Intergenerational Success with Montessori

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.

The Children’s House of Montessori wearing their crazy hats and socks for the 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.

One of the Twilight residents, Elisabeth, with one of the children of Montessori House for the Intergenerational Program

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.

Re-uniting the community in intergenerational project

Some of the craft projects the participants made!

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.

Pam and her partner

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.

The Montessori children in front of the Glades Bay Gardens home

4 Women, 61 Years of Service

We were very happy to see so many members of our Hunters Hill Village team be awarded their 10 years of service badge!

From left to right: Yvette Fonseca, Elizabeth Sikimeti, Gladys Maseko (the Facility Manager of Hunters Hill Village), Iwona Taborek and Chandrika Herath.

Combined, these amazing women have given a life-time of care- 61 years:

  • Yvette Fonseca (Cook, 12 years at Twilight)
  • Elizabeth Sikimeti (PCA, 11 years at Twilight)
  • Iwona Taborek (PCA, 20 years at Twilight)
  • Chandrika Herath (Cook/RAO, 18 years at Twilight)

The 10 year service badge is a new initiative of the Twilight Aged Care Board. They wanted to acknowledge the exceptional work of those who has been with Twilight for over a decade.

This is an incredible achievement, and we want to thank all of them for their decade(s!) of compassion!

Art Therapy Fundraiser a Success!

Some of the beautiful works by our residents across Twilight!

Over $2K worth of cognitive art therapy funds were raised in our Senior Art Exhibition at Glades Bay Gardens last October.

The art show was created by our residents from across all of Twilight Aged Care and included gorgeous works from water colour to gold leaf. The canvases were sold to support creative programs held fortnightly by Art-Based Cognitive Therapy for those living in the residential homes.

Julianne Walker, our volunteer and project coordinator, said that the exhibition was a success in more than one way. The show raised over $2,262 for the art therapy and connected the residents to the local community while positively stimulating and engaging them.

Dementia is the single largest cause of disability for older Australians. Over half of the residential age care population is living with dementia. It affects three in 10 Australian’s over the age of 85 and one in 10 Australians over 65.

Art therapy has been seen to reduce the effects of dementia and improve wellbeing and motor functions. The process of making the artworks has been greatly beneficial to those living at Twilight Aged Care and engaged residents cognitively and technically.

Julianne said that art therapy provides great enjoyment for the residents living with dementia, and those suffering from depression and anxiety.

She has stated that having this program across the Twilight homes provides a “sense of community”. Select artworks from the exhibition are now proudly decorating the homes in a permanent in-house collection.

Julianne is now busy planning for the next art show in October 2019, and says she expects it to be even bigger and better!

Christmas at Horton House

Christmas came early this year at Horton House Residential Aged Care Facility as families and guests came together for a festive celebration!

Residents and guests enjoying a Christmas afternoon tea!

The residents and guests savoured a glass of wine (or bubbly) and an extensive variety of finger foods. With the home cooking up pastries, sandwiches, fruit platters, Christmas coconut balls and fruit mince pies.

Residents like Annette, noted the ‘festive atmosphere’ of the day, “everyone’s happy and very lovely”, she said.

Fiona, thanked all the staff and volunteers for their effort they put into the day, by assisting in preparation for the meals, catering to those attending and assisting the residents prepare for the party. Their efforts in going ‘above and beyond’ helped make the Christmas a merry one for everyone.

For Fiona, the season is about bringing people and families together and “enjoying each other’s’ company”.

The event meant that for some couples like Max and his wife, Ruth, who lives at Horton House, could celebrate Christmas with the Horton ‘family’. The couple has known each other since they were fourteen and Max still visits his wife every day. Christmas celebrations are an important part of their lives.

The Christmas celebration has been a long-time tradition of Twilight aged care, to bring people together during this special time of year.

Christmas at Glades Bay Gardens

A Christmas feast and community cheer at Glades Bay Residential Aged Care Facility!

