loneliness


The majority of older people are not severely lonely, but current research indicates that about half of older New Zealanders experience some level of loneliness, and 8-9% feel lonely all or most of the time. This is important, not just because loneliness is painful, but because having inadequate social relationships has been shown to be as bad for health as smoking. Loneliness has also been linked to increased likelihood of entering rest home care.

The good news is that there is growing information on effective interventions to reduce loneliness and social isolation, and greater understanding of how people can build resilience to prevent loneliness, or help themselves if they find that their social networks are not meeting their needs.Click here to find the full research library on loneliness 

Age Concern New Zealand staff on Radio New Zealand

Age Concern NZ staff discuss the importance of looking after our parents on Radio New Zealand

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