City of Latrobe sought to reduce isolation and loneliness of older members of the community by developing a network of ‘Welcoming & Age Friendly’ community groups with a recognisable brand, and through individual referral pathways.
- held a workshop to define what being welcoming and age friendly meant to individuals and then created resources to support groups to develop and maintain an inclusive environment
- established a network of groups and clubs to support people to re-engage with their community
- provided a broader understanding of the health impacts of social isolation and loneliness
- developed an identifiable brand with localised recognition
- developed promotional tools with older people, including a library campaign in an accessible, comfortable environment
- raised awareness of available community involvement opportunities.
Key lessons included that:
- face-to-face contact motivates groups, increases understanding of the benefits of the project and ensures future interaction
- •no two groups are the same – each group offers something more than just their scheduled activities
- each individual referral is effective because it is based on the person’s interests and capabilities
- most community groups could relate to the benefits of the project, and had engaged with socially isolated seniors
- the majority of community members, even if they are currently disconnected, believe that community involvement is important
- clubs and groups respond very well to peer evaluation
- developing a network of welcoming and age-friendly groups can establish promotional avenues.
Project Leadership Group
- John Forsyth, Treasurer, Keenagers Table Tennis Moe
- Annie McDuffie, Committee member, U3A Latrobe Valley
- Barbara Derham, President, Country Women’s Australia Traralgon
- Soula Kanellopoulos, President,International Women’s Group &
- Representative Greek Seniors
- Sharon Addy, Individual community member
- Mac Wood, Positive Ageing reference committee
Manager Aged and Disability Services
Latrobe City Council
Phone: 1300 367 700
Connecting Seniors Project Officer
Latrobe City Council.
Phone: 1300 367 700