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Bethanie

Intergenerational play works to tackle social isolation

Bethanie, Western Australia’s most recognised not-for-profit aged care and retirement living provider is tackling social isolation head on in an endeavour to ensure that as many of their customers as possible have a positive ageing experience – remaining active and connected to others.

One such activity is an intergenerational play session which has taken place at Bethanie Elanora Aged Care Home. Bethanie Elanora has been welcoming a group of 4-year olds from Milligan House Child Care Centre.

The group has brought together young and old for quality interaction through activities and playtime. The have enjoyed reading large storybooks together, gardening and other assorted toys and craft activities.

Bethanie Occupational Therapist Megan Jupp said it was wonderful to join the two groups together and hoped to make it a regular event. “The group has helped to encourage residents to spend more time outside of their room and embrace their inner child.”

“The benefit of intergenerational interaction is enormous. Providing the opportunity for the two vastly different age groups to come together brings a new energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to the lives of everyone involved. We believe that these close intergenerational connections greatly benefit both groups and assist to reduce social isolation,” said Megan.

Bethanie CEO Chris How adds, “There is a real need for people to feel connected. Social isolation is a well-established risk factor and trigger for depression and anxiety, and where possible we want to avoid that, so this is a fine example of how we are trying to keep our residents’ young and interacting with all generations.”

“It is important that the community recognises that social isolation is not just about people living on their own; it can occur to people living at home, in villages and even in residential care. We have a level of responsibility to make this a priority as we don’t want anyone to feel alone. At Bethanie you’re among friends,” adds Chris.

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