The children from the Montessori School and their grand-friends enjoyed a Mad Hatters Tea Party; celebrating the end of their busy 6-month research project, focusing on the benefits of an Intergenerational Program.
For the party, the Children’s House of Montessori and the staff dressed up with crazy hats and socks. And the children played games and held performances for the residents.
The project was based off international studies showing the benefits of multigenerational activities and paired this with Montessori principles. The program saw many positive improvements since it began in April, including a reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
The research component of the intergenerational program is now complete. But the strong connection formed between the children and their grand-friends has resulted in the program being extended for the near future.
A six month local research project started in Glades Bay Gardens last Thursday. It aimed to connect the wisest and youngest generations of North Sydney.
The program involved The Children’s House of Montessori in East Ryde and residents of Twilight Aged Care. The initiative was designed to bridge the social gap between the old and young.
Intergenerational programs bring diverse groups together and unite communities by building relationships and sharing knowledge. This specific project focuses on the benefits of an Intergenerational program using Montessori principles within an aged care setting. It pairs up seniors and children for creative activities to open conversation and learn new skills together.
Denise Underwood, the principal of The Children’s House of Montessori, said that the program gives the children experience outside of an excursion format and allows them to genuinely interact with the community.
A report from Generations United described the far-reaching benefits of these programs in their studies in America. Their research showed how engagement of the children and seniors benefits communities as a whole.
Intergenerational Programs are able to unite diverse groups of people and build social understanding. They provide role models and positive interactions while breaking down negative, generational stereotypes.
The children visiting delighted everyone living at Twilight. They loved the energy that they brought to the day. Dorothy, a resident at Glades Bay Gardens, said that the children were “absolutely wonderful”.
Interacting with children encourages those older to be more active and cognitively alert; improving heart rate and mental health.
Julianne Walker, the volunteer and project coordinator behind the enterprise, was excited about the project. She said that the program has just began, but response from the children and those at Twilight are overwhelmingly positive. The program has 1-2 hours of group interaction per week with a different theme, until its conclusion in mid-September. She looks forward to seeing how the program and relationships will evolve in the coming months.
A Christmas feast and community cheer at Glades Bay Residential Aged Care Facility!
The food outshone Santa this Christmas at Gladesville!
This is to be expected, as the residential village is known for its Christmas feasts and outstanding cuisines. Head cook, Ramina Shiekhali, had been preparing this jolly feast since 4 o’clock in the morning and the results were spectacular.
Towers of chocolate covered strawberries. Rice bubbles shaped into Christmas trees. Mango and avocado salad. Soy chicken drum sticks. Trifles and so much more.
The great food was no surprise to those living at Gladesville however, as resident Helen Spurrs told her daughter, Rebecca Knight, “The food is just always lovely”.
Twilight’s annual Christmas party provides opportunity for families like Helen’s to come together for the holidays.
But other residents use the Christmas lunch as an opportunity to show off some talent. Liz Matthews, a resident of Gladesville for the past four years, makes an annual performance from anything from poetry to singing and brought a rendition of Jingle Bells to the party.
Gladesville Public School wrote up Christmas messages for staff and volunteers to hand out to the residents. And community groups had contributed gifts for Twilight’s residents as well.
However, it wasn’t just the residents receiving presents, but the staff as well. Families of the residents came in and delivered gift baskets and homemade goods.
One of the parcels included fidget cushions made by one of the residents daughters for residents with dementia to engage in tactile stimulation.
The Christmas lunch has been a long-time tradition of Twilight aged care, to bring people together during the holiday. It is held annually in Gladesville Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.