For many people growing older can be quite a lonely or isolating experience.
Whether because of health issues which limit mobility or communication, the loss of a loved one, the need to leave their home and go into care, or simply because family and friends find themselves struggling to find time to visit, many older people talk about older age as a time when opportunities to connect with others in the community and experience true companionship diminish.
This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, and to reduced health and well-being. In recognition of the importance of this issue the Australian Government funds the Aged Care Volunteers Visitors Scheme- formerly known as the Community Visitors Scheme.
Through the ACVVS members of the local community volunteer to meet with an older person on a regular basis, with the goal of developing a genuine friendship. Volunteers are supported in the process of meeting and befriending an older person by a local ACVVS Coordinator, and have regular opportunities to meet with and get to know other ACVVS volunteers.
This is not a care role , so no previous aged care experience is required. Volunteers simply need to have an hour or more a fortnight, they could commit to volunteering, and genuine empathy, respect and liking for older people. They also need to feel comfortable chatting, listening and getting to know others.
St Jude’s ACVVS welcomes new volunteers from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, who are at least 18 years of age, and who live in the City of Marion/City of Holdfast Bay area. We connect our volunteers with older people in a number of Aged Care Facilities in the local area, and with people who are still living and managing in the own homes.
If you would like to know more about volunteering opportunities with ACVVS, or about how an older person can be referred to the scheme, you are welcome to contact us, on;
Karen Field, St Jude’s ACVVS Coordinator, and Andrew Lambeth, St Jude’s Home Visiting Coordinator, may be reached via the parish office: email@example.com