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Mothers And Babies In Unique Partnership With Dementia Residents

A new scheme which encourages mothers with young babies to spend time with older people who are living with dementia is thriving at The Chocolate Quarter in Keynsham.

St Monica Trust became nationally recognised for their hugely successful partnership with the Channel 4 show Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds (OPHF4YO), which featured a group of residents at St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement community meeting regularly with young children to promote interaction between generations.

The popular series brought together a group of older people and four year olds for a six-week period and proved scientifically that the meeting of the generations could transform not just the physical but also the emotional wellbeing of the older volunteers.

Following on from OPHF4YO, mothers and babies are now visiting St Monica Trust’s Charterhouse Avon specialist dementia care home to keep expanding this spirit of intergenerational friendliness.

The mothers visit residents in the specialist dementia care home Charterhouse in every other Monday and the classes have proved so popular that the scheme is being rolled out across the Trust’s other care homes across Bristol and North Somerset.

Helen Webster, whose one year-old son Daniel took part in one of the sessions, said it had been a unique experience.

“Daniel really enjoyed being around people he never normally gets to see, the old people were fantastic with the young children. It benefits both age groups in different ways and was a really uplifting experience.”

Clare Tucker, Service Lead at at Charterhouse Avon said; ‘The group has really enhanced resident’s wellbeing. Residents who have previously relied on non verbal communication have been able to find words and sentences to speak to the babies, and frequently ask when the next visit will be.’

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