Historic Wolston Farmhouse plays host in Qld Seniors Week
NATIONAL Seniors Australia is celebrating Queensland Seniors Week with an exclusive event at the heritage-listed Wolston Farmhouse in Wacol on 22 August.
Complete with Devonshire tea on the verandah and the melodies of harpist Janita Billingham - who has played with the likes of the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli - the event is an opportunity for older Australians to make vital social connections.
For ticket-holder Frances Munro, the event will be a treat enjoyed with good friends.
"There's a number of us going along - I'm really looking forward to it because I've never been to Wolston Farmhouse, and then of course we'll have a lovely morning tea,” Frances said.
"We all originally met at the New Farm branch of National Seniors and now we've developed our friendships beyond that, with coffees and lunches and a 'stich n bitch' group. It's nice to have that social outlet - I do a lot with the people I've met through National Seniors.
"I do think you need to find groups within your interest range, whether that's art groups or book groups or whatever, so you can meet compatible people. You won't click with everybody, but you'll always find somebody, and that's important.”
Sandra Philpott, National Seniors' General Manager of Membership and Strategic Partners, said that connection and community were critical to our wellbeing.
"Academic research shows very clearly that the prevention and alleviation of loneliness is vital to maintaining independence,” she said.
"One study even concludes that lonely people have a 64 per cent increased chance of developing clinical dementia.”
Sandra said that when we connect with people, we feel less stressed, happier, our blood pressure is lower, and generally our physical and mental health is better.
"There are some very obvious reasons why loneliness impacts on older people - if you're no longer doing the school run or working, or perhaps your mobility isn't what it was or your health is less robust, then suddenly your world shrinks,” Sandra said.
"Those daily contacts which just 'happen' without effort or forethought are no longer available to you. It can happen to anyone, at any age, it's simply more prevalent as you grow older.”
National Trust Queensland will be providing guided tours through the historic homestead where you can learn about the history of the property and see first-hand how they lived in 1852.
To make the event as accessible as possible, National Seniors will run a free courtesy bus from Wacol train station.
Booking is essential as places are strictly limited, register at nationalseniors.com.au/events or call 07 3233 9141.