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COTA Visitors

COTA Visitor volunteers bring conversation, news, new interest, friendship, and a special connection through a shared language, life experience or cultural understanding, for older people who are at risk of social isolation or loneliness.

Older people playing cards with window in background

Everyone encounters times when they may need a trusted friend to talk to or a little help to stay connected to their community. Volunteer visitors bring conversation, news, new interest, friendship, and a special connection through a shared language, life experience or cultural understanding.

COTA Visitors is part of the Community Visitors Scheme, an Australian Government initiative that provides friendly volunteers for older people who live alone in their own home or an aged care home, and who are at risk of loneliness or social isolation.

A rewarding experience

Volunteering as a COTA Visitor is a rewarding experience for both the visitor and the person they visit, with many long-lasting friendships and strong connections formed along the way.

COTA Visitors come in all shapes and forms but they are all empathetic, trustworthy people from diverse backgrounds and cultures who enjoy visiting and spending time with older people in need of companionship.

A little time with a friend or someone to talk to can make a world of difference to an older person — all it takes is a commitment of an hour or so each week or fortnight.

We match our Visitors and the person they visit based on location and interests to make sure everyone enjoys and gets the most out of the experience.

Helping someone else has a boomerang effect. We get back what we give — joy!

Beverley, COTA Visitor

Become a COTA Visitor volunteer

Are you a passionate volunteer? Do you want to enrich the life of an older person? We are currently recruiting volunteers who can commit to visiting them for around one hour every week or fortnight in the Adelaide metropolitan area, Mid-North or Fleurieu Peninsula, Hills and Mallee regions.

To apply for a COTA Visitor position:

  1. Read the COTA Visitor Volunteer Role Description as the link below.
  2. Complete the application form at the link below, including providing details of two referees.
  3. Currently hold or apply for a current and compliant National Police Check that specifies ‘unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups'.
  4. Participate in an interview in person, by video call or phone call.
  5. Complete a brief training session either online or in person.
  6. Provide evidence of a current COVID-19 vaccination and flu vaccination if your preference is to visit in a Residential Aged Care Home.

Request a COTA Visitor

If you are seeking a new friendship, a COTA Visitor may be ideal for you! If you are receiving (or approved and waiting for) a Home Care Package or if you are living in a residential aged care home, you are eligible to request a COTA Visitor. Families and aged care workers are also invited to contact us to arrange a visitor. All visitors are screened, police-checked and supported by COTA SA.

COTA Visitors are always high demand so there may be a considerable wait time to be matched with a Visitor.

In the mean time, you may find it helpful to contact other Community Visitors Scheme providers. The contact details for the South Australian network can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website at the link below.

Or call a friendly 'FriendLine' volunteer for a chat over the phone. FriendLine is for anyone who needs to reconnect or just wants a chat.

Phone 08 7078 6229 or freecall 1800 424 287
10am–8pm, seven days a week.

I wasn’t sure I wanted a Visitor but she’s made such an impact in my life” “She was so easy to get along with and she brightened up my week

Gillian, COTA Visitors recipient

Contact us

For more information about COTA Visitors or to get involved, please contact:

08 8232 0422 (country callers 1800 182 324)
cvs@cotasa.org.au

FAQs

What do COTA Visitor volunteers do?

COTA Visitor volunteers regularly meet with an older person, visiting them weekly or fortnightly for a chat over a cuppa or to enjoy an activity together.

How do I become a COTA Visitor volunteer?

To become a COTA Visitor volunteer, you need to apply online, get a police check, participate in a brief interview and training session.

What skills do I need to become a volunteer?

Being empathetic and able to bring happiness to someone experiencing loneliness are important skills required to be a successful CITA Visitor volunteer.

What is the required time commitment for a COTA Visitor?

After the initial interview and training, one hour a week or fortnight is all it takes to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Are there any age restrictions?

Visitors can be any age over 18 years.

Do I need to have a police check?

All COTA Visitors are required to have a current and compliant National Police Clearance that specifies ‘unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups’.

Do I need to be COVID-19 vaccinated?

Yes, COTA Visitors are required to be fully COVID vaccinated, and to visit in a residential aged care facility, a current flu vaccination is required too.

How long does the process take to become a volunteer?

The application, interview and training process doesn’t take long — the training is approximately two hours. Acquiring a National Police Clearance can take some time and we recommend doing this online if possible.

Are there any out of pocket expenses?

COTA SA volunteers can be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses including your travel to and from visits.

Am I covered by insurance while I am volunteering?

COTA SA provides public liability and voluntary workers personal accident insurance for our volunteers.

Am I eligible for a COTA Visitor to visit me?

If you are receiving a Home Care Package (or have been approved and are waiting for one) or if you live in a Residential Aged Care Home, you are likely to be eligible for the COTA Visitor program. If you are in an area that we don’t cover we will refer you on to another provider for a new friend.

Due to the current demand for COTA Visitors, there may be a considerable wait time to be matched with a Visitor.

You may find it helpful to contact other Community Visitors Scheme providers. The contact details for the South Australian network can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website at the link below.

Or call a friendly 'FriendLine' volunteer for a chat over the phone. FriendLine is for anyone who needs to reconnect or just wants a chat.

Phone 08 7078 6229 or freecall 1800 424 287
10am–8pm, seven days a week.

Can a COTA Visitor visit me in my own home?

Yes, that is precisely what a COTA Visitor can do. You can share a cuppa, enjoy a game or craft together, sit in the garden, or if you’re able to, go for a short walk.

Can a COTA Visitor visit me in an aged care home?

Yes, we will assign a Visitor to you to visit you regularly in your Aged Care Home at a time that suits you both.

How long will I need to wait for a visitor?

We recruit volunteers all the time, however it can take some time to find a volunteer in your area that matches your availability or meets your specific preferences.

You may find it helpful to contact other Community Visitors Scheme providers. The contact details for the South Australian network can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website at the link below.

Or call a friendly 'FriendLine' volunteer for a chat over the phone. FriendLine is for anyone who needs to reconnect or just wants a chat.

Phone 08 7078 6229 or freecall 1800 424 287
10am–8pm, seven days a week.

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