A national campaign hopes to address a critical shortage of volunteers in residential aged care facilities.
The Re-engaging Volunteers into Residential Aged Care Facilities program will run until August and provide training and support.
Volunteering Tasmania CEO Lisa Schimanski said more than 70 per cent of volunteers were unable to assist during the height of the COVID pandemic, creating a shortage.
"The program is an important initiative to reinvigorate volunteering in aged care," she said.
"Volunteering has always been a vital part of the non-clinical care in aged care facilities, with data clearly showing that a sense of social engagement and companionship has a meaningful impact on the quality of life and mental wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens."
Dr Schimanski said the volunteer program would complement paid, professional aged care workers.
"They provide assistance, companionship and support to residents, which is essential to their wellbeing," she said.
"The volunteers we are calling for won't replace paid workers in hands-on care roles, but will instead provide vital companionship and social connection through conversations, games and outings, in a time when connection has been hampered."
A spokesperson for Aged Care Services Minister and Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck (pictured) was optimistic about the program.
"The Morrison Government recognises the positive role volunteers play in complimenting the support of residents in aged care," they said.
"After a challenging few years, we know, now more than ever, just how important it has become for residents in care to stay socially active and connected.
"Volunteers are key to ensuring those mental health benefits continue."
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