Driving Resident Engagement: Special Visits, Excursions and Activities at Respect
Coates, Cooinda, St Ann's |
Feelings of social isolation and loneliness continue to be common amongst Australians, with 33 per cent of our population experiencing such feelings in recent years. Considering similar figures were reported even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts predict most Australians will experience loneliness at some point in their lives.
Research also suggests older adults are the most likely demographic to experience feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Recent data shows at least 13% of people over 65 experience loneliness, with those over 75 more likely to be lonely than any other age group.
However, health experts suggest being part of a community can positively impact one’s mental and emotional wellbeing and help combat negative feelings. Not only does being an active member of a community provide an individual with a sense of belonging and social connectedness, but it can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.
Respect is passionate about fostering strong connections across our homes – whether it is amongst residents, our dedicated staff members and volunteers, or the wider community. As a national organisation with a regional focus, we are proud of the positive relationships we have with the local communities in which we operate, and we are committed to ensuring our staff and residents continue to feel connected with the broader community too.
At each of our homes, our social teams curate a wide range of regular events and activities which inspire participation, promote inclusion, and give our residents an opportunity to connect with each other in a fun and positive way. And often these activities and events will involve the community – whether it’s through special guests and visitors or our residents embarking on excursions to enjoy local experiences and connections.
Recently, in New South Wales, our residents at Cooinda enjoyed a special visit from local students at Lithgow High School. In celebration of ‘Senior Citizens’ Day’, students flexed their artistic talents by entertaining residents before joining them for morning tea. Our residents and staff were overjoyed with the visit and the performances from the school’s choir as well as their Nagrurr Dance Group, with all the young talents leaving a lasting impression on everyone at Cooinda.
On the other side of the Murray River, our residents and staff at Coates also welcomed local students for a special visit – albeit of the much younger variety. A prep class from St Patrick’s Primary School performed some nursery rhymes and songs, before proudly showcasing their fledgling reading skills to our residents – sharing stories amongst many smiles.
Our Tasmanian residents at St Ann’s recently enjoyed immersing themselves in the local Hobart community. Many took the opportunity to take a trip to Salamanca Square for an afternoon of meandering through local shops, relaxing by the fountain, engaging in a game of outdoor chess, and enjoying a group lunch at a local bakery.
We know how important these regular, local touchpoints are for our residents’ health and wellbeing, and considering their wonderful feedback, Respect is committed to providing ongoing opportunities for social connection and wellbeing.