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Our national team of advocates is available Monday to Friday 8am–8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm 

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Community connection

Loneliness and social isolation can have a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing. It’s important to stay connected. 

Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS)

The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) offers meaningful companionship to older people who might otherwise experience social isolation and loneliness. Volunteers are matched to people living independently at home or in residential aged care based on shared interests. They make regular contact for a chat, walk, or activity.

Request or become a volunteer visitor by completing the forms below. You can also contact your state provider on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Request a volunteer visitor

Complete this form to request a volunteer to visit you.

Become a volunteer visitor

Complete this form to become a volunteer visitor.

Training and resources for volunteers

Sign up for OPAN's free online training for ACVVS volunteers and staff.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has created a series of resources to improve the national consistency of volunteer training and support. For more information visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

Other opportunities to connect

View the services below to discover options for social connection in person, over the phone or online, and opportunities to volunteer.

The internet makes staying in contact or connecting with family and friends who live interstate or overseas easier but carries some risks. Australia’s eSafety Commission supports older people to safely connect online, store passwords, shop and pay bills, and download and save documents. Its Be Connected initiative increases the confidence, skills and online safety of older people. Learn more about connecting online safely via the eSafety Commission’s website.

With a third of all older Australians living alone there is a real need for assistance to alleviate loneliness and social isolation. Some older people, face new challenges and stresses associated with retirement and ageing, such as increased social isolation and loneliness which, in turn, can impact their mental health and wellbeing.

The Australian Government initiative FriendLine telephone service (1800 4 CHATS) offers older people an opportunity to call and have a free, anonymous, friendly chat with a volunteer over the phone.

Feeling that you belong to your local community and are connected with others has a positive impact on your overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and on the experience of growing older. This can happen through joining a group, attending events or volunteering where possible.

Your local council provides information on many options available in your area to stay connected and active. Contact your local council either by phone or visit their website to find out about activities, upcoming events, and local senior citizen groups. Local communities also have different groups and clubs to join, including craft or hobby groups, choirs, walking groups, Men’s ShedCountry Women’s AssociationOlder Women’s NetworkRotaryProbus , Lions Clubs and the University of the Third Age U3A (short online and in person short courses for adults). These are just a few examples that may be available in your local community.

You may also like to check what your local community has to offer via the My Community Directory. This Australia-wide searchable online directly can help you locate and connect with a range of community groups, activities, clubs and community services in your local area.

Intergenerational Playgroups have become increasingly popular following the success of ABC TV’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds which highlighted the benefits of connecting the generations through play, including improvements in mood, memory and health. 

Playgroup Australia’s Intergenerational Playgroups support parents and caregivers with children up to 5 to engage with older people in their community. Bringing different generations together in this way can break down the social barriers and isolation commonly experienced by both new parents and ageing communities. 

Find out more about joining, or starting an intergenerational playgroup in your local area.