Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS)

The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) is a national program ‘funded by the Australian Government’. The program is implemented by community organisations such as Co.As.It., to improve the quality of life for lonely and isolated people living in residential care or living at home with support from Home Care Packages. In accordance with the ACVVS guidelines, volunteers undergo stringent police checks and regular training through Co.As.It. to be able to become volunteer visitors.

Isolation and loneliness are far too common experiences as people get older. Retirement, loss of mobility, friends passing away – these changes can make the world feel like a very empty place.

But there is help and companionship through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme. This program matches elderly people with friendly volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who want to spend time with an older person. The friendships formed enrich the quality of life for the older person as well as the volunteer.

How does a visitor help the older person?

For the older person, having someone visit regularly provides a sense of purpose and increases their sense of belonging, especially as our volunteers speak different languages. Visitors foster greater emotional and mental wellbeing, enrich their quality of life and greatly reduce their sense of isolation and alienation which may often transition into depression and anxiety.

Why do our volunteers love what they do?

Volunteering provides a confidence boost for people of all ages. We have younger volunteers who see the ACVVS program as an opportunity to adopt a ‘Nonno or Nonna’. This incentive started because many younger people of Italian background did not have living grandparents. By becoming a visitor to older Italians the cultural and linguistic connection between these generations has formed treasured relationships for both.

For older adults, it presents opportunities for novel experiences and a sense of purpose after leaving the workforce. Volunteers feel they are part of a team with common goals and often build bonds within the volunteer community. This sense of collaboration, making meaningful connections with others and fostering a feeling of belonging positively impact social ties and wellbeing. However, by far the intrinsic value for our volunteers is seeing the difference their visits make to their friend. The sharing of stories, laughter and companionship are ‘feel good’ emotions that last for days – for both the volunteer visitor and their ‘friend.’

Where do volunteers visit?

Volunteers may visit people at home or in residential care facilities. To become a volunteer they must commit to visit 20 times per year and pass a national police check.

What do volunteers do during a visit?

Volunteer visitors may just talk; share a cup of tea; watch a movie, discuss news items; play a game; reminisce or do activities together – just like a friend would do.

How to become a volunteer?

Companionship and mutual enrichment await you through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme. Apply today through Co.As.It. by calling 07 3624 6100 or if you require more information on the ACVVS program, please access the government website.

ACVVS Brochure