Tens of thousands of baby boomers face the risk of becoming homeless in retirement unless the government takes urgent action, according to a report released by the Salvation Army today.
The research estimates a third of people retiring by 2025 will not own their own home.
It says the baby boomer generation - people born between 1946 and 1965 - will require state rental assistance, given current superannuation rates.
"There's been a structural change in home ownership," report author Alan Johnson said.
"The ownership rates have fallen."
These are people who have held down jobs and led fairly conventional lives until an event such as relationship breakdown, redundancy, injury or a health setback means that they lose their housing and perhaps income- Study author Alan Johnson
In the upper North Island alone up to 33,000 extra rental properties will be required to meet the need of retiring baby boomers in the next few years, the report says.
The Salvation Army believes the number of people requiring state rental assistance will rise from 35,000 in 2015 to as many as 100,000 by 2025.
Mr Johnson said the trend of homeless elderly had already begun to emerge in Australia due to similar problems.
"These are people who have held down jobs and led fairly conventional lives until an event such as relationship breakdown, redundancy, injury or a health setback means that they lose their housing and perhaps income.
"They become street homeless and destitute."
An elderly woman with worsening dementia was attacked and left bruised by a healthcare assistant while she was in hospital for specialist care.
The 82-year-old was admitted to an unnamed private hospital's dementia unit respite care in 2013.
During her nine-day stay she sustained several injuries.
Her file was not adequately detailed with her medications, nor did it contain details about the woman's behaviour or preferences.
On the sixth night of her stay, a healthcare assistant physically abused the woman by grabbing her arms and slapping her legs which caused fingermark bruises.
The incident was witnessed by another healthcare assistant but it was not reported.
The elderly woman complained she was attacked by a staff member and "bashed on the knee" but the completed incident report had no note of the incident except she had bruises on her upper arms.
She was taken to another hospital by her family and later discharged back into their care.
The health care assistant was later fired following an internal investigation.
The matter has since been referred to the police.
Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said there was a marked imbalance of power between the woman and the healthcare assistant.
"People with dementia can be particularly vulnerable to abuse, and the fact that the person has dementia can make it harder to establish whether abuse is taking place, and by whom," she said.
People with dementia can be particularly vulnerable to abuse, and the fact that the person has dementia can make it harder to establish whether abuse is taking place, and by whom,- Rose Wall, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner
"Ms C's (healthcare assistant) response to the situation was clearly inappropriate."
The deputy commissioner also found the hospital in breach of the HDC Code of Rights because its initial care plan and incident reports did not contain adequate information.
It further breached the code of rights because the care plan was not updated to take into account changes in the woman's condition, and the hospital's medication management was sub-par.
Furthermore, hospital staff failed to assess the woman's injuries adequately, or manage them appropriately.