Meet Anna and Fiona, founders of The Herd Intergenerational Learning Centre and finalists in the TOM Organic Pitch for Purpose program. Between them, they have over 30 years’ experience teaching children and researching the benefits of intergenerational connection. We’ve teamed up with Anna and Fiona to bring you expert resources to help navigate the new normal we face amongst the COVID-19 pandemic.
First up, Anna and Fiona share some tips to help us stay connected with the senior members in our community while social distancing measures are in place…
As we know, many of our Senior Australians are isolated and have limited access to resources and opportunities to remain connected and active within their communities. We’ve put together a list of ideas to connect and feed the souls of older members in our community without jeopardising their health.
BOND OVER MUSIC
Music has the power to lessen anxiety, self-regulate and induce nostalgia. Whether it’s just the chorus of Blue Suede Shoes or Twist and Shout, singing together over the phone is an instant boost and encourages us to get up and move our bodies through a good old jig.
Rustle through a photo album and share a trip down memory lane or perhaps explain a special memory they may not know. If you have children, there are so many wonderful digital platforms that you could share their new artwork or story though – perhaps one that is made especially for them!
Laughter changes our physical and mental health through the endorphins and oxygen that run to the brain. How can we harness the healing power of laughter in such a challenging context? A laughter call! Next time you are on the phone to your mum, dad, grandpa, grandma or perhaps an elderly friend that could do with a good belly laugh, tell them that you are setting the timer for 1 minute and all you are both going to do is laugh! The brain cannot tell the difference between real or fake laughter and our bodies receive the same benefits. Alternatively, think back to a funny memory you both share and enjoy recounting the details!
A simple phone call can go a long way when someone is feeling alone whilst socially distancing. Equally, writing someone a letter may feel just as good as a hug right now! A nationwide pen-pal program has recently been launched, encouraging Aussies who are socially distancing to write to the elderly to lift their spirits. A great opportunity for you and your family to connect with our senior citizens.