Community Visitors – Friends for Older People: Information for Residents
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is a federally-funded program, established to promote links between people living in an aged care home and the wider community.
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What is the Community Visitors Scheme?The Community Visitors Scheme is a national programme funded by the Australian Government. The scheme aims to enrich the quality of life of residents of aged care homes who are isolated or lonely, and would benefit from a friendly visitor. The Scheme also helps to establish and reinforce links between residents of homes and their community. Friendly contact can help to reduce the risk of isolation.
Who can have a community visitor?Some residents of aged care homes feel lonely or socially isolated. They may have few visits from family or friends, or have communication or mobility difficulties. Often residents with a different background to those around them can benefit from someone who can meet their special cultural or linguistic needs.
The management of the home should identify people who may benefit form a visitor and refer them to the Community Visitors Scheme auspice in their area. If you know someone whose quality of life would be enriched by friendly visits, speak to the home's management.
An auspice is a community-based organisation which administers the Community Visitors Scheme in a particular area. Auspices will match residents with a visitors they can relate to – for example, someone who shares an interest or a hobby with them, or has a similar background. This helps to make the relationship rewarding for the residents and the visitor.
What do community visitors do?A community visitor visit will regularly visit the resident they are matched with – at least once a fortnight. The visitor and the resident may read, chat, do crosswords, reminisce listen to music. If the resident is able, they might take a walk, or go on an outing.
Having a visitor can help a person feel more valued and respected; it will increase their sense of well-being and strengthen their connection to the community.
If you would like to know moreIf you would like to know more, or you know someone who would benefit from having a visitor, you can contact Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222* (*mobile calls are charged at applicable rates).
They will be able to refer you to your local auspice or to a central contact point, where you can obtain further information.
The Community Visitors Scheme is funded by the Australian Government.
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