Selfless volunteers who provide vital friendship and companionship to senior Australians were recognised at a special appreciation event at the RSL LifeCare Remembrance Village in Wagga Wagga on Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, and Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said it was a privilege to thank local volunteers.

“Social isolation and loneliness among senior Australians is an issue of particular concern because it impacts on our overall health and wellbeing,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Up to 40 per cent of residents at some aged care facilities receive no visitors, so the companionship of dedicated staff and tireless volunteers is often critical.

“That’s why the Turnbull Government has just allocated more than $46 million to expand the national Community Visitors Scheme and $20 million in the recent Budget to combat loneliness in older Australians.

“I congratulate all local aged care volunteers because your work is a fine example of how the Community Visitors Scheme makes a real difference in people’s lives.”

Minister McCormack said the RSL Remembrance Village provided exemplary care.

“It is a warm and inviting home for its 83 residents, that the Turnbull Government is proud to support through our historic commitment to aged care,” said Minister McCormack.

“There are more than 27,000 local residents in Riverina aged 65 and over who will benefit from the recent Federal Budget’s $5 billion aged care boost.

“This includes a record investment in regional care services and reforms to maintain and improve aged care quality, give older Australians more certainty and support healthier ageing.”

During the last financial year, the Turnbull Government invested more than $124 million in aged care services in the electorate of Riverina, including $92 million for residential care.

Ken Grimson