The University of Essex has teamed up with a local care home to support speech and language therapy students in their studies.
The students visit Silversprings every week as part of their university placement, to gain skills in adapting communication to fit different conversational styles, and in communicating effectively with older people.
Communication isn’t only about talking, so during their time at the care home, the students have joined in with the variety of activities the team runs on a regular basis. They have also worked individually with residents to develop relationships and improve the residents’ wellbeing.
Susan Oates, home manager at Silversprings, said: “We were delighted when the students got in touch asking to join us for their university placement. It has been a brilliant opportunity to bring different generations together, and for residents to enjoy new conversations and experiences. The students have worked closely with a number of residents so far and plan to develop their studies next year by working more closely with residents who are living with dementia.”
Sophie Chamberlain, one of the students from the University of Essex, said: “After I complete my degree I hope to become a qualified speech and language therapist, focusing on communication skills to help and treat older people, in particular those living with dementia.
“I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Silversprings. It’s been great getting to know the residents and the Care UK team, who have been so accommodating. Our time here will be really beneficial to us as students but also – we hope – to the residents who we love visiting every week.”