When Pauline Davies, care home resident from Barchester’s Tandridge Heights read an article in our Picture News Care newspaper about UK National Service after World War II, it reignited her sense of purpose. Her late husband, John did his National Service at the same time as one of the recruits mentioned in the article and she wrote to us with questions about him. Carer, Kelly told us, “it inspired Pauline to write about her own experiences and memories of her time during the war and her life since the war. It has become a very interesting read for all of us here at Tandridge Heights and Pauline has said it has kept her busy and her mind off of this awful pandemic, so thank you so much!”
The dedicated team at Picture News have been providing current affairs resources to spark meaningful discussion for young people since 2017. We are passionate about supporting children to find their voices and helping them to develop their character, talents and personal interests. When we reached out to residents in care homes last year with an intergenerational Hearts for Homes project, we saw how our resources have such a similar value for supporting the older generation too. And so, Picture News Care was born.
Beginning with an engaging image and big question poster, each week our activity resources guide care home staff through leading an informal chat with their residents about a positive news story. Through a myriad of different topics to stimulate personal interests, residents are encouraged to share opinions on what is happening in the world, through open-ended questioning. Seamless links to past world events help residents to spark memories of their past lives and invite them to compare this with the lives of the younger generations nowadays. There are two additional resources; the first is a fun activity to get residents’ minds whirring, eg. a quiz, word game or crossword. The second additional resource includes ideas for sensory stimulation to help residents who find it difficult to engage in a discussion. We use NAPA abilities colour coding so that activity coordinators can pitch the resources to their residents’ interests and levels of participation.
As a well-respected educational resource, Picture News has links with over 3000 schools nationwide. Hundreds of care homes across the country have already taken part in Picture News Care intergenerational projects. The charity Ready Generations believe that ‘intergenerational relationships also appear to trigger reminiscence and happy memories for the older age groups, in addition to delaying cognitive decline and encouraging engagement and motivation’. Our education and care home packs are written using the same questions and information so that children and care home residents can share ideas and opinions together. In the last twelve months, digital technology has innovated the way that the older generation keep connected with family and friends when they have not been able to meet in person. We are currently working on ways to develop this to become an integral part of our subscription package.
We believe in responding to the changing circumstances of care home residents. In the last twelve months, we have provided special packs in addition to our weekly news resources, including a special new lockdown pack in January. In the week of his sad passing we produced a pack with the big question, ‘Why did Captain Sir Tom Moore’s advice inspire a nation?’. Anyone who has lived a long life has a wealth of wise advice to offer those with a listening ear.