to new heights
Taking friendships to new heights
Stephanie Buckland | Chief Executive Officer, Amana Living
A plethora of research has been carried out around the world on the impacts of isolation and loneliness due to COVID-19 lockdowns, especially among older people.
But loneliness and social isolation are not just COVID issues. Many older West Australians have lost their social circles for many reasons, including mobility issues, cognitive impairment, moving away from their homes, or outliving their friends.
Amana Living offers a simple solution for those living in the community who may need a little social interaction and a lot of fun. The Kites social outings program takes groups of older people on a variety of adventures which are tailored to meet the needs of the participants. Outings run Monday to Saturday throughout the Perth metropolitan area. Some of the destinations include Hillarys, Fremantle, Toodyay, the Swan Valley, and Kings Park.
Typically, the bus arrives at your door in the morning, takes everyone to morning tea then on to the day’s destination. Participants take lunch together, have a jolly good time, and are dropped home at the end of the day. Best of all, everyone makes new friends who meet regularly.
Kites client, Audrey, was afraid to face the world after a challenging marriage that left her isolated. She discovered Kites after contacting Amana Living.
‘These outings have taken me out of my shell, and I’ve found this naughty rascal who has been hiding inside. I had no idea this funny person was there and she’s amazing. It’s like a new me has emerged from within,’ Audrey said.
Audrey’s Kites friendships have grown over time, and when she missed a trip, her new friends made sure she was alright.
‘I was away for two weeks because I had pneumonia, and all my friends on the bus were worried about me. These people, who I didn’t know before, care for me and miss me when I’m not there,’ Audrey said. ‘I had nobody before Kites, but I’ve now made all these beautiful friends.’
Another Kites client, Barry, joined the program to help him get out of his house after giving up his driver’s license. He felt he had lost his independence and couldn’t go out and socialise. ‘I find the trips quite delightful, and I’ve made a lot of friends on the bus. I even met a lady who was born a couple of streets away from me in Bournemouth (UK) and we enjoy a good chat about the football,’ said Barry. ‘It’s a fantastic day out and I look forward to it every week. It’s just good fun, we share a lot of jokes and always have a laugh. The Amana Living people are fantastic; they mix with you and really understand you.’
On a recent Kites outing Barry celebrated his birthday, cutting a cake baked by Audrey, such is their friendship.
The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence” (Proverbs 27:9)
Amana Living currently has more than 300 Kites clients, so there are plenty of opportunities to develop new friendships and enjoy the company of others. On top of the regular day trips, Kites also has a variety of special-interest clubs including the pamper, movie, history, animal lovers, gardening, and the op shop hop clubs.
Kites Seniors Social Outings
Kites can be funded through government programs, or can be paid for privately.
For more information about Kites, please call our customer service team on 1300 376 394 or follow the link below.