What does Norman Lindsay Gallery, Featherdale Wildlife Park and Australiana Pioneer Village all have in common?

They have all been destinations for our monthly seniors outings.

Monica Barac usually works with youth, but over the last few months has been involved in the ‘Seniors Tenant Engagement Project’ covering 8 senior social housing complexes. “Initially we held meetings over the 8 complexes to gauge the needs of the seniors. It became evident that many felt isolated and wanted to engage and connect with others. It was decided that monthly outings may be a good place to start” explained Monica.

IMG_1230-minThere have been many studies done that equate social isolation and loneliness with ageing. Research has revealed that there are a number of factors which can impact on one’s social connectedness. Some of the risk factors include:

  • A lack of social interaction
  • Loss of social networks
  • Lack of close family
  • Loss of status/purpose
  • Poor health/disability
  • Diminished economic capacity
  • Lack of access to transport

But the research also suggested that along with these risk factors there are a range of factors which can protect people from becoming socially isolated. Some of these include:

  • Strong social relationships, connections and networks
  • Good health
  • Access to transport
  • Access to age cohort
  • Strong family connections 1

“While we cannot address all of these factors, we can certainly help with fostering strong social relationships over the 8 senior complexes” said Monica. “The outings are advertised via leaflet drops, we usually have two buses to collect the tenants and I always make sure that wherever we go the venue is able to provide morning tea for us”.

IMG_0023-min“Morning tea is a very popular part of the outing and often a highlight. It’s when we can all sit down together, enjoy a cuppa and chat. It was wonderful to hear the stories that emerged at our recent trip to Australiana Pioneer Village “My mother used to use a clothing wringer like the one we saw” said one of the ladies, which opened up a Pandoras box of memories for the others” laughed Monica.

“The tenants really look forward to these outings and have many ideas of where we can go in the future” explains Monica. “Their joy and enthusiasm for the outings is infectious. They are so much fun and a wonderful group to spend time with. It has been a very rewarding experience for me”.

If you would like to ensure we are able to continue with our “Seniors Outings” please donate here.

  1. Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services.
    Comparative social isolation amongst older people in the ACT.