NEMA set to roll out vis­i­tor pro­gram

Alpine Observer - - News - By TATE SPITERI

THE North East Mul­ti­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion (NEMA) will part­ner with MiCare to of­fer mi­grants over the age of 65 liv­ing in the Ovens Val­ley, reg­u­lar oneon-one vis­its from friendly vol­un­teers.

A morn­ing tea and in­for­ma­tion ses­sion to let peo­ple know about MiCare’s Vis­it­ing Pro­grams will be held to­mor­row from 10am-12pm at the Myrtle­ford Se­nior Cit­i­zens Cen­tre on Prince Street.

NEMA pres­i­dent Su­san In­gle­ton said she could not stress enough how im­por­tant it was el­der mi­grants re­mained con­nected with their com­mu­ni­ties.

“There chil­dren might have moved away or work all day so they can be­come very iso­lated, es­pe­cially those liv­ing on farms or out of town,” she said.

“A lot watch tele­vi­sion or lis­ten to ra­dio from their home coun­try so it is im­por­tant they have some­one from this coun­try who can tell them what’s hap­pen­ing around the area as well.”

Ms In­gle­ton said it was not un­com­mon for older mi­grants to re­vert back to their first lan­guage with old age, mak­ing English com­mu­ni­ca­tion vi­tal so they are able to con­tinue their strong re­la­tion­ships with English speak­ing rel­a­tives, neigh­bours and friends.

Those who may be in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a vol­un­teer vis­i­tor are also en­cour­aged to at­tend the morn­ing tea.

“Lots of young peo­ple don’t have grand­par­ents close by so it’s re­ally im­por­tant for so­cial co­he­sion and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment to have those three gen­er­a­tional in­ter­ac­tions,” Ms In­gle­ton said.

Myrtle­ford has a high den­sity of age­ing mi­grants mak­ing the pro­gram par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant.

“NEMA has had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence with the older mi­grants here across the last few years but this is the first time we have part­nered with MiCare,” Ms In­gle­ton added.

“It’s great to be in­volved with a big­ger or­gan­i­sa­tion so that even when we can’t get a vis­i­tor we can ar­range for an over the phone.”

All in­for­ma­tion will be sup­plied at the morn­ing tea where ques­tions will also be an­swered.

Those in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing can RSVP by call­ing 1 800 88 2678 or email ss1c@micare.

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