• 100 year age gap? No worries!

    100 year age gap? No worries!

    What do you get if you put a 103 year old with a 3 year old? Plenty of fun, that’s what!

    Mrs Jean Linehan, 103, of Resthaven Bellevue Heights, found this out firsthand when a group of local kindergarten students from Montessori Kids visited the home last week in celebration of the United Nations International Day of the Older Person (1 October).

    ‘Throughout the year, we’ve enjoyed several visits from the students,’ says Manager Residential Services, Wendy Martin.

    ‘We just love nourishing those intergenerational connections, and the International Day theme was a perfect reason for another visit.’

    ‘The young students walked from the local kindy to meet with a group of around 40 residents in the Hall, where everyone joined in a singalong and games.’

    The children performed enthusiastic renditions of Move Those Muscles, and The Dragon Stomp to the much-amused resident group.

    ‘You haven’t heard The Dragon Stomp properly until you’ve heard almost forty 3-year-olds do a dragon ROAR!’ says Wendy.

    The performance was followed by a group singalong of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Baa Baa Black Sheep, sung together by students and residents.

    ‘Everyone remembers the old favourites,’ says Wendy.

    Mrs Linehan, who moved into Resthaven Bellevue Heights a year ago at age 102, is not alone in her delight at the ‘beautifully behaved’ group of children. The 100 year age gap is no problem at all.

    ‘Just watching them is so much fun,’ she says.

    ‘The children come up and look you right in the eye. They look at you as if they’re really interested in you. It’s wonderful.’

    Montessori Kids Director, Sally, says, ‘The kids love the whole experience.’

    ‘They love chatting with residents; the interactions and conversations they have are so precious.’

    ‘One little boy said after today’s session that he loved doing the dancing, and he loved the way that the older people joined in, even though “we were standing up and they were sitting down”.’

    Wendy can’t wait to host the children again, saying,

    ‘This is their third visit this year, with another two planned. We hope to increase the number of visits in 2019 – watch this space!’

    ‘These intergenerational experiences are just wonderful – bringing out the wisdom of age and wonder of youth.’

    Established in 1935, Resthaven Incorporated is a not for profit, South Australian aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church. Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of around 10,000 older people and their carers, working together to provide outstanding care and support.

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