Child Care Solutions
Aged care and child care synergies for a better world.
By Sudha Hamilton.
An idea that I have been carrying around for sometime is to do with two similar needs from two disparate subsections of our communities – the old and the very young both require care and company. What if we combined these two institutions – the retirement village and the child care facility – or at least placed them next door to each other with connecting access? We would have two groups of cared for people who could, under qualified supervision, provide well meaning contact with each other.
How many times have we observed our older members of the community deriving rejuvenating joy from reaching out to toddlers and other little people who are just beginning their journey. Is this not the DNA plan once fulfilled within our extended families, which have unfortunately fallen away with changes within our modern communities – divorce, broken families and today’s mobility of the workforce creating geographical challenges . Why not have a community or state led program which brings grandparent age people and little ones together at their most vulnerable times of their lives to give to each other.
Older people reaching the concluding stages of their lives are often reviewing their pasts with a wisdom born of experience and an innate understanding of things based on their very real time life clock. Something inside them rejoices at new life in all its innocence and wishes to reach out with love. Little children are developing and theirs is a synergy of timing between the very old and very young – their parents are often rushing around and paying the rent but grandparents are in retirement and moving at the same unhurried pace. Why not bring these two groups together?
Obviously qualified carers servicing both groups would still be required but the numbers of these could be reduced in real time and a more substantial interaction between groups could be achieved. There would also be older individuals who might not wish to interact with little ones and my coexisting facility would respect their wishes. Older patrons of retirement villages would not become involuntary child carers, but rather would have the experience as an optional extra. This idea is all about the exchange of warmth, friendship and care, based on free will.
Our state sponsored facilities and programmes would best serve all of us by bringing sections of our communities and humanity together, rather than separating everybody. This separation continues to be propagated by the arbitrary academic separation of community groups via the stages of their lives in research and development programs, in areas of sociology and in the vital areas of social policy. It is time for governments to become user friendly rather than forever servicing academic/public service fuelled specialisation.
If we can bring an appreciation of humanity – a natural sense of our world – to dealing with the challenges we face within our community – child care and aged care in particular – perhaps bring some common sense to a situation – then we can unite shared purposes.
Please feel free to comment and make your contribution regarding this idea!