Caring schoolchildren and care dwelling residents are attempting pioneering 'Dementia chums' programme
Jul 06,2014 0 Comments
Cue more laughter. “which you could tell i used to be a teacher,” says the girl (her identify is Edna) as she too dissolves into laughter. The opprobrium was once all a part of her schtick.
One boy, Nadem, faucets his toes in opposition to these of a lady referred to as Jo.
“What does that mean?” she asks.
“Friendship,” he replies, simply.
“Ah, that’s beautiful,” she says, smiling.
Edna is 86. Nadem is 10 and Jo just isn’t too certain when she used to be born. it is of little final result to the staff sitting in this seafront room at the Princess home care dwelling in Roker, Sunderland.
the youngsters are from year 6 at the local Marine Park main college and come to Princess home to chat, laugh and dance with one of the residents who have various degrees of dementia.
The dementia is a element eclipsed by means of the goodnatured banter, the non-sequiturs and the really inspiring interaction between youngsters and adults.
they’re collaborating in a pioneering pilot mission nicknamed Emmelina Waterbucket by means of the residents (after a song from an old radio show).
Devised by means of the North East arts firm Dry Water, which specialises in intergenerational initiatives, the sessions are particularly considering encouraging dementia-friendly communities.
On my talk over with, the group contains six feminine residents, two care staff and seven kids from the varsity (even supposing, infrequently, different residents pop in to peer what’s going on).
Paula Turner and Frances Anderson of Dry Water get us warmed up. We move our palms, elevating them up after which down to the ground.
“i am not happening there,” says Edna. “are you aware I’ve bought two false knees?”
Edna rolls up her trousers and Tommie, who is 11, seems to be on, his eyes extensive with disbelief as every scarred knee is printed.
“Why did they try this to you?” asks one involved kid.
“as a result of I was in ache but i’m not any further,” Edna reassures. “i have by no means proven somebody these before.”
there’s a spherical of applause for Edna for sharing her knees and with that distraction come little pockets of chatter.
our kids are used to different cultures, religions and nationalities and are very accepting. They love the residents at Princess house and they’re completely their pals
that is the fantastic thing about the hour-long weekly periods: there aren’t any inflexible ideas and it proceeds in step with the words, songs, ideas, actions and the questions of the team, all gently guided with the aid of Paula and recorded both on paper and digitally by using Frances.
art work, track, movement and props also supply thought. On this celebration a swimming costume, goggles and swimming cap are introduced.
Margaret places on the reflective goggles and starts to snicker. “i think it will be a ways too big,” jokes Edna as she larks about with Tommie. The pair are something of a double act.
throughout the room, Phyllis is quietly chatting to Sakina, 10. “you’ve got obtained pretty teeth,” she says tenderly.
Phyllis talks about enjoying “in the back yard” as a bit girl. Her words are jumbled however Sakina is rapt.
“i love coming here as a result of we snigger collectively,” she says.
“Oh, why do not all of us develop up!” says Phyllis all at once (she has a neat line in chant-in a position phrases) and we all begin to chant these words.
“it can be too late now!” Edna bargains.
because the scheme has been running the consequences were massively encouraging.
One boy, who’s normally quiet in the school room, is outgoing and confident within the sessions. “I simply feel relaxed here,” he says.
The residents also profit from the classes. “They love seeing the kids; they bring about another power to the situation,” says Lynne Harbottle, the supervisor of Princess home.
Paula, of Dry Water, hopes that the periods can help to take away one of the crucial fear and stigma that can regularly be attached to the situation.
“the wonderful thing about children of this age is they are definitely accepting and now not fazed at all,” she says. “they’re very professional at speaking with the elders despite the fact that the sentences are usually not always fully shaped or make full feel.”
The sessions’ subject matters are endured in the classroom with initiatives, talks and discussions geared around dementia.
For Alison Burden, head trainer of Marine Park primary college, this work is of critical importance to the children’s training: constructing their self belief, making improvements to social talents and encouraging empathy.
“our children are used to different cultures, religions and nationalities and are very accepting,” she says. “They love the residents at Princess house and they are completely their friends.”
There are 800,000 people dwelling with dementia in the UK and it prices the uk economy £23billion a yr. research via the Alzheimer’s Society last 12 months suggests that 322,000 individuals in care properties have either dementia or extreme reminiscence issues.
have both dementia or extreme reminiscence issues.
Encouraging intergenerational interplay with individuals residing with dementia is something that’s gaining momentum. Dementia 4 schools, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, goals to inspire dementiafriendly communities through working with young people.