The young and the young at heart met for the first sitting of a new Intergenerational Reading Program at Dr EAF McDonald Nursing Home, Oakey Hospital, today.
C&K Oakey Community Kindergarten kids visited the nursing home to enjoy reading time with aged care residents, with children and staff dressed in a Halloween theme and spooky stories being shared.
Oakey Hospital Director of Nursing/Facility Manager Matt Boyd said both the children and the nursing home residents thoroughly enjoyed spending time together.
“The children brought such a positive energy and while they were initially a tad shy, as the morning wore on their confidence and engagement with the residents grew, leaving the residents greatly uplifted by the visit,” Mr Boyd said.
“There is a lot of research about the benefits of intergenerational programs for both children and the elderly, and we are really excited to be introducing this here in Oakey.
“Studies show benefits for children include helping them to learn social skills in a supportive environment, encouraging positive attitudes towards ageing and the elderly, and providing positive role models and mentors.
“For the elderly, benefits include increased social interaction and a giving a feeling of community belonging.
“Both children and the elderly benefit from building social and emotional connections and having someone to have fun with.”
Plans are being finalised for the program to continue on a regular basis from February 2020.