CEO, Intergenerational Learning Australia
Greg Cronan – Founder Intergenerational Learning Australia
After completing studies through Griffith University in 2018, focusing on research methodologies and intergenerational learning, Greg commenced an intergenerational learning research project. This involved a primary school and residential aged care home in Sydney’s western suburbs. The benefits for both age groups were significant in terms of improved mood and behaviour in the students and elders. The innovative aspects of this program were using video conferencing for the interactions (complemented by physical visits) and integrating topics from the school curriculum. These interactions proved to be a mentally stimulating and purposeful activities for both age groups. Based on the outcomes of these interactions, Greg founded the Intergenerational Learning Australia organisation. Over the past five years, the intergenerational learning and wellbeing program has been implemented in public and private schools, residential aged care homes, retirement villages and seniors’ groups from Wagga Wagga to Cairns.
ABC TV Entertainment transforms to action: A practical guide for those inspired by the series, “Old People’s Homes for 4 Year Olds and Teenagers” to implement intergenerational learning and wellbeing programs
TV shows about intergenerational programs inspire us to make positive changes in aged care. However, the following comments are common from people and organisations wanting to start such programs.
It looks great on TV, but we don’t have a TV production team, healthcare professionals or teachers specialised in intergenerational programs to help us.
In this presentation, one of the ABC TV’s executive producers will talk about their preparation and objectives for the “Old People’s Homes” TV series. You will then hear from industry experts who have implemented intergenerational programs in various settings and practical ways they have planned, facilitated and sustained innovative intergenerational programs. Comments about the impact of these programs on participants will be provided in addition to addressing the following questions:
How can an early childhood centre, school, group of seniors or aged care organisation start these programs? Where can these interactions occur? What’s involved? How do you integrate the school curriculum? Can video conferencing be used? What are the best age groups and number of participants? How have people with dementia and diverse backgrounds participated in these programs? How has this program improved person-centred quality care? Where can we learn about intergenerational programs?
Video recordings of different age groups from 4 year olds to teenagers and much older people will be shown, along with explanations about their interactions. Segments of interviews with elders, aged care staff, healthcare professionals, teachers, school principals and parents will also be shown. Their comments about impact range from improvements in mental health in context of mood, anxiety, negativity and depression to improvements in physical health.
An overview will be provided about how intergenerational programs address some of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care, Quality and Safety in addition to addressing eleven strategies of the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council. One example involves school students and undergraduates participating in intergenerational programs to help increase the aged care workforce and contribute to positive ageing.
Barriers to implement intergenerational learning programs and ways to overcome them will be discussed. References will be made to a peer reviewed research article along with reasons to fund further research to inform aged care policy.
Insights from the fields of neuroscience, anthropology and education that are foundational to well-planned and purposeful intergenerational learning programs, will also be discussed.
By attending this presentation, the audience will have the information and best-practice examples about implementing intergenerational programs.