Portsdown View, a luxury care home in Bedhampton, recently hosted a music, movement, and sensory development class for local children. The youngsters were encouraged to dance to upbeat music, play with unique sensory props, learn songs through finger play rhymes, and interact with the residents throughout.  

The classes, which will run every first Thursday of the month, are part of an ongoing effort by Portsdown to create strong intergenerational connections between residents and local families.

Pippa Mafunga, General Manager at Portsdown View, comments:

“It was great to see how energized and full of life our residents felt after a day of fun interaction with some energetic youngsters! I think for some of them it was a lovely reminder of interacting with their own kids and grandkids when they were young”.

The session was organised in collaboration with Jiggy Wrigglers UK; an award-winning educational services provider which has been offering classes since 2008. Parents and their children from across the area were invited to join, and residents were able to engage in the sessions by singing along and playing interactive games with the children.

Research shows this kind of ‘intergenerational engagement (IE)’ can reduce anxiety, improve social connectedness, and encourage more physical activity in older adults. One study found such activities can give care home residents a sense of purpose and stronger life satisfaction by allowing them to play an important role in helping young children develop.

Emma Johnson, Owner of Jiggy Wrigglers Havant and Waterlooville, comments:

“Our families look forward to the monthly sessions and adore seeing the smiles on their children’s faces when interacting with the residents… We believe that music can spark positive memories, promote physical mobility, and release those delightful endorphins that lead to laughter, happiness, and a profound sense of positivity for everyone involved.”

Pippa Mafunga again:

“We see enormous value in hosting any activity or event which can help to breach the generational divide. Too often, people think of people living in care homes as complete dependents who can only be looked after. Yet the truth is there is still so much they can offer, and looking after kids and helping them to learn is just one example.”

Other planned activities at the home include a visit by local sixth formers, arts and crafts classes with Growing Places Nursery, and a project where pupils from Moreland’s Primary School write letters to residents to improve their literacy skills. The home also recently hosted a Teddy Bears Picnic, with about 30 children and parents in attendance.