Generations connecting through tech, tea & tales

March 17, 2017 by Jenna Chaitowitz
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An innovative intergenerational program, ‘Tech, Tea & Tales’ recently launched at Jewish Care Victoria – the first of its kind in Australia.

Riley Gentle andJane Lothringer

This exciting inter-generational program is being run by Humankind Enterprises (StoryPod) and Lively in partnership with Jewish Care. The 6-week program, the first of its kind in Australia to be run in an aged care facility, involves young ‘story helpers’ and ‘tech helpers’ working one-on-one with Jewish Care residents, to help them use technology to connect with friends, family and their interests, and record their stories and life experiences on film.

Over 60 applicants applied to be story and tech helpers, where three were selected to be the successful candidates.

Mila Khmelnitsky and Natalie Gelfand

This program provides an opportunity for older members of our community to contribute to the learning and skills of younger people, but also to learn new skills themselves with technology that can seem daunting. Story and tech helpers work with residents to record their stories, dreams and hopes of a generation, so that they can be shared for future learning.

In turn, this model helps the younger generations learn that the elderly have much to contribute in life. The initiative also helps the younger generation develop a sense of worth in teaching the elderly how to engage with technology and connectivity.

The story and tech helpers engage with residents through activities including recording stories on film, archiving treasured photos and documenting the stories behind them; and teaching residents to use iPads to connect with loved ones and engage with their interests online.

“Many of the residents are keen to spend time discussing their life stories and experiences, and recording these on film for themselves and their families,” Montefiore Homes Lifestyle Coordinator, Jacinta Jarutis said.

“The program is an opportunity for our residents to further connect with their family, community and younger generations, and for their unique life experiences to be heard, valued and recorded.”

The initiative builds on the existing work of Lively and Humankind Enterprises, that began collaborating in March 2016 to develop the program. Lively employs young jobseekers to help older people with technology, and Humankind Enterprises engages young people to record older people’s stories on film through its StoryPod initiative.

“We saw an exciting opportunity to combine our programs into a joint model, and received support from Jewish Care to bring the project to life,” Lively Founder and CEO Anna Donaldson said.

To view images from the Tech, Tea & Tales sessions and follow the residents’ storytelling journey, visit www.facebook.com/jewishcarevictoria

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