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.

This project:

  • 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

Project contacts

Helen Taylor

Manager Aged and Disability Services

Latrobe City Council

Phone: 1300 367 700

Email: helen.taylor@latrobe.vic.gov.au

www.latrobe.vic.gov.au

 

Christy Hoiles

Connecting Seniors Project Officer

Latrobe City Council.

Phone: 1300 367 700

Email: christy.hoiles@latrobe.vic.gov.au 

www.latrobe.vic.gov.au