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Connect & Create Intergenerational Program

1 Dec 2023

NADO Disability Services, a leading advocate for inclusion and community enrichment, has been thrilled to be working with Wentworth Healthcare to implement a new and innovative Intergenerational Program across the Nepean Blue Mountains region.

Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, commissioned NADO to deliver the program as part of the Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay, said an emerging issue across NSW is that older people are prematurely accessing Residential Aged Care.

“One contributing factor may be that older people’s physical and mental health is declining earlier than expected due to a lack of meaningful connections and activities designed to keep them healthier for longer. Intergenerational programs are a new and innovative style of care, that has been shown to improve social connections and physical health outcomes for older people, and we are proud to be able to fund these types of programs in our region” she said.

In an era where connections between generations are more vital than ever, NADO Disability Services is proud to be able to provide its “Connect & Create” Intergenerational Program, designed to bridge generational gaps, foster meaningful connections, and create a vibrant community where wisdom and energy converge.

Seniors aged 65+ and preschool children aged 3 – 5 have been participating in group-based activities aimed at interaction, learning and fostering new connections.  This not only benefits the community but also instils a sense of purpose and pride in the participants.

Senior Participants have not only connected with the younger generation but have also founded brand new friendships and social opportunities within the group.

Denise Heath, CEO of NADO Disability Services stated “The Connect & Create Program seeks to break down barriers and create a sense of unity within our community. By bringing together participants from different age brackets, we aim to harness the unique strengths and perspectives of each generation, promoting a sense of happiness and belonging.”

Preschoolers from the Penrith City Council’s Jamisontown Children’s Centre have also flourished throughout the program with centre Director Leanne Ashcroft commenting, “They were shy in the beginning but now they are more confident and comfortable, even asking them for help when they need it”.

When program staff asked Senior Participant Wendy if she will miss the children, Wendy responded “Oh yes! But I’ll be coming back next year!”

This program is held at Share My Ability, a fully accessible and inclusive Sensory Activity Centre for all ages and abilities, located in Jamisontown, Penrith.