Intergenerational Program at Licodia Eubea Club in Coburg
Intergenerational Programs have many effective benefits for both parties involved. They aim to improve seniors’ wellbeing through engaging and energising activities, as well as to teach the younger generation to respect and value the wisdom of the older. CO.AS.IT. is on the front line of those Programs. The Social Support Groups – coordinated by Rossella Frezza – launched a six-week pilot project at Licodia Eubea Club in Coburg. The clients, who were born in Italy and are still deeply connected to their origins, welcomed as part of the program six four-year-old children from Moreland Childcare Centre.
Over the course of six weeks a number of activities were implemented in order to meet both generations’ needs and increase their wellbeing. Among the activities, there was Ring Around the Roses, the Chicken Dance, playdough and art-related entertainment. Perhaps apprehensive at first due to the fun and chaotic group environment, by the second session the clients, children, educators and CO.AS.IT. staff were enthusiastic and excited about the new activities.
“The program was very valuable for the consumers and the children. It made them reconnect with each other, especially for the consumers who don’t have small grandchildren and for kids that don’t have grandparents. It was very rewarding for them as well as for us”, said Margaret, Support Worker at CO.AS.IT. The older group at Licodia Eubea Club were charmed by the lovable glances of the ‘little brats’. The benefit is tangible. As Paolo, Social Support Worker, said: “This is the beauty of the Intergenerational Program – allowing different generations to come together to share experiences, knowledge and skills that are mutually beneficial. I truly think this program gives children and older adults alike a sense of purpose”.
The consumers gained self-confidence, trust in themselves and others. They felt appreciated for their cultural background. They felt admired for the hurdles they’ve overcome throughout their lives. They felt valued. Rossella, Social Support Groups Coordinator concluded: “Our clients manifested a higher self-esteem, interest and proactivity in making decisions for themselves. And, as families reported, they are happier. It is an unexpected success, that we are ready and looking forward to expanding”.