Old and young in Lymington bond over love of sweets
Colten Care home residents spent an afternoon with Lymington Infant School children sharing their love of sweets and chocolate.
Colten Care's dedicated dementia home in Lymington, Linden House, hosted a Chocolate Festival for children from Lymington Infants School.
Sweet lovers aged 8 to 98 learned about popular confectionary available today such as Haribo and Maltesers and also the big sellers of the past, such as pineapple cubes and gobstoppers.They also practised weighing out their candies on ‘old fashioned’ scales before popping them into candy striped bags.
Linden House resident Margaret Sutton is a former teacher. She said: “It’s been a lovely afternoon spent with the children.
“We talked about the sweets we like and I told them how I like Maltesers and that as a child I loved Polo mints.
“I also explained that during the war we were actually encouraged to eat chocolate, with specific rations of chocolate each week.
“They have found that very strange as they are encouraged to limit the sweet things they eat to protect their teeth.”
Pupil Ava agreed: “I have really enjoyed weighing out the sweets with Margaret and learning about the different types of chocolate and where it comes from.
“I liked the milk chocolate and caramel chocolate best. I don’t really like dark chocolate.
“My mummy only lets me have sweets as a special treat. Today has been really fun.”
Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music & Arts Partner said: “Reminiscing is an invaluable process for older people, especially those with a dementia diagnosis and talking about and tasting sweets and chocolate evokes find memories and feelings in us all, whatever our age.
“The chance to enjoy these goodies with bright, cheery, inquisitive children has been a huge added bonus for our residents and one I think they will talk about for a long time.”
Lymington Infants School teacher Jackie Stoneham agreed: “I have found today’s visit to Linden House extremely emotional.
“Seeing the children sitting, chatting and laughing and the sheer joy on the residents’ faces actually moved me to tears.We will leave here today full of fondness for the people who live here, full of admiration for the companionship team who care for them - and with full bags of wonderful chocolates the children have been gifted to share with their school friends!”
Both the school children and Linden House residents thoroughly enjoyed the 'Chocolate Festival' experience, the children learned lots about confectionary of the past, whilst the Linden House residents had a chance to reminisce about the sweets they enjoyed in their earlier years.
Benefits for all involved when local organisations work together
There can be many benefits when local organisations are able to work together in this way. These children have obtained a very natural experience of being amongst people with dementia whilst many of the residents are visibly animated, clearly enjoying the stimulus of being amongst the very young.
And indeed the 'Chocolate Festival' at Linden House, Colten Care's dementia specialist residential care home in Lymington can be repeated! So if other schools or groups are interested do contact Ben Benson Breen, who coordinates activities for the "New Forest Cluster" of Colten Care's homes (more information about the homes below). You can contact Ben by email directly by email here.
Find out more about Colten Care's New Forest homes
Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the local area, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home...
Every Wednesday 'Come Dine with Us' at Belmore Lodge - come and join the residents for a sociable lunch (booking essential!). Ladies, on the first Wednesday of each month join the residents at Court Lodge for Ladies' Afternoon Tea and gentlemen, come along to the Gentlemen's Lunch Club, also at Court Lodge.
Avoid a lonely winter with a short stay at a Colten Care home. During November, December and January Colten Care have a special offer on short stays - 4 weeks for the price of 3. Find out more about respite care and short stays here.