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Feros Care clients on the Social Groups trip to Parkwood Village smiling and eating a delicious lunch

Building meaningful connections through our Social Groups

Feros client Lenore shares how our Social Groups can help seniors find more fulfillment 

When effervescent Feros Care client Lenore speaks about Feros Care’s Social Groups, the genuine enthusiasm in her voice is unmistakable. 

An 83-year-old ex-nurse who volunteered for 15 years with an aged care service provider, she certainly knows the importance of social interaction – particularly as we age.  

Practicing what she preaches, Lenore excitedly signed up for our recently revived Social Groups, where clients enjoy a day out and about in the community accompanied by a qualified Community Support Worker. Not only does she thrive connecting with other seniors, but also loves seeing the joy experienced by those who are lonely. 

Speaking as a participant and with a wider lens due to her background, she explains that these groups are something to look forward to and a great motivator for seniors feeling displaced. Furthermore, she highlights the subsequent positive impact they have on overall wellbeing. 

Exploring the community; lunch, laughter, and art galore

Based on the southern Gold Coast, the lovely Lenore joined two recent Social Groups; one on a trip to The Club at Parkwood Village for a laughter-fuelled lunch, and another to the popular Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Ollie Art Centre. 

“Both were just wonderful,” she beams. “The first one at Parkwood was a great opportunity to sit down and get to know everyone. We had a beautiful lunch and often that’s just enough – to talk and laugh.” 

With infectious enthusiasm, she also speaks fondly about the gallery visit, highlighting how “breathtaking” Margaret Ollie’s iconic art is, and how fascinating it was to see the replica of Margaret’s house. 

“This one was more active as we were walking around. It’s great that there is a variety of things to see and do and that there’s something for everybody.”  

Feros Care clients on a Social Groups trip to Tweed Regional Gallery admiring paintings

Female Feros Care Social Groups participant looking at an interactive display at Tweed Regional Gallery with a smiling Feros Care Community Support Worker looking on.

Female Feros Care social groups participant eating a burger and smiling at Tweed Regional Gallery with smiling male Community Support Worker

Flying solo 

Lenore embarked on both trips by herself, not knowing who would be there. On each occasion, she was thrilled to meet “very nice and like-minded people.” 

“When I was waiting to be picked up from The Pines (a local shopping centre and pick-up point for the program), I chatted with another lady who was also waiting for the bus, and she was just lovely!” she says. 

“Then, on the second trip, there were two ladies who I’d met the first time around, so it was really good to see them again.” 

Although Lenore is bubbly by nature and a confident socialiser, she is quick to point out that you don’t have to be an extrovert to enjoy yourself and benefit from the experience. 

“There is a blend of people and we all make each other feel at ease. On both trips, even if anybody was feeling nervous at first, we all got along very well. We were all ready to join in and enjoy the day!” 

She recalls one Social Groups attendee in particular who was a little apprehensive initially, but really flourished. 

“This person had been very lonely and isolated, so it was a big leap for them. We were all very welcoming, including the Feros Care staff who went out of their way to make sure they were comfortable and involved.” 

“Like all of us, they had a wonderful time, and you only need to get people talking a little before they open up and tell you their life story.” 

Highlights for Lenore 

Complimentary of all aspects of the social groups, Lenore singles out a few of the many highlights.  

“It’s something to look forward to; there’s motivation and anticipation. It’s very uplifting and does wonders for people, especially those who don’t get out or don’t have company,” she says. 

“I used to be a nurse, so I really observe these things and there are so many seniors out there who are lonely.”  

“It’s also creating memories to reflect upon and think, ‘gee, wasn’t that lovely.’” 

Another highlight for Lenore was being picked up at a nearby location and driven to the activity, rather than having to transport herself. 

“I’m still lucky enough to be able to drive, but it’s really lovely to be picked up just down the road and to sit back and relax.” 

She continues; “And, the Feros drivers and Community Support Workers are so special. They’re such beautiful people and so caring – you can just tell that this line of work is their calling.” 

Helping tackle loneliness and other benefits 

It’s not just Lenore who is highly attuned to the importance of feeling connected and its profound impact on wellbeing. 

Ending Loneliness Together’s Australian ‘State of the Nation Loneliness Report 2023’ revealed that lonely people are two times more likely to have chronic disease, 4.6 times more likely to have depression, 4.1 times more likely to have social anxiety, and 5.2 times more likely to have poorer wellbeing. 

Whilst helping alleviate loneliness, the Social Groups also have numerous other benefits, including getting involved in vibrant community experiences, enhancing self-confidence by doing something new, increasing independence, and reducing reliance on loved ones. 

“It could easily change your life” 

Recommending that her fellow seniors ‘give it a go’, Lenore is a loud and proud Feros Care Social Groups advocate. 

“Meeting new people and getting out in the community on these outings could easily change your life,” she says. 

Lenore’s testimonial is especially enlightening, drawing from both her firsthand experience in the program, and her background as a former nurse and aged care industry volunteer.  

This dual perspective adds depth to her endorsement, reiterating the profound impact of connection. 

To learn more about Feros Care Social Groups and see the upcoming activities, click here.

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