““I’ve wanted to do this project since Year 7. Every year at assemblies you hear about the great relationships at Carrington”
Student, Magdalene Catholic High School
This resource is an essential guide for aged care organisations and secondary schools who wish to nurture meaningful relationships between students and older people in care. The award-winning program was originally developed by Carrington for use in their residential aged care facilities. Carrington won the 2016 Meaningful Ageing Australia Quality Practice in Pastoral and Spiritual Care Awards. We are grateful to Carrington for sharing this resource so that more people, young and old, can experience the kind of spiritual care that happens in mutual relationship.
About Intergenerational Reminiscence
In the project, two-three students meet with each older person over a period of three months, inviting them to share their life stories. The project culminates in the students creating a memento of the older person’s stories, and these are offered in a presentation to the older person, their friends and family members.
Intergenerational reminiscence fits beautifully within a philosophy of person-centred care and meaningful ageing, ensuring that an individual older person is heard, and that their life and experiences are valued at every level. In this program, time is given to exclusively hearing whatever the older person wants to share about their life and about the lessons that they have learned along the way. Recording the story ensures that their life can continue to be shared with future generations, and thus brings meaning and value to their lives. .
The program has benefits for the older people sharing their stories, their family members and friends. They receive opportunities to reflect on their lives and to create a legacy for their loved ones. The students in the program also benefit, developing their interpersonal skills and learning from the life experience of the older person. Mutual benefits arise from the relationship they build over time. Other benefits exist for the organisation and secondary school.
“There are significant benefits for the students who participate in the project. Students are left with an appreciation of the generations who have gone before them. They value the opportunity to learn important life lessons from people outside their own family. In some cases, the project has resulted in students reviewing their career trajectory following the completion of their schooling and led them to consider a future of working or volunteering in the aged care industry”.
Julie Philpott – Pastoral Care Coordinator, Carrington