Helping older people feel less alone through a visit

Participants of the Wesley Mission community visitor program. PHOTO: supplied
Participants of the Wesley Mission community visitor program. PHOTO: supplied

Elderly people can often feel isolated.

Wesley Mission has just launched a program which provides a visitor to seniors in the Port Macquarie community that are at risk of being socially isolated.

Project Officer Dawn Brown said as the population grows more elderly people are becoming isolated.

"Social isolation reduces their will to live if they have nothing to get out of bed for," Ms Brown said.

We are looking to increase people's self-esteem and keep them connected to the local community.

Dawn Brown

Ms Brown said they match older people with a volunteer based on a range of factors such as hobbies and life experiences.

Wesley Mission is seeking volunteers in Port Macquarie.

"The requirement is one hour per fortnight to spend visiting that person," Ms Brown said.

"If people would like to spend more time though they can, that is the beauty of this program is that it isn't a whole day commitment."

The program already operates in other parts of NSW.

Ms Brown said they have had really positive feedback on the program.

"One volunteer said, 'Julie (not real name) was much better today. Her conversation was non-stop, she always makes me promise I'll be back soon.'

And anyone can volunteer for the program.

"Our oldest volunteer is 92, she became a volunteer at 90 because she was lonely and she was still mobile so she is visiting someone else," Ms Brown said.

If you would like more information about the Wesley Mission Community Visitor Program contact Dawn Brown on 0429 044 149 or email Dawn.Brown@wesleymission.org.au

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