The delightful ’Old peoples home for 4 year olds’ returned this week to Channel 4 with a new extended experiment. Extensive research shows the benefits of bringing together older and younger people to share experiences and interactions – now it’s happening in our community!
Following a successful pilot in Cranleigh this year, the Generation Gap team at SMART Cranleigh are keen to see new groups for regular intergenerational play dates.
For the children sharing time and friendship with people of their grandparents, or great-grandparents, generation builds social skills and confidence, developing positive communication and relationships. It was a delight to see the happy faces of children feeling at home with older people.
The older people overwhelmingly enjoyed the opportunity to laugh and have playful fun with the children. Many commented on how they enjoyed holding a child again and how their spontaneous curiosity and playfulness was catching! The children were a talking point for weeks after the visit leading to lengthy chats about their own childhoods and families. Many older people feel lonely and isolated and these pleasures distract from the monotony of a daily life limited by sensory perception, cognitive loss and a lack of mobility.
The parents all had a great time, cake and refreshments were provided, they made and chatted with new friends and it was a pleasure to watch their childrens interactions with an older generation.
SMART Cranleigh will start a new intergenerational group at Cedar Court Care Home where they have excellent facilities, plenty of parking, and fabulous catering staff who will provide the refreshments for everyone to enjoy.
Cedar Court can be flexible on times so would appreciate feedback on when the parents would like the group to take place. Michael, the enthusiastic, experienced and supportive activities manager will lead a group of 5-6 toddlers and a similar number of Cedar Court residents in a 90 minutes monthly scheduled play date with music, reading, art, games and fun. SMART Cranleigh will help this group to grow and gain momentum, with more sessions becoming available at other venues in the community.
Anyone interested in Cranleigh’s own old peoples home for 4 year olds should get in touch with SMART Cranleigh’s new Community Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who didn’t catch it a link to this inspiring TV: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/old-peoples-home-for-4-year-olds
Photo copyright C4