Playing with building blocks is proving a favourite activity for a group of toddlers and elderly residents who are also building cross-generational bridges with regularly fortnightly get-togethers at Butterfly Lodge in St Budeaux, Plymouth.
The sessions have been organised by Abby Wiseman, manager of Butterfly Lodge, who was inspired by stories told fondly by her residents, all living with dementia, about when their own children were young.
Up to five little ones at a time, aged from six month to five years, are welcomed into Butterfly Lodge on alternate Wednesday afternoons, and they’ve come to be known as the ‘Butterfly Babies.’
All the youngsters are the children of staff who work at the home, which is run by Camelot Care, and the same group attend every time so that they can become familiar with the environment.
Abby Wiseman said: “The children’s visits bring such joy to our residents. You can see how they perk up when the little ones arrive, and they really enjoy talking to them and playing with them.
“They’re always telling me how they love to see them smiling, and how much they enjoy interacting with them and hearing them chatter.
“The toddlers love it too!”
The visits started in November 2019 and have become a firm fixture on the home’s calendar, with a ball pool, car mat, prams and dolls now available for the mutual amusement of both generations, as well as the ever-popular building blocks.
Swedish designed and purpose-built, Butterfly Lodge in Agaton Road, Plymouth, is a specialist 38-bed dementia care facility which overlooks the Tamar Estuary.
Camelot Care also has homes in Bridgwater and Wellington in Somerset.