Gen­er­a­tions learn to­gether

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch -

YOUNG and old forged strong bonds thanks to a partn­er­ship be­tween peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia and preschool­ers in Os­borne Park.

For the past three months, four-year-olds from the Uni­care Early Child­hood Cen­tre Ned­lands have spent ev­ery Tues­day morn­ing with older peo­ple at Amana Liv­ing’s Club Cather­ine King in Os­borne Park.

The pro­gram was ini­tially in­spired by a story about an in­ter­gen­er­a­tional learn­ing cen­tre in Amer­ica, where a nurs­ing home had been com­bined with an early child­hood cen­tre.

The groups cel­e­brated the pro­gram on Novem­ber 22 at a grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony, as the chil­dren will go to school next year.

Amana Liv­ing Day Club co-or­di­na­tor Jen­nifer Cross­ing said it was fan­tas­tic to see how the gen­er­a­tions in­ter­acted.

“Our clients have loved hav­ing the chil­dren here and their faces light up when they walk through the door each week,” she said.

Leath Men­ner, from Uni­care, said it had been a suc­cess­ful pro­gram and she wanted it to con­tinue next year.

“The chil­dren have formed amaz­ing bonds with some of the clients and the ex­pe­ri­ence has taught them com­pas­sion, em­pa­thy and re­spect for older peo­ple,” she said.

“We might have even in­spired a few ca­reers in aged care in the fu­ture.”

Amana Liv­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephanie Buck­land said the partn­er­ship was a way for older peo­ple to feel con­nected and en­gaged with their com­mu­nity.

“It’s also a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for the gen­er­a­tions to spend time to­gether and learn from one an­other,” she said.

Dr Ken Dig­wood (89) with Xavier Col­lyer.

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