Aged care friends share international ties

A new partnership between migrant TAFE students and Catholic Homes aged care residents is forging new bonds and benefits for all involved.

In a program inspired by the ABC TV special Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds, adult migrant English students joined residents from Catholic Homes’ Archbishop Goody residence to share language, culture and friendships.

TAFE lecturer Peter Thompson, whose mother resided at Archbishop Goody, said the cross-cultural experience has been beneficial.

“Some of the students were interested in working in aged care, so it was a good opportunity to feel it out to see if they were interested and they love it!” Peter said.

Students and residents enjoy singing and playing drums

Archbishop Goody Facility Manager Noelene Wright helped Peter establish the inaugural program, with assistance from her colleague, lifestyle coordinator Apii Harbour.

Noelene said the intercultural and intergenerational experiences were building people’s capacities and confidence.

“Residents looked forward to activities, viewing it as a fun way of volunteering in the community as their skills were appreciated by the students,” Noelene said.

The six-week program had everyone drumming and singing, learning about their homelands in “armchair travel” plus — a firm favourite — dishes from around the world.

If the smiles are anything to go by, the program will be a shining success with a plan to continue it into 2023!