Staying socially connected with your community is really important for healthy ageing and maintaining your wellbeing. As you get older, you can experience social isolation for many reasons, such as losing your spouse, relocating your home, developing medical conditions or requiring more care than you did previously. There are many programs, services and resources you can access to help you connect with people who have similar interests or hobbies to you, provide transport services to and from places, and offer more formal support including legal services and aged care.
For many reasons, getting older can mean experiencing social isolation. It can be hard to make and maintain new friendships without having something in common.
There are many free or subsidised community and social groups across Brisbane that can help you meet new people and stay socially connected through activities, shared interests and cultures.
There are so many different activities you can participate in across the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region, from fishing to lawn bowls and to university courses. You can greatly enhance your wellbeing by finding activities you can really enjoy and participate in to make new social connections with people in your community.
A search tool to help you find walking groups that cater to various walking speeds. Enter your suburb or postcode in the search bar to find walking groups near you.
A search tool for social and active programs in Australia. Type your suburb in the search box in the top left corner of the page to find services near you.
Weekly social activities delivered at the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre that are free for people over 65 receiving My Aged Care services. Operates Wednesday 10am–12pm.
A not-for-profit organisation running regular social fishing events across southeast Queensland.
A community participation service provider running a variety of social group outings and activities where people can stay social and active, including day trips for fishing and short-term respite.
A centre providing various low-cost activities to South East Queensland residents who are pensioners or seniors over 50. The activities are held in the basement level of Brisbane City Hall. Operates Monday to Friday 8am–3pm, excluding public holidays.
A program helping older Queenslanders improve their community connections and reduce social isolation. The program includes individual and group supports and interventions that focus on wellbeing, connectedness, active ageing and safety while addressing relationship, social, legal, financial, accommodation and other issues that may be impacting the older person. Operates Monday to Friday, 8am–8pm and Saturday, 9am–5pm.
Centres that provide activities and social connections for people from CALD backgrounds. The centre provides group-based activities promoting physical exercises, cognitive stimulation and emotional wellbeing. This service is available to those who are eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Program funded by the Federal Government.
An initiative enabling community organisations to employ multicultural community workers to undertake systemic and group advocacy and community capacity building activities for the benefit of Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and to strengthen multiculturalism across the state.
Map of University of the Third Age (U3A) classes
University of the Third Age (U3A) is a worldwide self-help organisation promoting learning for personal enjoyment and wellbeing. U3A provides classes on a variety of topics to help older people keep their brains active, maintain their independence and make new friends. Membership costs $40 per year.
Map of bowls clubs
Bowls clubs are a great place to spend time with your friends and family—or new friends you meet while you’re there—in a fun environment where you can move your body in a low-intensity activity.
Map of Leagues clubs
Leagues clubs are great places to make new social connections and spend time with friends and family. Most clubs offer transport services, such as courtesy buses, so contact your local club to find out how they can help you get there.
There are a variety of organisations that provide a safe space where you can socially connect with new people who have similar experiences and interests to you. Many services specialise in supporting people who are socially or geographically isolated, grieving or lonely. You can attend support groups and day respite care.
Here are some examples of organisations who facilitate social support and connection groups. There may be more services near you.
A support program for older people experiencing social isolation and mental health decline as a result of COVID-19. You can access the services through Home Care Packages and Commonwealth Home Support Program funding.
Programs designed to develop, maintain and support social interaction, independent living, health and wellbeing. The services can be funded through Home Care Packages, the Commonwealth Housing Support Program, NDIS or Queensland Community Support Services.
A social support group and centre-based respite for people aged over 65 years living in the North Brisbane area. Operates Monday to Friday, 8am–4pm.
A membership-based network that hosts group meetings where older women find social connection and support in Mitchelton, Bribie Island, Lutwyche and Morayfield. Membership costs $20 per year.
A membership-based social group program run for people widowed by wars, where they can connect through meetings, activities and friendship. The membership costs $25 per year.
A search tool to help you find a Men’s Shed group near you. Men’s Sheds provide a safe space for men to meet and encourage each other to talk about their emotions. Each shed is different—they often meet regularly to engage with their shared interests, such as fixing lawn mowers or designing arts and crafts. Some sheds are specifically for men in aged care. Joining a shed requires you to sign up for a free membership.
An organisation providing opportunities and resources to help you start volunteering, which is a great way to make meaningful social connections with people. Type your suburb or postcode in the location search box on the right -hand side to find volunteering opportunities near you.
Map of day respite centres
You can attend a day respite centre to connect with friends and the community through meaningful activities. The respite centre will look after your care needs so your carer can take a break while you enjoy relationships and activities separate from your carer.
These are some examples of respite centres.
Map of community centres
Community centres provide a variety of services to support social connection and independent living, such as life skills classes, financial assistance, shopping services and social activities. Some of the centres provide transport services, so contact your local centre to find out how they can help you get there.
Social connection doesn’t have to be active. It doesn’t even have to be outside of your home. You can connect with people from all over the world through Facebook, forums and digital programs. If you have any concerns about using technological devices or security online, you can find more information here.
Forums where you can chat with other people who understand your experience, with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.
A free social connection program that enhances the lives of seniors by supporting them to be happy, healthy and socially active. Participants video chat with friendly volunteers on a regular basis for social interaction and companionship. The program suits first time digital technology users by providing all participants with an easy-to-use mobile device.
A Facebook page run by the Queensland Government sharing information and resources for seniors.
If you’re socially isolated, dealing with complex legal matters around property relocation or the loss of a spouse can be difficult and costly. There are many organisations providing legal services to older people at low or no cost, so everyone has access to effective legal support regardless of their circumstances.
A service providing information, support and referrals for anyone experiencing or witnessing elder abuse.
A government-funded organisation providing legal help to financially disadvantaged people, about criminal, family and civil law matters.
Free legal and social work support for older persons experiencing elder abuse, mistreatment, neglect or financial exploitation. Operates Monday to Friday, 9am–4.30pm. Located in South Brisbane.
A for-purpose organisation providing free legal advice and other key supporting services, accessible through a variety of pathways.
Social connection is so important for healthy ageing, but it can be hard to stay connected with the community if you don’t have a convenient way to get around. You may not want to lose the independence of driving yourself, but as roads get busier, costs of owning a vehicle increase and road conditions change, there are many community services providing safe transportation to ensure you can get wherever you need to go—from shops to social events and activities.
It’s normal for people to reach an age or level of ability where they can no longer safely drive themselves. The physical effects of ageing can impact a person’s ability to drive, due to impairment to vision, focus, judgement and memory. It's important you regularly speak to your doctor and ensure you remain able to drive safely. But if you can no longer do so yourself, there are plenty of alternative options for getting around so you can stay safe and not worry about driving and parking.
Find more information about driver's licences and alternative transport options here.
There are many benefits in moving to and living in an aged care facility. There are many facilities that offer a variety of services tailored to your individual needs. They can provide you with many social opportunities, with access to fun activities and group outings where you can spend quality time with people who have similar interests.
The journey into aged care can be complicated, so these resources can help you figure out what support the government will provide, what costs are involved and how to find the right aged care facility for your needs.
Find more information about aged care options here.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land, waterways and culture. We pay our respect to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the healthy ageing advocates, including people living with dementia, older people, families, carers and health professionals, who contributed to the development of this portal. Thank you for sharing your stories and transferring your knowledge to make this portal purposeful and meaningful to support people in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.