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Handbook to help break down barriers between generations

A collaboration between Meaningful Ageing Australia and New South Wales aged care organisation Carrington has seen the launch of a new Intergenerational Reminiscence Guide for aged care organisations and secondary schools.

Recently launched handbook is bringing generations together (Source: Shutterstock)
Recently launched handbook is bringing generations together (Source: Shutterstock)

Based on the successful Through our Eyes program, the handbook explains how to run a successful intergenerational reminiscence program in aged care by supporting students to spend time with an older person who has the opportunity to tell the stories that matter to them.

Carrington’s Chief Executive Raad Richards says their Intergenerational Program was designed to bring together the younger and the older generations in their community.

“It is emphasising two-way communication of knowledge and life experiences between our older generation and younger students embarking on their own life journey,” he says.

“It is about breaking the barriers between generations, providing opportunities for students to develop their communication skills and confidence and establishing a lasting connection to their community.”

Many aged care facilities already run these sorts of programs that Meaningful Ageing Australia CEO Ilsa Hampton says recognise the positive benefits for both the students in understanding older people, and the older person in recalling important moments in their life.

“This guide helps those who would like to start or improve a program on how to go about it,” she says.

“It provides details on how to establish partnerships with local schools; select and brief student participants and older people, monitoring the partnerships; recognise and celebrate the final product with all participants including families; and handle specific issues and challenges such as the death of an older person during the project.”

Ms Hampton also says the guide provides a useful resource for project participation, selections, interviews, and reviewing the program from the point of view of the older person, family and the student.

 “Through our collective efforts, we can improve on each older person’s experience of aged care,” she says.

“There is a lot of evidence that reminiscence is an important part of ageing; and this program is particularly important in giving the older person a reason to tell their story; and to be celebrated by those around them.”

The Intergenerational Reminiscence Guide is available through Meaningful Ageing Australia

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