Students STEP up for seniors program

The next group of eager IGS students participating in the seniors and teens empathy program recently enjoyed their first online lesson ahead of their first virtual visit with Opal Annandale Aged Care in Term 3.

The group of Year 8 and 10 students are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of seniors in the community via regular virtual meetings.

Ahead of the virtual visits, students spoke to Heart and Soul Story about the lockdown, how social distancing had affected the group and their lives, and the ongoing effect that social isolation and visitor restrictions have had on older people in aged care and in our community.

“It was awesome to find out we have a gymnast, zoo volunteer, linguist (four languages!), saxophonist and a student who loves journalling among the group,” Samantha Heron of Heart and Soul Story said.

“All these interests and passions will no doubt be fertile conversation starters for future conversations with residents of Opal Annandale. We chatted about the effects that COVID 19 has had on the Aged Care sector, how school groups are still not allowed for face to face visits, and the importance of using digital as a means to stay in contact.”

Samantha said the students are “a really fabulous group of enthusiastic and sensitive students,” she said.

“I can’t wait for them to start interacting with our extremely keen Opal residents who have been adapting really well to Ipad conversations and are excited to meet the new students.”

Students enjoyed creating video messages, letters, posters and music to introduce themselves to the aged care residents.