Bringing generations together
Monday 1st October marked the International Day of Older Persons and to celebrate, Riverdale Court and Bridge Haven care homes, both owned and managed by Avante Care & Support, teamed up with Lingotot and Magpies pre-school to bring generations together.
There has been a great deal of research looking into the benefits of language learning for both younger and older minds, including vast evidence which suggests that learning a new skill such as a new language, can help delay the onset of dementia in older learners.
Sarah says: “Working with older people in my community is something I have wanted to do for a long time now. It’s not just about the benefits that language learning can have on the brain, but also the social aspect - helping to combat loneliness and improve a person’s emotional wellbeing."
Nicolas Kee Mew, Home Manager at Riverdale Court Care Home in Welling said: “I wanted to find an activity which would allow our residents to interact with the local community, and was thrilled to find Sarah and Lingotot Bexley right on our doorstep. Our residents thoroughly enjoyed the launch class – being able to start to learn a new language, chatting to the local parents, playing with the children and we can’t wait for Lingotot to come back every Saturday morning!”
Polly Shilton a parent who attended the Lingotot Generations launch said: “My children and I absolutely loved the Lingotot Generations class. Not only did we come away having learnt the colours of the rainbow in Spanish, but we also really enjoyed, and benefited from, spending time with the residents."
Bridge Haven care home near Canterbury, Kent has also been celebrating the International Day of Older Persons by welcoming eight little visitors from a local playschool. Magpies, a village community charity run playschool based in Boughton, Kent, visited Bridge Haven care home with its pre-schoolers to meet and interact with the residents at the home.
This is the second visit for the playschool to Bridge Haven which had been arranged between Home Manager Kim Drury and Magpies’ pre-school Manager Donna Kelly, who both have an interest in integrating younger people with older minds.
Kim Drury, Bridge Haven’s Home Manager said, "There have been some fabulous articles and documentaries in the media recently that are showcasing intergenerational care and proving children are helping older people thrive. Our first visit from Magpies was so successful Donna and I were keen to get another visit in the diary as soon as possible, we are now looking to book in at least one visit per term, both Donna and I are really excited to make this happen."
The visits had originally 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 children met with 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 happily chatting with residents and colouring in together.
There was a great amount of interaction and laugher around two of the children who had dressed up as Spider Man for the visit, residents loved the entertainment that came with these two little superheroes with plenty of pretend web throwing taking place throughout their visit!
Donna Kelly, Manager at Magpies pre-school said, "We had a fabulous time again at Bridge Haven care home and were made to feel so welcome. The children clearly had a good time and you could see the residents enjoyed their company too."
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