September 9, 2019
Written by Rachel Bailey
Intergenerational relationships between aged care clients and kindergarten children, have proven to be socially, mentally and physically beneficial for everyone involved.
Research has found that intergenerational relationships formed through activities such play and sharing stories, have led to the increased mobility and cognition of aged care clients, as well as them developing a more positive outlook on life.
The Arcare Surrey Hills community have developed a close relationship with local kindergarten, Florence Road Pre School. The kinder kids visit at least twice a month, and they like to refer to the clients as their grandparents.
Lifestyle coordinator, Monique is commitment to developing and maintaining intergenerational relationships at Arcare Surrey Hills, as she has seen the benefits firsthand.
“You can really see the difference, that the children make to the clients; their entire faces light up. The children take the clients out of their heads, and they find themselves being encouraged to engage and give things a go. How could to possibly say ‘no’ to these cute kids?” Monique said.
The Arcare Surrey Hills community have been running the program for over a year now, and both sides are reporting outstanding improvement and growth.
During each visit, the clients and kids will engage in a new activity, whether that’s drawing, reading, construction blocks, singing, dancing and/or a special project such as a science experiment.
As some of the children don’t have any grandparents or any that live nearby, the visits provide the children with a valuable opportunity to refine their social skills by interacting by their elders.
“The experience has really helped open up the kids as well. Their curiosity about the aged care clients is driving some of the otherwise quiet children, to ask questions and get outside of their comfort zone.” One of the kindergarten teachers said.
The clients always look forward to the kinder kids’ next visit to the residence. “They bring a ray of sunshine to our community.” Monique said.
Rachel Bailey is the Community Marketing Officer for Victoria. Rachel has been with Arcare since February 2018, when she started in the role of Relationship Coordinator. Rachel has previously worked in a wide range of roles that equipped her for her responsibilities as Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Victoria. Rachel has previously held marketing roles and administration roles in a range of industries, earning a range of valuable communications skills that she brings to her role today. Rachel attended Lyndhurst Secondary College in Cranbourne, Victoria, graduating with her Victorian Certificate of Education in 2014. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Communication and Media Studies & Public Relations in 2017. Rachel is passionate about her work and believes that strong communication strategies are the key to creating a closer connection between residents in aged care communities and the wider community. Rachel is a firm believer in regular communications to help friends and family keep updated on the lives of their loved ones who are enjoying life in Arcare residences.