Seniors are at risk of social isolation because of living alone, losing family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing or vision loss.
“The lockdowns have increased loneliness for many senior Victorians, particularly for those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds,” Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) CEO Elizabeth Drozd says. “Melbourne’s second lockdown lasted 111 days, restricting face-to-face social support for clients. Our organisation was able to maintain contact with seniors by calling via phone, hosting sessions online and mailing contact for extremely isolated clients.”
AMCS match older adults and volunteers with a shared cultural background, hobbies and interests through three different programs:
Often, seniors and volunteers end up forming a special friendship and organise fun activities together.
AMCS Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) Home Care client Aven Hodgess loves art and painting. Volunteer visitor Claudia Perez accompanied her to the National Gallery of Victoria. Aven was full of knowledge about the artworks.
“We try to do something different every time we’re together. Time always flies between us. This amazing experience allows me to learn from older people,” Ms Perez says.
How do I request a volunteer visitor?
Please contact the AMCS Volunteer Coordinators on firstname.lastname@example.org or AMCS reception at (03) 9689 9190.
How do I become a volunteer visitor for seniors in isolation?
We always need more volunteers, especially those who speak other languages.
AMCS volunteers receive a comprehensive induction, regular training and ongoing support from Volunteer Coordinators.
All of the above caters for client’s needs, abilities and interest, and is free of charge.
AMCS currently has 226 clients from 42 countries of birth and speaking 23 languages. The organisation consists of 169 Volunteers from 52 countries of birth, speaking 34 languages.
To join our team of dedicated volunteers, please visit the AMC Services website.
Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Faten Alhelow is an experienced Project Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the individual and family services industry. She is skilled in Case Management, Diversity & Inclusion, Community Engagement, Leadership, and Cross-cultural Communication Skills.
Alhelow is a strong program and project management professional graduated from RMIT University.