Friend In Deed’s Little Visitors scheme is going from strength to strength and like our little visitors, is growing daily. Residents are calling the scheme ‘just wonderful’ and a couple of residents said that is makes them ‘feel alive’.
A lot of older people living in care (especially if they don’t have family) feel very isolated from their community and sometimes have little to look forward to. Local parents visiting with their children to say hello, play games or just have a cuddle helps create a link between care home residents and their local community. Following a visit from a 4 month old girl, one resident said ‘it is amazing what a cuddle can do’.
Our little visitors range in age from 2 months to 7 years old and there are no age restrictions. Babies provoke a warm and fuzzy feeling from residents and provide lots of cuddles, whilst toddlers add energy and excitement and older children help encourage other forms of interaction through meaningful communication.
And it’s not just the older generation that benefit from the interaction – younger people experiencing contact with older people outside their direct family have been shown to have increased self-esteem and an improvement in skills required to form relationships. It will be great to see the long term impact that this has on our Little Visitors and we are sure that as they grow, they will have many memories of the interactions with their new-found friends.