17 October 2022

With one-third of older Australians living alone, it's never been more important to help prevent social isolation and loneliness within the senior population.

Norma sitting in a chair wearing a green t-shirt and glasses.

Social connection is important for our health and wellbeing, particularly as we grow older.

In Townsville, Life Without Barriers is helping to promote social connection for seniors through our Be Connected program. This free program is designed to link people over the age of 60 with services that connect them to their local networks. Some of the supports offered include social groups, organised day trips, reading clubs and more.

The purpose of Be Connected is to help the people we support to live full, happy and healthy lives. The program has seen some wonderful success stories so far, such as this story about Norma.

When Norma’s late husband passed away, she was left feeling lonely and isolated. She knew that she needed to push herself to get out and about again, but she didn’t have the confidence to meet new people on her own.

Everything changed for Norma when she received a flyer advertising the Life Without Barriers Be Connected program. She got in touch and took the brave step of attending a fortnightly catch-up with the other members of the program. The group often meets for coffee or lunch at different venues – they discuss everything from true crime to COVID and aged care.

When the group couldn’t meet up physically due to COVID-19, the Be Connected team helped Norma learn how to use the video and internet technology on her phone so that she could stay connected with her group.

Now Norma is a whizz with her phone – she’s an avid Facebook user, she regularly FaceTimes with her daughter, and she’s very quick at finding answers to questions on Google!

Norma’s confidence and mental well-being have seen a huge boost since she joined the Be Connected program. She has flourished into one of Townsville’s busiest seniors and can often be found attending different social events and activities in the local community.

Normal sitting in a chair wearing blue denim shorts, a green T-shirt and glasses.

Be Connected is funded by the Queensland Government and is currently available to senior Townsville residents. If you or anyone you know may be interested in the Be Connected program, please get in touch with the Life Without Barriers team on 07 4755 7400, and one of our program staff will make a time to come and chat with you about your needs and goals.

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