Age is proving no barrier to the strong friendships which are blooming at Regis Nedlands, thanks to a new partnership with the University of Western Australia’s Student Guild and volunteers from community-based, not-for-profit organisation Advocare.

Residents at the western suburbs home have been striking up friendships with students from UWA as part of an intergenerational partnership with the aged care home, which aims to improve social isolation and combat generational stereotypes by building strong connections and bridging the intergenerational gap.

The program, which runs twice weekly until December, enables students to directly interact with Regis seniors and form significant bonds, for example by running art workshops and other meaningful activities.

Sam Waldron, Regis Nedlands General Manager, said research shows that effective intergenerational programs are beneficial for all generations, with improvements seen in the mental health, emotional wellbeing and physical health of participants.

“We are genuinely delighted to partner with UWA and Advocare this academic semester so that our seniors living at Regis Nedlands can spend some enjoyable time with the younger generation,” he said.

“The benefits of the partnership extend both ways, with the students and residents involved genuinely enjoying their time together and we’re delighted by how well this initiative has been received, by both the residents and students alike.

“Our seniors love spending time with younger people and they’re very keen to share their hobbies, stories and life lessons with others.

“It’s also a really great way for young people to learn from and respect the elderly; they’ve certainly loved spending times with residents and many of them share similar interests, particularly reading and music.”

The Regis-UWA partnership also aims to raise awareness regarding issues surrounding ageism, generational stereotyping and appropriate ageing etiquette when it comes to ageing adults.

Regis offers a diverse range of care options including residential aged care, home care, retirement living, day therapy and day respite. Regis is one of the largest providers of aged care in Australia and cares for more than 7,000 residents each year.