The Benefits of Inter-generational Play for Aged-Care Residents

Inter-generational playgroups are aimed at promoting social interaction, learning and social inclusion.

They’ve been found to increase happiness, dignity and self-esteem in older participants as well as an active participation and sense of social connection within the community.

Older people are fascinated by the energy and excitement of the children who in turn, love having a captive audience.

When they come together in play, magic happens.  Play is such an important part of life for both children and the elderly.

Society has changed significantly in recent years.  Women are having children later and this can mean having older Grandparents or no Grandparents at all.

More and more children are missing out on the benefits of knowing the elderly generation, parents are working full time to pay bills and rely on day-care rather than care by the extended family

Meath Care has partnered with Happy and Healthy Kidz Family Day Care to bring the generations together in a play-based interaction, ensuring both gain the benefit of this special experience.

Our residents look forward to the visits, which bring them great joy.

Laughter, joking and fun lifts their mood and spirits.

A recent research project from The University of Wollongong observed a lift in mood and increased alertness in residents during an inter-generational-play study.

Meath Care Occupational Therapist, Linda Codd, sees the benefits of the interactions first hand “ A picture says a thousand words, Inter-generational engagement lights up the residents faces supporting a sense of purpose by engaging with, caring for and teaching the younger generation from the external community”.

The kids from Happy and Healthy kids are inquisitive about their older playmates, enjoying the attention which makes them feel special and raises self-esteem.

Inter-generational play has been found to build empathy, understanding and acceptance in children.  Developmentally, they acquire a greater understanding of the life cycle and learn to respect and care for their elders.

Balloon-play is a great way to facilitate these interactions. The balloons are light enough for both kids and residents to engage in a fun activity.

It’s good for eye-hand coordination in both generations, stimulating synapses and brain connections.

Our residents are building great connections with their little visitors and look forward to their bi-weekly visits.

Meath Care (Inc) provides quality aged care services specialising in premium residential care and retirement village accommodation in Kingsley, Trigg and Como, Western Australia.