Counselling Service for Older People

Wellington Region – Capital & Coast Area

WellElder is a community trust providing specialist counselling for older people from Wellington through to Kapiti.


WellElder provides specialist counselling for people aged 60 and over, and from 55 if Maori or Pasifika. This is available for people living in the Health NZ / Te Whatu Ora – Capital & Coast area.

Clients may attend on their own, as a couple, or with other family/whanau. We offer up to six one-hour counselling sessions at affordable rates.

Counsellors see clients at venues in Newtown, Johnsonville, Porirua and Paraparaumu. If mobility is an issue, we can arrange for counselling in clients’ homes, or via telephone, or internet platforms such as Zoom.


If you are a health professional, support worker, social worker or field worker, you can refer a patient or client to us. You can also self-refer to us as an individual.

Make a referral

WellElder believes that we all face challenges as we age. We are never too old to learn new skills, change behaviour, grow in insight and understanding, and maintain good emotional health.

Older people are often challenged to cope with significant changes that can occur simultaneously. For example, a reduction in physical capabilities, becoming a carer for their spouse or partner, and shrinking social networks and opportunities.

While older people are used to getting on with life themselves, a skilled professional is surprisingly easy to talk to and can help us to:

  • Move through depression
  • Reduce anxiety and/or stress
  • Make our own decisions about issues we’re finding challenging
  • Improve our relationships
  • Develop our sense of wellbeing
  • Come to terms with events and decisions in our lives

No issue is too big or too small – our relationships, the loss of friends and family, where we live, memories that we live with, coping with the daily demands of life, anxiety or depression – whatever it is that we face can be brought to counselling.

Our People

Our counsellors are all very experienced and interested in working with older adults and know the issues many of us face as we age:

  • Health challenges
  • Changing relationships with partners, adult children and others
  • Living arrangements – whether and how to remain living independently in our home or to move to a retirement village or rest home
  • Grief – the loss of friends, family, physical abilities, driver’s licence
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety

Read the profiles of our counsellors, staff and board members.

Our Services

Your rights as our client

Find out what you can expect as a client when you contact us and see a counsellor.

See your rights.


We run groups on topics related to making the best of life as we age. We also develop group programmes on request for interested groups or organisations.

Information Sheets

We publish quarterly information sheets about our work. These describe different elements of our specialist counselling for older people.


We provide professional development and training for people who work with the elderly, including rest home staff, counsellors, and social workers.

What our clients say about us

  • "I really felt she understood my situation well, helped me to work out coping strategies, and helped me to focus on the important issues … I feel confident going into the future now"
  • "This is a wonderful service for those of us who are older, experienced, used to coping – but in need of redirection, support and an empathic boost to keep going with dignity"
  • "It is very helpful to talk to an understanding person who is not personally involved in your situation. I do hope you can continue with this good service"
  • "I found my counsellor very easy to talk to and found the sessions a big help as I was going through a very difficult time"
  • "I thank WellElder for being available when other options are unaffordable. I also think the client needs to be serious and put into practice the suggestions of the counsellor"
  • "I found counselling helpful as I was able to discuss things I couldn’t with anyone else. I feel much more able to cope"
  • "For others, who, like me, may need take ‘time out’ in a caring and supportive environment to reflect, renew and fortify their sense of purpose in life"

Donations and contributions are necessary to cover the full cost of our service.
You can donate to us through Givealittle.

Donate now


Thank you to Allen+Clarke for their provision of pro bono support to evaluate our constitution and Board review. We appreciate the support and input into this mahi for Well Elder.

Thank you to Tregaskis Brown for their provision of pro bono support to facilitate a strategic meeting for WellElder.

Thank you to Sentence Case for their help shaping the content for our new website.

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