The project year “children and seniors become friends”, which began in september 2017, came to a close with a final meeting its conclusion. At the same time, the award-winning concept that began almost ten years ago also came to an end.
The nice old ladies sit on their seats in the activity room of the BRK senior citizens' home in kronach. In front of you on the table are delicious sweets. The preschool children of the catholic integrative montessori kindergarten in dorfles go from one lady to the next, where their sugar tots are “station by station” with the “sponsored” by the senior citizens treats are filled. After the last station, the school tubs are full to the brim. Quickly a rough loop around it, so that really no preciousness is lost.
With a “thank you the young and young-at-heart thank their “somewhat older” band members with beaming eyes friends. On this day, thanks were also expressed by home director tanja seuling and project manager theresa schneider from the BRK senior citizens' home in kronach, as well as antje angles and kerstin hinz from the BRK multigenerational home – namely christine schedel. The long-serving nursery nurse at the dorfles kindergarten had set up the project from the very beginning. In a few months she will retire herself.
She, as well as the children and seniors, found it visibly difficult to say goodbye. The project was initiated by sabine scherbel, then director of the kronach MGH, almost ten years ago. The concept, which won a prize in the germany-wide sustainability competition organized by the dm drugstore chain “ideas initiative for the future the group heaven, which won the local award in 2011, had ambitious goals: to show children and seniors that they can help each other if they know each other's wishes and needs. It was a public offer, which was by no means only open to the residents of the home, but to all interested people – regardless of age.
As a rule, the “rough ones” visited every two weeks of the dorfleser kindergarten the senior citizens' home and for some time the neighboring senior citizens' residence. The list of joint activities and events was long: it ranged from handicrafts and games to cooking and baking, theater performances, reading sessions and fairy tales. Many intergenerational friendships have developed over the ten years as a result of the regular visits, says christine schedel. Theresa schneider, occupational therapist, confirms this: “it was always nice to see the different generations working together in such harmony. Our residents always looked forward to it when the children came to visit them.”
The farewell was especially hard for the residents of the senior residence eleonore backert and “grandma ursel” pawelka, who actively support the project. Backert, long-time director of the “sternschnuppe” kindergarten schmolz, knows a lot of songs and rhymes. She is great at handicrafts and always presented the children with self-made souvenirs – as she did now for the farewell. Ursel pawelka was born in schmolz and is still remembered by many from her time in the “konsum” known. The energy bundle doesn't think much of peace and quiet. “Grandma ursel” makes herself useful in the senior residence as well as in the BRK-seniorenhaus wherever she can. She has also made many handicrafts: “it's fun for me and when the children are happy about it, that's my greatest reward”, she says.