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Wellcroft has been keeping our residents stimulated through a series of play dates with local children.

Ever since previous ALF, Phillipa Haigh first approached Brookside pre-school to come along to seasonal events at Wellcroft, the home has been keen to engage with the community and bring young children and their infectious spirit into the home.

Now, local Mum of two, Jenna Westbrook and current ALF, Joanne Sherratt have introduced a structured Mums and Tots playdate at the home. Gatley Generations is an intergenerational session where residents and local children can play together and interact in an informal setting. The idea came after Jenna saw a video on Facebook of an intergenerational care project that saw young children visiting elderly people in a care home. The video got lots of likes and it inspired Jenna, whose own Nan suffers from dementia, to see if this would be possible in her hometown of Gatley.

After contacting Wellcroft, Jenna was introduced to Joanne Sherratt, and they soon devised a plan of action. The sessions take place every three weeks and usually on a Friday. There are 28 members of the Gatley Generations Facebook page, and once a date has been agreed, Mum’s confirm whether they can attend.

It is amazing to see the interaction between our residents and the children that visit. In many ways it is easier for a child to communicate with someone with dementia as there’s no expectations, no social rules or awkwardness; just simple language, using clear objects of reference (toys) which are simple to navigate.

The resident’s, the children and the parents who take part in this project get so much out of it.