Accredited Visitor Service (AVS)
What is the accredited visitor service?
Our Accredited Visiting Service is a free and confidential service designed to give older people more social contact – someone special to spend quality time with on a regular basis.
The focus is to keep older people in contact with their local neighbourhood community and enhance their life by providing company and friendship.
Our visitors are volunteers who are keen to spend time with an older person for about an hour each week to enjoy conversation and shared interests and activities.
The Accredited Visiting Service complements but does not replace family, friends, or other visitors the older person already has. Age Concern acknowledges and values the involvement of families in providing care and support to their older members.
Our volunteers visit on a regular basis for about an hour each week. They tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to get to know an older person, and that they benefit and learn from the experience. Loneliness is now a known risk factor for health problems like cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia and lowered resistance to infection. Research says that weak social relationships influence health as much as smoking and alcohol consumption, and more than obesity and physical inactivity.
Failing to address social isolation therefore results in significant costs to Government and community through increased health costs and avoidable admissions to residential care. Recent NZ research indicates that 8% of older New Zealanders are severely and chronically lonely. According to census predictions, this equated to over 48,000 chronically lonely older people in 2012.
Click here to find research on loneliness
The Age Concern Otago's Accredited Visitor Service (AVS) is an effective response to loneliness and social isolation.
Contact us for more information
Dunedin & South Otago