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Vying for volunteers

New partnership with university sees international students helping out in residential facilities.

Wellness and Lifestyles, the provider of allied health and educational programs to residential aged care, has announced a joint venture, student volunteer project with the University of Adelaide.

A high number of overseas students have shown interest in the program, allowing for promotion of cross cultural relationships, as well as relationships spanning the generations.

The project has fostered an association between volunteer students and Adelaide’s older population by working in-conjunction with W&L physiotherapy and occupational therapists. As part of the training, the university provides volunteers with both customer service and cultural training before they attend the site; and W&L provides manual handling training, basic exercise education and instruction. All volunteers have appropriate police checks before attending site and any further site requirements can be initiated as required.

Once manual handling, education and orientation have been addressed, the therapists then provide the volunteer with a list of residents who are motivated to improve themselves and open to forming new relationships. From this position, increased involvement with walking programs, individual and group exercise programs is set in motion. W&L therapists can then continue in a supervisory capacity whilst the volunteers continue in their role.

W&L says the program is only available to not-for-profit clientele. However, it reports there has been interest from other residential facilities.

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