Ending isolation

With an ageing population, it is imperative for Bayside to provide a range of services catering for the widespread needs of older adults. As well as activities provided at Senior Citizens Centres and traditional Council support services, Bayside provides programs which aim to bridge any service gaps older citizens may experience.

'Bayside Bites' and 'Striders' are two unique activities that aim to end the isolation frail older people find themselves in when family and other support is unavailable. Bayside Bites takes older residents out of their homes to local venues where they can share lunch together and enjoy the company of their peers.

The program benefits from very supportive local hotels and the RSL which provide meals at special rates. A large volunteer group provides transport and other assistance to run the program four days a week. Participants have the chance to go out once a week and make new friends and contacts.

Striders takes adults suffering memory loss out of the confines of their homes for walks along one of the many scenic strolls available to Bayside residents. This program offers participants the opportunity to do things normally denied them because of difficulties involved. With the assistance, once again, of a large volunteer support group, they can experience the outdoors and leisurely exercise.

A by product of the program is the respite it offers full time carers, who may have few other chances to attend to their own needs. Another scheme proposed by Bayside Community Services aims to bring young people and older people together.

The proposal is to have participants in the local Family Day Care Scheme attend an activity centre with senior citizens. This enables people who may see little of their own grandchildren to have contact with younger children. If these programs are successful the scheme will be broadened to include primary aged children and even secondary students.

It is also hoped that the successful theatre program that operates from Sandringham Secondary College will also provide entertainment for older adults in coming months.

For further information contact Sandra Adams, telephone (03) 9599 4444.