Learn trick to reducing loneliness

EXPANDING its social support program, Canterbury City Community Centre (4cs) has more home visiting places now available and will soon start up a Tuesday activity group at Greenacre Area Community Centre which boasts a large and airy hall where clients can social distance with ease.

Some of the activities planned include gentle exercise, yoga and monthly outings as well as ‘Learning to use an iPad’ workshops.
4cs Manager, Aged and Disability Services, Gillian Whalley-Okafor, said one of the most difficult challenges of the pandemic, has been the effect on social connections.
“For older people who have been supported by services like the social inclusion program in the past, the suspension of groups and activities has been especially hard,” she said.
“While younger people have been able to keep in touch with family, friends and community events via their electronic devices (smart phones, computers, iPads), this has not typically been the domain of the over 65s – or so we thought!
“4cs were fortunate to receive funding from the Department of Health to purchase iPads so that we could loan them to our clients, provide them with training on how to use them, as well as ongoing support.
“Many of our clients were quite new to this technology and some a little nervous, however the results have been amazing, with many now doing puzzles, watching animal videos, accessing music, news and movies. One is even accessing TV in her first language on demand, rather than having to wait for regular SBS programming.”
Ms Whalley-Okafor said that with the social inclusion group returning, she hoped many more seniors would take advantage of the iPad training opportunities.
“Having access to an iPad has meant that our clients can still participate in life, communicate with others, and alleviate loneliness and social isolation,” she said.
For more info on the group, call 9750 9344.