Care home residents are ‘honorary grandads’ to nursery kids for the day

Residents at a care home in Shirebrook were made ‘honorary grandads’ for the day to youngsters from a nursery in a scheme to bring the generations together.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 3:18 pm
Thumbs up from four-year-old George Jackson and his grandad for the day, 93-year-old Henry Banner.

Richmond Care Home on Recreation Road often welcomes children from Chestnuts Childcare in the village. And during a visit ahead of Father’s Day, six of the youngsters stayed on for lunch with their new grandads.

Henry Banner, 93, enjoyed fish and chips, fruit squash and ice cream with four-year-old George Jackson.

Henry said: “George made my day, and was great company. I don’t have grandchildren of my own, so this was lovely.

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Ellie-Mai Weatherall shares a joke with her grandad for the day.

“The idea of being an ‘honorary grandad’ to the children was wonderful. I always look forward to them coming. It’s the highlight of my week.”

Residents at the home also helped the children to make cards for their dads, painting the youngsters’ hands to make a personalised print.

Brenda Smith offered her help to George, while Carol Warren gave her assistance to four-year-old Oliver Iglinski and another of the residents played the role of grandad for three-year-old Ellie-Mai Weatherall.

Research shows that activities shared with the young have positive effects for older people in residential care, giving them a sense of purpose and improving self-esteem.

George Jackson makes his Father's Day card with resident Brenda Smith.

Natasha Westwood, the community organiser at the home, said: “The residents love it when the children come to visit.

“Some of them can be reluctant to join in with the activities we run here, but when the children come, the men make a point of coming out of their rooms to spend time with them.

“It’s wonderful to see how their mood lifts. These visits give the residents an opportunity for interaction which is very important for their wellbeing.”

Chestnuts manager Shannon Edmunds said: “The children love coming here, and there are some really nice relationships starting to form. Their parents tells us how much they talk about it when they get home!

Oliver Iglinski gets help from resident Carol Warren with his Father's Day card.

“Being with older people enriches their lives and gives them new experiences.”

Richmond Care Home offers residential and dementia care for up to 40 people. It also welcomes pupils from Stubbin Wood special school in Shirebrook to spend time with the residents and opens its community café to local people once a fortnight.