The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme is funded by the Australian Government
The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme – ACVVS (previously known as the Community Visitors Scheme – CVS) is a national program funded by the Australian Government and developed in 1992.
The ACVVS is available to residents of Australian Government – subsidised residential aged care facilities and residents living in their own home receiving a Home Care Package.
To be eligible for ACVVS these residents would have been identified as experiencing or at risk of experiencing social isolation, whether for social or cultural reasons or because of disability.
The ACVVS is managed by local community groups who have come together to apply for accreditation and funding. On the Far South Coast of NSW , UnitingCare Merimbula is the overseeing body and has a local paid coordinator responsible for:
- recruiting, training and supporting volunteer visitors;
- matching volunteer visitors to care recipient; and
- supporting volunteer visitor-recipient relationships.
The ACVVS matches volunteer visitors with aged care recipients. Volunteer visitors provide one-to-one visits on a regular basis within residential aged care facilities or into the homes of people receiving a home care package. Group visits within residential aged care facilities are also part of the ACVVS.
Any care Aged care provider can refer anyone whose life could be improved by the companionship of a regular volunteer visitor.
Referrals are also accepted from family members.
It is expected that residents would experience quality of life improvements including:
- increased self-esteem or feelings of general well-being;
- increased sense of purpose;
- diminished feelings of loneliness and isolation, or depression and anxiety maintenance or increase in independence;
- feeling cared for and being connected to the community.
For volunteer visitors there is also a sense of achievement in developing new friendships and being valued. And, there is an opportunity to give back to the community.
(To view the Australian Government Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Information page please click here)
The ACVVS in the Far South Coast of NSW
The Aged Care Community Voluteer Visitors Scheme in the Far South Coast of NSW is hosted by UnitingCare Merimbula and operates under the name:
ACVVS Far South Coast NSW.
UnitingCare Merimbula is responsible for meeting all conditions of the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme Grant as outlined in the ACVVS Grant Agreement and Guidelines. This includes:
- The provision of reports
- The administration of the grants in accordance with Commonwealth requirements;
- The provision of adequate insurance cover for volunteer visitors;
- The development of selection criteria for the Coordinator;
- The selection of appropriately experienced persons to the position of Coordinator;
- The supervision and monitoring of the performance of the Coordinator to
- ensure the scheme is managed in accordance with the Agreement and Guidelines;
- Ensuring that the ACVVS Program Services Manual is maintained consistent with guidelines; and
- The provision of administrative support and office accommodation as required.
Committee of Management:
UnitingCare Merimbula is responsible for the provision of a Committee of Management to support and enhance co-ordination of the Scheme.
UnitingCare Merimbula Duty of Care:
Duty of Care is an obligation, recognised by law, to avoid conduct that would pose unreasonable risk to others.
An ACVVS Volunteer Visitors Duty of Care is using commonsense and exercising reasonable caution in any activities undertaken with the recipient. This includes not putting residents’ health or safety at risk in any way.
Under Duty of Care it is necessary to avoid new, strenuous, different or unusual activities without consulting with staff from the aged care facility or the ACVVS Coordinator (for those residents in their own home). This applies particularly with any plan to take a resident from the aged care facility/or their home to another venue.
Accidents and unforeseeable difficulties do not constitute a breach of a Volunteer Visitors Duty of Care, provided appropriate care has been taken.