Aged Care Alert: Nominations now open - re-engaging volunteers into Residential Aged Care Facilities Program

Volunteers in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) are essential to reducing senior Australians’ social isolation and loneliness. A conversation, walk outside or just being present can really make a difference to improving mental health and wellbeing.

Date published:
Subscriber announcement
Health sector

The Government is investing $5 million to support the safe return and re-engagement of volunteers, making access to volunteers easier for providers.

Volunteer training and onboarding will be undertaken by Volunteering Australia state and territory peak bodies. They will match volunteers who can provide a range of non-clinical social supports, including during an outbreak. The types of support volunteers can provide include companionship, leisure activities, access to outdoor spaces or administrative support. More information is on the program webpage.

Interested RACFS are encouraged to nominate for volunteer placements.

RACFs will need an onsite volunteer coordinator and volunteer insurance, provide local orientation, and supply PPE and rapid antigen tests as needed for volunteers. Volunteers will be required to enter a signed agreement with the RACF setting out clear timeframes and roles. Volunteer work cannot replace or replicate that of paid workers.

The program aligns with recent health advice and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission statement encouraging increased visits and access by volunteers and partners-in-care to RACFs.