Bringing young children into our homes allows our residents to remain connected with the community and to feel needed and useful. Earlier this month we invited the children from Jack & Jill Kindergarten, Mosman to our Glengarry home for a morning tea. It was a wonderful, happy morning with the children asking their new “Grand-Friends” many questions during their visit. The residents enjoyed the interaction, playing games and sharing stories with the children, with the children now attending on a regular fortnightly basis.
Intergenerational programs have shown to improve the wellbeing of seniors, in particular those with advanced dementia, who can become lucid and engaged when chatting to the toddlers might trigger memories of raising their own children. The children are noted to show an increase in language skills as well as emotional and social development. We have certainly found that our residents are often more focused and happy when the children are around, which remains for a period of time following the visit.
At Twilight we are fortunate to have the generous support of many older students too with high school students actively participating in our Volunteer program, visiting the homes and assisting with activities such as the knitting group and Art Therapy. We look forward to welcoming students from Ravenswood School for Girls, St Aloysius’ College and St Ignatius College, Riverview in the months ahead. These intergenerational relationships are a win-win for all involved, providing a happy environment in our homes and keeping our residents connected to the community.