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Childrens’ Visits Bridge Generation Gap for Dorset Dementia Care Home

A storytelling and song group is helping to turn Monday mornings into eagerly anticipated times of fun, community and interaction for residents of a Dorset dementia care home.

Colten Care’s Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth has begun welcoming a weekly visit from young parents and toddlers co-ordinated by Truth Be Told, an intergenerational storytelling charity that aims to promote belonging and reduce loneliness.

Carers at the home say it is an ideal opportunity to bridge the generation gap and improve residents’ quality of life, while providing children aged four and under with meaningful play and experience of older people.

Visits, led by Truth Be Told representative Faye Davis, involve using a hand-sewn patchwork pocket bag full of nostalgic props for the children to share with the residents.

Activities include reading and telling stories, sharing memories, singing traditional songs with actions and even dancing together.

Fernhill Companionship Team member Ann Marie Knight said: “It is just lovely seeing this group interact so well together. Everyone is happy, smiling and laughing.

“Our residents get so much out of Truth Be Told coming into our home as do the parents and toddlers. The youngest to have come in with the group so far has been only three weeks old.”

The visits have a different theme each week to cultivate ongoing interest and everyone wears a name badge to help them become familiar to the group.

Ann Marie said: “We try to keep to the same residents each week so that the children and families get to know them and form a good relationship.”

Resident Joan Vohra said: “The visits are great fun and we always look forward to them.”

Residents and staff will be raising funds to support the group through activities such as craft sales and other events at the home.





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