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Connecting the 40 percent of lonely aged care residents with visitors

Foxtel has partnered with Connect the 40, an initiative launched by the team behind HelloCare, to deliver gifts to people in residential aged care ahead of Christmas.

<p>Connect the 40 founder Lauren Todorovic; Jakob Neeland, social impact and Emma Goodsell, ambassador, at Sacred Heart Mission to gather gift requests from residents. [Source: Connect the 40]</p>

Connect the 40 founder Lauren Todorovic; Jakob Neeland, social impact and Emma Goodsell, ambassador, at Sacred Heart Mission to gather gift requests from residents. [Source: Connect the 40]

Key points:

  • Connect the 40 was founded to combat the growing issue of loneliness and social isolation in our nursing homes, as up to 40 percent of aged care residents do not receive any visitors.
  • Foxtel has partnered with gift-giving platform Connect the 40 to provide happiness and spread the holiday cheer this season.
  • New research has revealed that being a present caregiver in the life of an older person can reduce the likelihood of depression

Foxtel has partnered with Connect the 40, an initiative launched by the team behind HelloCare, to deliver gifts to people in residential aged care ahead of Christmas.

Connect the 40 was founded to bring joy to the lives of those in care facilities, as up to 40 percent of residents experience social isolation from the outside world. Through the online gift-giving platform, users can view the wishlists of different residents and donate to secure their desired items.

The goal of bringing joy to people receiving aged care in residential facilities is guided by the humanitarian efforts of those with considerable experience in the aged care sector.

A review from the Australian Psychological Society earlier this year found that:

  • Around 50 percent of older people living in residential care in Australia have depression
  • The comorbidity of mental health disorders and dementia is high; almost half of aged care residents with dementia also have a mood disorder
  • About a third of older people in residential aged care report suicidal ideation, up to four times higher than for community-dwelling older adults
  • Aged care residents are four times more likely to experience mental ill-health compared to community-dwelling older adults

To bring attention to the partnership, the initiative itself and the cause behind it, Australian chef, author and Foxtel ambassador Darren Purchese baked cakes for residents of Epping Meadows Care Community.

“Food is a great way of bringing people together and connecting with family, but the reality is that many seniors living in aged care settings don’t have family members or friends coming to visit,” Mr Purchese explained.

“Receiving meaningful gifts and experiences can have a profound effect on the happiness of aged care residents and I’m proud to announce that Foxtel has partnered with Connect the 40 percent, Australia’s first aged care-specific gift-giving platform to try and stuff as many senior stockings as they can this Christmas.”

The psychological explanation behind why it feels good to give a gift, as opposed to receiving money through a lottery, for instance, is that there is a social dynamic to it. Specifically, it matters who the gift is going to — something which Connect the 40 would like people to remember over the Christmas period, as many people in residential aged care may lack the happiness that others get from receiving gifts when visiting people over the holidays.

To make an older person’s day and donate to a great cause, please head to Connect the 40 online and find out more about how to take part.

What would you like for Christmas? Let the team at Talking Aged Care know and subscribe to the FREE weekly newsletter for more news, information and updates.

Related content:

How to plan for busy holidays

Hot tips for safe summer travels

A guide to gardening for older people

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