Young and old come together for Ekka fun
Age is no barrier when it comes to petting zoos, snags on the barbecue and live country music as the residents of Jindalee Tricare Aged Care and children from Goodstart Early Learning Middle Park
A “mini Ekka” was held at the aged care facility last week and while the rollercoasters and strawberry sundaes were missing, there was no shortage of fun.
Complete with food on the grill, cake stalls, and line dancing, the country celebration also included a pen of baby animals, who found plenty of welcoming laps to nestle in.
Goodstart Middle Park centre director Melissa Bowman said the kindergarten class made regular weekly visits to Jindalee Tricare, so were delighted to be invited to the mini Ekka.
“It’s a great opportunity to extend our community connections and both the children and the aged care residents really love the contact with each other,” she said.
“We decided to make it even more special by dressing up as farmers and we incorporated the Ekka visit with Goodstart’s involvement in the Buy a Bale fundraiser for farmers.”
The relationship between Jindalee Tricare and Goodstart Middle Park has become something of a ritual which brings a lot of cheer to the aged care residents who embrace the visits as much as the children look forward to the weekly outing.
Tricare divisional therapist Rachael Quinert said the benefits of the visits were definitely two-way.
“The interaction with the children is hugely beneficial to our residents,” she said. “Some of them don’t have children or grandchildren close by and the same goes for the Goodstart children who might have grandparents in other towns or cities.”
“It’s wonderful to see and you can’t put into words how special the time is when they sit down and just read or draw together. It’s priceless.”
The visits encourage children to show care, concern and also how they can be compassionate by making someone happy doing little things with the residents.