A Grimsby childminder has teamed up with a local award winning care home to educate young people about the symptoms of dementia.
Nicky Milson teaches children about dementia through visits to The Anchorage, a specialist dementia care home. Children take part in fun activity sessions which are also designed to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
The Anchorage was recently awarded the gold standard award from the Clinical Commissioning Group for the second year in a row. The home was one of only three within North East Lincolnshire, which has a total of 43 residential homes, to be given the award. Care delivered by staff at the Anchorage was also rated ‘outstanding’ during its last CQC inspection.
During sessions at the care home, which is operated by The Hica Group, children aged from one to 11 years old interact with residents through creative activities, including crafts, signing and exercise classes, as well as refreshments and snack times.
Nicky said: “The children really enjoy visiting the home and often ask how the residents are. They have a really good bond with people at the Anchorage. Their parents also think it’s fantastic.
“I think it’s important to teach children early on about older people and dementia as it becomes less of a taboo subject and teaches them how to respond if a loved one is diagnosed. The children are really comfortable and thoughtful with the residents which is fantastic to see, and these are things which I want to instil in them so they can carry this on to adulthood.”
Care home manager Bev Milson said: “The sessions are fantastic, they benefit the children and the residents in so many ways. The children learn about dementia and the residents get so much joy from interacting with young people through fun activities.
“They help each other with making things like Christmas cards and seasonal decorations, which encourages interaction and conversation and it also ensures residents are involved in the local community.
“Our philosophy here is ‘if it’s good enough for mum, its good enough for our residents’. We are an extended family here, and that’s exactly what the sessions feel like, a family get together of all the generations.”
Staff recorded significant improvements in resident’s health and wellbeing following the sessions, noting that participants and those who simply watched the activities were much calmer and more content. There was also a boost in staff morale.
The children are now set to take part in the home’s next Oomph! session, an ambitious new exercise programme designed to improve the health and wellbeing of those within residential care. Oomph! is the UK’s largest provider of activities and exercise training to the care sector. Hica Group is the only care provider in the Hull and East Riding area investing in such innovative services.
The Hica Group is a not for profit organisation, which operates a portfolio of 20 residential care homes, five of which are for people with a learning disability, along with two retirement villages. The company also runs a home care service providing approximately 11,500 hours of support and care from four regional offices in the North of England.