Seniors Connected Program

The Seniors Connected Program (the program) seeks to address loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians aged over 55 living in the community (or Indigenous Australians aged 50 or over).

With a third of all senior Australians living alone, there is a real need for assistance to alleviate loneliness and social isolation. Some older Australians face challenges and stresses associated with retirement and ageing, such as loneliness and increased social isolation, which can impact their mental health and wellbeing.

The program seeks to address loneliness and social isolation through two activities:

  • expanding the existing phone support service FriendLine and
  • expanding the number of Village Hubs in place across Australia.

The program runs from 2019-20 to 2023-24 with a total budget allocation of $10 million. Funding is split evenly between the two activities.

You can contact the Seniors Connected Team via seniorsconnected@dss.gov.au.

FriendLine

FriendLine offers older Australians an opportunity to call and have a free, anonymous, friendly chat with a volunteer over the phone.

FriendLine is a national service and is open from 10am to 8pm seven days a week.

The number for Friendline is 1800 424 287. More information on FriendLine can be found on the FriendLine website.

Village Hubs

Village Hubs provide members with an informal peer support network to help them age well in their community for as long as possible.

The Village Hubs model applies the World Health Organisation’s definition of active ageing by enabling people to realise their potential for physical, social, and mental wellbeing. Village Hubs provide a range of member-led social activities such as walking groups, social events and guest speakers.

Independent Living Assessment managed a selection process on behalf of the Department of Social Services. From that process, 12 new Village Hubs were selected and will be established across Australia.

If you are interested in joining a Village Hub, please visit this link which has further information and contact details: https://www.ilaustralia.org.au/our-services/villagehubs/meet-the-hubs.

The 12 Village Hubs include:

Bolton Clarke - Queensland - A Village Hub will be established in Caboolture that links schools and Universities with older Australians to provide the opportunity to expand intergenerational relationships and activities.

Council of the Ageing - South Australia - The Goolwa Victor Harbor Village Hub will develop a sustainable, peer led, inclusive Village Hub built around helping older Australians to live and age well.

The Pear Neighbourhood Node - South Australia - This Village Hub will be based at the Pear Coffee House in Alberton. The primary goal is to strengthen intergenerational local connections while providing older Australians with social and practical support.

GLBTI Rights in Ageing - Western Australia – This Village Hub will be led by and for older LGBTI Australians and will offer peer support and service development for the community.

Pingelly Somerset Alliance - Western Australia - The Pingelly Village Hub will utilise App based technologies to enable older Australians in and around Pingelly, Wickepin, Cuballing and Wandering to age well in their rural communities.

Umbrella Multicultural Community Care - Western Australia - This Village Hub in Belmont and Bayswater will establish a ‘neighbours supporting neighbours’ program where Village Hub members can assist each other with day-to-day tasks.

Huon Valley Council - Tasmania - The Huon Valley Village Hub is based on a Hub and Spoke model where the primary Hub will be based in Huonville. This will connect and support the smaller regional groups offering activities for older Australians.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council - Victoria - This Village Hub will engage older Australians with a focus on increased participation in social support activities and reducing isolation.

Synapse - Queensland - This Village Hub in Far North Queensland will provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders a culturally safe space to maintain and expand their leadership role, by sharing their stories and wisdom with different mobs, across generations.

Sydney North Health Network - New South Wales - The Hornsby Village Hub will provide a sense of belonging and ownership with social, physical, learning, arts and cultural activities aimed at improving well-being and mental health for older Australians.

Orange City Council - New South Wales - The Orange Village Seniors Hub will create programs and resources to improve opportunities for health, participation and security for older Australians in the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney areas.

Gurehlgam -  New South Wales - This Village Hub will be situated within the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Healing Centre and will deliver specific programs focused on social and emotional wellbeing an inclusion for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal older Australians.

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