There are 1.4m chronically lonely older people in England, and many more across the rest of the UK, making this a major issue that is now widely recognised in society today (Source: Age UK).
We've been working closely with local schools and care homes over the last three years to help bring a little joy and happiness to those living in residential care.
Adopt a Care Home aims to reduce isolation and loneliness by connecting participants through creative activities.
The project brought children into the care homes to meet up with residents and together to take part in a range of creative activities, including crafts, movement and dance. As a result, the project helped increase well-being among residents and pupils, created inter-generational friendships, as well as helping inspire a Dementia-friendly next generation.
For this project, we commissioned age-appropriate Dementia-Friends training from Sheffcare to help the children better understand dementia and the types of behaviour they might experience. This, along with powerful creative shared experiences, increased the children’s confidence when in the company of the residents and enabled positive interactions throughout each group.
At one of the care homes there was a woman with severe dementia and as a result, she regularly shouted out involuntarily; teachers and staff commented that it had been wonderful to watch the children grow in confidence around all of the residents but particularly those who presented ‘new’ behaviours to the children, where they were able to quickly adapt and were eager to come back.
“it’s very easy to lose a sense of community when you live in a care home. This brings community in; children’s laughter and smiles make a big difference. For the children it keeps them in touch with older people and helps teach them respect of older people.” Care Home Activity Coordinator.
Staff at the care homes reflections included “The way our residents get animated…I’ve never seen our residents move so fast. You can sort of see people, if they’ve been worried all morning about something, they come and join in with a group like that and they just forget about everything that has been worrying them, they’re just having fun at that time.” Burnt Tree Croft Care Home.
If you would like to adopt your local care home then get in touch email@example.com