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Supporting socially isolated members of our community

Social isolation is a term often used interchangeably with loneliness. While the two are closely related, they do not necessarily mean the same thing.

Social isolation describes the absence of social contact and low involvement in community life and can lead to loneliness. It can impact all age groups – but older people and disadvantaged people are particularly at risk. Social isolation is a state of being cut off from normal social networks, which can be triggered by factors such as loss of mobility, unemployment, caring for a loved one who is unwell, bereavement, domestic violence or health issues.

What are we doing?   

We work with vulnerable communities to address social isolation particularly among elderly people.

Our goal

To address social disadvantage and contribute to the development of more compassionate, inclusive communities.

Understanding the need

Long periods of loneliness or social isolation can have negative impacts on physical, mental and social health. It’s possible that isolation increases the risk of death, compared with well-known risk factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol. 

Local profile

Our work in the City of Stonnington (where Cabrini’s original and oldest hospital is located) with elderly and socially isolated people is supported by the following data.

 

People aged 65 and above in lone person households

Lone person households – all ages

LGA

Number

% of those aged 65 and above

Number

% of households

Bayside

4484

24.1%

8559

23.3%

Boroondara

5908*

25.0%*

14474

23.1%

Glen Eira

5564

26.2%

13706

25.0%

Stonnington

4416

31.2%

15013

31.7%

Greater Melbourne

 

24.4%

 

22.0%

Source: ABS Census 2016 except *ABS Census 2011 

Partners

  • JoCare 

Projects

JoCare

JoCare is a volunteer-based community service sponsored by St Joseph’s Catholic Parish in Malvern and Cabrini Outreach. The JoCare vision is to improve neighbourhood connectedness and to reduce the isolation of older members of the Stonnington community in Melbourne. It involves volunteers providing non-professional acts of service for people living independently in the area who are experiencing social isolation. 

Cabrini Outreach provides grants enabling JoCare to remain a free service and leverages Cabrini's resources to support the development of the program. Referrals can be received from family members or friends, other service providers or from the older person themselves. 

For more information visit their website.