Beach Grove Home looks to add daycare

Teresa Wright
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Seniors' facility proposes project that would benefit residents and children

Google streetview image of Beach Grove Home seniors' facility in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Nothing can brighten the spirits like spending time with a child.

That’s the theory behind an interesting new project being explored by officials at one of the province’s long-term care facilities.

Health P.E.I. has issued a request for information (RFI) from anyone interested in opening a private daycare operation at the Beach Grove Home in Charlottetown. The idea is to create an innovative program that would offer benefits for both the young children and elderly residents of the home.

“As any long-term facility can say, completely unequivocally, there’s no bigger life in the building on any given day then when a childcare class comes to the facility,” said Andrew MacDougall, administrator of long-term care for Queens region with Health P.E.I.

“It’s like a lift. It’s just such a palpable increase in energy and spirit in the building. You wonder, ‘imagine if we could do something like that on a consistent, daily basis?’”

Feelings of loneliness, depression and helplessness in long-term care facilities are a constant challenge, and this could help elderly residents combat the negative effects of long-term institutionalized care, MacDougall said.

But it could also be a benefit to the children, who might better develop a more positive perception of the elderly, of disability and of the aging process.

“To have an intergenerational component where there’s a structured interaction between the residents and the kids, a lot of great things can happen for both parties.”

It’s not the first time a project like this has been undertaken.

Last year, the Loch Lomond Villa nursing home in Saint John, N.B., announced its intention to add a daycare operation to  its seniors’ facility.

The RFI from Health P.E.I. also cites a growing body of research showing the many positive virtues of caring for the two generations together, including social enrichment and fostering of a family-like atmosphere for children and residents alike.

But logistics are also playing a big role in this proposed project. Up until recently, the Beach Grove Home housed a provincial dialysis unit. This has since been relocated to the ambulatory care centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

This now-vacated space at Beach Grove has a separate entry, parking lot and is located on a beautiful piece of property with an expanse of green space and a lovely community trail.

“Given the logistical merit of the location — separate parking, separate entrance, bright space — it’s just something that seems very worthy to go for,” MacDougall said. “You could have a very viable (daycare) operation there.”

MacDougall stressed the daycare centre itself would be privately operated, not run by Health P.E.I. or other government staff. It would also have to meet all current legal requirements for licensed childcare facilities.

As long as an intergenerational component is built into the early childhood curriculum, all individuals or organizations interested in pursuing the idea is encouraged to apply.

“I think people get to a certain age where they have that inner desire to want to help shape and mould future generations, so I think this really helps from the residents’ standpoint,” MacDougall said.

“From a societal perspective it’s an opportunity for young people to have access to people who really have a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge and also being able to see firsthand some of the inspirational examples of people coping with frailty, and help to normalize at a very early age disease and ailments of all kinds.”

Officials hope to welcome preschoolers to the Beach Grove Home as soon as possible.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Health P.E.I.

Geographic location: Beach Grove, Charlottetown, Queens Saint John

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Recent comments

  • hilda burke
    April 23, 2014 - 21:36

    They had a daycare in the early eighties.this is not a new thing.Just out of the way.

  • youn mom
    April 22, 2014 - 23:38

    As a young single mom, who works as a nurse in long term care I look at this as an amazing opportunity I first hand have see the joys of the residents when children come in to visit, it brings back wonderful and positive memories for them of their own life experiences wither it be motherhood, their own childhood etc. It is a type of therapy just like animal therapy and it is very beneficial. I myself take my children in to visir my grandmother we go visit everyone in the main dining room and everyone loves to share stories of their own children and grandchildren happy times and memories. Also from a work stand point it is so hard to find childcare for your children as shiftworkers, single mom or having two parent households with shoftworkers its tough and leaving your kids for long hours pulls on the heart strings. Lots of other facilities outside PEI have childcare in the hospitals and nursings homes. To me this would be beneficial to both staff and the residents.

  • Observer
    April 22, 2014 - 22:11

    I have seen this work to,such great mutual benefit in several locations. And for those who worry about being bothered by children, in every case I have observed, interaction with the children was optional.

  • Cheryl Cannon
    April 22, 2014 - 21:27

    My mother lived in a nursing home for the last year and a half of her life. She adored children. A daycare in a nursing home is life enhancing. How wonderful if both generations could interact with each other. Perhaps a story hour or simply seeing children play or host a sing a long together. Great idea !

