Care Home Connections

by Kim Gairns, Service Manager at NESCol
At NESCol Nursery we are always looking for ways to connect with our local community and bringing generations together was number one on our list.

So when we had the opportunity to visit the local care home Jarvis Court both the team and the children jumped at the opportunity.

The children seemed excited prior to our visit as they were asked what they thought about “old people”.

“They can’ hear” – EB

“Grandma” – SG

“They have grumbly hair.” BS

The children were also asked what they think old people do.

“They go to bed.” HF

“They can do the dishes.” BS

“They eat, sit and eat.” AC

“Nothing, we can take our toys.” SK

Documenting this in the children’s floorbook, we hope to see a change in perspective in the children on how their view “old people” after spending more time with them and sharing their play experiences and communicating with the residents.

We really enjoyed our first visit where were able to interact and engage with the residents as the children chose to bring some construction magnet tiles and colouring in pages.

Staff at the home said that “they love the kids coming up.”

Residents comments included:

“It’s rare” (children coming up)

“What a bonnie”

One resident is almost 101 years of age and when staff asked him what his secret to looking so well at that age. The resident explained he was a farmer. A lot of early mornings. Staff communicated with the child next to the resident to repeat that he is 100 years of age. The child made a shocked face and agreed when the practitioner said “that is a big number isn’t it?”

“Intergenerational practice is not a new concept. People of different ages often speak of the enjoyment and the benefits of being together, getting to know one another, learning from each other and having fun. Age often doesn’t mean a thing when they get together.” – Care Inspectorate (Bring Generations Together)

“People of different ages often speak of the enjoyment and the benefits of being together, getting to know one another, learning from each other and having fun.” Bringing Generations Together – Care Inspectorate (Bring Generations Together)

The staff feedback was so heartfelt and they commented on how nice it was to connect with the residents and begin a positive relationship with one of our local sheltered housing. The children came back talking about how the residents were helping them colour and build.

“They made me something.” MV

Getting out into our community supports children in feeling more confident when they are challenged with a new environment. A visit to care homes can provide this and more.

Alongside being in a new environment, children can benefit from the praise and support they receive from the care home residents and staff. Meeting new people also builds confidence and allow the children the opportunity to show care and considerations for others.

Another positive learning experience for children is that they can learn and develop their understanding and respect for the elderly. Not every child will have experience or a family unit containing an elderly person. This is where we hope by documenting the children’s voice in their floorbook, we can see how the children’s opinion changes as relationships begin to form with the residents.

This was our first visit to Jarvis Court and we and the children are very excited to more visits to come.