That’s where Amana Living’s seniors’ day trips and activities program, Kites, can help.

Kites provides social support for seniors in Perth who want to go on outings and meet new people.

The social club is aimed at people aged 65 years and over and provides outings in Perth from Monday to Saturday. Bus trips last approximately six hours depending on the tour locations which include Hillarys, Fremantle, Toodyay, the Swan Valley, Araluen, Kings Park and many more.

A monthly activities planner based on suggestions from the seniors taking part is provided, and clients can choose to attend weekly, fortnightly or monthly. There are day trips for foodies, history buffs, movie aficionados and more, with good food and a cuppa an essential part of all trips.

Amana Living also operates a Kites Club every Friday which include a movie club, history club, animal lovers club, gardening club and pamper club. Each club is geared to a special interest and involves a trip to a specific location, whether that’s the cinemas, museum or garden centre. Plus, there’s the Op Shop Hop for treasure hunters and lovers of all things vintage.

Pat Tuffley says taking part in the Kites program is the best thing she’s ever done in her whole life.

Pat said: “I’ve been going on the trips for four years and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I’ve made friends on the trips and we always have a ball. Some might say these trips have helped us to rebuild our lives.

I love all the places we visit and our driver takes us everywhere and anywhere from right into the hills and down to Mandurah. People like me just don’t have the opportunity to do this as I don’t get out much anymore.

I can't speak more highly of Amana Living and all the staff are wonderful. Our driver Kathryn took us to a food market the other day so we can buy fresh fruit and vegies straight from the growers. You don’t get that in the supermarket.”

On top of the day trips, Amana Living runs a regular Shopper Bus Service every Monday to Friday, 9am to 3.30pm, so seniors can do their grocery shopping at a local shopping centre. A Shopper Bus Club also operates with visits to destinations such as Bunnings, Ikea and Spotlight.

The Kites day trips and Shopper Bus Service suit seniors who are able to get on and off a bus, including people with walking sticks or walkers, with support available from Amana Living’s trained staff. All trips are COVID safe with seniors taking part in a COVID questionnaire prior to going on a trip, as well having their temperature checked before getting on the bus. Hand sanitiser is freely available on all transport and we encourage all clients to check in at each venue.

Whether it’s the Kites day trips or the Shopper Bus Service, these programs help Perth seniors build their social circle. Remaining social is a hugely important aspect of life and many of the seniors who take part in the day trips continue their friendships outside of the organised Amana Living events. The day trips also provide an opportunity for couples to go out together on new adventures.

Pauline Dugmore has been attending the Kites social outings for five years, starting one month after her husband passed away.

Pauline explains, “I was contacted by HACC, as it was known then, and they asked me if I was lonely and whether I’d like to go out for a day trip, plus have coffee and lunch. I decided to give it a go and started going on the trips fortnightly and I loved it.

I look forward to the trips. Every week you’re going out with friends and the drivers are lovely. The same driver calls me every week around 8.00am to advise me what time she will collect me from home. The buses are small, holding eight passengers and not always full but we have plenty to talk about and a lot of laughter takes place.

I go on a trip every Wednesday and we’re taken somewhere for morning coffee where we meet up with the other Amana Living Kites buses, so we get to mingle with people from other areas of Perth too. We have a run around before going somewhere for lunch and I’m usually home just before three.

Every Friday I attend one of the club outings. I go to the gardening club, movie club, pamper cub and the history club, which is my favourite. All the Friday clubs are popular and the gardening club is great because we are taken to different garden centres where we have coffee and then walk around the centre when I usually purchase plants. After that we have lunch at one of the many taverns or cafes in the area of the garden centre.

Movie club is either at Joondalup or Innaloo and this, too, is very popular. The pamper club is held at Edith Cowan University where I get a manicure and a pedicure from the students who are studying to be beauticians. I could write a book about the outings as they are so enjoyable.

It’s just wonderful, and all the staff are so friendly, kind and helpful. I’ve also made a lot of friends who attend every week. My family tells me I have a very busy social life!

I’d tell anyone interested to give it a go. It’s well worth it.”

Seniors may be eligible to attend the social outings through government subsidised programs, such as the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Package program. It can also be paid for or through a fee for service arrangement. To learn more about Kites or the Shopper Bus Service, contact the Kites Service Coordinators on 1300 020 161.