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Since the pilot in 1991, MS Plus has been a proud provider of the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS), formerly the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS).

The ACVVS is funded by the Australian Government and plays a vital role in providing companionship for older people living in aged care homes or living in their own homes and receiving or waitlisted for a home care package.

Volunteers are the backbone of this program and MS Plus helps to recruit, train and support ACVVS volunteers. We can arrange one on one or group visits for recipients in Aged Care Homes and one on one visits for recipients living in their own homes. The visits are not limited to people living with multiple sclerosis.

The program provides vital companionship for people who are at risk of social isolation and loneliness:

  • living in government-funded aged care homes
  • living in their own homes and receiving a Home Care Package.

The program connects older people with volunteers for ongoing companionship. The time you spend with someone helps bring meaning and joy to their day.

How does a feeling of isolation occur?

There are many reasons that may give rise to a feeling of isolation such as:

  • having trouble settling into their new environment
  • not participating in planned activities
  • limited or lack of regular contact with friends or relatives
  • an Indigenous, culturally or linguistically diverse background that results in isolation from culture and heritage
  • isolation from community of identity for LGBTQIA+ people
  • frailty or impairment that prevents involvement or participation in social or leisure activities.

What does a community visitor do?

Below are some suggestions of activities a community visitor may share with their recipient:

  • share stories
  • read or listen to a book
  • share a hobby, interest or activity
  • have a cup of tea and a chat
  • take a walk or go on an outing
  • enjoy a TV show together
  • take the family pet or their children to visit.

What happens next?

The visitor will be recruited and matched based on shared interests. You will be kept up to date with the progress and once the visitor has been onboarded (interviewed, screened and completed training), they will be ready to be matched.

The Program Coordinator will attend the first meeting between the recipient and visitor and will keep in regular contact with the visitor to ensure everything is going well.

We are funded by the Commonwealth Government to manage our visitors; therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that the visitor is screened and trained. All you need to do is ensure you make the visitor feel welcome and notify them of significant issues e.g. lock down, illness or death.

Who do we recruit for?

We recruit community visitors for people in Aged Care Homes or living in their own homes and receiving or waitlisted for a home care package, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • People who live in rural or remote areas
  • People who are financially or social disadvantaged
  • People who are at risk or are homeless
  • Care Leavers (including Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations)
  • Parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
  • The LGBTQIA+ community
  • Veterans.

How do we support our visitors?

Our visitors are the backbone of this program. We value our visitors and provide induction training and ongoing support, information and opportunities for optional training.

How to refer a recipient

If you know someone who would benefit from the companionship of a community visitor, you can refer them to us by filling out the online form below. Alternatively, you can download it and send it to [email protected] and we'll be in touch.

Who can refer a recipient?

We take referrals from:

  • you can refer yourself
  • a family member or friend
  • a health professional
  • an Aged Care Provider staff member.