STAR In News: Redlands local not so alone since community services started

STAR Community Services client Dorelle Stollznow, 80, felt alone after she lost the last member of her family.

Suffering severe grief and depression, she struggled to have friends.

“I was somewhat afraid,” Ms Stollznow said.

Ms Stollznow said that since STAR put carer Tony Pitt on the job it had turned her life around.

“My STAR carer is amazing and we go out to different places to explore and have tea,” she said.

“I get help with my shopping and carrying parcels. I feel like the things that worry me are solved but best of all I can laugh again.”

Although the STAR group is keen to help seniors, it also encourages them to lead active and independent lifestyles as part of Queensland Seniors Week  from August 19 to 27.

STAR general manager Patsy Wilshire said for the past 20 years, the home-grown group had helped seniors stay engaged and make the most of their later years.

She said the 120-volunteer strong organisation offered transport, home care packages and other aged care services which had helped improve the lives of 6500-plus clients across south east Queensland.

“A lot still needs to be done to support Australia’s ageing population,” she said. “We need to ensure the older members of our community are supported and nurtured as they face special health challenges, both physical and psychological.”

Helping people with everyday jobs and making medical appointments allowed people to stay in their homes longer.

“Our services are incredibly beneficial and we believe crucial for the wellbeing of our elderly,” Ms Wilshire said. “Australia’s aging population continues to increase. If we look at the past 20 years, the number of persons aged over 85 years has grown by a huge 141 per cent and from 12 to 15 per cent for those over 65 years.”

A focus of the group was helping the elderly overcome loneliness and social isolation, with each volunteer offereing clients company and meaningful engagement.

“Our dedicated volunteers help clients reconnect with the broader community. Loneliness among the elderly is a major concern and we need to be aware that there isn’t just one solution that fits all,” she said.

“With our services now in Redlands, Ipswich and expanding in the Gold Coast and Logan, we look forward to supporting as many of the elderly in the community as possible.

“We hope that the efforts of our volunteers and staff can inspire others in the community to connect with our seniors … all the time through a phone call, a knock on the door or simply a brief chat over coffee. A simple gesture can mean so much.” STAR Companionship Program recently received a boost from the Redland City Council in the form of a $10,000  community grant.

STAR also provides NDIS and disability support services, home care packages, in home care, companionship support and community transport.

Visit or contact 3821 6699 for more information.

Article originally published in Redland City Bulletin on August 10, 2017.