'Lost' seniors found by Betty

To hear senior's needs, Betty sets out to find them

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HER STAMPING GROUND: Betty Garlett contacted seniors by leaving addressed envelopes in local chemists' prescription bags.

HER STAMPING GROUND: Betty Garlett contacted seniors by leaving addressed envelopes in local chemists' prescription bags.

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Fremantle elder finds creative ways to give a isolated seniors a voice.

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WHEN Noongar elder Betty Garlett became a member of the Freo Age Friendly Working Group, formed to find out how to best cater for the city's ageing population, she went the extra mile to ensure as many older residents as possible were consulted.

Betty came up with the idea of placing a stamped and addressed postcard into prescription bags at the local chemist as a way of contacting more isolated residents.

She also took pamphlets to her doctor's surgery and the cinema.

"If you want to reach older people you have to think about where they go and what they feel comfortable with," she said.

"Not everyone finds it easy to go online and fill out a form."

After engaging with more than 150 people, the city has adopted an age-friendly plan, to ensure older people can live full and healthy lives and remain active in their community.

Through the Age Friendly City Plan 2019-24 it will aim to decrease loneliness, increase social participation and volunteering, provide inter-generational and cross-cultural activities and improve communication about services for people over the age of 55.

The city provides a range of low-cost or free activities for seniors and took out the Age Friendly Local Government category at the WA Seniors Awards last November.

Throughout June Betty will be sharing stories in a free series for over-55s at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Fremantle.

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