What is the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme?
The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) is an Australian Government funded program established to promote links between people living in an aged care home and the wider community. It has been expanded to include residential visits to those who have chosen to remain in their own homes.
The ACVVS aims to enrich the quality of life of residents of aged care homes and eligible older persons in their homes who may be socially isolated or lonely – whether for social or cultural reasons, or due to disability. By befriending an older person, you have a chance to make a difference to their life – and to your own.
The Scheme is funded by the Australian Government, which provides grants to various community-based organisations, known as auspices, to administer the scheme. Each auspice has a Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme Coordinator.
The Coordinator is responsible for:
- Recruiting visitors & matching them to residents
- Ensuring visitors are orientated and providing support to visitors
- Providing training and information
- Managing the day-to-day business of the ACVVS; and
- Liaising with aged care homes and home care package providers regarding residents’ needs for volunteer visitors and the progress of current volunteer visitors.
Aged care homes and home care package providers identify residents who would be suitable for the Scheme. Family members or others may also approach the home if they know of a resident that may benefit from companionship.
The home will then contact the ACVVS Coordinator who will match the resident with a suitable volunteer visitor, taking into account such things as shared interests, hobbies, and similarity of background, or a shared language.
What is a Volunteer Visitor?
A volunteer visitor Is a person who sets aside time, at least once per fortnight, to visit and befriend an older person. People of many cultural or varied backgrounds are to be found in any community, including an aged care home, and therefore volunteer visitors from all backgrounds are welcomed.
To be a volunteer visitor, you will first meet with the Coordinator for the local auspice. He or she will assess your suitability for the role of a visitor. This will include the requirement that you undergo a National Criminal History Record Check (commonly known as a “police check”). The Coordinator will explain what is expected of you and ask you for some personal details for their records.
The Coordinator may also ask you some questions, or ask you to complete a questionnaire on your interests and background. This will assist in matching you with a resident. The Coordinator will also explain the administrative procedures involved in being a visitor.
For more information on the Aged Care Volunteer Visitor Scheme please contact SkillCentred on 07 5489 9777.