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When a Preschool Was Opened Inside a Dementia Care Home, All Heaven Broke Loose

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They say it takes a village to raise a child. Centered on that concept of communal flourishing, Northwest England’s first intergenerational care village, home to both older people and young children living and learning together, recently celebrated its official opening.

Stimulation, learning, fun—these are activities that are known to delay the progression of dementia, and what better way to add these critical elements of life to a daily regimen than to let a flock of preschoolers do it?

Belong is a not-for-profit care operator, specializing in dementia care. They have care villages in England’s northwest, and West Midlands regions. Now marking the latest dementia-friendly development, Belong welcomed the Lord Mayor of Cheshire, Sheila Little, to declare the latest village in the county officially open.

The pioneering facility on City Road supports older people to live their lives independently. The national charity Ready Generations partnered with Belong to run the village’s integrated day nursery. The nursery children feature in the daily life of residents and tenants, enjoying experiences together including shared mealtimes, stories, arts and crafts, and exercise.

“It was a pleasure to look ’round the village and officially open Belong Chester, and to meet staff and residents,” said Lord Mayor Sheila Little.

“This is a particularly exciting and innovative development as it includes a nursery, which benefits both the children who attend and the residents who visit to play and read to them. I look forward to visiting again to see how the village is growing and developing.”

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Festive Seniors Build Christmas Tree Made of LEGOs and a Fireplace With Santa’s Feet Sticking Out

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A LEGO-loving couple have created a bit of festive cheer by making an entire wall, fireplace and tree from the plastic blocks in their living room.

For the last 28 years Mike Addis and his wife Catherine Weightman have built amazing LEGO sculptures each Christmas.

Previous creations include a 21-foot London Bridge and a 12-foot replica of Ely cathedral.

Inspired by extension work being done on their house in Cambridgeshire, they decided to cover a wall in their living room with a LEGO replica, complete with Christmas tree, festive decorations, and a fireplace with Santa’s feet sticking out.

There also can be found LEGO mince pies, a LEGO matchbox, and LEGO candles that light up on the mantelpiece.

But apart from the incredible ingenuity needed to create the piece, it’s had the side effect of reducing their heating bills through the energy expenditure of stacking bricks all evening.

Addis said they committed between two to four hours each evening for two months to complete it.

“It’s quite a social thing and it keeps us warm too,” said Adids. “You can’t believe building LEGO which doesn’t involve a lot of movement would, but you could actually switch the heating off.”

“It’s all the getting up and down and fiddling around with the pieces.”

“It’s amazing even in this cold weather to not have to put the wood burner on because we’re warm enough.”

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This Hero Dog-Lover Keeps Seniors and Their Pets Together With ‘Peace of Mind’

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A dog rescue program specialized to help the dogs of the elderly has allowed hundreds of dogs to stay with their owners who could no longer physically take care of them.

The program also takes in and finds homes for dogs who have to be put up for adoption in the case that an elderly person has to enter a care home or hospice.

This often heart-breaking, more often heart-fortifying work is done by Peace of Mind Dog Rescue, and has so far helped find new permanent homes and families for 3,000 dogs, each with their own little stories of life alongside a senior citizen.

The heart-brain-child of dog rescue worker Carie Broecker, Peace of Mind was started when a woman with impaired movements had needed Broecker to walk her dog Savannah, but eventually was forced to part with the canine entirely.

“I said I promise I will make sure that Savannah finds a good home,” Broecker said. “She was so relieved that I could make that promise to her.”

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