Our region is made up of so many different groups, each with
individual strengths that shape our way of life - and the more
connected these groups are with each other, the stronger the fabric
of our community.
For many people, the connection between grandparents and
grandchildren is considered the norm, but relationships between the
generations differ from household to household.
Some children spend a lot of time in the care of their
grandparents while parents or carers are at work, but for others
busy lifestyles, extracurricular activities and longer distances
between family members mean little to no contact with
And with an ageing population, the matter of caring for our
older generation is becoming more and more pressing.
As part of the Committee for Geelong's Leaders for Geelong
program, a group of emerging leaders have developed a project Adopt
a Pop, Gain a Granny that aims to bring seniors and school children
To facilitate Adopt a Pop, Gain a Granny- and connect
organisations and schools with each other - the group secured
sponsorship from iCareHealth for the creation of a project website.
The site www.careforourgreats.com
aims to make it easy for primary schools to set up an
intergenerational learning program, includes a step-by-step
blueprint for teachers as well as a guest blog and links to various
social media platforms.
The project provided the opportunity to have an aged care
facility partner with a primary school, to allow for children to
care for and interact with seniors, and for seniors to share their
talents, knowledge and experiences with children.
The pilot was run with Maryville Aged Care facility and St
Patrick's Primary School, and was highly successful. Year 6
students from St Patrick's visited the residents of Maryville Aged
Care in March, creating wonderful dialogue between the
The seniors who participated enjoyed the experience immensely,
and listened intently as the students shared stories about their
families, pets and friends and from the sporting field. In turn,
the children were really interested in the residents' childhood
experiences, their families and history, and how they spent their
free time without today's technology.
The successful pilot provides a generic framework that could be
used for future roll out. Imagine the impact if Adopt a Pop,
Gain a Granny was embedded in every school's curriculum in our
The benefits of this initiative are very broad - it connects
members of our community, allowing both groups to learn from each
other; it allows a better understanding of the needs of our
seniors, and how the younger generations can support them better;
it fosters stronger community advocacy on their behalf; and it can
also influence younger people's career choices, by exposing them to
the opportunities available in the growing aged care sector.
Adopt a Pop, Gain a Granny is an exciting project that aims to
bridge intergenerational gaps with smiles, conversations and care.
As Geelong transforms with its ageing population and our incredibly
busy lives, this project has the potential to deliver benefits to
all of us within our community.
Rebecca Casson is the Committee for Geelong Chief Executive
Officer. Follow the Committee for Geelong on Twitter
The Adopt a Pop, Gain a Granny project team Nick Uebergang,
Hannah Cameron, Lisa Harrup & Mark Jones (absent)