Residents from an aged care facility in WA’s South West have been taking part in colourful, noisy, and fun sessions at a child care centre as part of a new program inspired by the ABC’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds TV series.
The partnership between Baptistcare Mirrambeena Residential Care and the Children’s Centre of Margaret River has proved to be a hit with intergenerational participants and staff alike.
Patricia Twine is one of the residents who boards the bus each fortnight to visit the excited children, and thoroughly enjoys the outing.
“I adore seeing them, we have a ball,” she said.
“I love being with the children because they are so fun to be around.”
Nicole Battese is a coordinator at the children’s centre and says it is lovely to see the recognition develop between the elderly visitors and children.
“Some children might not see their grandparents very often or vice versa.
“So it’s great for everybody to have a nice morning together.”
Each week the residents take part in different activities, according to Baptistcare Mirrambeena lifestyle coordinator Anni Kamppi.
“We’ve had music, one time we brought one of our games in here and showed them how to play … there’s always a different topic but usually we end up singing and dancing,” she said.
“They’ve got guinea pigs here so we’ve done guinea pig handling.
“Even if they’re not that keen to come sometimes, by the time they leave they’ve got a big smile on their face.”
A visible improvement in residents
Ms Kamppi says the outings are one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
“Everybody is happy and it’s nice to leave the premises and come somewhere different with a change of scenery and people,” she said.
“They always come back feeling good about themselves, and so do we.
“It’s a win-win.”
Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell says the partnership is an example of how intergenerational activities can be mutually beneficial.
“The power of connection between these two different generations can’t be underestimated, and we are grateful that the centre recognises the value of our two organisations coming together in this way.”
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