It all started as an experiment in Wales. Filmed for a TV programme, elderly people and children were brought together so that experts could analyse the mental health benefits for both, which it turns out were copious. Evidence suggests that intergenerational socialising increases confidence and improves language skills in children and improves the mood of elderly people.
At the same time plans were being completed to open the first nursery in Britain that shares its site with a nursing home. It opened in London in September. Bringing children and elderly people together is the latest trend in forward-thinking care provision for both.
Based on these successes, we’ve already started bringing local children and our residents together for a series of intergenerational days. We hosted one intergenerational day in August and another in November, bringing children from local Stone School to our premises to spend time with our residents and staff. We also invited the children and grandchildren of some our residents to participate in the day, which involved several games of balloon tennis, Snakes and Ladders and Fetch The Ducks. The day was a resounding success, and it will certainly be something we’ll be carrying on into the future.
The effect of the initial TV experiment and the resulting actions were so good that there are calls across the country to integrate child and elderly care permanently.We will keep an eye on how this develops over the next few years. We are and always will be about providing the best possible elderly care we can. This is our specialist area and it’s what we are good at. But if we know that something as achievable as bringing younger people onto the premises can have such a great impact on those we’re providing care for, then, of course, we will go out of our way to do it.
Our intergenerational days are part of Peverel Court Care’s ongoing commitment to offering effective care that increases the quality of life and is based on the best available evidence. Since we’re aware that there are so many benefits for our residents when they spend time with the younger generation, this is certainly something we’ll be looking to make a staple part of the provision of our care, available for any of our residents to take part in if they wish to.
And, let’s face it, it’s nice to see younger and older people coming together to make each other happy and spend quality time with one another. Perhaps these types of activities will tear down generational boundaries and pull everyone closer together.