LINKS: Meadowside Care Home residents with Lavendale Montesorri children during bonding sessions
A mum and franchise owner is aiming to bridge the age gap in the greater London area with a series of workshops that will bring pre-schoolers and pensioners together.
Jennifer David, Debutots franchisee for Finchley, Hampstead and Muswell Hill, hopes to re-engage in intergenerational bonds so that children in day care and the elderly, in nurseries and care homes across North and North West London, can enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of spending time together that they have been denied during the pandemic.
In Japan, the philosophy is embedded in society where they recognize benefits for a range of different ages, it sees different generations mixing and participating in shared activities and experiences.
A mother of three, Jennifer, who has used theater to entertain, educate and inspire children of all ages since 2007 through her Debutots franchise, helped organize regular intergenerational practice sessions before the pandemic.
During weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions in the care homes, kindergarten children engaged in a range of activities suitable for both generations. This included storytelling, singing, dancing and playing with residents.
Harinder, leisure and lifestyle organizer at Meadowside Care Home, said: “We are delighted that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and we can once again welcome young children to our Finchley-based care home. During the pandemic, children have been greatly missed by our residents aged 80 and over.
“Spending time with them brings them so much joy, brings back memories of when they were parents and makes them feel perky and young. All sessions are optional and I have to say that we get a very good turnout. I can see that they help with issues of isolation and loneliness and improve the emotional well-being of our residents.
Lavinia Todd, Deputy Head of Lavendale Montesorri, added: “Not all of our kindergarten children live near their grandparents or have the opportunity to socialize with older people, so the benefits of these intergenerational sessions regular are huge. I have seen the practice improve our children’s language use, social interactions and communication skills.
“It also makes them see aging in a different light and teaches them kindness and empathy. Practically, this arrangement works perfectly for us. Our Woodside Park based crèche is just a 10 minute walk from Meadowside Care Home. We usually take a group of seven to nine children aged 3.5 to 4 years old to the retirement home where Jennifer awaits us with a range of stimulating activities.
“It would be great to bring this mutually beneficial partnership back to the wider community,” Jennifer said.
“Since the pandemic, this practice has been largely suspended, so I urge care homes and senior housing programs as well as nurseries and parent and toddler groups to get in touch to find out more. about this practice and how we can collaborate The benefits are both significant and far-reaching.
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. workshops that bridge gap intergenerational for return in Greater London