Intergenerational project recognised for mental health innovation

28 August 2019

Intergenerational project recognised for mental health innovation
A project helping to improve the health and wellbeing of older patients has been shortlisted for a prestigious healthcare award.

The intergenerational project – which has been shortlisted in the mental health innovation category at this year’s HSJ Awards - aims to show that spending time with children helps older patients feel happier and less lonely during their time in hospital.

It’s also beneficial for the children themselves, developing their understanding of dementia and tackling the stigma associated with ageing.

Funded by Imperial Health Charity, the 12-month project began in August 2018 and is believed to be the first active intergenerational activities project to be carried out within an acute hospital setting.

Since the programme began, 31 intergenerational sessions have taken place, including drama, poetry, singing, dancing, arts and crafts activities delivered by local organisations such as the Wallace Collection and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. More than 100 of the Trust’s patients have been involved in the sessions so far.

Dr Charlotte Lance-Taylor, who has been leading the project with the Trust’s dementia team, said: “We’re so excited to be shortlisted for this award and we’re proud of the work that we’ve done to help our older patients have a more stimulating and less socially isolating stay in our hospitals.

“The changes in our patients and the growing confidence of the children who have been visiting has also been incredible to see.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 6 November 2019.

The charity has also committed to funding a second year of the intergenerational project. To read more about the project, click here.