Nurturing friendships between generations

Support Worker, Lucy, is nurturing friendships between generations during social distancing by collecting drawings from children and giving them to elderly people, many of who are living with dementia.

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Lucy Hague works at Darlington extra care housing scheme Rosemary Court and she has collected drawings and letters from local children for residents, and has gathered more than 40 pieces of work from children aged from two to 13 years.

Lucy said "Sharing the children's work helps to maintain the connections that have been built between our tenants and children through our weekly parent and toddler group and nursery school visits.

"Obviously these can't continue at the moment, but tenants are really enjoying receiving the children's pictures and pieces of writing."

Schemes whereby children mix with the elderly and the two groups share skills and ideas are often referred to as ‘intergenerational’, which has gained popularity as a form of holistic care in recent years.

1 in 3 children in the UK are affected by dementia. They may have a grandparent with the condition, a family friend or even a parent. Projects such as this one enable us to raise awareness and teach people as much about dementia as we can, and this includes children.

"Intergenerational work is so important it allows children and older adults to build positive relationships. The visits give tenants something to look forward to."

"Some of the people who live at Rosemary Court don't have their own children or grandchildren so it's really nice for them to have a chance to grow positive relationships with people of different ages.

"Our work has really helped the community to come together and it is really important that it continues in whatever form it can."

The drawings have been distributed around the scheme's tenants, many of whom are living with dementia.

Kathleen, 81, is a tenant at Rosemary Court. She said: "I couldn't believe the children had drawn me a picture. I kept saying 'is it really for me?' It was lovely, just so lovely."

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