Sheffield nursing home proves that fun has no age limit

It is true what they say - fun has no age limit and this is exactly what a nursing home in Sheffield is trying to promote.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 9:34 am
Ben Gallagher, team member and Simon Howard, general manager, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-5

Twelve Trees Care Home said the monthly event, Memories of Friends, encourages its residents to put on their dancing shoes and mingle with the locals, regardless of their age, as a way to reduce loneliness and social isolation. 

And it is proven effective as many from outside the residents’ circle, have turned up at its event on Wednesday at The Ball in Crookes and enjoyed each other’s company.

back l-r Kathy Markwick, Independent Community Services Consultant, Emma Kennedy, care supervisor, Dawn Cowan, attendee and Russ Elliott, entertainer. Front l-r Len Hopkins, Janice Jones and Jane Jackson, attendees. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-1

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For Jane Jackson of Stannington, who frequents the local pub said she keeps coming back every time such an event is held.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis (MS), it did not stop the 55-year-old from tapping her feet and singing along.

She even went down to her knees, at one point, and danced with the elderly that she has made friends with. 

“I like old people. I adore them. I think the event is fantastic. I’ve only known a few pubs and this is the one that I enjoy the most.

Entertainer Russ Elliott, pictured with attendee Patrick Hart. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-2

“I make sure I come here every time because I know it’s going to be good. I have a good laugh, a good joke, I’m enjoying it,” said Ms Jackson, who was diagnosed with MS since she was 19.

Meanwhile, an 86-year-old resident Patrick Hart was certainly young at heart as he went to the dance floor and showed off his moves a few times.

“I like going here and I love dancing. It is lovely and the food is nice too, but a bit too hard for me to chew,” he laughed. 

With as little as £7 for the fee, the participants got a satisfying two-course lunch (fish and chips and bread pudding) while listening to some popular oldies such as ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, ‘Que Sera Sera’, ‘Oh, Carol,  and ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’.

Attendees to the Twelve Trees Memories of friends event at the Ball. pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-3

Local entertainer Russ Elliott said events such as this help bring people out of isolation, especially among the elderly.

“People say once they go to care home, that’s the end of it. It isn’t because it’s just a new part of their lives and they need things like everybody else does.

“People just need to get out and communicate with each other,” he said.

Twelve Trees Care supervisor Emma Kennedy said the next event will be held on July 17 and encouraged the young people to join in the fun.

Entertainer Russ Elliott, pictured with attendee Patrick Hart. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-4

“We hold it every third Wednesday of the month and this one is always based on this pub…even the young people can come just to have a couple of hours out of the house and talk to people,” she said.

And The Ball general manager, Simon Howard said he was more than happy to host yet another event for them.

“This is my third time hosting the event and it is absolutely cracking to do it here for the community.

“I hope this can get local people to meet others they don’t usually meet outside. I thought that’d be great,” he said.