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Could maternity give new life to elderly Islanders?

Could maternity give new life to elderly Islanders?

Thursday 05 March 2015

Could maternity give new life to elderly Islanders?

Thursday 05 March 2015

A scheme giving newborn babies some “nanna” love in hospital has really taken off down under and could be something we’re crying out for this side of the world too.

The Nanna Care Service was started by the manager of the maternity ward at Logan Hospital in Australia over a decade ago to offer both support and a helping hand to new mums and friendship for its team of elderly volunteers.

Ten “nannas” now volunteer their time cuddling the new babies, sitting and talking to new mums and helping the midwives.

Head of Jersey’s Citizens Advice Bureau thinks it would help both new parents missing the support of grandparents and elderly Islanders who don’t have a family to look after.

Chief Executive Malcolm Ferey said: “It solves two problems, the problem of passing on that valuable information to new mothers and the problem of loneliness and isolation in the older members of our community.”

Mr Ferey said the Silver Line phone service that was set up in the summer of 2013 to connect with elderly people who are isolated has proved that there is a small but significant issue of loneliness in the Island.

But head of Age Concern in the Island isn’t convinced the scheme would take off here because of the high cost of living.

The charity’s Chairwoman Daphne Minihane said: “I don’t know if it would work here as a lot of older people are already helping their grandchildren, it’s an expensive place to live, a lot of the grannies are looking after children while their mums are at work.”

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