People are being urged to check on their elderly neighbours following the discovery of the body of a woman who is thought to have died weeks ago.

Police confirmed it was called to a Remuera, Auckland, address on Friday morning following the sudden death of an 85-year-old who appeared to have been dead "for some time prior to being found".

The matter had been referred to the Coroner.

Age Concern chief executive Stephanie Clare said it was the third case in as many weeks of an elderly person, or a person living alone, going unchecked.


In July a Mosgiel woman was found two weeks after she died, after neighbours called the police.

Last month a Whangarei woman under community mental health care was reportedly found dead having not been seen for weeks.

In the most recent case it's understood the woman's letterbox was stuffed with mail, which Clare said should have sent a signal to her neighbours that all was not well.

She encouraged people who lived near elderly to be observant of their daily activities, and to speak up if they noticed any anomalies.

It was possible the woman's family lived overseas, but those in the community had a responsibility to check on her, she said.

"It always surprises me when people don't have interaction with others," she said.

"It could be that her family is overseas but this person lives in a community with people around them and we all have responsibility as neighbours. There's nothing wrong with knocking on someone's door and saying hello."

She said the elderly often bore the 'stigma' of being alone or lonely and often didn't like to speak up if they needed help.


Equally, people don't want to be "busy bodies" by checking on others, but she said there was a fine balance.

"We need to be more vigilant. Mail in the letterbox would have alerted the neighbours- does this person need a check up?"

Age Concern had a variety of services that could help the elderly access the community, and get help with activities, she said.