New program unites young and old: “The power of connection can’t be underestimated”

Residents from an aged care facility in WA’s South West have participated in boisterous, vibrant and fun sessions as part of a new program based at a childcare centre. 

Bringing joy to both intergenerational participants and staff alike, the partnership between Baptistcare Mirrambeena Residential Care and the Children’s Centre of Margaret River has proved to be a winner.

Boarding the bus each fortnight, Patricia Twine is one of the residents who greatly enjoys the outings to visit the excited – and usually full of beans – children. 

Speaking to the ABC, she said, “I adore seeing them, we have a ball. 

“I love being with the children because they are so fun to be around.”

Grandparent figures vital 

A coordinator at the children’s centre, Nicole Battese, describes how lovely it is to bear witness to the growing recognition between the senior guests and children. 

“When they arrive, the kids get so excited,” she recalled.

“Some children might not see their grandparents very often or vice versa.

“So, it’s great for everybody to have a nice morning together.”

Baptistcare Mirambeena lifestyle coordinator, Anni Kamppi, detailed how each week the residents and kids get to be involved in varying activities. 

“We’ve had music, one time we brought one of our games in here and showed them how to play … there’s always a different topic but usually we end up singing and dancing,” she explained.

“They’ve got guinea pigs here so we’ve done guinea pig handling.”

Baptistcare CEO Russel Bricknell highlighted how the partnership shows the mutually beneficial outcomes of intergenerational activities. 

“The power of connection between these two different generations can’t be underestimated, and we are grateful that the centre recognises the value of our two organisations coming together in this way.

“Even if they’re not that keen to come sometimes, by the time they leave they’ve got a big smile on their face.”

Improvements in residents recognised

Ms Kamppi has found the outings to be one of the most treasured parts of her job. 

“Everybody is happy and it’s nice to leave the premises and come somewhere different with a change of scenery and people,” she said. 

“They always come back feeling good about themselves, and so do we. 

“It’s a win-win.”

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