Homes across the country are celebrating Care Home Open Day today. This year’s theme is ‘Friendship’ focusing on “the importance of connecting with local communities, developing lasting relationships and encouraging intergenerational rapport.” Many of the homes Ladder to the Moon work with are participating.
As Head of Creativity and Connection at Ladder to the Moon, I hear stories every week about connecting with local communities, developing connection and intergenerational friendship. As part of our Outstanding Activities programme, participating homes receive a creative resource box every month, with sparks and resources to generate social engagement under a different theme.
The day one of these boxes was opened in a dementia unit the local preschool were on a tour of the home and they happened to walk in as the box was opened:
“I’ve never seen the children and the residents relax so much in each other’s companies.” Outstanding Activities participant
The children took the lead, ably demonstrating all our Ladder creative behaviours: being open, playful and curious!
“They just dove in; so spontaneous and unplanned.”
It’s incredible how much impact “encouraging intergenerational rapport” can have. One “rather stern gentleman”, softened when the Westerns box was opened and the school children happened to be passing.
“He’s only been with us a couple of months and now we know he can soften, he is playful, has wicked sense of humour; it has really opened up a door. If we’re having difficulty getting him dressed in the morning we’ll pop one of the westerns hats on and that’ll prompt that lightness and he’ll relax.”
One of our participating homes has set up a relationship with a local school where six children visit the home once a month for 3 months; then another 6 from the same class for the next quarter, leading to a party with the whole class at the home at the end of the year. Parties are a great way of acknowledging celebrating and building relationships with local communities. Happy Care Home Open Day everyone!