Intergenerational playgroups to reduce the impact of social isolation on older Australians
Timeless Play encompasses Playgroup NSW’s Intergenerational playgroups and services that are a committed response to reducing the impact social isolation can have on the overall health and wellbeing of older Australians and Older Aboriginals.
Timeless Play bespoke playgroups are designed as a face-to-face model that can be delivered directly to an Aged Care service. They are delivered by trained Intergenerational facilitators, who use play-based pedagogy to develop a program that is tailored to the strengths, needs and interests of everyone.
Playgroups incorporate the power of play to foster meaningful social interactions, cognitive and physical development and opportunities for older Australians to lead, create and actively engage with families and children within communities.
Aged care residents, older Australians and young children and families
Intergenerational programs are emerging within the aged-care context as they provide a unique opportunity for older adults living with or without cognitive impairments to connect with children. The findings support the role of intergenerational playgroups for promoting community engagement with benefits of building relationships and connectivity for all stakeholders (Hernandez R, 2020).
Research into benefits of Intergenerational playgroup programs (IPP) have demonstrated they can provide meaningful engagement for all participants, increase self-esteem and develop a sense of connection and friendships within safe and secure environments. They can increase activity engagement, social inclusion, decrease depression/anxiety and assist in cognitive/ physical maintenance (Skropeta CM, 2014).
They promote older Australian’s ability to contribute to community regardless of age, and include their values, insights, and experiences as decision makers. They enable older Australians to meet with other older Australians living in their community that share in their own unique values, meaning and purpose to create lasting friendships and connections.
The evidence base for improving the mental health of old people consistently points to active participation strategies including befriending and socialisation (Beyond Blue, 2019). For many older people, feeling connected to local communities and having a sense of belonging is an important antidote to loneliness (Dury R, 2014).
To learn more about the Timeless Play program please contact our Member Services team at [email protected]
Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.