I must begin with a confession ... I love the television show Gogglebox! I won't bore you with my 'too much sounding like justification' reasons, but its commentators certainly resonate in our household.
This obsession with Gogglebox allows me to have a precis of television viewing across the week in one hour (including advertisements).
Last week's offering again simultaneously delighted and appalled me in exploring what entertains us as human beings. However, it was the snapshot of a show currently airing on the ABC (no, not a paid advertisement I promise) called 'Old Peoples' Home for 4 Year Olds', which captured my interest. The reality of our society confronting an ever growing number of older people becoming the largest group in our population cannot be ignored. Within 40 years we, apparently, will have double the number of older Australians.
Many of you will have already had to navigate the journey of how our older relatives will live and many more of us will need to contemplate this in the near future. The program in Australia records the first ever experiment on the role of intergenerational relationships in improving the health, including the mental wellbeing, of older Australians living communally. This is a delightful journey of 4 year old children learning about ageing whilst benefitting from the wisdom and joy of these older Australians in their lives. The shared activities where we begin to see the incredible improvements in the physical strength, positivity and alertness of the older adults is made more delightful by the often hilarious, touching and beautiful interactions initiated by the 4 year olds.
As a community and as a school, we can take much from this - the wisdom of our older Australians, their capacity to contribute enormously to society, their potential for depression as they move into another life stage and the fundamental importance of increasing our time and care for and with this generation.
I am very proud of the links forged between our school and our local communities of older Australians. Our students have talked with, worked with, sung with and learned from, and entertained our older Australains.
These interactions and the planned-for building of intergenerational relationships will, in part, contribute to a world where our older generation can live out their lives to the fullest as we 'extract' all their wisdom to inform how best to live our lives.
Ms Kerrie Jones