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Preschool Opened Inside a Dementia Care Home

by | Feb 23, 2024 | CST Articles | 0 comments

When a Preschool Was Opened Inside a Dementia Care Home, All Heaven Broke Loose

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Centered on that concept of communal flourishing, Northwest England’s first intergenerational care village, home to both older people and young children living and learning together, recently celebrated its official opening.

Stimulation, learning, fun—these are activities that are known to delay the progression of dementia, and what better way to add these critical elements of life to a daily regimen than to let a flock of preschoolers do it?

Belong is a not-for-profit care operator, specializing in dementia care. The pioneering facility supports older people to live their lives independently. The national charity Ready Generations partnered with Belong to run the village’s integrated day nursery. The nursery children feature in the daily life of residents and tenants, enjoying experiences together including shared mealtimes, stories, arts and crafts, and exercise. This is a particularly exciting and innovative development as it includes a nursery, which benefits both the children who attend and the residents who visit to play and read to them.

Centered around a vibrant hub of amenities, including a bistro, hair salon, and specialist exercise studio, the site is open to the public, creating a bustling environment for customers and the local community.

The Chester division of the organization’s award-winning home care service, Belong at Home, is also based at the location.

Belong Chester is the eighth village in the dementia specialist’s group and its fourth in Cheshire County.

Similar projects have been pioneered in America as well. The Intergenerational Learning Center at Mount St. Vincent nursing home in Seattle opened its doors to the oldest and the youngest in 2015.

The 400 adults in the assisted-living center join the kids in daily activities from music and dancing to storytelling and just plain visiting.