Encouraging greater happiness, mental stimulation and increased longevity amongst their elderly residents, Abbotswood Court care home in Romsey has been welcoming pre-school children from nearby Yellow Dot Nursery.
In the UK one in three over 65s see family members, including grandchildren, less than once a month. This can lead to feelings of isolation and mental decline. Providing positive mental and emotional stimulation, Abbotswood Court in Romsey has been connecting elderly residents with a group of pre-schoolers from the nearby Yellow Dot Nursery.
Benefiting both generations, Abbotswood Court has been encouraging residents and children from the Yellow Dot Nursery to interreact and play. Attending the Abbotswood Court luxury care home and retirement development fortnightly, children from the Yellow Dot Nursery have been participating in a range of activities. Combining nursery day care and retirement care with a little fun, residents have also served as the audience for the children's singing and nativity play rehearsals.
Gemma Ridout-Bowden, General Manager of Abbotswood, said:
"We are pleased to see residents enjoying some quality time with children from the Yellow Dot Nursery. It provides them with great mental stimulation, something which is essential for health and increased longevity. Simultaneously the children can learn new ways to interact, socialise and communicate, this is incredibly important as they grow and mature.''
The dual care initiative was introduced by staff at Abbotswood, following international studies and popular TV shows such as Channel 4's ‘Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds'. These have highlighted the multiple benefits of close intergenerational connections.
Hayley James, Manager of Yellow Dot Nursery said:"Since starting our visits it has been fantastic to see the children grow in confidence and build relationships with the residents. The children often recall their visits and are always excited for their trips to the care home. Through our Froebelian practice we understand the importance of being a part of the wider community. These visits are reinforcing the positive impact this has on both generations"
Gemma Ridout-Bowden, continues:
"Older adults who are actively involved in childcare report much greater happiness, better physical health, and higher degrees of life satisfaction. Mutually beneficial, interactions with the elderly can help to enhance children's personal development. Older people can pass on their patience, knowledge and skills, attributes which are retained by children throughout their lives.''