Programs to keep seniors connected to the community

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Capital Region Community Services

During what can be an isolating time, Capital Region Community Services (CRCS) is reintroducing its INVOLVE programs to help older Canberrans connect with the community. This is a sponsored post.

DURING what can be an isolating time, Capital Region Community Services (CRCS) is reintroducing its INVOLVE programs to help older Canberrans connect with the community.

Social isolation is one of the tough things about getting older, particularly at a time where people have been asked to isolate because of a pandemic, says the CRCS executive manager of programs and services Jenelle Tinham.

The INVOLVE programs, which are for people aged over 65, originally started in February but were paused due to COVID-19. They’re now back, and over the next 12 months, Jenelle says they’ll be introducing some new ideas, too.

INVOLVE coordinator Claire Manning says the program has a wellbeing, creative and social focus, and includes building skills and knowledge around health and fitness, movie reviewing, IT skills, intergenerational storytelling, the creative arts, and opportunities to use state-of-the-art virtual reality technology.

“The program supports seniors through a wide range of engaging and fun activities that will keep older Canberrans moving, connected to their community, interested in life and expanding their horizons as well as maintaining social connectedness and beating isolation,” Claire says.

“As we age we tend to lose touch with our community and regular contacts and as we may no longer be able to confidently drive and remain actively engaged in work, isolation can mean loneliness and inactivity.”

The INVOLVE program in August includes the sessions “Walkie Talkies”, a social walking program; “I Can Do ‘IT’ Myself”, where participants learn more about computers; “Not So Rotten Tomatoes”, which involves movie outings; and “Taste of Art” is about the creative process.

From September it will include virtual reality experiences in “Virtually Here, There and Everywhere”, “Timeless Stories”, which includes intergenerational storytelling with schools, and “I’ve Got a Plan”, which features guest speakers and opportunities to learn more about wellbeing.

The program varies, with something to suit everyone, according to Claire, who says that some of the stand-out experiences so far have been walking around the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, hearing “Timeless Stories” from Ireland, Singapore, Sydney and Queensland, building relationships with schools, and taking time to be creative.

“All our programs have something different to offer,” she says.

“We know that our over-65 community value their social interactions and have done a wonderful job coping with all the restrictions that have come their way this year.

“We encourage everyone to come along and try one or two of our programs that might fit with their interests.

“Active engagement and connection with others is vital to keeping well and interested in life.”

Capital Region Community Services. Visit or call 6264 0200.

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