A CALL to fill a critical shortage of volunteers in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) hopes to inspire more Queenslanders to provide social support for some of the most vulnerable in our community.
The Re-engaging Volunteers into Residential Aged Care Facilities Program is encouraging new and returning volunteers to experience the joy and satisfaction of giving back to the community. Volunteers are needed for non-clinical social support to help in aged care facilities, providing companionship and assisting with leisure activities to combat social isolation and loneliness.
Volunteer numbers have fallen dramatically as a result of COVID-19. More than 70 per cent of volunteers were not able to assist during the pandemic. Volunteers are a critical life-force in many communities and have been sadly missed. Queenslanders who are interested in making a difference to the lives of others are being asked to re-engage and experience the rich satisfaction and community connection that volunteering offers by bringing companionship and joy to residents of aged care facilities.
Volunteers in metropolitan and regional areas will be matched with a local residential aged care facility that registers for the program. Volunteers will need to complete informative, helpful, accessible training and undertake a police check, both at no cost to volunteers. Volunteers will also be required to show evidence of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, as relevant.
CEO of Volunteering Queensland Ms Basanovic said that as a whole Queenslanders are compassionate, generous, and supportive of their local and wider communities.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen tens of thousands join the Care Army to lend a helping hand to others who found themselves vulnerable and in need. With COVID-19 restrictions easing, we are seeing more and more volunteers come forward wanting to make a difference. It is heartening to see volunteers care for the wellbeing of our older citizens in aged care facilities across Queensland.”
“These volunteers will provide warm and joyful companionship and social connection through the sharing of conversations, outings and entertainment, allowing residents to feel part of the community once more.” Ms Basanovic said.
“Volunteers have long played a vital role in aged care, and we welcome all volunteers who would like to bring a little happiness to the lives of others through this mutually rewarding program.”
If you are interested in volunteering for this fulfilling, meaningful program you can register at https://www.agedcarevolunteering.org.au/
This program is an initiative of the Department of Health supported by state and territory volunteering peak bodies.