Supporting ageing

Being well prepared makes our final years less stressful. Here are some ways families can support people with an intellectual disability to prepare for retirement and beyond.


Enrolment in KiwiSaver at an early stage can be beneficial. The IRD website has information about how KiwiSaver can assist with home ownership, how to apply for a contribution exemption if necessary, and taxation implications. Some disabled people are also able to withdraw money early from their KiwiSaver due to their disability.

IDEA Services and successful ageing

IDEA Services supports people so they can age in their home if they wish. Talk to your local IDEA Services Area Manager about the options and support available for your older family member.

Making a will

Having an intellectual disability does not prevent many people from making their own will. Support people with intellectual disabilities to think about making a will. Your local Community Law Centre or Public Trust will be able to provide information to help.

When someone dies without a will

When a person dies without making a will (intestate), the law provides a code that sets out an order of priority for people to receive the deceased person's property and in what proportion. All the people are family members. The basic order of priority is:

  • Spouse, civil union partner or de facto partner
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and aunts

Planning a funeral service

The IHC resource, Living Well-Thinking and Planning for the End of Your Life, contains a section to assist people to think about the sort of funeral they would like. Contact IHC on freephone 0800 442 442 to request a copy.

How we can help

If you have any questions call our Community Connect phone line 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday on 0800 442 311