Whoever coined the phrase, ‘never work with children or animals’ clearly never experienced the utter joy both can bring to those living in residential aged care.
Did you know that our facilities enjoy regular interaction with local school students, children from day cares and playgroups, and pet visit programs? These interactions range from student musical performances, visits to special school events, games with pre-school aged children and their parents or just one on one reading or craft time.
The special moments formed between the young and the old (and the furry four-legged) is truly something to behold. Heart-warming doesn’t begin to describe the feelings these interactions evoke. The experiences are proving to be so beneficial for all involved.
The energy of little people
Little people are loud and curious. Their opinions of the world around them are untainted by life experience. They see things with fresh eyes and their young energy brings instant life into our homes as soon as they enter it. Staff and resident’s faces light up at the sights and sounds of youth. These visits end up being the highlight of the week, or month, and real friendships are borne as both parties get to know each other a little better each visit.
Children see the world in a completely different way to adults and it’s very difficult not to be swept up in their enthusiasm.
Our furry friends
Our four-legged furry friends bring an instant calm to our residents. In particular to those suffering memory related conditions. Animal therapy has been found to bring true benefits to those suffering dementia by reducing anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression and loneliness. They can also help a dementia patient be more interactive and even improve their nutrition.
Our future locations
It has been a conscious decision that all new and future Infinite Care locations are chosen specifically for their proximity to schools and/or childcare centres. And though the benefits of intergenerational interactions should be obvious (have a watch of the recent ABC show Old People’s Home for 4-year olds if you need further proof) they are also backed by research.
In Australia, researchers and many in the education and aged-care sectors are calling for intergenerational interactions to be implemented as more than just a ‘nice thing to do’. Griffith University Professor Anneke Fitzgerald is currently leading an ongoing Intergenerational Care Project. This two-year project has assessed intergenerational practices across four research sites in Australia. The research has found that, over 16 weeks, the aged-care recipients and pre-schoolers formed special bonds. Mood scores improved and, through their interactions with children, the older participants felt more significant, reflected on their achievements, were able to re-acquaint themselves with things they already knew or had forgotten and regain a positive sense of wellbeing. To learn more please visit www.intergenerationalcare.org.