These babies & seniors make unlikely besties

published on July 14, 2020

I always come to playgroup, yeah I like it I like that interaction with mums and bubs Oh they’re lovely, they really are, they’re lovely, little fat things you know Brings everybody together, the young and old Yeah it’s pretty amazing that a four-year-old has a best friend who’s 95 years old It’s just so special because of the relationships formed The residents just love it Every morning at breakfast they say ‘it’s Monday, the kids will be here today and it’s the best day of the week’

The playgroup’s been running nearly four years here at Mirinjani Did you talk to the twins this morning? Not yet, no We’ve never done anything like this before, so it was a great experiment, yeah I migrated here to Australia from Sri Lanka ten years ago I found out that people over here love their independent living whereas in Sri Lanka we grew up in a multi-generational family environment so I thought these intergenerational

Playgroups will bring the great idea to ease the isolation, get together, interact together and play together Well it’s a break from, you know, just sitting in your room and doing nothing We decided to come to the um, intergenerational playgroup because being from Scotland, we don’t have any grandparents in Canberra So I just thought it was a really important thing for Angus to sort of mix with all different ages

Twinkle, twinkle, little star Well I do have a grand daughter and I don’t see enough of her It’s good to see people that are actually here that you can talk to Twinkle, twinkle, little star I mean for me looking at an age friendly city it is a very important thing, the intergenerational playgroup, which we teach children the respect from, from the beginning And also for parents as well to change the way they think, because

We normally think that older people are really vulnerable people, past by date We need to change that aspect of our thinking and I think this helps I snap you Are you going to snip Mr Ron? So we started coming because I had a grandfather that was in a nursing home in Canberra and I really noticed how he would respond to children or, you know, other kids that were around that would come visit their grandparents So I thought it was really important to try

And come and instil a bit of laughter and joy Well they do affect you, you know you see their little faces, their smile, everything you know You feel young to be among all the young kids The thing that really has got me is the number of men who come because they grew up in the era when men didn’t change nappies or anything They’ve come out of their rooms Ken is a typical example of that He didn’t come out of his room a great lot But he comes every day

Yes, Archie’s my favourite He’s a dear little chap He comes and usually makes a bee line for Ken and Ken’s always got a different toy for him Ken is an early dementia diagnosed patient, but he still remembers everything that Archie does and he’ll always talk about Archie I’ve got a special relationship with Archie and with his mum Sometimes in parents’ life we’re all busy

All we need is someone who can listen to us so parents come here and then talk to the residents and they listen to you To have that connection to, it’s pretty special, and also to impart a bit of knowledge to us as parents, they do give you tidbits about raising their kids and they’ve been really helpful actually Hello Hello Tara Hello HelloHello Sam

Judy doesn’t have her own grandchildren so we met Tara’s Sam and Tom, the twins and they’ve made really good connection with Judy and they visit us all the time But unfortunately, Tara had to go, go back to Brisbane You’ve got some cards! They have me in contact with the phone This modern equipment I don’t understand all that Um, look she just became such a special part of our lives We just stay in touch with her every week, she’s just like an adopted part

Of our family so we just adore Judy she’s beautiful Hello, hello Sam I don’t know whether it’s keeping me younger, I can’t say that but no it’s marvellous These two little boys, they’re my world just about Can you guess what he is? It’s a snake It’s a snake! I think it’s good for both the old people and the young ones to have a connection and

Learn about one another I think little kids sometimes are scared of older people particularly in wheelchairs and things like that and it brings the realisation that they’re just normal lovely happy people I think socially he’s got a lot of tolerance and patience, especially seeing his level of care and maturity at this young age is really important and, yeah, it’s really good to see him being so gentle with a generation that he probably wouldn’t have had a interaction with had we not come to intergenerational playgroup

I’ve been here 17 years in the diversional therapy area and done lots of programs and things and this is by far the most meaningful It just warms my heart to see them I’m really so proud of it, yeah Today we came for the first time and I think we really loved it Kiana really enjoyed it as well Brighten up their day, I know it brightens up my day When it finishes today I think oh, another week till playgroup

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I always come to playgroup, yeah I like it. I like that interaction with mums and bubs. Oh they’re lovely, they really are, they’re lovely, little fat things yo...