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Young Visitors Wow Home Residents

Thursday November 2 2017

 

A group of pre-school children are helping to combat loneliness and boost the wellbeing of elderly people at a CrossReach care home.

Residents at Whinnieknowe care home in Nairn, in the Highlands, are taking part in ‘playdates’ with children from a local family support centre.

The initiative - named WOW (Wee Ones at Whinnieknowe) was inspired by a Channel 4 documentary about a similar inter-generational project in Bristol, as well as research showing that such schemes can drastically improve the quality of life of care home residents.

The project began in the summer when Sarah Butters, activities coordinator at Whinnieknowe, asked via social media if local parents would be interested in taking part. After a positive response, home manager Lynda Wilson approached Jayne Macintosh, manager of the family centre Junior World, who quickly had parental consent for 70 children to take part.

Meanwhile, Sarah approached residents of the care home about the project, and six people – aged from 65-100 – said they wished to take part.

The first weekly session took place on Tuesday October 31, with the young visitors and home residents taking part in craft activities. Lynda said the response had been ‘fantastic’.

She said: “We wanted to see our clients having the same response the older group had in the documentary, to combat loneliness, improve health and wellbeing.

“We also wanted to reach out to the local community and to be a catalyst for integration for all ages.  

“The response so far has been fantastic to see. 

“The interaction between the ages, the communication and the joy expressed, was what we hoped for and more. 

“We know that this pilot project will go from strength to strength.”

CrossReach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, runs a wide range of services across Scotland for the elderly and other vulnerable people.

Whinnieknowe was the first residential home in Nairn, 16 miles east of Inverness, and provides accommodation for 24 elderly people.


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