Pupils at Braidbar Primary took part in a workshop designing “caring homes for the future” when the team from Tomorrow’s Older People were invited into the classroom.
The team led a session about planning for older age that gave the children an opportunity to talk about loneliness, social isolation and challenge their perceptions of older age.
The children then built a model of the type of care setting they would want an older person or a future self to live in.
Maria Hendry from Tomorrow’s Older People team said: “I really enjoyed going back to school and having the opportunity to hear what the children thought older age and care is all about as well as how they thought loneliness and social isolation could be addressed.
“It has been great to be part of the children’s learning experience and to see them bring their designs to life. The participation from all the children was wonderful. They were inquisitive, enthusiastic and showed real understanding about the subject of caring for people. They are a real credit to the school and their families.”
“Children are just so refreshingly honest! During one of the activities when asked how they knew someone is older, one boy replied “at 40 years old you have grey hair and wrinkled skin”.
“The other youngster quite simply said: “Older people are happy when they have someone to talk to.”
Class teacher, Lisa Macintyre said: “This workshop proved to be extremely useful for encouraging the learners to think empathetically about the needs of those who require care. They tackled the workshop with maturity and creativity, thinking of different features which would never have occurred to adults!”
Tomorrow’s Older People is a Big Lottery Funded programme led locally by Kinworks. It aims to involve local people and organisations in proactively designing the services and supports that will affect their quality of life in older age.
The next step for the Tomorrow’s Older People team is to showcase the children’s work to organisations in the care sector, house builders and other invested parties.
To find out more visit website www.tomorrowsolderpeople-eastren.org.uk or find the group on Facebook and Twitter.