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A network of support to combat loneliness and isolation for older Australians

Written by Joanne Isaac, Senior Manager (Communications and Campaigns) with integratedliving

Social connection is essential. Find out how our clients have accessed the support they need to rebuild this fundamental need. 

Older Australians are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation than any other demographic. Research shows that these things have significant impacts on a person's health and wellbeing. A number of factors increase a person’s risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation including living alone, mobility issues, chronic illness, and not having family nearby.  

Noreen from Tasmania has recently increased her services to include more social support to help her combat loneliness. Noreen is lucky to have her wonderful daughter Kellie as a constant presence in her life and her beloved dog Penny. Still, “it’s a bit quiet sitting here on your own,” Noreen said. 

Noreen’s support workers would offer to take her for a drive, but she would always decline. Noreen’s Case Manager Katie recommended that they keep trying and was thrilled to hear one day that Noreen had agreed to go. 

“During the drive, they visited Noreen’s daughter at work,” Katie said. “Since then, Noreen has enjoyed many other drives exploring the local area including a visit to a local lavender farm, the ocean at Bridport and the wooden carvings at Legerwood,” said Katie. 

Noreen enjoys the daily visits from her support workers, or “the girls” as she refers to them. “I look forward to the company,” Noreen said. 

Katie said Noreen agreeing to her first drive was a very special breakthrough. 

“I knew we’d opened up a new world to Noreen. I had the biggest smile on my face that day and got a little teary. Her wonderful support workers never gave up,” Katie said. “They gained Noreen’s trust so Noreen could see that she’s not alone. I’ve noticed a change in Noreen, she is a lot more open and chattier now.” 


Lindsay, based on the Central Coast, has faced many health challenges and personal tragedies over the years and with limited vision and significant mobility issues is now essentially housebound. One person who has made a huge difference in Lindsay’s life is Paul, his support worker of four years.  

“Paul is great and has been really helpful to me,” Lindsay said. Both big fans of rugby league, their time together every Tuesday is spent “talking about football.” 

Lindsay’s Case Manager Leanne is also a huge support and has organised for an occupational therapist to work with Lindsay on his mobility needs.

Leanne has also connected Lindsay with Vision Australia to set up vision aids in his home, and arranged for Social Worker Alex to help Lindsay find a new place to live. A registered nurse is also supporting Lindsay through Telehealth services.  

“Leanne is fantastic,” Lindsay said. “We talk every week. If you’re feeling lonely you should speak to your case manager and they’ll help you,” Lindsay said.


Case Manager Katie puts it beautifully: “You’re not alone, we’re in your corner and won’t give up! If you’ll let us in, you’ll see what a change we can bring to your life – playing a card game, cooking, connecting with things you enjoy in the community, even watching the midday movie together – it is knowing there’s someone there who cares and you’re not alone.”    

There are many services and supports available to help people combat loneliness. Many clients report a greater sense of connection after spending time at our Wellness Centres or Activity Centres. If you’re feeling lonely, you can call integratedliving on 1300 782 896 and find out what we can do to help you. You can also visit our website, and listen to our podcasts on loneliness.

Find out more about what we can do to help you