Living at home or in retirement villages in the Hutt Valley

OMG ... must I move in with my children?

Choosing where to live in retirement requires time, planning and lots of good information

If you are like most seniors living in the Hutt Valley you'd prefer to remain in your own community as you age.

Choosing to modify homes or move into retirement villages is a popular option for many seniors in Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. This trend of ageing-in-place will strengthen as pressure is placed on limited rest homes and private hospitals.

To help you decide where to live in your retirement we've listed below ideas and local support for remaining at home so it is affordable, comfortable and safer for you. We've also listed retirement villages and independent living units in the Hutt Valley.

Which housing option suits you best?

  • Do you want to stay where you are but need help to make life easier?   Would repairs or adaptations make living at home more comfortable?
  • Are you are thinking about moving somewhere smaller, that's nearer to family?
  • What about enjoying your twilight years in a retirement village?
  • Maybe you do want to move in with your children - perhaps they can provide a separate accommodation that will suit you?
  • What can you afford and how much support will you need for any health or disability issues?
        Housing for seniors in the Hutt Valley
Cheers: ‘‘Every bottle of wine is an adventure,’’ says Michael Kuus, president of the Maungaraki-based Western Hills Wine Society." Photo kindly supplied by Hutt News

Talking through your possibilities and housing options with family and friends or taking independent advice can be very helpful.

Choosing where and how you live is ultimately your decision


Living at home - independently or with home based care

Making a few simple changes in your home can make your life a lot easier, safer and more comfortable. If you are a tenant you have certain rights to have repairs carried out.

Homebased care and support to make life easier

You may need extra help to live at home ...help to clean the house or prepare meals, visitors or nursing care. To access subsidised help you will need an assessment done for WINZ and/or Ministry of Health. There are a number of organisations that can help you ... visit Support 65+


Simple home maintenance to avoid injury

There are lots of simple things you can do to avoid injury and make your home safer. 

ACC says the "dangerous 5"  are moss, rugs, power cords, chairs and puddles! With a little bit of regular home maintenance action can be taken - check out homesafety.co.nz.

If you don't have family to help you tackle those pesky problems, the following local groups might be able to help you:

  • Grey Skills offers a "one call for all" services and is happy to do almost any home maintenance job, from changing the fuses and maintaining gardens to landscaping, full scale interior and exterior renovations and large building projects. For all Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt enquiries ph Warren Corkin 04 920 1726 email huttvalley@greyskills.co.nz
  • Great Start, Taita offers a "green dollars" bartering system where you register your skills and can offer those to pay for other skills you may need.
  • Mens Shed Naenae does home maintenance for the elderly. Contact Ted Helsin or Archie Kerr ph 04 569 7069 or email archie.kerr@clear.net.nz

Modify your home to help make life easier

Making a few minor home adaptations can make your life a lot easier e.g. installing a ramp or grab rails to help on stairs, using specially adapted kitchen gadgets.  Check out the range of products available below -

  • Weka.net.nz lists suppliers offering a full range of equipment for the home
  • Enable New Zealand delivers a range of services for older people and disabled people including specialised equipment and housing modification. These services are contracted by the Ministry of Health, ACC and for some other District Health Boards. Ph 0800 36 22 53 email enable@enable.co.nz
  • Independence design stairlifts and wheelchair platforms for your unique specifications. Ph 04 526 656 or 0800 926677 email info@independence.co.nz. Located at 6 Goodshed Rd, Maidstone, Upper Hutt 

Warm Up Your Home - insulation providers in the Hutt Valley

Take the chill out of winter and apply for the Home Insulation Programme.  You can have your home (whether you rent or own) warmed up with underfloor and ceiling insulation and curtains. If you have a community services card or have health issues resulting from your housing, the insulation is free. Application form

Contact one of the 4 insulation providers in the Hutt Valley and they will help you through the process -


Curtain banks in the Hutt Valley

The following organisations offer free curtains in the Hutt Valley -

  • Earthlink, contact Shirley Cressy Ph 04 567 7111 shirley@earthlink.org.nz
    22 Eastern Hutt Road, Wingate, Lower Hutt
  • Sustainability Trust, contact Curtain Bank Coordinator Ph 0508 78 78 24 ext. 705 curtainbank@sustaintrust.org.nz 2 Forrester Lane, Central Wellington
  • Warm Fuzzies, contact  Miranda, Warm Fuzzies Coordinator, Ph 0508 78 78 24 ext. 711

Rates rebate scheme

You may qualify for a rates rebate scheme. The income threshold for a full rates rebate is $23,870pa and is $500 for each dependant in the household. Homeowners can apply for the new rebate from 1 July 2013, for the 2013/14 rating year. The closing date for applications is 30 June 2014. Ratepayers apply to their local council for a rates rebate. Rates rebate application form


Renting in the Hutt Valley

  • Accessible Properties is a not for profit charitable organisation and is planning to build up to 7 new housing units in the Lower Hutt-Wellington region. All houses are newly built or adapted to be suitable for people with disabilities, and placements will give preference to people with disabilities who require support to live in the community and are on a low income(s). Ph 04 471 5742  email info@accessibleproperties.co.nz
  • Housing New Zealand provides rental housing to those in need. Contact the Hutt Valley office at 12 Margaret Street, Lower Hutt or ph 24-hour freephone number - 0800 801 60
  • UrbanPlus offers affordable housing in Hutt City for the elderly or socially disadvanaged, with rents starting as low as $135.00 per week. They offer a 24-hour maintenance service and a tenant liaison service. All the units are made as comfortable as possible for residents. Contact 1 Market Grove, Lower Hutt ph 04 566 1000 or email info@urbanplus.co.nz

Safety in the home and your wider community

Eldernet has helpful suggestions for making your home safer and protecting yourself from burglaries and home invasion. 

You might also like to check out the safety page to find out about community patrols and neighbourhood support groups in your area. 


Elder financial abuse and online scams

Many seniors do not realize the value of their assets, particularly if their homes have appreciated markedly. Sadly, elderly are vulnerable to being financially abused by their own families, friends and associates. Older people are also attractive targets for scams.

If you are at all concerned that you are being abused financially contact Age Concern elder abuse who can advocate on your behalf
Ph Sheila Reed 04 499 6646 

Here is a list of elder financial abuse indicators that you or your family member may be experiencing. 

NZ Police has information on internet scams.


Equity home loans or reverse mortgages

Sorted NZ offers this advice about reverse mortgages ... "If you own a house or other property, and need to free up some money to pay for emergencies or a major expense, you might consider ‘equity release’...where you borrow an amount against your property either in a lump sum or by drawing down on the loan as and when you need the money. In the meantime, the interest payments accumulate. When you die or the property is sold, the full loan plus interest has to be repaid – so you will leave behind a smaller legacy."

Do talk about it with your family and get independent financial and legal advice.


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