Riverview Lutheran Rest Home in Loxton, in South Australia’s Riverland, was recently recognised as a finalist in the ACSA (Aged & Community Services Australia) Aged Care Awards for its intergenerational community engagement program.
The aim of this program is to actively engage the residents with the younger generation of the Loxton community. This is done through activities that promote intergenerational communication and physical activity, which enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of the residents and encourage positive and engaging communication with the younger generation.
The program also helps break down children’s fears of ageing people and increases children’s feelings of happiness, helpfulness and positive communication.
Riverview Lutheran Rest Home has a long history of engagement with Loxton Lutheran School and we are very fortunate that these two facilities are across the road from each other.
This year has seen some major growth in our intergenerational ministry opportunities. Riverview has hosted school students for a number of activities, including donut day, crazy dress up day, a game of maths bingo, Scattergories, carpet bowls and ladder ball, to name only a few. Each activity is designed for active interaction between resident and student. It’s all about talking, laughing, having fun, with a little learning together along the way.
There are many benefits of this program. There is an energy in the air when the students arrive at Riverview and the residents are happy, talkative and engaging. We see them laughing and having so much fun together. We have seen care, empathy, and a shared sense of fun, which is so wonderful to see.
Riverview also hosts a moving and grooving session every Monday during school term, which is open to parents of babies and pre-schoolers. This is a music-based program that engages both resident and child in a set of nursery rhymes and physical activity. This program has a sneaky way of getting residents to move without them even realising it, as they are so engaged with the young children. This program shows that it doesn’t matter the age of the children or resident; both respond to purposeful interaction.
I think the best part is that our interactions with each other are reciprocated, in so many wonderful ways. Recently school students came over to Riverview for book week and presented a costume parade as well as reading some favourite books to the residents. That day warmed so many hearts: those of the residents, students, and staff of both the school and Riverview.
It’s so exciting to be a part of this amazing community and I am so very thankful that God has placed me here to help to grow the program and to go out and share God’s love with the residents, students of Loxton Lutheran School and members of the greater Loxton community.
More about Riverview Lutheran Rest Home
Interested in getting involved with or knowing more about intergenerational ministry? Contact Grow Ministries: