It’s already a successful scheme across Europe, Australia and the US, but at the beginning of September, the first nursery based inside a care home opened in the UK. Apples and Honey Nightingale nursery is based inside the grounds of Nightingale House, a residential care home for elderly Jewish men and women, based in South London.
The new nursery, houses inside the care home’s maintenance block, has 30 places for children aged between 2-4 years old. 89-year-old care home resident Fay Garcia told The Guardian ‘Isn’t it fantastic? It’s the highlight of my week. It’s like being reborn.’
Judith Ish-Horowicz, the principle of Apples and Honey nursery, came up with the idea years ago after brining the children from her first nursery in Wimbledon to visit Nightingale House. In an interview with Nursery World, Ish-Horowicz said: ‘It’s been my dream for a long time. Various circumstances got in the way, but I thought now is the time.’
Simon Pedzisi, director of care at Nightingale House said: ‘Our average age on admission is 90, so we have to think in an innovative way about activities, care has to be more meaningful, deeper and measurable. It’s about social interaction because that’s what older people really need.’
An idea that was recently highlighted in the Channel 4 documentary ‘Old People’s Homes for 4 Year Olds’, the interaction with children was seen to improve the residents’ moods, mobility and memory.
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