A group of social workers and psychologists from a housing charity focused on ‘communal living’ were touring the UK and had great pleasure seeing and hearing about Abbeyfield and our good work.

Their purpose was to gain a broader understanding of how we approach care for the older generations in the UK.

Jackie Bradfield, CEO for Abbeyfield The Dales, opened the visit with a talk about the Abbeyfield history and ethos.

The group was interested to compare how care is provided in the two countries and were surprised to see so many older residents living in an ‘independent care’ setting. This is not the case in Belgium, where older people tend to move from living at home straight to care homes rather than being offered the chance to live independently with the security of added support.

After an intensive session of questions, the group received a tour of Holme Lea and Grove House, and were able to meet residents and join in with a garden party. Clare Hobbins, the Area Housing Manager at the Dales who coordinated the visit described the pleasure the residents had in showing off their home:

“They were made very welcome by residents, friends and family and enjoyed partaking in the raffle and tombola which was something they’d not seen before!”

Marie, the organiser for the group was very thankful for their warm welcome. “Our participants were very enthusiastic, they learned a lot and got inspired by your project. It was a shame that we could not stay for a longer visit but perhaps we come a next time.”

The visit was considered by both parties to be a great success and a good process for sharing information, attitudes and ideas.

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