RESIDENTS at a specialist dementia care home have been having a great time with new little friends - children from a nearby nursery.

Young people attending the Little Montessori House nursery in Bridgwater have been visiting the Avalon Nursing Home each month since March and joining in with a range of activities with residents.

The home’s own garden was the location for the most recent visit, with residents and their young visitors all making the most of the sunny weather.

Emma Hill, Avalon’s activities co-ordinator, said: “Watching the children blowing bubbles and then chasing them around brought smiles to our resident’s faces – no-one can resist a bit of bubble-blowing, it seems.

“One of our ladies spent many years working in a children’s nursery when she was younger, and her mornings with the children bring back many happy memories.

“Spending time with the children clearly evokes positive emotions and memories for our ladies and gents, and they also relish being ‘in the moment’ - chatting and playing with the little ones and sharing a laugh.

“And, without even trying, the children bring certain residents out of their shells, with the result that they’ll happily join in with activities which wouldn’t normally interest them.”

Siobhan Orr, co-proprietor of Little Montessori House, said: “Both age groups certainly derive a huge amount of pleasure from the visits, right from the very first morning when they connected over an enthusiastic game of balloon swat.

“The children really look forward to their Avalon trips and sometimes ask if they can take something to give to their special friends - last time a couple of our four-year-olds picked flowers from the nursery’s own garden and presented them to the residents.”

Petra Townsend, the other co-proprietor of the nursery, added: “It’s an absolute joy to see how faces light up when the children arrive – young and old alike.

“The barriers come down and they so enjoy each other's company. Just to watch and listen to them all interact is a real privilege.”

Avalon Nursing Home, which is on Taunton Road in Bridgwater, is run by the award-winning specialist dementia care provider, Camelot Care.