Written by Shaun Ryan
It’s easy to sit back and get lost in the stories of our older generations, especially when the yarn becomes more entertaining as the years go by. Perhaps the details are a little more embellished each time or the jokes are finely tuned to meet the gaining age of the eager grandchild on the couch.
I remember when I was still a kid, listening to my grandfather tell me about his cars, how he played
club cricket, fixed his bat with pig skin and crafted his own tools.
It’s easy to forget that our senior community members are not just sources of fun stories and the
biggest hugs at Christmas time. They’ve played their part and added value through decades of hard work to ensure their kin have what they need to excel, achieve more and care for their own families when they eventually fly the nest.
They’re important people in our lives and deserve to be respected and acknowledged.
That’s where Older Men Unlimited (OMU) comes in. The group is a band of mates that meets regularly in Hervey Bay and Maryborough to ensure our region’s senior men do not suffer from the risks of isolation as they advance in age.
Living alone with little social interaction is a sad reality for many men, especially those whose
families have moved to different parts of the country, they’ve outlived their closest friends or even lost a life partner.
Older Men Unlimited, according to manager David Hoodless, is all about supporting for older men who might otherwise be alone.
David described the group as a “support network” that allows people to get out of their homes, interact with other people and continue living life to the fullest.
He said depression, dementia and suicide are real risks for older men who find themselves isolated
from the outside world.
“We want to get them out and about. They are still valued members of society and are definitely not
has-beens,” David explained.
The group meets regularly for morning and afternoon teas, art classes, fishing trips and walking groups. Outreach programs also see members visiting other older men in nursing and private homes, leading to strong friendships and positivity.
“We are always looking to attract new members. If you want to see what we’re all about, come and have a look and if you’re interested then join up!”
David said members are also encouraged to establish smaller groups based on shared interests.
“If there are members who are interested in bowls, for example, we would say to them get out there and play a game together.”
He said doing so helps include people in the community. “And everyone feels better with a couple mates around,” he added.
If 2021 is the year you want to make new friends, remain active and have a laugh with other likeminded people then Older Men Unlimited might be exactly what you’re looking for.
You can find more information at http://www.omu.org.au or by calling 4128 9011. Also, you can catch up
with members face-to-face at the Pier Market every Saturday morning either selling raffle tickets or
The Hervey Bay clubrooms are situated at the Seagulls Football Ground (187 Bideford St).
Maryborough clubrooms are based at the airport in Saltwater Creek Road.