Coffee, chess and companionship had been central to Thursday mornings at a Claremont-based not-for-profit residential aged care home thanks to students at nearby John XXIII College – that was until coronavirus restrictions came into place at Mercy Place Mont Clare during March.
But rather than be deterred, the innovative intergenerational partnership is still taking place with the help of modern technology.
The ‘Coffee Club’ as it was fondly known now takes the form of a Zoom catch up, whereby seniors at Mercy Place Mont Clare still manage to continue their friendships with Year 9 students from the school.
Mercy Health Mont Clare Acting Service Manager, Surabh Nair, said the firm friends were embracing technology and continuing to chat every week over cappuccinos and cupcakes, despite the global pandemic.
“Our partnership with John XXIII is focused on encouraging companionship and connections between the young and the old, and a sense of togetherness given the restrictions we have in place at the moment because of Covid-19,” he says.
“The youngsters enjoy chatting to our residents just as much as the seniors enjoy their time with the children, they have genuinely developed firm friendships, with many realising they share the same interests, for example playing chess and listening to music.
“This initiative has also been a way of fostering mutual respect between young and old, and I think it’s fair to say the students in particular have learnt a great deal about how to communicate with people of a very different generation.”
Find out more about Mercy Health.