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As many of us prepare to catch up with family over the Christmas break, spare a thought for those that may not be so lucky, especially our elders living in aged care.

To help tackle loneliness amongst seniors this festive season, The Red Cross has launched the national campaign ‘Season of Belonging’. The campaign encourages each of us to take steps to connect with others in our community that may find Christmas to be an especially hard time.

The effect of loneliness cannot be underestimated, with impacts on both emotional and physical health. In launching the campaign, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt revealed he recently visited an aged care home where, year-round, none of the residents receive visitors.

“This is a particularly distressing situation, despite the best efforts of the aged care staff,” said Minister Wyatt.

“I have previously raised concerns that up to 40 per cent of aged care residents receive no visitors, but 100 per cent is completely unacceptable.

“So more than ever this Christmas, I am asking all Australians to reach out to people in residential aged care and relatives, friends, and community members everywhere in need of company.”

How you can help

The Season of Belonging campaign encourages us to take five simple steps this Christmas:

  • Meet neighbours
  • Volunteer
  • Say hello to someone new in the neighbourhood
  • Check on someone who may be in trouble
  • Be kind on social media

Minister Wyatt said campaigns such as this are vitally important to ensure people are not forgotten this Christmas.

“As the new Red Cross campaign recommends, volunteering is a particularly valuable way to help reduce community isolation,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Our need for love, company, compassion, family and friends does not diminish as we age. It’s up to all of us to show people, especially senior Australians, that we care and value them, by being there as much as we can.”

Volunteering in aged care

Seasons Aged Care welcomes volunteers within our communities. Volunteers are an integral part of our lifestyle program and help our residents with a range of activities from simply reading the newspaper through to running craft and gardening workshops. To apply, visit our Volunteers Page.

Spending time with elderly residents may offer them much-needed companionship, but it also offers a lot of benefits to the volunteers as well, as participants in our intergenerational partnerships have found.

Another way to volunteer is through the Federal Government’s Community Visitors Scheme, which will help match you with a local senior in need of companionship.

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.