As it turns 25, Age Concern, Flaxmere is sadly noting an increase in the number of elderly being targeted by "unsavoury characters with no moral compass".

Age Concern, Flaxmere turned 25 on Monday.

Manager Ani Carroll said over the years they have assisted hundreds of people, and noted that sadly elderly people faced recurring issues with safety and security.

"The elderly seem to be targeted more and more by unsavoury characters with no moral compass.


"Scamming is on the rise via online, telephone and less frequently door-knocking. We are also aware that it can happen within a family or care giving situation where relationships of trust have been established and subsequently abused."

Social isolation is another issue facing people assisted by Age Concern, Flaxmere.

"Many of our members have had a partner pass away, or have adult families who are living their own lives, often elsewhere.

"A big goal for us is to be able to provide a facility with support services and programmes that mitigate against social isolation and encourage community, connection and wellbeing of body and mind."

Every member who joined Age Concern had a need ranging from friendship, social engagement, fun, advice, advocacy and a place to just "hang out" and break bread together, she said.

"We have assisted hundreds within the Hastings/Flaxmere area over the span of our existence.

"We also have a sub-group of younger members with various intellectual and physical disabilities who enjoy our weekly social gatherings where we all get together and share food, and play games.

"This is due to our non-judgemental environment of manaakitanga where they are able to flourish and just 'be'."


The official age for the members started at 65 years, however, they were flexible to a degree to tailor to the needs of the community around them, she said.

"Our youngest member is in her 30s. We are now seeing baby-boomers who are reaching their mid 60s. They come with different skill sets, offerings and expectations.

"As external influences such as Health Services, Welfare, Housing and Roading continue to impact our communities, we must continue to strive for the wellbeing of those communities, and in particular, our aunties, nanas, nannies, hākui, uncles, grandpas and hākoro."

Awareness and education opportunities are ways to help the vulnerable, she said.

"We take the time to bring increased awareness at our gatherings. Staying connected with people within your community is so important so we can all keep an eye out for each other."