Van St Louis

How our Victor Harbor social programs improve the lives of our local residents

Lisa Hodgson is the Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator at St Louis Home Care in Victor Harbor. The team organises weekly social programs for local residents, creating opportunities for people to develop friendships and develop a wider social network. They’ll also take the time to proactively identify people who would benefit from having more social connection to prevent social isolation in the community.


We now know that loneliness at any age has negative effects on both mental and physical health and wellbeing. There is evidence showing that loneliness impacts your heart health and contributes to a faster rate cognitive decline and dementia. 

Lisa shares why and how the team at St Louis organise these social programs and the impact they’ve had on local residents.


What is the main purpose behind your social programs?

“The Fleurieu Peninsula is a small community and you’d assume many people know each other. But this isn’t always the case. Some people have moved here from Adelaide and others have seen long-time friends pass away. As people get older, they may not be as mobile or have the transport options they used to. 

Our social programs are developed with these goals in mind:

  • To reduce social isolation in people’s lives
  • To encourage friendships and social connections
  • To generate social opportunities and support our clients’ health and wellness on a daily basis”

What sort of outings do you organise and how often?

“We organise a social outing every week and we have our own comfortable bus which seats 8 people. Some events are 3 hours and others are longer day trips of 6-8 hours depending on where we go. 

Together with Kathy our bus driver, we arrange the outings around what our clients are asking for and we tailor our trips to meet their needs.

We are lucky to live on the Fleurieu Peninsula, we have many beautiful places to visit. We pick everyone up from their home in the morning and head off from there. Some of our more popular trips include:

  • Mount Compass to Goolwa drives
  • Glenelg to Sellicks drive
  • Monato Zoo is always popular
  • Exploring the country side from the bus. For many of our clients, sitting on the bus and chatting with other people while meandering through the hills is a favourite
  • Sitting on the beach at Port Elliot or Middleton and watching the waves roll in is another favourite
  • Exploring food and dining out
  • Concerts – one of our clients plays the piano and has played music with sing-a-long tunes
  • Aldinga Biplanes – we take trips out to the Aldinga airstrip and will hop on a plane for an aerial tour

We’re always open to suggestions and new trips and will do our best to accommodate new requests.”


How has it helped the local community? Can you give example of where social connection has improved the lives of people?

“We can honestly say that laughter is the best medicine.

As soon as we get on the bus, we start telling stories and we laugh together. We all thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and the scenery. Our clients look forward to the bus trips.

The trips themselves foster friendships and connections so people feel more connected to their local community. It makes a difference to be able to say hello and have a chat with new friends down at the local shopping centre for example. It makes a difference to their health and wellbeing.

We’re a smaller community here on the Fleurieu, but people don’t always connect and find themselves more alone than they want to be for various reasons. People who have moved here from Adelaide may not have family members or old friends close by for that extra support. Our social programs give our clients a wonderful social outlet, and stories to tell their families in Adelaide.”

What sort of feedback have people given you?

These are some of the comments we’ve had from our clients:

“Well if it wasn’t for St Louis, I wouldn’t be having so much fun!”

“The day was just lovely, just lovely.”

“I had a fabulous time”

“I just loved driving through Port Elliot along the coast line, it brought back so many fond memories.”

“My favourite trip.”

Feedback from a family – “She looks forward to the social outings and talks about them often.”


Drop in for a cuppa at the St Louis Victor Harbor Home Care office

You’re always welcome to drop in for a cup of coffee or tea with the team at St Louis at 31 Victoria Street, Victor Harbor, or call us on 08 8552 1481. The office is open every week day and you never know who else you might meet there. We’ll discuss home care options with you and what’s on for the social calendar too!

Other blogs of interest

21 Ways to Use Your Home Care Package to Stay Socially Connected

Avoiding loneliness as you get older – ways to stay socially connected