Budget 2020: More jobs for the young and better support for the old? Oh hey! Lively does that!

Express interest now in employment or support through Lively's unique intergenerational model

COVID-19 has hit young and older people in our community particularly hard. Youth unemployment has spiked, and entry-level employment industries have been decimated. Older people have been especially isolated, and the cracks in our aged care system have been laid bare for all to see. 

Last night, the federal budget acknowledged these challenges with a huge push to create more jobs for young people through the JobMaker scheme, and to boost the availability and quality of support for older community members. At Lively, we think that’s great - because we’ve spent the last five years doing just that! 

Who is Lively?

Lively is a not-for-profit based on a simple idea - we bring young and older people together to support each other. We envisage a world where all young and older people feel valued, connected and supported. To get there, we train and employ young jobseekers (aged 18-25) to offer services that help older people stay connected and live well. And in the process, we build meaningful relationships across the generations, so that young people can also learn from the life experiences, knowledge and perspectives that older people have to offer.

The idea for Lively was born when our Founder, Anna, met and documented the life story of an older lady named Patricia, who had found herself isolated and alone at the end of a life full of adventure. Witnessing Patricia’s experience seeded the idea for Lively’s unique intergenerational model; a model that has so far employed 77 young people to support over 1300 community members. And we’re just getting started... 

Lively offers a range of supports for older community members, including help with technology, documenting life stories, social meet-ups and help around the house. In 2019 we were excited to be accredited as a home care provider, offering a unique model of care for older people with access to a Home Care Package. More recently, we’ve also been employing young people to offer virtual check-ins and social support for older people during lockdown, and we’re about to launch ‘Buds’ - a gardening program that pairs older people who want to stay involved in their garden with an eager young Helper who can lend a hand.

Across all of these activities, two things are constant: 

  1. Young people receive training and purposeful paid work, building their confidence and introducing them to career paths in the growing aged care sector; and 

  2. We foster meaningful, two-way relationships and connections between the young and older people - connections that go beyond the practical ‘jobs to be done’. 

So what does that feel like in practice for young and older participants? 

Well, you could ask Reservoir resident, Willeke, who has been working with her Helper, Nate, to learn how to use technology to connect with her family during Melbourne’s lockdown. 

In Willeke’s words: 

“He’s so funny! He keeps my spirits up. Now I can Zoom with my family and my grandchildren. We can chat and have a laugh again; it’s magic!” 

Or in Nate’s: 

“The moment that Willeke and I got connected on Zoom and saw each other’s faces… I wish I could have taken a photo! I’ve also been working with a lady who has only 8% eyesight and we set up her phone with better accessibility functions. She was almost in tears with how happy she was.”

You could also ask Maxwell from Coburg:

“This has been a journey of rediscovering and reinventing! It’s been magic. Ella has been wonderful - so professional, patient and tolerant. I’m better at communicating with people, I feel more at ease. I’ve been reflecting about how different I am since I started with Lively. I’ve come out of my shell. I’m blossoming and enjoying the appointments, I regret that I haven’t done it sooner”.

And when we survey young and older participants, the results speak for themselves...

  • 86% of older participants feel more socially connected.

  • 93% feel that their daily life is more interesting and enjoyable thanks to their Helper’s support. 

  • 100% of Helpers have increased confidence and are more aware and respectful of older people’s experiences. 

  • 92% have increased self-esteem and a greater sense of contribution and purpose in the community. 

  • 93% are more likely to consider a career in the aged care sector or related to the support of older people.

So what's next?

At this time of particular need for young and older people, Lively can answer the government’s call and we’re ready to step up and expand our model across Australia. We’re taking expressions of interest from anyone who wants Lively in their community. Whether you’re a young person looking for work, an older person looking for a hand or an individual seeking support for your ageing parent, fill in this form to register your interest, or call us up on 03 9070 4746 to find out more. 

We’re buzzing with optimism and excitement about what the future of youth and ageing in Australia holds. Come join us!