ID: 130303

Are you interested in helping reduce depression and loneliness? Become a befriender today!

Seniors & Aged Care Regular - less than 6 months Across: Narre Warren VIC, Mulgrave VIC, Box Hill VIC, Eltham VIC, Glenroy VIC, Kew VIC, Mill Park VIC

About this opportunity

Are you interested in helping reduce depression, anxiety and loneliness in older people living in residential aged care?

The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) is a national leader in research that focuses on improving the quality of life and health of older people. We are looking for volunteers to help deliver a befriending service to older people living in residential aged care. Befriending involves having a conversation with a person about everyday topics and events in a friendly way without discussing health problems or emotions.

We want to know whether undertaking befriending with older people living in residential aged care helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and decreases their loneliness.

Volunteers will be asked to visit or contact a resident once a week for a period of four months. They will undergo a training session prior to beginning the befriending visits and will be provided with support throughout the program. After the befriending program they will be asked some questions about their experience.

All volunteers are required to have a valid police check, influenza immunisation and COVID-19 immunisation prior to participating in the program, including the training. This can be organised for you by NARI.

If you are interested in being involved or would like more information, please contact Marcia Fearn ([email protected] or (03) 8387 2305).

This study has been funded by the National Health & Medical Research Council and Beyond Blue and has been approved by the Austin Health Human Research Ethics Committee (reference number HREC/45941/Austin-2018).

Additional requirements

National Police Certificate *.

All volunteers attending an aged care facilities are required to provide proof of COVID-19 and current influenza vaccination. Volunteers may need to provide proof of vaccination upon entering the facility.

* May be arranged via the Organisation. Details to be provided on expression of interest.
Time Required

Volunteers must complete an online training program and attend a videocall with the Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteers then provide befriending to at least one person for approximately one hour per week for a period of at least 4 months. The volunteer can choose to befriend more than one person or continue for longer than the 4 months.

Suitable for
  • Online & Remote Volunteers
Type of work
  • Companionship & Social Support

Volunteers undertake an online training program followed by video call with our Volunteer Coordinator. The training covers information about rights and responsibilities of the befriender; what befriending is; how to do befriending; how to communicate with people who may have mild cognitive impairment; and depression and anxiety in older people.