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Joining generations at Royal Bournemouth Hospital

5 April 2019

Older patients from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) have been enjoying weekly activity sessions with children from Tops Day Nursery as part of a highly successful ‘Joining Generations’ programme.

The six-week programme between Fayrewood Ward, an older persons’ rehabilitation ward, and the on-site nursery, focuses on the benefits of young children interacting with more elderly people and learning from each other. Weekly activities include ball games, singing, and seasonal-themed crafts, such as Easter bonnet making.

Studies have shown social interaction between the elderly and young children is mutually beneficial, with decreased loneliness and reduced frailty for patients, and an increase in children’s confidence and independence.

Gemma Brittan, Directorate Manager for Older People’s Medicine, said: “The idea came about following a really successful Christmas crafts session when the nursery children visited the ward. We know there is lots of evidence that suggests interaction between children and older people can not only improve their physical wellbeing, so their mobility, balance and strength, but can also really help with mood and cognitive ability.

“It’s been a lovely boost for our ward team to have some smiley young faces brighten our patients’ day, and the feedback we have had from our patients has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Patient Eric Mosley said he’d formed a genuine friendship with the children, with the sessions taking him back to his childhood, while fellow patient Delia Miller added: “I just love the interaction with everybody.”

Stacey Nash, Nursery Manager at Bournemouth Tops Day Nursery, said: “The children have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to Fayrewood Ward and have formed some lovely friendships with the patients. The visits have helped the children to learn empathy, compassion and social responsibility which in turn has supported them in understanding and valuing the diversity of patients here at the hospital. We are very much looking forward to future visits to Fayrewood Ward.”

The visits have been a great success for patients, the children and staff alike, and a new six-week summer programme will commence in May.


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