Old People's Home for
4 Year Olds - Season 2

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Services to help you stay connected within your community

One in eight people over 65 living in Australia experience feelings of loneliness and one in twelve experience social isolation (AIHW 2018). Feeling lonely and being isolated should not be a normal part of ageing. Connection to other people, from across the generations, provides security, support, happiness and a sense of purpose.

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

Community Visitors Scheme - visiting program for older people +

Funded by the Australian Government

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is an Australian Government initiative with the objective to reduce loneliness and isolation experienced by older people. Organisations across Australia are funded by the government to provide this free service. Volunteer visitors are matched to the older person based on shared interests, and if requested, cultural background, gender and sexual orientation. CVS volunteers visit or make contact regularly (usually weekly or fortnightly) for a chat, walk, activity, or outing – providing friendship and companionship. Regular visits are mutually beneficial, which can improve quality of life, reduce loneliness and help older people feel valued and stay connected within their local community.

Request a volunteer visitor

The service is available to older people receiving or waitlisted for a Home Care Package or those living in a Government funded Aged Care Home. If you meet this criteria please click below to apply.

Submit request >
Become a volunteer visitor

If you enjoy the company of older people, have time to commit to weekly or fortnightly visits, are a good communicator, are aged over 18 and feel this experience will enrich your life please click below to apply.

Submit request >
Patricia and Farid’s CVS story

To find out more about CVS go to: Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) | Australian Government Department of Health or phone the Stay Connected and Supported Line.

Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line +

Do you continue to feel uncertain about whether COVID-19 restrictions apply to you, family or friends? The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line is there so older people, no matter your circumstances, can get the support you need. Support is provided over the phone, and follow-up phone calls are also available as wellbeing checks, to continue to touch base with you and see how you are tracking.

You, your friends, family or carer, can call the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line if you:

  • Feel lonely or worry about a loved one
  • Care for someone and need some information or someone to talk to
  • Have a concern about yourself, a friend or family member living with dementia
  • Want to arrange a one-off or regular wellbeing check for yourself or someone else
  • Would like to talk to someone about COVID-19 restrictions and their impact on you

Call the the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on freecall 1800 171 866, 8.30am – 6pm AEST weekdays for information, advice, and support. Older people who do not speak English can call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450, request an interpreter, and ask to be put through to the Older Person’s COVID-19 Support Line or quote 1800 171 866 to be connected.

Seniors Connected ‘Friend Line’ +

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.

More information on FriendLine, including current FriendLine operating hours, can be found at www.friendline.org.au.

Playgroup Australia - Intergenerational Playgroup programs +

The importance of play as seen in the ABC’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds is timeless. Play brings people of all generations together! Intergenerational Playgroups have become increasingly popular around Australia following the success of Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds Season 1, with the series highlighting the many benefits of connecting the generations through play, including improvements in mood, memory and health.

Playgroup Australia’s Intergenerational Playgroups, are not quite the same as the show, however they support parents and caregivers with children 0 – 5 years, to engage with older people in their community and learn, connect and build relationships through play. Bringing different generations together in this way fosters awareness, understanding and respect between generations, and can break down the social barriers and isolation commonly experienced by both new parents and ageing communities.

During the COVID-19 restrictions, many Intergenerational Playgroup programs were unable to continue. Each Playgroup Australia State Organisation introduced a variety of programs focused on staying in contact with the older people in their community during this time. Some playgroups went on-line and others met in parks. Now many grandparent playgroups are back meeting face-to-face for their weekly sessions. Opportunities to reconnect and participate in Intergenerational Play programs are slowly increasing as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease.

See what Playgroup Australia’s Intergenerational Playgroups offer here.

Information for parents and caregivers with children 0 – 5 years

If you are interested in finding out more, joining, or starting an intergenerational playgroup in your local area click here.

    • To lodge an expression of Interest for attending a playgroup with your children click here.
Information for grandparents and older people within the community

If you are interested in finding out more, joining, or starting an intergenerational playgroup in your local area click here.

Information for people interested in volunteering as a playgroup leader

Playgroup Australia relies on volunteer playgroup leaders to sustain playgroups for everyone. Volunteers play an important role in bringing people together and breaking down social isolation for families with young children and for older people within the community through facilitating intergenerational play experiences. For more information about becoming a Playgroup Australia volunteer playgroup leader click here.

Information for aged care service providers and retirement villages

If you are interested in finding out more or would like to establish an intergenerational playgroup within your setting, click here.

