It's been almost a year since children from Ōhaupō's Grasshoppers Early Learning Centre starting visiting residents at Radius Windsor Court rest home, which has benefited both young and old.

The visits began in March last year and were put in place by the rest homes diversional therapist, Kerri-Ann Tinkler, who establishes the resident's activity programme.

It was also started to help combat loneliness in the older generation which is something rest homes across New Zealand are working towards. An Otago University Study found that one in five older New Zealanders living at home were lonely.

"Radius Windsor Court residents just light up with smiles on their faces when the children come in. It is a good social activity, especially for those who don't socialise a lot or see their own family," said Kerri-Ann.

Radius Windsor Court resident Lynne Purchase (in blue) talks to children visiting from Grasshoppers Early Learning Centre. Photo / Supplied.
Radius Windsor Court resident Lynne Purchase (in blue) talks to children visiting from Grasshoppers Early Learning Centre. Photo / Supplied.

Activities throughout the year included learning about makeup. Some residents even let the children test out their skills on them. On St Patrick's Day the children watched a bagpipe performance at the rest home and at Christmas the children entertained the residents with Christmas carols and dancing. The residents would also regularly read books to the children.

"The residents enjoy interacting with them and join in nursery rhymes and the actions. They like to see the children happy. One memorable event was when the Grasshopper children applied make-up on the residents - even our men had make-overs willingly," said Kerri-Ann.

Because the visits have been such a success the early learning centre will continue to take children for visits to the rest home once a month this year.

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