We uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies
  • 01158 557 867 / 01613 025 224
  • info@lmtservices.co.uk

Twinning nurseries with care homes boosts children’s reading and social skills, says report calling for intergenerational care

Twinning nurseries with care homes for the elderly would boost children’s literacy skills, according to a thinktank that is calling for every childcare provider and school to build links with older people.

Children who regularly mix with older people see improvements to their language development, reading and social skills, something that is most easily achieved at “intergenerational care” centres highlighted in the Channel 4 series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, says a report by United for All Ages.

By playing and reading with children, the elderly are less likely to suffer loneliness, while the children get more opportunities for one-to-one reading and play time, it adds.

Intergenerational care began in Japan in 1976 and has spread to the US, Canada and the Netherlands. The first dedicated nursery and care home in the UK, Apples and Honey Nightingale, was set up in Wandsworth, southwest London, in mid-2017 and since then a further 40 have been created. Others are in development, including a veterans’ care home with a nursery in Wilton, Wiltshire, and a purpose-built complex planned in Wigan, with a nursery, assisted-living flats and a care home.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has backed the idea of more nurseries opening next to NHS services “in some cases”, but UAA says that every nursery, childminder, parent-toddler group and children’s centre should develop a relationship with a care home. The thinktank has set a target of creating 500 cross-generational sites by 2023.

Stephen Burke, UAA’s director, said much of the focus on intergenerational care had been on the benefits for older people, such as “tackling loneliness and isolation to improving health, care and quality of life”.

“But there are big benefits for children and younger people too,” he added. “Our challenge to Britain is to maximise those benefits for all of the next generation. Research shows that there are lasting benefits of a good start in life.”

The report highlights a decline in opportunities for children, with nearly a third of 3,632 Sure Start children’s centres cut since 2009, and evidence that poorer children have fallen behind their better-off counterparts by the age of five in half of local authorities in England. “Intergenerational action could and must make a much bigger contribution to this agenda,” Burke said.

The report, titled The next generation: how intergenerational interaction improves life chances of children and young people,is published this week and includes contributions from 20 organisations focused on the welfare of children and older people.

Alistair Bryce-Clegg, an early years education consultant, was involved in the Channel 4 series that created a nursery within the Lark Hall retirement village in Nottingham. He conducted a study of 10 children to see how the experiment affected their wellbeing, language use and acquisition, social interaction and empathy.

“The outcomes for the children were very positive,” he writes in the report. “They all made notable progress during their time in the experiment, with some of them making truly significant steps forward in their development.”

Lorraine George, a development worker at Torbay council in Devon, examined the development of children at intergenerational centres in the US, where there are several hundred facilities. She discovered improvements in language development, increased reading skills, greater self-esteem and confidence among the children and development of empathy.“We now have 20 care homes engaging in partnerships with early years providers,” she writes, with one care home creating a room for childminders to use every day.

Intergenerational care also offers opportunities beyond young children and older people, with teenagers and parents also experiencing benefits of more cross-generational mixing, the report says.The UAA has also called for all primary and secondary schools to build closer ties with older people locally, whether that means volunteering at local care homes or using school buildings to host older volunteers.Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner, writes of how Italian teenagers who were suffering anxiety were being helped.

“Boys were encouraged to try out traditional pasta making with some of the older women in the community,” she writes. “Working on the pasta together there was no real pressure to talk about themselves, but rather a sense of acceptance as they contributed to the communal effort and achievement.”

#LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare

 

Published in LMT
Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:15

Old age is nothing to be ashamed of

Dr Hilary Hodge says everybody ages differently and Margaret Beetham says old age should be something to be proud of

Portraying getting older in a positive light and raising expectations as to what people can achieve has to be welcomed (12 steps to a happy later life, G2, 3 January). However, giving examples of people who have done amazing things needs to be balanced by the possibility that for many people, who have led hectic lives, that to learn to relax and not have to achieve anything, if you don’t want to, is equally valid.

For women who have had to balance child-rearing, careers and generally putting the needs of others before their own, one of the most important lessons is that it is OK to do what you want and not feel guilty. If you fancy sitting down and reading a book for a few hours, that’s fine. It is also important to accept that the ageing process affects individuals in different ways and what one person can do others cannot and that does not reflect negatively on those who can do less.
Dr Hilary Hodge (aged 73)
Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

I sat down to read G2 and nearly choked on my cuppa. The first step to a happy later life is apparently not to acknowledge that you are old. This is simply to reinforce ageism, like telling gay people they will be happier if they don’t acknowledge they are gay. I am glad to be old, thanks to luck, the NHS and welfare state, my family and friends and my genes. Let’s reclaim old age as something to be proud of and grateful for, not be ashamed of. We will all be old one day, if we are fortunate, as I have been. I am old. Get over it!
Margaret Beetham
Manchester

source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jan/06/old-age-is-nothing-to-be-ashamed-of

#LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare

Published in LMT

Office:

13 Perlethorpe Close, Gedling,
Nottingham, NG4 4GF

Email us:

info@lmtservices.co.uk

Call us on:

Nottingham 01158 557 867
Manchester 01613 025 224

21 January 2019