BEING separated by generations did not stop children and older adults from having fun at the launch of a new program in Kinross.
Eight children from West Kinross Kids Care visited the Amana Living Kinross Day Club this month as part of an intergenerational pilot program.
Childcare centre manager Kayleen Mees was inspired after watching a TV segment about an integrated childcare and seniors’ care centre in the US called the Intergenerational Learning Center.
She contacted day club co-ordinator Yvonne Pedersen, who was just as keen on the idea, and the two agreed to arrange visits between the children and older adults for a three-week trial.
“It’s really just so the children can have that connection with the elderly,” Ms Mees said.
“We have children who are from overseas so they don’t get to see their grandparents a lot.
“It’s also a good chance for them to get a different perspective on life, while I think the older people will feel energised by having young people around.”
The children, aged three to five, shared morning tea with day club members, presented a story and spent time outdoors together.
Ms Pedersen said the visit was also beneficial for her clients, many of whom had dementia.
“Even when they’ve got memory loss, they’ve got so many life experiences and wonderful stories to share and I could see that happening already,” she said.
“Just to see the smiles on our club members’ faces was worth a million dollars. It was lovely and they really enjoyed it.”
“A lot of our older adults coming here don’t have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for them and vice versa.”
If the trial is successful, the program is likely to continue next term.
“I’ve been talking to Yvonne about integrating different activities,” Ms Mees said.
“It’s just trial and error over the next few weeks to see how it works best for both groups. I’ve been in childcare 20 years and not done anything like this before, so it’s all very new.”