Nursing Times Award Winner

Energising the community

Across the country, through Kissing it Better, a growing number of care homes are now working with universities, Further Education colleges and schools. Bringing young and older people together, through a highly structured programme of events, is proving a huge hit.

So, how does it work..

It’s simple: we invite students completing a wide range of courses to bring their special skills and energy to lift the spirits of residents, relatives and staff. Examples include beauty therapy, hairdressing, drama, animal care, dance music and photography.

Handled with the greatest of sensitivity, this is about far more than the student's specific skills. This is about the generations respecting each other, learning from each other and having fun at the same time. The staff love it all too.

Bringing in teams of vibrant students whose sole aim is to lift spirits not only frees up staff to do their job better, it also makes the residents feel happier. and more connected with the wider community. They then become easier to look after. When their relatives realise what is happening, they become more involved and that helps staff morale. Above all, it makes residents feel that their local community still values them and cares enough to visit and make a difference.

All this has taken a lot of hard work to initiate but now that the model is there, it is much easier. The concept is simple: energise the community to demonstrate their love and respect of older people in practical ways. Then sit back, and watch the magic happen

Exeter College's beauty students visiting Barnfield House

Animal Care and Beauty therapy students at work, this week, in Homes run by Guinness Care and Support, part of a regular programme of events across Devon involving local schools, colleges and universities. Kissing it Better works in a similar way in care homes and hospitals across the country.

Exeter College's beauty students visiting Barnfield House

The students spent the morning pampering the residents and staff and lifting everyone's spirits.

Exeter College's beauty students visiting Barnfield House

A wonderful morning with lots of laughs and oodles of thank yous.

Exeter College's beauty students visiting Barnfield House

Exeter College's beauty students visiting Barnfield House

Jill Fraser

Jill Fraser

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