My Home Life Northern Ireland

Another group of managers who participated in the My Home Life N.I. programme targeted the issue of community engagement and intergenerational contact within their care homes.

This group introduced a number of changes to maintain residents’ link with their communities but also to promote the care homes as an integral part of the community.

This was achieved by collaborating with the Verbal Arts Centre which culminated in the introduction of the Reading Rooms programme to a number of homes involved in the project. Links were also established with local schools to promote intergenerational contact and other measures were taken (e.g. open days) to encourage the general public to engage with care homes and their residents.

This sub-group worked collaboratively with Linking Generations NI, an organisation that promotes and supports the development of intergenerational practice across the region by providing structured opportunities to bring different generations together, improving understanding and increasing mutual support.

Community links were also established by including young people as volunteers and partners in the care homes. These young people reported a greater understanding of dementia and memory difficulties.