Your community needs you! We’d like to inspire you today with some suggestions around where you can go, what you can do and how to make it happen with a little encouragement and companionship by connecting with an independent support worker on the Mable platform.
To market, to market
A lot of markets around the country are set out in the open air so they offer a wonderful way to soak in the sights, sounds, flavours and aromas in the sunshine or under the stars. Many markets have live musical performances, with buskers, school bands, local dance groups and even string quartets taking the stage.
In your area, there’s bound to be some kind of market such as farmer’s markets, a flea market, artisan markets, antique markets and night food markets. A support worker can help you find out what’s on and make a plan to go. You might like to post a job ad to find the right support worker for you! Simply copy/paste the following into your job ad and change the details to suit:
“Hi, my name is Denise. I’d really like to go to my local farmer’s markets on a Saturday morning to buy some fresh fruit and to get out of the house. I’m looking for a calm, friendly support worker who could take me there and won’t mind me taking my time to look around and explore.”
Go for a walk
There are a million different places you could choose to go for a walk. From bushwalking and strolling along the beach to walking around the block and even doing an indoor lap of your local shopping centre, a little creativity goes a long way.
Your support worker could drive you to a spot where the footpaths are flat, safe and wide, maybe in a shady street in your suburb, if you can’t walk too far or you use a wheelie walker.
If you adore animals but don’t have a pet at home, there are some fun ways to be around them. You can interact with dogs and people in your suburb’s dog off-leash park and the more often you go, the more your new canine friends will be inclined to greet you when they see you.
Those who lean more towards cats can visit a cat café where you pay for an hour of play/cuddle time with the resident felines and enjoy a tea or coffee. Here’s an example of a job ad that you can post to find someone to support you in this idea. Simply copy/paste into your job ad and change the details to suit:
“Hi, my name is Ken. My cat Ruby passed away last year and I’ve been missing the companionship and cuddles he provided. I’m looking for a friendly, animal-loving support worker who can help me find a cat cafe and go with me once a week.”
Never too old to learn something new
Have you ever thought about learning to dance? Dance classes for older Australians are popping up all over the country to help keep people moving and having fun. One example is Queensland Ballet, which offers Ballet for Seniors, Jazz for Seniors and Dance for Parkinson’s. Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art runs ‘Art and Dementia’ programs which include exhibition visits and hands-on art-making sessions.
Your local community centre probably has a list of classes you could attend like painting and drawing, craft workshops, language classes and even playing the ukulele, such as at Burnie Brae in Brisbane! Why not?
Grab a bite to eat
Most people enjoy dining out, whether it’s for a lovely Devonshire tea or a seafood buffet. Is there a restaurant you love that you haven’t been to in a while? Are you craving something delicious from your favourite ice cream shop? There’s a world of flavour outside your door and sitting somewhere nice for a meal is such a pleasant thing to do. Indulge in a session of people watching, have a chat with the owner or meet up with friends.
Chat with your support worker about what you’d like to eat and together, you can plan your next two or three excursions.
Make use of your local library
Your Council library is so much more than a place to borrow books! They are often wheelchair-accessible, offer free wi-fi and hold regular classes and talks of different types. You can borrow DVDs and CDs, scan or photocopy documents and simply sit and read a book in the cool quiet.
Libraries are wonderful because they’re for all ages and you’ll likely come across your neighbours there. With your support worker by your side to help you navigate your library and share the enjoyment, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been in so long!
Other ways to be out in your community
- Join your local Lions Australia or Rotary Club.
- Visit friends and family in hospital, aged care homes or at home.
- Join a choir or a Toastmasters club.
- Volunteer to be a greeter at a hospital or visitor’s information kiosk.
- Join the Country Women’s Association.
- Go along to Grandparents’ Day at your grandchild’s school or kindy.
- Find out about upcoming events in your local newspaper.
- Help out at a community garden feeding chooks or potting seedlings.
Whatever you choose to do, your support worker will be happy to help you get ready, make your way there and even stay with you until it’s time to go home. With so many suggestions above, you’re sure to find a few activities that would be perfect for you.