Following on from the Alzheimer’s Society successful pilot of the intergenerational schools project – ‘creating a dementia-friendly generation’ the team at Hartford Care decided to launch their own initiative to encourage children to visit residents, remove stigma and provide the opportunity for interaction between young people and people with dementia.
Sean Gavin, CEO explains further “We are delighted with the response to Hartford Care’s first Family Day! Of course, it’s open house in all of our homes everyday but today we made a special effort to encourage children to visit our homes and most importantly have fun with our residents. As you can see from all the fabulous photos we certainly did have fun and we hope that today we have played a small part in ‘creating a dementia-friendly generation”.
Each of the homes organised a family themed event and invited staff and family carers to bring their children along. All the homes organised something different, for example:
At Tegfield House in Winchester the team organised a Disney themed fun day complete with a bouncy castle (which residents enjoyed as much as the children) and a surprise visit from Mickey, Minnie and Donald!
The team at Woodlands House near Netley Marsh organised an old-fashioned tea dance. Staff, residents and visiting families had fun dressing up in vintage style and enjoyed a dance in the dining room which they transformed into a dance hall!
At Hartwood House in Lyndhurst residents and visiting children had a great time browsing various stalls, making bracelets from ‘loom bands’ and joining in during a lively interactive musical workshop with Tempo Wellbeing.
The team at The Laurels & Pine Lodge in Poole went all out with delicious refreshments, arts and crafts and a live magic show in the lounge in Pine Lodge, the home’s specialist dementia unit.
While at Boulters Lock in Maidenhead staff got artistic and organised a messy (but fun!) arts and crafts session for residents to enjoy with their young visitors.
All of the events were really well attended and residents were delighted to spend time with all the visiting children. The children had fun too, Chloe aged 8 said “I’m surprised, it’s not what I thought a care home would be like, it’s just like visiting someone in their house.”
All-in-all the day was a resounding success and as such it will now become a regular event on the Hartford Care activities calendar.