Year 6 pupils from Leicester school, Heatherbrook Primary, called on Beaumont Hall care home to help with their project based on life in a care home. The children were struggling to understand what care home life was like for residents and so were given the opportunity to experience it first-hand at Beaumont Hall.
Teacher, Matthew Parker, explained that the childrens’ limited knowledge was having a real impact on their creative writing. He contacted Tracey Payne, Front of House Manager at Beaumont Hall, who has worked at the home for two years and is a Dementia Champion herself. They devised a plan for the visit last week.
The children were excited to meet the residents and find out about their daily life. Tracey also set up a dementia session in which they learnt about how dementia affects the brain, using a ‘cauliflower’ lit up with fairy lights, as a visual aid to denote when a person with dementia may lose certain brain functions. Tracey said, “I am very passionate about changing people’s perceptions of care homes. Those who have never visited before are often surprised at the amazing facilities we have and the activities on offer. It was also great to pass on some knowledge of dementia to the local children and help raise awareness to the next generation.”
Everyone enjoyed a tour of the building and children were amazed by the cinema room, coffee shop and hairdressers, comparing the home to a five star hotel. Brian Nshombo commented that Beaumont Hall was not as he expected at all – he even said he would like to move in! Jamie-Leigh Cattell said “I really enjoyed looking at all the rooms they had – I think the cinema room was the best”. The children also spent some time getting to know the people who live and work at Beaumont Hall, and they were soon dancing around with the residents during their armchair aerobics session.
Beaumont Hall provides residential and dementia care for 60 local older people. Through a varied programme of activities, highly nutritious food and inspirational spaces, the home provides residents with person-centred care, creating aspirational lifestyle choices. The visit proved very fulfilling for all involved – the school children have lots of insightful knowledge for their project, and the residents enjoyed a fun visit.