Loneliness is a feeling that arises in response to a lack of emotional connection with others and can often occur as a result of social isolation. For many elders, loneliness and social isolation is a common challenge that accompanies aging.
Interestingly, but sadly, there is a trend for older people to present to hospital emergency departments, not necessarily due to medical problems but instead for social interaction, or because they are simply not coping. In a study by the Australian Government, it was found that people classified as ‘lonely’ are 60% more likely to access emergency services than those considered ‘non-lonely’ and are twice as likely to enter residential aged care facilities.
ComLink is proud to have launched Meeting on Common Ground, a program that aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation in seniors by providing a meeting space to build friendly and connected neighbourhoods, combat physical and mental health and improve overall well being.
Meeting on Common Ground was launched at the end of August and was a great success. An intimate group of 12 clients met over brunch at Common Ground Community Café. Head Chef, Scott Coulson served up a home style high tea spread with muffins and fruit on arrival, tea and coffee followed by a nutritious hot meal.
Attendees were delighted to learn that they were all from the same local neighbourhood (purposely organised by ComLink of course). State Manager, Robyn Elkojje is extremely passionate about the program, “ComLink has a vision that through providing a ‘common ground’ for clients to meet it will build their confidence to engage in a healthy social life and organise their own catch ups with friends”. Furthermore, the program offers valuable opportunities to hear from guest speakers about health and well being.
ComLink has received extremly positive feedback about the program. Cheryl Davis was encouraged by her daughter to come along, “thank you to all the ComLink staff and the chef at Common Ground Café for a wonderful lunch and get together. I was glad my daughter encouraged me to attend. I’ve met some great people and had a lot of laughs! Thank you to all involved.”
A special shout out to Suncoast Flowers florist for the beautiful bunch of blooms! It was the perfect pop of colour and high tea touch. Suncoast Flowers will be kindly sponsoring the entire program.
Fortnightly meet groups run from 10:30am to 12:00pm, and will be organised all year around. The cost is $15 which includes transport, tea and coffee and a hot meal. For more information or to register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07 5390 1200.