It’s win-win when the kids from Holroyd Children’s Centre visit a neighbouring nursing home for a morning of craft, games and fun.
DOING their bit to bridge the gap between generations, children from a Merrylands childcare centre have been dropping in on residents of a neighbouring nursing home over the past 18 months.
Holroyd Children's Centre director Adela Tamayo-Altinbas said that since May last year, their 'Intergenerational Program' has facilitated monthly visits, alternating between five elderly residents coming to the childcare centre or a small delegation of nine children, including babies, pre-schoolers and toddlers, going to the local nursing home for mornings of craft and games.
She said the program was just as popular with the children as it was with the elderly residents.
"Many of our children don't have grandparents. They might be living overseas or don't live at home with them. The children really enjoy it," she said.
"At the nursing home it's had a great impact. On the day the children visit, the residents are up early and getting prepared.
"One aged care worker told me a story of a woman whose entire outlook has changed. She used to be grumpy but thanks to this program, she's much happier."
Last week Federal Aged Care Minster Ken Wyatt revealed that about 40 per cent of residents living in aged care facilities never get visitors, and Tamayo-Altinbas said she wasn't surprised by the sad statistic.
"For elderly residents, the program is very rewarding. They might have grandkids but they don't visit," she said.
"The idea for the program came out of a strategic planning meeting. We wanted the children to have more opportunities to get out into the community."