Research benefiting young and old in Chinchilla

20 January 2024

SCCQ were thrilled to be involved in an intergenerational research program run by Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) in the Western Downs.

As part of the 6-week program designed to facilitate meaningful interactions between different generations, ten of our Illoura Village aged care residents in Chinchilla, enjoyed weekly visits from ten Year eight students from Chinchilla State High School.

Residents and students took part in planned activities and spent quality time together, helping to strengthentheir supportive social networks and community connectedness; both critical attributes to living a meaningful life.

Activities included a scavenger hunt where students and seniors solved riddles together to locate landmarks, a flat-pack assembly challenge requiring the team building of bedside tables, musical bingo, code-breaker activities and much more.

SCCQ’s Regional Support Manager for Western Downs, Lance Payne, is passionate about the benefits programs like these have on both young and old members of the community, “Involving the youth into aged care is not only beneficial to the social aspect of a resident’s life but also allows students to gain knowledge and insight into the amazing lives our residents have lived.

They form a bond throughout this program that enriches both the student and the resident’s life.” Research indicates that intergenerational programs cultivate social connection, mentorship and knowledge sharing. They are designed to encourage community building, contribute to improvements in mental and physical health, and foster positive shifts in attitudes towards ageing.

Residents and students participated in interviews at the conclusion of the program, with the questions designed to explore the acceptability, appropriateness and prospective long-term adoption of the program in Chinchilla. Initial findings suggest the program had a bi-directional effect, improving the wellbeing of both older adults and teenagers.