A nursery in a care home

| Helen Sharp

Apples and Honey, a well-established nursery in London had been visiting Nightingale House, a local care home for the elderly, for over 15 years. This grew from visits twice a term, to running weekly baby and toddler groups there. The care home even loaned the nursery a minibus to get there and back for crafts, activities and singing. Some families have even ‘adopted’ grandparents for residents who don’t have a family. The relationship was hugely beneficial for all, and is therefore being taken to a new level.

As an old person coming to the end of my life, it’s a joy to see new human beings growing slowly into people. 

Nightingale House resident

Co-locating

Apples and Honey will be co-located with the care home from September and is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.  The children and residents will be sharing space, time and a curriculum with planned inclusive activities such as cooking and baking, doing exercise and movement classes, music and arts and crafts. They will be sharing snack and mealtimes as well.

United for all Ages, a think-tank who have been working on the possibilities of intergenerational care in the UK, say that the idea of co-location is something which more providers are seeing as an option and around half a dozen additional sites have been identified across the country.

You can feel the life in the air

Apples and Honey Nightingale recently held a launch party and Susan Cohen from Nightingale Hammerson. The charity that runs Nightingale House said “It was like a different place. It’s an open, fun environment. You can just feel the life in the air. It’s very special. The residents love the children. It’s been really collaborative, and it seems so obvious. You wonder why more places don’t do it”.

Watch it come to life in this recent BBC report and video.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby

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