Several organisations that support elderly people in the community have spoken out in the wake of an attack on a 90-year-old woman in Levin.
The woman died several weeks after it is alleged she was bashed in her own home.
Three teenage girls have appeared in court charged with aggravated robbery.
A homicide investigation is under way.
Horowhenua Grey Power president Terry Hemmingsen said the the situation was "horrific and terribly sad".
The organisation was taking the lead in getting information out to its members and would be publishing a statement in its regular communiction channels soon, he said.
He had a stark message for the community and elderly people in particular.
"My message to older folk is that they are no longer safe in our community," he said.
Hemmingsen said the Children, Young Persons and Families Act that was introduced in the late 1980s was outdated and no longer had scope for the severity of crime today.
He said older people in the community were not protecting themselves enough.
Hemmingsen said elderly people needed to understand how vital it was to report anything they saw or heard that was untoward or made them fearful.
"They also need to understand that having grown up in the 40s, 50s and 60s, when you could leave the keys in the car or leave the windows open, that era is gone," he said.
He urged people to be aware of their surroundings and to use the 111 phone number to report any concerns over safety.
Age Concern has also weighed in on the safety of elderly following the attack.
Chairperson Diane Brown said the untimely death of one of Levin's senior citizens was a serious reminder to all about keeping ourselves and our property safe.
"We need to make sure our community is aware that support and help is available when it is needed, especially for our older citizens," she said.
"If there are intruders on your property, telephone 111".
Brown said locals could also help by keeping an eye on each other as they go about their daily business.
"One of the local supermarkets requests that their [delivery] drivers take a glance around when dropping off groceries, just a quick check to see if everything looks clear and nothing is out of the ordinary," she said.
"This is a good and simple connection. We just need to keep an eye out for anything that is out of place in our neighbourhood."
"Age Concern extend our condolences to the family of the recent victim, who should be enjoying the approach of the Christmas festivities. Her absence causes us regret."
If you feel unsafe or there is someone on your property, call 111 immediately.
If you notice something amiss with your property or possessions but are not in an unsafe situation, call the police non-emergency number 105.
Do not worry that you are bothering authorities by phoning them, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Check your property's security and increase it if necessary. Proper locks on doors and windows, security lights or cameras and peep-holes in entrance doors may help.