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The American care model that could be coming to the UK

16th April 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new care model that sees nurseries and other school groups visit the elderly in day centres could be brought to the UK after finding success in other parts of the world.

In the US, Canada and Japan it is common to find childcare and senior centres sharing a building and for children to visit the elderly in these day centres.

These three countries have built co-location centres since the 1970s and now the idea could be coming to the UK.

Part of the benefit of day centres is that elderly people who have mobility problems and need new disability baths and stairlifts to get around the home can get out and socialise with friends as well as interacting with the younger generation.

However, some experts say that care homes can actually be lonely and research has shown the benefits of interaction between young and old, including boosting health and self-esteem.

New scheme could be rolled out across the UK

Now this new initiative is being discussed in the UK with Thinktank United for All Ages (UAA) hosting a meeting in London for large care home and childcare providers to talk about co-location.

Stephen Burke, the director of UAA, told the Guardian, “There’s a lot of interest in co-locating. There’s quite a lot going on in individual care homes, with visits by nurseries or school groups on an ad hoc basis, some more regular than others, but couldn’t we take it further?

“Our society is very age segregated. By breaking that down at a young age, hopefully you tackle some of that ageism as well as some of the loneliness you might get in care homes.”

This co-location model is also being deliberated by Torbay Council in Devon and one of its childminding development workers will be travelling to the US later this year to visit some of these dual-centres.

The Singapore government has also revealed that they will be building 10 such co-location centres over the next 10 years.

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