Eighty Year Age Gap Bridged As Nursery Children Visit Care Home
Local toddlers had a play date with a difference last month, as they made new friends with residents of a Birmingham care home – bridging an age gap spanning generations.
Eight children from Stonehouse Farm First Steps nursery in Harborne, and residents at Oakview Care Home spent the fun-filled day baking, doing arts and crafts and making pizza. It forms part of a new inter-generational programme by The Co-operative Childcare, which owns the nursery, to help both children and the elderly with their development, memory, speech and wellbeing.
Studies suggest that for very young children, spending time with elderly people can be extremely beneficial for speech and language development, and the extra attention helps to boost their confidence and independence.
For the residents of Oakview, visits such as these provide a much-wanted opportunity to spend time with children, especially those with families living further away. Carers at Oakview have said how the visits brighten the residents’ days and give them something to look forward to.
Tina Young, Nursery Manager at Stonehouse Farm First Steps, said: “I definitely think this is something that should be rolled out across more nurseries and care homes. The children love the attention and really create bonds and friendships that they can learn from. They remember individuals and will ask after them in-between visits. It’s really rewarding for the staff involved to see how they react too.”
James Parkes, Home Manager at Oakview, said: “Having the nursery visit really brightens everyone’s day at the care home and provides a break from our normal routines.
“We notice a lot of the residents are really spritely and energised before and after the visits and they relish the chance to tell their stories and engage in all the activities and games.”