Seniors getting out of Feros Care mini bus

It's the social outing Rita Sears looks forward to each month - a busload of ladies, mostly in their eighties and nineties, who chat and laugh their way around the Wide Bay and Fraser Coast region.

Whether it's Tin Can Bay for lunch, Bundaberg for shopping or the Sunshine Coast cheese factory, there's always different experiences, varying scenery, a new coffee shop or something to see.

Rita cherishes her Feros Care social transport trips and the joy they bring to her life.

"They are terrific trips," says the 84-year-old.

"The drivers are lovely, as are the helpers, and it's usually the same crowd of ladies each time so we've become friends.

"We get a six-month schedule so we can plan around it and choose where we'd like to go. On the day we're picked up around 9am in the morning and depending where we're headed, we aren't back until well into the afternoon so we get to make a real day of it."

Subsidised under the Commonwealth Home Support Program - a scheme designed to help people live more independently at home - Rita's social transport outings play a role in ensuring she stays active and connected to her community.

The door-to-door service makes it easier for seniors to join and the bus includes a driver and assistants to ensure everyone's safety.

Rita has lived alone since her husband died and through these social outings, has found a circle of friends who are in similar situations.

"Many of the ladies are single...well, widowed, I guess," she says.

"We are all around the same age and so it's lovely to have people to talk to with similar experiences and interests.

"The drivers are a lot of fun too, and we're always doing something different - whether it's a new lunch spot or a bird park."

Staying active is a focus for Rita, who endeavours to get out of the house every day.

"I take the local bus to the op shops or for coffee but I'm usually on my own so these social trips are something I really look forward to," she said.

"I've been missing them during Covid when we've had to stop for health reasons so I'm hoping they can start again soon.

"They are a real treat for me. I would recommend them to anyone. If you don't keep on the move and get out and talk to people, that's when you go downhill.

"It's important to get out and socialise and I'm grateful Feros Care provides these opportunities.

"Life's about helping each other and Feros does a great job. I can't speak more highly of them."

Social Transport is temporarily suspended as a result of government restrictions to group activities. We look forward to resuming our social trips soon but are still taking enquires about this service for future trips. Click here to register your interest.

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