A look at some the wonderful food that Ramina and staff put together for the Christmas lunch

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.

Christmas at Glengarry

Presents from Santa, school kids and a diamond anniversary have made Christmas merrier at Glengarry Village Residential Aged Care.

Dozens of families and friends came together in celebration of Glengarry’s annual Christmas lunch on Thursday the 31th December. All the residents were in their best clothes, wearing paper crowns and breaking Christmas crackers. There was delicious food, a live performance from singer Leyla Nassif and chatter all around.

Jinky Mactal, the recreational activities officer, was the life of the party and had been sitting up and planning since 2 o’clock that morning. She had gone ‘all out’ for the Christmas lunch, and was constantly grabbing more chairs for the increasing number of resident’s guests.

It was well worth the effort according to Jinky, “To get everyone together” she said, “That is the one thing that matters to me”.

Jack and Jill Kindergarten had visited earlier in the day to sing Christmas carols to the residents. The children had been coming weekly to the home to visit those at the home as part of an Intergenerational Program that Glengarry has. The lunch was also special for another reason, it was the 60th wedding anniversary of resident David Wilcken and his wife Bridget. They were given a bunch of orchids by Twilight’s facility manager Margaret Smithson in celebration of their diamond anniversary.

However, they were not the only ones to get presents this Christmas, as local community groups and even the families had donated gifts for the residents. Santa came around with labelled and wrapped gifts for all the residents, with surprises from slippers to novels.

George Hammond-Burns as this year’s Santa

Everyone fell in love with Frankie, the soft hearted giant from Delta Therapy Dog Volunteers that put on antlers and served as Santa’s reindeer. And at the end of the day Frankie was also given a gift from Santa- a juicy bone.

George as  Santa, and Frankie the dog as Santa’s reindeer

Residents of the memory support wing, ‘Eloura’ had a quiet in the courtyard to enjoy their own Christmas festivities. Student nurses and volunteers catered their lunch with soft music for a relaxing time for the residents.

The food fit the season perfectly with classics like shaved ham and beef with gravy, roast vegetables and peas. Desert was also very popular with residents and families alike with homemade mince pies, fruit cakes and pastries.Jinky and Margaret thanked guests and staff for making the day special for the residents at the end of the lunch. 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 Glengarry Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.

Christmas at Hunters Hill

It was a jolly time for those at Hunter’s Hill Residential Aged Care Facility, as families, school kids and even Santa himself joined for the festivities!

Residents and families together enjoying the Christmas lunch

The community came together to create a merry experience for everyone with carols, presents and festive red and green food. Hunters Hill Public students made the Christmas cards for those staying at the home, and local groups donated raffle prizes and gifts for Santa and the children to give to the residents.

Heilala Galbraithe, a staff member at Hunters Hill said that the event meant that everyone could come together in a family Christmas that all their residents could enjoy. “They are our family too”, she said “like our own grandparents”.

Staff who had the day off, like Heilala herself, still made the trip to the home to join those setting up the lunch festivities. Facility manager, Gladys Maseko, thanked all the relatives and staff for coming and making the day more magical for the residents and their guests.

The Hunters Hill Congregational Community Church choir lead by pastor Julie Grancha, brought music and energy to the day. They had an early show that carried into lunch time, and brought a joyful spirit to the Christmas celebrations with classics like Jingle Bells and Holy Night.

However, the highlight of the day was when George Burns, one of the residents, performed the old Irish balled Danny Boy with Julie and the church choir. It was an emotionally charged moment for his family, as well as staff and residents like Helene Polhill, who recalled the moment, saying it “Brought me to tears”.

George Burns before his wonderful performance of ‘Danny Boy’

The food was catered for by Twilight’s passionate cooks, including Yvette Fonseca, who crafted a feast for those attending. Residents and families enjoyed food like vibrant Christmas coloured panna cotta and chicken puffs- the “all-time-favourite”.

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 Hunters Hill Village Residential Aged Care Facility as well as throughout all of their four homes in the northern Sydney area.