Introducing intergenerational programmes and collaborating with local schools or groups can offer a range of benefits for care homes. This issue outlines these benefits in our monthly activity instalment.

Introducing intergenerational programmes as a regular home-based activity can provide opportunities for residents to interact with younger generations, which can work to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Regular interactions with children or young adults can foster meaningful connections and combat feelings of social exclusion. Establishing a relationship with a local school is a good place to start, and residents can then work on a range of activities with the pupils.

Interacting with younger individuals often brings joy, laughter and a sense of purpose to older adults; sharing stories, playing games or engaging in activities together can uplift spirits and improve emotional wellbeing.

When residents interact with younger individuals, it can stimulate cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. These intergenerational programmes often involve physical activities that benefit both older adults and younger participants. Activities can include gardening, walking or simple exercises, which will promote physical health and mobility among residents.

“Participating in intergenerational programmes can give residents a sense of purpose and fulfilment.”

Collaborations like these can result in mutual benefits, as residents can share their life experiences, wisdom and skills with younger generations, fostering shared learning and understanding. Similarly, younger participants can teach residents about modern technology, trends and cultural developments, keeping them engaged with the evolving world.

Participating in intergenerational programmes can give residents a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Being able to mentor, or spend time with, younger individuals allows them to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Collaborating with local schools or groups enhances the care home’s integration into the broader community and can help boost reputations. It fosters positive relationships with neighbours and creates opportunities for mutual support and collaboration beyond the care home’s walls.

Regular interaction with younger individuals has previously been linked to improved mood and decreased agitation among older adults. Residents may exhibit more positive behaviours and attitudes as a result of these meaningful connections.

Interacting with different age groups promotes understanding, empathy and respect across generations, and can break down stereotypes and prejudices, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society. It also provides opportunities for family members to participate in activities with their loved ones in the care home setting. This strengthens family bonds and creates shared experiences that enrich relationships.

To conclude, introducing intergenerational programmes, and collaborating with local schools or groups, can greatly enrich the lives of care home residents by promoting social interaction, emotional well-being, cognitive stimulation, physical activity, learning opportunities, sense of purpose, community engagement, positive mood and behaviour, intergenerational understanding, and family involvement.