Care goes the extra mile in Gwynedd

North Wales Housing has recognised the need to invest in provision for older people, and have opened three extra care schemes since 2009. Not only that, but they are going the extra mile to help improve the health and quality of life of elderly residents.

North Wales Housing has been working with Gwynedd Council, Ysgol y Garnedd in Penrhosgarnedd and Dr Catrin Hedd from Bangor University to set up an intergenerational project locally.

The scheme has given five and six year old pupils the opportunity to attend activities at Cae Garnedd Extra Care facility. Activities are arranged for each visit with sessions focusing on music, craft, gardening, games, and various talks from partner agencies.

One resident commented on how much she had enjoyed the visits. She said: “I would love to see the children return, the project was very good for older people to mix with the children.  I felt I had a good relationship and developed a bond with the children. They didn’t take notice of our mobility and disability issues, they don’t discriminate the same way other people sometimes do. These visits have given me hope for the future.”

The scheme has had a lasting positive effect on the children too. One parent said: “My daughter talks about her new friends at Cae Garnedd often, and it’s interesting to see how she talks about them in a different way to how she talks about her grandparents. She treats them as friends to respect but to also have fun with like schoolmates. I’ve found that it has promoted conversation, she feels important when she goes.”

Many residents, despite their health problems or disabilities have thrived since the scheme began. They come alive during the sessions and when socialising with the children, who see beyond the age difference.

Keep Fit classes have also been introduced at Cae Garnedd as part of a drive to improve wellbeing, in partnership with Dementia Go. As well as making residents healthier, an important goal of the project is to reduce the number of falls among older people, and reduce pressure on the health service.

Learn more about our aims to tackle loneliness through the provision of good quality social housing in our Housing Horizons vision.