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When people are elderly, isolated or facing difficult circumstances, you can help them connect to the community

One in two Australians often feels lonely. One in four feel socially excluded.

  • Five per cent of Australians are deeply excluded from society and support of any kind.
  • Loneliness has the same impact on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  • 25% of Australians aged 65 and older live on their own.
  • Young men are more likely than any other group to feel lonely and isolated.

Almost half of us will experience a mental illness in our lifetime.

  • It can be hard to access mental health and social services, especially in regional Australia.
  • The right support at the right time can make an enormous difference.

Colin's story

Colin’s 89. He’s lived a fascinating life, including service in the army. He’s always ready with a yarn and have a laugh.

He nursed his wife through years of Alzheimer’s but since she passed away in 2004, things have been a lot quieter. He loves Max, his little rescue dog, but the Red Cross call he gets every morning is the first and often the only human voice he hears each day.

This phone call, every day, gives Colin the confidence to live on his own, knowing that if something happened, we’d find out and send help. Which means both he and Max will be okay.

“It’s the start of the day for me. First, it means I’m alive. And second, I have a chat with cheerful people and they really make my day.”

What does Red Cross do about this problem?

  • We make daily phone calls to older Australians living on their own – to check they’re okay and sometimes to have a longer chat if they’re feeling lonely.
  • We drive people to medical or social appointments if they don’t have other means of getting there. Many of our clients have chronic illnesses or are going through cancer treatments.
  • We visit people in their homes or in retirement homes for a cuppa and a chat.
  • We run community hubs where people get together to chat, relax and find services they need. Many people who use these hubs are experiencing hardship.
  • We’re working with people who live with mental illness, to help them build a team of people who can offer support when things get tough.

Last year:

  • we made more than a million phone calls to 4,667 people living alone
  • we made 40,000 visits to people in their homes
  • we drove 6,490 people to more than 50,000 medical or social appointments

How can you help?

Your regular gift to Red Cross helps us connect more Australians who are isolated.

  • Daily phone calls to check on people’s health and wellbeing
  • Regular visits to people in their homes
  • Driving people to medical and social appointments
  • Reconnecting families who have been separated by war or disasters
  • New services to support people with their mental health