Group aims to combat loneliness

Care home group CHD Living has launched an ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ campaign to coincide with National Grandparents Day, which took place on Sunday 6 October.

The campaign will see CHD Living pair elderly residents from across its 12 Surrey and South London based care homes with local children (anyone aged under 16 will need parental/guardian permission to enrol) and adults who may not have or see grandparents of their own, but who appreciate the value and importance of maintaining intergenerational relationships.

Anyone wishing to get involved in the Adopt a Grandparent scheme will be able to apply via the CHD Living website (www.chdliving.co.uk). Applicants will be asked to provide information on their interests and hobbies and details of why they would like to be involved in the programme. This information will then be used to match them with a suitable elderly resident nearby. Once matched, participants will be encouraged to call and/or visit the resident that they are paired with regularly.

The physical, mental and emotional benefits of intergenerational relationships are widely acknowledged, with studies showing that these types of relationships are mutually beneficial. Children who participate in activities with older adults tend to have better reading abilities, communication and problem-solving skills and a more positive attitude toward community service.

For seniors who interact with children and younger adults, studies show that they tend to burn more calories, experience fewer falls and perform better on memory tests than their peers. Additionally, older adults with dementia and other cognitive impairments experience more positive effects during interactions with children than they do during other types of activities.

As well as recognising and honouring the value of the elderly in our society, the scheme will benefit residents by providing them with companionship at a time of life that can often feel lonely and isolated, particularly during the winter months.

Shaleeza Ladak, head of hospitality and communications at CHD Living says: “Our mission with the Adopt a Grandparent programme is to promote intergenerational communication and relationships, which are so valuable but sadly dwindling in today’s society.

"We hope that the scheme will help to provide support to our elderly residents whilst also rewarding children and adults with new friendships and role models that they might not otherwise have. We’re really excited to start making matches and to see how the relationships develop.”