Torbay Council, with support from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) Travel Fellowship, has been making connections across the Atlantic to see how the UK could benefit from the practice of co-located intergenerational care.
Lorraine George, a member of the Early Years Advisory Team at Torbay Council, received a 2017 WCMT Travel Fellowship which enabled her to travel to the USA to experience this innovative and inspiring practice
Co-located intergenerational care is when nurseries and school kindergartens classes are based within residential care homes. On returning to the UK Lorraine will now look at how this type of care could make a difference and be implemented here.
Councillor Julien Parrott, Executive Leave for Adults and Children said: “We have to thank the WCMT Travel Fellowship for giving Lorraine this amazing opportunity to see how this innovative idea of co-located intergenerational care can work. Care of adults and children is a topical subject right now due to an ageing population and the reduced Government funding that is available, but co-located care like this has already been shown that regular engagement between the ages is beneficial to both groups and also impacts favourably upon staff, employers and the community. I for one am really excited to see how this type of care can work for our residents of Torbay.”
Lorraine said: “This Travel Fellowship has given me a fantastic opportunity to really experience the benefits of intergenerational learning and to see how it works in the USA. I got to see the different business models that have been used in the different communities from major cities such as Providence Mount in Seattle to smaller rural towns such as Windsor Place in Coffeyville, Kansas. Seeing how the children and elders learned alongside each other was really interesting and all of my research will be contributing to the debate about the type of care that could be delivered here in the UK.”
While on her trip Lorraine met with the local School District Superintendent and staff, School Board Members, Teachers, Directors and Administrators of co-located Care Homes along with staff, residents, children and parents. This helped Lorraine to gather everyone’s experiences of intergenerational care. She particularly focused on the benefits that co-location brings, how the environment is structured to facilitate intergenerational interactions, the practical issues involved in setting up co-location and the community partnerships that were created. She also saw how children and elders learn alongside each other.
Group shot – This is a group shot of Lorraine George in the middle with Kindergarten teachers & the Age to Age Liaison worker behind & children. Taken at Windsor Place Coffeyville, Kansas
Old & young learning – ‘Grandma’s helping in the Kindergarten classroom at Windsor Place Coffeyville, Kansas
Smiles – ‘Grandma’s with children who attend the Pre-Kindergarten class at The Commons in Enid, Oklahoma
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