Age Concern Wanganui calls for more volunteers to visit the elderly

17 October 2017


Age Concern Wanganui is calling for caring volunteers able to spend an hour a week visiting an elderly member of the community who would welcome companionship.


Manager Tracy Lynn says her team would like to hear from people of all ages who are interested in joining the 50 volunteers currently making home visits to the elderly.


“As Christmas approaches, we’re very mindful that this can be a particularly lonely time for those who don’t have family and friends to visit them. While we know some people are quite happy with their own company, it’s important people are aware that if they or someone they know would like some company, Age Concern can help.


“The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) funds Age Concern New Zealand (via a national contract) to provide Whanganui’s Accredited Visiting Service because it’s widely recognised that social isolation can have a significant impact on an elderly person’s health and wellbeing


“The visiting service provides regular visits to older people who would like more company and enjoy spending time with a volunteer visitor they can talk to and share common interests and/or activities with,” Mrs Lynn says. “Besides making someone living alone feel happier, having a visitor can help an older person feel more engaged with the community.”


Whanganui DHB nurse Garry Stent says he’s met a number of lonely people during his home visits to patients living in Gonville and Castlecliff.


“I’ve met people who sit in their houses day-after-day not seeing or hearing from a soul. Apart from the health professionals who visit them they see no-one and that concerns me. I think we should all be taking more interest in our elderly neighbours. I’m sure loneliness has a big impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. I would urge people to think about becoming an Age Concern visitor.”


Anyone interested in becoming an Age Concern visitor is asked to call Accredited Visiting Service Coordinator Clare Fearnley 06 345 1799.