Information for early childhood educators and childcare centres

If you are interested in finding out more about intergenerational programs within childcare centres or you would like support to establish your own intergenerational practice, contact Early Childhood Australia at eca@earlychildhood.org.au or phone 02 6242 1800. You may also be interested in:

    • Early Childhood Australia’s book titled Intergenerational Programs. Intergenerational Programs is part of the Research in Practice series and explains how educators can successfully plan and implement an intergenerational program in their setting
Be Connected – learn online skills +

Knowing how to get online, use a smartphone, or make video calls, can provide a great opportunity for you to maintain contact and stay socially connected with your family, friends and community. It also means you can access vital services like online shopping and health information apps. If you are not tech savvy support is available to help you learn the online skills that are important to you.

The Australian Government initiative Be Connected provides step-by-step help to get older people across Australia started with technology and feel confident using it. The initiative offers:

    • Free and easy to use online learning. This covers a wide range of useful topics from basic information such as how to use a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone through to setting up video calling using popular programs such as zoom, skype, and FaceTime. Search for courses here
    • Be Connected Network Partners, local organisations, that provide digital support and skills in their local community. Partners include libraries, community colleges, support groups such as men’s shed, and businesses. The type of support offered by partners is diverse and can range from group sessions over tea or coffee, community classes, to one-on-one peer support with older people helping older people or young people mentoring older people. Find local support here
80 year old Ruth’s experience learning to use new apps
Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering to help older people improve their digital skills, you can contact your local Be Connected Network Partner and offer to volunteer. Find your local organisation here or contact the Be Connected helpline on 1300 795 897 to be put in touch with a Network Partner near you.

Volunteering within your community +

Volunteering is a great way to strengthen your community connections, meet new people and make new friends. Volunteering for a cause that is important to you can also provide you with a sense of purpose and help you connect with people who share similar interests and values to you. Volunteering opportunities are available across a wide range of interest areas including animal welfare, environmental conservation, humanitarian aid, special events, emergency responses, social services and justice, and health and wellbeing.

Volunteering through the Community Visitors Scheme

The Community Visitors Scheme is an Australia wide program connecting people with older people for friendship. Regular visits can make a world of difference to your wellbeing and to an older person. If you enjoy the company of older people, have time to commit to weekly or fortnightly visits, are a good communicator, are aged over 18 and feel this experience will enrich your life please click below to apply.

Submit request >

To find other volunteering opportunities that may be right for you:

View these short films to hear about the volunteering experiences of older people within our community
Farid’s experience volunteering with the Community Visitors Scheme
Reno’s experience volunteering at a local primary school through EdConnect
Mick’s experience volunteering to inspire the next generation of lawn bowlers
Your Local Community Connections +

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 Shed, Country Women's Association, Older Women's Network, Rotary, Probus, 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.

Stay Connected and Supported in Your Community is a partnership initiative of the Older Persons Advocacy Network and the ABC, in association with the TV series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. This initiative has been undertaken with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is made up of nine state and territory based service delivery organisations. OPAN organisations support you and your representatives to effectively access and interact with Commonwealth funded aged care services and have your rights protected.

Free support to help you raise aged care issues

Free information about aged care services, referrals and rights

Free education sessions delivered in person and online

OPAN service delivery organisation by state or territory:

ABN : 81 618 261 859 | ACN : 618 261 859   © 2021 OPAN | Privacy Policy

Contact our Stay Connected and Supported Team

If you need further information and assistance, would like to volunteer, or make a general enquiry complete the form below and someone from the Stay Connected and Supported team will be in touch with you shortly.

  • We are experiencing a large volume of enquiries which means our team may be a little delayed in getting back to you. If you would still like to proceed please complete this form

    • Personal Details

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Apply to become a volunteer Community Visitor

  • Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) volunteer visitor conditions

    Please read the below conditions of becoming a Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) Volunteer Visitor before commencing this Expression of Interest.

    To volunteer you will need to:

    • Undertake a National Police Check (organised and paid for by your CVS organisation)
    • Complete a Stat Dec if you have lived overseas for a period of 12 months past the age of 16
    • Undertake online training prior to commencement
    • Have annual flu immunisation
    • Commit to weekly / fortnightly visits (no limit on length of visits)
    • Commit to at least 6 – 12 months

    Please only complete an application if you agree to the above conditions of volunteering.

    • Community visitor expression of interest

    • Personal details

    • Contact Details

    • If you wish to read our Privacy policy, please open it here

Apply to receive a Community Visitor