Inspiration through connection

    Maryborough Family Day Care is bringing joy to residents at Hervey Bay’s Fair Haven Aged Care Service, both services are owned and operated by Churches of Christ Care.

    On the last Wednesday of the month family day care visit the aged care service on Pantlins Lane at Urraween and the fun begins.

    Fair Haven Diversional Therapist Amanda Clarkson says both young and old are enjoying the experience.

    “The impact of the family day care visits has been remarkable, they have lit up daily life and there’s a buzz that’s noticed and felt right throughout our service.

    “We find that residents either enjoy the opportunity to play with the children, or sit back and watch with interest as the children go about their play - in their own ways and according to
    their individual personalities.

    “Whatever way residents choose to participate, the experience has been a positive one,” Amanda said.

    Residents living with dementia are also benefiting from the engagement.

    Connection and language is a challenge for people living with dementia so finding activities that stimulate and foster engagement that genuinely work is a very positive outcome.

    “We’re finding residents are sitting on the floor and playing with the children, reading or going outside to be with them.

    “People are choosing to come out of their rooms, when they may otherwise have chosen to remain.

    “Residents are sharing stories about their life and enjoying reliving and remembering wonderful memories.

    “We have a Grandma and Grandpa garden trial underway, which has so far seen the planting of a vegie patch, fairy garden, suitable seating and appropriate play spaces that’s
    already fostering conversation, reminiscence and a beautiful connection between the ages,” Amanda said.

    Intergenerational visits benefit the young and the elderly

    Family Dare Care program co-ordinator Nancy Hammond says the visits are doing much more than just benefit the elderly.

    “They are lighting up the lives of the younger generation and teaching values through play and sharing stories,” Nancy said.

    “We have an indoor outdoor program and activities set up purposefully to encourage children and the elderly to interact safely.

    “Children are learning to feel more comfortable around elderly people, particularly those who have a disability or who may require aids to assist with their mobility, hearing or sight,” Nancy

    Children are learning not to fear what may initially be very strange to them, rather they’re accepting and embracing people’s differences and unique needs.

    “At this young age, while they may not be able to put it into words, they’re gaining understanding that everyone deserves to feel a sense of belonging, being wanted and experiencing the special joy that can only occur through an intergenerational connection.

    “Some children do not have their own grandparents around, and likewise residents may not have grandchildren, or may not be able to see them as regularly as they would like.

    “These visits help to provide a connection, or fill a gap, which has been quite inspirational for us all and has shown us just how important activities like this are.

    “It’s wonderful to see what this intergenerational opportunity is doing and the value it is bringing to everyone’s life.” Nancy said.

    Posted July 5, 2018 in Seniors blog