By Jackson Russell
The Kilmore and District Hospital has partnered with a Mickleham childcare centre to help lift the spirits of aged care residents at Dianella Hostel and Caladenia Nursing Home.
Children at Kool Kidz Merrifield have been creating stories, drawings and paintings along with notes to send to the residents of the hospital’s two facilities.
The children and the residents share some common ground, with many children not able to see their friends and residents not being able to see family due to social distancing.
The partnership came about from hospital staff member Kylie Scott whose daughter Abigail attends Kool Kidz.
Ms Scott said she thought it would be a nice idea to help connect the children and residents.
“I contacted the educational leader and she thought it was a great idea. They got onto it that day and started making little books with stories and paintings and drawings,” she said.
“The idea is we’ll give them to the residents at Dianella and Caladenia and show them the photos of the kids doing them then get the residents to do their own stories and drawings for the kids and show the kids the photos of the residents drawing.”
The new program has already been so successful that Kool Kidz Merrifield plans to continue after social distancing measures finish and have planned a Skype call with residents where they’ll have a chat and perform a song for them.
Kool Kidz Merrifield educational leader Sarah Borg said the children talked about how the elderly must be feeling during this time.
“We’ve talked about the vulnerability and how the elderly can’t see their families and they’ve had group discussions and they completely understand,” she said.
“They have a great understanding about how they must be feeling and how a simple gesture might bring a smile to someone’s face.”
Ms Borg said the children’s response to the program had been fantastic.
“They’ve really responded well to it and are super excited. They’ve got a little post box in their room and have been putting their drawings in there,” she said.
Ms Scott said her daughter was excited about the program.
“She’s loving it, she was really excited to tell me about it and the kids were really involved,” she said.