Kelvedon Hatch care home welcomes babies and toddlers for play sessions with pensioners to help tackle isolation and depression
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:09 13 August 2019
Howard Lodge Care Home
When Channel 4 first aired Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds, viewers fell in love with both the pensioners and the children featured on the show.
And now, the concept behind the popular programme has been brought to life in Kelvedon Hatch.
Every couple of weeks, the rooms at Howard Lodge care home, Howard Lodge Road, are filled with singing and laughter as babies and toddlers pay the residents a visit.
These are a new series of special sessions organised by the care home and the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service which is provided by Virgin Care in partnership with children's charity Barnardo's.
Community engagement worker for the service Dawn Delgaty said: "Everyone really enjoys these mornings, they are great.
"You can see the joy on the residents' faces when the children come and sit with them and play.
"It's really lovely."
The babies and toddlers are accompanied by their parents, who all join in the various activities, including singing, arts and crafts and just chatting and getting to know each other. Cuddles are also provided for the babies from the residents!
The aim is to bring the young and elderly together and help cheer up the residents, reducing depression and isolation, as well as helping with mobility and physical skills.
For the children, the meetings help them develop empathy, confidence and build on language and communication skills.
Describing their first session, a resident from the home said: "It was so lovely just to watch the children play and to be part of it, seeing the children had brought up so many happy memories of when I was a little girl and also as a parent of two children.
"I love to be around children and what they bring, can't wait to see them all again in a fortnight."
One of the directors at Howard Lodge Care Home Sean Watson told Enjoy Brentwood More: "The true benefit for us in this project is seeing the joy that the children bring to our residents, the memories and chats we have after each event is truly remarkable and lasts for weeks.
"We have one resident who was so isolated and unable to communicate. After weeks and months of not seeing anyone at home, to coming to us and playing with the children and interacting with them on their level, is truly remarkable.
"I would like to thank the parents who have attended so far and for them allowing our residents to interact with their children."