Older adults

People who are older are more at risk of severe impacts from COVID-19.

This project is a partnership between Te Hiringa Hauora, the Ministry for Social Development's Office for Seniors, Carers New Zealand, Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust, Age Concern New Zealand and The Innovation Unit.

It is supported by two professors of ageing and gerontology from University of Auckland School of Population Health, and the Mental Health Foundation.

What we did

Together with our partners, we identified the following insights about the needs of older people at this time.

  1. Multiple and multi-layered psychological and emotional needs - anxiety and fear, loneliness, loss of confidence, loss of control, boredom.
    We developed a series of strengths-based messages and interventions aimed at increasing resilience and improving wellbeing. Messages linked to Getting Through Together and the Let's End Loneliness website and included advice about sources of help while also encouraging help seeking.
  2. Social connection and purpose - loss of practical and social support and roles (including paid and voluntary employment), need to belong and feel connected.
    Messages and interventions connected to Getting Through Together, with strengths-based messaging and stories related to older people and carers.
  3. Social recognition - relates to generational division, discrimination – older people need to be valued as a group in society.
    Interventions are being developed with The Generations Project.

A two pronged programme of work was developed to meet these needs. 

  • A marketing campaign was designed, using channels relevant to our audiences.
  • A multi-layered suite of projects were commissioned from our partners (see below - Partnering with regional and community groups).

Getting Through Together - Digital (animated) ads

  [MP4 - 1.6 MB]

 [MP4 - 1.2 MB]

  [MP4 - 1.8 MB]

Te Hiringa Hauora web pages

A page on depression.og.nz was designed to meet the needs of older adults.

Social media


Radio ads

Newspaper articles

Partnering with regional and community groups

Our community partners (and a brief description of their projects) are detailed below.

  • Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable TrustNgā Matauranga Taonga
    • This project focuses on producing six short videos capturing Kaumātua of different living situations sharing their experiences of COVID-19 lockdown.
    • The videos are a Kaumātua-led communication/messaging tool on what supports, activities and people were helpful in keeping them well and safe during lockdown.
    • Note, this project is in association with our Māori team.
    • View the videos.
  • Age Concern New ZealandLet’s End Loneliness website
    • This initiative has a strong focus on reducing loneliness for older people and those with long-term healthconditions.
    • Funding from Te Hiringa Hauora enabled us to engage expertise to develop a strategic plan that carried us through launching the website, growth of the coalition, and ensuring the website’s sustainability.
    • Visit Let's End Loneliness
  • Innovation Unit. Intergenerational Social Cohesion and COVID-19
    • This project aims to stimulate conversations with older and younger people about intergenerational connection during lockdown. Building on the learnings and hopes uncovered in the discovery stage, innovative models of intergenerational connection will follow.
    • Materials and tools to enable action will be informed by learning from the project.
  • Carers NZ. Caring for Carers
    • This project focuses on ensuring carers receive information and direct support to help them cope with the stresses of caring during COVID-19 and beyond.
  • Te Awakairangi Health Network. Reconnecting People and Whānau to Primary Care
    • There is a concern that people are not seeking health care in a timely way. In fact, they are avoiding or delaying seeking care.
    • The project addresses this concern by developing a mixed media campaign with a series of short videos showing common situations for whānau having difficulties accessing care, and showing how they can get the healthcare they need. 
    • Note, this project is relevant to all the audiences Te Hiringa Hauora is focusing on.
    • View the videos and resource.

Sign language videos

Te Hiringa Hauora partnered with Eyefilm Studios to develop a suite of wellbeing messages for the deaf community. These messages support deaf people with long-term health conditions to take care of their wellbeing through COVID-19 as well as providing tips for GPs to engage with deaf people’s needs and culture.

View the videos

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