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Curious minds awaken stories from the past at aged care facility


The intergenerational program at Lyndoch Living Audrey Prider centre

A reading program for primary school students at an aged care home is facilitating reminiscence for residents and improving their wellbeing.

At Lyndoch Living’s Audrey Prider aged care facility, students from Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School sit with residents and listen intently as they recount life stories and discuss personal interests.

After the conversations students look for suitable reading material, often with the help of their teacher, to align with the interests of the resident so the two can enjoy reading together.

It’s part of an intergenerational program which began in an earlier initiative where students visited the facility once a week to join the residents for breakfast and conversation.

Cath Porter, nurse unit manager at the centre, said the school and provider saw the potential to improve the visits by combining reading curriculum for students with reminiscence activities for residents.

Through the more formalised program the students develop their reading skills and gain confidence in public speaking, while the residents gain a better sense of wellbeing through meaningful engagement, she said.

Lyndoch CEO Doreen Power said the extension of the program illustrated how the organisation sought to improve the wellness and quality of life for residents.

“The extension of this program adds so much more depth to developing and strengthening relationships between the students and residents,” she said.

Earlier this month Australian Ageing Agenda reported on an intergenerational program by SummitCare involving a playgroup hosted at an aged care facility (read that story here).

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