Older Men: New Ideas (OM:NI) groups around Victoria are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on their life experience, these men are taking on the new challenge of isolation with positivity and resilience.
While all face-to-face group meetings have gone into hibernation, the men are keeping in touch via phone or emails. Not everyone is digitally literate or has access to computers or the internet. However, one OM:NI group, Greensborough, recently used the videoconferencing software Zoom to meet remotely. On 31 March 2020, 12 men – including two aged in their nineties — tuned in to discuss their thoughts and share their experiences. The meeting was a great success (with a little assistance from family for some), and Greensborough OM:NI are now planning weekly Zoom meetings with even more participants. The Panton Hill OM:NI group will also trial a Zoom meeting in April, while Diamond Creek have scheduled a meeting using Google Hangouts.
All 28 OM:NI groups are led by volunteers. Men can build supportive friendships, sharing their stories in confidence, trust and acceptance.
If you’d like to get involved, call COTA Victoria and ask about your nearest group.