Community Visitors Scheme – rebuilding connections through companionship
St John Ambulance Queensland has been engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Health to deliver this service across the state of Queensland from January 2019.
Community visits are carried out by volunteers who set aside time at least once a fortnight to pay a friendly visit to a resident in an Australian Government subsidised aged care home, or a person in their own home who is receiving a Government funded Home Care Package.
Every attempt is made to match eligible people to a community visitor with similar interests (where requested); some people may wish to be matched with someone that has very different interests and life experiences.
Depending on the person visited, and the volunteer visitor, the visiting time may be spent in a variety of different ways. Activities may include sitting and having a chat; working on a hobby together; discussing family, current events, and interests. If the person is able, they may take a walk or potter in the garden.
In some instances, the person receiving the service may be less mobile, may have a cognitive impairment or more limited communication skills. Visits are then adapted to include other ways to enjoy time together, such as reading a book, listening to music together, or perhaps playing a board game.
Who can access the CVS?
The CVS is available to recipients of Australian Government subsidised residential aged care services or Home Care Packages who have been identified by their aged care provider as at risk of isolation or loneliness.
What types of visits are available under the CVS?
There are three types of visits:
1. A one on one visit by a volunteer visitor to a care recipient in an Australian Government subsidised residential aged care home;
2. A one on one visit by a volunteer visitor to a care recipient of a Home Care Package in their home; or
3. A group visit that consists of two or more care recipients at the same time, in an Australian Government subsidised aged care home.
What are Community Visitors not allowed to do?
Community Visitors provide social visits and are NOT able to:
- Provide personal or nursing care, including any manual handling or assistance to take medications;
- Provide domestic assistance or undertake any home maintenance;
- Get involved in personal or family affairs
- Get involved in any financial matters
- Engage in activities outside of social visits including running errands, shopping or taking people to appointments
- Provide transportation services
- Advocate on a person’s behalf to another service.
How to access the service:
- Referral through My Aged Care or another aged care service provider
- Referral by the Residential Care Facility
- Contacting St John Ambulance (Qld) directly by phone: 1300 785 646 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch this video about the CVS, ‘Fostering social inclusion through the Community Visitors Scheme’:
Further information can be found here: