1 May 2011

More elderly ask for help as prices rise

12:32 pm on 1 May 2011

Elderly New Zealanders on fixed incomes are increasingly turning to welfare agencies for financial assistance and advocacy services as they struggle to meet rising prices.

Agencies say the rise in power, petrol, food and rent costs are putting those on fixed or low incomes under pressure.

The Salvation Army has seen an approximate 11% increase in demand for help from superannuitants, most of that from elderly residents living alone in the South Island.

It is also seeing more people on pensions struggling to raise grandchildren, particularly in the Waikato region.

Major Pam Waugh of the Salvation Army says many of the superannuitants coming to them for food, clothing or furniture are seeking help from social services for the first time.

Major Waugh says the Salvation Army works with other social service agencies to ensure their clients are receiving correct entitlements.

The Federation of Family Budgeting Services has also noticed an increased demand from pensioners, particularly from those who are struggling to make mortgage payments.