25 years experience working with seniors in Long Term Care and Grandbuddy Program as Director of Resident Lifestyles and Community Programs.
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Sister Pat McAulay Award, Employee Recognition, St. Joseph's Hospital, Comox, B.C.
Bachelor of Arts, Leisure Services Administration, University of Victoria
I have had the opportunity to witness the wonderful connection that seniors have with children. Children for the most part have it easy when it comes to meeting new people and experiencing new situations. They come with no prior conditioning that would restrict them from looking at a new interaction. I can compare this meeting somewhat to the “meeting at the playground”. Children automatically are drawn to each other. I feel that when children and seniors also get together they are drawn to one another like magnets. Of course there are exceptions but that is when a facilitator can help with the education and introduce activities that can draw this generation gap closer to one another. The “Grandbuddy Program” that is introduced in a long term care facility provides tremendous benefits for both the seniors and young people. The partnership between a school walking distance from the facility and seniors living in complex care is a great resource for one another. This is an opportunity for everyone to take part in relationship building, learning, and closing this generation gap. The “Grandbuddy Program” workbook provided for all students is a tool for them to use. This easy to read guide allows students to know what is expected. It also includes sections for journal writing which also allows the students to reflect on their experiences and what they have learned.