The Gold Coast Bulletin
PLAYING TOGETHER BENEFITS BOTH YOUNG, OLD
PLAYDOUGH’S changed a lot since 75year-old Margaret Beafoy was a child.
But every fortnight she looks forward to making new creations alongside her young companions Elliott Wilmot and Harlow Diekas.
The four-year-olds from Little Scholars Burleigh visit Robina’s Odyssey Lifestyle Care Community as part of a new intergenerational program that aims to bring joy back into the lives of older Gold Coasters in residential care.
The program was inspired by the phenomenal success of ABC program Old Persons Home For Four Year Olds, with studies showing such connections have positive health outcomes for children and the elderly.
In what’s believed to be a Gold Coast first, the intergenerational care program matches the young and old to help improve the mental and social development of the children while alleviating challenges of isolation and dementia commonly faced by seniors.
Odyssey resident Carmel Nicols said playing board games, with playdough and reading books helped to connect her with her childhood and keep up with the current generation.
Little Scholars founder and managing director Jae Fraser said children who had frequent interactions with older generations were often more accepting of differences.