Back to School

At last some imaginative ideas about involving older people with young children.   From Wales where else!

In Gwynedd, North Wales, four day centres for older people have invited in some nursery school children, with some very positive experiences for both the children and the older generation.

  • The childrens’ confidence and understanding increased;
  • An elderly stroke sufferer’s speech improved;
  • An 82 year old lady with dementia had singing lessons with a toddler and then spoke more lucidly afterwards;
  • Another octogenarian lady who was blind, taught a four year old to make jam tarts.

The experience ended with a sports day where the older residents and the young children teamed up to compete in races and other events.  Concerns about frailty and the childrens’ lack of confidence all went out of the window.  Better to focus on fun than frailty.

The project is being studied by researchers at Bangor University.

As I was writing this blog, there were two programmes on Channel 4 which documented the experience of a nursery school group of children visiting St Monica’s Trust Retirement Home.  They followed a similar path to the residents in Wales with equally encouraging results.

This sounds like two good news stories, with benefits all round.     If repeated across the country it could provide better support for nursery schools and build a positive bridge between generations.

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2 Responses to Back to School

  1. davidwfreeman237 says:

    In ones mind, back some 70 years? who was that wrinkle old person(s), my grannie and grandpa I knew, the other senior relatives? I am not sure off, or if friends and neighbours of Mum and dad, my thoughts maybe straying to think ”interferring old busy bodies”, and funerals and wakes were not on my horizons.
    I now come to today, it is all a reality, and as a great gandfather, and the curiosity of great grand children, I am that ”old prune” looking individual?? I dreamt off or met all those 70 years ago! I have had my life; it is now for the young, and my mind goes back to my upbring to show respect and politeness, and return small kindnesses to those who older folk in my day, who taught me to be independent and reassured if one mad a wise decision, with thought:, Life would repay one? and to remember one may make, and will make errors of judgement, but one should learn from ones mistakes, and as Molly quotes to our great grand children-taught at her grandmothers knee,” Be kind to others and they will be kind to you” Great!
    We cannot pass on wisdom, or happiness, only the acts and thoughts that surround it. Our happines, and contentment in our ‘golden years” depends upon what we taught our/your chidren to believe in? We are but one world.

  2. davidwfreeman237 says:

    do we enjoy going back to school, as John sugeest? I would say yes!!

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