This program, implemented by Catholic Care of the Aged (CCA) in conjunction with Wauchope Primary School (WPS), focuses on recollection and story-telling through intergenerational interaction and collaborative art making.
The program ran over ten weeks, with two groups of children visiting the residents five weeks each. Students were paired with appropriate residents and were first encouraged to talk, share stories and form bonds. From the story-telling and memories shared, students and residents had the inspiration to plan and create images which represented those memories.
This program has been developed with the purpose of fostering and maintaining genuine intergenerational connections through relationship building and collaborative art making. The aim is to offer the aged residents the opportunity to connect with a younger generation and to share their memories and wisdom, while teaching the students more about the elderly, specifically residents living with Dementia and how to appropriately engage with these residents in a thoughtful and respectful manner.
The relationship between CCA and WPS has grown and strengthened over the past three years as we have developed and implemented art programs annually with great success. Residents have vocalised their enjoyment of the art sessions and openly share stories with staff about the children’s visit and the memories they shared. There is also a positive response from the students regarding the collaborative art sessions and the fun they have connecting with an older generation.
The opportunity to shape student’s understanding around Dementia and to encourage a positive and nurturing attitude towards people living with Dementia is an important and beneficial target for all stakeholders.