Aged care residents team up with Busy Bees Cameron Park
The Sector > Provider > General News > Grand friends: St John’s Villa New Lambton partners with Busy Bees for learning

Grand friends: St John’s Villa New Lambton partners with Busy Bees for learning

by Freya Lucas

April 13, 2023
St John's resident Joan is shown next to letters from preschoolers.

Aged care residents from Catholic Healthcare, St John’s Villa, New Lambton are affectionately known as ‘grand friends’ to the children from Busy Bees Cameron Park Preston thanks to a regular visiting program to the early childhood service.


St John’s Villa Lifestyle Coordinator Aymon Jones was eager to establish an intergenerational program after watching popular ABC television program, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, contacting Busy Bees Service Manager Ashton Meadows who was equally excited to establish the program.


Aymon said the experience of watching the residents open up to the children and ask them to come and play was amazing, describing the interactions between the two groups as “heartwarming”. 


“Seeing their faces light-up and listening to the laughter and conversation between the two groups is so rewarding,” Aymon continued.


In between visits the children and residents have a pen pal program to keep up communication. 


Research suggests that intergenerational programs are beneficial for both age groups. The older members receive stimulation and social interaction, and the younger members can learn from the older members.


Another benefit is those who live far from their families or frequently feel the longing for interaction with their grandchildren, the visits offer a new dimension of diversional therapy, with the effects demonstrating positively long after each visit.


Catholic Healthcare is a pioneer in intergenerational programs. In 2017, Villa Maria Fortitude Valley participated in a successful intergenerational playgroup trial with Playgroup Queensland in 2017. Find out more about the trial here.

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