Gransnet forums


Children in nursing homes

(9 Posts)
grannyactivist Tue 19-Aug-14 19:04:45

Once a month for about eight years I've been part of a small group to visit our nearby nursing home. We sing (the same) four well known hymns each time and then chat to the residents. The whole visit takes about an hour and at the most our group consists of three married couple and a young single man, plus two or three under fives. When the children are with us they're like a magical medicine for the residents who come to life as soon as they see them. One of the children is disabled and at four years of age is unable to walk or talk yet, the other is a cheeky two year old; together they are quite a double act. Sometimes my grandson is with us and is able to join in the singing and is quite comfortable talking to residents and staff alike. I really can't describe the total joy these little ones bring to the residents. Yesterday I was almost moved to tears watching my grandson chatting to a lady who has severe dementia and seeing how she responded to him. I think small children should be on prescription for nursing homes to call on at will. grin

Mishap Tue 19-Aug-14 20:13:44

I think that is wonderful. I always think that the housing complexes for elderly people might be better as mixed-age communities with homes suitable and adapted for the needs of all ages. Children are just setting out on life and their curious and fresh look at the world is a tonic. Also they are very accepting of difference. All my DGD from the youngest to the oldest grasp the limitations that we have and take them in their stride. My stick is a popular item (goalposts, guns too I am afraid) without judgement.

They do indeed bring joy, and being stuck in an all-elderly community means people miss out on this.

Well done to your DGC - you must be so proud of them, and rightly so.

Coolgran65 Tue 19-Aug-14 20:25:51

How wonderful, heartwarming.

janerowena Tue 19-Aug-14 21:49:44

My mother used to force us to go to the nearest nursing homes when we were about nine, to help with their shopping, dust their rooms, fetch bits and bobs from chemist or library etc. We didn't know there were already people doing all that, I got really cross when I found out years later! It was her way of getting us out of the house on Saturday mornings so that she could go shopping in peace, and also let us see what was going on around us. They did seem very pleased to see us, even if they weren't quite as desperate for our help as we had been led to believe... hmm

grannyactivist Tue 19-Aug-14 23:55:33

Last month my grandson played ball with one of the women residents, it was a soft ball designed for use indoors and induced much hilarity. I think the lift in spirits spills over to the staff too as they all seem to find reasons to be about during the children's visits - they also have a ready supply of chocolate, gold wrapped mints that keeps the children keen on returning. smile

ninathenana Tue 19-Aug-14 23:56:02

DGC used to visit mum about once a month when she was in residential home.
Mum and her friends used to light up when they saw them arrive. In her last few weeks it was the only thing that put a smile on her face.

Iam64 Wed 20-Aug-14 08:34:16

I think the saddest thing about residential care for people who are no longer able to live independently, is being surrounded by other folks, in similar difficult circumstances. I agree with GA, about the positives of having young people, especially children around.

I've taken part in a small display of dog obedience and agility for residents at a local residential care home, a few times. It's always been fun for us (and our dogs) and it's been obvious how much the residents enjoy it. We have cups of tea and cake after the 15 min display, and the dogs get to meet the residents individually. My lively young dog always behaves impeccably, no jumping up on knees, the dogs seem to just know to be gentle.

glammanana Wed 20-Aug-14 16:39:51

We don't go to a nursing home but we do take the little ones into the Church after Sunday School and have tea & toast with the elders and have an enjoyable 1/2 hour with them, some don't see any of their family from week to week and they find the children very entertaining for the short while they are with them.

suebailey1 Wed 20-Aug-14 17:37:13

I managed nursing and residential homes for a number of years and the absolute best days are when someone brings a baby in- the whole place lights up and the effect lasts for quiet some time.