As school is now out for summer, at Jewish Choice, the long-established elderly care home in north west London, we often have a flurry of younger visitors throughout the day, as their parents bring them into Choice House to visit their older relatives.
This ensures children and grandparents don’t miss out on time together. It also helps them to learn about the realities of the life cycle in a natural, non-school environment.
Whatever the time of year we place a high degree of focus on intergenerational activities, with local schools visiting, sharing music, course work and tales of their own families.
It gives the young people the chance to interact with older people and to discover that older people have been young once – and that they led interesting lives!
For our residents it provides a feeling of invigoration, better general health and well-being. Not to say, boosting confidence, their self-esteem and mood. And they rediscover the joy of interacting with children of different ages.
Triggers of memories from days gone by are pretty near the surface for our older folk. So, conversations range from food their mothers’ cooked, to jobs they’ve done, to tales of evacuation and wartime activities which are always colourful and engaging.
Both our residents and children alike gain a great deal.
So, when the summer comes, it’s a great fillip for our residents when younger members of their own family visit more regularly.
We look forward to welcoming them all.