Bridging the generations
On Wednesday 4 July Bridge Haven care home welcomed three little visitors from a local playschool. Magpies, a village community charity run playschool based in Boughton, Kent, took three of their children along to Bridge Haven care home to meet with residents and staff for the morning.
Bridge Haven care home is nestled in the rural village of Bridge, near Canterbury, and cares for and supports people living with dementia. The home is owned and operated by Avante Care & Support, and embraces the Eden Alternative philosophy of care which encourages these kinds of community links.
‘There have been some fabulous articles in the media recently that are showcasing intergenerational care and proving children are helping older people thrive. We have great community links with our local primary school who often visit residents at Bridge Haven throughout the year, but as yet we haven’t had a link with pre-schoolers. When it was proposed that we invite the children into the home both Donna and I were really excited to make this happen!’
The visit had been arranged to help break down some of the barriers and stereotypes that are often linked to care homes, ageism and dementia care. Children can be a great form of inspiration with people living with dementia and by inviting young children into a care home they not only help to enrich resident’s lives but help dispel some myths about living in a care home.
The visit began with the children meeting residents in the large communal area of the home which allowed plenty of space for the children and residents to interact and feel at ease. The children were soon talking to residents about their families, interests and pets. Before the visit one resident who had been observed during the morning as being quieter than usual, appeared uplifted throughout the playschool visit and engaging positively with the children and enjoying their company.
The visit continued successfully throughout the morning with positive interaction from both generations, not forgetting the pet bearded dragon that was introduced to the children!
‘We all had a fabulous time at Bridge Haven care home and were made to feel so welcome. It was such a success we have already started talking about our next visit, we would like to make this a regular occurrence, the children clearly had a good time and you could see the residents enjoyed their company too’.
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