April 13, 2021
In Jenni Mack
As Intergenerational Month has just passed we wanted to have a think about what Intergenerational Activity really means.
If we look into the word “intergenerational” the dictionary definition of this is:
"relating to, involving, or affecting several generations"
And for me the stand out word in this is several
In recent years the popular TV series “Care Home for 4 Year Olds” has highlighted the magic that can happen when you put young children into the same space as people usually of their grandparents age.
Generations are more focussed on now, and we find ourselves “named” in a generational generalisation with people who were born in a 10-15 year age range to ourselves. I have begun to wonder how it can be possible that so many people can be lumped into a “box” or “named group” based purely on the date they were born,
No two people are the same and the life experience of each person makes their contribution to the world unique and amazing.
So with this in mind I wanted to get involved in “Intergenerational Week 2021” and look at some of the things Holmes Care Group have done to create Intergenerational activities within our homes and look to the future of this fascinating area
We have a wide range of visitors within our homes all of different age groups, from nursery children, to primary, secondary and college/university students along with all of our residents family and friends from varying age groups.
Purpose and meaning should be at the centre of every activity that is organised, It is lovely to have children come in and sing or dance as entertainment for our residents but it’s vitally important for there to be a chance for our residents to interact too. This will happen organically but initially is needed to be steered.
In Craigielea Care Home in Renfrew, when nursery children visited we noticed that the children often became overwhelmed and sometimes timid so we stepped in and guided the interaction by having a “buddy system” in which each child had a resident “buddy”. This meant that on a weekly basis when the children visited they knew who they were visiting and developed a friendship together with their resident buddy. This was so beautiful to watch and developed over time with children even visiting after they left nursery and moved onto school, bringing in their siblings and parents and creating a lovely family friendship that lasts long after the initial activity is undertaken.
In Larkfield View Care Home in Greenock we have utilised a large lounge are to host a children’s art/messy play group called ARTventurers, which takes place once a week, . This has given residents something to look forward to, allowing a community connection with local children and their parents and in turn supporting a group which may otherwise have struggled to find a location for their classes. Again the repetition of this and the interactive nature of the activities has created some wonderful moments between multiple generations.
At Almond Court Care Home in Drumchapel after multiple days out to a local children’s nursery one of our residents now volunteers as a Play Worker on a weekly basis. The connection this resident has found with so many of the younger children has been beautiful for family & friends to watch.
As well as younger children our homes interact with primary and secondary aged children frequently. Relationships built over time with local schools offer a wealth of opportunity for interaction and learning from both parties. Our residents have helped developed school children’s learning about key historical moments they have personally lived through as well as offering insights into how technology has developed over the years..
We have been able to see these situations unfold so beautifully on their own, which shows us that opportunity is the only effort required on our parts. By creating the opportunities the magic will happen.
Numerous student placements take place throughout our care homes, it is without a doubt the most valuable part of any course to experience the reality for yourself, and be able to see your learning in practice. We have had many students come through our doors and again the interaction between generations is – after some shy timid introductions – natural and flowing. This allows students to learn how their skills are put into practice and to really see why we are called “social care” rather than “health care”. The biggest difference being that without social skills, interactions and relationship building we cannot do our jobs well.
Many of the students we have had on placement have gone on to work in our homes which is a lovely transition for both parties.
However, as I said at the beginning, generational interactions shouldn’t simply be viewed as “children” and “elderly” as there are many generations between.
Care Homes are – at their centre focus – a resident’s HOME and in that respect should be as open for visitors and family as any house would be. Our homes do our upmost to involve families in life at the care home with free visiting times celebrations for birthdays and special events (such as anniversary dinners, large gatherings, fun days, and we have even had brides coming in their wedding gowns to be “walked down the corridor” by a doting Grandfather who couldn’t make it to the actual wedding!”)
Holmes Care Group strives to lead on intergenerational activity as much as possible
We pride ourselves in what we do. Thinking outside the box and creating experiences for all involved and as our company motto says….. Enriching Lives
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Kind words from our residents and their families
Baytree Court is a very relaxed home, pleasant staff and one of the nicest homes I visit, always get a smile. Service users seem happy.
Glenys Newbury - Health Care Community Worker
Almond View Care Home
To all the staff at Almond View - a big thank you for looking after Mum, with such kindness and dedication. Despite living 400 miles away, I always had a good feeling that she was in good hands. When I did visit, the staff without exception, stopped to chat to us even though they were extremely busy. Please accept my heart felt thank you to you all - a real credit to Almond View.
Bankview Care Home
Thank you for the excellent level of care that my father, Frank Boyle, has received. Bankview demonstrated for us the template for a care home and how it should feel and be run. Friendly, welcoming, excellent care levels, length of time staff remain loyal to the home and above all a clear and comforting atmosphere of great leadership.
Barbara and Jan
Social Work Department
Bankview Day care is welcoming and homely, meeting a wide range of needs with well trained staff and individual care for each client.
Bankview Day Care Centre
Bankview Day Care Centre
I understand why mum loves coming to Bank view Day-care it’s a home from home and the activities offered are excellent
Bankview Day Care Centre
The day care centre has made a huge difference to my life. Best thing I ever done, my week was boring now I have days out and shopping trips and good company.
Baytree Court Care Home
We can not thank you enough for all the care, support and attention the staff at Baytree Court have given Marc. The staff have always given their time and support to us on visits which has meant a great deal.
Doreen and Yvonne
Beechwood Care Home
Both mum and I were most impressed with Beechwood and we have decided that is where we would like Dad to come to. You have put both mine and mum's minds at rest knowing that Dad will be looked after.
K Macdonald in memory of my Aunt Jean
I can't exaggerate the admiration I have for the management and staff of Craigielea. I've never experienced so much patience, coaxing, kindness and care. These people share their lives and emotions, laugh and cry and mourn for the people who entrust themselves to care.
Craigielea Care Home
J Ellis in memory of Steve
The staff talked about my best friend being an inspiration to them, despite his illness It made me change my approach with him, instead of being despondent and sad, I spoke with him the way we had always been with each other. The staff saw him as a person.
Craigielea Care Home
My uncle, who is a retired GP, recently visited Dad on a trip over from Canada and commented that Craigielea is one of the best places he has ever seen in his experience of elderly care units. Very homely, calm, relaxing and wonderful staff. Keep up the fantastic work you do!
Grandholm Care Home
In all my visits I have been most impressed with the Care and Attention shown by all your staff, who are professional and courteous at all times. We are always welcomed with a friendly smile which makes us feel very much part of the home and being involved
Grandholm Care Home
Please accept my sincere congratulations for performance and efficiency of Grandholm Care Home. The home provides a very professional, caring and motivational environment with an abundance of patience and understanding. The home is a credit to your team and one of the best in Aberdeen.