As life gets busier the chance to connect with our neighbours is declining. Sixty five per cent of Adelaide’s pensioners live alone and more than 75 per cent have little or no money for entertainment. We often here about elderly people passing away and not being found until days or even weeks after their death.

The reality is social isolation is common with up to 20 per cent of older Australians experiencing or are at risk of being disconnected from the community.  It is not just older people who can feel isolated in their community – it can happen to mums, dads and children.

Agencies such as AnglicareSA have noticed a significant increase in the number of people connecting with programs designed to prevent social isolation such as Keeping Connected, Communities for Children and Communities for Families.

The urgent message from all this is to say ‘there is hope and we must not let social isolation inflict a long term toll on people’ and then ask ourselves ‘what do we need to do to ensure this doesn’t happen?’.

Introducing yourself to those who live next door could result in a life-long friendship. It could even save a life. You can also help to strengthen your community networks, foster safer neighborhoods and provide a helping hand to those who live in your street.

AnglicareSA is very excited to be part of a campaign that promotes the right of all people to participate in social and community life. A central part of Anglicare’s work is to promote social inclusion and we believe everyone should thrive in their neighborhood, not only for their own wellbeing and that of their families, but also for the benefit of our whole community.

Dr Lynn Arnold, Chief Executive Officer, AnglicareSA