11th January 2019

Toddlers bring smiles to the faces of care home residents 

Intergenerational care is the practice of bringing the young and elderly together by introducing nurseries or toddler groups and care homes to one another.

This new style of care is revolutionising care homes worldwide and participants swear by the practice. It’s even spawned its own BAFTA winning TV show: Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 year olds which saw one of the UK’s biggest retirement villages build a nursery where the young and old aged from three to 102 mixed and learned from each other.

Now a group of toddlers have become a regularly feature at Guild Care’s Caer Gwent nursing home.

The children, who are members of the Jo Jingles club, come in every Thursday morning to Caer Gwent, in Downfield Road, Worthing, to take part in singing and dance sessions alongside residents, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s.

Asked why she decided to choose to base the club in a care home, Katie, who runs the group, said, “The Jo Jingles franchise believes that the mixing of the generations brings lots of benefits to both the parents of young children and the older people in the homes. It enables the children to learn how to share by giving out toys and musical instruments to one another. And it introduces them to older people who they might not normally interact with in their day to day lives, as often their grandparents are only in their 60s. Here they can see people using frames and wheelchairs.”

Jo Jingles also runs a session on alternative Monday from Guild Care’s Bradbury Centre in Goring-by-Sea. Katie added, “Many of the parents who come to Jo Jingles want to feel part of the community, and to teach their children about doing things for other people. Some care home residents don’t have family close by, and some parents don’t either, so coming into the care home environment to do our classes is a win for everyone.”

Caer Gwent resident Joy, 86, said, “It’s just so lovely having the children here singing and playing each week. I really enjoy seeing them.”

And Frank, 94, added, “It’s so delightful, and it also helpful for their parents as it gives the children a bit of discipline as they learn to put things away and share toys with the residents.”

If you would like to find out more about attending a Jo Jingles class please contact Katie on [email protected].

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