  • amazing
    April 22, 2014 - 18:58

    I give my personal (senior) point of view & you turn on me with such hatred. Look at yourselves as to why you would spew such venom on a personal opinion just because it is different than yours.

    • amazing
      April 22, 2014 - 20:09

      my 'gentle' fellow islanders

  • AnonymousIslander
    April 22, 2014 - 17:10

    Excellent idea, I have seen this done in other places, brings a lot of happiness to people both young and old.

  • Cathy
    April 22, 2014 - 13:18

    Excellent idea for all concerned. Bring joy to seniour and give the kids "grandparent" experience.

  • Another ECE
    April 22, 2014 - 12:21

    This is a beautiful idea with an ideal location. The opportunity to be part if a larger family, explore the outdoors as their is a wooded area and water and I am sure the facility would support the children creating gardens.

  • Lynn
    April 22, 2014 - 11:57

    What a wonderful idea! Imagine having an outdoor playground outside where the seniors can watch the little ones playing or even interact if they choose. 'Good grief', it seems you are only 'imagining' what being a senior would be like. From my experience this would be a very welcome and beneficial relationship for all :)

  • Stacey
    April 22, 2014 - 10:19

    Bad idea! Children that go to daycare tend to be sick all the time.

    • re daycares
      April 22, 2014 - 15:27

      If you ever had a child in daycare, you'd know that they are required to stay home when they are sick... daycare won't accept them...

    • back at ya@
      April 23, 2014 - 06:27

      Yes I have...and NO not all kids are sent home.

  • wonderful idea
    April 22, 2014 - 09:07

    I think this such a great idea. The elderly that are institutionalized often suffer from being lonely and what better visitors than young children. The children would definitely bring lots of smiles and it would be something for the residents to look forward to. I really hope this is successful.

  • Good grief
    April 22, 2014 - 08:07

    If you are old & in a seniors facility it is because you are not well, & need people to take care of you. When I am at that point, I wouldn't want a bunch of youngsters around all the time not only reminding me of how old I am but also because at that point in my life, I'd be wanting peace & quiet, in my last few years. You also do not need to have little kids seeing so many old & sick people all the time. Good grief. Next they'll be wanting the seniors to look after the children. Who in govt comes up with these stupid ideas.

    • Island Gal
      April 22, 2014 - 08:38

      @Good grief...you obviously haven't spent much time in a long term care facility. The residents are older, yes, but they are not sick. In any long term care facility there can be residents in their 40's up to in their 90's or older. Most residents don't have family who can provide care 24/7, and that is most commonly the reason for someone being admitted to a long term care facility. Having witnessed visits from day cares at different facilities, it brings the brightest smiles and makes both the children and the residents happier than I have ever seen them. And if you actually read the news story you will note that the day care would be in the same building, but it would have its own entrance, parking, etc. I don't believe the facility intends to let babies and toddlers take over the place. I think Beach Grove is completely on the mark by suggesting the day care run out of the facility!

    • think about it
      April 22, 2014 - 13:38

      Well "Good Grief", Bah Humbug to you... My mother worked in a nursing home for all of her life. As children, we were regularly taken to her nursing home to visit her patients because it made them delightfully happy to have visitors and see young people. I will never forget how their faces lit up, and the big bright smiles when they saw us. As a child, it made me feel wonderful to know that just my presence in a room could make another person feel so much joy. It did not hurt me to see old, sick people. That is a part of life and the natural order of things. Our job is to educate our children, not put them in bubbles and hide them from the realities of life. I know when I get older, I will want young people around me... my children, my grandchildren. Having them around brings me more joy and happiness than you can imagine. I will never tire of their fresh outlook and happy, energetic ways. I feel sorry for you, "good grief", because if you keep your outlook on things, you will be very bitter and lonely as you grow old.

    • Piet Hein
      April 22, 2014 - 15:39

      Good Grief, trolls like you belong under a bridge and not in the internet.

  • The Urban Oysterman
    April 22, 2014 - 07:46

    A brilliant idea for no other reason that the relationships would stimulate life!

  • Island ECE
    April 22, 2014 - 06:09

    I hope this happens - what a great idea for all involved!!!

    • day care hours
      April 22, 2014 - 18:47

      It a great idea .hope the tender who uses the space considers opening at 6.30 am to accomodate shift workers as well .weekends holidays evenings and nights .It would be great to have a 24 hour day care somewhere ..Even tho it for the general public Im sure it be used by nursing staff at the two manors that have young children as well .