As part of Seniors Week residents at Bundaberg’s Ingenia Gardens have put a focus on getting to know their neighbours.
Demonstrating the importance of connections, studies by Relationship Australia have found one in four Australians over the age of 65 live alone, with loneliness rates higher among single occupants than those living with a partner or family.
Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg Community Manager Stephanie Dobbin said the Seniors Week celebrations were an annual event as part of Ingenia Gardens’ free lifestyle program.
The program encourages residents to connect with each other and worked to prevent social isolation.
“The Activate program is designed to help residents build strong bonds with each other and provide a sense of belonging in the community,” Ms Dobbin said.
“If we can help make a difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents by facilitating active living and social wellbeing programs … in our communities, then that really is the least we can do.
“Events, like our Seniors Week celebrations, are a great opportunity for our residents to dress up and mingle with each other and for locals to meet our residents and discover what life at Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg is like.”
Resident Rosalie Coleman participated in yesterday’s Seniors Week morning tea and said it was a great opportunity to build relationships with her neighbours.
“Helping each other out is the main thing, we’re all in here for the same reason, we aren’t all well so its important for us to be with our neighbours and help out where we can,” Rosalie said.
“Which I’ve been doing for a lady here that’s got dementia, she’s sort of coming to me for support.
“I’m doing what I can.
“It means that we can all get together and have a chat and let everyone know what’s on our mind if we’ve got any problems.”
The independent seniors community will host a colourful Mediterranean themed luncheon today as part of the event.
Queensland Seniors Week is an initiative of Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland which celebrates community connection and the contributions older people make in their communities.