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Mother & Baby Group Visit Care Home for Afternoon of Musical Rhymes, Reminiscence and “Pure Joy”

A Hertfordshire care home has launched a brand-new initiative pairing adorable toddlers alongside residents to promote intergenerational connections throughout the community.

Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, recently teamed up with a group of local mothers and their loveable little ones to launch ‘Foxcubs’ – an initiative that enables residents to relive the most cherished memories of their adult lives – parenthood.

Upon meeting with the little bundles of joy, there was an endless supply of hugs, smiles and laughs at the family-run care home, as Foxholes’ residents sang rhymes, read stories and immersed themselves in plenty of bubble-themed activities alongside six first-time mothers in a day full of smiles and happy memories.

The initiative was first inspired by Foxholes’ Head of Engagement, Adele Querelle – whose 14-month-old daughter, Nellie, was the inaugural member of Foxcubs – after wanting to promote an activity that kept residents active and engaged while simultaneously benefiting like-minded mothers desperate to boost interactions for their children.

The family-run home decided to launch the playful project to coincide with Good Care Month, a campaign in Hertfordshire that aims to raise the profile of the social care sector throughout July.

Speaking of the decision to launch Foxcubs, Adele said:
“When I first mentioned the idea of Foxcubs to the local mums they were just so keen to get involved, and they are all already excited to come back on a regular basis. From the get-go, you could see that the residents had this natural parental instinct, which comes so effortlessly to them. It was clear from seeing them interact with the children that the experience really provoked happy memories from bringing up their own little ones. They remembered all of the songs they previously sang to their kids, gave out advice and passed on their array of knowledge to all of the mothers – which as a mother myself, proved to be invaluable.”

She continued: “Something that one of the residents mentioned, was that a lot of them don’t have family close by. Modern culture means that families increasingly live further and further apart – sometimes in different countries. By doing something like Foxcubs, we’re looking to keep the younger and older generations connected – providing residents with that sense of belonging and purpose that can often go astray once their children have flown the proverbial nest.”

For children, intergenerational friendships can help improve communication and problem-solving skills, while for adults, they can reduce symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness.

In addition, for first-time mothers, it can be difficult, and also extremely expensive, to find regular access to weekly baby classes. The initiative strives to bridge the gap between two generations where relationships are a fundamental part of their emotional and mental wellbeing.

Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes Care Home, said:

“We’re really excited to see where Foxcubs can go, especially with it coinciding with Good Care Month. From the first conversation I had with Adele, I knew this would be something our residents would love and want to immerse themselves in.

“Relationships, especially those formed with our children, are sacred, and the same is true in care homes. We wanted to remind our residents what it’s like to connect and preserve the memories from their younger days interacting with the little ones, while also enabling local mothers to learn from the experiences of our inspirational residents. Every resident at Foxholes has lived a full, eventful life and we wanted that array of knowledge and wisdom to come to the fold.”