While loneliness is an unfortunately common condition for older people, new mums can also experience feelings of isolation as they come to terms with motherhood and create a new “normal” with their baby. So why not unite these demographics together? This Brisbane retirement village is doing just that.
Local little ones as young as seven months old and their mums have brought joy to TriCare’s Compton Gardens Retirement Community residents during their visits – instilling a sense of belonging for all who attend.
Martha Vettler has been a resident of the village for eight months and said it was lovely to see the children develop between each visit.
Jenelle Dawes, another relatively new Compton Gardens resident, said she looks forward to the visits, especially the singing at the end.
“I miss my kids, I have four of my own and two grandchildren, so this is really nice. They’re all very curious and investigative, it’s fun,” Jenelle said.
Sarah Longton, who has been bringing her seven-month-old daughter Alex to the group for the past couple of months, has found the visits have helped keep the mum and bub occupied.
“My husband’s been away for work, so we’ve been trying to find things to fill up our days while he’s away,” she explained.
Inspired by the intergenerational care seen on ABC’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, TriCare Lifestyle Coordinator and former early childhood teacher Leonie Coad saw room to implement something similar with her residents.
“Connection is vital for all of us, whether you’re a new mum looking to get out of the house and make friends with likeminded residents, or a retiree who doesn’t have family nearby or simply wants to offer young parents a break from their often-lonely routine, we provide that,” she said.
According to Leonie and the TriCare team, you can’t put a price on human connection.
“There is nothing better than seeing the residents feeling valued, needed and loved,” she added.