Extra care goes the extra mile

Over several years we have invested in our offer for older people with three extra care schemes opened since 2013. Feedback from customers is consistently positive and occupancy rates are almost at 100%.

Here is a look at some of the work being done in the Cae Garnedd, Bangor extra care scheme in Bangor recently – helping to improve residents’ health and quality of life.

Bridging the generations

Following the success of S4C’s television series Hen Blant Bach, 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 project was funded through Gwynedd Council’s Integrated Care Fund – and has given 5 and 6 year old pupils the opportunity to attend activities at Cae Garnedd. Activities are arranged for each visits with sessions focussing on music, craft, gardening, games, and various talks from partner agencies.

Feedback from tenants and the school has been excellent with clear benefits to tenants’ well-being. Many residents, despite their health problems or disabilities have thrived. They come alive during the sessions and when socialising with the children, who see beyond the age difference, disabilities and stigma. According to the school, the children enjoyed so much that on one occasion after arriving back at the school they refused to leave the bus because they wanted to return to their friends at Cae Garnedd for a “sleep over”.

The aim now is to evaluate the project in co-operation with postgraduate research students, with a further application made for European social funding supported by Dr Catrin Hedd and Bangor University. A similar pilot has been carried out between a primary school and a care home in Nefyn in order to compare between a rural and urban setting. Following evaluation, the hope is to develop the project for the long term so that even more older residents can enjoy and benefit from sessions with primary school children.
Following attending the fitness classes, three of our tenants have attended supported swimming classes at Bangor swimming pool, again facilitated by the Dementia Go scheme – which shows how the sessions have increased individuals’ confidence.