Program benefits old and the young

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Lorna Samwell, Maddi-Lyn Sayers and Rita Evans create pasta necklaces for each other.
Camera IconLorna Samwell, Maddi-Lyn Sayers and Rita Evans create pasta necklaces for each other. Credit: Zoe Keenan

Unlikely friendships have blossomed at an aged care facility in Bunbury.

Intergenerational programs are a fairly new concept but the benefits to both the youngsters and the elderly has sparked huge popularity.

Bethanie Elanora aged care residents light up with joy when they know they are getting a visit from the children at the Milligan House Child Care Centre.

The organisations recently started their own weekly intergenerational program that sees the children enjoy their daily activities with the residents.

From creating jewellery out of pasta, to storytime, the interactions are mutually beneficial and enjoyed by all parties.

“For some of our residents they don’t come out of their rooms as much and they have limited opportunities to get out and do different things,” occupations therapist Megan Jupp said.

“By having the kids here we’ve encouraged some residents that sometimes don’t come out as much to get out… once you tell them the kids are coming their face light up.”

Milligan House centre director Tessa Stewart said many of the children no longer had grandparents around.

“It’s nice for them to form that bond with the residents here,” she said.

“Children love playing and if they can do it with a range of ages then I think that’s something that is amazing for them.”

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