Youngsters and elders get together

When people living with dementia interact with youngsters, both generations benefit. Amana Living is seeing this happen in a variety of settings, including the recently introduced McCusker Advocates Program.

A number of studies demonstrate the positive results of intergenerational programs for people with dementia and children. But studies aside, common sense tells us that getting residents and clients together with young people is likely to be a positive experience.

The McCusker Advocates Program, supported by the McCusker Charitable Foundation, is a joint initiative between All Saints' College and Amana Living Bull Creek, coordinated by All Saints' Head of Service Learning, Tim Russell.

Seven Year 10 students are involved this year. Two or three of the students visit Lefroy Care Centre each fortnight with Tim Russell, where they either take part in activities organised by the Amana Living occupational therapy team, or simply chat with residents in the activity room or garden area.

Some residents have Life Story books - the result of a recent program to record personal memories in a format that's accessible to the individual and their families. The students are able to use these books as a way to prompt conversation with residents.

Pictured here are (left to right) Bernice Brown, Div Sharma, Agatha Barendrecht and Matthew Litwin.