Social Isolation and loneliness can effect people in different ways and impact physical and mental health. Social Isolation can increase stress levels, cause high blood pressure and can increase risks of dementia, depression and social anxiety. Research tells us that older people who live in a rural or remote locality are at greater risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness. At the time of 2016 Census, it was identified that up to a third of people aged over 75 were living alone and were more likely to go out less often.
The merging of Colac’s two leading social support programs, South West Do Care and Colac Area Health’s Adult Day Activity Centre, will strengthen our local response to social isolation coming together in a vibrant, locally-based centre called Miller House. Based at 2 Miller Street, Miller House offers participants a range of choices to stay socially connected while maintaining skills and fitness for everyday living.
Buzzing with fun and energy, Miller House is home to an assortment of group activities, a gym, a day program, which includes respite, Aged Care information hub and a one-on-one volunteer friendly visiting program.
Experienced, qualified staff are also there to support carers and assist with any queries regarding related support services. Marg White Director of Community Care said “we have brought together staff from both agencies to form a team of highly experienced and committed staff with years of knowledge and experience; the community is the winner. We can break down social isolation by reaching out into the community and by providing lots of different choices in activities and programs”.
A team of dedicated, friendly volunteers assist in running the activities. They also visit older people in their homes or Aged Care, forming caring, joyful friendships.
Together, everyone has a laugh, makes new friends, share a meal, pick up new skills and have adventures.
On Wednesday, 18 September at 10.30 am Colac Area Health officially opened Miller House.