According to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, older-younger relationships are one of the critical ingredients in human well-being. This was visible with the clear examples that we witnessed during our recent visits to the centre. The children were very much engaged with our residents and it looked and felt like they had known each other for a while. This is called the inter-generational relationship which allows both parties to explore their self-development. According to Stanford researchers, these sort of opportunities allow children to acquire the sort of exposure and mentorship that they sometimes lack, particularly as some of the most vulnerable groups. These partnerships provide our residents with a chance to experience the thrill of viewing things through the lens of a child. Therefore, such relationships are important to society, as it offers a stronger feeling of meaning and purpose, a more positive attitude on ageing and experiences of disconnectedness are reduced.

 Above everything, as we connect the children and residents through our program it is a mission in unifying the two generations. Older folks nowadays are more educated, healthier and more capable than past generations, and our elders can be a fantastic resource.  They have the potential to be our finest instructors. Their comments and experiences from the past may undoubtedly shape children in a fantastic way as they have a ton of experience to contribute. Nonetheless, they assist children in learning by teaching them again who they really are, with their own personalities. Elders may also offer children valuable life lessons that may influence and lead them throughout their lives. Both children and adults can benefit from these beautiful relationships.

 We are always looking for ways to use creativity to develop our program and partnership. During our last two visits with the Little Penguins, our lovely residents have celebrated both ANZAC Day and Mother’s Day by doing art and craft activities with the children. There was lots of laughter and fun to be had between the generations!

In the near future, we are looking forward to doing some other activities with the children like:

  • Gardening
  • Storytelling
  • Exercising together
  • Skill-swapping (knitting lessons, baking lessons etc)
  • Playing a board game or a card game
  • Reading out loud to each other
  • Cooking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Lessons on ethnic heritage etc