QUEENSLANDERS are being encouraged to connect with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours this festive season.
For most, the Christmas and New Year season is a time for joy and happiness.
But Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said it could be a lonely and isolating time for older Queenslanders living alone, especially those without family or friends nearby.
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“It’s particularly important to look out for our seniors over summer, with heat and humidity a risk to the health of older people,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Popping next door for a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour not only makes sure they’re safe and well, it can also help beat social isolation and better connect seniors to their communities.
“Whether because of retirement, the loss of friends and family, reduced mobility or a host of other reasons, older people can face barriers to taking part in everyday community life.
“Neighbourly acts like sharing a cup of tea, inviting an elderly neighbour over for dinner or giving them a lift to the shops may seem small and simple, but they can make an enormous difference to the wellbeing of seniors feeling lonely.”
Mrs O’Rourke said the Seniors Enquiry Line was also a valuable source of information for older Queenslanders.
“This dedicated phone line for seniors provides information and advice on a range of topics relevant to older people, such as support available for grandparents, where to access sport and recreation activities, transport options and household assistance,” she said.
“Our revamped seniors’ website is also making it easier for older Queenslanders to find the information that is essential to them in one place.
“I’d encourage all seniors to visit www.qld.gov.au/seniors or call the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500 to find out what’s available and be linked with services that help them stay connected.”