Cheddar Inter-Generations Project
GP Sustainability scholar, Dr Claudia Wegner, is working on a project to improve the wellbeing of the elderly population in Cheddar. The initiative provides time and space for younger and older people to interact, re-connect and learn from each other. An edited version of the article Dr Wegner wrote for a newsletter is detailed below:
"The American physician, Dr Bill Thomas, named the three plagues of nursing homes: Loneliness, Boredom and Helplessness. Patients can find themselves in a downward spiral, with poor physical health and reduced mobility leading to dependence and inactivity. This, in turn, can lead to lethargy and depression, which further damages mobility and general health. Breaking this downward spiral does not often require a medical prescription, but rather a change in lifestyle and even a change in society itself.
The inter-generations project involves children from a local nursery visiting the residents of a care home over a period of seven weeks starting in May 2017. Games and activities suited to both children and adults will create a lively and stimulating environment and the impact upon participants' physical and mental wellbeing will be evaluated. Supporting populations to maintain and improve their health is a priority of sustainable healthcare and projects such as this can hopefully show how schemes with a social focus can help to do just that."