Shared from the 12/14/2017 North Shore Times eEdition

On for young and old

Generation gap bridged as youngsters visit aged care facilities


Children from Ganeinu preschool visited the residents of BUPA Aged Care in St Ives. (From left) Tyler-Barnes-Faber, Lauren Fox, Robert Debnam, Sylvia Coatsworth and Ella Calvert.

THERE was a lifetime of experience between them, but laughter and song bridged the generation gap when preschoolers visited the residents of BUPA Aged Care in St Ives recently.

The youngsters from Ganeinu Long Day Care and Preschool crossed Mona Vale Rd to the centre to sing and dance for their elderly neighbours.

Ganeinu’s centre manager Jennie Hudson said she did not hesitate when asked to participate in their Adopt A Nanny program.

“There is great enthusiasm to connect from both sides,” she said. “For some of our children this will be the only contact they have with the elderly, just as it will be the only contact some of the BUPA residents will have with young children.

“As soon as our children entered the room, everyone’s face lit up with delight and I noticed the feet began to tap with the first song.

“This will definitely be the first of many visits.”

BUPA residents Sylvia Coatsworth, Robert Debnam and Martyn Nichols, who moved into the centre when it opened in September, said it was important to be connected to the young.

“I’m still waiting for grandchildren,” Mr Nichols said. “So I was looking forward to them coming.”

“They were very animated, definitely a few actors among them,” Mr Debnam said.

“Yes, they were all little superstars,” Mrs Coatsworth said.

Connections between young and old have been forged all across the north shore, with other schools and childcare centres creating links with elderly residents. Every Friday, the boys from St Joseph’s Hunters Hill visit St Anne’s Aged Care, with the students forming lasting friendships with the seniors.

At Masada College’s Poppy Cottage Early Learning Centre in St Ives, the littlies do art and crafts with their elderly visitors from Group Homes Australia.

In Lane Cove, children from Goodstart Early Learning visit Uniting Kamilaroi to do jigsaw puzzles.

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