Members Article: Retirement Village fights generation gap

The simple idea of connecting local high school students with aged care residents is serving to fight the generation gap while sending a powerful message to the aged care industry at the same time.

The trial of a unique intergenerational initiative based on connecting local high school students with the elderly residents of Cooranbong’s Adventist Senior Living run Avondale Lifestyle Community Residential Aged Care facilities has given both student and elderly participants alike the opportunity to develop new bonds and perceptions with outstanding results. Not least of which has been a surprise win of a highly contested national award for the program.

Through a living classroom partnership with Avondale Lifestyle Community, students benefit enormously in their technology course outcomes, according to Avondale High School Head of Technology, Nigel Lynn. Following site visits to the aged care facility and individual consultations with residents, students design and create individual items to gift their “client” in a real life approach to learning. “As students engage with residents from design concept through to production they receive an important lesson in making incremental improvements in design and implementation strategy along the way”, said Mr Lynn, “and receive enormous satisfaction in seeing the joy of gifting their final product”, he added.

Program coordinator and Avondale Lifestyle Community Diversional Therapist, Lindl Webster says the change in residents throughout the program is remarkable. All experience a new fullness of life, self esteem and an increased sense of validation, she says. “Residents find true joy in the interaction, in conversations with the students and in the final gift itself”, she says.

In recognising the living classroom initiative as an exemplar for all aged care services, the federal Australian Aged Care Quality Agency awarded Adventist Senior Living the top gong in its nationally coveted Better Practice Awards, Consumer Directed Care and Re-ablement category. Adventist Senior Living CEO, David Knight, accepted the award in a special ceremony in Cooranbong this week.

For more detail contact:

David Knight, CEO

Adventist Senior Living

Tel: 4977 0000


David Knight and Diversional Therapist Lindl Webster receive Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Award

Students Seth Waldrip and Zac Watson present Avondale Lifestyle Community resident Gloria Kranz with their original design and crafted wheelchair table

Scroll to Top